Friday, December 28, 2012

5 Gold-en Rings

Wouldn't you know it? The furnace humidifier bit the dust last week. We called right away, but with the holiday, the repairman didn't show up until today......4 hours late, but he DID come. I'm grateful. My lips are chapped and my skin is flakey, but I am grateful.
When he finally arrived, he entered the house and spoke, as if in total amazement ..."Your Christmas Tree is still up!"
Now, folks, it's only the 28th of December. Good Lord, it's only the fourth day of Christmas. My true love has just given me 4 calling birds, for Pete's sake. I'm waiting for all of the other stuff! The 12th day isn't until the 5th of January.
Don't rush me. I want this season to last. It is not my fault if most Americans have their trees up and decorated by Thanksgiving. Go ahead and put it up on Labor Day, for all I care. We will continue to decorate our house after Thanksgiving, and put up our tree one week before Christmas. We will enjoy it until after the first of the year.
So, please, don't mess with my holiday and I won't mess with yours.

Happy New Year.

Dear Jesus: We are celebrating your birth. We do it in many ways, but as birthdays go, you always have a wonderful one. We are thankful for your birth. Let us always remember to make you the center of our Holiday plans.
We glorify your name.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

"The stockings were hung by the chimney...."

I am hanging a new pre-lit galand around our front door. This "new-fangled" decoration will take the place of the well-worn and out dated GIANT lights, that for years, outlined the roof of our ranch-style home. The time is right for a change and both Scott and I agree that a new entry is the perfect way to greet holiday guests.
Other changes are happening, too. This year, for the first time, all of our kids and their spouses have children old enough to create family traditions of their own. Santa will come to each of their households on Christmas morning and some of them will spend part of the day with one set of grandparents or the other. This is the way it should be.
But, Santa plans to stop by our house, too. Our granddaughter, Sophia, will be visiting and the Jolly Old Elf will know right where to find her. Her stocking will be hanging right where her daddy used to hang his.

Great and glorious Savior. We celebrate Your birth and the joy that is Christmas. Be with all of our families, wherever they are this holiday. Our lives change. Time passes. But, You are with us always, every step of the way. We praise Your Holy Name.

Friday, December 14, 2012

"You've got the cutest little baby face"

This has been a week of events.
On Tuesday, 12/12/12, a new grandbaby was born to our family. Her name is Penelope Violet, and she is tiny and beautiful. Her birth date is special, of course, but to add to the specialness, she was born at noon.
This time of year we are in the midst of celebrating the birth of another tiny child. We  know next to nothing about the grandparents of Jesus, but I feel in my heart that they were just as excited about his birth as I am about Penelope's arrival.
Scott and I have seven grandchildren and each one is "practically perfect in every way". Every grandparent, I know, feels the same way.

Precious Lord. Thank you for bringing us grandchildren. They are a special blessing. Watch over them and keep them all safe and out of harm's way. Guide them and lead them in the way that leads to life eternal.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

"The Very Best"

My friend gave a devotion yesterday that really seemed to pinpoint the true meaning of Christmas. Judging from the teary eyes, around the room, her words must have been meaningful to many of us in attendance.
Her story was personal. And briefly, without going into too much detail, it involved a large family without any gifts, right before Christmas. A local church gave a new gift, with the child's name on it, to every one of those children. And, fifty years later, each child could remember their specific gift.
The point of the devotion was "give your best".  Those kids, with only one gift that year, were thrilled because that church gave them a wonderful Christmas.
Let's remember this story when are asked to give. The store brand, out-dated pureed pumpkin, is worthless to a needy family. That half-used bottle of perfume, or a piece of broken jewelry won't make very nice gifts.  No matter how needy, poor folks don't want what you don't want!
As Hallmark says, "When you care enough to send the very best...."
Remember the gift that God gave to us at Christmas. He sent his very best.

Holy Christ Child: You have come to save us, it seems, from ourselves. Have a blessed birthday.

Friday, November 23, 2012

"Simply having a wonderful........"

On Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, I crept into my car at wee-thirty in the morning to start my drive into work. Creeping was my mode of transportation, because I was almost too tired to walk. On Tuesday, I had greeted 1800 folks at our annual Thanksgiving grocery give-away, at work. My face hurt from smiling. My feet hurt from walking. My back hurt from standing. Believe me, I was one tired puppy.
But, I bravely headed out of the neighborhood, aiming and hoping to merge into the inbound commuter traffic. Just as I hit the major thoroughfare, I realized that my morning radio station was not giving me the local or national news. It was not even giving me an oldie or even the latest sports scores. Coming from my car's dashboard was .......Christmas Music.
Did I oversleep and miss Thanksgiving, altogether? Had the stress of 1800 frozen turkeys, 1800 cans of cranberry sauce, 1800 cans of green beans, etc., etc., etc., caused me to erase from my mind, the preparation of our own Thanksgiving Feast? Was I so tired that I didn't even remember cooking?
NO. It was Wednesday. Thanksgiving 2012, had not yet occurred.
However, the first Christmas tune of 2012, was playing on my radio, and it was, as fate would have it, one of the most annoying songs of the season.
I changed the station.

Oh Lord. We are so blessed. We should take time to thank You for Your bountiful mercy and and Your steadfast love. Indeed, there is a time for every season and every purpose under heaven.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Pair of What?

One of my favorite activities is solving the daily New York Times Crossword Puzzle. In a perfect world, my daily routine would allow for enough time to solve the puzzle, correctly, every single day. But, because the puzzle gets increasingly more difficult, from Monday through Saturday, my attempts at the the late-week puzzles often go unfinished. That Saturday puzzle is generally an "all-day" brain teaser.
While solving the puzzles, I will sometimes have occassion to pull out my trusty Webster's, to look up a word (spelling or definition). I don't use the computer because that's just too easy...for a old pro like me.
Last week, I needed the definition for "Paraclete". According to Webster, a "Paraclete" is an advocate or intercessor. And in its Christian context, it describes the Holy Ghost.
So, I have added another word to my vocabulary. Right there in print, between "parachute" and "parade", was the Holy Spirit.
It shouldn't be a surprise, you know.

Holy God: You have so many names. You are our Great Advocate and our Ultimate Intercessor. Watch over your children and lead us along the path that You would intend for us to follow. Remind us to focus on listening and hearing Your Word.  Sometimes, we need a reminder that we don't know all of the answers.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

One man's trash ....

