Tag Archives: A gift of love

Valentine’s Day Is Coming Soon!

A Gift of Love

Valentine’s Day is coming soon. As a child, I dreaded the day. I remember writing a valentine for everyone in the class, even though I knew I would receive only a few. Although finding something suitable in the package of fifty my mom bought and the task of signing them all, was hard work in my mind, I didn’t want anyone in the class to be left out. No matter who they were it felt good to think they would receive at least one valentine. Taking care of the lonely, the excluded, has always been important to me.

Today, as a senior the only valentines I write are to my grandchildren and my sweetheart Tom. At Christmas it’s easy to think of others we don’t know, because the donation boxes and kettles are everywhere. On Valentine’s Day, the focus is more on me and who loves me. Think I’ll change that this time. In a bag in my room are four new pairs of warm men’s socks. Somehow they got left forgotten at Christmas.  I’ve decided rather than returning them to the store, I will take them to the Salvation Army along with two valentines. That feels like a tangible and valuable way to include the lonely and excluded this year.

What can you do to make Valentine’s Day, a day of giving love beyond your family? Is there someone in your church or at work or your senior’s centre that you believe will find Valentine’s Day a lonely experience. Can you make a meal, bake some cookies, create something in your workshop, buy flowers or a plant and bring it along with a card to brighten their day.

The reality of life is that we don’t have to wait for a special day. We just need to stop in the midst of our crazy lives and open our eyes and hearts to the people around us. We already know that bringing joy to someone else will bring healing and energy into our own lives. Remember Jesus’ words, “I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, you failed to do it to me.” (Matthew 25:45 NIV)

 

Try a Little Kindness

Share your cookies and your love.

The older I get the faster time flies by. For many of us retired folk, September is the start up of volunteer activities that have been suspended over the summer. Will we go back to yoga classes, afternoon cards, church groups and more?

The Bible tells us to choose life. On the internet I read, “Kindness is the new cool.” What a wonderful way to begin again in September. Let’s choose kindness first, each and every day. My stepson, Will, sent us this wonderful CBC Indigenous Video. Please take a minute to follow the link below.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/powwow-dancer-lost-regalia-1.4787775

Unlike Mr. Bateman in this video, we may never know the effect our kindness has but we can be sure that we will enjoy the good feelings that arise within ourselves.  Mr. Bateman, simply by doing his idea of the right thing, gave back something incalculably precious to Mr. Papequash. A few such individual acts by millions of people could not help but make a better world. Even just a smile for a harried clerk, a twoonie for a homeless person, a visit or phone call to a friend in the midst of our busy days, or a special act of kindness for a stranger can inevitably add to the goodness of this world.

Let’s make September kindness month. It could become a habit. It will change the world.

 

 

Please Pray For Me.

 

Prayer, A Gift of Love

During the last few weeks, I have heard several times, “Please pray for me,” Most of us, reply with, “Of course…or …yes.” And I believe that most of us do say at least one prayer for that person. We might include their name in our evening prayer, or we might spit out a hurried prayer as we carry on with our lives.

Today, I remind you that Prayer is a gift of love. When I give a gift, I want my gift to be the best possible gift I can give. What makes our prayer the best possible?

  1. Ask for details. Who are you to pray for? What is needed?
  2. Give details. “Of course, I’ll pray for you tonight before sleep or every morning for the coming week, at church on Sunday.”
  3. Offer to pray right now.
  4. Find a private spot, join hands and talk with God.

Number three, “Offer to pray right now,” is the hardest. Most of us are afraid to pray out loud. We want to get it right. What if we say something that…offends God?…offends the person…What if someone else hears and is critical or offended…What if I don’t get it right… I don’t know the right words.” For many today, praying is scary, especially if someone else is going to hear our prayer.

Over the years, I have been thanked for my prayers, or told that I’m good at praying. “What a lovely prayer” is a common statement. “Thank you. I needed that.” Yes, I am a minister. Yes, the assumption is that I can do this, and do it better than most “ordinary” people, whatever that means. This assumption is wrong. What I can do is talk with God. Over the years, I have learned that prayer is a conversation with God. All I need to do is focus on God, and just let the words pour out of my heart. God’s Spirit will take care of the rest. That’s the secret to public prayer. When we let go of worrying about what someone else is thinking of our prayer, and we just talk with God, our prayer becomes a gift of love. We actually can say, “Would you like me to pray with you right now?” because if the person says, “Yes,” we can do it.

 

“The spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit…intercedes for us…”  Romans 8:26