Thursday, December 30, 2010

"Boughs of Holly"

I have a new meditation area. It's my drive between the school on Woodland and the school on St. John. It's become the stretch of commute where I do by best thinking.
Now, I have to be pretty careful about deep ponderings, as I drive this stretch of city streets, because I have to watch out for copper thieves, possible dead bodies, police cars and the dreaded "traffic circle". It's a rough neighborhood, folks.
Anyway, earlier this week, as I drove along the Avenue, I noticed piles of colorful material spread out on several lawns. It took me a minute to realize (no flashing lights or visible crime tape) that they were the deflated remains of Christmas Inflatables. And, a morose sadness overcame me. I almost had to pull over and stop. But, given the wee hour of morning and the desertedness of the street, I sensibly kept on driving.
Anyway, in the daytime, the lighted night-time blow-ups of Santas, Snowmen, and even Nativity Scenes are just piles of sad and limp material. Isn't this the way we often feel when the holidays come to an end?
We've worked days and days on the preparation, the presents, and the food. Then suddenly, it's all done. Stick a fork in it.
Now what? It's back to everyday life. The lights and fans are turned off. We've lost the Christmas Spirit.

Tiny Baby God, help us to keep the Spirit of the Season year round. You don't leave us. Why should we abandon you? Just because the radio ceases to play Christmas music, doesn't mean that the true meaning of Christmas is over.
God, can you remind me, every so often, to "Deck the Halls"? Just a nudge would keep me INFLATED for the next 10 months or so. I am truly blessed.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

"Angels we have heard on high..."

Several years ago, I informed some close girlfriends that I did not believe in angels. Well, they were horrified and they proceeded to relate personal encounters with their "guardian angels". I was more than willing to listen to their stories, but I told them that I just couldn't attribute "godlike...savior like" qualities to anything but God. At the end of the discussion, we agreed to disagree.
In recent weeks, I have decided that angels do exist. According to the original Biblical definition, angels are messengers sent by God to tell mortals things that God wants us to hear. Humans don't really react well to burning bushes or direct words from God's mouth. So, God sends us messengers.
In my opinion, an angel can be anyone. They don't have wings or halos. An angel can be a preacher or a salesclerk or even a grandchild. But, they do bring messages. Often times, the messages are silent or are shown to us by example. But they are there.
Sometimes the message is... wake up and smell the roses! Or, maybe it's.... slow down. Or maybe it's....enjoy today. That message could be....accept. God tells us many things by using his angels.

Happy birthday, Jesus. Your messengers are all around us. Guide us to be receptive to your messages. We need to listen.

Friday, December 17, 2010

All Wrapped Up

Operation Santa Claus is a wrap! For four days, our clients picked up their new clothing, Hallmark festooned presents and groceries. Folks along "The Avenue" will have warm and full bodies, thanks to our staff and several hundred volunteers.

Many corporations and individuals contributed money and items to our Holiday Distribution. Nearly 1500 families received the bounty. The outpouring of new toys was amazing. Believe me, I now know how much space 200 Candy Land games, stacked in piles of ten, takes up! And, baby dolls and Barbies by the dozens. Have you even seen a thousand Match Box Cars in one place?

Charity is easy at Christmas, isn't it? We Christians love to give at Christmas time. Sometimes I think that we choose to give to the less fortunate, because it makes the gifts we buy our friends and family seem less extravagant.

Now, don't get me wrong. There is a need for warm clothes and full tummies on December 25th. And, every kid needs some new toys under the tree. But, what about the rest of the year? Please, Christians, don't forget about empty cupboards in February, in April and even in August.

God, you have blessed us with many wonderful things. Our Christmas Celebration at the Kincaid Kastle, will be glorious. Our stockings will be full to the brim. We will be blessed with four generations around our Christmas table, including two new grand babies. We will all eat so much that we'll complain about it.
Your love touches everyone, everywhere. Help us to remember that we need to reach out to touch others, all twelve months of the year.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Open my eyes, that I might see..."

For the past week, I have been very busy preparing for the distribution of gifts, groceries, toys, and clothes for Operation Santa Claus. Volunteers and staff, at the Mission, have been caught up in the purchasing and wrapping of 1600 this and 1600 that. We are determined to make sure that we have enough items for every member of our 1600 client families.
We have wrapped 1600 pair of gloves for women, 1600 pair of gloves for men, and the same number of note cards, manicure sets, socks, and calendars. Then we have bagged up sweat shirts and pants, underwear and socks for 3000 kids. A company donated 500 teenager bags.
the numbers are overwhelming. Toy donations are steadily coming in. We have been so busy.
So, I am tired and more than a little testy, after over a week of preparation. My Holiday Sprit is wearing thin.
Then today, I met Phu, a student at a local college who came in to do some "required" volunteer work. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw that he worked very hard packing the grocery bags for our clients.
Later, as we rested, I thanked him for coming in today. He said, "I am glad I came in. You know, this means a lot to me. I am an immigrant and we had Christmas, when I was a child, because of a mission just like this."

God, I am so humbled by your goodness. Thank you for putting me in a place where I can meet people like Phu. My blessings are great. Help me to keep my eyes and my heart open.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"To every thing there is a season....."

Every morning on my way to work, I encounter a "traffic circle". I think another word for this type of configuration is a "round about". Anyway, whatever you choose to call it, it appears to be confusing to most everyone who drives into it.
I can only think of two of these type of traffic patterns in the whole Kansas City area. We mid-westerners, of course, are more accustomed to four-way stops, traffic lights and left-turn arrrows than we are with "traffic circles".
We just don't seem to know how they work! Are you supposed to use your turn signal or not? I tried using mine a couple of times, but it didn't seem to matter. There is absolutely no way to tell the direction an on-coming car will go.
And, it seems that people are confused about how and when to yield. Most of the time I just sit in my lane, until all traffic, in any direction is long gone. I think it's better than getting whacked by the car you thought was going to turn.

Hence that old saying........She who hesitates, doesn't get tossed!

Patient God. We are waiting for you to come this advent season. Good things do come to those who wait. You are so patient with us, as you listen to our wants and hear our demands. Why is it so hard for us to be accepting and patient? Why can't we listen more and talk less?
Guide us and teach us to be the people you truly want us to be.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Today, my friends and I gave away Thanksgiving Dinner to nearly 1500 families. That's 1500 turkeys, 1500 pies, 1500 dozen eggs, 1500 boxes of margarine, 1500 cans of green beans, 1500 boxes of stuffing and mashed potatoes, 1500 cans of cranberries sauce, and more.
And, you know what? 1500 families may have gotten a couple of bags of groceries, but, my friends and I got much more out of the experience than a traditional holiday meal.
We had the opportunity to see God in the eyes of those families. We saw humbleness, gratitude and joy in the eyes and smiles of those families. We saw dignity and pride, because they will be able to prepare and feed their family and friends in their own homes. For the people who came through our Operation Thanksgiving line today, I am truly grateful.
Okay, I'm exhausted, but I am truly grateful.

"Lord of all, to thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise." This is the best holiday of all. Thank you God for being with us through the good and the bad. We are survivors because you stand with us.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A is for ................

