Tag Archives: generosity

Please Forgive Me.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, December 21, 2015

FORGIVE as quickly as you want God to forgive

Please Forgive Me.

A position of control. Who doesn’t like to be in control? That is exactly where I am when I say, “That’s okay. I forgive you.”

But what about the flip side? What about when I totally made a misstep? When I put my foot in my mouth? Make a fool out of myself with another asinine comment? That makes me feel really small, really young and foolish.

So, who wouldn’t feel small, after considering that? Regardless of whether I have sacred guinea pigs or a deal of an alphabet soup, Henri Nouwen’s insight remains so profound. Imagine asking another person, “Can you forgive me?” Just think of how much openness of spirit and generosity it would take?

But, let’s go one further. Imagine asking God, “Can You forgive me?”

Nouwen even goes the next step, after that. He says in a quote from today’s reading: “Can I be open to forgiveness?” [1] Can I, indeed!

The Advent Action for this day, so appropriate: “Ask forgiveness of one person today. Let each person you meet today leave your presence a happier person.” [2]

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Advent and Christmas: Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen (Linguori, Missouri: Redemptorist Pastoral Publications, 2004), 46.

[2] Ibid, 47.

Easter Sunday – Gift of Generosity. Freely Given.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, April 4, 2015

BK wherever there is a human

Easter Sunday – Gift of Generosity. Freely Given.

Today marks the celebration of Easter.

However, three days ago, we remembered the torture, trial and sentencing of our Lord. We remembered the way to the cross, the Via Dolorosa, as well as the Seven Last Words spoken from the cross. As the words of the Apostles Creed tell us, “He was crucified, dead, and buried.”

But that was Friday—this is Sunday. In churches and other sanctuaries around the world, we celebrate the blessed fact that Jesus is no longer dead. Death is conquered, and He is risen!

Christ is risen, indeed!

Today is also the end of the 40 acts of Generosity, the end of doing 40 generous, kind acts for Lent. In this effort, we were instructed to do generous acts, even small things of kindness, to try to change our surroundings. Change our homes, schools, workplaces, neighborhoods. If each of us who signed up for #40acts did even 20 generous, kind things (not the whole 40, but only half that many), just think of what a groundswell of good feeling and positive energy will be generated. Has been generated, already!

In the short video put out on the www.40acts.org.uk website (and Facebook page), a brief celebration of the #40acts of generosity was posted. At the end appeared the catchphrase “Do Lent Generously.” Except . . . with a difference. The phrase read, “Do Life Generously.”

What a marvelous opportunity to make a regular difference in my home, my workplace, my community. Even, making a daily difference! What a challenge to me. To us. To strive to be a kind, generous person, thinking of others before I think of myself.

Dear God, help me to think in this way. Encourage me—encourage each of us to think of good, kind, generous activities and words and even thoughts for others. What a way to continue being generous and kind! Thanks, Lord.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

(Check out #40acts; doing Lent generously at www.40acts.org.uk )

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

Day #28 – Roll Up My Sleeves? Yesss!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, March 21, 2015

My A Year of Being Kind t-shirt!

My A Year of Being Kind t-shirt!

Day #28 – Roll Up My Sleeves? Yesss!

When I read the #40acts post for today, I couldn’t have been more pleased. This blog post was right up my alley. I don’t know if you know, but I am intimately acquainted with this idea. I wrote a daily blog in 2014 called A Year of Being Kind: 365 Days of Service.

In this blog, I tried to focus on being kind, being helpful, and being of service. In most blog entries, I tried to write about how I tried to be kind. Each Friday, I focused on someone else being helpful or of service. (Yes, a Focus Friday!) I was successful in writing every day in 2014. What a wonderful offering to God! And, what an opportunity to show my friends, family, church, and strangers that God loved them, too. (I am still highlighting my Being Kind posts, at ayearofbeingkind.wordpress.com . )

Yes, I immediately connected with #40acts back in February, when I saw that they were offering the opportunity for people to do 40 acts of generosity and kindness. When #40acts asked people to think about how much they could affect their neighborhood, their church, their friends, their workplace, their school. This is a marvelous chance to truly change the world! One generous, kind act at a time.

Practical generosity. The kind that gets things done, one act at a time. One day at a time.

Before I even saw today’s suggestion for Day #28, I saw an older woman trying to open a door at a coffee shop, later last night. The woman had mobility issues, difficulty with her feet, and walked with a cane. Without even thinking about it, I held the door open for her. (Second nature, I suppose.) I smiled at her with my friendly, cheerful expression, and waited for her to slowly make her way through the doorway.

After getting my coffee, I proceeded out the other way. I saw the older woman again, near the bathroom. She had dropped one of her gloves, and was trying to scoot it up the wall with her cane. (She had difficulty bending over.) She wasn’t doing very well, and I could see her start to get frustrated. I stooped to get the glove and gave it to her on my way out. She was so grateful!

I don’t mean to pat myself on the back, but that is typical of what I often do. I help people. I’m often kind and of service. Of course, having the spiritual gifts of helps, mercy, discernment and spiritual nurture makes it easier. (Note I did not say “easy!” No. Just easier.) I wonder how much I have affected the world? The world? Nah!! Too grandiose. My neighborhood is enough for me.

God willing, I can express God’s love. And I can preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, I can even use words. Thank You, Lord!

