A Life Worth Living by Nancy Buxton

Archive for March, 2009

A PARTY WITH A PURPOSE!!

There, try that title on for size.  I decided if I put Women’s Ministries you may not be interested in reading this post.  You probably don’t just love Women’s Ministries like I do or perhaps you do.

Do you know that women make up at least 70% of the church today?  Yikes, we are becoming a majority.  Not only that, WE control many of “the purse strings”, so THEY say. Interesting don’t you think?

Women’s Ministries is really not about the purse strings, the majority or even about ordination.  Women’s Ministries is about unselfishly ministering to others, ministering to the single mother, children and women in the church and in the community. 

In my church we have Women in Touch.  This is a party with a purpose!  The party, well, we have 350 women who come the first Monday of each month from October – May just to enjoy a supper, hear the devotion and a special feature.  These ladies enjoy the yummy food and the lovely decorations.  You may wonder where all of the ladies come from, many are ladies from the church but most are ladies from the community.

Women in Touch has been taking place at the College View Church in Lincoln, Nebraska for 18 years.  April 6 will find a large group of ladies having a party and enjoying the evening together.   We laugh together, pray together and come closer to God together.  The fun thing is there are all age groups at this party; we say it is for women ages 18-108 years old.

I hope you have Women’s Ministries in your church, if you don’t you are missing out.  If you would like to get something started I would love to help you.  Just leave a comment on this blog and I will contact you.  If you don’t want to tackle something like Women in Touch, perhaps a new mom’s ministry or burden bears would be something you would like.  We have so many resources available to help you get a ministry started in your church.

The truth is, when you are ministering to someone else you are actually ministering to your self and to Jesus most of all.  You will enjoy doing ministry for others whether it is a party with a purpose or taking a gift to a new mom and inviting her to bring her baby to Sabbath School.  We were created for a purpose and I believe serving others is one of our purposes on this earth.

ARE YOU A TOUCH ME NOT?

 

Meaningful and appropriate touch played an important part in the blessing given in Bible times.  If you read in Gen. 27:26 the story is unfolding about Isaac and his sons.  “Then his father Isaac said to him, ‘please come close and kiss me, my son’.”  Now remember Isaac was not speaking to a small child he was speaking to his adult son Jacob.  All through the Bible there are examples of touch and the placing of hands on someone as the part of a blessing.

 

Touch is very meaningful, it actually blesses us physically.  Every day, researchers are discovering information about the importance of touch. 

 

A Study was done at Purdue University—the librarians were asked to alternately touch and not touch the hands of students as they handed back their library cards.  The experimenters interviewed the students and they found those who had been touched reported far greater positive feelings about both the library and the librarian than those who were not touched.

 

Okay stay with me here—-so if touch was that effective on students in a library what about the people in our homes?  Touching children on the shoulder, holding hands with your spouse, stopping to ruffle someone’s hair (maybe not your wife’s or your boss) are small ways that you can change how others feel about you.

 

I believe parents must know that not giving meaningful touch to their children starves them of acceptance.

 

My precious little 6 year old grandson loves to wrestle with me.  Can you picture it in your minds eye, a sixty year old grandma wrestling with a 6 year old boy?  We have fun and he’s just about all I can handle.  I want to touch him, I want him to feel my love for him and I dread the day I have to tell him he’s too big or I am too old for a little wrestling match.

 

Let’s give our children or spouses the blessing of meaningful, appropriate touch.

P A N C A K E S

It’s Friday and I want to share my favorite pancake recipe with you.  We often have some friends over on Friday evening and I make pancakes, and thicken blueberries in grape juice, don’t tell but I add just a little sugar.  We also have vegetarian links and sometimes we have sweet potatoe fries baked in the oven. We top the pancakes with thickened blueberries, maple syrup, yogurt, whipped topping, pecans, bananas and any thing else we can think of.  I love to make these pancakes very thin almost like Swedish pancakes that my husbands grandma use to make.  Now don’t worry about the tofu in the recipe you never know it’s there, so if you are a little squemish about tofu this is your chance to say, “I cook with tofu”.

