Wednesday, 29 June 2016

On Pride by Susan L.

  In an out-of-character fit of boldness, I shared a link to my blog on Facebook so my church family could read what had been written about Sunday's fun. It's left me feeling rather, not anxious...Guilty? Yes. That's one part. Uncomfortable. Yes, that's another. Is shame in there? Shame that I put my writing out there for all to see?
  This happens every time I share any aspect of the creative voice God gave me be it in art, writing or even playing or singing with the worship team. My stomach roils with toxic emotions. Why?
  That's opened a barrage of ugly. The devil is having some fun with this.
  "How dare you! It's boastful! It's arrogant, conceited, prideful! What makes you think you're better than anyone else? Talent? Bah! Nothing you do is ever good enough! What make you think anyone would be interested in what you have to say anyways?"

  Wow. I need to take a moment. That wasn't much fun but the Lord says anything that is held up to the light will be made manifest by the Light.

  To the Light I offer this: lessons learned at the hands of abuse and control don't belong. Lessons that were drilled into my soul by hurtful words, hurtful silences and cruel actions don't belong either. These poisonous understandings no longer have a place in my life.
  I thought checking out the blog stats was an egotistic, prideful thing but realize now it's been simply out of amazement that so many people from all over the world like to pop in and read what is written! It's an honour. It's encouraging. Thank you, dear readers, for helping me come to believe in God's gifts.
  Lord, help me forgive. Help me share, with a soul freed of lies, the gifts You placed in my heart and mind. Help me understand when real pride is at work. Help me stay truly humble because, Lord, I am honoured by the many, many gifts and abilities you have given me. Use them for Your glory. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen!
  "Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord's money." Mat 25:16-18



Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Little Things by Susan L.

  There were a couple of magic moments for me on Sunday besides playing the games. Witnessing some of the youth leap up to help the tug of war team that, due to luck of the draw was mostly children, take on the he-man team; to help the little ones have a chance. It didn't matter the team they were on, the imbalance didn't seem fair.
  We also played a game of musical chairs with a twist. We started out one chair short with one person standing. Instead of removing chairs when someone didn't find a seat, those people had to sit, sliding from chair to chair in the opposite direction of the people walking around waiting for the music to stop. It was a neat way of including everyone in the game even if they were "out".
  It was hot and thirsty work. We had played this physically demanding game upstairs in the barn where there was absolutely no breeze. Afterwards, people headed to the containers of water and lemonade. There were no cups left. A young girl tried to bend under it and pour it directly into her mouth. She didn't have much luck because the table was in the way so I helped by holding the jug and pouring it for her. It made me think of the Orioles as she opened her mouth for sips of the juice. All that was missing was the demanding, "Feed me!" cheep.
  When the Freezies came out, the kids were like a duck on a June bug. This big duck was pretty quick to get in line, too! There was a little fellow who chose his flavour and took the scissors to open his icy treat but seemed a bit lost. I asked if he'd like me to cut it open for him. He passed me the scissors with a look of relief. Memories of doing this for my own kids made it extra special.
  There's some take out from all of this. I suppose there needs to be some forgiving, some letting go of the crap that stops me from simply having fun. You know...the age "rules", the gender "rules", the "primandproper" ideologies...but mostly? It's the sadness that life beat the fun, the carefree spirit, out of me.
  I think I can set a goal: (gasp) to laugh more, to play more, to embrace joy in all its many facets, to be unafraid of making a fool of myself, to break the "rules". Well, that's actually five! (another gasp) With God's help, they will become an intrinsic part of my life.
  "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." James 1:17

Monday, 27 June 2016

Fun and Games by Susan L.

  Literally it was fun and games at the church summer service/barbeque in the barn. Normally I'm not one to sign up for this kind of thing but, once again, in a rare fit of exuberance, I found myself signing a piece of paper that would place me on a team.
  The first game was a water bucket challenge. We were give a pail of water with spongy objects in it. There was an empty pail twenty feet away. The goal (oooo, sneaky things) was to fill the empty pail until it overflowed by running with the sponges and squishing the water out. My team won that! We had three mature women whose dish rag wringing experience showed it actually has some value!
  The next game was a bit more complicated. It was a race, albeit a very slow race. The lawn was an imaginary river of lava. We were given bits of "fire proof fabric" that had to be stepped on as the team worked its way around an orange cone and back to home base. It ended up being like the game "Twister" only in a wiggly line. There were fabric thieves who would snatch the fabric foot thingies if no one was touching it. Balance was tricky. It took a whole lot of physical coordination not to step on each other's toes. We waddled in last.
  Give a group of people a rope and a tug of war is bound to break out. The ole muscles are complaining a bit this morning after that workout. Legs mostly. One of the teams had been stacked by chance with large, able bodied, young men who pulled their way to victory with very little resistance from the rest of us.
  The final game was to toss softballs into a pail. The rules were quickly changed that if you even hit the pail it was allowed to be tossed in otherwise I think we'd still be there! Nope. No winner there either but I think we came in second. Only one of our team managed to actually toss the ball into the pail. Her accomplishment was celebrated by a huge cheer from us.
  There was much laughter and much sweat. It was pretty hot. The prizes for everyone were the same: a huge, right-from-the-freezer, Freezie that, for me, never tasted so good!
  I surprised myself a bit by signing up but ended up having a lot of fun. It's easy to forget that it's okay to get a bit silly every once in a while.
  "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering , kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentle ness, self control." Gal 5:22-23