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: http://www.dakotasumc.org/news/anne-reinhiller-teenager-lives-out-her-faith-in-service/ )

@chaplaineliza

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Telling My Story, Being Helpful

A Year of Being Kind blog – Monday, June 2, 2014

picking up nobodies

Telling My Story, Being Helpful

I don’t know about you, but I have difficulty connecting with people when they try to lecture me. (Well, not always, but usually. There are exceptions. Rare, but true.) If someone tries to deliver dry, dull facts and figures without something to catch my interest, good luck trying to keep my attention.

But this wasn’t the case this afternoon. I went to the YMCA, to my yoga and gentle stretching class. Excellent class, as always! I found my heart rate slowing down, my breathing evening out. Everything about my respiration and operation of my cardio system became much more even. Wonderful, how that happens. And these positive, physical qualities happen whenever I go to yoga now, indeed!

True, I had a number of things to do today. Plus, I brought my daughter to the store to get some containers. (She’s discovered she loves tea. So, she now has more than a dozen different kinds of tea. Thus—the containers.) I was almost late for yoga class! I did get in to the YMCA just a few minutes before class began. So, whew!

I honestly tried to focus on the various poses we had set for us. (Mostly the same, from week to week.) Because of the excellent teaching and facilitation of the class, I always am able to enter into this class. I become fully present for the stretching, yoga poses, and final relaxation—and it’s wonderful. But it was afterwards that I think I was helpful.

In the locker room, I changed out of my exercise clothes and put on the street clothes I had in my locker. I overheard the conversation between my teacher and one of the other students, on the other side of the bank of lockers. I laughed and made a second comment to my teacher, who was standing at the end of the lockers—visible to both my classmate and to me. The other woman piped up, “Who is that over there?” in a friendly kind of way. I came around and we greeted each other. The woman asked, “What was that you said?”

I told her that I had been going to yoga class since the beginning of December. And, my back has had so much less pain recently! I swear by yoga, and by the marvelous combination of yoga poses and stretching my wonderful teacher uses. The woman nodded, quite serious, listening intently. I told her a little bit of my story! Not about the scary, or the sad. But about the pertinent part. About how much of a difference yoga has made in my life, even though I have just been going to this class for only six months.

Telling my story? It makes a big difference! People sit up and listen! But if I lecture and inform with dry statistics and facts, I won’t have much of an audience at all. I’m glad I could give this woman a hopeful, encouraging outlook on yoga.

God, thanks for giving me the push to get into yoga. It sure helps me, both physically and mentally. And I had a great story to tell today, too. Always a good thing.

@chaplaineliza

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