Tag Archives: Loving

How Many Steps Do You Take Each Day?

Tom gave me a “Fit Bit” for Christmas, because I’ve been trying to make myself exercise more. He wanted to help. As a writer I spend hours at my computer. As a senior, it is easier for me to cuddle in my lovely warm home, rather than venture out into frigid weather and slippery streets.

My “Fit Bit” is helping. I want to reach my goal of at least 8000 steps a day. Every time I get up from my desk, I look for little jobs that require movement. When the screen celebrates that I’ve reached my goal, I celebrate. I’m motivated to try harder.

I wish someone would invent a “Spiritual Fit Bit” that would add up my spiritual activities, not for others to know, but just for me. It would keep track of the time I spend praying, reading the Bible and other Christian books, doing acts of kindness, giving gifts to others and more.

My “Fit Bit” reminds me that increased activity is simple. I just need to close my computer and do something active.

The reality is, it’s just that simple to be spiritually fit. If you like to read, pick up the Bible or a Christian novel like my Fireweed. You’ll be surprised. Christian books can be entertaining, too. If you enjoy your friends, risk talking with them about faith issues. You’ll be amazed at how your friendship deepens. If you like to play cards, visit a shut-in. Maybe they do too. You’ll be doing an act of kindness while having fun. The opportunities for prayer, learning, service, growing in faith surround you. Take advantage of them.

Write down your spiritual activities. Your “Spiritual Fit Bit” can be a list on the fridge or in your journal. Give God thanks for your growing list. Giving thanks, oh yes, that, too, is another step in the Christian journey.

This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that this law of the Lord is to be on your lips. (Exodus 13:9)

 

 

How Do I Invite God Into My Life?

Last week, I spent time with Psalm 15. It inspired the following .

Hospitality

 

God welcomes all,
All people, all faiths, all races.
We build the barriers
Around our hearts.
We wall God in.
We slam the door.
We turn away.
God waits.

Our loving, forgiving God waits,
Hoping, guiding.
It’s only one step.
Just one short step.
Open the door.
There is no lock.
Pull down the barrier
It’s merely an illusion.
Sink into God’s love.
God is waiting.

A Ministry of Presence

A Ministry of Presence

By Janet Stobie

“What can I do to help?” Is a familiar question to many of us. Whether it’s a death in the family, or a flood, whatever the need, we want to help. Often we don’t think we have the right words, but we still want to do something, to make it better.

When my wonderful biological mother died I was far, far away and feeling very lost. I had had only twelve years to love her, and I wanted longer. Since I’d found her, I had travelled to Tucson, Arizona every year to visit her. Those were very precious visits. I wished I had gone more often and stayed longer. We hadn’t shared enough of either of our stories. I believed that my friends and family wouldn’t understand because they all knew I loved my adoptive mother totally while she was alive. I wasn’t sure if I should even tell others that I was sad.

Carved forever in my heart is my daughter’s response to the news of the death of this other Grandma she barely knew. “Oh Mom,” my Connie said, “It must be so hard for you to be here and not there. I’m coming over for the day. I’ll just get the children off to school and then I’ll be there with you.”

Connie came and sat with me and held me while I cried. Her presence brought such comfort and peace. I needed her and she was here.

Today I remind all of you that your presence is the most precious gift you can give. Of course, there are things you can do – send flowers, bring food, help with the arrangements and …but most important of all is the blessing of your presence.

Jesus reassured his followers with: “And remember I am with you always till the end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 20)

We Must Remember!

Today’s blog is a little longer than usual. That’s just the way it came from my fingers. I encourage you to read it anyway. We need to remember. Thank you and Blessings, Janet

We Must Remember!

by Janet Stobie

Lest We Forget!
Lest We Forget! 

Our book club just read Farley Mowat’s war memoir. His story opened my heart to the sickening brutality of a war fought by “children”, ages eighteen to twenty-four. Today, news reports hammer us with pictures of slaughter, poison gas, terrified  people. As I read, Mowatt’s book, the protective wall of numbness I had developed disintegrated. This horror, this chaos, this “hell” really did happen and it continues to happen right now, everyday.

On Remembrance Day, we’ll hear the words – “We will remember.” In my heart I will be saying, “We must remember.” We cannot let the numbness creep in around us. We must be spurred to action. We must stop this relentless march of destruction.

What can we do? Psychologists have told us poverty and hunger make the most fertile ground for the forces of greed and hate. Yet we continue to hold tight to our riches and ignore those in need, even in our own country. Years ago, I watched a documentary on the teaching of hate. My stomach roiled as I listened to mothers and fathers purposely telling and retelling their stories of injustice and hatred to wide-eyed children, soaking up the fear and thirst for revenge.

Today, we too are teaching hate and fear and greed. We complain about those foreigners of whatever race.

“Their religious customs are strange.”

“They take our jobs.”

“They’re bringing violence into our peaceful country.”

“They don’t want to be like us.“

We tell ourselves we deserve the abundance we experience. We’ve worked hard for it.” “Our homegrown poor, homeless, unemployed, aboriginals don’t want to work. They expect handouts.” Even if we would never say these things out loud ourselves, we remain silent when others do.

Yes, we cannot singlehandedly stop war around the world. We can follow in Jesus’ footsteps. We can bring healing and love to people we encounter. We can share from our wealth (and we have plenty) with one local project and one overseas project. We can ask God to open our minds to hear our thoughts, words and actions that teach greed, hate and bigotry. We can ask for God’s help so that we won’t help build that relentless war machine growing in our world. We can refuse to send another innocent child into the horror of war. We can pray for change in ourselves and others.

 Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to Jesus and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.” Jesus replied, “You give them something to eat.”  (Luke 9:12-13)