Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘giving’

Outsiders


Jesus on the Cross

Jesus – simple, yet complex

Outsiders

A prophet is known
by the company he keeps.
If Jesus were a true prophet,
the right people would be His sheep.

But baaaaad people hung out
with Jesus – sinners of the worst sort.
Jesus scandalously kept company
with tax collectors, folks report.

His circle included prostitutes.
He dined with people of ill repute.
How did He respond to complainers?
Did He have a good word of refute?

No, He told the story of the lost –
Lost coins, lost sheep, lost kids.
Find the coin, search for lambs,
Be relentless finding others, Jesus bids.

But, though we’re concerned,
We have our limits, right?
Do we seek unending until we find?
No, it’s not about us and our plight.

It’s about God who searches.
It’s about our Lord who actively calls.
He needs us all …  you and me.
Invite the outsiders. Break down walls.

Amen?

Life & Death/Health & Healing


love hearts

Love poured out from all sides
After toxins poured out from my insides.
My appendix burst while (what gives?)
I treated the pain with laxatives.

Pretty stupid, I agree, but you see
I’d suffered a month of pain at high degree
Related to pneumonia and all the side
Effects of antibiotics and meds I tried.

So when my tummy ached real bad,
I thought it was from bowel restrictions I had.
Massage with essential oils and a heating pad
Didn’t ease – just aggravated – Eeee Gad!

Time to go to the emergency room,
My husband admonished my stubborn gloom.
The doc sent me to the MRI machine –
With the pain so bad I wanted to scream.

Diverticulitis was his best educated guess,
But he sent the tests to an expert – good progress –
Who looked them over and sent back the news:
“Burst appendix! Not a guess – just look at the clues!

Put her in an ambulance with IVs in place.
Antibiotics will kill the toxins in her space.
Get her to the surgery center, lickety-split,
Not a moment to lose – good thing she is fit.”

Taking care of your health at any age
Is crucial to fighting an appendix rage.
You don’t know when that cornichon pickle
Will decide to act up. It’s not like a tickle!

The pain of appendix is like child birth.
When it bursts, it is worse. Hold your girth!
But don’t try massage or heating pads, nope –
They make it worse. Take it from this ole dope!

We texted our family and many a good friend
To tell them the news and ask them to send
Prayers to our Maker to spare this fine life
And help heal the insides of Bob’s wife.

Not only did God listen and heal her he did,
But He offered compassion and love with no lid.
The sympathy poured in. The help overflowed.
The doc laparoscopically flushed til it glowed!

A week in a bed in a hospital room was a lot,
But the doc said at my age, the poison is fought
With less sure success than with the typically younger,
So be patience and heal while you regain your hunger.

The appetite’s small and the patience is short
When you’re strapped to a bed, I can report;
And a good RN is worth her weight in gold.
That was revealed clearly as the week did unfold.

The story below is a vivid description
Of one of the incidents that left its inscription
Indelibly stamped on my mind and my heart –
A sure-fire way to tell those nurses apart!

 

“What are you doing?” I asked the stranger who was busy hooking up some red glowing gadget to a finger on my right hand.

“Checking your blood pressure,” she responded as she hooked up a gadget to the index finger on my left hand. “Lean forward!” the bossy lady in white commanded.

A shrill sound like a wailing fire alarm went off as she pushed some kind of gizmo under the cushion of the chair where I was sitting in room 203 at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital. The old sourpuss pushed a button and stopped the alarm, but the right hand continued to glow and the left hand gadget beeped on a machine standing at my left ear.

“How do I stop that blasted thing?” I asked as she headed toward the door.

“Breathe more deeply;” she walked out and shut the door as she finished her sentence, “your oxygen level is too low. It’ll stop when…”

She was gone and I was sitting on a fire alarm, hooked to an incessant beeper, glowing with a red sparkler. I breathed deeply. The beeping continued. The fourth of July was still two weeks away. I was not ready for fireworks and sparklers! I was ready to kill the person who suddenly appeared out of nowhere, altering my world with no apparent authority to do so, and who left me – a sitting time bomb!

