Saturday, March 31, 2007

Take a Stand

Encourage others by not letting bullies get away with victimizing. And just so you know, bullies come in all shapes, sizes, ages, genders and colors.

A decade ago, I sat on a board of a volunteer professional association, and a member of the group failed to get a big project off the ground that would've raised money for the chapter. Despite a heartfelt apology and good justification from the member, the blonde, female president berated and belittled him the whole meeting. Being the youngest and newest person on the board, I didn't say anything, but kept hoping the older, more experienced members would stick up for the guy. Or say something to the president to get her to move on to something more constructive. It was an awkward, uncomfortable night.

After the meeting, we gathered in little groups to talk about how inappropriate the president's behavior was and expressed our sympathy to Jeff, the picked-on member. I asked my older, wiser friends why they didn't say anything to defend our colleague, and their answer was that they were shocked that such a spectacle could happen among professionals.

The meeting changed me. I vowed never again to sit back, silent, when my words could defend or deflect meanness.

This quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. gives me courage to speak out and take a stand: "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

Be bold for goodness. Be bold for your faith. Battle the bullies.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Saying Something Nice

A few days ago, a man I'd just met was asking me about the speaking business. He mentioned that in all his years of public school, he'd received one compliment from a teacher. It was about his ability to speak. Being the only one, the compliment really stuck with him and gave him confidence that he could make presentations.

I know teachers have many challenges, so I'm not asking them to do more, and I'm not fussing at them. Maybe this man was a handful as a youngster, and it was all the teachers could do to keep the class in line. We don't know the whole story.

But it made me sad that this man--probably in his forties--could remember only one compliment.

My dad wanted me to be an executive secretary when I was little. If it hadn't been for the encouragement--and compliments--of Mr. Bledsoe, Miss Verhalen and Mrs. Foster, I might not have known the thrill of sharing ideas with audiences.

Let's encourage each other by finding nice things to say to each other and about each other. I'm not suggesting insincere flattery. Let's look beyond the surface to notice a day-brightening smile, a kind gesture, or a job done well.

You never know how it will give confidence and change a life.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

God is in Control

The chorus of a Twila Paris song keeps running through my head. It is on her live CD titled, He is Exalted, and the song is "God Is In Control."

Look at and be encouraged by a few of the lyrics:

God is in control
We believe that His children
Will not be forsaken
God is in control
We will choose to remember
And never be shaken
There is no power above or beside Him
We know O God is in control
O God is in control

Isn't that great? I try not to worry or be anxious. After all, Jesus said, "Do not be anxious." But the last few days, when my mind starts to drift into "What if's," I find myself repeating "God is in control."

I read once that if a song lyric keeps running through your head, it is your subconscious sending you a message. There are worse messages my subconscious could be sending!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Simple Pleasures

What are the simple joys God puts in your life to make you smile?

Do you share any of mine?

1. Seeing an old, arthritic dog wag her tail
2. Scratching the head of the above-mentioned dog in such a way that you can tell she loves it
3. Smelling a puppy
4. Seeing the fluffy, white blossoms of a Bradford Pear tree
5. Reading the newspaper outside in the backyard
6. Receiving an e-mail from an old friend
7. Signing for a mysterious package with the return address written in Chinese
8. Eating a green banana
9. Having lunch with a girlfriend who makes you laugh
10. Realizing a prayer has been answered
11. Having an empty calendar and not panicking about it
12. Spotting daffodils in your yard that you didn't plant
13. Rubbing your hands over the Rosemary bush and then loving the smell it left on your fingers
14. Hearing your mother's voice
15. Getting a welcome-home kiss on your lips from your husband and on the shins from your doggy

May God put some good news and simple pleasures in your life today!

Tornado Update

Robby Brumberg, Associate Editor for Hopegivers International, heard about the prayer request and asked me to update the blog with this information:

"Hopegivers did not receive any extensive damage from the tornado--only a few trees/power lines down and we are already back up and running. Calvary Baptist did indeed take the bigger hit, but they did not lose their worship center. They should be able rebuild what was lost Lord willing."

I don't know about you, but even when you don't receive "extensive" damage, just a little damage, it can still be demoralizing. Let's lift up in prayer those tossed about in literal and figurative storms, those needing a bit of hope and a reminder that God loves them.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Encouraging Tornado Survivors

I just received this e-mail from a friend I've met through Cyberspace. Please say a prayer for those hurt or affected by the storms this week.

Dear Lorri: The Hopegivers Home Office Staff in Columbus, GA took a direct hit from the tornados last Thursday night. (We had) a lot of tree damage. Also Calvary Baptist Church across the street lost its worship center. Pray as the massive clean up starts and strength for the people there!

Our Hope Is In Him,
Ron Leonard
Romans 8:28