Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chapter 2 - (Continued)

See the big picture...

Sometimes it's hard to be angelic to those we distrust or dislike. Even if the opportunity comes with fireworks and trumpets, we're inclined to ignore it and invest our energies elsewhere. But the spiritual part of you will always look for the bigger picture, that aerial view above the pettiness and ego. Follow it.

A mother was enjoying Mother's Day with her 2 sons.  She was a good mother, and the boys were blessed to have her. But they had a stepmother too, who loved them very much.  Did the children mention their stepmother that day, or did their mother? It doesn't matter.

About midafternoon, they went to the stepmother's house. The boys each took her a plant that she could place in her flower garden.  They hugged her and told her they loved her. They were only there a minute. The mother and stepmother never talked, but they didn't have to.

The mother didn't take the boys there out of obligation or some misguided effort to score points. She was simply an earthly angel that day. The stepmother knew it, and they were both blessed.

Realize you are not alone...

We're proud of our differences these days.  We like doing things our own way, but deep down we're all very much alike--and we all need help from time to time. The needs vary, but the response doesn't have to. Reach out with your heart.  You may not be able to save an entire city, but you can be an angel to one person at a time, somehow, everyday.

A newspaper story told of a woman in a county south of town. She was in her late thirties, but she looked so much older.  She had many health problems. Her 2 teenage sons had each been diagnosed with incurable diseases. She was raising her daughter's son--though she hadn't even seen her daughter since the boy was born 6 yrs. earlier. She couldn't work, and she was about to be evicted from her apartment.

The day the story ran, a gentleman appeared at the apartment complex and anonymously paid that month's rent.  Another person appeared to pay the next month's rent. Donations made to a bank account covered the cost of the medicine she and her sons needed. The everyday angels had appeared. The anonymous "attendant spirits" were alive and well here on earth, practicing what they had learned. Let no one doubt them. Let them multiply.

Matthew 25:40  "...Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

Just a reminder about the current book we are going through. I am not sharing this book for any glory on my part, nor did I write the words.  Full credit for "Everyday Angels" goes to Karon Phillips Goodman.  I will be quoting her entire book in hopes to help each of us be more of an everyday angel in our every day lives.  I will put my own thoughts down below each post and encourage each of you to comment in the comment section so we can discuss each chapter together.  :o)  I am also going to start trying to put my thoughts in "italic" writing and her book in "normal" type, as well as scriptures that I use.  Thanks for joining us!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Chapter 2- How to Be an Everyday Angel

I'm sure you noticed its not "later this week" b/c Feb. has come and gone!  I went to get this book, this morning, only to realize I had moved it to a new location and I couldn't remember where!  So I said a prayer and found it.  "Thank You Lord!" 

Chapter 2

Do you know how to be an angel?  I think that God told us all how, naturally.  Some ppl are just more practiced at it than other.  You know who they are--those ppl who always seem to know the right thing to do or say.   They're always the same:  calm & secure, giving & thoughtful.  They're not perfect or immune from pain.  They're still very human, but their attendant spirit is as visible as the color of their eyes.  They know how to be everyday angels.  They never miss a chance.

Recognize the opportunity...

Rarely does the angel opportunity knock briskly on your heart & say, "Here I am."  But it might, if you'll just learn to listen.  Sometimes the opportunities may seem unusual or inconvenient, but you'll know when it's right.  The mother in the following story knew it instinctively.

A young girl of 13 or 14 wasn't sleepy, though it was late at night.  She doesn't remember how it started, & she probably didn't think much of it at the time, but now she recalls it often.  She loved mushrooms--anything mushroom on it was an instant fav., especially that printed contact paper her mother had found.  It was covered with tiny pictures of mushrooms, the prettiest ones she'd ever seen.  She loved them, and wanted them everywhere.

Was it her idea or her mother's?  She doesn't remember, but that night, until well past her bedtime, she & her mom sat cross-legged on her bed & cut out hundreds of the mushrooms from the contact paper.  They carefully peeled off the backing & decorated the entire headboard & footboard of her bed.

Her mother never complained or asked how she'd remove them when she grew tired of mushrooms.  The girl doesn't recall their conversation, but she remembers sitting there, talking & laughing with her mother, for hours into the night.  She knows that the angel that appeared to her that night was very human, very familiar, and very loved.

Reach out to those who serve you...

The Sunday school teacher was feeling overwhelmed as Christmastime approached. Pressures from home, family, job, & church were weighing on her mind. She had very little help. On the Sunday before Christmas, when her class of 4 yr olds would be expecting a special treat, she was totally unprepared.  She grabbed her lesson materials & hurried to church, her mind & body too tired to plan the big party she always had for the children.

When one of her little charges came through the door, he was followed by his mom.  The mom didn't contribute a lot to the class, & she & the teacher weren't especially close. But for some reason that day, the mom provided what the teacher couldn't. She had made cupcakes & party bags for the entire class, & had bought plates & napkins, & offered to stay & help.

"You're a godsend."  The teacher almost cried.  An angel had walked into her classroom that day, an "attendant spirit" of human flesh & bone sent by God, just like the teacher had said.

To Be Continued....

B/c chapter 2 seems to be lengthy, I promise to post the rest of it one day this week.  Think about what we read today and pray for God to lay something on your heart that you could do for someone else. 

Matthew 25:40  "...Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

Thanks for stopping by. Comments are welcomed & encouraged!