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Tag Archives: compassion

Benevolence and Malevolence

The brothers with opposing views

Have always made the headline news.

One seeks to do goodwill

While the other is captivated by evil.

One lends a helping hand

The other delights in extinguishing God’s plan.

The compassionate soul seeks the downtrodden

While Mr. Vicious wants them forgotten.

He feeds himself with gluttonous portions,

As his brother nourishes the orphans.

Both are led by forces within

One by God, the other by skin.

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Posted by on June 10, 2015 in Writing

 

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Calling Mercy

Have you ever played the game “Mercy,” on the playground? I’m sure it’s not allowed on school playgrounds anymore, due to the true brutality of the game. It’s a game of enduring pain where both participants grasp hands and try to bend the other one’s back until the weaker one yells Mercy!! I remember playing against the boys on the playground, trying to prove that girls were just as tough as boys. Sometimes I would win, but other times I wouldn’t. I really didn’t like to lose, but sometimes you just had to give in because you didn’t want a broken finger, hand, or wrist.
Thinking back to the game, it made me think about the word mercy and how much mercy God has shown me. I know there have been times in my life when I was close to snapping or breaking and I’d end up calling out for help, for mercy. It was in those times that I would admit that I was not as strong or as independent as I wanted to be. God in his wonderful nature immediately extends mercy to a mere human crying out and giving up. Mercy is defined as compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm. God has the upper hand and He could quickly destroy me or you, but he doesn’t. He has compassion on us, a compassion that we can try to understand but never be able to achieve within the true character of who He is. But, in order to receive the fullness of mercy, I think you have to see the depth of it and accept the need for it with total surrender.

Mercy comes when you come to the end of yourself.

“Give thanks to The Lord, for his mercy endures forever.” Psalm 118:1

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2014 in Spiritual Reflections

 

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“A December to Remember”

                As we continue on to 80 ways, (see previous blogs), we started out the first Saturday in December with wagons to participate in a local Christmas parade. We had three wagons for eager teenagers to ride and about sixty treat bags made up to throw into the crowd. It seemed like forever waiting for the parade to start. So we were goofing off quite a bit with the wagons and each other. Finally, the parade started to move and we rolled up the road and over the bridge onto Main Street. The teens and adults involved threw out the treat bags to onlookers and grinned with their Christmas hats fit nicely upon their heads. The crowd laughed, commented, and smiled at the teens riding in the little red wagons.
                 The next day we planned to go to Kmart with wrapped gifts to give to strangers in the store. Each person was told to think and pray about who they were to give a gift to and what kind of gift they needed to give. Our original plan was to go into the store and put a teenager in a shopping cart and have another push the cart. With our group that would be about five shopping carts. When we arrived and asked the manager for permission to do this, he told us we couldn’t because of liability reasons, but we were allowed to pass the gifts out as long as we didn’t solicit. We were somewhat disappointed we couldn’t use the carts but understood the reasoning; we thanked the manager and strolled throughout the store. I was very proud of the consideration the teens were giving in handing out the gifts. They took their time looking for the person they felt they needed to give gifts to and when they found who they thought it was, they approached the person with a smile, said Merry Christmas and handed them the gift. People reacted in various ways, some were delighted to receive the gift, others acted surprised, some seemed confused, and some were trying to figure out what the catch was or didn’t want to accept the gift. To me this spoke volumes; people react to the gift of Jesus and salvation the same way. After everyone passed out their gift, we left the store and went to have ice cream so we could discuss what had happened and to socialize.

            Tia, one of the other youth leaders that helps us out, scheduled the group to visit one of the local nursing homes. We went to sing Christmas carols and the staff allowed us to roll around in wheelchairs afterwards, to count as one of our eighty ways. When we first arrived we went into one of the main lobbies where a group of elderly people were playing bingo. Tia announced to the room who we were and that we were there to sing to them. Josh, one of the teens, brought his guitar to play as the rest of the group sang. We let Josh play a solo before we started and then the group began to sing. It was a rough start on singing because of nerves and no one wanted to sing very loud. But, as we went on, it became somewhat easier. Some of the people in the crowd were joining along and singing too. After we sang several songs in the main lobby, we moved room to room to some of the bedridden residents. It did my heart good to see the reaction of the residents as we sang, some teared up, some sang along, and others smiled. Afterwards we went down one of the empty halls and borrowed some wheelchairs for a quick spin up and down the hall.
                December became a month to remember. I really felt the spirit of Christmas this year because of the participation with the teens. Giving to the community, reaching out to others with time and talent, and making other people smile is a real treat to the soul. As we embark on a New Year, I’m excited about what may lie ahead for this group.

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2011 in Youth

 

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Holler Wheelin’

Last Sunday evening, our youth group met at one of the kid’s house for some four wheeling and dirt bike action.  It was a quick attempt to check off a few more modes of transportation for our year long challenge.  Not sure what challenge I’m talking about? If not, read the previous blog to catch up with what we are doing. For our outing we had three four wheelers and a dirt bike. We enjoyed a fun filled evening of “holler wheelin.”  I decided to coin this event in these terms because we went up and down the holler on the four wheelers and dirt bike.  For those of you who are city folk and unfamiliar with what the definition of holler is, it is a rural road in Appalachia.  It can also mean, as demonstrated by one of our youth leaders (Tia) who was unsure of the driving abilities of the teen escorting her up the hill, to yell loudly.

Four wheelers are pretty common in our area.  Many people have them alongside their vehicles in the garage or driveway.    They are used to go into the woods to hunt, for pure recreational pleasure, and as a means of scraping snow away, to escape from cabin fever from the “holler” you live on.

After about an hour riding, we took a break for a quick lesson.  One of our teenage girls taught the lesson.  She decided to teach on her Dad’s school bus. So, we piled onto the bus and picked a seat as she and a few others turned on some flashlights.  She shared with the group that we should always be compassionate to those around us and look at them with Jesus’ eyes.  Afterwards, one of the teens suggested visiting a few of the neighbors and inviting them to youth group.  So, we piled back on the wheels and went up the hill.  They rang the doorbell and politely and somewhat nervously invited a teenage girl to come sometime to church.  She said she was considering looking for a church and said she may drop in sometime.  Then we went down the hill and invited another neighbor to come check it out sometime.  Afterwards, we went back to the home, spoke a little while of some future endeavors.  There was a lot of excitement and ideas in the air as we talked.  What’s next, you ask?  Tune in periodically to find out!

 
 

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