I had been in the hospital for about three days – maybe only two, I don’t know. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? I wasn’t! On the Saturday before, sometime while I was still at home in Ennis, suffering from what I thought was constipation, barely enduring a miserable stomach-ache, taking laxatives to try and get the bowels moving, my appendix burst. I had no way of knowing that’s what it was. By the time my husband took me to the Madison Valley Medical Center ER around 7:00 PM, I was in such pain, it resembled childbirth.

The PA on duty thought the MRI results indicated diverticulitis. He started me on antibiotics and pain killers. The test results were sent to an expert in Bozeman. That doctor sent back test results and instructions, “It’s a burst appendix. Be sure she has an IV with antibiotics and hydrocodone. Put her in an ambulance, and get her to our surgery center immediately!” The antibiotics probably saved my life. The toxins had exploded throughout my abdominal cavity. The surgeon said it looked like a cannon had gone off in there.

I sat on the chair, the beeper driving me crazy, the sparkler glowing and the call button over on the bed, just out of my reach. Nurse Ratched, the tyrant, had left it there when she exited my room. I could feel my blood pressure rising by the minute. I could stand it no longer! I stood up, the fire alarm under my butt sounded. My REAL nurse came running in.

“What’s up?”

“Who was that person who came and took over my world and hooked me up to all these things and left me stranded? Who gave her authority to do these things? Why are they necessary?”

As calmly as she could, my assigned RN said, “I don’t know. Let me find out.” She left without turning off the alarm or the beeper.

I was about to go crazy when she returned and silently began removing all the appendages.

“What gives?”

“Oh, not to worry,” my RN responded calmly. “She was in the wrong room!”

 

Ah, good health renewed – I’m on my way –
I can look back at all that drama someday
And smile as I thank God for answered prayer,
For help and healing and all that love to spare.

Giving


IMG_7704

GIVING

As a mother gives her love
Freely, without thought of return,
We are told also to give
Without “What’s in it for me?” concern.

Tell me what makes you anxious.
Does worry to earth add a minute?
Look closely at your life;
Is anxiety frequently in it?

Do you fret too much about money?
Is your mind on your demise?
Work, leisure, politics, the unknown –
Do you fret? Is that wise?

Anxiety is a human experience.
It seems to transcend time.
There always has been earthly woes,
Poverty, illness, and crime.

Consider the bison cows and their calves.
Look at what God does.
He provides their food and beauty,
And He’ll care for you – just because.

You, too, are His prized creation.
His love and provisions are yours.
Only doubt will cause you worry.
Let His promises fill your pores.

Beyond disease, death, and decay
Are the gifts from God above.
God provides for all our needs.
Rest confidently in His love.

How do you find such perfect rest?
The answer is in God’s Word.
You gain such peace by giving.
Does that sound a bit absurd?

Reflect on Him who dwells in you.
Accept His wonderful gifts.
Go out and give your blessings.
Be lifted as He lifts.

Where the Money Goes


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In my last blog, I told you about the many helping hands in the Madison Valley Woman’s Club and shared a song we sang to the tune of “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain.” I indicated that the ladies of the MVWC donate countless hours as well as gently used clothing and household goods to the Nearly New – the thrift store owned and operated by the club. They sell the items for an affordable price (like $4 or $5 for a nice pair of jeans or a shirt or pair of shoes, and $2 for a t-shirt). Over $51,000 of the proceeds from the store in fiscal year 2012-13 went back into the community.

As promised, here is a list of the individuals and organizations to whom the money was donated:

Woman’s Resource Center
Ennis Caring and Sharing
Madison Valley Public Library
Senior Companion Program
Montana Dentist Outreach
Piecemakers of the Madison Valley
Madison Valley History Association
Montana Talking Books
Madison County Volunteer Respite Care
Meals on Wheels
Madison Valley Manor Auxiliary
Madison Valley Manor
Ennis High School Booster Club
Pennies for the Arts
Ennis Children’s School
Madison Farm to Fork
Ennis After Prom
Ennis Lions Club
CASA
HOBY
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Ennis Arts Association
Madison Meadows Golf
George Ball Australia Trip
Madison Valley Medical Center Foundation
Ennis Community Choir
Giving Tree
Madison Byways
Madison Valley Aquatic Center
Ennis Ambulance Service
Madison Valley Rural Fire Department
14 Scholarships (ranging from $500 to $1000 each)

The total giving actually was closer to $52,000 (exact amount was a whopping $51,890.00). Remember, our little community of Ennis has less than a thousand residents! This is an impressive undertaking. It takes many hands working together to make all that giving possible.

