Friday, November 29, 2013

Develop the Hide of a Rhinoceros

Rejected Lion by Savannah Wilkes 
Have you ever received a rejection? 

More than one rejection of your article in the inbox of your email in one day? 

How do you handle rejection? 

Author or otherwise? 

Many call me Lionhearted Kat and think I'm tough. Fact is, until I made rejections my best friend, I didn't succeed. Check out my tidbits. 

Embrace rejections.  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Lionhearted Author Encouragement

Check out the post for writers--A tidbit to give you 
fresh thoughts for the upcoming winter days. 



LIONHEARTED ENCOURAGEMENT FOR AUTHORS
 Fresh inspiration for the fearful
Motivation for the rejected
Ideas for the brain dead
Hope for the unpublished

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Our Crowning Glory

Add caption


Four years and three months ago life looked a little different. The day my doctor said, “You need to see a surgeon,” I drove across town to a building with BIG BOLD SCARY letters on top. I called Teresa.

“You gotta start praying, this building says CANCER CLINIC in huge letters. I don’t think this is about me, but the book.” I’m sure I said more, but whatever. I told Teresa I knew the book I’d just published, “Capsules of Hope: Survival Guide for Caregivers” needed to be in every doctors office in town. So my visit inside this clinic had to do with the book—not me. Even then I didn’t think I had cancer.
A week later the surgeon handed out her diagnosis. “Its cancer—an aggressive cancer.” It still amazes me—that prophetic phone call—“Teresa, this isn’t about me—it’s about the book.”
Wow.
Daughter Marcy captured me in my foil bonnet—just one of many head coverings I’d wear in the next few months. Husband, well he loved me bald and at home I didn’t worry about wigs, bonnets or hats. But I grieved the loss of my hair.
Of course, before I lost my hair husband drove me to Bravado’s wig store. Before he sat down, husband said, “I’ve always wanted to be married to a blonde. Do you think you can help me out?” Sharon, the wonderful clerk laughed at that request and all the rest of husband’s nonsense while there. I walked out the door with two wigs—one brunette an one blonde—along with a couple other head coverings and an adorable hat.   

Six weeks later Sharon asked if I might share about “Capsules of Hope” and my breast cancer journey at Bravados.
I did and look at this? I ended up with a pink wig.
The wonderful news is I survived breast cancer—maybe I didn’t recover as quickly as others, but I am cancer free. When my hair grew back in I decided I’d never dye it again. After all, Proverbs 16:31 says, Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.
Well Life really isn't about me. But enjoy the photos anyway. 

Prayer: Thank you for bringing me through the tough times and although I still feel like husband left me too soon, he encouraged me through those first few weeks. He helped me accept my baldness. He also promoted “Capsules of Hope”—funny guy he was, he’d tell everyone it was a good book because after all, it was about him. And Lord,  never forget him snuggling in behind me at night. He thought I was already asleep, but often I heard him pray over me. I feel so blessed to be alive and able to share Jesus, my Savior and Redeemer with others. Thank you, God. Amen


Saturday, October 26, 2013

IN MY OPINION

Paul and his wife arrived at my house early on a Saturday morning prepared to repair the barrel paper box, the front deck and a couple birdhouses. 
House 2008. Deck holds old fashioned pump fountain and birdhouses. Barrel Paper box to the right of the gate.
After we walked around viewing the needed repairs, Julie said, “In my opinion….”

Not everyone is comfortable voicing their opinion to others—especially when it involves tearing down instead of repairing. But Julie’s opinion carried weight—lots of weight. I walked to the paper box—a cute little barrel with a roof husband put together years ago.
  
“You know I don’t use this anymore.” I pushed on the cute paper box and the whole thing fell over. The base had rotted—yes, the rest is good, but the roof needed repairs. Why not demolish.

It didn’t take long to remove the Old Fashioned Pump. Years before my mom bought it for husband’s birthday. The pump has Beatrice NE printed on it. Husband was born there so of course he wanted the pump. He thought himself super funny when he said, “I just love old things, that’s why Mook is still with me.”

