life experience, Uncategorized

Times, they are a changing

It’s a strange new world.  Somber and oftentimes, lonely.  I am not in the camp that God is using this to bring people closer to Him.  I just don’t buy into that way of thinking.  Man creates these viruses, man is responsible for the unwinding of Mother Nature.  This was God’s paradise, until that fateful day when Adam and Eve realized they were naked and hid from God.  God always wants us to turn to Him.  In tragedy and joy.

But what about the people in our lives that we miss seeing and spending time with?  How can we reach out safely?  Our minister encourages us to make two phone calls a day to check in on friends and family!  Send pics of your kids or make funny faces!  A card in the mail is more of a treat than ever before!  I’m sending a package of cards I hand wrote that can be distributed at local nursing homes.  What can you do to stay connected?

Image result for staying connected when you can't visitTell your kids to “phone home” if they are under 30, they probably won’t get the reference!

May you be blessed, healthy, and sane during this time of separation from your tribe.

life experience

Influenza x 100,000

This is the strangest post I’ve ever written.  The past three weeks have been a time of anxiety and fear for people across the globe.  Including me.  I have a suppressed immune system for medication I take and have recently (2 years) had cancer.  I’m 55, so not in the elderly group, but that’s about all I have going for me.

Well, that and tons of hand sanitizer.  Oh and an active prayer life.  Those two will hopefully save my sanity.

The Coronavirus ranks with school shootings and tsunami’s.  There is very little we can do after the fact, but a lot we can and must do now.

The obvious; wash your hands, sneeze into your elbow, keep six feet away from people, don’t shake hands or hug. 

But what can you do on a larger scale?  Volunteer with the local Red Cross, volunteer to deliver groceries for the grocery store (they are overwhelmed with deliveries right now).  Find out how to safely check in on your neighbors.  Don’t keep the momentum going on buying toilet paper, hand sanitizers, milk or food.  Buy what you normally need.  Share your overstock with the local food-banks.

And mostly, be kind.  Be the (helping) hands, and eyes that see (need) of Jesus.

Image result for be a kind person

Catholic, life experience

Conversation and conversion

I like having a good conversation about why I became Catholic, it seems to be what people care about now days, and is the first topic we discuss when we haven’t seen each other for awhile.

What I dislike greatly is the morbid curiosity or judgment kind of conversation about my conversion.  Had one of those tonight at a pancake breakfast!  It was accusatory and put me on the defensive.  In the end I just said that it fed my spirit and let them push their nose up to the ceiling and sigh.  I did the latter and left the table.

Shared this theory with my SIL when we visited her last month, we agreed, it’s not like becoming Lutheran.  I mean – heck people don’t see that as admonishing.  Or Jewish; now I do have a friend that converted to Judaism and she’s functioning just fine and doesn’t seem to get hassled about her beliefs.  (Gypsy, I’m gonna need some feedback from you)!

Catholic is probably the most misunderstood religion on earth.  I should know, I had my high and mighty opinions too, when I was in RCIA (a class to learn more about Catholicism) I asked my many ignorant questions.  Why do you worship the Virgin Mary?  Why is she so important anyway?  What is purgatory all about (I still don’t buy that one)!  Why can’t priests marry?  The amazing thing is, all of my teachers were patient and gave me explanations that helped me understand.

I’m not an expert, trust me.  I attended mass tonight, my first Tuesday night service and felt like a 3 year old.  However, I was able to function and it was a lovely 1/2 hour. When you have conversation with people; whether it’s about lifestyle changes, religion, politics or child-raising, remember the other person is a human being and deserves the same respect you have for yourself.

Image result for human connection conversation

Ephesians 4:32
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
life experience

Celebration Hymn

These verses are repeated three times.  Isn’t it lovely?  Written for Steve Green Ministries

Find Us Faithful

O may all who come behind us, find us faithful.

May the fire of our devotion, light their way.

May the footprints that we leave; lead them to believe.

And the lives that we live, inspire them to obey.

when-you-are-moved-by-the-holy-spirit-your-thoughts-become-different

life experience

Sabbatical

I am taking a writing sabbatical.  It’s transitioning into a ‘against-my-will-don’t-make-me-do-it-social-media-once-a-day-check.’  It won’t be long, because this is part of my ministry, but I need to be cognizant of what’s in front of me and how I’m being guided.  Thanks for being a part of The Pieces Blog.

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life experience, Uncategorized

Memory Pieces

I have a variety of pics on my desk, one rotates often as I come across memories I want to see more often than in a photo album (or phone).  For the past month it has been of my dad and I, taken in 1991.  We were visiting my brother in Amsterdam and it was also six weeks since my pacemaker surgery.  We are standing in big, yellow Dutch shoes at a farm of some sort.

Image result for yellow big dutch shoes

These shoes were everywhere!  Made mostly of wood, but there were also plastic and concrete types, ready to be stood in.

I have quite a few good memories of this trip; shopping at the Christmas markets in Germany, riding the train, having lunch at McDonald’s (except for the Coke, it tasted the same), eating authentic Dutch and German food, traveling to the many castles that dot the country side, etc.  But more than all of the experiences; it was time with my father.  It was the last trip we would make together; he died two years later.

God worked miracles in our relationship.  He was a tough parent.  I imagine it was his Norwegian/North Dakota upbringing.  I “never understood” him throughout my entire life; until this trip.   He was vulnerable, a word I never thought I’d use to describe him.  He was also funny.  We shared meals and laughter and he often took my arm for support.  God mended the fences without words; we just became comfortable with each other.  It was an incredible blessing.

Never give up on the people in your life.  I have a friend who hasn’t seen her grandchildren in many years; it’s heart breaking.  Yet, she continues to pray.  And praise.  And that, is the best solution to any request.  Ask, believe, and be grateful.