It's been a long, long, very long time, since I needed to draw on my Pre-school teaching skills. But, this week I was asked to fill in for an absent day-care worker at the mission.
I was just fine in the "diaper-change" arena. I excelled (this is my opinion, of course) in the "let's share the toys" category. However, I was a little rusty in "finger play and sing-along" instruction.
My first sing-along selection was " The Grand old Duke of York". It used to be so easy to get up and down from those "blessed little folk chairs". OMGolly, that was 40 years ago! Then I struggled through "My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean" (You jump up every time you say a B word).
Okay, Okay, I was panting by then!
My next shot was "finger play". Breathlessly, I attempted those. The kids, all 7 of them, were looking at me rather strangely by then. They were probably thinking, "Who is this crazy old lady, what in the name of Dora is she doing, and why is she bothering us?"
Egad. I could be a great-grandma! When did that happen????

Good God. Thank you for the stages of life. I love being my age. What a joy it is to remember being young and not having to be there any more.
The memories are great. The blessings of age are truly wonderful.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I've been Mugged!!!!!!!

Don't call the hospital or send flowers. The "Mug" project has been successful.
A couple of months ago, I sent out an email request to my United Methodist Women friends, throughout the state. I asked them to search through their kitchen cabinets, for a few underused coffee mugs. Our clients at the mission like to drink coffee, you see, but the thought and cost of
Styrofoam cups seemed like such a waste. And, everybody could use a little extra space in their cabinets.
"Don't mail them", I said. Just box them up and somehow they will find their way to my door. I was aiming for 200 mugs. Carol brought about sixty, from a gathering in Columbia. Mary brought some from Springfield. Annette collected a bunch from south Kansas City, and Carol, from Kearney, is bringing more by today. I have those 200 mugs. They have come from everywhere.
God works in mysterious ways. All of my contributors have been in mission to those in need of God's goodness.
Thank you all very much.

In this season of Thanksgiving, our emotions run near the surface. We are indeed thankful for our many blessings. We have experienced emotional and physical want, and we know that you can provide us with everything that we truly need.
Dear God, open our eyes and our hearts.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

We the people......

Tonight, I had the opportunity to lead a small class in citizenship. My four students were all women immigrants, coming from 4 different African nations. My task was to instruct them in the "100 questions". My first task was to learn what the "100 questions" actually is or maybe it's are!
Well, it seems in order to become a citizen, one of the requirements is to be able to answer 10 randomly chosen questions from a published list of "100 questions". A prospective citizen must know all 100 questions and answers in order to answer 10. Well, actually you can miss four out of 10, and still pass that part of the test.
So, the questions we covered tonight were: 1) What is the supreme law of the land? 2) What does The Constitution do? 3) What are the first three words of The Constitution?
Do you know the answers to those questions?
My students are eager to learn. They thanked me over and over as they left the room tonight. I am awed by the responsibility.

God of all nations. I wonder if you laugh at our attempts to form a "more perfect union". You have created a perfect universe. It is our arrogance that has messed it up. WE lift you up as our creator and we have been given so much. We honor you and we seek to do your will. Bless us in our humble endeavors.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

" And The Word was Made Life"

This week's sermon was entitled " The Conversion", but up on the requisite (today's society can read, but their hearing is questionable) three video screens was the word "Conversation". Someone had messed up, big time.

The pastor's message was a fine example of touching on tithing (it's that time of year, you know) as the final conversion in a Christian's life. By the way, our current pastor does a great job of delivery and his theology, in my opinion, is right on.

But, one word posted ( center, left and right, in giant letters) throughout the sermon, and another word in the preaching, was confusing. What's was the right word. Was it conversion or conversation?

Here is what I concluded. (Take note of my alliteration skill.) The two common words are not contradictory. They complement each other. As we grow in our Christian life, we choose to hold many conversations with God. We question, we praise, we accept, and we pray. All of these conversations contribute to our personal conversions.

Dear God: Call us into your community of Christ. We are in continual awe of your power and might.
Allow us to cling to you, O Lord, as we constantly struggle through our daily living. You are our salvation and our strength.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Once Upon a Time.......

Our oldest son came back to Kansas City for his 20th High School Reunion, this past weekend. He was nervous about reuniting with old friends that he hadn't seen, face to face, in 20 years. And,just like mom and dad told him he would, he had a really great time.
Reunions are an interesting concept. We all know that we can't go back 20,30 or even 50 years, to the time when we were young and relatively unblemished by the trials of everyday life. And truthfully, most of us really wouldn't want to revisit that yesteryear. (Just try to name ten truly happy teenagers!) However, we continue to go back to high schools or hometowns, on occassion, perhaps hoping to catch a glimpse of our youth, of the "good old days". But, fun as they are, reunions are over after a day or two, and we must return to the present.

Ageless God. We thank you for the ups and downs of life. We thank you for the experiences, good and bad that have made us what we have become. Because God, you are good and you have been there with us always. You are our constant throughout all of our years. You have blessed us with the past AND the present.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Yes, indeed"

Well, are there any of you out there who still remember Fats? "I'm talkin'", about Fats Domino. You know,the "I found my thrill, on Blueberry Hill" guy. He's the singer that Chubby Checker was mocking when he created his stage name. So, it's just like old Fats Domino sang, "I'm walkin', yes indeed, and I'm talking, yes indeed".
Our preacher, Wally, asked us to "walk across the room" and start talking to others about our personal Christian story. I told him that, frankly, the Christians I know often have trouble just changing pews.....let alone walking all the way across the room. It's way too much of a journey. It's just too far to go.
But, my journey or my faith story, is exactly what this blog is. Every week, I write about what I believe and what I think that God is telling me to write about.
Not a day goes by without someone I know telling me their opinion about the state of the economy or what they think of Obama or the Tea Party. Some complete stranger will spout off about Fred Phelps or abortion or "don't ask don't tell", but for some reason, only the real "crazies" will talk about religion or faith.
Scott wrote an email last week telling someone about the scriptures he reads daily, and one of our children called wondering if Dad was getting spiritual advice from some crazy Bible stuff, like from Job or something. Excuse me. Why can't we express our faith without being accused of being looney?
Scott reads scripture. I quote Wesley. It's who we are. We're walking across the room, friends.

Hey, Jesus. You love us and you want us to be faithful. We do it in a lot of different ways. Help us to be true to you always. Lead us in this journey of life.
We are your servants.

Monday, October 4, 2010

"A white sport coat and a ............."

All of the fountains in Kansas City (we are the City of Fountains, you know) are spouting pink water this month. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
I know this is going to sound odd, but believe me, those of us who have been touched by Breast Cancer, don't need any kind of reminder of the disease. We are, to put it mildly, aware that it is out there and we know first hand what the disease can do.
I'm all for awareness, but you are never, ever going to catch me wearing pink. No way, Jose'.
Okay, okay, so pink is the traditional color for girls. But, it's a wimpy color. It's soft, pretty and delicate.
Pink is not a color for women who have had chunks cut out of them, and have suffered from radiation burns. Pink is not a color for women who have lost their hair and their dignity, as they bared their chests for dozens of doctors, nurses, and radiologists. And, nausea is never soft and pretty.
Pink is not a color for women who have fought and won the battle against Breast Cancer. It is definitely not the color for women who who have given it their best effort and yet lost, in spite of it all.
So, my friends. Look for me in bright red, green, purple, orange, blue or yellow......or a combination of any of the above. Don't look for me in pink.
I am a survivor.