Yes, he tagged me Mook years before. We grew old together like the aged pump out front. When I suffered with vision problems and needed to rest my eyes, husband turned the red pump into a fountain. Soothing sounds to my weary soul—but a few years back something happened to the electrical mechanism and now the once beautiful red treasure just sits peeling paint. 


The deck came down faster than removing the pump. Paul used a sledge hammer, Julie and I packed pieces to the pile out front.  The more Paul took apart, the more I could see we made the right decision. 

 Now what will happen to what once served as a cute deck that held a wonderful old-fashioned pump husband turned into a fountain? I put a FREE sign on the wood, some of it is quite usable—but no takers yet.



Today's photo, Oct 2013, shows the naked house.
No deck.
No birdhouses.
No old fashioned pump.
But then none of it was here when we bought the house nineteen years ago.

And God says to all downsizers:

Don’t panic. I’m with you. 
    There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.
I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.
    I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.  
Isaiah 41:10 (msg)




Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Refined by Fire


The idea of moving from my home threw me into a burning fire--
a fire-in-my-heart issue for sure.
FIRE!
Greg Jordan from Flickr

After three days, I developed a mindset, “You can do this Kat. You’ve moved before. Left things behind. Gave away and sold stuff. It only hurts for a little while—and look to the future.

You have a freedom to start over again. Less to maintain and another new beginning.  

The idea isn’t new to me. I’ve talked about moving since husband died almost four years ago. Always when the subject came up I’d say, “As long as Paddy dog is with me, I can’t move. He needs his yard.” Now Paddy is gone.

One day before his fourteenth birthday I had him put down.

“Although I can’t feel it, I’m pretty sure we are looking at cancer. His body is already shutting down,” The vet said.

After a few days of grief and rehashing Paddy memories with friends, I chose to prepare for future days.   


1. Leave green and white garbage bags in each closet. If I touch something in that closet that I haven’t used in the last year—pitch or give away.

2. Organize the basement by what needs to stay with the house, what I can sell and of course, those pitch or giveaway things. (I have one ledge completed. Great feeling.)

3. When I find cards from husband, children or grandkids remember the good times—but don’t save it. Either copy into the computer or pitch.

          What about the chess table
and other prized furniture husband built for me or the precious framed photos taken on our trips? For now, they remain where they are—
I don’t need to do everything in one day, one week or one month. 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
~Jeremiah 29:11



Monday, October 21, 2013

RAINED OUT GARAGE SALE

My family tagged me the garage sale quarter lady years ago. It seemed I could find whatever we needed or I might think we needed cheap. Often when I arrived home with my treasures husband rolled his eyes.

“Mook, do we really need that?”     
Of course, I felt we did.

On my drive home one day, it started to rain—one of those summer storms that hits Nebraska. Two men were holding a garage sale.

“Anything for $1.00,” one yelled when I slowed down.


“We’ll even load your van for you.” The other one grinned.

They didn’t need to offer twice—my huge purchases cost me only $10. I pulled into the garage, drug stuff to heavy for me to lift to the corner. Then threw blankets over the top to hide my treasures from husband. I knew for certain he’d question my sanity on these great finds.

When he parked the pickup in the front of the house, I greeted him with a big kiss. Excited, I almost told him, but then he was tired and I kept quiet.


The next week husband offered to help me clean house. I never say no. After we finished the major cleaning and sat for coffee, I asked for more help.

“Sure, whatcha need.”
Come with me.” One item at a time I uncovered my treasures. An old fashioned washtub I wanted for a planter—I couldn’t move it and it needed soil.
The top of a hutch to put on the top of the bathroom dresser—no way could I lift it very far and then…and then—


Two hours and lots of paint, varnish and elbow grease later even husband said the rained out garage sale blessed us—even if I spent more than quarters. 

