Tag Archive | Mondays with Mimi

Biscuits from God

Another goodie shared by a friend.

The Story

One Sunday morning at a small southern church, the new pastor called on one of his older deacons to lead in the opening prayer. The deacon stood up, bowed his head and said, “Lord, I hate buttermilk.” The pastor opened one eye and wondered where this was going.

The deacon continued. “Lord, I hate lard.” Now the pastor was totally perplexed.

The deacon continued, “Lord, I ain’t too crazy about plain flour. But after you mix ‘em all together and bake ‘em in a hot oven, I just love biscuits.”

Let’s Pray

Lord, help us to realize when life gets hard, when things come up that we don’t like, whenever we don’t understand what You are doing…that we need to wait and see what You are making. After you get through mixing and baking, it’ll probably be something even better than biscuits! Amen.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.–Romans 8:28.

Mimi

Advertisements

A Blue Rose

 

 

A friend recently shared this with me. It’s a great reminder to be on the lookout for opportunities to show kindness, be a blessing, or share God’s love with others.

The Story

Having four visiting family members, my wife was very busy, so I offered to go to the store for her to get some needed items, which included light bulbs, paper towels, trash bags, detergent and bleach. So, off I went.

I scurried around the store, gathered up my goodies and headed for the checkout counter, only to be blocked in the narrow aisle by a young man who appeared to be about sixteen-years-old. I wasn’t in a hurry, so I patiently waited for the boy to realize that I was there. This was when he waved his hands excitedly in the air and declared in a loud voice, “Mommy, I’m over here.””

Hey Buddy, what’s your name?

It was obvious now, he was mentally challenged and also startled as he turned and saw me standing so close to him, waiting to squeeze by. His eyes widened and surprise exploded on his face as I said, “Hey Buddy, what’s your name?”

“My name is Denny and I’m shopping with my mother,” he responded proudly.

“Wow,” I said, “that’s a cool name; I wish my name was Denny, but my name is Steve.”

“Steve, like Stevarino?” he asked.

“Yes,” I answered. “How old are you Denny?”

“How old am I now, Mommy?” he asked his mother as she slowly came over from the next aisle.

“You’re fifteen-years-old Denny; now be a good boy and let the man pass by.”

I acknowledged her and continued to talk to Denny for several more minutes about summer, bicycles and school. I watched his brown eyes dance with excitement, because he was the center of someone’s attention. He then abruptly turned and headed toward the toy section.

Answers from a dandelion.

Denny’s mom had a puzzled look on her face and thanked me for taking the time to talk with her son. She told me that most people wouldn’t even look at him, much less talk to him. I told her that it was my pleasure and then I said something I have no idea where it came from, other than by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I told her that there are plenty of red, yellow, and pink roses in God’s Garden; however, Blue Roses are very rare and should be appreciated for their beauty and distinctiveness. You see, Denny is a Blue Rose and if someone doesn’t stop and smell that rose with their heart and touch that rose with their kindness, then they’ve missed a blessing from God.

She was silent for a second, then with a tear in her eye she asked, “Who are you?”

Without thinking I said, “Oh, I’m probably just a dandelion, but I sure love living in God’s garden.”

She reached out, squeezed my hand and said, “God bless you!” and then I had tears in my eyes.

A small gesture makes a world of difference.

May I suggest, the next time you see a Blue Rose, don’t turn your head and walk off. Take the time to smile and say hello. Why? Because, by the grace of God, this mother or father could be you. This could be your child, grandchild, niece or nephew. What a difference a moment can mean to that person or their family.

From an old dandelion…live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, and leave the rest to God.

If this story blesses you today, please consider sharing it with others. People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Love to all,

Mimi

Now that’s what I’m talking about!

I subscribe to a daily newsletter from Only In Your State. Each day I learn about fun things to do or see right here in Florida.

A few months back there this picture appeared followed by a story about these amazing milkshakes. You can find them near Miami at Boca’s House restaurant in Doral, FL. That’s about 4 hours from where I live but I think they might just be worth the drive!