Isn’t it amazing what the sale of other people’s castaways can do? If you have items to donate, be sure to come by the Nearly New in Ennis, MT. You can be sure your cast-offs will find a new home – and the proceeds will be put to good use!

God Bless the Madison Valley Woman’s Club and their incredible generosity!

Madison Valley Woman’s Club


I am the inspirational leader for the women’s club in my town – the appointed “Chaplain.” The club is part of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC), known as the Madison Valley Woman’s Club (MVWC). This week we kicked off our new year with a meeting of more than 50 ladies (our town has a population of less than 1,000 – so fifty is a sizable number for our little community). For the inspiration this month, we featured M&M’s = Music and Movement.  I explained that the M&M’s on the tables were not just a sweet treat, but a reminder to add Music and Movement to their lives for a fuller, healthier existence. Then, clapping along to the accompaniment of my accordion, the ladies joined our “Sing-Along”  to the tune of “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountains.”

ImageGet up, stomp your feet, clap your hands and sing along with me:

 

We’re the Madison Valley Woman’s Club, you know.
We are women in the flow and on the go.
We work hard at Nearly New –
Donating hours (quite a few),
As we give and sell and buy and work and grow.

We don’t have to work at Nearly New it’s true.
But some do it to be helping me and you
Earn the money for our giving,
Providing others a better living;
We give scholarships – and donations, too – Woo-hoo!

We have interests that are as varied as we are.
Some attend a church or garden or sit at a bar.
We are philanthropic souls, though;
We accomplish many fine goals, oh –
We cook, play bridge, fish, hike, sew, paint, golf near par!

We’re the Madison Valley Woman’s Club, you see.
We live here and love to be in this valley.
We tell others how we groove it,
Finding ways we can improve it.
Join us, friends, and you will smile contagiously!

Our Madison Valley Woman’s Club returned more than $50,000. back into the community in the 2012-13 fiscal year! Those were the profits realized from the sale of “Nearly New” items at our local thrift shop. It is owned and operated by the ladies of the GFWC-MVWC. Amazing, isn’t it? So much good comes from the donation of time and talent and “stuff” that people don’t need or don’t want anymore. If you’re anywhere near Ennis, Montana, come by and see us! You, too, won’t be able to help yourself – – – you’ll find a bargain for a few bucks – – – buy it, knowing it is for a good cause – – – and leave the shop smiling contagiously!

Tune in tomorrow for a list of to whom or what those funds were donated 🙂

 

The Fruitful Life


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The Fruitful Life

A fruitful life is a colorful life –
Divided into seven parts each week.
Each part spreads its own seeds
In the places we go to the people we meet.

As the parable told in the Sower of the Seeds,
Some fall on the soil of fertile ground;
But others land in rocky places
Where shallow dirt lets wind blow them around.

We seldom know when we scatter the seeds
What the end result of the planting will be.
All we can do is continue to sow,
Knowing the growth may not be something we see.

A fruitful life is a colorful life –
Spreading seeds in the rain and the snow;
A willy-nilly, free-wheeling fling –
Throwing smiles and good will wherever you go.

Some smiles are returned immediately;
Others take time to sink in.
Some good will is received gratefully;
But some deeds need repetition to link in.

Like a dormant spring bulb
Lying deep in cold soil,
The seeds of your fruit may be waiting
For warmth and water, lest they spoil.

This poem lay dormant for almost a month while Bob & I went on a trip to CA for Christmas and the new year. While traveling, we attended our “old” home church. The sermon was providential. My “sermon notes” in poetic format complete the ideas of my original unfinished entry:

From Pastor Jim Stochl, based on Mark 12:28-31

To each of us is given
A special, unique gift.
Some are teachers, others preachers,
Others encouragers who give us a lift.