Holy God. You are our strength and our salvation. You are the one to heal our hearts and minds. Give us courage to face what is to happen. Hold us tightly as we cling to you. Show us the way.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

God Will Take Care of You

One of my substitute jobs last week was in a local high school, in a classroom of ELL (English Language Learners) students. There were only two sudents in one of the classes and neither of them was too intent on doing the lesson. The younger of the two, a freshman, told me that his friend, a senior girl, was sick. When I asked her what was wrong, she reluctantly told me that she had just been diagnosed with cervical cancer. And, that she was scared.
I told her God had wanted me, a cancer survivor, to be in that classroom today so that I could talk to her. We talked about being strong and how she needed to have a fierce mental attitude in order to fight the disease. I tried to be very positive, but it was obvious that she was a very frightened young lady.
Then, I told her that I would ask all of my friends, everywhere, to pray for her. I said I knew a lot of prayer warriors, in a whole lot of places, who would pray for her, even if they didn't know her. She liked the thought of that and it made her smile.
So, I am asking you to pray for Olga. She needs healing of her body and the strength to fight this battle.

Dear God. Where you lead me, I will follow. Give me the words to help others see your strength and goodness. Grab onto Olga and hold her tight in your healing arms. Give her faith and courage. She's going to need it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

"For a Few Dollars More"

After a full day in the classroom today, I attended a meeting on classroom management. I must admit, I wasn't too excited about going. Usually, these meetings consist of a twenty-something chicky telling me, "Okay, like you guys like really need to like focus on like being positive, like okay????" The last time I went to one of these meetings, the young presenter used the word OKAY, 73 times! That was NOT okay.
But, today, I am actually taking away some positive information and will attempt to use it in the classroom tomorrow.
Two video clips were used, as examples, at the presentation. One was Clint Eastwood, the tough spaghetti western gunfighter and the other was Sheriff Andy's deputy, Barney Fife.
Now, before you call the cops to report Mrs. Kincaid for packing a Colt 45, reflect on this. While Barney was hyper, over bearing, and screechy, Clint was calm, cool, controlled and stated clear choices. Albeit, it was make the right choice or your dead, but the choices were clear.
That's what I want to do. Be calm, cool, in control, and give the kids clear choices.

Understanding God. You really make my day. I think about my blessings and rejoice. Your love surrounds me as I try follow your commandments. Help me to make the right choices as I deal with your children of all ages.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Will You Still Need Me?

Well , just like the Beatles song, it is for me ....."many years from now". Surely, not. I can't be that old. What's that quote..... age is "truly just a number"? But this birthday, it happens to be a pretty big number. Historical.
Seven of my fellow high school classmates have emailed to wish me a very happy #46! Hysterical.
Reflection isn't my forte. I hate crying over spilled milk. I try to force myself to look forward.
The best is yet to be. Aging sure beats the alternative.
Yesterday, we spent the afternoon, not with "Vera, Chuck and Dave" but with Linnea and Leo. They are mobile now and chewing on everything in sight....even the granddogs! It was really fun.
Grandchildren are one of God's greatest gifts.

Gracious and giving Lord. We thank you for life itself and all of the things that it hands us. Help us to remember that through you, all things are possible. You are good all the time.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Lament

I didn't labor much today. Well, I cooked some eggs, loaded the dishwasher and dusted the piano, but that was about it. I like the idea of naming a holiday about something that you don't do on that day.
After all, on Christmas we celebrate the birth of Christ. On Memorial Day, we honor the deceased and decorate graves. Independence Day is for celebrating the Fourth of July, 1776. But, on Labor Day, we don't labor.
The concept of Labor Day is unique and quite refreshing, but perhaps we could tweak it a little. I'm going to propose a couple more of these NON-traditional holidays.
How about Politician's Day? That will be the day that no candidate will run an ad or "misspeak" about anyone or anything. The newspapers just wouldn't report on anything political.
Then we could celebrate a Healthy Foods Day. Candy, fried foods, red meat, sugar, chocolate and white bread would be the menu for the day. Oh, and of course we won't be counting calories or cholesterol on Healthy Foods Day
My personal favorite NON-traditional holiday would be Housework Day. On that day, there would be no cooking, no ironing, no dusting, no vacuuming, or yard work. Hooray for Housework Day!

Lord. We are thankful for every day that you have given us. Our blessings are many and our burdens are few.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Et tu, Milano.

You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. This puppy has just recently learned how to "PUNCH" her very first Time Clock and I've also learned to electronically approve my very own time card.
Now, every morning, when I show up at a school, I sign in on paper (my duty for the past 20 years or so) and then find the school's Time Clock. These Time Clocks are at least "3 G" or maybe even "4 G". Very Hi Tech. We were all required to take a class on how to work the clock properly.
First, I key in my secret code. Then I insert my right index finger into the machine and it reads my fingerprint. Only then can I go to work. The same process is repeated as I leave the building.
When the machine registers my fingerprint, it gives me a score. I am assuming that a perfect score is 100, although my highest has been only 82. That must be passing? I've failed only once, so far, and when that happens the clock instructs you to insert your left index finger.
The time card approval is another process. Since we are just in the third week of school, for the 2010-2011 school year, I've only done it twice. It's harder to explain and I'm not sure I actually know what I'm doing or if I could do it again.

What's the point of this recital? Well, I'm a grandma and I'm still learning new things. I may be a little fuzzy, right now, on the process, but I'm willing to learn. Isn't that great!

Gracious God, Thank you for giving me new challenges. Each new obstacle and new experience makes me grow. It's your version of tough love. Yes, I can do it. But it takes your help and guidance. Lead me Lord. Show me YOUR way.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"You say neether and I say niither."

Controversy seems to have taken over the media. Are you, or are you not, in favor of a Mosque at Ground Zero? How do you feel about the new proposed skyscraper
(eight stories IS a skyscraper in Kansas City)on the Country Club Plaza? Should the Chiefs axe yet another losing coach? How about that Athletic Director Perkins at KU? Should he be fired? Should Fred Phelps be allowed to picket funerals of our Service Men and Women?
I have opinions on all of these subjects. I think I am a pretty passionate individual and I like to voice my opinion. God gave each of us a mind and free will, and like John Wesley, I think reason should play a part in creating our beliefs and making our decisions.
I do not believe in being luke warm.
Do I stick my foot in my mouth? Well, yes I sometimes do. Do I often sound like an idiot? Yep, that happens, too. Are there times when I need to do a bit more research on a subject, before I spout off? You betcha. Am I always right? Well, not all the time.
But, nobody can say I don't care.

Hey, God. Things are a mess down here. We can't seem to get much of anything right.
We need your help. Please, bring a sense of calm and reason to our chaotic lives.
Allow us to find common ground and bring us to a peaceable kingdom. Help us to love and respect one another.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Call Me MISTER Tibbs"

Are you a professional? Well, I've had a few experiences lately that have made me wonder about the quality of workers in this nation of ours.
What ever happened to pride in personal appearance? I see teachers and other professionals in tee shirts and ragged jeans, or pants that REALLY need hemming. Now,I know that a teacher doesn't make much money, but I do know that needles and thread are pretty darn(get it????)cheap.
Oh, and has Walmart stopped selling irons and mirrors? The wrinkled look may be in, but I sleep in less wrinkled clothes than what I'm seeing in the classroom these days. Do you teachers have to look like you just woke up, crawled to your car and drove to school?
Come on American Educators. The youth of today deserve better role models than what we are giving them. Casual doesn't mean crummy and dirty. No wonder "respect" is an issue in today's schools.
I expect students to call me, Mrs Kincaid. I am a professional and I always show up looking like one. And, you know what, I get respect.