    Trash day is Tuesday, in our neighborhood. Bright and early, every week, we follow the same routine of placing our trash bag at the curb. Next to the trash bag, we carefully put our bin of recyclables. We are always very neat and deliberate about our trash. Then, we head off to work.
    So last week we did just that. However, when I came home after work, I was in for a surprise. There,  next to the curb, was our empty blue bin AND two bar stools. Some creep had dumped old furniture in our yard! How totally trashy was that?
    Believe me, I was hot. Parking the car, I stormed into the house. Poor Scott got the brunt of my anger. I must have carried on for 30 minutes about the worthlessness of our neighbors and the meaninglessness of doing "the right thing".
    His response was to tell me not to worry about it. How stupid was that? Because then I started to worry and fume, devising my plan to get rid of the two abandoned stools.
    An hour or so later, I went out to run an errand. The bar stools had mysteriously disappeared. Some one had spirited them away. How great was that?

Oh, my Lord. Life is a marvelous mystery. We think we have everything so planned and departmentalized. We know how it is all supposed to be. We make our plans. show us what life is really all about. You are in charge, Lord. You are the One with the plans. "Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord, to thee."


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Stop the Madness

  Times do change. I would not want to return to the 1950s, 1970s or even the 1990s, but there are a few things, long gone, that I would like to bring back. For one, how about sanity. The kind that comes from good old common sense.
   Take for example, obesity. The papers and the electronic media are full of stories about how fat our American Children are. Kids in my neighborhood are fat because EVERY child is transported to and from school, individually, by a parent in a car. I write individually, because every morning and afternoon, the two lane street in front of our neighborhood school is lined with parental school buses, for 3 blocks in either direction of the school's entrance. And, the key phrase is neighborhood school. The attendance area is about a square mile or two. All of the kids live within walking distance, for Pete's sake. Walking is a good thing.
   Oh, I know, we are told that it's just not safe anymore. Well, I say, let the little chubbies walk....or run, if they need to get away from a predator. Teach the little porkers how to defend themselves and scream like bloody murder if they are accosted.
    Who is going to abduct a screaming kid? Rrumor has it that I have even tried to push a few screaming kids OUT of my car!
    And, how about bringing back honest Trick or Treating. Today we drive the kids to a mall or better yet a church parking lot, where good meaning church folk give out candy from their trunks. Egad. What is that teaching the next generation?
    Where do you think the expression "dealing from your trunk" comes from? It's about drugs, folks. We knew about trunks way back in the 50s. But, now our kids associate trunks with candy. Wow. That is so wrong.
   Stop the madness.

Okay God, your children's actions sometimes border on the ridiculous. Teach us common sense. Teach us right from wrong. Show us how to improve our lives and the lives of those we know and those we don't know. Be our guide. Strengthen us to do your will.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Size Matters

I like driving small cars. For years I drove a Volkswagen Beetle. Ffor their size, those German (actually Mexican made) cars are heavy little things and they do hug the road. The Beetle was the perfect car for my many trips around Missouri, and beyond. This five foot 2 inch woman and her car were "one with the road."
More recently, I have had to use larger vehicles to accomplish my trips for work. Now, as I travel the Midwest, I rent mid-sized cars or small vans to transport me and my stuff to conferences and to do "hands-on mission" workshops.
Last Saturday, I loaded up every available inch of a huge Ford Expedition or maybe it was a Ford Exorbitant, with cartons of boxes and wrapping materials for a big event. All the items had to be unloaded at my destination and then reloaded again, for the trip back home. It was a very long day.....14 hrs., and I only fell off the running board once.
It's been quite a while since I've driven anything that big. Thankfully, this car was shiny and new. Everything on it worked. My last experience with something that big was an old pick-up truck. The seat adjustment was broken, so I drove it with my purse stuffed behind my back (to get my feet to closer to the pedals) and I had to hang on to the wheel, with both hands, to see over the steering column.
My trek with the big Ford was a good one. I had safe travels and a great event.

Thank you, God, for watching over us. You give us strength in time of need. Your tender mercies surround us, as we face the challenges our lives. We praise your name. Your goodness endures forever.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

"He's makin' a list, and checkin' it twice......."

Alex Karras, the actor, passed away last week. Although, I hadn't thought about him for quite a while, I was still sorry to hear of his passing. You might remember that he was a former Chicago Bears great, and later the star of a really cute TV series. Karras also played a leading role in one of my all-time favorite movies.
As movies go, "Blazing Saddles" is not what anyone would call a classic. But, it is classic Mel Brooks. It is totally irreverant, crude, full of vulgar nonsense, really bad puns and at the same time, totally hilarious. My type of cinema.
"Blazing Saddles" contains one of my all-time favorite movie lines. Given my 40 plus years, as a United Methodist, I have known the best and the worst of the breed. So, I was not the least little bit surprised with the choices of Hedley Lamarr, the evil saloon owner, as he makes a list of the folks he wants in his dastardly gang. Hedley says: "I want rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, shit-kickers and Methodists.
That is just so bad, for all kinds of reasons. But very funny. I suggest you rent the movie or watch it on the Internet.

Good God: I believe that you have a sense of humor. You created us and allowed us free will. You have to get a chuckle out of mess we make of our lives. Thank you giving us the sense to laugh, when things are funny. Please, don't let us take ourselves to seriously. Teach us to be kind and caring residents of your bountiful Earth. In all things, we praise your Name.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Write it down.

My one and only Much Older Sister sent me a Blessing Book for my birthday. It's basically a blank book meant for journaling about Inspiration and Praise. Being dead set against procrastination, I'm going to use it to write about my blessings, someday soon.
Honestly, I've met very few people who can verbalise or write coherently about their blessings. Why is that?
Most folks are thankful by nature, but maybe sharing our feelings feels like bragging to many of us. You know...we're hesitant to say that we are thankful for our nice homes, fast cars, new shoes (although they're really cute), and all the stuff we've got. We're just not very good at it.
Have you ever been to a Thanksgiving Sunday Service, and during the prayer, the preacher asks to you shout out what you are thankful for?
Dead Silence. Then a few folks brave folks, after thinking really hard, shout out a few items. You usually hear "thank yous" for good health, good weather, the recent rain or the beautiful snowfall, safe travels, etc.
What am I thankful for? OMGolly, I'm breathing. I have hands with which to write this post, and a mind clear enough (most of the time) to organize my thoughts. I can work. I can rest. My family loves me. I have friends that are interested in what I do. I live in a county where I can worship and think as I choose. I have enough to eat. I have a home...and it's warm on these frosty Fall evenings.
I'm getting ready to write in my Blessings Book. I am blessed beyond all comprehension. And, for this I am thankful to God Almighty.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Thanks a bunch, Lord.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

And the Winner is..........

