Published in the Rains County Leader on January 28, 2020:
Going to church on Sunday mornings is one of the best things I do all week, at least once I get past getting up a little earlier than usual and getting out the door looking a little more presentable than usual. It’s like a big family reunion every week. Almost everybody is happy and has a big smile and a warm hug – and the ones who don’t are an opportunity to share heartaches and encourage one another. It’s the perfect place to learn more about God and the Bible and to ask that hard question that you didn’t want to ask anywhere else because it might turn out to be a dumb question. And sometimes, after the teaching and the preaching and the singing and the praying, it’s a great place for lunch.
Sunday was one of those times. It seems like most churches look for any excuse to share a meal, and ours is no exception. Our pastors and elders are always looking for ways to encourage fellowship among the church members, so we have some kind of social event several times a year. This one was a soup and dessert lunch – all you can eat, of course – and a fund raiser. The details aren’t important, but there was a need, so members were asked to consider donating what they would normally spend on lunch. Based on the amount collected, a lot of the members eat better than David and I do! (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on September 27, 2016:
If you drove north on Highway 19 last week, you probably noticed some unusual commotion going on around Believers’ Baptist Church. Actually, the activity started several weeks ago when ground was broken and a foundation was prepared for a new building dedicated to our youth and children’s ministries. Last Monday, however, the work began in earnest when a crew from Volunteer Christian Builders arrived. (more…)
David and I serve as volunteers in AWANA at our church. AWANA is a Bible-based program for children from four years old through the sixth grade. The children meet each Wednesday night and spend ninety minutes singing songs, listening to Bible stories, playing games, and learning Bible verses. Once a month we have a special event like Backward Night when everyone wore their clothes backward and the schedule for the evening was reversed or like Campout Night when we made S’amores. This week we had a scavenger hunt. (more…)
No, I don’t mean that gifts appeared under the tree before December 24 or 25 – depending on when Santa traditionally makes his visit to your house. It’s just that yesterday, December 18, seemed to be particularly filled with Christmas-y things and feelings.
First, we had our Christmas lunch at the Senior Center. In honor of the occasion, I donned one of my two Christmas sweaters, one of my two pair of Christmas earrings, and one of my two pair of Christmas socks. That in itself made me feel very festive. There was lots of other holiday wear at the Center, along with smiling faces and happy chatter. There was a special table filled with desserts prepared for the occasion by various volunteers, and there was a small goodie bag for each of us – a pen and calendar provided by the restaurant that caters the meals, a candy cane and a few miniature chocolate bars, and a card signed by all the Center employees. It wasn’t much, but it felt like Christmas joy. (more…)
Last week at AWANA we did something different during lesson time. Instead of hearing a Bible story, the kids were given a chance to express their gratitude in creative ways.
The older ones – 3rd through 6th grades – were given pens, paper, and scissors and told to finish this sentence: I am thankful for… Here are a few examples. Many are very serious; others, not so much. And you can tell by the last two that we’re in Texas. (more…)
The Ghost of Christmas Present
Thursday afternoon I posted a “Bah Humbug” Facebook comment about a local radio station that has changed its format to all Christmas music for the duration. To say that my brother loves Christmas would be a huge understatement. In fact, he makes the Ghost of Christmas Present look like Scrooge, and he took exception to my comment and those of some of my friends. This was his last entry: Can anybody explain to my simple mind the abject travesty of playing Christmas music and putting up lights in the first half of November? I’m really having a hard time with all this negativity!
I started to respond, but realized it was going to involve more typing than I wanted to do on my phone, so I shifted into blogger mode and started thinking in terms of a post. After mulling through a few thoughts that seemed familiar, I realized that I wrote how I feel about the holidays in 2011. It was well received, so I posted it again last year. Now, for what is becoming a Life After Caregiving tradition, here’s the 3rd annual posting of “Feeling the Holiday Spirit.”
Yesterday one of my Facebook friends posted this question: Am I the only one not feeling the holiday spirit? I left a witty, social network kind of reply, but I’ve been thinking about it since then. Am I feeing the holiday spirit? My first question is which holiday are we talking about? My next question is what does the holiday spirit feel like? (more…)
With all the stories of bombings and mass shootings that surround us on a daily basis, it’s hard to remain hopeful about the future of mankind. But sometimes hope comes when you least expect, maybe from a crooked little smile or a Kit Kat bar. (more…)