Monday, December 29, 2008

2009: Make it the "Acts of Kindness YEAR"

By John Kubicek

It was on my way home from work and my stop at the store when I had the impulse to do something nice for somebody. Yes, I said it was an impulse. The grocery store that I frequent enrout to my domicile was unusually busy this morning, but there was only one cashier. It was, as usual in the early morning on my trek home, Paula (name not changed to protect the innocent, and it doesn't matter, because I do not even know her last name). She's a nice lady, about my age. She knows my first name, too, and it is wonderful to have that kind of relationship with people where you always shop.

I only stopped at the grocery store to pick up a couple things. Hearing that we may be getting more snow in the next day or two, I decided to stock up. I picked up extra cans of various veggies along with some other essentials. Getting it today would save me the trouble of battling the elements to do any shopping in the next few days while I enjoy my weekend.

Being that I had a cart loaded with all of this stuff when my shopping was done ... uh, actually just a bunch of items, I let somebody go ahead of me at the cashier line because he only had a couple of things. No problem. And then, just as I started loading all of those things on that conveyor belt, somebody came up behind me, also with a couple little things. Paula had already started ringing up my desired merchandise, so I couldn't really let that guy go ahead of me. So, I simply stated that he should put those couple of things in with my stuff, I'd pay for it, it was on me. That way, Paula could give him his stuff and he could be on his way!

Of course, the gentleman balked at first. You know, the thing where the person says, "You don't have to do that...", and of course, I persisted, and he relented. Paula looked at me across the counter as she was scanning my goods, with the wide eyes that asked with out saying a word, "What are you doing?"

I told her a lie. I said it was "National Acts of Kindness Day." And I quickly added further to the fib by amending that to "National Acts of Kindness Week." Like I said, it was just one of those things that came to me, pretty much on the spot.

There is an alterior motive for me to relate this story to you today. Obviously, being that this all happened spontaneously, what I did wasn't premeditated, but there was the great reason - right there - why you needed to hear about this today.

I had written about it somewhere else this last weekend - oh, yeah, in the email I sent to Kevin Wall, filling in for the resting Glenn Beck - that we have to choose betwen "Individual efforts or dependence on the government.... " Kevin Wall talked about it, and Pat Boone wrote about it. It's a question of, "Would you rather?"

There will be many people that will face certain financial hardships in the coming year(s). I can tell you this from my usual right-wing slant: The government ain't going to be there to help every person through the financial storm. And, as drastic as things may be financially in 2009, I doubt that you and I will be able to bail out every individual facing financial devastation. But, guess what? We can help, just by doing nice things for people when it is possible. If anything, just to get their morale back up, to give people some hope.

By making 2009 the "Acts of Kindness YEAR," maybe we can make it contagious. Just doing some little things in quantity could make a difference in somebody's life. This is just an idea, based on what Jesus may have commanded us to do... Oh, yeah, he did! But, He didn't command us to pass on that awesome responsibility to some bureaucrats in high government positions.

No, He made it very clear that taking care of and loving people was our sole responsibility, to the best of our ability. And I don't know about you, but I'm not financially able to make a difference in that way most of the time, but it isn't that expensive to hold a door open for somebody or help a little old lady across a busy street, or allow somebody in heavy traffic to change lanes without us having a hissy-fit. Be kind. Being kind is an act of kindness. That is all it will take to make it contagious. I think you'll see.

And, I may as well say it, if you follow this plan, there's something in it for you. It is like crying with a great feeling in my heart all the way home from the grocery store today. The feeling that you get from it is better than the high the best drugs would ever give you.

Jesus didn't just suggest it, but he commanded: Love Thy Neighbor.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Glenn Beck's story of Christmas

The Glenn Beck program brings you the story of Christmas.

You can either read the transcript, or listen to the actual audio from his show. And here's the really good part: It's free! Please read and/or listen to it. I know you've probably heard the Christmas story many times. However, in this segment, Glenn discusses a perspective of the birth of Jesus that I had not ever thought of or heard before. In other words, an overlooked part of the Christmas story that may help you.
This is a story, this is a story that has been told so many times. We all know where it begins and how it ends. It's a story of birth and death. Of hope and despair. Of great doubt and even greater faith. That's the part we're going to concentrate on, great doubt and profound faith. As anyone can tell you who has stood at the foot of Abraham Lincoln, the Memorial in Washington D.C. and gazed up into his face, our historical figures are so often painted with such bold strokes that they become more giants than men, yet I believe to truly understand their brilliance, their courage or their faith, we need to see them first as who they really were: People just like us, people with hopes and dreams and fears. Just like us. [Continue reading or listen]
digg story, submitted by bakeshowdotus

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Walk On - By Rev. Gerri Janeway


Walk On

By Rev. Gerri Janeway

Don't let anyone or anything stop you, slow you, or detour you.
Walk on.

Your steps are ordered by God.
You will never walk alone.
Walk on.

Jesus promised never to leave you or forsake you.
Walk on.

The Lord will walk with you;
but, he cannot walk for you.

Walk on.

The faith walk is a choice.
There will be times that you do not feel like walking.

Walk on.

Jesus did not feel like walking the Calvary Road.
Yet, He walked on.
Walk on in persistence.

When others whom you love turn back,
Walk on.

When those you trusted and walked with turn aside,
Walk on.

When friends leave you and forsake you,
Walk on.

Don't turn to the left or the right;
keep your heart focused on your walk... And,
Walk on.

Remember, your walk is chartered and planned by God.
Walk on.

Straight is the way and narrow the gate.
Keep your feet on the Highway of Holiness.
Walk in His footsteps.
Walk on.

Never forget, many are called but, few are chosen
To walk that path.

Walk on.

He will give you courage and strength for the journey.
His Grace is sufficient.

Walk on.

We are nearing the end of the journey.
We are almost Home.

Walk on, my child, walk on.

Published with permission. © 2008 ~ Rev. Gerri Janeway. You may republish this by including this statement.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Who are we? The answer could be overwhelming...

By John Kubicek

Very early this morning, on an extremely cold wintry day here in Iowa, I finished reading "The Christmas Sweater", the best-selling novel by Glenn Beck. I will never, ever forget the thoughts that ran through my mind as I finished the last several chapters. I was overwhelmed.

Overwhelming feelings can come in different ways. I remember, quite vividly, the way I was overwhelmed almost five years ago when my wife passed away. That was overwhelming grief. It was a storm in my life that I eventually got through, but it was difficult. It did take some time.

And then there are times when we can experience overwhelming joy. The birth of a child comes to my mind, right off the bat, especially when we are talking about the child born in a manger 2000 years ago, the great gift that God has given us.

Well, even the birth of our own children, and all that we see while our loved ones progress through life - even when they have to struggle through their own storms - can all lead to overwhelming joy!

However, each of us are going to have different reactions to the way we see the storms in our lives, just as we will take different roads to deal with the storms.

The way we deal with our storms defines who we are. For those of us who face our storms, and reach the other side of the storm as it eventually passes by, we are rewarded, in ways you may haven't thought of. You will find many people that have faced the storms in their lives and overcame them will go on to help many other people. Glenn Beck is a great example of that, as this gentleman attests to:

So, as you are struggling through your storms, the ones in your past, present, and future, you can feel additional inspiration and confidence by knowing that at some point you will be there to assist somebody else through their storm. And maybe that is why God puts those storms in front of us from time to time. That's an answer that is truly overwhelming!