Powerful God...You cared enough about us to send your very best. We should do our best with what you have given us. Pride in who we are, is not a bad thing. Be with us as we go about our daily lives. Help us to do our best in all that we do.

To read more of my rantings, this week, visit the website on Saturday August 21, for my article on the OPED page. Midwest Voices.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"Just Call Out My Name...."

I saw Carole King and James Taylor, in concert, the other night on TV. Have they had a history together or what? Singing and playing with each other for several decades. Well, when they sang "You've Got A Friend", it brought tears to my eyes.
I am also blessed with some truly wonderful friends. In fact, they are a significant part of my life. I would be lost without them. My Faith sustains me, but my friends give me purpose.
Scott and I have lived all of our adult lives away from our families. Friends have been there for us, whatever the circumstances, when family has not been able to be with us in person.
I'm certainly not the best kind of friend. I don't send many "Get Well" and Birthday Cards. I don't get to the hospital very often to see people. Frankly, I'm a pretty rotten friend. But, to those people who still love and like me, in spite of my short (no jokes here, tall people) comings, I thank you.

Listen God. You have blessed me with some pretty awesome friends. I would not be who I am today without the people you have led into my life. Thank you so much for allowing your good people to influence and guide me.
Help me and guide me to be a better friend. Amen.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"It's too darn hot"

What can I say about the weather in Missouri? It's hot. It's really hot, and we are in the middle of a heat wave. My deck plants are fried. One of my little dwarf potted pines is bright orange.....cooked to the roots. Our lawn has turned a drab, bi-colored, shade of yellow-brown. It's August, and it's 100 degrees and rising.
One of my favorite pastimes, in the summer months, is complaining about the weather.
Actually, I can complain about the weather any time of year, but I excel at summer griping.
I whine about my deodorant failing and my underpants stinking to my rear end. I gripe about sweat dripping from my brow and my glasses fogging up from the humidity. I have all of the usual hot weather complaints down to an exact science.
But, does all of my whining do any good? Of course not. Middle son, tired of hearing my complaints, once told me...."Mom, you have a car. You could leave."
I guess I could, but where's the fun in that?

All knowing God. I hope you know that our complaining is superficial. We're not ungrateful, we are just natural whiners. We have it so good. It's hot but we have air-conditioned homes and cars. It's dry, but we have running water. We are blessed with so many of your gifts.
Thanks a bunch, God. We really love our lives.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"Fly me to the Moon..."

My son is a playwright and a musician.His latest play is being presented at the Kansas City Fringe Festival this week. Last night was the opening night and I was in attendance.
The play venue was packed and the play,"Not Just for the Birds" which is geared to children of all ages, was terrific. People laughed. People clapped. It was great. And, I was so proud.
The play, the cast (all local high school students)and my son and daughter-in-law are taking the play to the Scottish Fringe Festival next week.
I am so happy for them.

Hey God, you are terrific. I am so blessed to be the mother of this successful young man. It's so easy for us to dwell on the junk that goes on in our lives and complain to anyone and everyone who will listen.
But, your gifts are many. Our troubles are insignificant and petty, when compared to your blessings. My greatest blessings are my four grown children and their families. God you are so good.

Monday, July 19, 2010


I'm blogging a day early this week. We've veered off track on our regular routine at the Kincaid Household. My normal day for blogging is Tuesday. Tuesday is also trash day, but I fail to see a correlation between garbage and my writing.
My mother-in-law was the queen of routine. Rosann did everything according to schedule. She had a set routine for what she and Bill ate every day. Saturday was hamburgers, Friday was Pizza, etc. Monday was wash day, Tuesday she ironed. (OMGOODNESS, I don't even know where my iron is...or if I still have one?)
I would like to think that I don't have a schedule. If asked, I would tell you that I'm a non-routine kind of woman. A free spirit! But in reality, I am a schedule follower. My red appointment book has become my second brain. Ask me, and I can tell you what I'm scheduled to do on Thursday October 28th of 2011.
But, this week things are different. I am helping out my daughter-in-law, Jennifer, with the care and keeping of baby Linnea. So, I am staying at their Brookside home for the next couple of days.
This change in routine is indeed a blessing.

Wow, Lord. Babies move really fast these days. And, I want to tell you that being a grandma is the greatest title in the world. Thank you for allowing me to be a grandma. Help me to always be able to "change" my routine enough to allow new experiences and blessings to happen. Change is helping me grow in my theology. Change helps me to let go and let YOU lead.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"Eeee,Iiiii,EEE,Iiiii, Oooo"

Have you visited a Farmers' Market yet this summer? Well, why not? You'll have a great time and you'll get to stock your refrigerator in the process.
The largest Farmers' Market in the Kansas City area is down near the Missouri River, in the River Market Area. The fun time to go is on a Saturday morning, because hundreds of vendors have their vegetables, fruits, handcrafted art objects, home cured meats, and plants for sale. There are even a couple of pasta dealers and a train for the kiddies to ride.
It's great fun and a super place to watch the wildest life of all.....people.
My friend Sue and I had a great time last Saturday. We bought ears of corn, tomatoes, and some freshly ground cheese.

Dear Lord: We live an abundant life. You have blessed us with the best that you have to give. Yet,sometimes we aren't as thankful as we should be. We concentrate on what we don't have, instead of rejoicing in what we do have. Bountiful God, I thank you.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

"What's Your Name? Is it Mary or Sue?"

Because I felt the need to put my rear-end where my mouth is, I spent the morning volunteering in the Adult English Language Learner Program at Della Lamb. Coming off of a big celebratory weekend, "Happy Birthday U.S.A.", this morning was a big smack in my patriotic face!
The 30 women I met this morning,in the beginner class,were thrilled and thankful to be given the opportunity to learn to speak, read, and write English. For two hours, I helped them fill out their enrollment forms. They were struggling to learn what all of us natives have been doing since infancy. Most of the adult students in the classes at the Lamb have not had the opportunity to attend school in their home land. These are adults who cannot, for the most part, read or write in any language.
The adult immigrants and refugees, at the Lamb, speak 40 different languages. I speak English and a teeny weeny bit of French. But, we communicated.
Every woman understands the word BABY. One woman could tell me that she was the mother of twins by holding up two fingers and making a double downward sweeping motion with her hands.
And peanut butter? Who knew Africans eat peanut butter?
I know that I have struggled to understand a smidgen of Spanish, French and German. I cannot conceive what it must be like to be dropped in a country where only my family speaks words that I can understand.

BTW, I am going back tomorrow. I am blessed to be able to volunteer at Della Lamb.

Universal God. I saw You this morning in the eyes of Somali and Sudanese women. You were speaking to me through the Creole words of Flore. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn from these eager students. Thank you for the teachers and faithful volunteers who do Your work. You are an awesome God.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What is it?