As I have written before, my best contemplative time occurs on my morning commute. About half of my 20 minute ride consists of an absolutely straight, 6 lane, divided urban street. During rush hours, the road is packed with cars.
At every cross street, there is a stop light. This could present a problem, but if my timing is right I can cruise from one end of the 3-mile strip to the other without stopping. If I keep my speed between 35 and 38 miles per hour (35 is the speed limit), my commute is smooth sailing, and hesitation free.
However, every morning there are folks whizzing past me, as I cruise along in the center lane. Yesterday, I counted 7 lane changes, by the driver of a black SUV, as he swerved and zipped around me and others, before vanishing from sight.
North Burlington Avenue is not the Grand Prix.  What causes us to race through life? What is worth the rush? Is there a prize for getting to the end of the Heart of America Bridge (or for that matter, to the end of life), first? I really don't think so.
The stop lights along North Burlington Avenue are timed to work to the commutors advantage. The speeders and lane switchers will meet a red light, somewhere along their journey. It's inevitable.

Almighty God, Creator of the Universe, help us to remember to enjoy our journey. We pray for trouble-free travel, but we make our way with the assurance that you are always in the passenger seat, never leaving us alone. Forgive our Sins.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My Way or the Highway

Learning to read, write and speak English, as an adult, is very difficult. English is a complex language with many synonyms, antonyms, strange non-phonetic pronunciations and idioms. Add correct grammar to the mix and the language that most of us started speaking at 10 months of age, becomes a tremendous challenge to non-English speaking adults.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle, in the road to English Languages Learning, is how English speakers TEACH. Schools in America encourage creativity. Teachers are fond of saying, to their students, "Restate the question in your own words, as you answer it."  Questions in textbooks ask for "opinions" and "conjecture".  Students are asked to "compare and contrast" when they explain material. More often than not, there is "no wrong answer."
In many other countries, there is never more than one answer to a question. Everything is taught and learned by Rote. The teacher teaches the lesson.....and gives the correct answers. Students are expected to memorize and repeat, word for word, what the teacher imparts. This type of education leaves no room for creative interpretation.
Both methods of instruction are valid. Neither way to teach is wrong. The two systems are just very, very different. Moving from one system to the other is extremely difficult...if not impossible.

Good and Gracious God:  Life is hard. Change is very hard to accept and to learn. Give us patience to learn and to accept the gifts and graces of others. Show us how to embrace our differences. Lord, we love you and we need you. Come into our hearts and bless ALL of us.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Give it Away......

Today, I held an impromtu potlatch outside my office. Well, it wasn't exactly a potlatch, which according to my dictionary, is a giving of gifts with the expectation that you will get gifts in return. I didn't want anything in return. I just wanted to give some stuff away.
The modified potlatch was a resounding success. Two boxes of gently used ceramic coffee mugs were eagerly grabbed up. You see, refugees love coffee cups. They are a social bunch and really appreciate having extra coffee cups to use when their friends come to visit.
The cartons of ancient " National Geographics" were another story. Very few folks wanted any of them. Listen up, hoarders, no one wants your old "National Geographics". Libraries don't want them. Schools don't want them. Today's students can instantly download color pictures right from the internet. So, don't bother keeping and storing your old used magazines.
You will say....but, the pictures are so beautiful. (My inlaws treasured their old "National Geopgraphics" and their sons were forbidden to cut any pictures from them). I suppose they felt it destrpyed the value of the issue. Folks, they don't have any value. Thousands of people take or took "National Geographic". The current issues are always a feast for the eyes, but 25 year old copies are worthless. No one, in today's era of instant news, wants to look at old dated photgraphy.
Throw those old magazines away or better yet...recycle them.
" I need litttle, and of the little I need, I have little need." St. Francis of Assisi

Holy Lord: You have blessed us, greatly.  All that we own is on loan from You. Teach us to value what is Your eyes.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

........a thousand words.

Although I don't like photos of "old stuff", I do find old photographs of people and events from my past, very interesting. Recently, my cousin sent me a box containing between 40 and 50 family pictures. Some of them were fairly recent. I enjoyed looking at the pictures of my children and their cousins as they grew, right before my eyes, in vivid color, from infancy to adulthood.
Some of the photos, however, were really old. One that caught my eye was a brittle little black and white picture of the Toler family taken on the front porch of a stately white two story farmhouse. Names of those people were written (PLEASE do that, folks) on the back of the photo.
Very formally, they were captured, in that moment, forever. The mother, the two daughters (one was my grandmother, Minnie), the father and the dog. One son, Oscar, was holding a large photograph of another brother. I don't know if that boy was deceased or just not home at the time the photograph was taken. But, whatever the cause of his absence, he was, never-the-less, included in the photo. Isn't that wonderful?

Gracious and all-knowing God. Thank you for families. Help us to understand and appreciate our families. No family is perfect. You did not make us that way. Help us to be the very best that we can be.

Monday, August 27, 2012

"Little Things Mean A Lot"

I'm thankful for the few rain showers that fell on Kansas City, this past weekend. Rain may seem like a very small thing, but moisture in any shape or form has been nonexistent here, for much of the summer. I can't even remember when we last had any measurable rain.
Our lawn, and the lawns of our neighbors, are a toasty golden color. The burned out blades crunch when you walk across them. The only green, on our once lush lawn, is from a few rogue weeds. Down the street, there is one patch of green grass which is the result of a frequently used kiddie sprinkler.
Folks with in-ground sprinkler systems quit watering weeks ago. It was a lost cause and a huge monetary expense many were unwilling to make. Home gardens are toast. Local deer have eaten shrubs and even stripped the ivy from our fireplace. There's nothing growing out there. They have nothing to eat.
We are in the middle of a huge drought. I can't remember it ever being this bad. Trees and bushes are drooping or dying. Flora that we had hoped was dormant, is really gone for good.
We need more rain.

Dear God: We are a needy world. When we think we can control everything, it's really difficult to accept that we don't have control of the weather. We are an insignificant part of your universe. How foolish of us to think that we can control our climate.
Help us to focus on what we can change. Show us ways to change our behavior so that we may become the best Christians we can be. We have a great example in our Lord, Jesus.
Mold us; make us; use us.

