Scattered, but Still Trying to Be Kind

A Year of Being Kind blog – Thursday, April 10, 2014

God's plans far exceed

Scattered, but Still Trying to Be Kind

God, so much to do, so many things to remember. I think I remembered just about everything. Except my power cord for my cell phone. But that’s okay.

Among other activities I did, I happened to meet with a new friend today. We talked about a number of things. And, I did one of the things I happen to do reasonably well: I listened. Active listening (again!). Again and again, I’ve found myself in recent situations where I fall back on one of my strong suits. And listen I do.

I had another meeting today, which was great. A good deal of information was passed to and fro, and I feel really positive about it. Isn’t it wonderful when something happens that you know—intuitively—was deep down good? That’s how I feel today. Good! Positive! Satisfied.

This reminds me of the verse that I chose for the month of April: Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Here in this verse, the Apostle talks about working with all my heart. Not half-hearted. With enthusiasm! Positive! Satisfied! Encouraging, too.

I know I sometimes think about what other people are going to say. I suppose that’s natural. However, I need to redirect my focus. Take my focus off others and place it on the Lord. I suppose I need to remind myself that God is my Boss, my Manager. And with God in the highest supervisory position/role, I can relax. God is not going to be dictatorial, or arbitrary, or downright mean to me! (And believe me, I have had bosses who have been all that, and more!)

Yes, today held a great deal of work, but there was some fun in there, too. I hope and pray I was an encouragement for the people I met.

Gee, I wonder what tomorrow will bring? God, hurry up and show me! I can hardly wait.


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Serve with Enthusiasm Means Be Kind, Positively!

A Year of Being Kind blog –Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pooh, Eeyore and Christopher Robin - illustration by Ernest Shepard

Pooh, Eeyore and Christopher Robin – illustration by Ernest Shepard

Serve with Enthusiasm Means Be Kind, Positively!

Today was a whirlwind day. Running, running from one thing to the next. Don’t get me wrong—I enjoyed everything I did today! However, I also considered the verse I’ve chosen for March again. It comes from Ephesians 6:7. “Render service with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not to men and women.”

I was at my new job for a while this morning, then at my old job this afternoon, and back to the new job for the evening Lenten service. My new church is full of life during the week, what with the preschool and small children in many classrooms throughout the north part of the church. I love children, and especially small, exuberant ones. Overwhelmingly, they have almost no inhibitions at all, entering into each experience as a new adventure, or a fascinating curiosity.

This exuberant enthusiasm of these dear children is something I find echoed in the verse I chose for March. (And I chose it for March at the beginning of January, I’ll have you know. Coincidence? Providence? You decide.) Truly, God is blessing people at my work. Not only the congregation, but also the preschool. I pray that it continues!

I also had a bittersweet good-bye today. I said farewell to someone I’ve gotten to know very well. I don’t mean, farewell for good. However, this dear person and I will not see each other very often, now that I have taken this new position. This dear one wished me the best! Imagine the appreciation and kind regard I have in my heart! And I wished the very best for that person, as well.

Question: how did I get in this particular place, anyhow? I still feel like pinching myself, because at the beginning of March, I had no idea that by the third Sunday, I would be leading worship in a new church. Today was the weekly bible study. Already, I am starting to feel the rhythms of this new place. Already, I can enjoy the children as I walk down the halls and say hello to students and staff alike.

It’s good to praise God with enthusiasm! Of course, the pessimistic viewpoint tries to inform me that it may rain tomorrow, and I may lose my keys, and someone might even shut the door on my tail. (Oh, no. Now I’m sounding like Eeyore. Oh, bother!) I much prefer the optimistic view, right now. Happy-go-lucky, one-day-at-a-time thinking. I suspect Winnie the Pooh would approve.

So, whether I am channeling Eeyore, Pooh, Piglet, Tigger or Owl, I hope I can always consider the excellent example of these dear preschool children. And be enthusiastic. Even if I’m not quite as exuberant as Tigger.

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In Which I Try to Serve—With Enthusiasm?

A Year of Being Kind blog – Wednesday, March 12, 2014

BK always be kind

In Which I Try to Serve—With Enthusiasm?

Another day, another act of service. That’s what I have been praying for God to send me, each day. Day by day. One day at a time.

Today I considered the verse I’ve chosen for March, which comes from Ephesians 6:7. “Render service with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not to men and women.” One problem—what if I don’t feel like being enthusiastic? Case in point: there was wintry weather again here in Chicago today. A continuation of the winter that just won’t quit. Both the yucky weather and yet another dismal, depressing day are wearing on me and my attitude. In fact, generally wearing on me, period.

But that yucky, dismal way isn’t the way I need to act. At least, not if I want to be faithful to the way I’ve been praying this past number of weeks.

All right, God. I give. I get the sense that You want me to pull out a commentary and check out Ephesians 6. Lo and behold, this particular passage concerns the different household relationships: men, women, children, and . . . slaves. (I realize this highly-charged word brings up all kinds of things, many different thoughts in people’s minds! I know. Hopefully, I will talk about this aspect in a later post this month. Remind me.)  Several other translations translate that word “doulos” as servant. Okay, I know I am the servant of Christ. I got that. I know I am supposed to do the will of God from my heart.  Grrr! Being a good and faithful servant is particularly hard sometimes! I just wanted to let You know that.

After thinking these kinds of thoughts, I got my head oriented towards service. I did have an easier time looking for opportunities to serve, then.  Among other things, I did an errand for a friend who doesn’t get out too much. I am occasionally asked to pick up things at the store, or go and fetch something else. Never any thing huge, but I’m happy to do it. (I would even be content if I did have to fetch and carry something big!) My friend was really pleased with what I was able to find, and I felt satisfied that my friend was overjoyed.

So, after the fact, I am glad that I went out of my way to provide a service to my friend today. Acts of intentional service almost sound like they are something clinical and antiseptic, or perhaps some do-gooder act. But, no! That’s not the way God has been working in my life—at least, not that I can tell. I have another friend (a kind pastor) who keeps reminding his congregation to look for where God is already working and get on board there. I think I have my marching orders. Enough to keep me busy for quite a while, anyhow.

I thank God for kind people like my friend. Or rather, both my kind friends! God bless them richly.


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