A Life Worth Living by Nancy Buxton

Posts tagged ‘friends’

The Anniversary

What to say.  Married 43 years and not much to say about it.  Well, that’s not exactly true, there is plenty to say.  I can tell you 43 years has gone by quick and yet slow.  Have you ever heard that days go slow but the years go fast?  This was really true when the kids were small, sometimes those days would just drag by until daddy came home and, and, and eat supper and watch tv until bed time. LOL

That’s how it use to be, husbands didn’t help out like they do now.  I wonder why that was.  My fella would at least put the kids to bed, he almost always did that.  I gave them the bath, got the pj’s on and he would slip into the bedroom and stay with them until they would fall asleep.  Funny thing is, that seems to be the thing the kids remember.  They don’t remember all the baths, they remember dad going to bed with them and talking until they fell asleep, all three of them.

So what did we get each other?  Welllllllllllllllllllllllllll, I told Bob to skip the present there is nothing I want and the VitaMix was pretty expensive for Mother’s Day.  What did I get him? Flowers.  Yup, I did.  He told me one time when I was wishing for flowers that I have never gotten him flowers, so I fooled him and did it.  Here’s the kicker, after a few days I asked him how he liked his flowers, he said, “What flowers?”  Funny, isn’t it?  Oh well, I have enjoyed the flowers, I’m not sure he thinks of them as his.  Who knows.

So do you have the picture?  No gifts, no cards, well except for flowers.  We did go out to eat with four other people and we went to the university dairy for an ice cream cone.  You know what? It was perfect, really it’s just nice to be happy, healthy and still seeking Jesus.

The Power of Friendship

This is the last of the posts on making sure your church is friendly, not only to visitors but to members.  It is possible to feel alone and lonely when you have been a church member for a very long time.

Think  about this, there is no way you would invite someone to your home and then just sit there and never say a word.  Yet when we walk into the sanctuary have you noticed we usually just sit down.  Last summer the AC in our church had to be replaced.  It was the usual hot summer and we decided to meet in our upstairs fellowship hall.  We only had chairs to sit on but it worked.  In my book it really worked.  I noticed people actually talking to each other, they would even turn the chairs around and visit.  There was a wonderful, warm, friendly feeling in the fellowship hall.  As soon as we moved back to the sanctuary we fell back to our old ways of just walking to our same spots and sitting.

Smile!  A smile makes your face attractive.  It makes your face welcoming. Greet Everyone with a smile.  We have a man in our church, his name is Dan.  He is always so upbeat and has a great big smile on his face, he makes everyone feel welcome and worthwhile.

Sometimes the drive to church is not always a pleasant one.  At my house we are usually running very late and I am not always a happy camper by the time we leave for church.  At my daughter’s house it is always a rush to find the shoes, jackets and the to do bag.  By the time we arrive at church we would have reason to have a frown on our face.  Take a moment to warm up your smile by thinking of the good things in your life and thanking God for his blessings.

Don’t overlook the importance of greeting the people you meet with a smile and shake hands to those around you.  Do this before and after every service.  Learn their names.  Even if your church has official greeters, you’re not off the hook.  When church is over don’t rush out the door, stay by and visit a little and greet those who have been sitting around you.

The last thing I want to say on this is to thank the people serving.  Smile and say thanks to at least 3 people each week.  Some of these people may be paid others are volunteers but thank them for what they do.

Well, there you have it!  I would love to hear some success stories from you.  Mother Teresa said, “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”

The Friendliest Place in Town

Do you feel like your church is the friendliest place in town?  If you don’t or if I don’t we need to do something about that.  Yesterday I posted about the 5 important things that make people feel welcome at church.  Now I’m not just talking about visitors I am talking about church members.  Do you know church members can feel very lonely at church?

People want to feel comfortable at church.  They want comfortable seating and easy to follow signage.  They also love to have their names used.  It ‘s important to learn about your fellow church members and to express genuine interest in them and their family.

People also want a relaxed fit!  Sounds like we are buying a pair of jeans doesn’t it?  Think about this.  Once we’ve been going to a church for a while it starts to feel pretty routine.  We know our way around and certainly know what’s expected.  For guests, the church can seem pretty daunting and foreign at first, especially if it is a big church.  Help people feel at ease by letting them know your church is a safe place to be and they are welcome no matter what.

If you see someone wandering the halls looking lost ask them if you can help.  I have actually seen people leave a meeting because they couldn’t find a place to sit.  Move over and invite a stranger or a church member to sit with you, you can do that with a smile, a nod or a motion.