Monday, August 20, 2012


Every day I receive several emails containing photos of old, supposedly forgotten, objects? My friends (the term is questionable in this context) send me these photos and then they write.....LIKE, if you know what this is.
Well, I'm a senior citizen. Of course I know what all of those objects are. So, my friends, quit asking me.
Don't ask me to recall what it was like to spend an hour, in brush rollers, under a hair-dryer bonnet. Don't ask me to remember what my mother's mood was like, after she had spent an hour or so grinding up and cleaning that nasty, hand-crank meat grinder. Oh, and I never could yank hard enough on the handle of those metal ice-cube trays to release the ice properly.  Friends, it's no fun remembering how a "two holer" smelled in Kansas, in mid-July!
I'm all about focusing on the present folks. We older folks spend way too much time remembering the good old days. Beacuse, when you really think about it.......they weren't so good...they were just old..
The present is about TODAY. We have already done yesterday. We may not have tomorrow.

Good Lord. Life is our journey. We need to learn to move Faithfully along the path. Help us to do that and guide us as we travel. Remind us that we don't even have to bring along our baggage. YOU have told us to put the burden on YOU..."for my yoke is easy and my burden light."
Thank you God, for your daily blessings.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Double Dipping

On Fridays, I sometimes travel downtown to meet my friend for lunch. My friend works in one of those 30 story, multipurpose office/bank buildings. The lobby is large and the entrance has both revolving doors and standard opening-type doors.
I arrived a bit early last week, so I sat on a bench and watched the passing pedestrian traffic. Lunch time in a big city is a very busy time.
Now, everyone has heard how dangerous it is to text and drive, but  from what I witnessed, no one thinks it's almost as dangerous to text and walk. Most of the folks who walked through that lobby weren't just walking, they were also texting, checking email on their phones or, at the least, doing something that distracted them from the main thing that they were doing.......walking.
In the few minutes that I waited, I saw numerous "near misses" as texting walkers passed each other on the way in and out of the building. And, two thumb-taskers actually collided, right in front of where I was seated. I also watched the revolving door "catch" a young man who couldn't focus on three things at once.
Thank goodness the lobby didn't have a reflecting pool or fountain , or a few folks would have spent the rest of the afternoon a bit damp. 

Oh Lord: Why are we in such a hurry? Our lives are too short to be rushing through them. Life is not a race. We don't get a bonus for coming to the end, FIRST! Show us how to enjoy life. Our lives are full of great and simple pleasures. You are so gracious to us, allowing us to expeience so many wonderful things.
Thank you, God, for putting us in this marvelous world.

Monday, August 6, 2012


In my county, as in many areas, we are gearing up for an election. As usual, we are starting to see lots of campaign signs on prominent corners. I think it is my civic duty to vote, so I read the signs.
But, today instead of feeling my civic pride, I burst out laughing when I read one of those signs.
Here's why.
We have a career politician, in our county, who has run for many different offices over the last 20 years. Sometimes he wins, sometimes he doesn't. At least once, over that same period,  he has been removed from office, for some sort of shady activity. He is a career politician, by anyone's description, and the exact oppposite of what our founding fathers wanted to see in our governmental leaders.
His current sign reads...
          candidate's name  VOTE   candidate's county
The sign doesn't mention what office he's seeking, in this election. In order to reuse his signs, he has pasted the word VOTE over the title of the office from his last campaign. I guess he thinks his name is enough to get him anything.
What a hoot! Very amusing!

Good and gracious God: We are thankful for many of our elected leaders who are fine and upstanding folks. Guide them as they attempt to do their best for our families, our country and for our world. Make us ever mindful of our frailties and remind us to give thanks for all that you have given us. None of us are as powerful as we think.
Your wisdom is over powering.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

...gone tomorrow...

While coming home from a trip last week, we drove through what used to be a thriving little burg on the border between Oklahoma and Kansas. According to the census figures, in 1920, nearly 10,000 people lived in Picher, Oklahoma. In 2000, there were 621 housholds and 1,640 residents.  In 2010, there were just 20 folks living there. Now, there isn't a soul in sight.
Picher was once the center of a large scale zinc and lead mining industry. Ore was mined and huge piles of "chat" or tailings were piled near the mines. Chat, by the way, paved many of the streets and driveways, in the ajacent four-state area.
Today, Picher is the site of one of the most toxic areas in the world. Our government bought out all of the businesses and homeowners. There is virtually nothing left, in the 2.2 square mile area, but chain-link fences, piles of rock, and driveways to nowhere.

Creator of the Universe: We are a greedy bunch of folks. In our haste to get what we want, we have hurt ourselves, others and the precious earth that you have graciously given us.
Lord, make us better stewards of your planet. Help us to be thankful for what we have and give us the widsom to plan for future generations.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Imelda Marcos and Me

I went on the Internet a couple of months ago, looking for a nice pair of comfortable sandals. My goal was to see what I could find that was fashionable and check a few prices, etc. I was, sort of, window shopping. Shopping, in person, takes time, and using the Internet seemed smart.
Not! I made a big mistake. My inbox is now consistently filled with SHOE ADS. Sometimes, I get on line and I'll find 10-12 ads for shoes in my email inbox. I bought the new sandals, weeks ago, here in the city!
"Scooter" and Viagra ads, used to annoy me, but I never, ever had dozens of those at one time.
What do you do when things like this happen? Grin and bear it, I guess. And, learn a lesson. Don't window shop on the Internet.

Dear Lord: Why are we always looking for the easy short cut? How long will it take us to learn that the best way is often the longest and the hardest?
Guide us on the right path, all-knowing Father. Grant us patience to get it right the first time. We thank you for your steadfast love.

Friday, July 6, 2012

A rose is a rose is a rose........Maybe???

Many of us go to a church named for a Venerated Saint or an important person. Everyone has heard of St. Paul's and St. Peter's, for example. But, of course there at a lot of St. Mark's and St. Andrew's, too.
Some of  us attend a church named for it's location. There is the Grandview United Methodist Church....located in Grandview, MO, and Terrace Lake, located in the Terrace Lake Subdivision.
Other churches are numbered. In Kansas City, there is a Second Presbyterian Church. Obviously, it was the second Presbyterian Church in town. I think I've seen a Fourth Baptist Church, somewhere, and we all know of many "First" churches.

All of that noted, please read the following two lists: #1. Elevation, The Connection, The Gathering, Renaissance, Resurrection, Revolution. #2. Revolution, Propulsion, The Wall, Genesis, Force, The Power.
The words on one of those lists are actual sports teams (I got them on the Internet.). The other list (off the Internet, again) contains names of new "Start-up" Churches. 

