10 more good things…

 

Good things

1. Sid and Kathy were going through their parent's things and discovered George Sidney, their father, had received the Bronze Star in World War II. He NEVER bragged about his military service. Christian humility is rare.

2. How wonderful is it to have Dr. Henry Hanna available to step in and do a funeral.

3. “It Is Well With My Soul”

4. Susan’s Bourbon County physical therapist.

5. Problems that arise which stimulate positive, creative responses.

6. The Marcum’s who opened their house and pool for a youth kickoff event.

7. A deck completely resealed.

8. Mornings.

9. Henry Clay and Jefferson Davis Halls where I lived at Transylvania, which have been demolished for new dorms.

10. People with a sense of humor.

Moving to the deeper places,
Jeff

Taking Chances

hope2Chances are your cell phone never leaves your side….but there is hope that you can still find quiet time and contentment with the creator from time to time.

Chances are you will work very hard at something productive this week….but there is hope that you will take the time to work very hard at something that brings you joy.

Chances are you will experience a few sleepless nights in your lifetime….but there is hope that when you do sleep, it is a quiet rest that restores body and soul to the harmony God intended.

Chances are you will have your heart broken a time or two….but there is hope that you will continue to open yourself up to the joyous experiences which come from loving and being loved.

Chances are you will face a serious medical diagnosis in your lifetime….but there is hope that in the midst of those moments the power of God’s love will be revealed to you in the people who gather around to love you through it.

Chances are you will grieve the loss of a great love in your life….but there is hope you will soon realize what a gift it was to love so deeply.

Chances are your days will know a few tears from time to time….but there is hope they will see more laughter more often.

Chances are you will learn something new today….and there is hope you will teach it to another.

Chances are someone will tell you they love you today….and there is hope you will return that love.

Chances are someone will stir your anger today….but there is hope the anger will be short-lived and productive.

Chances are you will run into someone you’ve never met today….there is hope you will take a moment to appreciate them anyway.

Chances are you will spend some money today….there is hope that as you do so, you are grateful you have it to spend.

Chances are the sun will rise, the grass will grow, flowers will bloom, birds will fly and a neighbor’s dog will bark today…there is hope we will enjoy the beauty this day brings.

Chances are you won’t open and read your newsletter today….there is hope that you will still know we love you and offer prayers in your name.

Chances are you will look around you and know that God is near today….and there is hope that God will look upon you and know you are near to God.

Blessings,
Tracy

Ten good things:

Good things

1. My neighbor changed the broken belt on my riding mower.

2. Marie and Tracy were there for Susan’s surgery. Thank you.

3. Together, we overcame the deficit.

4. The sixth floor at Good Sam – UK is a gift to Central Kentucky.

5. The performance of “His Eye is On the Sparrow” at Immanuel Baptist Church on television this morning transcended description.

6. Chad says to Sarah at the hospital: “Sarah, you were born first. So I guess you started the family off on the wrong foot.”

7. From the surgeon’s office to the man mopping the floor, at least ten people said they would be praying for us during Susan’s surgery and recovery.

8. UK basketball in the summer?  From the Bahamas?

9. Chad came home today from staying with his sister for five days.

10. Susan is home recovering from successful surgery.

I am blessed and thankful.

Moving to the deeper places,
Jeff

Goodbye to Robin Williams

US NEWS ROBINWILLIAMS-OBIT 2 LAThis week the country mourns the loss of comedian and actor, Robin Williams, who starred in over 50 cinematic works of art. One obscure movie, which did not receive much acclaim, is now being revisited at an alarming rate following his death. Williams starred with up-and-coming Cuba Gooding, Jr. in the 1998 dramatic film, What Dreams May Come.

This film, based on a novel of the same name by Richard Matheson, gives the brain much to consider. Matheson was incredibly profound in his depiction of life after death and the eternal nature of love. But it is the dark subject matter: depression and suicide, which holds the viewer mesmerized. My experience coming from a family riddled with mental illness and depression has brought me up close and personal to this darkness. Kristy Horine shared a conversation she had with her husband, Eric, which spoke to this darkness, specifically personal darkness, which is the true nature of depression. “Some of us let it all hang out, some of us mask it with laughter or meanness. Some of us allow it to shape us into more empathetic and meaningful people. We wouldn't recognize the darkness unless there is the contrast of light, though.”

Robin Williams used the darkness which tormented his soul to spread laughter and love to people who recognized it as their own. His death reminds us that depression is a thick wall of sorrow and pain that can overwhelm even the most stalwart of characters. We, all of us, hold a bit of that darkness inside and struggle mightily to load up with enough light to overcome it. We refer to Jesus as THE Light. But not everyone in the depths of depression can make the connection to faith, to THE Light, or even to others, to see how they can end that inner turmoil. Too often we seek to allay someone’s sorrow with platitudes, positive thinking or admonitions to pray harder. Kay Denniston reminds us, “You cannot fix depression by “thinking positive” anymore than I can become a genius by “thinking I am smart”.” It is not easy, but there is help. There can be light at the end of the tunnel if we can remember to reach out to others for help. And we, who somehow manage to hold tight to our light, need to be able to recognize the need in others who are struggling.

Williams once said, “You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." I believe he would advise us to feed that spark until it grows into a great light. I don’t think he was speaking of madness as true insanity…I believe he was simply reminding us that it is in our brokenness where light becomes able to radiate from within our depths. It is only by acknowledging the cracks in our own souls that we can truly see another’s pain and suffering.

 Robin Williams’ light is gone and our world feels this loss. Mark Twain may have been right when he said, “All humor is derived from pain, ergo nothing in Heaven is funny,” but I truly hope to find laughter and joy in heaven.  I know that Robin Williams is now free from the pain and darkness which tormented him on earth, but I hope he retains his humor. I hope he sits next to God in eternity and shares all the talent and insight, which God gave him, to entertain the Almighty for all time. Genie, you are now free! And just as Tinker Bell told Peter Pan, “You know that place between sleep and awake? That place where you still remember dreaming? That's where I'll always love you…” That is where I’ll remember this talented human being.

And, thank you, Kristy, for adding to your thoughts on darkness this prayer, “Oh Lord, help me be a gentle light today, one that remembers what it is like to stand inside that darkness and not fall away. A good and hopeful light.”

Blessings,
Tracy

Time & Talent

time & talent 2

There are what seem to be a thousand jobs to be done each year in the life of the church.

Some of the jobs are huge, such as moderator, committee chair and Sunday School teacher.

Those are long term jobs which involve work every month for the church.

There are many jobs which are more detailed and time limited. If you wanted to serve on a Worship Team, you might have less than three hours of work to do at a specific time of year.

Cleaning the church is broken down into two to three hour work segments. For example, dust all the window sills downstairs.

Soon, you will have in hand, a detailed outline of most all of the jobs which need to be done in the in the life of the church.

When you receive it scan it for categories of service which interest you. Then read in detail the entire section of service opportunities.

Check (commit) to doing those tasks in the life of the church in the coming year.

When the Time and Talent forms are received back, they will be tallied and your willingness to serve will be distributed to the church leader responsible for asking you to fulfill your promise.

This will not be a perfect process. Church leaders will need to plan events which use the gifts of the member who volunteered.

It won’t hurt if you remind the chairperson if you don’t hear from them right away of your desire to serve.

If, after submitting your Time and Talent form, you want to do more simply say so and the church will attempt to make sure you have every opportunity to serve.

Moving to the deeper places,
Jeff

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