Stick around–most of the time once we hear the last amen we are on our feet and ready to head for home.  Those moments after the service don’t need to be rushed.  Take time to say hello to the people who were sitting around you.  One study showed that visitors felt more welcomed when someone talked to them after the service than before.

It’s not always easy to put these things into action especially if it isn’t natural.  I do believe we are called to be friendly even if it’s difficult.

Friend-O-Nomics

Today we went to church just as we do every Saturday.  We were barely on time just as we are every Saturday.  I won’t tell you who is the one at our house that makes us late or almost late but it’s not me.  We walked into the sanctuary from the side door just as we do every week.  We sat in our usual spot and when the service was over we left.  Not one person spoke to me.

Odd I have been going to this church for over 40 years and I didn’t even meet anyone to stop and visit with.  It’s okay I don’t mind but what if I did.  What if that was enough to make me not want to go back. So what about being friendly at church?  Don’t get me wrong, I certainly could have and should have found someone to welcome.  Do you know friendliness can make your church grow?

“Group”–surveyed 750 people to answer this question: What’s the most important factor that makes a place friendly?  Here is the list of the top five characteristics most important in conveying friendliness.  This is in the order of importance.

1.  Belonging–It’s important to feel like you belong.  Try inviting people home for dinner or if you don’t cook perhaps meet at a restaurant and spend some time together.  Host something.  Invite a few people from church over for a game night, a movie night, a football party, anything.  People love to be together. What are your hobbies?  Perhaps you can invite someone over to work on a hobby together.  It is important to help everyone feel like they belong.

2. Comfort

3. Relaxed Fit

4. Talk to Me

5. Smiles

We are going to work on this list and see if we can become more friendly.  Are you with me?

The Find

A couple of weekend’s ago Bob found a purse similar to this one.  He found it in a parking lot and when he rummaged through the purse he found it contained a lot of money.  He also found a drivers license of a 90 some year old woman and a cell phone.  He started calling the numbers on the cell phone and found the daughter of the 90-year-old and told her that he thought he had a purse belonging to her mother.

He took the purse to the daughter she gave him $100 for being honest.  She wanted his phone number and name so she could tell her mother who lives about 100 miles from Lincoln. 

The mother called and talked to Bob for about 30 minutes about how thankful she was to have the purse back.  She had been riding with the daughter who lives with her. The purse actually belonged to the daughter.  She had put it on top of the car as she helped her mother buckle up.  When they realized the purse was gone they looked for over 2 hours and finally gave up and drove the 100 miles back home without the purse stuffed with money.

During the phone call the daughter asked if we would go to lunch with them the next time they came to Lincoln because they wanted to treat us to a meal and meet the honest man who returned the purse.

Friday was the big day.  We met at Village Inn, they hugged and kissed us several times, invited us to come to Schyler to spend the night at their home and promised to stay in touch.  We visited for at least 2 hours and at that we were all reluctant to say good-bye.

We told them Bob donated the $100 to our school for classroom renovation.  They wanted to know what church we attend.  They wanted Bob to go to the TV station with them so they could tell the story and have it on TV.  LOL  I heard him say, he doesn’t like publicity and really didn’t want to do that.  They just wanted to really show how much they appreciated getting their money back.  The mother let us know from now on she will be carrying her own checkbook.  Teasing of course.

It was a good day, they were grateful to know there are still honest people in this world and we were blessed to have met such real people.  There were no pretenses it was just all ordinary people brought together under an odd circumstance.  A black purse filled with money.

O L D–Old Friends

It’s Thursday the beginning of Alumni Weekend at Union College.  A couple of Bob’s oldest earliest friends just got into town.  The wives stayed home it’s just three men (mine included) looking to have a grand time this weekend. There may be one more on his way from Denver so let the fun begin.  They are like the 4th grade boys I see at school.  They have giggled, punched each other and laughed some more.  We assured them that had they not made the trip from Texas our Alumni Weekend would have been really boring.

Here they are

Valentino’s will make some good money off  these two who rolled into town about 10 pm and made sure we had pizza waiting at the door.  They didn’t want any salad, no bread just pizza, with plenty left over for breakfast and I’m  sure they will hit the buffet at lunch.  I’m going to beg them to let me cook this evening but if I remember from year past  it will be pizza for dinner. 

 We had a game of Rook and went to bed.  Bob and I are the first ones up this morning and Bob finally got his Water Buffalo horn and blew it at 9 am.  Was this a signal that he is ready for a full day of fun?  I think so.

