Posts Tagged With: kindness

Plant These

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(This is the first chapter of a Children’s Story I am working on.)

 

Thelma woke one morning. It was still “dark morning” as she had always called it when one of her parents had awakened her for school or some early morning traveling before sunrise. “Is it dark morning?” she would ask.

 

This time it wasn’t her parents or older sister, but colorful light glowing or rather dancing in her room.  There were no sounds. Usually these days, she would awaken to raised voices in the kitchen, her mother arguing with her sister or father.  They must still be sleeping she thought.  Then she quickly threw off her blankets and hurried to the corner of her room where the dancing lights were bouncing up and down in a basket.  She stubbed her big toe on the comfy chair next to her desk, but not hard enough to slow her down and only a quiet yelp escaped from her mouth.  She peered into the basket. What she saw was extraordinary! The basket was filled with small glowing seeds of every color bouncing up and down.  There was a note folded on the side of the basket. She lifted it out and turned on the small light on her desk to read it.  It was hard to take her eyes off those seeds.  One part of her wanted to hide them like a secret treasure so no one else would see them or take them, but she turned her eyes to the note now and read:

 

“ Plant these: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control.  These seeds will die unless you plant them.  Outside in your backyard you will find a bicycle in a tree.  The bicycle will show you where to plant these seeds.”

 

Thelma quickly put on her robe and slippers and headed for the back door.  There was Skiff her beloved mutt curled up sleeping on the mat in front of the door.  He opened his eyes and wagged his tail as she approached.

 

“OK, Skiff you can come with me, but no barking, understand?”  She whispered as she patted him on the head.”  

 

She opened the backdoor and off they went towards the one big tree in her yard.  Sure enough, there was a bicycle hooked up to the trunk of the tree.  She could barely reach it. But with a little hop she was able to unhook the bike and bring it down.  The basket fit perfectly to the handle bars.

 

“Ok, here goes!” She whispered to herself and Skiff as she climbed onto the bicycle and set off.  The bicycle had a mind of it’s own!  She was going to peddle down the street but instead the bicycle went around her house.  She tried again as the driveway came up on the right but again the bicycle went bumping around the house and one more time again.  Then she remembered in her frustration to steer the bike, that the note said the bicycle would show her where to plant the seeds.

 

“Oh! I’m supposed to plant the seeds around our house!” She parked the bike against the house and began digging little holes for the seeds under the kitchen window.  She carefully placed a few of the glowing seeds and covered them back up with dirt. Then all along the sides of the house she repeated her task until she ran out of seeds, which happened to be where she had started. The bicycle was gone.  Then she noticed the early morning light painting the eastern sky.  She glanced over to the tree and caught a glimpse of the bicycle disappearing into the thick foliage of the tree.  

 

As she and Skiff opened the back door she met her parents and older sister coming downstairs.  

 

“Hey, you’re up first this morning!  How did that happen?” Bea, Thelma’s oldest sister asked.

 

Thelma didn’t answer, she just walked over to them and gave them all hugs and said: “I love you.”  Then together they went into the kitchen to make breakfast together.  

© 2016 Julie Clark

 

 

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Categories: beauty, growth, Hope, Life, Love, Marriage and Family, Story: Plant These, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Peace Longings

I.

 

If only we could laugh together

With pure joy

If only we could play together

Running free

If only we could trust

and let go

If only kindness

Was at the top of our list

Instead of the unmentionables

Which I will not mention

Because you know,

They are blasted over us

Over and over until

We are numb

If only we were as

The little child stood in our midst

Clapping his hands

In glee

A smile that is wide and open

As the ocean-free

Forgiveness will bring us back

Home again

Given and received

And wipe away every tear

Root out all the bitterness

So the tender root of joy

Can push up it’s head

 

II.

 

Longing for Peace

Reconciliation, forgiveness

Starting fresh again

Prince of Peace – Come

Show us your ways

Teach us your paths

Help us to walk in the way

Of peace

A humble road

Admitting we have

Done wrong

Asking for forgiveness

Giving it

How we bungle these things

With pride, fear

Protecting ourselves

Our interests

Lay down these weapons

Lay them down

 

III.

 

How many tears

Can the oceans hold?

When will this violence

Cease?

What will stop the cycle?

More violence is not the answer!

Have we not learned that, yet?

It only prolongs and increases

The destruction and death.

We must wake up!

All must do the work

Of the farmer

Go back to the basics

Sow the seeds of peace

Tears of repentance

And forgiveness

The courageous ones

Will walk towards their enemies

With hands empty

Save for peace

This earth does not belong

To those who devour it

But to the Meek

The gentle of heart

The tide will turn

Wait for it

 

© 2016 Julie Clark

 

Categories: Faith, God, Hope, Life, Paths, Peace and Reconciliation, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Celtic Blessing, by Paul Field

Favorite Trees

I came across this Poem/Blessing in my morning meditations today. He is saying, in a lovely way what we need to hear today. I sometimes use this website to awaken my soul in the morning. http://www.northumbriacommunity.org/offices/morning-prayer/

Go peaceful

In gentleness

Through the violence of these

Days.

Give freely.

Show tenderness

In all your ways.

 

Through darkness,

In troubled time

Let holiness be your aim.

Seek wisdom.

Let faithfulness

Burn like a flame.

 

God speed you!

God lead you,

And keep you wrapped around His

Heart!

May you be known by love.

 

Be righteous.

Speak truthfully

In a world of greed and lies.

Show kindness.

See everyone

Through heaven’s eyes.

