Anything is Possible!

With Hope, Faith, and Perseverance


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A Meditative Prayer

 

 

red glowing candle

On Sunday, having spent the night with my friend who helped with the estate sale, I visited her little church which is much like my own. Next to the hymn book, I discovered this meditative prayer. It’s helping me deal with something, someone, beyond my control. I hope you find it helpful, too.

 

AN INVITATION TO PRAY

 

Enjoy three deep breaths.

The first breath will help you be fully aware of your body.

The second breath is to clear your mind so you may be fully present.

The third breath is to open your heart and welcome the holy spirit.

 

Notice a question that draws you in.

 

Are you bringing someone with you in your heart today?

See that person in your mind’s eye.

Picture that person whole, healthy, restored, reconciled.

God is at work in the person’s life.

Ask God to show you the role you may play.

Are you counting your blessings today?

For what and for whom are you feeling thankful today?

As you get in touch with gratitude, express it to God.

 

Are you anxious today?

Whatever this is, God cares about you, and all those for whom you care.

 

Are you in need of laying down a burden today?

Hear Christ, the burden-bearer:

“Come to me all who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Be ready to lay down your burden at the foot of the cross.

Open your hands. Close your eyes.

Breathe deeply and slowly.

Empty your mind. Let sounds pass you by.

BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Patience and the Kindness of Strangers

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Moses is a feral cat who’s been hanging around our church for at least three years. I don’t know who started feeding him first. It could have been me, or it could have been Mary, or it might have even been our music director, Chris, who still says he doesn’t like Moses, but who feeds him the most, and who worries about him the most.

For the first year we fed Moses, he wouldn’t let us get within a few feet of him. If we came too close, he’d take off. During a ridiculously cold spell, Mary and her husband, BW, put a styrofoam cooler lined with a blanket out for him, and Chris found Moses sleeping there the next morning. The following winter, they built Moses a wooden house lined with styrofoam.

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Over the past couple years, a few of us at church worked to gain his trust by gradually moving closer. In time, he got to the point of letting us be as close as we wanted as long as we didn’t try to touch him. If we reached toward him, he’d bolt. But in recent weeks, Moses has accepted pieces food from our hands, and Mary has been able to pet him ever so gently while he eats.

Moses has always looked scraggly and has been losing weight in spite of a good appetite. This past Sunday, he seemed lethargic and let Mary pet him more than usual, even without food as an incentive. Mary made a decision to try to wrap him in a towel to take him to the vet. He wasn’t too happy at first, but Mary held him firmly and was able to bring him into the parish hall. She sat down in a chair, holding Moses firmly in the towel which did little to block the moisture that seeped through as Moses peed on her.  It’s a good thing Mary is patient and loves cats.

We found out the animal clinic connected to a large pet store was open on Sunday and decided to take our chances that they’d see us as a walk in. I drove Mary’s car while Mary held Moses. Even though the vet was dealing with an emergency patient, they agreed to work us in. We waited for quite a while and chatted with others in the waiting room who asked about our snugly wrapped feral cat.

When we got into an exam room, we were told it would still be a while, as the vet was still busy with the emergency. Mary let Moses go and he found a cool hiding place on the floor and drank some water from a bowl. We noticed he had a bad place on his mouth we hadn’t seen before. It looked like some tissue was missing from his upper lip.

After about 30 minutes, the vet came in. She listened to what history we had about Moses, and we warned her that he would not be cooperative. The young, confident woman got down on the floor and introduced herself to Moses, then she calmly caught him by the scuff of his neck, like a mama cat would, (not recommended for amateurs) and put him on the exam table.

Then, Moses let her pet him. He settled down and didn’t struggle. He even purred and “made biscuits” kneading a blanket on the exam table. We were amazed and dubbed her a cat whisperer.

IMG_4260 (2)Holding the back of his neck, the vet used a tongue depressor to open his mouth. (Also, not recommended for amateurs.) She said it looked like ulcers, but it could be cancer, and his teeth were not in good shape.

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Thank you, Dr. Wallis!

The vet recommended blood work, IV antibiotics, and sub-cutaneous fluids. (In spite of his water bowl at church, he was dehydrated.) The blood work ruled out diabetes and some other problems but did not test for feline leukemia. There was only so much to be done in one unscheduled visit on a Sunday afternoon. But it was a start.

When we went to check out, we were informed that a woman we had talked to earlier in the waiting room had anonymously paid $40 toward our bill! How awesome is that?!

Mary and I each having multiple pets, and wanting to honor Moses, took him back to our church courtyard which he knows as home. When we let him go, he took off for the bushes. I checked on him the next day, and he let me pet him ever so gently while he ate his cat food.

 

 


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70s Family Photo

Dad told me a new and enlightening story today at IHOP about my Mom who passed away a few years ago:

Just one week after my 16 year old sister was killed by a drunk driver on her birthday, Dad’s minister told him they needed someone to take the church youth group on a scheduled camping trip because the regular youth group leader was pregnant and having some physical challenges. Dad wasn’t sure, but when he asked Mom, she said, “when do we leave?”

After a couple days the youth group kids were bored and ready to go back home because they’d already learned everything about camping.  Mom convinced them to stay so they could teach their skills to other kids. Against advice that they were asking for trouble, Mom got Dad to drive the church bus to the infamous Hay Street in Fayetteville, NC and gathered kids from a church and a two kids from a bar who wanted to go camping. No permission forms or anything, but it was the mid 70’s and my parents were middle aged church youth group leaders. The youth group kids spent the next three days teaching the kids from  the Hay Street area to pitch tents, paddle a canoe, build a fire and four kids even learned how to swim.

Dad said going camping with the youth group was the best thing they could have done during this time of unbearable grief.

I was 18 and clueless  at the time about what awesome people my parents were. I knew my Dad had to be pretty brave since he fought in  Korea and Vietnam and had a couple purple hearts. But I had no idea what a brave Mom I had. I think my next book is going to be about them.


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God is Great

 

waiting for the stars

waiting for the stars

Last night, my husband and I watched the meteor shower at the beach and talked about how big God is when we allow God to expand beyond the box some people try to put God in. We don’t want to get rid of the box. We just want to let it expand to be as big as God really is. God is beyond male or female. God is beyond age or race. God is bigger than any church or any one religion. That’s why there are so many churches and so many religions.  We, with our limited understanding, cannot contain all of God, but pieces of God can be in us and shine through us.

That reminds me of the story of the blind men and the elephant. Each blind man encountered a different part of the elephant, and each of them thought what he experienced was the elephant. They were each partly correct, but none of them got the whole “picture.”

I will still practice my religion and go to my church where I see and feel God’s love through the teachings and image of Jesus. Yet, I also know God through creation: through the dynamic sunsets, the powerful ocean, the wisdom of the trees  and the twinkling of distant stars that seem close enough to touch. God is the creator of this beautiful, magnificent planet we have all been given to live on and to take care of.

God is awesome love. God is great. God  is good. Thank you, God.

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