Writing, Running—and Being Kind

A Year of Being Kind blog – Monday, March 31, 2014

encouraging cards

Writing, Running—and Being Kind

Today was a catch-up day for me. I was on the computer for a good part of the day. I really appreciate being able to take the time to go in depth, take the opportunity to read longer articles and more extended posts. I am a news monster, when I have time. I like to look at various news websites, sometimes international sites and alternative news, too. But today, I did more writing than reading. Writing, answering emails. Writing, responding to blog posts.

And then, running! I did several errands today. Running over several miles—actually, in my car. But still, I went here and there, doing some needful things. I wasn’t in so much of a hurry that I was scurrying around like a chicken with my head cut off, but I still was occupied for a while.

While writing, I composed several encouraging emails today. I like to be encouraging when possible. I consider encouragement to be one of my strong points, one of several spiritual gifts I have. I know, from experience, what it’s like to get a personal email. I see it, in my email box. Depending on what it is and who it’s from, I have several ways to open it. First and shortest, I know who sent it, what’s in it. I quick-open it and read the brief communication. And, that’s about it. Nothing else.

Last, and most lengthy, I see what’s in my email box, and realize that I need to compose a thorough response to this email. Sometimes the initial email is long, although it still might be on the short side. However, my response requires much more thinking, sometimes some action, even doing some footwork or giving a call. In addition to the email.

I have a good friend who has a ministry to her friends and relations: a card ministry. She is a chaplain at a senior facility, and never has any lack of friends. She has told me of the recipients of the cards from time to time: her pretty cards encourage a good feeling, a sense of love and caring towards her friends and acquaintances. And yes, that is my friend, all over! God has greatly gifted her with good, chaplain-ly spiritual gifts.

If I try particularly hard, I can try to be like my friend—a long-time chaplain in a senior facility. I can see how people gravitate towards her. Tell her things. Ask her for prayer. A great way to make a living! That is, if a person is open to God moving in their life. I pray that God moves in my life, too! That is, I pray God keeps on moving in my life. And sending me stuff to do. And say. People to encourage, too.

@chaplaineliza
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Of Sermons and Service

A Year of Being Kind blog – Sunday, January 12, 2014

Worship - New Row Presbyterian Church

Worship – New Row Presbyterian Church

Of Sermons and Service

I was of service today. A friend of mine, Chaplain Sarah, asked me to help out. So, I did.

Let me back up, and give a little background. Chaplain Sarah went out of town for several days. A little vacation at holiday time. One of her relatives needed additional assistance, so she took a few extra days off from work to help out. Sarah knew she had Sunday services today to lead, and did not want to unnecessarily be concerned about preaching. She contacted me last weekend. She asked whether I could play the piano as well as prepare a sermon to preach at the two retirement homes where she’s a chaplain. Of course, I said!

That’s one of the things I have found I can do. (on a fairly regular basis!) I can be a pinch-hitter, to use a baseball analogy. I can willingly step up to the plate and go to bat for those who have emergency needs. I’ve noticed that’s one of my gifts—not that it’s listed in the ‘official’ listings of the spiritual gifts, but still.

As last week progressed, I knew I had to prepare a sermon on John 2:1-11, the wedding at Cana. I prayed about it, and had an outline and a general idea of what I wanted to say to the two little congregations. But I had the darnedest time just sitting down. Writing. Or, not writing, as the case may be. One thing came up after another. Friday passed and went. Saturday—anxiety time, except for the fact that the message was straight-forward and solid, and I basically knew what I was going to say. And I still couldn’t write. Correction. I finally could, but it was like pulling teeth.

I did finish the sermon by the time I got to bed last night. I was having so much difficulty that I was starting to think there was something spiritual I was up against. Something not of God, something that did not want me to be at the two services this morning. As I took off my hard contact lenses at the bathroom sink, the second lens popped out of my hand. I’m particularly near-sighted, so I was only able to hear the ‘click’ of the lens as it bounced on the sink—and then, nothing. No second ‘click’ as the lens bounced on the tile floor. Arrgh! Where did it go? In the water? On the rug? Not in the waste basket? I ended up looking for that lens for over an hour. Going over every inch of that bathroom, even to the other side of the room, five or six feet away. No lens.

So, I have lost my contact lens. Lost. No idea where it might have gone. Thankfully, I was able to call my optometrist and leave a message. I wore my glasses, except that the prescription is over twenty years old. I hurried to the services. My husband was kind enough to drive me in the car, since my eyes were adjusting to the foreign glasses. (I really don’t wear them much at all.) And, I played the piano and preached at both services. Chaplain Sarah did everything else. She did a great job! It was a team effort, and I was heartily glad I could help out. Oh, the sermon? It did the job, I think. Jesus changed a whole lot of water into a whole lot of wine. Superior wine, too! He provides for us abundantly. Extravagantly. I’m grateful to Jesus for blessing me abundantly, each day. I have a suspicion He can take care of me, too.

@chaplaineliza