Can't find the photos for all those fun finds, but here is the washtub. Its one thing I plant for me every year. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Memory Shared is a Memory Enjoyed

Last week I said I’d start downsizing tomorrow. The old cliché “Tomorrow never comes” seemed to lurk in the back of my mind—even when I typed that sentence. Only now it must be here. I’ve pulled out and uncovered more stuff than I knew I owned.

In 2008 I said, “Hon, you’ve got to move me to Oregon before you die. I won’t be able to manage this house.” A few weeks later we listed our house and husband set to downsizing.

I’m sure men that men by nature aren’t as emotionally attached to things as women. Soon after the house listed I searched for something I’d stored in the basement. That’s when I discovered husband had hauled truck loads of my treasures to the Salvation Army.  

“You said we needed to get rid of stuff,” he said. “Looked like junk to me. You certainly can’t take it to heaven with you.” His being right and his winsome grin lessened the tension. 

Wish husband were here. We could tackle a few memories and pitch them. I can just see the evening slide by.   


“Oh, Hon, do you remember when you sent me this card?” We’d read the card, smile and then talk about what happened that year and then pitch the card in the green garbage bag. 

When we pulled out the photo albums—now falling apart because of the glue gave out—we’d start at the beginning.
Talk about marriage. Our first dinky apartment. The first house we bought. When we found pictures of Husband, Me and our first daughter, we laugh about how we scrounged enough change to buy just one ice cream cone—a little bit for each of us.

“We didn’t have much but love back then,” husband would say and kiss me.

By the time midnight rolled around we might have emptied one tiny corner of a closet.

Well husband isn’t here and tomorrow has come—it’s time to do more than remember.    

Monday, October 14, 2013

SHARE TREASURES WITH OTHERS

Opened my email this morning—found a note from my friend Shirley.

You have been heavily on my mind the last few weeks....I wondered why. Now I know. Downsizing must be the most dreaded geriatric malady next to shingles. Recently I have peeked into overflowing closets, extracted a coat hanger and said "enough for today."

Florida was our 9th move. The other 8 were less traumatic because I packed everything with me. 

Twenty-two years ago I left my treasures in an Iowa ditch. Up to that time Early American everything had been my life.  My consolation the neighbor, watching from her upstairs window, swooped in to forage things the moment we drove out of sight.

The same thing will happen when we leave Florida except I will not be angry. I am accustomed to seeing personal contents from other people's lives stacked on the curb by angry faced adult children. (Shirley has worked as a caregiver for ten years or more. Most of her clients are elderly or infirmed. She has seen many die.)

On the upside, our daughters-in-law will send their husbands. Those three will pitch and make baskets with my K-mart vases and their baby pictures. In anticipation, I am going to draw some beards and moustaches on the latter just to let them know that once again old mom is one step ahead of them. 
clothes closet from freedigital photos


Don’t you love Shirley, even if you don’t know her, the wisdom and humor she stuffs in a short email are priceless—a good reminder—I need to forge through photos this week or maybe copy them into the computer for future reference. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Let Go of the Cards

The weird Phyllis Diller type woman on the front of the card yelled, “I’m having a personal crisis.” It looked like something I might purchase to give to husband. After all, menopause flips women end over end.

But no, the card is from husband to me. Bless his heart.

“Dear Mook,” he wrote. “I understand your chemical struggles creates an imbalance….” He added a lot more and then wrote, “I didn’t mean to cause you any stress this morning. I love you. Just look forward to coming home. Don’t overwork.”

He closed with, “Remember, we will forget what is past and press on to this one thing…to be like Jesus.”
He signed the card, Luke.

Why did I keep it? I don’t remember the situation—but the card is silly-ridiculous and the sentiment he wrote so very sweet. It is amazing we both lived through my menopause.


It’s a good thing husband isn’t here now. The follow up treatment for breast cancer is Tamoxifen. The number one side effect of the drug is hot flashes…worse than I ever had while menopausal. Since I don’t live with anyone and my medical oncologist is wise, she found me medication to tone down the sweats—and I’ve learned that yelling at anyone doesn’t help at all. 

Phyllis didn't always look weird, but neither do I. It's only those moments in time--thankfully, I husband understood--most of the time. 





Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Me? Procrastinat-Never


There is a sign hanging on my office wall, “I have not yet begun to procrastinate? To those visiting my home now and then, they might think I’m well organized and neat. But if they lived here a bit, they’d know better. I can put off a lot of stuff.

Years ago, before the steam iron, I’d gather the laundry from the clothes line and sprinkle those that needed ironing. I found out if you left those damp garments in a basket too long they mildewed. It didn’t take me long to figure out if you sprinkled, rolled and placed them in the refrigerator, they didn’t mildew and you could almost forget the need to iron.
Is that procrastination? And if it is, what does it have to do with downsizing?
Like sticking damp laundry in the refrigerator until tomorrow, I’ve attempted several times to clean out a drawer or closet this past weekt—I end up moving ‘stuff’ from one place to another—haven’t disposed of one thing yet.
In the process I found a treasure of my Grandma Dee’s. It hung on her wall from the time I gave it to her—about Christmas 1951—until died in March 1985. Some grandparents would be embarrassed by the simple gift written by a ten-year-old, but not my grandma. She loved me and my effort to create something just for her.


Over the years the glass in the frame broke. Grandma improvised with what looks like waxed paper. The hook on the back came off. Someone glued another one in its place.
In her later years, Grandma labeled all her belongings. When her heirlooms were divided up, I received my gift from thirty-five years before. It’s never hung on my wall, it’s been in the cedar chest? I had to keep it—well until now.
It’s only one thing going out the door, but that’s a great beginning for me—no procrastination here—took the photo, wrote the story and now it’s gone.
Wow, this downsizing is going to take a long, long time.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Five Downsizing Suggestions

Paddy ready to chase a squirrel 

When my Border Collie died I figured I needed to sell the house—after all, nothing tied me here. No husband and no Paddy dog. I met with Joyce my realtor friend. The next day grief slapped me in the face. Reality rained down my face. “Leave all my memories behind—once more?”
It isn’t the first time I’ve packed up to move. One week after the birth of our first child Husband moved us a  hundred miles away from family. Not fun—eighteen years-old with a new baby, no car and no phone. Yes, more than a few years ago.
I survived that move and ten more before we bought our present home. This is the longest I’ve lived in any of the homes. It’s also where husband invested his time and our money. He spent hours replacing ceilings, leveling floors and adding his texture/touch/paint to every wall in this house. To move means leaving all that behind.
Most people don’t let all their grief hang out for the world to see, but I’ve come to a place where I depend on my friends for support through times like this.
Last week when I sent out a “rather tear drenched” email, I received several suggestions on how to handle the necessary downsizing and preparation to move.

1.     Jami and Charlene said to take pictures. “Take your memories with you.”
2.     Deb said, “Give your prized possessions to people you know and care about.”
3.     Jan said, “This is a good thing. When you are done you’ll find a new freedom from those things.”
4.     Karla said, “You know Mom walked away from everything. It bothered me more than it did her when she gave everything in her house away.”
5.     Teresa said she’d talked with her husband and they were willing to store furniture husband made until our grandchildren might need or want them.


I’m thankful for friends and their wisdom. Now I’ve got to tackle the necessary—I’ll start tomorrow. 


This is husband reporting to work--I asked for his help more than once. He thought himself really cute. 


Let's face it, he was. 

He kept me laughing.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

THINK DOWNSIZING

 When husband died I wondered how I could manage to stay in my home by myself. Yet, with Paddy dog, I didn’t think I could move to an apartment. This past summer while traveling in Oregon people often asked if I’d thought about moving to Oregon where my siblings are. My usual reply, “I have a thirteen-year-old Border Collie. He needs his yard.”

Four days after I returned home, cancer took Paddy dogs life. Does this mean it’s time to sell and move, I wondered?

Last week I met with a realtor—after two hours of reality check—possible need of a new roof, the market isn’t the best in our neighborhood and, “Kathy” the realtor said, “think downsize. You want to empty your house. Make it look as big as possible.”

