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Yesterday I was a little off my game.  Not sick, just off.  I re-read what I wrote yesterday and it’s a shame that I spent the time complaining about my cat rather than praising my God.  Just goes to prove that I just wasn’t really connected.  (Then to make matters worse, as I was making some warm soothing oatmeal for supper, I stepped on the cat who was sprawled across the kitchen floor, directly behind me.  Lots of loud yowling from both of us, as he leaped to his feet and I poured hot oatmeal all over myself.)  Thank God, today is a new day.

The Joy Dare Challenge for today is to give thanks for my self in serving.

the waxy leaves of the dogwood are said to contain the image of the cross

Like most of us (especially most of us women) I am a  master at downplaying my own contribution in life and ministry.  What we do, we feel all people should do.    My example in the faith is my grandmother.  I didn’t know Oma well, but she was a woman of great courage.  Just after I was born she made the trek out from Holland by boat and train all by herself so that she could come for a visit.  She made a second visit, this time by plane, when I was older, and in grade school.  What I remember about that visit was her Bible which she read from on a daily basis.  I recall her picking a dogwood blossom to press between the pages of her Bible as a memento of her visit.  Then, as I grew older I started to hear the stories of her true courage, when during the Second World War, with a husband in the hospital, a farm to run, and a house full of children, she took on the task of hiding Jewish refugees in her barn.  Her reasoning as I learned, “The Bible says they are the apple of God’s eye.”   And so one of my dearest desires is to demonstrate a similar faith and a similar commitment to those who are in need.

  1. First I give thanks to God that he has been able to use my gifts as a minister of Word and Sacraments.  I am grateful for the lives that I have touched, and those who have touched my life, and granted me the honor of sharing their joy and their sorrow–their most intimate moments.  I pray that I have along the way inspired others to give of themselves in service and to serve Him without counting the cost.
  2. Secondly I give thanks for the opportunity to work with Victims of Crime.  It involved many late night calls and mostly visits with women who had been abused.  It was rewarding to have some information to help them and some hope to share with them.
  3. The third thing I give thanks for is the work I have done with the help line and those struggling against mental illness.  I often think of those with whom I was in regular contact, wonder how they are, and stop to pray for them.  I hope that I made a difference in their lives and showed them that life is worth living.

I pray that as God calls me out into other ventures that I will be able to find an avenue in which I can touch his world and its people with grace and hope and lead them to joy.

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