Robin’s Pancakes

In Blender:  1 Mori Nu Tofu (this can be soft or firm), 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon oil, and about 1 cup milk (I use soy)—blend until smooth

ADD:  1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon soda, 1 heaping cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup white flour–add enough milk to be able to blend the flour into the first mixture.

My blender is completely full when I am finished.

If you prefer you may add the blended mixture to the dry in a bowl and add enough milk to make the batter as thick or thin as you want.

Notice this recipe has no eggs and is very yummy!!

My Blessing

Were you blessed by your parents?  I was!  As a child growing up I knew I was the most important person in the world to my parents.  My parents were uneducated, never read a book on  raising children, never attended a class on child rearing and yet some how they knew how to show the love I needed.

My mom, the worrier, never said yes right away, spanked when I disobeyed which was often, never played with me and even worked out side the home.  My dad had a temper, didn’t go to church, and smoked.  How did they do it?  How did they give me a healthy self esteem, how did they let me know they loved me more then any thing?

I believe they gave me their blessing.  They accepted me, they approved of me and showed their love for me by touching me, talking to me and telling me when I did the right thing or the wrong thing.  They talked about Jesus often. 

If you remember, Esau missed out on his father’s blessing.  In Bible times the blessing was a momentous event.  It gave children a sense of value by their parents.  When Esau found he had lost his blessing he asked his father if he could find just one blessing for him. (Gen.27:38)

JoAnn Davidson tells about the Orthodox Jewish homes and how they bestow a special family blessing on their children.  This blessing is much like the blessing Esau was looking for.

If you are a parent or a grandparent learning about the family blessing can give your children a protection against evil and a knowledge of your acceptance of them.

I have seen it over and over again, when a person does not have the blessing of their parents it is difficult for them to leave home and move forward.  Oh they may leave home but mentally they are still there seeking acceptance.

As I see it the blessing has several parts and you may not agree with me but this is what I think just from my experience and from books I have read. Ross Campbell’s book,  How to Really Love your Teenager,  talks about how important appropriate touch is.  Campbell even goes so far as to say even if you have to touch your teenager on the sly do it.  Briefly touch him on the shoulder. I don’t know any one who does not love to have their feet massaged, or  pat her on the back.  Touch is very important.

In Florence Littauer’s book Silver Boxes, Florence tells us that the spoken word is very important, we all like to hear a positive word.  She also points out how important the written word is.  The spoken word will fade in time but the written word is always there to be pulled out and reread.

When giving the spoken word or written word attach high value to the person you are giving it to.

Commit to praying for the person you are giving this blessing to and continue to pray for them daily.

I plan to do some more research on each of these points and I will blog what I find for you but in the mean time, please think about giving your children, your spouse, a family member, a friend a blessing, it’s never too late.

L. O. L.

LOL.  . .Do you know what that means?  It stands for Laugh Out Loud, yup that’s what it stands for, have you had your laugh today?  Do you know it is actually healthy to laugh and the heartier the laugh the better it is for you.  “They” say it builds endorphins.

 

Maybe you are wondering what I am laughing at; here it is plain and simple. I am laughing at my bargains I got at Walgreen’s.  You know I have already told you how much I love getting bargains, yesterday I brought home 6 tubes of toothpaste and some Axe Shampoo for men and the total was $7.32.  Now here’s the kicker, I paid nothing out of pocket, in couponers language that would be said nothing OOP.   Here is how I did it. . .I had 6 coupons for .75 off of Colgate Toothpaste and in Walgreen’s Easy Saver Book there is a $2.50 coupon on page 23, combining the Easy Saver coupon and the manufactures coupon gave me $3.25 off of the $3.49 purchase price so my toothpaste cost .24 each plus tax.  My Axe Shampoo is a rebate item this month and when I send in my rebate form I will get the price of $5.99 back so the shampoo will be free except the tax.  Now remember I told you I didn’t pay a thing OOP, that’s because I had rebate money on my gift card from last month.