What's my point? I'm not sure. Are names that important to church attendance? Will  folks be more likely to join "Wellspring" or "The First Baptist Church"? Do I want to belong to a sports team or testify to my Faith?

Lord: You must get such a kick out of your family. We sure are a funny bunch. You know (and we should, too) that it's the folks inside our churches that draw new believers to You.  Help us to be enthusiastic and lively Christians. Your Word is a three-pointer! Our Faith needs to be a touch-down! Your Grace and Mercy should be our Goal! Your steadfast love is a home run.

Saturday, June 30, 2012


You've heard of bats in the belfry, but have you ever heard of bats in the bedroom? According to my friend, most of the homes in her quaint and charming, center-city neighborhood, are infested with bats. These bats live in the attics, and they normally don't bother anyone. However, when the temperature soars to 100 and above, the bats, in my friend's house, slither down into her bedroom, via "the bat (attic) door", and hang around.....yeah, hang around in her bedroom.
She has learned to deal with the issue, by sealing "the bat door" with masking tape, preventing the bats from entering the bedroom. She says the bat invasion is quite common, so she and her neighbors have just learned to cope with the annoyance.
Believe me, it would only happen to me once. Not much scares me these days, but OMGolly, bats, spiders and snakes are my monsters. Bats in my bedroom. I would be scared spitless. Call the exterminator or the moving van.

Gracious Lord; We all have our fears. Help us to put them aside and seek your protection.Your wisdom, guidance and providing spirit is with us at all times.
No mattter how dark and scary our lives seem to be, You are our Shepherd and Savior.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

On the Road Again........

I've been traveling for both work and pleasure. Being absent from my usual haunts and practices, for more than a week, has brought about the following thoughts and concerns.
Time passes and life does continue to go on as usual, when we are not around. I think that could be why it's so hard for us to readjust to our usual at home and work routine. We have to play catch up, when we come back home. We have to, and this may be a strange analogy, insert a couple of missed time clogs into our life wheel.
You'll remember that when a kindergartener arrives home, there is always a, "I'm back....time for life to start again" mentality. A little one never imagines that anything happened while he/she was gone!
But as we age, we know that is not true. And, it's hard for us to get back into the swing of things.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Scooter Store Ads continued to arrive, the trash didn't get put out, the milk spoiled and the grass grew.
Getting away is a blessing, but the reality is, home is our anchor.

Gracious God. Creator of the Universe. No matter what we do or where we go, your grace and mercy surround us. Allow us to realize that You aren't going anywhere. You are with us through the ages.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Go Ahead and Toot Your Own Horn

My two-year old granddaughter has a new skill. She's very proud of what she has just learned to do and loudly proclaims to everyone she meets..."I did it!" The joy she emits, because of her accomplishment, is delightful and totally un-selfconscious.
My adult daughter called last night.She just happened to mention, very matter of factly, that she was attending a meeting at the White House, next week. The White House! I wanted her to shout...."I did it!"
Seriously. Why can't we adults rejoice like children? It's okay to be proud of what we do. A wise man once told me "Children are often very mature. As we age we often grow out of that maturity".  An even wiser man said, "...unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven".
Somewhere along our life journey, we learn that being proud of what we do, is bragging. And, bragging is not good. But, being proud of what we accomplish, is just fine. Go on and don't be afraid to tell everyone, "I did it!" Those who truly love you, will rejoice in your happiness.

Dear Lord: You've told us that being child-like is a good thing. Teach us to be truthful, kind, honest and joyful.  Help us to concentrate on the blessings that you have given us and allow us to rejoice in the beauty of this world. Thank you for hanging around with your children.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fruit Loops

Ahoy, Mateys! This may come as a surprise to some of you, but I believe that Kansas (old, flat, dull and colorless Kansas), is the most beautiful state in the Union....anytime of the year.
   In winter, the rolling Flint Hills (mid-central part of the state) glisten with pristine snowfalls and even the dried out August hills are glorious in their starkness. When springtime touches Kansas, those same hills are ablaze with riotous splotches of wild flowers.
   Kansas really isn't flat, you know.
   But, nothing compares with my native Kansas at harvest time. From Emporia, to the border of Colorado, Kansas shows off her amazing bounty in "amber waves of grain." Her seemingly endless wheat fields do indeed resemble a sea of gold. And, as the ever-present Kansas wind blows across those millions of blades of grain, it is not hard to imagine ocean waves, rolling and sparkling with glistening shades of yellow.
   This week, as I traveled the wide loop from Kansas City to Hutchinson and back, it was easy to reflect on God's fruitful nature. Because of an extremely early Spring, with perfect weather condtions, there promises to be a bountiful harvest. After all, Kansas is the Wheat State. She is the Bread Basket of the Nation. And, to quote a long-gone Kansas educator........."Kansas is the Navel of the Nation."

Blessed Lord: Thank you for allowing us to witness your bounty. Remind us to be thankful, not only during the "harvests" of our lives, but also during the less than bountiful times.You give us Your best.
Your steadfast love and mercy endures forever.

Monday, May 14, 2012

"It's a small world, after all."

We often get adult students, at work, who are not literate in their native languages. Believe it or not, many adults in this world, have not had the opportunity to attend school and cannot read or write. Many folks in Asia, Africa, and in South America come as refugees and immigrants to America, totally illiterate. In my present job, I have encountered numerous people, more women than men, who are unable to write or read anything in the language they have spoken for all of their 40,60 or even 70 years. It is not unusual to give a woman a simple pencil and paper and watch her make marks on wonderment...for more than an hour at a time.
Last Thursday, one of our new students, who has been stuggling to write her name and who is clueless as far as any English(spoken or written)had a real "light-bulb" moment. Actually, I think it was more than that. I think it was a "God moment." Our student met a volunteer who was actually speaking to her, in a language that they both could understand.
I can't imagine how she must have felt. What a struggle it has been for her to try to understand our teachers and to make herself understood.

Dear God: Thank you for coming to class last week. Thank you for sending us that volunteer. You were with us in the face of our volunteer and we saw You in the face of our student. We saw You work a miracle.
Keep us open to Your miracles and open to doing Your work. Your steadfast love endures forever.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Watch it!

