Friday, December 12, 2008


After a day and a half spent mostly with individuals and families battling illnesses of various kinds (in person and on the phone), I'm back in the office today. In the kitchen here at church Ruth, George, Diann and others are getting fruit baskets ready for our befrienders' "special friends" and a few others. There's even a basket sitting in my office ready for me to bring home. I always say, every year, that it's totally unnecessary--but it's very kind of them to remember me and my family.

Over at the food shelf today, before the 9:00 opening time, Isabelle said it was "bedlam." It didn't look that bad to me but I don't volunteer there like she and Russ do. There certainly were a lot of people! This week Isabelle & Russ and friends packed special Christmas boxes for those in need. Pastor Wally Glucklich said in a note earlier this week that there are more than 50 families coming to pick up boxes today and tomorrow. I plan on being there tomorrow morning at 9. It seemed this morning that they had plenty of help, but we want to be available as pastors.

Tomorrow our church will host a Swedish festival known around here as "Lucia" but pronounced "Lu-sha". I'm not Swedish but I do appreciate the care our church members put into honoring the many guests who will come tomorrow. Glowing candles, sweet breads and hot coffee will greet any who wish to come and celebrate this gentle event - 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 13.

The combination of serving the needy and the "not so needy" is a Christmas tradition. Everyone, however, no matter what their financial situation, needs to know they are cared for, prayed for and loved. All of this makes me think of one of the Spanish words that are a part of the Via de Cristo or "Cursillo" movement. The word is "palanca" and I've been told that it means "lever" in the Spanish language. A "lever" is a little thing that makes a big difference.

The main "palanca" is PRAYER. As we admit our weakness before God in prayer, we somehow tap into God's great strength. The tradition of giving a small gift as a sign of love and prayer pre-dates the Cursillo movement, but that's where I learned of it. It's a good thing.

Everyone needs love. Yesterday I picked up a multiple copies of a pamphlet with 150 Ways to Show Kids You Care from the Search Institute (printer friendly here). The video mentioned in my previous post is a great reminder of this too.

As we minister to kids, to the poor, to the elderly, to Swedes and our friends this Christmas, don't forget to be in prayer for them too. You can request prayer for yourself and others by using the "prayer requests" link at the top right of this page.
** FYI - at the moment the Hands Against Hunger event is on the front page of the Enterprise-Dispatch site --

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