Every month, on the back cover of the "Missouri Conservationist Magazine", there is a mystery photo. The caption reads, "What is it?" And,it's usually a creature part...blown up so you can't easily recognize it. Last issue it was a spot on a butterfly. This issue it was the tip of a box turtle's foot.
My question to you this week is, "What is it....that makes you a Christian?"
Is it going to church every Sunday and sitting(God forbid we would change) in the same pew each week? Is it reading Scripture? Is it teaching Sunday School or working in the nursery? Is it showing up to clean the kitchen...after the youth mess it up?
Is it making Jello Salad and yet another green bean casserole for the latest funeral dinner?
Read my list and think about it for a few minutes.
And, now let's make the question a little more difficult. I suggest you avoid the outward signs, like those activities listed above, and turn inward. What is it, inside your being, that makes you a Christian?
I am reminded of a statement that I heard once....."If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?"

Good God. We say that we are your followers, but who are we really following? Open our eyes that we may truly see who and what it is that leads us. Let us see the Glory in your kingdom. Only then will we be convicted.

(Every Missourian really should subscribe to the "Missouri Conservationist Magazine". It's available by signing up on line...and it's free. Go to and fill in the blanks.)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Blow your Horn

By now, we've all heard that strange humming sound coming out of our televisions, during the coverage of the World Cup. I'm beginning to like those VUVUZELAS. The droning noise of those horns is constant and not nearly as rude as what I used to yell at various Northtown games. You all should know that the North Kansas City High School Athletic Director awarded me a School Letter when our last kid finished his athletic career. 4 Kids, nearly 20 years, numerous contests, and one enthusiastic mom. His sly smile betrayed his mood when he said, "Here's your letter, Mrs. Kincaid. We've never given one to a mom before!" What he really meant was,"Now don't darken our fields again!"

But, what's wrong with tooting your horn? Why aren't you telling the world what you can do? To quote one of my video heroes, Little Neddy Nederlander, "What is it that you are really good at?" (Well, obviously his skill wasn't grammar.)

By golly, if you haven't had to write a personal resume or a biography lately, you ought to sit down and do it right away. After you state who you are and where you currently reside, you are faced with writing about your work history and talents.
Everyone is good at something. Go on, brag a little.

You may be the best John Deere jockey in your neighborhood. Did your kids all graduate from college and haven't spent time in correctional facilities? Good for you! Can you can fry an egg without breaking the yolk? Do you get up every morning with a smile? Wow. You're a success. We've all done something worth tooting our own VUVUZELA about.

WOO HOO God. You don't make junk. You rejoice in our successes and love us when we fail. Keep us on the right path that leads to life everlasting. You are our rock and our shield.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Can you speak English??????

If you went to,or followed the news from Assembly 2010, you know of the involvement of United Methodist Women in Immigration Issues. Now, I don't want to go into the problems of illegal immigration.Personally, I feel that illegal is illegal.
What I want to write about today is ELL. Teaching English to immigrants who want to learn English in order to become productive CITIZENS of this country.
My grandparents came to this country speaking NO ENGLISH, only German. My grandfather worked hard as a factory laborer, learned English, became a citizen and raised a family with my grandmother. My grandmother never learned to read or write in any language, even though she lived to be over 100.
If she had settled in Kansas City, Missouri, she could have attended English classes at Della Lamb and learned to read and write. Even in 1917!!!!My Gram's long life would have been enhanced by education!
Why am I writing this? Well, state funding for Della Lamb's ELL has been axed. Zap. Gone. Kaput. Nada.
But, we are not crying over what we don't have. We want volunteers, with teaching experience to come forward and keep this great program going.
Contact Judy Akers at Della and offer your services.

O God. We live in a very special country. We love and celebrate our heritage here and we appreciate our diversity. We know that you love us and want us to work for the benefit all of your children.
Give us the strenght to accept the challenges that we face.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A rose by any other name....

Well, I thought I was pretty clever using the title, "Nancy's Notes" for this blog. Wrong! Besides the fact that the other, more famous Northlander, Nancy Kincaid, has a newsletter by that name, there is even a book by that title (yet another Nancy Kincaid is the author). For all I know, there is probably an obscene novel out there with the same title! I had to make the change. What if I ever became the really famous Nancy Kincaid. How would anyone keep us all straight? What about the royalties?

To steal a line from my all time favorite flick,"The Three Amigos", I actually like to think of myself as the INFAMOUS Nancy K. Kincaid. That's MORE than famous, for those of you who may not have memorized the dialogue from that classic movie.

So, this blog is now titled "Nancy Writes". Not an alliteration, but certainly descriptive. My friend Sue has a notebook in which she keeps copies of my essays. Besides being a good friend, she encourages me to keep writing. She's a fan.

God is like that. We are all worthy in His sight. He appreciates our talents and He loves me whether I am famous or infamous.

Lord God. Life takes many turns. We have our ups and downs. Whatever happens in our lives, we should know that YOU will be there for us. YOU will never abandon us.
Help us to see the wisdom in YOUR guidance. Watch over us.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Put on your high-heeled sneakers....

...cause we're going out tonight." Old doesn't mean what it used to, people. When you hear that 60 is the new forty, you better believe it! My dear buddy and traveling companion celebrated her 90th birthday on Sunday, and she's lookin' good and feelin' good, too! People kept remarking that she must have miscounted, because Dortha Mae Olsen looks 80...not ninety!
Some people do look their age, but won't admit to the real numbers. We saw the movie "Letters to Juliet" this weekend, and Vanessa Redgrave's character is supposed to be 65. Bless her heart, she looks a lot older than that. My "much older sister" is pushing 69 and she looks 20 years younger than Vanessa! Now, Franco Nero on the other hand, he'd look good at any age!
But any age is a good thing. I'd like to quote the venerable, Joann Collins who remarked on Sunday,that "it sure is better to be seen than viewed." Amen, sister.

Great and gracious God. Give us wisdom in our aging. Help us to be accepting of the abilities and infirmities of our aging. Give us a youthful spirit. Amen.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Oh Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Golden Sun.....

What a joy it is to live in Missouri, folks! Last week fifty degrees and jacket weather. Today, the temperature is in the 90s. Good thing that we are in the last days of the 2009-2010 School Year. If the shorts on the middle school girls get any shorter, we are going to have to rename that article of clothing!
Students finish up on Friday, the 28th. Grades had to be turned in last Friday.....and the kids all know it. There is no reason for them to behave, no reason to do any work, no reason to even show up. And, can you believe it, more than a few of the teachers are exhibiting the same negative attitude. Why else would I, a lowly substitute, be working clear through to Friday?
Whatever happened to a good work ethic? Say, whatever happened to ethics in general?
Whatever happened to the Cub Scout motto....Do Your Best?
It seems we have to have a tangible and or monetary reason these days to perform and achieve. A "what's in it for me" attitude. So, from now until Friday afternoon, there will be a scant few of us out there doing our jobs so that the youngsters in our schools just might learn something. Maybe the kids will learn that a few of us teachers still operate under the Hallmark motto. (BTW, does Hallmark still have a motto?)

God, we are trying to do what you want us to do. We know that you have sent us your very best.But, sometimes it is so hard to do the right thing. Help us to remember that nothing that we could ever suffer compares to what you gave for us.
We are so very grateful.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Red and Yellow, Black and White....