My morning commute takes me, not out on the freeway, but straight into the heart of the city on a major North/South street. This path gives me relatively speedy access to my destination in the inner city, but I do have to stop frequently.
My solitary commute, with its numerous stops, allows me to observe fellow travelers in their vehicles, and I am convinced that when we drive alone, we assume that we are invisable to everyone else on the road.
This morning I witnessed the following: three drivers eating; two women applying make-up; three folks on the phone; one guy getting dressed (or maybe undressed); and two people nose mining. Each driver was oblivious to anyone else on the road. OMGolly, why is that? Don't we realize that a car is essentially a glass box and not our own private world? TMI, people!
Don't do anything in your car that your mama would scold you about!!!!!!

All knowing and all seeing God, we know that we are never truly alone. You are always there with us...watching, guiding and loving. May we never forget that you are our constant co-pilot on our life commute.
Remind us to always think of others and to follow the path that you have shown us, through your example and Word.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Papa's Pizza

Everyone I know loves pizza. It must be America's favorite food of choice.
And, speaking of choice, way back in the middle of the last century, we only had one choice, when it came to pizza.We got to choose the toppings for our pies. Now, we may also choose our specific sauce (Alfredo, Marinara,4 cheese, Buffalo, barbeque,etc.), our type of crust (whole wheat, gluten-free, thick, thin, crispy, Chicago Style or stuffed and finally we can choose the shape (square, round, strips or individual). So many choices!
And, then we need to decide where that pizza will come from. Eat out, go pick it up or have it delivered. Some folks make their own pizza, but for most of's not home made.
Which leads me to my question of the week. Why are there two pizza restaurants with the first name of Papa? Why Papa instead of Mama? Or, you'd think, like other businesses, at least one of them of them would have chosen AAPizza, Abbe's or even A-one Pizza, ....something first on the alphabetical list of Pizza Joints. Nope. It's Papa John's and Papa Murphy's. Not even Italian papa's names. And, how many Italian papa's make their family's pizza?
It's a very strange world we inhabit. Wonders will never cease.

Good God. Our antics must keep you continually amused. Humans do the craziest things.
We, on the other hand, stand in awe of Your Power, Glory and Wisdom. We thank you for our many blessings and we praise Your Holy Name.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What a Yoke!

There is just too much on my plate. I don't have a minute to myself, anymore. What happened to all of my free time? There's too much to do and too little time in which to do it. My burden is too great. Just like a road weary traveler, I have too much baggage. I'm over my emotional weight limit and I can't carry an ounce more in my many suitcases.

Haven't we all felt like that at one time or another? Believe me, it's easy to find yourself in the airport terminal of life,constantly discovering that your gate number has been changed for the umpteenth time.

Well, it's time we learned to travel light, folks. Jesus wants to help. We just need to do what he had told us.
"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I willl give you rest."
Let those big rolling bags full of worries and problems go. Grab a little light carry on and get moving!

Precious Lord: Life is the ultimate trip. We're on a journey, beginning with the day that we're born. We know that you are our traveling companion every day. Show us the right route, and please, keep a light on for us each night.
We are thankful for our blessings and we ask you to lift our burdens.

Monday, April 16, 2012

"Who are you,... who,who,who,who????????"

Yesterday, the preacher talked about the folks who encountered Jesus, on the walk from Jerusalem to Emmaus. It's just really too bad that this story is usually discussed on the first Sunday after Easter. The Emmaus Walk is such a terrific story and unfortunately attendance on the first Sunday after Easter is always REALLY down. Some pastors like to take the Sunday after Easter off, and some even like to "give" their women that Sunday for Women's Day. Thanks guys, but no thanks. We're on to you!!!
Anyway, talk about your original Faith Journey! Wow! Speaking with Jesus... Not recognizing Him.... Showing a stranger hospitality.... The wonder of recognition... And, sharing the Faith with others. There must be ten or twelve sermons in those 22 verses of Luke.
It's a wonderful story. Were you there to hear it????

Good and gracious God. Your life fills us with wonder. Your grace is there for us to recognize and receive. Come into our hearts and fill us with your love. Give us strength to share your word in our every day lives.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"These boots were made for........"

Yesterday, I tried to drive home from my work just a little bit earlier than usual. Bad move. The traffic around the grade school, 2 blocks from my home, was so thick that I could hardly make it down the street. The cars were parked, behind the buses, ready for dismissal time, and the daily pick-up of students.
In today's society, our kids do not walk to and from school. Everyone of the little darlings need to be carted, to and from the neighborhood school, by their moms, dads, or grandparents. Why?????
Yesterday, it was sunny and 78 degrees at 3:45 p.m. It was a perfect day to let kids walk home. What's the deal???? Those kids need the exercise.
In another time, my kids walked to and from that same school, rain or shine. I figured the rain would clean them off! And, I never worried about someone abducting them. Who would want the little buggers?
I know, that we need to be more cautious these days. But, I think we should work on teaching our kids how to watch out for strangers and how to cope with abduction issues, instead of over-protecting them.

Good God: We know that it is not a perfect world, because we have made some pretty awful choices. There are dangers out there. Not everyone knows of your steadfast love. We must be aware and cautious. But, help us to temper our vigilance with FAITH. Your "goodness and mercy shall last all of the days of our lives". We glorify your name.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Over There, Over There...."

I have just recently acquired a hard bound copy of photographs of soldiers and sailors from the Great War(It wasn't really called WWI, until we had another one). The book only contains information about the men and women who served from one particular county in Kansas. It's probably one of a set of thousands of books covering every county in the United States.
Among the hundreds of photos are pictures of four of my great-uncles.I only knew them as old men. But, there they are, in black and white, all in their 20's, each at the beginning of their long lives.
There's a lot of information in the book, both written and implied. Some entire pages are filled with men having the same last name. Their parents are listed, so many groups of brothers were inducted and fought side-by-side. Dozens of the men died at camps, while still in the United States, of influenza and pneumonia. The groups of photos are divided according to rank and branch of the service. They are also separated by race.
We can learn so much from history.

Precious Lord: We are but tiny specs in your gigantic universe, but we know that each one of us is important to you. We are so thankful for the wisdom and strength of all of those who came before us. Give us courage to stand up for what we believe. Give us wisdom to learn from our mistakes and the knowledge to gracefully pass on what we have learned to those who will come after us.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Go Where You Wanna Go"

I have always loved my children. And, about 90% of the time, I have actually liked them. As in all families, however, there have been occasional times of strife and discord, when the strong minds and wills of parents and children have collided. Thankfully, those times in this growing family which started out as two teenagers and now numbers 14 (with two more on the way), have been few and far between.
Today, is our daughter's birthday anniversary. At age 5, she wrote me a note to complain about my choice of clothes for her on a particular day at kindergarten. In her teen years, we disagreed on prom dresses, hairdos, designer jeans and a host of other trivial matters.
But, in spite of my poor choices, she has become a beautiful, intelligent woman with an equally beautiful, intelligent family. She has become a great mom, loving wife and brilliant in her chosen career.

