Sunday, March 19, 2017

God's Hug

The other night the stresses in my life overwhelmed me.  They overwhelmed me to the point that at 2 o'clock in the morning I found myself sitting at my dining room table with a cup of tea and my Bible instead of sleeping in my bed.  So many questions and worries were running thru my head that my brain just refused to shut off and let me sleep.  I thought of my dad, gone now over 20 years, and how, when I was a young girl, his tight bear hugs and the smell of his Old Spice aftershave made every worry just disappear.  Oh, how I missed that.  I called to him quietly at 2am and hoped he would hear me from heaven and send me some comfort.  I opened my Bible searching for the words of my heavenly Father that would bring me peace and found myself reading the words in Isaiah 41:13,

 "For I am the Lord, your God, who grasp your right hand; It is I who say to you, 'Fear not, I will help you.'"

As I read His words, I felt a comforting warmth spread over me as if two strong arms had wrapped me in a protective hug.  I knew then that I could sleep and that the worries that had kept me awake would work themselves out with His help.  I am convinced that my cry for help was heard and that both my earthly father and my heavenly Father came to my rescue.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Lenten Inspiration 3/11/2017

"Lent is a favourable season for opening the doors to all those in need and recognizing in them the face of Christ."-- Pope Francis

Friday, March 3, 2017

The Need To Apologize

Both my husband and I are retired, so we do all our banking, bill paying and grocery shopping at the beginning of the month.  Doing things on a once a month basis usually means that we spend a longer amount of time at the bank and the grocery store checkout.  Why I feel the need to apologize to people in line behind me or checking me out or helping with my groceries I do not know, but I do it (to the amusement of my husband).

Yesterday, we went to the bank first.  I had deposits to do, transfering of money from one account to another, money orders and double checking on my tax refund.  It didn't seem like it took a lot of time but I found myself turning at one point to the gentleman behind me and apologizing for having so much to do.  He smiled and said "no problem".  He also looked a bit confused as to why I apologized.  I don't know why I did it, I just did.

At the grocery store the same thing happened.  I shop only once a month therefore I have lots of groceries.  On top of that, I have become a coupon clipper since retiring. Now, I am not an extreme coupon clipper.  I do not carry around an entire book filled with coupons.  I mainly have about 15 to 20 with me when I shop.  However, after the woman checked my groceries thru and I handed her my coupons, I felt the need to turn to the woman standing behind me in line and offer my apologies for taking so long.  She smiled at me with the same confused look as the man at the bank.  When the man bagging my groceries offered to push the cart out to the pick up lane for me, I thanked him and then  apologized to him saying, "this is what happens when you only shop once a month".

My husband finds all this apologizing I do very amusing and in the past has asked why I do it.  But after 43 years of marriage, he has stopped asking.  He chalks it up to "Ellen being Ellen".  I don't know why I do it.  Most of the time, I don't notice I have done it until after the words are out of my mouth.  But I suppose I could be saying something worse so I am not going to worry about it.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

My Lenten Mission 2017

"We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures: we are the sum of the Father's love for us..."  St. Pope John Paul II

Lent is a time for reflection and self-examination. So I decided that as my Lenten mission I would spend each week of Lent choosing one word that I use to describe myself and then focusing on what God's perspective of that trait really is in His eyes.  So often I find that I define myself by the negative traits I have and wish to "fix" them but never really knowing where to start to accomplish it.  Instead of seeing myself as a sum of negative traits, I should be looking at how God sees me as His child.

Lenten week #1

I say: I have felt like a failure when objectives I want to accomplish just seem to fall apart.
God says: You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Philippians 4:13

Lenten week #2

I say: I have felt guilt about things I've done in the past, even though I've confessed it all as sin and don't do it anymore.
God says: I blot out your sins and remember them no more. Isaiah 43:25

Lenten week #3

I say: Sometimes I have felt so unlovable. How can God possibly keep on loving me?
God says: Nothing can separate us from his love. Romans 8:38-39

Lenten week #4

I say: I tend to be such an insecure person at times.
God says: The righteous are as bold as a lion. Proverbs 28:1

Lenten week #5

I say:  Sometimes I am so unforgiving, holding grudges against those who I believe have hurt me.
God says: Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ. Ephesians 4:32

Holy Week

We say:  I have felt alone and depressed.
God says:  I command you; be firm and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord. your God, is with you wherever you go.  Joshua 1:9

God sees us as his treasures, his children.

Search the scriptures to learn more about how God sees you and ask him to help you see yourself through his eyes.  Then will you understand your true identity in Him.

(I wish to apologize for not giving credit where credit is due.  The original basis for my Lenten post came from the following website             www.livingfree.org
I liked the post so much that I took it and tailored it to fit me.  I apologize again for not citing the website.)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Presidents' Day 2017

Presidents' Day was established not to only honor George Washington and Abraham Lincoln whose birthdays are celebrated this month but also to honor all the Presidents who have taken on the monumental task of running our country.  Although much can be said about all the Presidents both positive and negative, we all have our favorites.  I will not go into who are my favorites and why.  I am avoiding politics these days.  Instead, I would like to share a favorite quote by President Abraham Lincoln

                                      "I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives.
                                       I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him."
                                                                                                          --Abraham Lincoln

Monday, February 13, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!

I wrote the following post for the school newsletter when I was working as a teacher.  A friend reprinted it in the church newsletter this year as well as posting it on facebook (with my permission, of course).  I want to share it with you on this Valentine's Day.

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY

Valentines! Who can resist them? Valentines help us to remember family and friends. But what about the valentines God sends?God sends valentines? Why not? Valentines are expressions of love and God loves us all. So why wouldn't God send us valentines, not just on Valentine's Day but all year long! Think about how many ways God sends you valentines -- expressing His love for you. Look at all of creation around you, look into the eyes of smiling children, feel the warmth of a friend's arm around you when life is disappointing, listen to the laughter of a new baby or the stories told by grandparents, feel the peace that fills your soul when you sit in church and listen to God's Holy Word. These are just a few of the valentines God sends you each and every day. So when February 14th comes and goes and the flowers have lost their blooms, the candy has all been eaten and the paper valentines have been tucked away, remember there is One who will continue to send you expressions of His love, if you will only take the time to receive them.



Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Advice Sharing

The following was on facebook last night and I thought it was an appropriate way to handle the political situation that is stressing out so many people including my husband and myself.  Politics in the last few weeks has gotten so bad that my husband and I only watch local news and are allowing ourselves one rant about the republican government once per day with a time limit of 5 minutes.  We have found this to be a good way to lower our blood pressure on the topic. 

What do you think of the following advice?

Some Wise Advice Circulating:
1. Don't use his name;
2. Remember this is a regime and he's not acting alone;
3. Do not argue with those who support him--it doesn't work;
4. Focus on his policies, not his orange-ness and mental state;
5. Keep your message positive; they want the country to be angry and fearful because this is the soil from which their darkest policies will grow;
6. No more helpless/hopeless talk;
7. Support artists and the arts;
8. Be careful not to spread fake news. Check it;
9. Take care of yourselves; and
10. RESIST!
Keep demonstrations peaceful. In the words of John Lennon, "When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game.The establishment will irritate you - pull your beard, flick your face - to make you fight! Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humor."

When you post or talk about him, don't assign his actions to him, assign them to "The Republican Administration," or "The Republicans." This will have several effects: the Republican legislators will either have to take responsibility for their association with him or stand up for what some of them don't like; he will not get the focus of attention he craves; Republican representatives will become very concerned about their re-elections.