Being Kind and Friendly, with Lunch!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Saturday, July 12, 2014

friendship God's way of loving through someone

Being Kind and Friendly, with Lunch!

I love brats. Especially grilled brats. What a wonderful idea, to have excellent brats at a church lunch fundraiser!

My husband, one of my daughters and I visited a church where I used to attend, St. Peter’s UCC, in a nearby suburb. They had a luncheon fundraiser in conjunction with an arts festival across the street in the downtown area. Even though it was drizzle-y outside, the food was wonderful. And, it was good to see some friends again—friends I hadn’t seen for some months!

I do wish I had had the opportunity to see more of the congregation, but it was a busy Saturday today. I expect different people came to the church when they had the opportunity, all during the afternoon.

This luncheon was certainly a fine way to be kind. To be of service. That’s the marvelous thing about many churches—they often take opportunities to serve others. To be loving, caring and giving. St. Peter’s Church has several events during the year where they open up the fellowship hall. This brat fry is just one of them during the year, and hospitality is a big part of the mission and outreach of St. Peter’s.

The church where I work, St. Luke’s, is in a neighboring suburb. St. Luke’s Church has a similar make-up, and a similar orientation. They, too, are hospitable! St. Luke’s is a gracious host to a Korean congregation (Love Sharing Disciple Church) as well as a full-day preschool program, Kids Academy. Such a wonderful opportunity for the St. Luke’s congregation, council and trustees to be kind and to be of service!

I am reminded of the verse I had chosen for the month of July: James 1:22, “But be doers of the Word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.” Having the spiritual gifts of hospitality, helps and encouragement are certainly ways of acting on God’s Word. Being welcoming and kind? Fine chances to be a doer of what God commands in the Bible.

I have seen a number of the members of St. Luke’s congregation go out of their way to be kind, to be caring. I am so glad that I can be at this church at just such a time as this. So many God-incidences, so much confluence of many spiritual streams! Between my spiritual gifts, my professional skill set, my preferences and orientation in ministry, I am leaning more and more towards my good friend’s opinion: Pastor Gordon wonders whether I was called to exactly this place and this time.

I know being kind, encouraging and caring is something that I have determined to do, every day in 2014. I can try to lead by example, and encourage others to live in such a way. God, please help me as I try to do this. Each and every day. God willing, may it be so!

@chaplaineliza

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Being Kind—with Dessert!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Saturday, July 5, 2014

Pattern_Baked_Goods_Unice_Kim

Being Kind—with Dessert!

I love dessert. Honestly, I do! Cake, cookies, pies, other baked goods. Ice cream, sherbet, jello, pudding. It doesn’t matter. I enjoy them all. (Well, almost all of them. Not marzipan. And I’m not wild about butter pecan or butterscotch. But other than that . . . )

I need to be careful of what I put in my mouth now, especially since I’m getting older. My metabolism is slowing down. (How slow? I’ll tell you—if my metabolism were any slower, it would be going backwards! Ba-dum, ching!) But I still indulge, on occasion. This weekend, being a holiday weekend, I called my oldest daughter. I offered to bring over some dessert, and stop by and visit for a while. My third daughter came with me, and we all had a great time! Oh, and we brought over some key lime pie and fruit sorbet, too.

On a warm summer evening, it’s a lovely time to have some refreshing dessert. Mmm, sorbet . . . and key lime pie!

I enjoy baking, too. I love to make Christmas cookies—all different kinds! And, I make a mean banana bread. So moist! I’m not a bad hand at homemade pies made from scratch, either. If I do say so myself, my apple pie is superb. (It’s the tart apples, and a little less sugar than the recipe calls for. Mom said so. My mom always used Granny Smiths, too. So do I.) There is nothing like bringing someone some home baked something. Even if I didn’t have too much money, or was pinching pennies in some other way, I always found a way to continue to bake. And make some kind of baked dessert.

When someone takes the time to bake or make something to eat, people are touched. They so often respond with, “Thank you so much!” or, “How did you know I really liked—“ , or even “This is great!”

Why not make a wonderful idea even better by sitting and talking? And, my less-anxious presence often goes a long way toward making people feel at home and relaxed. This helpful service works in congregations, works with long-time friends, even works with acquaintances and casual friends.

God, the verse I’ve chosen for the month of July is James 1:22, the part where James admonishes the congregation he is presently serving. I know this position can be somewhat unkind. Try to be kind, anyway! The verse also describes communication between God and God’s representative, and then some!

We are encouraged to take this verse seriously. “Be doers of the Word.” How can you be a doer of God’s Word, today? How can I? By a simple thing, like making a dessert? Good thing to think about!

@chaplaineliza

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