Do You FEEL Forgiven?

I heard a story about how a child, on his first trip to Washington DC, became fixated on the Washington Monument. After taking the tour twice – and, seeing how big and incredibly impressive the monument was – he decided to buy it.

The Washington Monument as seen from the Lincoln Memorial
He gathered his spending money and marched up to the information booth. He told the lady, at the counter, he wanted to buy the Washington Monument.

She tried to hide her smile and told him it wasn’t for sale. He then dumped a baggy full of dollars and coins onto the counter, telling her he had almost nine dollars to pay for it.

When she told him it was worth far more than he had, the boy offered to work for the rest of the cost!

She was obviously impressed with his intentions and asked him an interesting question, “Young man, are you an American?” “Yes!” he proudly shot back.

“Then, you’ll be delighted to hear the Washington Monument already belongs to you.”

The boy gasped, “It does? It doesn’t feel like it.”

Remember to Say THANK YOU!

The Smith family have four kids under six years old. Mr. and Mrs. Smith trade off Saturdays and come to church contributing to the custodial help. They are incredibly faithful, rain or shine. Last week, Mr. Smith had his six-year-old son join him as he emptied the church offices’ waste baskets. He explained, “we want our kids to make service a part of their lives too.”

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One of my favorite bloggers (Jen Hatmaker) wrote a post thanking the unsung heroes in our churches,

“Shout out to all the guys and gals – at churches early – setting up chairs, getting classrooms ready, putting signs out, queuing up sound, lights and power points, rehearsing the music, setting out welcome tables and making the coffee. You are unsung heroes.

Asthma Interrupts Life!

Part of this job, as a blogger, makes me nervous. I tend to be a private person – except where my passions ignite. For example: writing on the temperaments is exhilarating because of years studying them.

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I am passionate to write about kids; because, I believe every child should have a chance to know and fall in love with Jesus. And, I love writing on marriage and family; because, I’m in love with my husband of 46 years and want to answer questions and concerns from young married couples.

However, when life throws me curves, I am not so eager to go public. In the past 18 months, while I have been blogging, the most impacting responses from readers have come from my being vulnerable. So here goes:

God WOWS are for the Birds!

Another garage sale? Yes, a weekend sleepover with my granddaughters usually requires garage sailing early Saturday morning. This week we nailed a great one with something for everyone at one stop. We even found a treasure for Papa Duane – a birdhouse!

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Outside our sliding glass doors, into our garden, stand five amazing bird houses. Now, there will be six.

My husband has been captivated by birds since he was a boy on the family farm in Yelm Washington. He made two of our birdhouses himself, two were hand-made by local bird-aficionados and one affectionately given him by my sister. This new one will require some paint touch-ups; but, he was thrilled when the girls brought it in from our outing.

A bird Duane has never seen is another God Wow for today!

It is Time to Laugh!

Yesterday’s conversation, on the way to the grocery store, with my seven-year-old granddaughter went like this:

“Mimi, do you walk like this because you are old?”

“Like WHAT? And NO, I’m not old. I’m 38!”

“38 is OLD!”

“Walk like WHAT?”

“You know, having to hold my hand all the time.”

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True story. It was just the beginning of our shopping trip. We were simply crossing the parking lot. I laughed out loud.

Once in the store, as we were shopping, the conversation turned dark. I heard about all the goodies her OTHER grandma has, in her kitchen, for her grandchildren.

I explained her other grandma is extremely rich; but, I am FAMOUS – and, famous is ultra-excellent. Her eyes widened.

Remembering the Loss of a Friend

In high school, during my sophomore year, my closest friend broke her leg. She was leaving for church camp, walking her suitcase from her bedroom, heading for the car. She made a quick turn and—snap! Her right leg broke easily—at the hip. The doctor discovered a small tumor.  It was cancer.

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Beverly Diane Penn was the nicest, and genuinely sweetest, girl on earth. We had become fast friends while attending seventh grade at Brethren Christian Junior High School, and found nothing could come between us. We were 12.

Bev had an older brother, and so did I. I had a younger sister. We joked if she had a younger sister we would be twins. Guess what! That year, her mom got pregnant with a baby girl. We were twins! Two years later, Bev had another baby sister.  So, she “beat me” in the sibling competition.

She visited my church. I went to camp with her church. We wore our first high heels together. We wore our first lipstick to the same party. We babysat her little sisters. It is a wonder they made it out alive.

How to Get Along With Anyone: Step 10

This is the final in a series of ten posts How to Get Along With Anyone. Here are Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 in case you missed them! I’ve had a great time and can’t wait to read your comments.

R E S P E C T!

This probably should have been step #1, in our series, because of the power RESPECT wields when executed, and destruction produced when it doesn’t exist.

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Aretha Franklin made it popular a few years ago as she sang,

“When you come home – Or, you might walk in – respect me, I got to have a little respect.”

RESPECT is not as high a priority, in many homes today, as it was two generations ago.

When we were growing up, my mom told us a true story from the Old Testament regarding respect. Elisha was one of God’s most powerful prophets. One day, during his travels, some young people made fun of Elisha’s bald head and, with serious disrespect, made fun of where he was going, “Go on up, you bald head.” (I’m certain this is the abbreviated version)

Obviously, God took it seriously.  He sent two bears, out of the woods, to kill those who had made fun of Elisha. (II Kings 2)

Whoa, that story certainly got my attention and kept it for many years to come. It probably kept my tongue in tow many times, as a child, fearing bears would appear out of nowhere to give me the consequences I deserved.

How to Get Along With Anyone: Step 9

This is number nine in a series of ten posts How to Get Along With Anyone. Here are Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  and 8 in case you missed them!

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

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The Bible wasn’t speaking about a literal neighbor.  It is a good thing; because, I do not even know most of ours, except to wave at them as we pull into or out of the driveway. This scripture verse is speaking of everyone being our neighbor. EVERYONE.

This step will definitely be the most difficult one for me in this series called, “How to Get Along With Anyone This Year!”

A few days ago, we were driving to visit some friends in central California. Have you seen how people drive on California freeways? HELLO!

I had never felt road rage until then. Not only did a man and woman almost run us off the road, they did something unfortunate with a hand signal as if WE had been the ones at fault! They were rude, careless drivers – highly offensive.

Wait, I am supposed to love THEM?

How to Get Along With Anyone: Step 8

This is number eight in a series of ten posts How to Get Along With Anyone. Here are Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 in case you missed them!

Put extra effort into understanding your friends, family and co-workers.

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Every person is created, from birth, to be different from others.  Each has a pre-disposition called a temperament. No two people are the same, period.

Yes, I have written many posts on this fascinating topic. However, if you are truly interested in getting along with more people this year, it behooves you to learn about what makes others tick. It is a scientifically verified truth that there are FOUR different types of personalities. Every person is a combination of primarily two of the four.  First, learn which temperaments you are! Then figure out others.

How to Get Along With Anyone: Step 7

This is number seven in a series of ten posts How to Get Along With Anyone. Here are Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 in case you missed them!

Do not gossip. Change the subject. Insert a jaw dropping statistic to throw off the first suspicious question, “Did you hear about…?”

Conversations full of colorful stories are the best kind…until they turn into gossip.

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Be aware! Stay alert! Fight the urge to repeat unkind hear-say! I PROMISE this will insure you get along with more people this year!

The “G” word begins as early as elementary school and can spiral downward faster than an inner tube on a snow covered slope.

Ann (not her real name) was a 3rd grader when I was ahead of her one year in school. I was told she lived in a barn (true story). I found it fascinating and told everyone who knew her at school.