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Archive for June 11th, 2010

1. I always wanted to have someone to hold, someone to love.  And now that you’ve come into my life…

  • I’ve changed my mind.

2. I must admit, you brought religion into my life…

  • I never believed in Hell until I met you.

3. As the days go by, I think how lucky I am….

  • That you’re not here to ruin it for me.

4. Congratulations on your promotion.  Before you go….

  • Will you take the knife from my back? You’ll probably need it again.

5. Someday I hope to marry…

  • Someone other than you.

6. Happy Birthday!  You look great for your age…

  • Almost lifelike!

7. When we were together, you said you’d die for me…

  • Now that we’ve broken up, I think it’s time to keep your promise.

8. We’ve been friends for a very long time…

  • What do you say we stop?

9. I’m so miserable without you…

  • It’s almost like you’re still here.

10. Congratulations on your new bundle of joy….

  • Did you ever find out who the father was?

11. You are such a good friend.  If we were on a sinking ship and there was only one life jacket

  • I’d miss you terribly and think of you often.

12. Your friends and I wanted to do something special for your birthday…

  • So we’re having you put to sleep.

13. Happy Birthday, Uncle Dad!

14. Looking back over the years we’ve been together, I can’t help but wonder…

  • What was I thinking?

15. Congratulations on your wedding day!…

  • Too bad no one likes your husband.

[author unknown]

Extreme Forest Fire Hazard

Extreme Forest Fire Hazard

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Church Family Care

While leading a church, there were many times that I received a phone call from someone who needed help with rent, utilities, groceries, and fuel or travel costs.  As much as I wanted to help, our church’s benevolence budget was often way over drawn as it was and there were no monies available anywhere else.

I would ask, “Have you tried the various help organizations in our community?”  The answer was affirmative; however, they were not able to get the help they needed.  I felt helpless.  All I could do was offer a few suggestions, words of encouragement, and a prayer.

The communities I worked in were blessed to have so many help organizations to help those in need:  Salvation Army, Saint Vincent DePaul, Gospel Missions, Food and Clothing Banks, 12-Step Programs, Domestic Abuse and Violence Advocates, and many others.  Volunteers who have a big heart to help people in need staff these.  A paid staff of one or two is underpaid.  At the same time, their resources are also often limited and overtaxed too.

Like many churches in our area, our church always got its fair share of calls from people who needed help.  Sometimes, they were systematically, desperately going through the phone book calling churches.  Other times, they are calling blind, hoping for a kind voice and helping hand.

Sure, there are the ‘frequent fliers:’ people who abuse the system and live dependent upon the benevolence of others.  But many more people are sincerely in need.  They are often the work poor:  people who have jobs, but jobs that do not pay enough to cover basic living expenses.  Often the help they need is only temporary, until a job, a place to live, or other steady self-support is obtained.

In all of this, I see first hand the wonderful advantage of belonging to a church. The church family provides a wonderful safety net in times of distress and crisis.  It becomes like an extended family that rallies support and help.  Of course, people can have such a network of caring and supporting relationships outside of a church.  But no where have I seen it work so well time and time again as within a congregational setting.

Seattle Ferry and Mt. Rainier, June 2007

Seattle Ferry and Mt. Rainier, June 2007 ©Weatherstone/Ron Almberg, Jr. (2010)

Within our own church, we have showered food upon families financially strapped; helped get cars fixed that were depended upon for work; chipped in together to help with medical bills; and volunteered to take care of children during a family crisis.  I have witnessed this take place for long-term care of a family or individual, not just for short-term ones.

This is not to just brag only upon the church families I have attended or led. I know for a fact that this is repeated many times over in most, if not all, of our churches.  In the community of faith, we take care of one another because we love one another.  Above and beyond a benevolent budget, we will spontaneously extend ourselves to help one another.

Aside from your own family, your church family is your best source of help – and in some cases may even be better than your own family. Develop those relationships with your own expressions of love and care for the others there.   Someday, it will come back to you.

If you have not made an effort to be a part of a church family, now is the time! There will come a time when you will need someone else’s shoulder for comfort, arm for strength, or heart for courage.  Then is not the time to depend upon your fingers to find help in the Yellow Pages.  Then is the time to have church friends and family to call.

©Weatherstone/Ron Almberg, Jr. (2010)

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