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

(Check out #40acts; doing Lent generously at www.40acts.org.uk )

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  I also have Being Kind t-shirts at my blogs, too. @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

Day #18 – Apologize? Who, Me?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, March 10, 2015

let's make them birds

Day #18 – Apologize? Who, Me?

I read today’s suggestion from #40acts with some interest. I know something about apologies, and I also know something about forgiveness. (Not to mention knowing something about resentments, which are sometimes by-products of what happens when an apology is never made or never accepted.)

Being unwilling to apologize . . . or unable. This has happened, truthfully speaking. Rigorous honesty constrains me to say this. However, sometimes I have waited for an apology. And waited. And waited some more. A few times, the apology never came. I tend not to gnaw over missed chances or oversights. If something doesn’t happen, that’s okay. Well, not exactly okay, but I do not plan on holding grudges for the rest of my life.

Now, every once in a while, I’ll have a situation that keeps coming back to my mind. Verging on a resentment. Like this situation I wrote about several weeks ago. I prayed about it for about two weeks, and truthfully, it left my mind. I stopped obsessing about it. Amazing, how that happens.

I am pleased to say that I don’t believe I have any outstanding apologies to make, right now. Of course, that may change. Any day now. Even, several times a day, sometimes. I step on toes sometimes. I misspeak or make mistakes, and those things ought to be taken care of as soon as I realize I have done them.

I loved the example given in the email today from #40acts: apologizing on behalf of someone else. What a great idea, and what a way to spread kindness, encouragement and generosity.

God, help me to have the wherewithal and gumption to apologize promptly, wherever and whenever needed. Thanks, God!

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

(Check out #40acts; doing Lent generously at www.40acts.org.uk )

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

Day #6 – Saying Thank You? Praying, As Well!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, February 24, 2015

THANK you flowers

Day #6 – Saying Thank You? Praying, As Well!

Today’s suggestion of generosity is one I can really sink my teeth into! As the 40acts post says, gratitude is one of the best catalysts for generosity. Gratitude and thankfulness are closely related. When you and I are thankful, isn’t it natural to wish to share that gratitude? Sharing the blessing(s) we received is often natural, too.

I have been on a journey. A multi-year journey, in which I have traversed emotional mountain ranges, huge spiritual deserts, and rocky denominational terrain. In the midst of it all, I have finally found a home in the Federation of Christian Ministries, an ecumenical, non-denominational association of Christians. This community encourages all of its members in their personal and individual ministerial activities.

After much prayerful consideration and discussion with some trusted, mature spiritual mentors and companions, I put my name (and a whole lot of paperwork) in for consideration with the FCM Circle of Directors. The Circle prayerfully considered me and a group of other members, and I received the joyful news that I—and a number of other FCM members—have been approved for commissioning. That’s the equivalent of ordination. So, in just a few weeks, I and several others will joyfully have a commissioning service at my church in the Chicago suburbs. Thank God!

You better believe I have sent out a number of sincere “thank you notes” to my many friends, colleagues and mentors in the past two weeks! This occasion is a radically joyful one for me. The beginning of a whole new stage in ministry. And, an occasion to let many people know how grateful, thankful and humbled I am for their constancy, friendship, encouragement and support.

So, I am advised to take some time to express my gratitude. (Oh, yes!! Abundant, even overflowing gratitude and thankfulness!) And, I am advised to let someone—even a lot of people!—know they are fully appreciated.

Thankful. And grateful. And so appreciative, too.

(Check out #40acts; doing Lent generously at www.40acts.org.uk )

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

Day #4 – Surprise! A Day to Be Generous! Prayerfully.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, February 21, 2015

generous choose generosity

Day #4 – Surprise! A Day to Be Generous! Prayerfully.

When I checked my email this morning before I left the house, I saw this generosity suggestion from #40acts. Hmm. I remember commenting to God—not specifically praying, mind you—“Gee, I wonder who I might be generous to, today?”

This suggestion is similar to times I blogged about in my daily blog last year, A Year of Being Kind (at wordpress.com). Many of the situations I saw as I looked over the kids’ 40acts calendar for Lent 2015 were similar, actually. I look upon that as a wonderful thing! Yes, I’ve done today’s particular generous, kind deed several times last year. Except, I sort-of, kind-of made it all up as I went along, last year.

This year, it is decidedly different. Being involved with 40acts and doing Lent generously this year gives me a sense of the unexpected. Not knowing what sort of generous, kind suggestion will come my way the next day. As in, today.

I went to my regularly scheduled yoga class at the YMCA this morning. (My teacher is marvelous! The attendance at her classes testify to that fact, too.) I grabbed two mandarin oranges from the bowl on the kitchen table as I went out the door. I ate one after yoga, while I changed in the locker room. The other? I gave away.

These were not just any old pieces of fruit. No, they were special, super-sweet mandarin oranges! Fantastic in flavor and texture. Absolutely perfect, in my opinion. And the woman I gave the orange to? A lovely employee at the Y. A member of the janitorial staff. Always cheerful, pleasant, with a friendly smile on her face. Which brightened and got even wider when I handed her the orange. She thanked me for the orange. I returned her bright smile. She and I exchanged a quick hug in the hallway, and that was that.

Except for the grace. The surprise. A spontaneous, kind, generous act. I’m so glad I thought of it as I left the locker room and happened to meet this lovely lady. I hope she felt special today, through something as small as an unexpected gift of a fantastic orange. God bless her, today and every day!

(Check out #40acts; doing Lent generously at www.40acts.org.uk )

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blog, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza