Tag Archives: today’s suggestion

Day #40 – Freely, Generously. Undercover, Too,

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

BK be kind 1 Thess

Day #40 – Freely, Generously. Undercover, Too,

Today is the 40th day of doing Lent generously. Today’s suggestion was to be generous, under cover. (Or, undercover. Whichever you want it to be.)

I can’t talk about what I did today, other than to say that I did something which was unlike me. Generous, yes! Kind, yes! But, it was stepping outside of my usual way of doing things. Stretching myself, going out of my way.

I did something else today that I have done before, but not for a while. It was a generous, kind thing, too. And—I can’t talk about that, either!

Except to say that I hope and pray that the two very different people involved are blessed by God in a special way today.

Can you pray with me for these two people? Dear Lord, gracious God, we come to You on behalf of these two dear children of Yours. In two widely different situations. Lord, help them. Encourage them. Give them good, positive opportunities. Lift them up and do not allow anything negative to gain a foothold in either of their lives. Dear God, I pray for the friends and families of these two dear ones. Thanks so much for the chance I had to come alongside of each one. Not only for these two people, but for our efforts during these past 40 days. Thank You for helping each of us to make our corner of the world a little more generous, a little more kind. Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.

@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 #36 – Do I Do the Dirty Work?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, March 31, 2015

BK help people

Day #36 – Do I Do the Dirty Work?

I laughed when I read this post with today’s suggestion. I really did. Believe it or not, I did exactly this, yesterday morning. I did some spot cleaning in the bathroom yesterday before I left for work. Not unusual. I sometimes do this. Give a quick wipe to the surfaces in the bathroom. The sink, the toilet top. The mirror. But yesterday, I went the extra mile. The next step.

The bathtub was looking especially grimy. We had the older bathtub refinished last spring, and it looked amazing! But that was a year ago. With four growing and grown people using the bathtub in our condo on a regular basis, we quickly got the bathtub grimy. You know, with soap scum. (Gee, I feel a bit scummy, just thinking about it!)

As I gave the bathtub some swipes with the cleanser, using some elbow grease, I was gratified to see the bathtub come clean. (Or, at least, clean-er.) However, this is not my favorite-est chore in the world. Far from it!

I have a confession to make. My name is Elizabeth, and I am not the best at cleaning my house. It’s not that I live amidst piles of crap. I definitely do not live in a place with half-eaten food and other remains littered in front of the television! Heaven forbid. No! However, even though I have some ancestors who came from Poland, I did not inherit the Polish cleaning genes that some of the females in my extended family did.

(I can remember some of the grandmas, in the neighborhood of Chicago where I grew up, who kept spotless houses. One Polish grandma several doors down from our house even washed the garage floor. Imagine!)

I can clean. I even do a good job for other people! Like seniors, or shut-ins, or people who have just gotten out of the hospital. I honestly enjoy doing things for others. However, having a perfectly clean house is just not a priority for me. So, today’s suggestion gave me some pause. I definitely have some work to do in this area!

Dear God, thanks for giving me four working limbs so that I am easily able to clean house. Help motivate me to clean, more often. I mean, more often than I do, now. And thanks, especially, for giving me a heart to help out others! I know that’s important to You, too. As is often the case, You would like me to reach some balance. Help me work on that. Amen. So be it, 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 #35 – Bite My Tongue?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, March 30, 2015

BK one kind word changes

Day #35 – Bite My Tongue?

Ouch. I resemble that remark. Or, rather, today’s whole #40acts post.

That is, I used to resemble today’s post about being careless with my tongue and subsequently watching my remarks. I remember, in my late teens and twenties, that I had an acerbic tongue. Sometimes it would hit the mark, and cause chuckles or even outright laughter. But on a number of occasions, I would go too far. Say something way out of line.

What is that old saying? “Turnabout is fair play!” Since I was hanging around with several people who made this their habit, I was put in the situation of being the recipient of acerbic, sarcastic remarks more than once. Many more times than once. I found out—the hard way!—how much those remarks stung. Hurt. Festered. You better believe I licked my wounds.

Gradually, I came to understand that this way of speaking was not the way to behave. This was not the way to make friends and influence people. At least, not the kind of people I enjoyed hanging out with. You helped me to clean up my hasty language, too.

Today’s suggestions in Katherine’s post make so much sense! The opposite is so often the case. The New Testament letter of James makes the penetrating point that the tongue is a small thing. Tiny, as far as the whole rest of the body is concerned. But it’s oh-so-similar to the rudder of a ship. The tongue can steer me and my thoughts and attitudes in specific directions. Positive? Caring? Negative? Sarcastic? How about fearful? Or judgmental? Or excitable?

A slip of the tongue can ruin a conversation, or even a relationship. Conversely, a well-placed word can benefit not only me, but my friends. My acquaintances. My boss. My family.

God, thanks for the progress You and I have made together, in these past number of years. Dear God, help me to continue watching what I say, and make my words pleasing to You. Such a little thing, the tongue; help us all to be more aware of what and how we speak. Thanks, God! You’re the best.

@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 #34 – A Good Steward, Prayerfully

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, March 28, 2015

pray for the world

Day #34 – A Good Steward, Prayerfully

Ever hear something (or read something) and immediately have a scene from your past pop into your head? That was me, when I read today’s excellent suggestion from Ruth.

As I went through the colored action suggestions at the end of the blog post, my eye fell on the first one, the green one. And I immediately went back several decades, to when I was twelve or thirteen years old.

My dad was alive then. We were in the little brick house in Chicago where I (and my older brothers and sisters) all grew up. My dad was a statistician, and particularly precise and conscientious where saving money was concerned. We didn’t have too much to spare, especially with my older sisters at the University of Illinois. (Yes, both at the same time.) He drilled it into all of our heads to be thoughtful and careful with what we used, how much we used, and why we used it. This was the same with food to paper products to utilities.

I particularly remember several times when I was either twelve or thirteen. It was winter time, so a time of earlier darkness. A time of more artificial lights. I would go into a room, find what I needed, and automatically flip off the light switch as I left the room.

“Hey! I’m still in here!” was what my dad said, disgruntled. This happened several times. (At least.) I would look back, chagrined. Sorry. Apologetic. “I’m just doing what you said. What you taught me.” I distinctly remember saying that, at least a couple of times.

I know our family was thinking about saving money when we grew up. We needed to count our pennies. (Pennies were worth something in those days! But, I’m showing my age.) Now, when I think twice about turning on lights, or turning down the heat in my condominium, or using that reusable insulated cup for my coffee or tea in the morning, I am also thinking about being a good steward of creation. Of the gifts and blessings God has given me. What a good reminder of what I can do, to make a difference.

@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 #33 – How to Scrap the Schedule

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, March 27, 2015

now clock

Day #33 – How to Scrap the Schedule

I saw today’s suggestion, and I immediately knew what I was going to write about. In fact, two situations popped into my head.

The first is a recent visit I made to a shut-in. I cleared my schedule for most of the day, and went on a visit. This shut-in and I talked together for quite some time. I opened my ears and listened, and I offered my friendship. In the same way as I offer my smile and friendly conversation to many people, I realized I gave my time, freely.

This hadn’t even crossed my mind, before. I hadn’t thought about this, not until I read today’s post from #40acts. Wendy talked about giving the gift of time, and being generous with the schedule. I did this, too. Just recently. Some days I can’t. I have so much going on at my work. But on this particular day, I did. And this dear person appreciated my visit.

The second situation was with my daughter, recently. I know, my family is so important! However, in certain cases, the family gets short shrift. Again, I know I ought to make time for my family. My loved ones. Yet—do I go out of my way to make the time?

My college-age, youngest daughter and I randomly took off, several weekends ago. Just drove in the car for a ways, and stopped for coffee (for me, tea for her). Stopped at a store we found interesting, and talked as we drove. I know these times are becoming few and far in between. Bittersweet.

Yet, if I don’t take the initiative to scrap my schedule on occasion, I know I will look back with sadness. Wistfulness. Downright regret. Plus, being generous with my time makes people happy!

God, help me to scrap my schedule more often. Please. Thank You!

@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 #32 – Brag About Besties! And Pray, Too.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, March 26, 2015

like you anyway

Day #32 – Brag About Besties! And Pray, Too.

I’ve got a confession to make. I don’t have a smart phone. Or a camera phone. I have a dumb phone. One good for talking and for texting. I also do not have an Instagram account. (Probably because I do not have a camera/smart phone.) However, I am periodically fascinated by others’ photos. And selfies.

Today’s suggestion intrigued me. Of course, I have never taken a selfie. I kind of, sort of might like to try. But, I recognize that’s selfish. Better for me to talk about my friends than to focus on me, me, me! So, I’ll tell you about a few other people. Boast about them! Brag!

First, I’ll tell you about my good friend Susan. She is sweet, loving, patient and one of the most caring people I know. She would be quick to let you know that she is also a mom of several kids. Very active, curious kids! And, she owns a sweet dog who, while greeting you, almost bowls you over. Susan goes above and beyond in her work, since she works with developmentally and intellectually disabled people, and loves what she does. God bless you, Susan! I thank God for my dear, dear friend.

Next, I think of Alison and Ivan. Marvelous couple! Genuinely interested in everyone. They worked for years outside of this country as missionaries. Or was Ivan a pastor? Counselor? Was Alison a lactation consultant? Or good friend? Now, they are back in the area. The best thing I think of when I consider this lovely couple is that I could immediately pick up an in-depth conversation with either of them as if we had just left off a few days before. Even though it was several years in between the times I saw them. My good friends, and coworkers in the Gospel.

Last, for right now, is my friend Stu. Some distance away, he is going through a difficult time right now—he and especially a dear loved one. (Pray for their family, if you would. Thank you so much!) Stu is a dear, dear friend of mine. He is a technical professional, detail-oriented toward his work, yet concerned about people—every individual he meets. His church and his friends are also important, but they are overshadowed by his immediate concerns about his family. Stu, friend of my heart, dear brother in Christ. Sending gentle thoughts and prayers your way in this challenging time!

Four dear, dear people, from different walks of life. God, be with each of them, as well as their families. May You send each one what they most need, today. Please, Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

@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 #31 – Be Courageous! In Secret.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, March 25, 2015

sending love

Day #31 – Be Courageous! In Secret.

Talk about a throwback. A blast from the past.

As I read today’s suggestion, I suddenly felt myself crouching in a crawl space underneath a camp building. I must have been all of twelve years old. A day in late winter, if I remember correctly. Separately, by threes and fours, we all slipped through the heavy metal door. The space was lit by electric lanterns. Not very much light. Or room.

I remember one of the other pastors (not my pastor) giving a brief explanation for why we all were doing this. Then, we had a quiet, intense, emotional worship service, and the highlight was a celebration of communion.

That was the first I had actual knowledge and understanding that there were (and are) Christians around the world who were—and are in dangerous situations.

Now, I know there are many, many millions of our fellow believers, those who call on the name of Christ, who are persecuted, In danger not only for the sake of their freedom, but of their lives.

Please. Get involved. Please. Do something beneficial. Tell others. Or find out more. Or pray. Or give of your time and talents. I pray for those who are—or have been—persecuted or in fear. Thank you.

@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 .