Many people may not find this a problem, but by Friday morning the old ‘fear and anxiety’ overwhelmed me. “How can I….”

When I called a Von, my Georgia friend, she listened to me wail for awhile and then said, “What is your Bible verse for the year.”

“Romans 15:13 is one of them,” I said and then read her the verse:

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him,
so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Think about it. In December 2012 God knew the exact words to keep me centered in Him. Did peace come immediately? No, I composed an email filled with my grief about downsizing. I sent it to several friends and asked them to pray. I’m truly selfish. When I’m wading through grief once more I invite my friends to walk with me.

Still Lionhearted, Kat 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

I, Saul by Jerry B. Jenkins with James S. MacDonald

“I, Saul,” Jerry Jenkins latest novel, surprised me. The title invited me into the life of Paul. Instead I found myself wrapped in the modern day lives of Augustine Knox, his dysfunctional relationship with his father and Sophia, the woman Augie loves.

Some readers may not find the inner family turmoil fascinating, but Augie’s father captivated me. A visibly respected seminary professor and scholar who never experienced the joy of Jesus—I wanted to know why? Also, the why and how Augie’s mother continued to love a man who knew the Bible so well and yet he never smiled for his son, or showed love to him.   

From the beginning I liked “I, Saul.” The author’s exceptional use of scene, color and even the fragrance brought reality to the story in Texas and in Rome—but especially in the first century with Luke visiting Paul in a dungeon.

Jenkins took me inside Paul’s cell. I could smell the small putrid, dank space. I could feel the pain in his bones because of abuse and sleeping on a rock bed—his clothes the only mattress.

When the physician Luke buys cucumbers, figs, bread and apples for Paul, I could see the starved prisoner’s haste to eat. He tore into the bread and then ate the apple—core, seeds, stem and all.

I know the biblical stories of Saul, but reading through the eyes of the author gave me a new appreciation of Paul’s dedication to Christ above all else—his contentment in Him, no matter where he lived on earth.
Through the help and expertise of noted pastor and biblical scholar, Dr. James S. MacDonald, Jenkin’s builds believable biblical characters, ancient dialogue and story.

Jenkins successfully wove more than one love story within the bigger story, one of mystery and intrigue over the miraculous find of Paul’s parchments written in the first century. Although the book intrigued me, I found it a bit wordy. Still Augie’s anxiety after receiving a call from Roger in Rome kept me reading.


I did giggle at the ending—just like many of his other books, Jenkins closes with a a cliff hanger—one that invites you to read his new book, “I, Paul” coming out in 2014. 


Read more reviews of "I, Saul" on these blogs:






A Disclaimer: Note: I received this book as part of the I, Saul blog tour from Fiction Addict . I received no compensation for this review and only received a copy of the book for review purposes. 


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Southern Neighbors--Mexican Prisoners

Pastor Tom breaking cement bricks

Where are your neighbors? According to Pastor Tom Flaskerud and the Freedom Team, they are the inmates in the Mexican prisons.

Pastor Tom: Yesterday in our meeting with the Prison Director an agreement was reached to give us time for our full Prison Power Explosion presentation. During our meeting everything was flowing very well including Pastor Moises leading the Prison Director (Warden) in a prayer to receive Jesus Christ.

“However, remember, we are in Mexico and must be ‘flexico’. When we arrived at the prison today the Commadante came out to meet us with his security officers to escort us into the prison. Changes had been made to our presentation, the amount of equipment we could bring in, and the amount of time we had that was in direct opposition to what the Director had agreed to.”

Tom said they were guessing at why the changes were made, but he didn’t think the Prison Director knew about them. And then Tom added, “The good news is when you remain ‘flexible’ in God’s hand and only want His will to be done He will accomplish whatever He desires no matter what may occur.”
Joe Olinger--Power Lifter 


He said they shared the fastest and shortest Prison Power Explosion and message of the Cross they’d ever done. But at the conclusion, 175 inmates were heard praying and asking God to forgive their sins and inviting Jesus Christ into their lives. When the decision cards were counted 116 indicated a first time acceptance of Christ, 44 rededicated their lives to Christ, and 15 others indicated ‘other commitment’. All of these men were between the ages of 20 and 57 years old.