So, what’s the definition of worth of anyway?

I’m glad you asked. If you’re going to drive all the way to Doral to enjoy those fancy milkshakes, it would be good to know ahead of time if they were really worth it.

One definition is the level at which someone or something deserves to be valued or rated. That sounds about right, doesn’t it? At least according to the world. Achieving that value or rating depends on many factors, most of them manmade.

But that’s a problem: if someone decides what has value, it might be arbitrary. And that means, it could change someday. Long ago, it was decided that diamonds and gold were rare and in limited supply so they had value. When given in jewelry, they became symbols of how we view someone else. The bigger the diamond, the purer the gold, the more valuable they were so when given as gifts they demonstrated to someone else the value you placed on them or the relationship.

But thankfully…

…yes, thankfully, that’s not the case with God. But I wonder how many of us can still fall into the trap of placing false values on things or other people. We can spend a lot of time and money pursing things we or others perceive as having great worth only to find in the end, it’s just stuff. It might cost a lot but it’s just stuff. And as the saying goes “You can’t take it with you.”

And that my friend, illustrates the problem with how we can fall into the same trap by believing some of the negative thoughts that bombard us all too often. Thoughts such as “I’m not good enough, I don’t make enough money, I have no talent, I’m a failure as a parent, etc. If we only consider a worldly view of value, we miss the beauty of how God sees us.

Our worth is God-given, God-ordained.

There’s not a big enough diamond or enough gold in the world to measure the value of our worth in God’s eyes. Isn’t that a relief? Here are just a few biblical reminders of the worth God sees in us:

  1. …for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. (1 Peter 2:9 NLT)
  2. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. (Ephesians 1:4-5 NLT)
  3. Verses from Song of Solomon: You are beautiful, my darling, beautiful beyond words (4:1); you have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride (4:9); Oh, how beautiful you are! How pleasing, my love, how full of delights! (7:6).
  4. For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. (Zephaniah 3:17 NLT)
  5. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13-14 NIV)

Enough said! Do I hear an amen?

Those verses are just a sample of what you’ll find in the pages of the Book God gave us to reveal Himself to us.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s not a thing wrong with a pretty piece of jewelry. There’s nothing wrong with being rewarded for hard work with a promotion or a raise.

But don’t make life all about or only about things that hold temporary worth. Instead, rejoice in the amazing love of an amazing God who created you with value and worth to Him and His kingdom. Rejoice in how He sees you and in how much He loves you.

And that…you can take to the bank!

Love to all,

Mimi

Today’s NEW MATH just doesn’t add up.

On St. Patrick’s Day the hubster really wanted a green, minty milkshake. I happened to have a $1 off coupon for a Reuben Basket meal at Culver’s. And since Culver’s is also known for its ice cream, we decided to head over to get both.

Something’s screwy…

Once there, we learned the $1 discount wasn’t really a coupon. Instead, the Reuben meal was already set to the lower price. It would automatically ring up at the lower price. Seems easy enough…or so I thought.

While ringing up the food, I noticed the price was the normal, daily one, not a dollar lower. I didn’t say anything figuring it would show up at the end of the order. Only it didn’t. We paid and I grabbed the receipt from Greg. Sure enough, there was no discounted price—just the normal price for what we ordered.

So, where’s the $1.00 discount?

Even though a dollar isn’t that big of a deal, I was curious as to why it never showed up on the receipt. So, I showed it to the cashier for her review. Considering we had only ordered two items, she seemed to take a very long time looking at the receipt until she finally agreed there was no discount. She kindly offered me a dessert to make up for it, which we turned down since we had already ordered the milkshake. She then said she’d speak with the manager to straighten it out.

It all becomes clear…or does it?

About ten minutes into our meal, the cashier returned and happily put down a little tray with $.62 on it. She said, instead of giving me the $1 discount, she re-rang the meal with the senior discount so I would get a better discount. Huh?