Are you intentional? Well, if you're a United Methodist you are supposed to be. Have you ever heard of the Charter for Racial Justice? It is, of course, an official document of Church Policy. So, if you don't know what I'm talking about when I mention the Charter for Racial Justice, write me a note and I'll send you a brochure. Ignorance is not bliss!
Ms. Mai Gray helped to draft the Charter and although we all mourn the recent loss of Mai, her life's work will continue. The United Methodist Women in Missouri are known all over this country for their Intentional Inclusiveness on the issues of race, age, gender, and ability.
I would like to salute Becky Curry, a MO UMW, for her intentional inclusiveness in breaking a very visible barrier. Hats off to Becky.

God of many colors. Open our hearts and our minds so that we might see beyond skin color, wrinkles, saggy pants, and wheelchairs. We are all precious in your sight. Amen

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Young uns.....

I was recently reminded of my role, as a young mother attending my first United Methodist Women's Events. For the most part, I always felt welcome and the more experienced women were most generally friendly and thrilled that a new generation was interested in Mission. There were times, however, when this young thing was put in her place. Those infamous words of Christian involvement rose up to smack me in the face. "We have always done it that way", can drive away a new recruit faster than a bull whip, ladies!
Words like, "Our funeral dinners always have ham, potato casserole, green beans, and jello salad. (Never mind that people just don't eat like that, anymore.) And, "Jane has been our Treasurer for 25 years.(Have you ever asked anyone else???)
My six foot friend was once told to stand on a stool to stir the gravy at the church stove. Being six feet tall, she didn't need a stool. But, my friend did as her she was told, because her five foot mentor said, "We've always done it that way."
Ladies, change is growth. Get out of your ruts, and embrace the young, and realize there may be more than one way of accomplishing a task.

Gracious God, please show me the way. Help me to realize that I can use some help and that the old ways aren't always the best. I know that you are always with me. Your goodness is my rock.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Done Pulled

I am home from Assembly. I have a new appreciation for the word "Volunteer". Having spent the better part of 4 days registering the 6800 attendees at the 2010 Assembly, I can appreciate the meaning of words like patience, kindness, steadfastness, and yes....,more patience. We women can be a trying bunch to deal with, and yes there were some glitches, but goodness gracious, I had a whale of a good time!
Just seeing old friends like Kathleen, Edie Sunday, and so many others, was great fun. Meeting new people like K.C., Brenda, and Linda Douglas, made the journey worth while.
The women volunteers (and Dennis Young)of the Missouri Conference were outstanding. Paula,Sally and Shari and on and on. WOW. Bishop Schnase made us proud, and the Della Lamb Children's Choir was terrific. The Plenaries were all first class. Yvette was a great MC on Saturday night. Seeing Mrs. May Gray on the stage was inspiring(she remains in our prayers). The Meditation Room was so holy. I could go on and on.
Girls....we pulled up those big girl panties and we dealt with it...Didn't We!

Good God.Some of us were doubting our ability to pull this one off. I don't know why? Because you were there for us. You are always there for us. We are so thankful for the opportunity to serve as a volunteer for you and Mission.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"Blazing Saddles"

"Ah Ha", you say. "Nancy and her amazing United Methodist Women are off to the Assembly in St. Louis".You're correct. We are gone! We are outa here! And, we will be joined by Bishop Schnase and anybody who is really "anybody" later in the week. 6500 Strong. United Methodism at its finest, friends.
I am reminded of a line from one of my favorite movies. (You all know I am partial to satire.....don't you???) DUH! Hedley Lamar (aka Harvey Korman) had a priceless line in "Blazing Saddles",as he spoke of all of the vile characters that he wanted to enlist in his murderous and infamous (that's "more than famous"...and another movie line in another movie) band of outlaws. He names villains, rapists, thieves, scoundrels, racists, murderers,......and finally Methodists, as those he wants to wreck havoc in his frontier town. Amen, brothers and sisters.
I'm with Hedley Lamar. I want the United Methodists with me.And,I really want the United Methodist Women with me.

Precious Lord, take my hand. Lead me and the Missouri Conference UMW, as we journey to St. Louis. Help us to make our denomination strong and help all of us to realize that our commitment to women, youth and children makes our denomination truly special.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Faith, Hope, Love in Action

Well, it's almost here. Assembly in St. Louis, 2010, begins next week. Bonnie Stewart can't believe that I am already packed. Isn't everybody???? The list of agencies to receive Prayer Shawls and Baby Blankets has been sent to New York (Linda Douglas has filled a SEMI with items sent to WD, for this event). Paula has her volunteer list out. Rachel has her socks! What else, girls?
I am reminded of other Assemblies of recent years. The one 20 years ago in Kansas City. Dortha Mae was the Registrar. Cincinnati....singing "Lord, I'm available to you." with Betty Thurston, on a couple of street corners. failure, and Whitney Houston's mother's Gospel Group. Philly...Marilyn and I in our Uncle Sam Hats touring the city's treasurers, and me experiencing ACELA and the subways. And,our last one in Anaheim.....Onikah(my mini-me)out on her own for the first time. Wonderful memories. I can't wait to make some more.
Just come and have a great time. Enjoy the uplifting music, the spirit filled worship and enjoy St. Louis in the springtime.

Gracious God, be with us as we travel to Assembly. Let us focus on the total experience and help us to cherish the good times. Bless all of the women who will come together in your name for the purpose of Mission to others.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

April showers bring.......

Grass. I mowed the yard today. Mowing the yard is great exercise and it gives me a great sense of accomplishment. Nice straight lines and crisp corners. Organization at it's best. And, unlike the daily dishes, the daily bed making, and nightly dinner, I won't be mowing again for a about a week.
It's about control, I think. I can actually control that yard. And,I can take pleasure in the accomplishment of that task. The rest of my life is more out of control than usual. The upcoming Assembly and other things are weighing heavy on my mind.

Lord, show me a way to let go of my worry. I am so blessed with health and a fine family. My friends are gathered around me. Thank you for my life and remind me that I can do anything with your help.

Monday, April 5, 2010

UMW SUNDAYS...not the week after Easter, PLZ

I received a call last week that included a request for me to preach yet another UMW Sunday, later this month. I checked my calendar and replied to the caller in the positive. Yes, I would be happy to do your UMW Sunday. It's been my pleasure to give an inspirational Sunday talk, now and then. In my four years as Conference UMW President, my UMW Sunday travels took me from Canton to Sikeston,from Kimberling City to Rockport. In between, I have preached in Harper's Chapel(that's a story for another time), all over in Kansas City, in Columbia, and in St. Louis. I've even done a couple in the state of Kansas. ("I'm a Sunflower from the Sunflower State." you know.)
One thing, however, that I try NOT to do is preach a UMW Sermon on the Sunday after Easter. Come on Pastors. Do you think your old ladies just fell off of the turnip truck? I can just hear your comments now. "We'll give those old biddies the Sunday that is our lowest in attendance. Nobody is going to want to hear what they say anyway. And, while we're at it, I think I'll take that Sunday off. I need to get away. Mission, humbug."
Well, we made our Pledge to Mission, in Missouri, this year. Over $400,000 in Mission Giving. Hey, there are a whole lot of somebodies out there who care what we have to say.
So call on me girlfriends, I'll do your UMW Sundays, but not this week!

