Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘Giving’ Category

Are You Blessed with Long-time Friends?


Do you have long-time friends for whom you are eternally grateful?

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These are our friends, Cecilia and Tom. We are visiting them in Camarillo, CA. What a grand way to begin the new year … with long-time friends, touring the gorgeous Camarillo area and visiting their fantastic Camarillo Library! Cecilia and I worked together in Ceres, CA in the 80’s and 90’s. I love and respect her – and treasure the opportunity I had to work professionally with her. She is a long-time friend with whom I have stayed in connection through FaceBook.

How do you stay in touch with long-time friends?

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This is my long-time friend, MaryFran. She was my neighbor in the 50’s. We were the very best of friends… maid-of-honor in each other’s weddings. Then we lost touch with one another. Sometimes that happens. For no particular reason. Friends can be for a reason or a season or a life-time. And when you are true friends, time just slips away and dissolves when you get back together again after years of separation. I called her when we were in CA within an hour of her home. At her gracious invitation, we just dropped by. What a gift to catch up with one another again! Long-time friends are forever friends.

How do you reconnect with friends from whom you have been separated?

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This is my long-time friend, Rosalie, with our daughter, DeDe. Our daughter lives in Switzerland. She flew to California to surprise us for her daddy’s 80th birthday Dec. 29th. Rosalie in like family. She and her husband, Mike, drove hundreds of miles to surprise Bob for his birthday. Forever in my heart… no matter how far apart! We met Rosalie and Mike in 1963 when Bob & I were moving our meager belongings into an apartment in the San Francisco area. We were instant friends.

Do you have those kinds of soul sisters and brothers who just seem to have been destined to be in your life? If so, count your blessings. Know that whenever you can be together, your ties will tighten – and your blessings will increase. These are the kinds of friends you’d want at your bedside when you breathe your last breath. They are the ones who would fly across the continent to be with you in a heart beat if you needed them. And we feel the same way about them! What treasures!!

Do you have new friends who are long-time friends?

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When I first met Terry, I knew she was my soul sister! Like my meeing with Rosalie more than 50 years ago, Terry was one of those people I felt I must have known in a prior life! We met in Ennis, Montana about a decade ago. She comes every summer, but lives in California during the rest of the year. When Terry is in Montana, we get together with her and her husband, Jim, as often as we possibly can. When we visit California, we are sure to drop by their place and spend precious time together. Our hearts connect.

Whether they are long-time friends, or new friends who feel long-time,
our lives are greatly enriched by friendships.
I would not be complete without them.

I am sometimes asked, how do you make so many friends?
The answer is a simple cliche’:

 

To have a friend, you must be a friend.

Through thick and thin… be there for one another!

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I am grateful for my bestest buddy, Marcie!
Always there for me… always supportive.

AND…


I’m so grateful to be married to MY BEST FRIEND!!

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Tell me about a friendship you treasure.

 

Have You Been Surprised Lately?


Have You Been Surprised Lately?

I posted this morning my tribute to Bob,
My husband of   56  1/2  years,
Who just celebrated his 80th.
You saw him with his giant card, right?

What I didn’t show you was the
Surprise he experienced in the morning
When he was outside with our son, grandson & Kyle
washing our mud-infested Montana car…

Watch!!

 

That’s DeAna, our daughter, who surprised him
(obviously)
By arriving with her BFF, Elaina, to say,
“Happy Birthday, Daddy!”

DeAna lives in Switzerland.
Elaina lives in Maryland.
We live in Montana.
We’re visiting our son & family in California.

The joy was – as is – overwhelming!
Can you feel it?
Have you been surprised lately?
Tell me about it!

Yet Another Day


This little 3″ x 5″ book titled,
Yet Another Day
was copyrighted in 1905.

 

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My mother-in-law bought it at a flea market for $1.00
in about 1959. I inherited it from her.
This note is in the inside front cover:

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The title page tells you the book, written by Rev. J.H. Jowett, M.A.,
is intended to be used as a prayer for every day of the year.

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The copyright page gives valuable tips,
as valid today as they were 113 years ago!

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Today is December 22nd.
The prayer for today is one I want to share with you.
(I pray I am not breaking copyright laws by sharing this!)

Pray with me, will you?
(And enjoy the beautiful, lyrical language of 113 years ago.)

“Lord of all life, wilt Thou quicken me in the ministry of Thy life-giving Spirit? May no part of my being remain in deadly insensitivity. May I be alive unto God! May all my powers aspire after Thee, as flowers after the sun.”   AMEN!

 

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Hold On to What is Valuable


Today’s devotional e-mail from  titw@moody.edu spoke to me. I have included it here for you, my friends.

Have a beautiful day, and let us remember to be grateful for all our many blessings as we remember, “You are blessed to be a blessing.”

 

Today in the Word
December 2018

 

The Gospel of Matthew: The King Has Come
HOLDING ON TO WHAT IS VALUABLE
Wednesday, December 19, 2018 | Matthew 19:16–30
In the children’s novel Where the Red Fern Grows, the main character, Billy, tries and fails to trap a raccoon until his grandfather teaches him a foolproof method: drill a hole into a log, place a shiny object at the bottom, and then drive nails into the hole at a downward angle. This allows the raccoon to reach its hand in, but keeps it from pulling its hand back out so long as it is holding the trinket. The trap works because raccoons are too greedy to let go of shiny things.