 

Okay, Okay I know it sounds complicated and believe me I have paid a lot of tuition learning about coupons by the mistakes I have made but I am able to supply my family, shelters and other organizations with the good deals I get.

 

I know we are responsible for watching over the resources God has given us and this means our time, money and everything.  It is not always easy to be watchful but I have found it is fun and enables me to give back.

Learn to be Content

One day I was at Walmart and there was a mother and child waiting in line in front of me, I heard the “I want” words a million  many times.  Children always seem to want things, especially when the stores make everything look so inviting.  I took my little granddaughter into Target and she was like a bee to honey flying around the store using the “I want” words until finally I ended up buying her some underwear to keep her happy and we rushed out of the store.

My question to you is. . .Is the “I want” disease just a child’s problem?

A few years ago I went through the I want stage and I didn’t like it.  After living in the same house for almost 27 years we built a new house.  Trust me the I want’s long outlasted the money.  (I had not met Dave Ramsey yet)

If you find great joy in your bank account, your clothing, what you drive, or where you live you have a problem.  The good news is the problem can be fixed.  Remember the Psalm, The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want?

I read a story about man who walked into town carrying everything he owned in his backpack.  He didn’t have to do this, it was his choice.  You see he felt called to walk and hand out Bibles.  I know, I know sounds a little suspicious but did you hear? He felt called, called by God.

“Come you blessed of my Father and inherit the kingdom I’ve prepared for you.  For when I was hungry you gave me food, when I was thirsty you gave me drink, a stranger and you took me in.”

Now I am not saying I think we all need to get rid of our belongings and start walking.  What I am saying is we need to learn to be content and to help others.

When God looks at us He does not see our stuff, He sees our servant heart. Contentment comes when we can say, “I have learned to be satisfied with the things I have. . .I know how to live when I am poor, and I know how to live when I have plenty.”  Phil. 4:11-12

The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want. . . . .

Why Pray When You Can Worry?

Oh, I got that mixed up didn’t I?  Have you ever lived with someone who worries once in a while or better said all the time?  I have and it’s no fun.

 

My mother worried about everything, I mean everything, and she never did it in private the whole family knew what she was worrying about.  She even worried afraid we were keeping something from her that she should be worrying about.  I remember wanting to take swimming lesson and she was afraid I would drown. I think her motto was learn to swim and then you can take lessons.

 

She made the life of her family a lot less fun because we were all so busy worrying about her.  She worried especially about her health.  I never thought she would live to see me graduate from high school much less get married and have children of my own to worry about.  My mother lived to be. . . . Are you curious . . . .91 years old. That made you smile didn’t it, and yet it is sad.  Oh, we were good friends (she was my buddy) and I still miss her but just think of every thing she and we miss out on because she was afraid.

 

I will tell you, as she aged she seemed to trust in the Lord more.  I was reading in the book of Joshua one day, this was after mom had passed away, and I noticed her shaky handwriting all it said was “mine.”  The verse she was claiming was Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you where ever you go.” She found peace and courage in this verse.

 

I believe mom spent most of her life being terrified but when she found Joshua 1:9 it gave her hope.  There is no doubt in my mind that mom was hardwired to be a nervous and anxious person.  Why?  I don’t know the answer perhaps it was the family she grew up in or the times in which she lived.

 

Worry is a big problem for many of us but have you thought of the time and energy waster it is?  The experts say 90% of what we worry about will never happen.

 

Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”  I love this proverb.

 

I don’t have all the answers on worry, but I do know that God already has everything under control and already knows the beginning from the end and He is perfect and all I have to do is trust in Him.

 

So don’t worry! When you are bothered take it to Jesus in prayer.  Claim the promises in the Bible and . . . . Don’t worry.

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