Dear Lord, we make our prayers and ask You to answer them. We forget that You are calling us to do Your will. Help us to really listen to Your requests and help us to be "doers of your word and not hearers only." Amen

Monday, March 29, 2010

One Month to Go

We are down to the last 30 Days before the Quandrennial Assembly of United Methodist Women in St. Louis. I wish I could say that all of the plans are made and that I feel settled about the event. But, I can't.
Plans from New York have changed and changed and changed. WE,the able volunteers, seem as clueless as we were a year ago. I keep telling myself not to worry. The professionals,on the East Coast, have been pulling these events off for decades now.
They should know what they are doing. Right?
Well, I can't help but worry. What if no one comes? What if I drop dead tomorrow? What if the hotels are bad? What if Marilyn leaves me stranded on I-70. What if it rains? What if the bakery forgets to bake the communion bread? What if? What if?
I get worked up about this stuff......usually in the middle of the night. Then I feel bad the next day.
Jesus has told us that worrying doesn't help. He is going to take care of all this stuff that I worry about. My mother used to tell me that "it isn't going to make any difference 100 years from now!" I am the quintessential "ye of little faith"

"Trust and Obey, for there's no other way,to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey." Travel with me to St. Louis, Jesus. I need you.

Monday, March 22, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

March in Missouri, and there is snow as far as the eye can see. It's everywhere. eight inches in the Northland, this weekend. Go figure. Must be Global Warming,oops I mean Climate Change. I went to a meeting this weekend that cautioned me about my Carbon Footprint. Guess I will have to quit breathing and quit growing any plants. Carbon emissions you know!
Anyway, the snowfall was quite a surprise. I understand that the older we get, the less we are to enjoy surprises. I think the opposite may be true. My children have all known, in advance, the gender of their children. They can make more decorating plans that way! And, everyone tries to make plans as far in advance as they can, these days. Plans for summer vacations are made in January. Plans for Christmas are made in July. When we want to visit anyone, we have to call way ahead to make sure they can see us. Holy Cow, what ever happened to spontaneity?
So, go on.....surprise me. I'll love it. What can it hurt?

Kind and loving Lord. Keep my life fresh and new. Help me to be eager to meet the challenges of everyday life. Lord, I am available to you.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Once was Lost, but now......

I found Jesus. Yes, I had lost him. The 20 foot tall metal Jesus statue that was standing on the west side of I35 between Kansas City and Liberty has been located.
The owners of Jesus,the statue, knew where he was all along, but I didn't have a clue. I'm happy to have found him once again.
The statue was commissioned, I was told, for an event held several years ago at Arrowhead Stadium. Jesus was made for a giant gathering of Roman Catholics, organized for a particular cause. The statue is of the "sacred heart type" and created quite a spectacle from its pedestal along I35. The owner placed it there temporarily, until a permanent place could be constructed. Then it disappeared. No sign. No indication of where he went. I was baffled.
But, I found him. Jesus is now overlooking a small pond just south of the intersection of Parvin Road and the I29-I35 Split, in Kansas City North. It is the centerpiece for a new development of senior housing, which will include Stations of the Cross and a crucifix garden.
In my opinion, the statue leaves a lot to be desired. In other words, I think it is artistically ugly and slightly off putting.On its temporary base it leaned too far forward and looked off balance. And, frankly, yet another long haired, white-man Jesus representation, offends the realist in me. But,I sincerely support and praise the owner's conviction to have his faith represented for all of us to see.
So, I am happy to announce that Jesus has reappeared.

Dear Lord, many of us profess to be your children. It's too bad that more of us don't actually follow you and act like Christians. Help me to be more outwardly Christian, today and everyday. Help me to get my faith right out there!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

We are marching in the light of God....

The 38th Annual Missouri UMW Legislative Event was this past week. "What?"you say. You mean you didn't know that the UMW (those crazy little old irrelevant ladies) had a Legislative Event? "Did it involve a bake sale?"you ask?????
Actually, the First Lady of Missouri was in attendance and a Missouri Supreme Court Justice was our keynote speaker. We were stylin', readers. And, our "Breakfast with the Legislature" was well attended. Congratulations,event committee, for a job well done. Can't wait for #39.
I have just been told by yet another preacher that United Methodist Women might not be in the future of a certain brand new United Methodist Church. I'm beginning to think this is a broken record. People,UMW is the best and of course the most "road tested" of all women's ministries. Lord, the General Church has just given Mission Agencies BACK to UMW, because they couldn't do it right. Local Churches, get with the program.
Get a clue, Missouri Pastors. If you want a mission effort in your congregation,not just a bunch of "vacationers" with hammers and nails, get your women involved in UMW. We have the resources, the history, the numbers and the passion to get it done.
So, do you really want to know what I think about congregations without UMW? Read your Discipline, pastors.
Okay, I know I am preaching to the choir, here. You all know where my passion lies.

Fairest Lord Jesus, you know that we work for better lives for all of your children. Be with us as we strive to improve the lives of the "least" in our world. These things we ask in your name. Amen.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

When I'm SMK

In 1963, I fell in love with Paul McCartney. He wasn't "Sir Paul" back then. He was a famous young man appearing on my parents 21' RCA Victor console, and I was a 16 year old girl screeching at his image.
In 1964, I fell in love with Scott Kincaid. He wasn't on my TV screen, he was in my geometry class in high school. Regardless of his lack of celebrity, he made my heart flutter.
Now, 45 years later, my husband and I are living the Beatles' lyrics, "When I'm Sixty Four". It is actually "many years from now". And yes, we are still sending each other Valentines, having birthday parties and an occasional bottle of wine. Grandchildren "Vera, Chuck and Dave" have appeared in the form of Nina, Alex and Sophia, plus a couple more. Over the years, we have had to "scrimp and save".
Much has been written about young love. It is fresh, hot and romantic. Everything is new and exciting. Growing old together is the furthest thing from young lovers' minds.
We have attended several weddings lately. As I sit there watching the young brides, I hope and pray that their unions will be as firm and lasting as mine. Realistically, I have become skeptical. Most of our young relatives have changed relationships so often that I no longer enter their names and addresses permanently, in ink, in my address book. I write them in pencil.
These days "mine forever more" doesn't seem to mean much. Mine until someone better comes along, or mine until the going gets too tough, seems to ring truer.
There is a statue on the Country Club Plaza on another "Sir", Sir Winston Churchill and his wife, that is called "Married Love". It depicts the old guy and his equally mature spouse. You can tell they've been through a lot. When you look at her you get the feeling that she has probably "knit a sweater (or two) by the fireside" and we know he led Great Britain, through WW II. But, they certainly appear to be content and comfortable, sitting there side by side.
Mature love is like a soft old sweatshirt. It's comfortable and wearable. Couples that stay together while surviving childbirth, Little League, teenage angst, and ever widening waist lines, deserve our admiration. So when my "lights have gone", I'm going to count on my spouse of 44 years to "mend my fuse". Yes, I'll "still need" you. Yes, I'll "still feed" you, when you're sixty-four.
Happy 64th Birthday,sweetheart.

Monday, February 22, 2010

"Oh the weather outside is frightful...."

