Thursday, December 23, 2021

Seeing the ways as children

Children see things around them we adults have forgotten. They laugh at little things. A small bug on the sidewalk can cause them to stop, lay down, and watch it cross the sidewalk.
Children love the word "surprise". They have good expectations of what is coming. They believe impossible things. They live on the wings of hope. They know that more and better can come. They have that little grain of faith in something bigger and greater and more wonderful than they see. They sympathize over another's hurt knee. They really care when someone, anyone hurts. They feel deeply.

Children are humble and grateful. God, please grant us, the eyes of a child once again.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Exploring Creativity

One year at camp during crafts time, the helpers poured uncooked macaroni noodles onto the table in a large pile. "Make anything you want out of these", one said. Glue, glitter spray and paper were provided, It was strangely quiet as children helped themselves. The children created different items. Mainly small items.

One boy who had taken a good sized pile of macaroni was creating a model of a car. It was elaborate with all kinds of details. And the car was big. Time was up for crafts and the other children went onto games in the next room. The boy still worked and was left to work spraying the gold glitter at the end on his car. Creative efforts should be enjoyed especially in summertime. 

Let each child have free time to find out what creative talent God has placed inside. Seeds of creativity will grow with time and a bit of encouragement.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Blooming like the Flowers

The poet Keats said 
"a thing of beauty is a joy forever". 
When we see a rose bush in full bloom, there is a lightening of spirit, but that rose did not just bloom in a day. In fact, the rose here pictured is mine, and it was planted 4 years ago. 

Joyce's rose bush planted in her garden.

A big hole was dug and filled with compost and top soil and then the small rose plant was put in with a small part on the top. Frankly, it didn't look impressive, but I had picked a good location where it got lots of sunshine and water. Each year the rose has grown and this year it is a fully mature plant.

It is a joy. I am thinking that our spiritual lives are a bit like that. If we have good soil, if there is watering from the Word, and if there is love from others, we can grow up and bloom. Everyone can see what kind of plant we are and hopefully, we can look up to God who is the creator of all that is truly beautiful.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Unexpected Acts of Kindness

 We certainly know what kindness is when we receive it. Recently, a neighbor, shoveled our snow filled walk. This was done and then ice melt bought and put on the walkway.

I was not able to get out of driveway even to get mail so a neat path led down the driveway to the mailbox which is out on the street.

My door was not knocked on, but I caught a glimpse of the action of snow flying with the shovel and a figure at work.

The first ingredient of kindness is that it thinks of others. Kindness is not selfish. Kindness takes action. Kindness includes others. It may be to pick up groceries for someone while you are going. It might mean sending a card to someone who is sick.

There are countless ways of expressing our concern. The little gesture is as important as a larger one if your heart is in the doing of it. Kindness pours out energy, resources, and even surprises for others that are appropriate to the need.

Kindness is bountiful. It says "I know you didn't ask, but I wanted to do this for you." No words need to be said because the kindness is a message by itself.

Kindness is helpful. It sees a real need and goes into action to meet that need. Kindness sends a big message to the person or family no matter how small you think the kindness given. How much we need a big jolt of kindness all over America and beyond!

Kindness connects us to others. We cannot be kind without having an inner reward in our own character. "Love is kind." We can grow in kindness if we look out beyond our own small life and open our eyes to see the needs of others.