I told her the discount was $1 and she gave me $.62. She tried explaining it again, but of course, there was no explanation that would work because $1 does not equal $.62.

At this point, I said thank you and we finished our meal. But for the rest of the evening, any time I thought about the Culver’s transaction I just had to shake my head and think, “Is this what is taught in the new math?” If so, our kids are in serious trouble.

Wisdom needed here.

Fast forward to my recent Bible Study Fellowship lessons, we’ve been learning about Solomon and how when God wanted to bless him with anything in the world, Solomon asked for wisdom so he could rule well, so he could have discernment and understanding.

Head knowledge received through educational institutions or on our own simply isn’t enough. Solomon knew this. And whether or not we can get the numbers to add up (another way to say even if our life seems sure and steady) we need more. We need God’s wisdom leading the way.

Solomon recognized he could not find the wisdom he needed and wanted in the world so he made his request to God who IS wisdom. Solomon revered and worshipped God. He seemed to know in his heart of hearts the math equation that does work:  more God=more wisdom.

Proverbs 4:4-7a NLT: “Get wisdom; develop good judgment. Don’t forget my words or turn away from them. Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you. Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do!” (Proverbs 4:4-7a)

It seems so simple.

I love the New Living Translation version of Proverbs 4 because of that last statement “Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do!” Seems simple, doesn’t it? And it’s just what I need so I’m determined to be more proactive in my request to God for wisdom.

How about you? Will you join me in asking God for abundant wisdom?

Mimi

A serious neck problem.

Good Monday morning,

Since Tuesday, I’ve battled a stomach bug. It’s been a week of feeling terrible, weakness, concern, and at times discouragement. In my grandson, it lasted one day. But at 65, I’m officially on Day 5 and still not 100%.

What a perfect time to let someone else do the “talking” in my Mimi blog this week. And with that I introduce you to Ann Wilson, a regular contributor to the Opinion section of Fox News. She and her husband Dave are co-founders of Kensington Community Church, a national, multi-campus church that hosts more than 14,000 attendees every weekend. They are also the hosts of Family Life Today Radio that broadcasts on over 1300 stations daily.

For you…a thoughtful and thought-provoking column by Ann, published March 9.

This article speaks to so many things we each deal with on a regular basis. Read on and let me know what you think.

Please use this link to read Ann’s great column.

Mimi

Fun in Safety Harbor along with a “Happy Birthday” to Linda.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomorrow is a very special day. Two of my precious loved ones share a birthday: daughter Kate and sister-in-law Linda.

In celebration of Linda’s birthday, the hubster and I drove to St. Pete this past weekend where she and her hubby (Greg’s brother) have a winter residence. And part of our fun time together was spent in beautiful Safety Harbor.

This sweet little community sits right on the water. It hosts a giant oak tree estimated to be 300-500 years old as well as a very beautiful water feature. If you zoom in, you’ll see several large Florida water birds made of metal. It’s really something in person!

Walking past the fountain, we encountered a fishing pier where we watched a cormorant (snake fish) wrangling a fish for an afternoon snack.

And it got even better…

…because after our walking tour of charming Safety Harbor, we found a nearby Dairy Queen and enjoyed some of their yummy blizzards!

And this was one of those times where I didn’t think at all about carbs, sugar, calories, or the fact that it was close to supper time. Instead, I just went with it and thoroughly enjoyed my DQ visit.

Family is everything.

The older I get, the more I appreciate family time. Jim and Linda live most of the year in Ohio, so while they are here in Florida, we plan on taking full advantage of spending as much time with them as possible.

Even though Safety Harbor and Dairy Queen were great fun, it really isn’t about what we do as a family; instead it’s about who we do it with. Time with Jim and Linda is a joy. It’s a God-gift of love to us both. And it’s always a reminder of how blessed we are to be able to see each other as often as we do.

So, happy birthday sweet Sis. We sure do love you.

Mimi

p.s. As an added bonus (and surprise to Greg and me) Uncle Jim called up our Kate and invited her and the family to meet in Tampa for a fun-filled Fossil Fest. So that’s the whole gang in the photo above.