But that didn’t finish the Freedom Teams trip to Mexico. They went next to the Guadalajara Intake Prison.

Pastor Tom: “We were processed into the prison after much confusion. We were late getting started and found out that our time slot was shorter than we anticipated. But remember we are in “Flexico” and can work with most situations. After a fast introduction and music the Team accelerated the program and completed 2/3rds of what we usually do when we were told that we need to stop as our time had been shortened even more.”

In the past the prisons have given the Freedom Team more time. Once again God came through with His plan. Just when the team was asked to stop, the Prison Director (Warden) came into that yard surrounded by his security officers. He walked to the front and sat by his officers. He wanted to see what the Freedom Team was all about.
“God’s grace and favor is always far beyond us,” Pastor Tom said. “We finished our Power Explosion just like we always have and God blessed as 33 men received Jesus Christ for the first time and 15 others rededicated their lives to Christ. The decision cards were left with the pastors who minister inside the prison for the discipleship and nurturing of these new believers.”
The Freedom Team


The Freedom Team asked for prayer as they explore the possibility of going back to our “Neighbors to the South” later this year. They are hoping to go through the prison system in Jalisco State. 

The Semi becomes the Power Explosion Stage 
And the question I ask, "Who are your neighbors? What are you doing to share Christ with them?"



Monday, March 25, 2013

IT TAKES SO LITTLE TIME


Guest Author: Cec Murphey
http://www.cecilmurphey.com/

"Maria's" nephew had taken his own life. Deb Nayrocker emailed to tell me she had called the woman. "I'm touched that you called," Maria told her.

"I was the only one who called her," Deb wrote. "I didn’t understand why no one had talked to the grieving woman about her nephew's death."

Because Deb had read an illustration in Committed But Flawed, a book I wrote a decade ago, she wrote to me. In that book, I mentioned I served on the church council in Atlanta for our monthly business meeting. Instead of giving his report, one pastor lost control. For several minutes, through his tears, he told us about the painful division in his church and the personal attacks he'd received.

Although other members seemed embarrassed, after he stopped, we went on with business. Everyone acted as if nothing unusual had taken place.

For a couple of days afterward, I hesitated to do anything, assuming he had been inundated with compassionate calls. I finally phoned him to express my concern. For several minutes he unburdened himself. The situation was so bad it was affecting his health and his marriage.

One of the last things he said was, "You're the only one who has called."

The only one. Deb's experience. My experience. Both of us had reached out, assuming others had also expressed compassion. To hear there had been no others shocked us.

"It takes so little effort to encourage most people," I told my wife. "But it does take effort."

Isn't it sad that we don't reach out more often to those who hurt? We offer excellent excuses for our inaction: We don't know what to say; we assume others are reaching out; we don't feel qualified.

Years ago, I decided that I could claim such excuses (and perhaps a few additional ones), but that shouldn't stop me. I stopped worrying whether I might say the correct words or be number 400 to make contact.

When people hurt, I need to reach out. No matter how hesitantly or badly I speak, my message will get across: I care.

Yes, it takes so little effort, but it does take effort.


 The above article was printed in Cec's March 1, 2013 newsletter. If you are interested in receiving his newsletter, drop by his website and sign up. 
Personal News

Several of you have asked about my wife. At the pain clinic, they gave Shirley a steroid injection and she's better. They want to do it every three months.  NEW NEWS 03/25/13 SHIRLEY ARRIVED HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL. 


Monday, January 21, 2013

Six Ways to be a Better Neighbor

Vintage Homes in North Bend, OR 

I’ve posted stories about two women found dead in their homes. How this happens in today’s world is a mystery to me and yet, I now wonder what would happen to me if I fell down the steep stairs to my bedroom.

