Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘sharing’

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?

Giving


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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.

Writers’ Workshop


I am excited to be taking an eight week writers’ workshop. It started last week with five of us ladies signed up to work with an amazing young woman named Allyson Adams. My friend, Lexi Sundell and I are trading off the driving responsibility. It’s about fifteen miles up the hill to Virginia City from where we live here in Ennis, Montana. A lovely drive, usually, but it snowed big time last week when it was Lexi’s turn to drive. I lucked out and had a gorgeous spring day yesterday when it was my turn to drive. Sharing the driving has the added bonus of quality one-on-one sharing with a fellow writer as we traverse the mountain and exchange ideas on what we’ve been writing or what we just learned and intend to do with it. Lexi is writing her memoirs. I am writing a book to honor my seven grandchildren (and ultimately their parents, too, I hope) and to share the wisdom my grandchildren are helping me gain on this amazing path called LIFE. Our goal is to start and finish this project in the eight-weeks of the workshop. Ambitious? Maybe. Lexi had a head start. She began her memoirs some time ago. My book is evolving as the class progresses.

The working title of my book is “Lessons My Grandchildren Are Teaching Me.” It started out in the past tense… Lessons I Have Learned… and has changed to the present as it dawned on me that the learning is an on-going, life-long process. The grandchildren, who all are now between the ages of 20 and 24, live in California and Switzerland, except for one. One is right here in Ennis. She moved here a year ago, coming to live with Grammy and Grampy for a much needed “fresh start.” Her name is Hope, and she has been the initial inspiration for this book project that is now consuming me. She also is one of the reasons that I stopped blogging about a year ago. Life got in the way! Something had to give as we focused our energies on being sorta parents again at the ripe, rich age of mid-seventies! So, I set aside WordPress and dug into helping a grandchild grow from 21 going on 12 to a bonafide young adult, capable of wise decision making, independent living, and being the responsible citizen she is becoming. We all are a work in progress. I am no exception!

It’s been a challenging year. Sharing the love of family, the joy of giving, the recognition and development of our spiritual gifts, and the confidence to grow from our mistakes and go on to make new ones and learn from them, too, has been an amazing experience. Our Hope has evolved from a beat down, introverted, jobless and homeless child to a confident, outgoing, employed and independent young woman. Her 22nd birthday is Mother’s Day. We’re going to celebrate with her and we’re here to continue the love and support and watch as she continues to make great strides. Hers will be the last chapter in my book. Hope for Hope! Stay tuned!

 

(Here is Hope – in yellow –  at about age 17 – with her siblings – before she decided she was tired of family rules and decided to go it on her own. Two years later, she was ready for her “Fresh Start.” And the story continues… My book is about these four PLUS my three grandsons who live in Switzerland. I’ll tell you more about my project in my next entry. Thanks for visiting.)

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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!

Stimulating Touch


I belong to the Madison Valley Writers’ Group. We meet every first and third Friday at our local bank’s “Fireside Room” and share our creative efforts with one another. The hour and a half together begins with a writing prompt. It’s a topic we draw from a hat. Any member can anonymously add topics to the hat anytime. The topics are varied – some serious, some silly. Most lend themselves to whatever genre the writer wishes to engage.

For the first fifteen minutes or so, as members gather, we write using a new prompt each meeting. Then we share with one another what we wrote (with the option to “pass” if we wish). My last post titled, “Touch,” was one of the creations from last week’s prompt, “Things That Stimulate Your Sense of Touch.” Another of our members wrote about the itchy feeling of a wool hat – and how much better it feels if it is fur-lined. One member took the topic a step farther and wrote about the effects of touch – i.e. what happens when you touch someone else’s wallet (a fat lip), or what happens if you touch a rattle snake’s tongue (venom). My first poem was short and quick and left me with time to contemplate another kind of touch – not someone touching my cheek or my lips, my heartstrings or my spirit – but the sensation of the soft skin of a baby touching me. Here’s what I wrote:

A Baby’s Touch

There’s nothing in the world
That compares with a baby’s touch –
The soft and cuddly snuggle
On your shoulder, chin and such –
The little hand in yours
As it plucks your heartstrings firmly –
There’s nothing in the world
Like it, stimulating maternal yearning.

The sense of touch is vital
For a baby to thrive and grow.
Babies soon would wither
If love’s touch they never know.
So, as much as I need them,
I know they need me just as much.
There’s nothing in the world
That compares with a baby’s touch.

Think about the prompt that stimulated that poem. Give thought to what kinds of touch are important or stimulating to you. When is the last time you touched another person tenderly? When is the last time someone tenderly touched you? What touches your heartstrings?

I have a friend who had a stroke a couple of years ago. One of the residual effects of her stroke is an “Invisible bubble” around her that defines her “space.” She doesn’t allow others to invade that territory. She doesn’t shake hands – let alone greet her friends with a warm hug the way she used to. She sends off very clear vibes that say, “Stand clear. Don’t come too near.” Do you have an invisible bubble around your personal space? Know anyone like that? How does it feel? Do you think a baby’s touch could permeate that bubble? There’s something so vulnerable, soft, defenseless, and harmless about an infant’s touch.

If only every human touch could be as soft and harmless! Let’s work on that together. There’s nothing in the world like the touch of someone who genuinely loves and trusts you. Let’s foster that kind of world. Touch my world – and I’ll touch yours…

Love one another!

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Teach Peace


My friend, Gina, at ProfessionsforPeace.com has hit the nail on the head – again!   Click and see.

Teach Peace.

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!

 

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