A raccoon in such a predicament has much in common with the rich young man Jesus encountered in Matthew 19. The man’s initial question indicated his desire for eternal life. But the man’s hold on the shiny things of this world prevented him from pursuing that desire.

When Jesus told him that if he wanted to be righteous he would have to sell his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor, the young man went away sad. And one can understand why. He wanted it both ways: to be defined by his financial wealth and to receive the spiritual riches of eternal life. With his hand grasped tightly around worldly possessions, he could not pursue the heavenly treasures reserved for those willing to sacrifice such things to follow Jesus (vv. 28–29).

Because of the tendency of wealth to elicit such grasping, we might regard it as inherently dangerous. But the deeper danger is the grasping response itself, for we might also grasp after power, status, or other earthly goods (see 1 Tim. 6:10). As we hold too tightly to such things, we find that they are in fact holding on to us and hindering us from pursuing the kingdom of God.

APPLY THE WORD
What earthly goods or status do you most desire? Does your desire hinder you from following Jesus? Pray that God would help you to loosen your grip on anything that might keep you from pursuing His kingdom with your fullest devotion. And give thanks to the God of salvation with whom “all things are possible” (v. 26).

 

If you enjoyed this devotional, you may want to subscribe to “Today in the Word” and receive your daily devotional from Moody, also. Just write to titw@moody.edu.

In addition to giving thanks for my earthly goods, and praying to loose my grip on them, I also am giving thanks today to God for answered prayer. Earlier this month I had an ultrasound that showed a mass in my bladder (Of course, hearing that, we all thought CANCER). The doctor ordered a CT scan to confirm the mass. The results were inconclusive. Yesterday was my appointment with the urologist to get to the bottom of what’s going on “down there.” Friends from far and near prayed for me and for conclusive results and a “fix-it plan.” I felt the love and concern of those prayers. I relaxed, and knew I was in God’s hands. I am ever so grateful for family/friends, their love, and God’s grace. The camera that scoped the bladder revealed NO TUMOR. God is good. All the time!

The Cost of Christmas


Sermon notes – Dec. 16, 2017 – Rev. Jean Johnson – Madison Valley Presbyterian, Ennis, MT

Recorded by Jan Beekman – in poetry (as is my habit) – while listening intently today.

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The Cost of Christmas

Ebenezer Scrooge was transformed.
He hated Christmas and all
That talk of love and peace.
His dream helped him hear God’s call.

He bought a goose and invited
All to come to his feast.
He had love and joy to spread
To rich and poor, the most and the least.

It cost Scrooge a fortune
To pay for all that food.
What does Christmas cost you?
Does the cost put you in a Scrooge mood?

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John the Baptist warned us that
Christmas will cost a lot.
But it’s not the money he referred to;
It’s the deliverance we may not have sought.

Purifying fire and judgement wait
For those who fail to believe.
The fire is a punishment for those
Who are stingy and cause others to grieve.

If you have two shirts or coats,
Be ready to give one away.
If someone owes you money,
Don’t overcharge them any day.

Jesus taught people to love and forgive.
“Get ready for the Christ Child.
Give from your surplus,” John preached.
He didn’t ask us to do anything wild.

Jesus’ message was a tough one
For many who held hate in their heart.
John asked folks to prepare for Christ
By repenting, turning, making a clean start.

Be on the true path, headed right
As you prepare for Jesus Christ’s birth.
You’re on the right road in church today.
Let’s be God’s witnesses on earth.

Are you?
Am I?
Let your life preach His message,
And as Mother Theresa is quoted as saying,
“Only use words when you have to!”

(Isn’t that a heck of a message for a blogger?)

 

Do You Carol?


I think Christmas caroling is a lost art. Do you carol?

When I told Chris, my 23 year old Swiss grandson, that we were going caroling, he asked, “What’s that?”

I responded, “Do you know what carols are?”

Keep in mind that his language in Switzerland is French (even though with his mom – our daughter – he speaks English at home).

“No.”

“It’s Christmas songs,” I explained. “We’re going to sing them at the Christmas stroll.”

Of course, that was a new concept for him, too.

“But I don’t know your Christmas songs.”

Not letting him off the hook, I explained, “We have books.”

“Who will we sing to?”

I told him about our annual custom of going door to door in neighborhoods or singing on the sidewalks downtown, going in and out of stores. He thought that was pretty strange!

“We’d probably get arrested if we did that in my town,” he puzzled.

Did he go?

You bet!

Did he enjoy it?

Of course!

And the frosting on the cake was seeing the front page of our local newspaper a few days later:

How did you kickoff your Christmas season?

Spreading Christmas Joy


Spreading Christmas Joy – Ennis, Montana – Community Christmas Stroll 2018

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‘Tis the season for caroling,
A time to spread the joy
Of Christmas and its meaning
To every girl and boy.

So tune your voices, friends,
And get in the Christmas mood.
Join the bundled-up singers, and
Share some holiday food.

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Open up your hearts, friends,
And see what you can do
To spread a little Christmas cheer
To more than just a few.

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Wash away the loneliness
By spreading infectious smiles.
Let your Christmas joy be genuine
And be felt for miles and miles.

Merry Christmas Season to you!
Be generous and sincere.
Help to keep this season’s light
Shining brightly though out the year.

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Get out the real message
Of Jesus and His grace.

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Paint love, peace and happiness
On every person’s face.

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SMILE!!
God loves you –
and so do I!!

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