A gift in the arts blesses us all,
While service is other folks’ passion.
If music is your special gift,
You need to share it in joyful fashion.

Whether your gift is administration
Or you’re blest with the gift of prayer,
Whatever God has given you in abundance,
Use it to God’s Glory everywhere!

To find and recognize your special gift,
To work for God with all your strength and love,
Is a joy with no expiration date;
So give from your heart for His Glory above.

Amen!

 

Yes, You can and so can I


When I read this post by Parashar in India today, I was inspired to share it with you because I think we all should read it and think about our ability to MAKE A DIFFERENCE in our own little part of the world. We don’t have to be an actor, or a millionaire, or somebody big and famous. You and I sitting right here at our computers, wherever we are in the world, can get up, go out, open our eyes and hearts, and see a need. Make that plural! There are so many people in need of the blessings we have to give. They are all around us. We can help! Click on this link, read what “Parashar’s Tales” has to say, and then come on back to JanBeek. I’ll tell you a tale of my own… one about seeing, doing, giving, and making a difference that keeps on giving. It’s what life is all about!

‘Can an Actor change a nation? – Yes, He can and so can I’ – Aamir Khan graces cover of Time magazine.

My story is about Zahid. When I met him five years ago, he was a nineteen-year-old from Pakistan, living in a remote part of Montana, receiving medical treatment, and wanting to pass his GED. I was a recently retired educator who had spent 24 years in the classroom, a dozen or so years as an administrator, and a few years post-retirement working with illiterate adults – teaching them to unlock the codes to enter the world of printed words. My husband, recently retired and looking for a vacation destination in which to live, chose this fly-fishing mecca – and we came from California to south-west Montana – ready to enjoy our Golden Years. It didn’t take me long to get involved in the community. Among my passions is reading, so I joined the Friends of the Library. That’s where Zahid came into my life. He was here in the USA on a medical visa, receiving treatment for burns that had ravaged his body when he was a little boy. A remarkable family hosted him in Oregon about a decade ago when Save the Children selected him and sent him from Pakistan to a burn center in the USA for help with his scars and disfigurements.  About a year later,  he returned to his home – still needing treatment – but his VISA would expire, so he and his family worked for the next decade to try and renew the VISA in order to give him another chance for specialized treatment. By the time he obtained it, they had retired from Oregon to Montana. As fate would have it, we all ended up in this darling little community at about the same time. Zahid asked the librarian if she knew someone who could tutor him. She sent out an e-mail request to the Friends. I responded.

That’s the key, my friends. I responded! Five years later, Zahid has reached out to many as he set goals and accomplished each one with the help of people just like you and me.  Found a tutor to help him (that was me – check!), obtained his GED (hooray – check!), received political asylum (check!), got a green card and a job (check!), pays his taxes just like you and me (check!), passed his driver’s test (check!), bought a car (check!), learned to change the oil and check the tire pressure and take care of his car with my husband’s help (check!), applied for and was accepted at a two-year college (check!), moved to dormitory housing at the college (check!), got a job with the school’s housing department to help pay his room and board (check!), successfully completed year one of college (check!), found a tutor for his pharmacy tech test (check!), passed the test to get into the pharmacy tech school at the college (check!), landed a job at the college pharmacy (check!)… The list goes on… and Zahid will continue to set his goals and accomplish them,  checking them off one at a time, and looking back and staying connected with those who have helped him along the way ( including his parents back in Pakistan), thanking them in a multitude of ways.  One day he will return to his home. His goal is to build a hospital in his hometown, to make treatment for boys like him possible right there someday. I have every confidence that down the road a ways he will check that off his list. It may not be in my lifetime, but I will have played a small part in each of those successes along the way. My heart is full as I see this young man moving forward to make a difference in his world.

We never know the ripple effect when we reach out to help someone. It continues into eternity. We never know… but God does! Can we change a nation?You bet! We can change the world. One person at a time. Get up, go out, look around. You have the future in front of you – needing the blessings only you have to give.

God Bless You!


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