Happy birthday, Amy. I love you.

Good Lord. Your steadfast love of your children is abundant and never ending. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to love our children in the same way that you love us. What a beautiful
Help us to lead, guide and learn from our children, forever. Watch over all of us.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March Madness...old style

It's NCAA Tournament time for college basketball teams and their fans. I enjoy watching both the best of the men's AND women's teams compete. Almost every American has played on a basketball team, at some time in their lives, or at least bounced a basketball on a drive-way. And, since the advent of gender equality in the sports world, we see both great male and female players.
Years ago, however, it was a different story. My high school did not have competitive women's sports teams. Most girls back then, were just fans. We did, however, play basketball in our gym classes. Dressed in our one-piece, white gym suits, we played a type of basketball that no modern student of the game would recognise.
We played half-court basketball. Honestly, players could not cross the center-line on the court. I suppose there might have been a fear that we would injure our delicate ovaries or some other part of our young bodies, if we ran all over the court! According to the rules, you were designated as an offensive player (shooter), or a defensive player (guard), and you stayed on your end of the court.
Oh, and free throws were made by holding the ball with both hands, squatting down and lofting the ball, underhanded, upward toward the goal.
Is that funny or what?

Good God. We are a strange species. We try to take things, then mold and change them, thinking we always know best. But, we don't. You, our creator and mentor, allow us to think we are in charge. But, You are always the referee and official timer.
Continue to hold us in your all-powerful arms and push us in the right direction. Help us to hear your whistle when we foul.
We are so very grateful for your power.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fight AND Flight

My limited knowledge of self-defense had me believing, until this past weekend, that it was one or the other. When accosted or faced with a threatening situation, involving one's life and limb, the choice was either "to put up my dukes" or "turn and run".
Given the choice, I would always prefer to run. However, my age and girth is increasing at the same rate as my decreasing leg-speed. Running is becoming less of an option.
So, I jumped at (pun intended) the chance to take a class in self-defense. The brief instruction, called "Fight Like a Girl", focused on: 1)being aware and safety conscious: 2) recognizing an attacker's weaknesses; 3) striking back forcefully, and finally; 4) making a quick get-a-way.
So now, I may not be the "Jackie Chan" of the Senior Set, but I have gained some small sense of confidence that I can survive, at the very least, an attempted purse-snatching or car-jacking.
If you have to, put up a fight.............then, get out of there!

My Lord. Violence is frightening. Our prayer is never to be in a situation that threatens us or our loved ones. But, we know that there are circumstances causing some folks to turn to crime.
Be with us Lord. Remind us that fear is sometimes a necessary emotion, but that your strength will see us through. "I ask that your almighty arm establish me, put steel into me, and settle me so you will always be the solid ground and pillar of my love."(John Wesley, 1738)

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I have secretly harbored a fantasy for more than 50 years. It started when I first saw the Fab Four shake their mop-heads on the Ed Sullivan Show. Yeah, I was one of those teenagers, screaming and jumping in front of my family's RCA Television Set.
But, since 1963, Paul McCartney and I have never been single at the same time. Unfortunately, I haven't, in all those years, been able to "hook up" with Sir Paul.
In the meantime, however, I've enjoyed listening to his music and fantasizing about our future together.
His latest wife is named Nancy, so I think he might have been thinking of me, too.
All of this information is background for my take on his latest CD. Entitled, "Kisses at the Bottom", it is a collection of mostly old love songs from by-gone eras. It's good and it's my new favorite listen, but "the cute Beatle" definitely sounds like a 70 year old man.
OMGolly. Where has the time gone? Maybe, both Paul and I are getting a little too old for fantasy? Or, maybe not?
BTW, Happy Birthday to the real long-time love of my life.

Dear God: I am thankful for my many blessings. Life has it's ups and downs, but the blessing of life is truly in the journey. Your goodness endures forever. Your steadfast love endures forever. Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with joy of living.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

...."where everybody knows your name."

Years ago, a local grocery chain employed a spokeswoman, to hype their stores. Their commercial would come on the radio or TV, and Janie (that was her name) would say, "Hi Neighbor. This is Janie for Milgram's." Everybody in town felt like they knew Janie.
Remember the hit TV show of the 90's, "Cheers."? We watched "Cheers", because we all wanted to go to a place where "everybody knows your name."
Read this, Folks! I am tired of worshiping in churches where NO BODY KNOWS MY NAME OR EVEN CARES TO KNOW IT!!!!!!
It's not that church folk are unfriendly. They're just not friendly. They aren't welcoming.
Most churches have designated Greeters these days. Personally, I think everyone in a congregation should take the initiative to be friendly, but I do understand why churches want to have specific folk be Greeters.
But, Church Greeters never introduce themselves. (I really want to know the name of the person shaking my hand.) Church Greeters can smile and shake hands, but they rarely do it with any passion. (I want to be "pulled" into a church.) Church Greeters do nothing for a visitor, after you are in the door. (I want to be talked with, sat with, shown where the potties are and led to where the drinking fountains flow.)
It's no wonder churches are losing members. Small churches, mega churches, churches with giant screens, churches with digital signs, and churches with Hip-Hop music.........Wake up! Unless you really WELCOME me with the Spirit (get the many meanings here??) of the Lord, I'm not coming back.

O Lord. I want to be your servant. You have never made me feel like a stranger. Show me how to deal with my fellow Christians and help me to work on my patience. Open my ears and my eyes, so that I may be reminded of my imperfections. Guide my feet, Lord. Keep me on Your path.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Skipping a Beat

One of my followers wondered why I had omitted the prayer from my last posting. My answer is this, and I am being very truthful........ I wasn't feeling very Christ connected last week. It doesn't happen to me very often, but sometimes it does.
I won't bore you all with details, but let's say that, on occasion, church folk can be really insensitive and crass. It's as if they have never heard or put into practice the teachings of Jesus Christ. I encountered a couple of those "broken records" last week, and I let them get me off-track.
But, not for long. My needle is back in the groove, so to speak.
We are all guilty of not thinking before we speak. I have always said that my mouth and my propensity toward not policing my words will probably send me straight to Hell. My experience last week will serve to remind me that words and actions can hurt. So, I am telling myself...Straighten up, lady.