We laughed until we cried last evening, we all agreed it has been a long time since we laughed that hard.  It’s interesting, the thing is today it may not even be funny but at the moment we were all nearly rolling on the floor with laughter. A merry heart doeth good that’s for sure.

Don’t let this recipe scare you just because it has  tomatillos in it, it is really yummy we enjoyed it on enchiladas and then again on taco’s we used it for taco sauce.  Can you tell my eating has gone downhill this weekend and really for a couple of weeks I am making a promise to myself to get back on task Tuesday LOL.

Green Enchilada Sauce

2-3 TB extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, minced

5-6 garlic cloves, minced

2 green peppers, chopped

1-2 jalapenos, seeded and membranes removed–I use rubber gloves to handle these peppers.  I used just a half of one good-sized jalapenos, next time I think I will use 1 jalapeno.

1 1/2 lb tomatillos, husked and quartered or halved.  Tomatillos look like green tomatoes, I bought just a little more in case one or two were not good.

1/2 bunch cilantro

1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt or just salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 1/2 tsp cumin

4 cups chicken broth, I use 4 cups water and all Mckays vegetarian chicken seasoning

2-3 Tb sugar–this is optional I left it out.

In a large sauce pan or stock pot, heat olive oil and saute onions and garlic until tender

While onions are sauteing, combine tomatillos, green peppers, cilantro in your blender.  Process until smooth.  You may have to do it in batches if it is too much.  Just add a little chicken broth to make it blendable.

Pour the tomatillo mixture over the onions and garlic and add broth, salt, pepper, cumin and simmer 15 minutes to 1 hour depending on the consistency you want.  I usually turn the heat to high and boil it uncovered until it reachs the consistency I want.

This is a big batch and you may freeze it.

PQRST

  I am sure you thought I misspelled PQEST, you probably thought I meant to spell POET or something.  I’m not great at spelling but you will have to finished reading this post to find out what PQRST really means.

This is a women’s ministries idea that comes to us from Boulder, Colorado.  I have left the names out to protect the innocent.  LOL

We do not have the large group you do there in Lincoln, so we meet at people’s homes. Everyone was invited to wear western attire this time, so there were lots of cowboy boots, hats, jeans, shirts, and kerchiefs (whatever people could come up with). Everyone is invited to bring food centered around the theme. Today’s main course was a yummy chili. We also had a ‘sweets’ table with delectable goodies. Our meeting was held outside under a tent canopy by the hostess’ pool. Not everyone could fit under the canopy, and it got pretty warm, but then we went inside to get our food. Some stayed inside and others went back outside to eat under trees, etc. A very good western story about a horse and two poems were read and then information about future events (including the national conference coming up in Texas this fall) were shared. It’s just a fun time for ladies to be together. We always have quite a few guests who don’t belong to our church and today’s group was no exception. Outside the front door, we registered and were given a goodie bag (just little paper gift bags with handles) full of fun little things, including the recipe to the chili and copies of the poems read and a song we sang . The goodie bags each had a kerchief tied on them, so they looked really cute. We don’t really have decorations, except for the fact that there was a life-size, wooden, horse (made by a husband) standing beside a section of split rail fence as a backdrop. Our plates and napkins looked like kerchiefs. We probably aren’t as fancy and formal as where you are, but everybody keeps coming back every time, so we know everybody enjoys themselves. This isn’t very detailed, but you can get a little feel for what we did today.
Because of it being summertime and many things going on in all our lives, our next get-together won’t be until late September. We all feel that’s too long, but it gives us something to really look forward to at the end of the summer.

 This sounds like fun and I hope to attend one of these fun events in the future.  Thanks for sharing and if any one else has some ideas for ministry please contact me by commenting on this post.

 

 
 PQRST stands for:
P = Prayer
Q = Question
R = [I’ll have to check on the serious meaning] Sometimes it’s ‘recipe,’ but that’s the ‘roving’ meaning.
S = It might be ‘service,’ but the roving meaning is ‘story.’
T = Treasure. Sometimes it is a treasure hunt; but God’s word is always the best treasure.

Because of it being summertime and many things going on in all our lives, our next get-together won’t be until late September. We all feel that’s too long, but it gives us something to really look forward to at the end of the summer.

 
 
PS:  13 1/2 pounds down, I now weigh less than my man.  I know what you’re thinking, don’t think I don’t.  You’re right, how awful to out weigh your man.
 

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