Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Life after delivery

This is one of those stories that circulates and nobody knows who the author is.  I've posted before things that I didn't write, and I want to do it again today because this one can really make you think.  This one is about faith -

In a mother's womb were two babies. One asked the other: "Do you believe in life after delivery?"

The other replies, "Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later."

"Nonsense," says the other. "There is no life after delivery. What would that life be?"

"I don't know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths."

The other says "This is absurd! Walking is impossible. And eat with our mouths? Ridiculous. The umbilical cord supplies nutrition. Life after delivery is to be excluded. The umbilical cord is too short."
 
"I think there is something and maybe it's different than it is here."
 
"No one has ever come back from there. Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery it is nothing but darkness and anxiety and it takes us nowhere."

"Well, I don't know," says the other, "but certainly we will see mother and she will take care of us."
 
"Mother??! You believe in mother? Where is she now?"
 
"She is all around us. It is in her that we live. Without her there would not be this world."
 
"I don't see her, so it's only logical that she doesn't exist."
 
To which the other replied, "sometimes when you're in silence you can hear her, you can perceive her." I believe there is a reality after delivery and we are here to prepare ourselves for that reality."

As I said at the beginning, these words are not mine, but I wanted to share this beautiful perspective on faith with you.  Of course we all know that there is indeed life after delivery from the womb.  How many of you believe in life after delivery from our earthly journey?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Forgive and Forget

Forgive and forget?  Retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa has a few things to say about that.

“Forgiving and being reconciled to our enemies or our loved ones are not about pretending that things are other than they are. It is not about patting one another on the back and turning a blind eye to the wrong. True reconciliation exposes the awfulness, the abuse, the hurt, the truth. It could even sometimes make things worse. It is a risky undertaking but in the end it is worthwhile, because in the end only an honest confrontation with reality can bring real healing. Superficial reconciliation can bring only superficial healing.”

The archbishop further says “Forgiving is not forgetting; its actually remembering - remembering and not using your right to hit back. Its a second chance for a new beginning. And the remembering part is particularly important. Especially if you don't want to repeat what happened.”

Monday, March 27, 2017

Love those health care workers

It was not my plan at all to spend the weekend in hospital, but that's what happened. I won't go into details, because this blog is NOT about me, but I will say I am okay and there is no need to worry. I also want to say that health care workers are incredible!

In the past few days I got to see nurses, aides, technicians, phlebotomists, physicians, and any number of other hospital employees, not only dealing with me, but I could overhear their interactions with other patients.  So much caring!  If the whole world was like the people I have just encountered this weekend, we would never have anything to worry about.

Being a nurse or any health care worker, makes a difference to other people.  Think about the work they do the next time you visit your doctor.  Be sure to say thanks!


Friday, March 24, 2017

The day Mom left

Tomorrow is one of those anniversaries that is very bittersweet. It will be four years since Mom (Teddy Fritts) left us. I try not to write about me in this blog. The purpose here as you know, is to write about heroes who change the world - people who make a difference. For me, there is nobody who made more of a difference than my mom.

Last year March 25th was Good Friday. It's a very solemn church day, but we looked ahead a couple of days when my friend and I went to visit her final resting place. I stood there thinking not only of how much I missed her, but of how much she gave me. That's what happens with our heroes. They make us better. Mom most certainly made me the person I am today. She also influenced countless others.


This weekend, join my sister and I in thinking about our mom. Think too of your own parents and of people who made a difference to you. Let them know what they mean to you, and always keep them in your heart.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

more ways to brighten the day

Remember those lists we have begun here before?  Well let's see what else we can add to make a difference in the lives of others. In no particular order, here are a number of additional ideas. 
 
Give another driver your parking spot.  Give your full attention to someone in need and simply listen.  Stop by a nursing home, and visit someone who has no family nearby.  Have a clean-up party in the park.  Bring coworkers a special treat.  Buy cold drinks for the people next to you at a ball game.  Spend some time serving food at a meal program for the needy.  Volunteer to be a tutor in a school.  Remember the bereaved with phone calls, cards, plants, and food.
 
Volunteer to read to kids in the library.  Donate time at a senior center.  Give a pair of tickets to a concert or baseball game to a stranger.  Send a gift anonymously to a friend.  Transport someone who can’t drive.  Make telephone calls in support of equality urging others to put aside hate.  Send a treat to a school or day-care center.  Volunteer at an organization that needs help.  Go through your closets and find several nice items and then donate them to a shelter.  Buy books for a day care or school.  Give toys to the children at a shelter.  Volunteer to fix up an elderly couple’s home.

Invite someone new for dinner, either in your home or in a restaurant. Say nice things randomly to facebook and twitter friends.  Buy some bottles of water and randomly hand them out to strangers on the street.  Drop off a plant or a plate of cookies to your nearby police or fire station.  Clean graffiti from neighborhood walls and buildings.  Buy a stranger a free pizza.  Write “It’s Random Acts of Kindness Day! Have a great day!” on slips of paper and place them on parked cars.  Mow a neighbor’s grass or sweep a neighbor’s walk.  Offer to return a shopping cart to the store for someone loading a car.

Pay for the person behind you in the movie line.  Tell your parents/children why you love them.  Make a point of finding the name of a supermarket or drugstore employee and then praise him/her through that company’s corporate office.  When drivers try to merge into your lane, let them in with a wave and a smile.  Tell your boss that you think he/she does a good job.  Give blood.  Treat someone to fresh fruit.  Sing at a nursing home. 
 
Let's let this list keep on growing!
 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Grassroots campaigns work

Do you like what is going on in Washington, DC these days?  Are you happy with the workings in your own state or local governments?  How many of you can name your mayor or your representatives in Congress?  When things are going like the people want them to, and when justice and equality fly out the window, it's time to get involved!

I actually think it is ALWAYS good to be involved.  Congress this week is voting on a health care act, and I think every single American should be concerned.  Turn on the evening tv news or pick up the morning newspaper.  Stay aware, and then get involved.

It's amazing what a simple grassroots campaign can do.  Seriously.  The folks who say "You can't fight City Hall" are wrong.  You can write letters, send emails, make phone calls and you can make a difference.  To begin though, you need to know what you are doing.  Inform yourself.  A good way to find out about government bodies, is to look at their websites.  Head on down to your local city hall and see the city council in action.  Know about it, and then do something.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

To do good and to distribute

From the book Hebrews in The Bible:  "To do good and to distribute, forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." What exactly does that mean?  Well, the message is for us to not forget to do good and to share what we have because God is pleased with these kinds of sacrifices.  Actually the word "sacrifices" might not even be the best translation.  We might better say that God is pleased with those kinds of offerings.
 
Doing good and sharing - such a simple thing, huh? This pleases God and let me tell you it pleases a lot of others too. What though should we share?  How should we do good?  Of course there is not just one answer and it will likely be different for every one of us.  That's what makes it so wonderful. 

I have a coworker who brings fruit every day and she always offers me some.  It's part of who she is.  I have something and I will offer part of it to others.  It's like when you go to someone's house and they offer you a beverage or perhaps even a snack. You came to see them - nothing more, but in their charity and in their hospitality, they offer to share more than just themselves.
 
Think about this today. What does doing good mean in your life? How do you share what you have? (One really helpful kind of sharing is if you give us some feedback in the comments section below).