Well, not really. Last night it certainly was. Yesterday morning it was. But, now the sun is making the ice and snow glisten. PTL.
I am up to my chin in Prayer Shawls and baby blankets. Women's Division is planning a huge display of these handcrafted items at the April Assembly in St. Louis. The powers that be (Women's Division, in NYC) want me to locate places to distribute the amassed articles in Missouri. I'm creating a list. Could be that there will be up to 10,000 items.Let me know if I can add your non-profit or Church to the list.
A couple of years ago, when I was in the throws of chemotherapy and couldn't hold my head up off the couch, I received several prayer shawls. My friend, 'nother Nancy, sent me one. I received a beautiful pink one, and the ladies at Liberty UMC, gave me a handcrafted quilt. Each one is a treasure. The prayers and love sent to me, through those items, were a big factor in my recovery.
At our last church home, there were several of us who regularly hand knitted or crocheted shawls for the congregation's needs. If you have the skills, it's a blessing to be a part of a Prayer Shawl Ministry.
We never know how we will touch others. Prayer is powerful and God is good.

Monday, February 15, 2010

"Blessed be the name...."

Scott and I have a new grandson. His given name, Leo, was kept a secret until his birth last Wednesday. I have never known anyone named Leo, but I think it is just the greatest guy name ever.
What is a name anyway? In biblical times, your name was more than what you were called. It was your word, your being, your soul, your truth. That's why when you envoked a curse in God's name, it was a sin.
I don't imagine that we think about the importance of names these days. I mean, Nancy is a pretty lame moniker, but my much older sister, a first grader when I was born, wanted to name me Jane, for goodness sake. Both of those names just smack of the nineteen forties!
Well, believe me when I tell you that I run across the strangest names when I call the roll at school. In the last month I have had a "Jza" and a "Pashantz" (Pronounced Ja sha, and Patience). I think their parents were just thinking unusual.......not profoundness, don't you? Then just last week I heard of a "I'munique". (would I blog a lie???? For Real.)
All knowing Lord. You know each of us by our given name. We know that we are all are unique in your eyes. We are all your children. You believe in our abilities. Help us to do honor to our names by our actions and thoughts. We ask these things in the name of Jesus.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"In the Spring there is a flower....."

Shirley Warner died yesterday. She was a vibrant and faithful servant of the Lord.
As Conference UMW Vice President, during the earliest years of the Missouri Conference, Shirley created memorable Annual Meetings in Columbia, Kansas City, St. Louis, and Springfield. Her sudden death is so shocking, to those of us her knew her, because she was always such a aware and put-together lady. No one could describe Shirley as anything other than a LADY. We are going to miss our friend.
And, winter continues in Kansas City. More snow.....but there is sunshine and a hint of warmer days to come.
Thank you God, for the seasons. Thank you for the gift of friendship. It is sad when a friend dies, but it would be sadder yet to have missed that friendship altogether.
We are blessed for having known Shirley.

Monday, February 1, 2010

PTL and other musings

Scott and I attended yet another UMC on Sunday. Eleven o'clock worship at Platte Woods is the best "Blended Service" we have attended. Their music includes a small back-up band, an organist and a traditional choir with director and piano accompaniment. They presented several styles of music for the congregation to sing, including a praise number and 2 traditional hymns. We enjoyed the music very much. The sermon theme was on outreach to others who might possibly be seeking a Christian Home at Platte Woods. Could that be us?
Today, we were visited by Brent Worley and given a welcome bag from the Church. Fast response. I think that is Radical Hospitality, a la Schnase.
Saturday, the Singing Sewer Man took me to a sing-along for Kansas Arts in Prison. I had a terrific time singing along with about 250 other folk including, the East Hill Singers from Lansing Prison. Mostly we sang traditional choral arrangements of well-known choral pieces. However, the directors threw in a couple of old-time hymns, which were sung straight from the heart by all of the singers.
Surely, voices raised in Praise to the Lord, brings a smile to God's face.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"If I could save time in a bottle"

It's Thursday! Do you know where my week went? I sure don't. It's been one of those weeks when Monday was only a couple of hours ago and now it's already Thursday.
I think all of us have periods like that when time passes so quickly. Our infant grandbaby is almost 6 weeks old. My own children are all adults. I'm an old lady!It's 2010, for Pete's Sake. When did that happen?
God must really get a laugh when He hears us say that we don't have time to accomplish what we want to do. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. We have all the time that there is! It's how we choose to use that time that should concerned us. Most of us just don't use our time wisely.
Here's another thought. Life is not a race. The one who gets to the end the fastest doesn't win.He just dies quicker.
Lord, let me enjoy some quality time with you and with others. Life is so short.Help me to live it right. Amen.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Yellow Brick Road

It's finally done. I clicked the button! Yes, my first article is on the way to the Midwest Voices Column in the Kansas City Star. After careful consideration, I have written about "Kids Today". You all know that I have been a Substitute Teacher for many years.
It's important to write about what you actually know about. That's kind of a "no-brainer". But, I was so stressed about my topic that I nearly came unglued. the first two articles of the series were written about Health Care Issues and our Military Presence in Foreign Countries. Really heady stuff. So, no wonder I was freaked out.
Thankfully, I came to my senses. Well, actually Scott, daughter Amy, friend Yvette and my P.E.O. sisters calmed me down and reminded me that "Kids" are what I know. Write about what you know, woman, they told me! The article will appear next Saturday, January 23rd. Let me know what you think, or better yet, comment on the Star's Midwest Voices Blog.
And speaking of "what I know", I know that God is present in our lives and that we are His children. Trusting God to lead us down the right path, will surely be our salvation.

Monday, January 11, 2010

"Lead me Lord..."

Thank you. Thank you very much. I have a new job.The Kansas City Star Editorial Staff has chosen me as one of the 2010 Midwest Voices Contributors. It seems that they actually believed the hype, in my application, about my ability to opine on anything and everything.
Normally, and this will come as no surprise to my friends and followers, I can expound on any topic. Not that it always make sense. Ranting and raving are special characteristics of mine. And, you all know that I am quite a character. But, your bloggette is experiencing a teeny bit of writer's block, regarding this new assignment.
The creative juices are still flowing, mind you. Because on Saturday, my friend, Sue, called to congratulate me, A.K.A. EHN (Earnest Hemmingway of the Northland), about my new role. She happened to mention that I was scheduled to do tomorrow's P.E.O. program. Yikes! Thirty women waiting to be entertained! Well,it only took me about an hour to come up with a slightly amusing essay to read to them. After all, these ladies have all been couped up for a couple of weeks, and it will be their first time out to socialize. Bless their hearts, they'll laugh at anything.
So, back to my writing assignment. What do I have to say that will hold the interest of Star readers? I am going to do some praying about this one, folks. God got me here and I believe that He will lead me in the right direction.
This morning Scott announced that God will help us find a new church home. We know He will lead us. And, I know that he will lead me to find the right words for my story.
Ladies and gentlemen, Nancy has left the building.

Monday, January 4, 2010

"It's a long way to ........."

Well, I'm blogging about another church visit this morning. Yesterday, we attended Country Club UMC. Their service was the most "traditional" that we have attended, on this journey of locating a new church. We felt very much at home. However, they have a scheduled visit this coming Spring from the Farr Faction, so who knows what they will have in store for worshipers after that. I've said several times before, put me and Bob Farr in a room together, and watch the sparks fly. We are a couple of fireballs for the Lord!
Country Club was also the friendliest congregation we have ever met.(Farr, please don't mess with that.) Though the group was sparse on Sunday, they were warm and welcoming to a couple of strangers from the far North.
Try to keep toasty,everyone. From all predictions, we haven't seen the worst of this yet. Our furnance pooped out, yet again,on Saturday. PTL for the furnace company for sending their man out right away. PTL for modern furnaces! PTL in all things.