Showing posts from November, 2013

The Truth About the Pie

I followed a nudge from God to bake pies to raise funds for South Sudan. I realize that "a nudge from God" might sound strange, so I will explain.  I was at our  Christian Horizons   annual   l eadership conference at the beginning of November, listening to people sharing about the work our organization does globally. Two of our coworkers plunged into the icy waters of  Lake Couchiching  to raise funds.  They raised about $2000 with their frigid swim! I felt that God was tapping me on the shoulder to help in some way and I turned to the person next to me during the final keynote speech and said, "I think I have to bake pies again!" I've done it before as a fund raiser, a couple of years ago; offering the simple gift of something I can do and watching God use it. The day after we got back, my friend Jane emailed me and asked, "Do you by chance  have any pies for sale?" and I took that as confirmation! :) So that weekend I put it out to the world

The Definition of Patience

I was thinking about "patience" today and I thought, "What could require more patience than to serve children in a candy store?" Actually, I didn't think "candy store," but "sweet shop," and my mind wandered back through many decades, to the 1950's in Alvechurch , the Worcestershire village in England, in which I grew up. There were several sweet shops in the village, but the quintessential sweet shop belonged to Miss Twitty.  The lamp post in this photograph is right in front of what used to be her sweet shop, at the bottom of Bear Hill. Miss Twitty worked in this little shop for 34 years; from 1929, when the previous owners retired, to 1963, and she had bought it in 1933. Thirty four years of serving the children of the village. I only knew her for the last 4 of her years in the shop, but they were the years I grew from 9 years old to 13--so they were significant and she was imprinted on my memory of childhood. Miss Twitty wor

Industrious Girl

We were sitting at the kitchen table, drinking our coffee one recent morning, me and my man. I was overcome with appreciation for who he is and I told him that one of the things I love about him is that he would do anything--and I mean, any-thing, for his family. So then I was curious. "What do you appreciate about me, specifically?" I asked. I mean, sometimes it is nice to know, isn't it? :) This seemed to be a hard question. I could tell the pressure was on. The clock was ticking, like on a quiz show with a time limit before the buzzer rings. I could see the furrowed brow and the figurative pencil being chewed. Beads of sweat were breaking out! Then, "Industrious!" Paul said triumphantly, "You are very industrious." Um, "Industrious?" I didn't feel like I hit the jackpot somehow with that quality. I mean, I'm sure that when he first fell for me,  it wasn't because he spotted "Industrious Girl." :) I have to a


It happens every now and then; getting lost; and I need to find my bearings again, the true and sure things, including my best "me," which sometimes goes missing in action. I need to find home, that place of retreat and security, where I know and am known. Home safe. I pick up my pen and write. A heart can pour through pen to page and in doing so find such sweet relief. I quiet my restless soul and sit silent. I read. I read the words I need to soak me; to soften me; to move my heart back to kindness, gentleness and humility. I close my eyes to listen better--just in case God might have something to say. He sometimes speaks against the background tick of clock, whirring chimes and the hum of a house. I hear a welcome. Welcome home. And I am grateful; to be enfolded in the grace that only waits for an open heart.

We Remember

As we approach Remembrance Day, this week was also the 33rd annual Holocaust Education Week. Paul and I attended a lecture given by Dr. Beth Griesch-Polelle, an associate professor in the Department of History at Bowling Green State University. The evening was hosted by Reena, a Jewish organization that supports people with developmental disabilities. The presentation was titled, "Euthanasia: The First Victims," and it focused on the extermination of over 200,000 persons with disabilities who were among the first victims of the euthanasia project--a process of eliminating those deemed unworthy of life. Professor Greisch-Polelle spoke of Bishop von Galen, an aristocratic Roman Catholic clergyman, who earned the nickname, "The Lion of Munster," for his open criticism of the Nazis through his sermons in 1941, where he spoke of the murder of developmentally disabled individuals and outrages  against Christian clergy, both Catholic and Protestant. He told his c