Living Life, Being of Service (Feature Friday!)

A Year of Being Kind blog – Friday, August 1, 2014

circle of hands

Living Life, Being of Service (Feature Friday!)

It’s been a while since I graduated from seminary. More than nine years. I attended a United Methodist seminary here in town. (No, I am not a Methodist. Perhaps I’ll tell you about that, sometime. Not now.) A friend of mine graduated in the same class, and he returned to the section of the country he came from—the Dakotas. Yes, Duane has been serving UMC churches out on the plains ever since graduation.

Duane and I are Facebook friends, now. I’m afraid the Dakotas are a bit far afield for me, at present. (But one can wish—and dream.) From time to time, he puts up some interesting and amusing posts, and shares some wonderful photos. Two days ago, he put up a link to an article on the Dakotas UMC Conference webpage. Intrigued, the headline got me. I followed the link. Sure enough, the story was more than worth it. (And, thanks to the anonymous reporter who wrote up this article for the Conference webpage!)

I quote from the subject of the article, a teenager in a Sioux Falls high school: “James 2: 14-26 challenges us to show our faith by our actions. I share my faith with others by my actions,” Anne Reinhiller said. Anne does exactly that—shows her faith through her loving actions. She works in her local church (where her mom and dad are co-pastors). She serves on the technology team in the congregation, helps out with Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, and participates in the living nativity in December.

Even though she is young, at seventeen, Anne has not had an easy life. She faced bullies a number of times in her short life. But, faith in God has helped her, through bullies, through moving several times to difficult places, as well as through her loneliness. She continues to serve God as Director of the Nightwatch, which is a cooperative feeding ministry. The Nightwatch works with and feeds the poor of the Sioux Falls area. Anne “coordinated the serving schedules, kept the motorhome supplied with paper products, as well as filled with fuel. Through the ministry of the Canteen, over 7500 meals are served to the needy of Sioux Falls each year.” [to quote the Conference article]

This past June, Anne was honored with the (well-deserved!) Denman Award for Evangelism, at the Dakotas UMC Conference held in Rapid City, South Dakota. Truly, Anne is an example for those who strive to live out their faith in Christ. And, she shows by her presence on the ministry team that God can use people of all ages, in all sorts of ministry.

Whether by face-to-face contact, in feeding ministry, or through social media assisted by personal computers and other electronic devices, Anne strives to help. She tries to reach out to her corner of the world. And, she is indeed making a difference in many lives, even before she’s graduated from high school. Praise God for Anne, and other young people who are like her. Here’s praying for you, Anne!

(For further information, go to: )


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How to Serve—As an Editor

A Year of Being Kind blog – Monday, May 5, 2014

SERVE serve one another Eph 4-11

How to Serve—As an Editor

What a challenge—stuck to the computer screen all day! No, actually, I didn’t spend the whole day stuck here! Only about half of it. (I wish you could see my wink and sly grin right now. Describing them will have to suffice, I’m afraid. Disappointing that humorous facial expressions and snarky vocal inflections don’t translate well through the Internet.) However, I was quite serious today when I offered some editorial comments on the research article of a friend of mine. The article was sent halfway around the world! He and a colleague prepared it for possible publication, and he asked me to read it through. And make pertinent comments, if I saw fit.

Usually, I am a touchy-feely, pastoral-care-type of person. That’s an important aspect of me and my character. But I am much more than merely that. True, I can appreciate how certain aspects of pastoral care are so natural to me, it’s like falling off the proverbial log. But did you know that I worked for almost four school years at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Department of Psychiatry, at the College of Medicine? I served as instructor and coordinator of a small online program. And, I taught a number of people, at the College and beyond. I helped write and refine the online course with day-to-day signs, tests, presentations, and speeches.

But what about the article I commented on today? Well, I saw how much there was that was truly important, in terms of the article from a health care perspective. I advised my friend that I honestly couldn’t accept anything additional, in terms of money. If I had needed to tear something apart, in a serious enough manner, I would have reconsidered, and asked for some financial return. But, today? I willingly pitched in. I found out some fascinating things about health care, and that was enough for me.

A lot of trust was displayed today, trust, openness and honesty. In terms of the primary author, he offered me the opportunity to read his brand new article! And, I willingly tried to be of service to my friend. Just as at church or mission conferences in the church, quick and close relationships are often the norm. We don’t have any time to lose. Let’s take advantage of the chance to serve. The chance to be kind. The chance to be helpful and hopeful.

I sent a detailed email to my friend, page by page. Nothing, really, to change in terms of grammar, syntax, or any correction in word choice. However, I had a good deal to do, in terms of encouragement and helpful comments. I hope my email was informative and instructive. God willing.

Gracious, I feel like dusting off my hands in satisfaction. Good, workmanlike job done by my friend and his colleague! Hmm. I wonder what God will send me tomorrow?


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By Day, By Night—Be of Service All the Time

A Year of Being Kind blog – Saturday, May 3, 2014

BK always be kind

By Day, By Night—Be of Service All the Time

If I really wanted to puff myself up, I could say I was of service a number of times today. During the day, during the evening. (But I don’t want to puff myself up. I really don’t.)

I’ll relate a little about what happened today, and I’ll let my readers decide.

My husband needed a raincoat today. (Actually, he’s needed one for the past few weeks.) So, he decided that today was the day. Today, he’d go to the store to get a new raincoat. He is not fond of shopping, or even going into a large store. Especially a clothing store. He thinks of shopping for clothes as something that he would only rarely, willingly, do. And that’s for clothing for himself. I can count on one hand the times when he has been in a clothing store with me, when I have been looking for clothing. But I digress. My topic for the day is being of service. During the day, it’s to my husband.

He asked my recommendations. After some concerted thinking, I gave him the name of a primary store, and of two secondary stores. (Just in case—that is the way he prefers.) Our first stop had just the thing he was looking for. I also was of service to him in helping him decide between two coats. (The raincoat he ended up buying did have a better fit in the shoulders.) He was in a fine mood when we went on our way home!

Tonight, I kept going with the encyclopedia article. Now, after I’ve gathered a number of resources—articles, books, charts, and various other fact sheets, I can really sink my teeth into the fun of putting the article together. Yes! I know that this article on alcoholism will help many people, when the book finally gets published.

I enjoy writing, editing, and writing some more. If I do say so myself, I am pretty good at communication. So, writing several articles for the Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Drugs is right up my alley. This encyclopedia I’m talking about? It’s going to be a general reference book, on the shelf in libraries all over the country. I suspect that this article on alcoholism will be helpful, eye-opening, and a blessing to many.

Just generally helpful, that’s me. That’s a big reason why I am trying to do intentional acts of service each day. Besides being a great discipline, writing every day is a challenging experience. But I get the feeling that God is pleased, too..

If anyone does have something to suggest regarding this blog, or what I ought to publish, please let me know! I appreciate every one of you. Thanks so much for reading!


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