Gracious and all knowing Lord. Help me to keep my mouth shut and my mind open. Help me to realize that your children have all kinds of God given gifts and graces, and I am not the one to judge or be judged.
Your wonders will never cease. Your goodness will never end. Your mercy endures forever.

Monday, February 13, 2012

"All You Need Is Love"

Loretta Lynn once said that "all country music is either about lovin', cheatin' or God." Well, I listen to Country Music, and she's pretty much right on. Although, I'd probably add pick-up trucks, to the mix!
I'm also a fan of the music of Mozart, and actually, you could say the same thing about classical's all about loving, cheating and God. Those, after all, are the themes of "Don Giovanni" and the beautiful "Ave verum corpus."
And, pop music has always had a prevailing loving/cheating theme. Most of the Beatles' Songs had lyrics about love, including "Lovely Rita, Meter Maid."
I'm not familiar with rap and hip-hop, but I'm going to guess the same ideas run through that music.
So, on the eve of St. Valentine's Day, turn on some music. Whether you listening to "Reunited" by Peaches and Herb, or "Valse des Fleurs" from the Nutcracker, think beautiful thoughts and dwell on the good things that you love in your life. Paul and John said it best...........

Monday, February 6, 2012

Rub a dub, dub.

We were expecting guests during the holiday season, so I felt that it was time for me to replace the well-worn and faded bath towels in the hall bathroom. Finding just the right color towels to go with the decor of the room was my goal. Luckily, I found some very pretty ones. They were very soft. And, on top of that, they were really cheap.
After washing and drying the new towels, I used them for the first time. They weren't very fluffy and they didn't dry me off very well. Towels are supposed to dry you off after a shower, I think. These didn't.
So, I washed and dried them again. This time, I didn't use any fabric softener, thinking that might be the problem. They still didn't work very well. I had purchased some really bad towels, and unfortunately, I was stuck with them.
My guests didn't complain about the towels, but I did notice that they all looked a little damp every morning!

Lord, your children make mistakes. Sometimes our choices are wrong. We often choose the easy way or the cheap way. We look for the quick fix and not the long term answer. Help us to make good decisions and help us to remember that you stand with us in all that we do.

Friday, February 3, 2012

You Speaka Spanish?

Every day, I try to improve my knowledge of Spanish......just a word or two. Today, I spent the morning hours attempting to enroll new students at our school. Most of the prospective students were native Spanish speakers. I was able to use words like enscripcion, telophono, direcion, and primero. (enroll, telephone, address, and first)
Believe me, as the morning went on, I was getting pretty proud of myself. Soon, I thought, I'll be fluent in Spanish. No more, habla Espagnol poquito, senora!
Then, it dawned on me that my Spanish knowledge consisted of about 40 nouns, half of which I couldn't spell correctly. My fluency is about that of a two-year old. In order to label myself fluent, I'm going to have to put together, at the very least, a sentence or two. And learn how to spell, on top of that. Fluency requires pronouns, verbs, correct tenses of verbs, adverbs, and adjectives, etc.
Oh, my I have a long way to go.

Oh, Lord. Save us from the sense of false pride that often tends to be our downfall. Keep us aware that by putting our trust in you and your goodness, we will always be served in our times of need.
Open our eyes so that we can see the wonder of your infinite knowledge and make us aware of the inadequacy of our tiny minds. We ask for your guidance.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Gone in a few seconds.......

I have a one-block friend. She boards the Metro at 10th and Grand, and I disembark the Metro, one block later, at 11th and Grand. Nearly every week-day, we share just one block of travel time.
I've already been riding for 10 minutes, when she boards the #30 bus. Then, I think, she continues her commute along the southerly path of the #30. After that one block along Grand Avenue, I get off the #30, and walk a block West to make a connection with the northbound #142, at 11th and Walnut.
Every afternoon, I look forward to seeing her and I know the bus driver does, too. My friend makes it a point to greet the driver every day with a smile and what seems to be a heartfelt inquiry about the state of his day. That extra bit of personal interaction shows me that my one-block friend is really special.
I'll bet she just makes our driver's day. I know she makes mine.
Then, she sits down and greets me. It's obvious that she is tired. I don't know what she does at her job, but it must be hard work. I always return her greeting and generally we exchange short comments about the weather or how our work days went.
There isn't much time, in one block, to say much.
I don't know her name, but I know that I miss her when she doesn't board at her usual stop.
Maybe, one day soon, I'll just travel along with her in the wrong direction of my commute, just to get to know her a little better. Friendly people are a very special blessing, these days.

Gracious Lord: I want to be a better person. Sometimes it isn't easy to look outside our own worries and problems in order to be a friend and confidant of others. Teach me to be a better friend to all with whom I come in contact. Take away my whining nature and allow me to concentrate on the all times.
Come into my life and show me how to see YOU in everyone I meet.
I am so blessed.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"I once was lost......"

I lost my cell phone. Usually I keep my phone in a red (my signature color) pocket thing around my neck. It's where I also keep my bus pass and a couple of business cards. Being a tad deaf, it's the perfect place (near my heart and good ear) to hear the thing when it rings or shakes or whatever it does.
Well, in a effort to spruce up a bit, I put away the pocket thing and exchanged in for a pretty new necklace. The look was quite stunning.
The phone went in my right front pocket. And, then it was gone.
On the advice of several folks, I tried calling my own number. It went right to voice mail which meant the phone was turned off or the battery was dead. Great. Now what??? Where was that thing???? I needed it.
Four days later, it was time to do the laundry and there was my phone, in the hamper. No, it didn't go through the wash. It was recovered just in time.

God: Thank you for loving us no matter what kind of stupid things we do. We know that you accept us for the crazy creatures that we are. Keep me mindful that the best type of communication is prayer from me to YOU.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wait a second....

It's very dark when I travel to work. Yesterday, I encountered a young African-American man, on a black skateboard, dressed totally in black, traveling toward me, on my right. Needless to say, my heart stopped when I saw him and thankfully, I passed by without hitting him.
That experience made me think about how often we encounter situations that would be life changing.
What if I had hit that young man? Oh my, how lives would have been changed. Think about it. Life is so precious and our plans and aspirations can change in an instant.

Dear God: Has anyone talked to you lately about how challenging life here on earth is? I am in awe of the choices and encounters that we all have, minute by minute.
Thank you for our exciting existance. It's just not possible to be bored here on earth, your glorious creation.
Help me to be ever mindful of my blessings.