How one little “owie” hurts the whole body.

Greg and I were talking recently about how important each member of the body of Christ to each other. In my part of the conversation I brought up a recent owie our son-in-law experienced and how it affected…everything!

Here’s what happened.

Turns out Chris somehow got an infection in his big toe. Not really sure how it happened but it took a few days (or a week) to figure out the hurt he was experiencing wasn’t going away. And, in fact, the toe started getting red and warm more and more each day.

While visiting with us, his mother-in-law (me!) looked at that toe and told him on the way home he MUST MUST MUST go to the urgent care center, he was not to pass go, he was not to collect $200, etc. Instead, he had to have this thing looked at.

Next thing I know, he’s doing a live stream video showing the toe being lanced so the “icky stuff” could escape and the healing could begin. He was also told to expect the nail to turn colors and eventually come off. Which, weeks later, it did.

During this entire process, Chris experienced pain which finally turned to soreness and then discomfort. The toenail came off recently and he admitted it’s still quite tender. I imagine it will be until the new nail grows in.

So, what’s my point anyway?

The point is, this shows the perfect illustration of how important each member of the Body of Christ is to each other. That one toenail on Chris, which seems rather insignificant, disturbed everything. It caused pain in itself. It also affected the way Chris walked. It limited his activities. He became mindful of it because of the pain.

So, too, in the Body of Christ, the Church. We all have an effect…positive and negative…on each other. Even if we feel we are unimportant, we are actually quite important to the well-being of each other, to the proper functioning of the Church. And when one of us is hurting, the rest suffer as well.

So, just what function do we serve?

Today the hubster and I were talking about the apostle Paul and one of us commented “I’m not sure we’re all called to be Pauls.” Well, duh. Of course not. But we are indeed called to a function just as important. We may be a foot taking the gospel to foreign soil; we may be a mouth speaking God’s word as an evangelist; we may serve in a supportive role as we pray and monetarily support others in the Body. Kind of like a toenail that only serves to protect the toe underneath.

Still feeling unimportant and insignificant?

Using The Message, let me share quite a few Bible verses below. In very plain language they detail the beautiful way God created His Church to function. (I am quoting most but not all of 1 Corinthians 12.)

You can easily enough see how this kind of thing works by looking no further than your own body. Your body has many parts—limbs, organs, cells—but no matter how many parts you can name, you’re still one body. It’s exactly the same with Christ. By means of his one Spirit, we all said good-bye to our partial and piecemeal lives. We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which he has the final say in everything. (This is what we proclaimed in word and action when we were baptized.) Each of us is now a part of his resurrection body, refreshed and sustained at one fountain—his Spirit—where we all come to drink.

I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. If Foot said, “I’m not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don’t belong to this body,” would that make it so? If Ear said, “I’m not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don’t deserve a place on the head,” would you want to remove it from the body? If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it.

But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn’t be a body, but a monster. What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own. Can you imagine Eye telling Hand, “Get lost; I don’t need you”? Or, Head telling Foot, “You’re fired; your job has been phased out”? As a matter of fact, in practice it works the other way—the “lower” the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary. You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach. When it’s a part of your own body you are concerned with, it makes no difference whether the part is visible or clothed, higher or lower. You give it dignity and honor just as it is, without comparisons. If anything, you have more concern for the lower parts than the higher. If you had to choose, wouldn’t you prefer good digestion to full-bodied hair?

The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.

You are Christ’s body—that’s who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your “part” mean anything.

I love the verse that states “I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less.” That’s powerful. And that’s for us.

So, no matter your function, your calling, your gifts, you matter to God, and He has big plans for you. Plans no one but you can fulfill. Plans to show His glory to others. Plans that will testify of God’s beauty. Plans that will draw others to Him by the demonstration of Christ in you.

Be encouraged today. Use your gifts for God’s glory. Unsure what they are? Ask Him to reveal to you His purposes for your life.

Much love to all,

Mimi