 

God hold you,

Enfold you,

And keep you wrapped around His

Heart

May you be known by love.

 by Paul Field

Categories: Faith, God, Hope, Life, Love, Paths, Peace and Reconciliation, Poetry, Prayer | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Lifeline

Be a lifeline of hope

a connection of kindness.

We never know who we will meet

on this winding road of life.

I may have just what that person needs.

The interesting thing is:

What we practice comes

rolling back, multiplied

upon us.

One day I may  need

some hope

or my children

kindness.

It’s a wise investment.

 

Categories: Faith, Hope, Life, Poetry | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Pass Out Hope

Pass out hope

With a smile

Lend a hand

Watch it grow

Kindness is language

Of the heart

Words we speak

Looks we give

All together

Send a message

May they say:

“You are loved

Worthy of attention

Something in you

Is of great value

Lift your head

Come alive

See the smile

In God’s eyes”

 

© 2013 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, God, Life, Love, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Advent: Gifts

When your best

isn’t good enough

 

When your acts of kindness

go unnoticed or

fall flat like a pancake

missing the plate

onto the dusty floor

 

When the recipient

of your kindness

doesn’t appreciate

your efforts

 

Remember

how God’s kindness to us

was spurned

 

At the inn:

“No room here, try the stable.”

 

At the cross:

“Crucify Him!”

 

He knows

He sees how we suffer

He can relate

When our deeds

go unnoticed

 

He on the other hand

appreciates our every effort

and receives each with

a warm singing heart

and outstretched hands

Thank you is his response

to our feeble gifts

 

May our thank yous

ever increase

as our hearts expand

to become

grateful people

© 2013 Julie Clark

Categories: Advent, Faith, God, Life, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Path of Peace

Guide my feet

In the path of peace

May I do my part

That war may cease

 

Teach me how

To listen well

To refrain from judgment

Sending others to hell

 

It’s not my place

It’s not my call

Judgment stirs up strife

It builds a wall

 

May I understand

What it is to be

In another’s place

Not obsessed with me

 

Lean into You

Sit at Your feet

See through Your eyes

Everyone I meet

 

Invite the stranger in

Share a meal

Enjoy diversity

Let kindness heal

 

Fear will die

I can lay it to rest

When I choose love

It is the very best

 

Love will do the job

It will get to work

Root out the darkness

Wherever it may lurk

 

© 2013 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, God, Life, Love, Paths, Peace and Reconciliation, Poetry, Prayer | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What Counts? Sermon notes from Galatians or Part 2: Seeds, Fruit and a New Life.

What counts?  What is important? What is God looking for from me?  How do I get there?

Paul is clearly concerned for the Galatians.  He is astonished, perplexed.  After he had spent time teaching them the Good News that faith in Jesus the Messiah was what was required, they were turning back to Jewish Laws and rituals.

5:6, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision or uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

6:15 “Neither circumcision or uncircumcision means anything: what counts is a new creation.”

Circumcision represents keeping the Jewish law.  Circumcision was the Old Covenant Marker.  It showed who God’s people were. The males were circumcised.

What is the New Covenant marker?  (God made a New Covenant with us in Jesus)

Ephesians 1:13: “And you also were included in Christ, when you heard the word of truth the gospel of your salvation.  Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession-to the praise of his glory.”

Keeping the law, or a set of rules or regulations is not what counts.  It’s a new life of faith (which comes from believing in Jesus) expressing itself through love that counts.  This new life is the Spirit’s work in us.

How do we get to this new life?  Does it just happen?  Do we need to do something?  Yes!  We work together with him.  He does the hard part of transforming our lives.  We cooperate with him and this is how.

Here is where seeds and fruit come in.

What are these?  Seed packets!

What happens when I plant these in my garden and the conditions are good?  Good soil, water, sun, etc…. They grow!

If I plant a tomato seed will I get a thistle?

Seeds: 6:8: “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction, the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”

What are we sowing?

What are the choices we make?

What do we say yes to?  What do we say no to?

These are seeds.  Our choices are these seeds.

 Fruit: 5:19-23: “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like.  I warn you as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such thins there is no law.”

These fruit grow out of the seeds we plant. Good fruit or bad fruit depending on what seed is sown!

This fruit produces life or death in us. It produces life or death in our relationships.

Listen to some words of Jesus about fruit:

Matt. 7:16: “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?”

John 15:8: “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

People marked by the Spirit of God are bearing good fruit! Our lives tell who we are!  Our words??? Do they match our lives?  Our lives count.  They show God’s glory.

In order to get fruit of love, joy, peace…… we make choices everyday to sow seeds that will grow these fruit into our lives.

We choose to forgive, rather than hold a grudge: peace and love grow.

We choose to help our stressed neighbor: kindness grows.

We choose to not react to the driver who cuts us off:  patience and self-control grows.

We choose sit on the beach and enjoy a sunset: peace grows.

We choose to comfort a crying child:  gentleness grows

It’s not easy but we start developing new habits and new habits grow and become a new life and that is what counts.

Categories: Sermon Notes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Family

Did someone tell you it was easy?

They lied.

This is where we roll up our sleeves

And engage in the hard work of love.

It does not just happen.

We need to learn it.

Children need to learn it.

It isn’t always pretty.

Have you noticed?

Not a one of us is perfect.

Don’t give up.

Fathers, Mothers engage your children.

Teach them the art of:

Conversation

Boundaries

Respect.

Patience and Kindness are our friends.

They guide us along the path.

Children need to be taught by the ones who love them the most.

Not once,

Not twice,

But all of their growing up years.

Challenging?

Indeed.

This is not a path for the faint of heart.

But don’t worry.

Even the faintest of hearts can be revived.

I know.

I have one.

© 2010 Julie Clark

Categories: Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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