I rarely open my front blinds unless guests are coming. Only one neighbor can see the mini-blinds open in my TV area. Would anyone notice if my lights stayed on or off day after day? 

My Oregon children call or text, but it’s not unusual for me to not be available. Would they call back? My sweet granddaughter is now settled in her cute home with Snookie dog. She doesn’t drop by as often. Most of the week I text or talk to Marcy, my co-workers or one of the church family, but how long before they missed me?

Do I sound morbid? No, just being real. It happened to at least two women we know about, and probably many never made the news.

Six Ways to be a Better Neighbor:
  1. Watch for signs of life. No one noticed when Karen Freelin’s lights remained off month after month. They paid no attention to the lack of yard care or if a car left or arrived. They didn’t watch to see what happened with the mail or if the garbage cans were put out weekly.
  2. Some people may feel reluctant to ask for help. Introduce yourself to your neighbors and offer a contact number. If your neighbors are elderly, send a note once in awhile or drop by. Keep a sharp eye out for a change in their routine.
  3. In extreme weather conditions call your neighbor and ask, “Can I pick up your groceries today?” Or, “I noticed coupons for....” When you visit, offer to pick them up an extra supply of milk, bread, or canned goods the next time you are shopping.
  4. In today’s electronic age, your elderly neighbor may have email. Offer your email address and watch for responses.
  5. Create a flyer to hand out in your neighborhood. List emergency numbers, food bank numbers, meals on wheels, the Council on the Aging and community center numbers. Add the church phone number in your area, too.
  6. Be available. It may disrupt your schedule, but the alternative is an “Alone Too Long” incident right in your neighborhood.

Do you have an elderly relative that needs a phone call? 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Teens Teach us More on Being Good Neighbors

When I interviewed Kevin’s grandmother I learned that when Kevin spent time at the Yakima Indian Reservation a compost heap spoke to him. When he arrived home he spent two hours telling his grandmother about his work there and how the rural communities everywhere need to be more aware of their responsibility. He learned a lot about the need to recycle.

It’s great to come home from a mission trip with ideas of how help the needy neighbor—or like me—a wish to blanket the neighborhood with protection. But what about the one person that doesn’t want your help, the one that can’t seem to hold a job, or the crab next door. Can you trust all your neighbors?

“Take this home with you,” the Native American instructor said to the youth. “You can make a difference. Treat everyone the same.”

The Louisville teens listened to his advice and set goals to be a better neighbor. .
  1. Don’t put down another person, you don’t know their circumstances in life.  
  2. Reach out a hand to help someone else out of a hard place. 
  3. Get involved with your neighbors.
  4. Listen, you may hear a cry for help.

We may not be able to make a huge difference, but Jesus gave us a simple rule to apply to our everyday lives, whether at school, work or in our neighborhood. Matthew 19:19 “Honor your father and your mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.”


 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Louisville Nebraska Teens Learn About Neighbors

Yakima Indian Reservation

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.
~Eleanor Roosevelt

In 2007 I interviewed the Christian Church teens in Louisville, Nebraska, about their mission trip to the Yakima Indian Reservation in Washington. The three 15-year-old-teens returned home inspired to ask, “What about my neighbors.”

“I do some community service here in Louisville, a little bit—you know,” Trista said. “But after the workshops at the reservation, I know I need to be more involved here at home. Like, care about others more and just listen.” Moved to tears more than once while she worked in the daycare, she added, “The lunches were such small portions. I couldn’t see how the kids had enough food. When they left for the afternoon, I had a snack before the evening meal—they didn’t receive one. It makes me realize there are families in my community that might be hungry and I want to do something about it.”

Jessie worked in the daycare also. Because of the demeanor of the children, she noticed the impact of verbal and negative putdowns. “Some of these little kids have it in their head they are dumb and useless. It really hit me—how if you say something even one time it can affect the other person. Even if you are kidding around someone might not take it as a joke. I know it happens at my school—it needs to change.”

There is more to this story, these teens wanted to live a new day with new strength and new ideas. They inspired me in 2007 and again today. 

Still Lionhearted, Kat