his name is Tom

As I pulled into the lot to order some chicken for a friend’s family whose spouse is dying, I saw him standing by the light on the opposite side of the drive in entrance way. He had a cardboard handwritten sign that said:

HOMELESS not HELPLESS.”

It was atypical.

It was unusual.

It made my heart sing.

Here he was just trying to survive and those words were life bringing and I pray life changing for all who read them including you.

Some may get offended that he is there asking for help, but the mere fact he is asking should pull on our heart strings to bleed compassion.

I got in the socially distancing only option of the day, aka the drive through and ordered extra chicken so I could park the car to bring some to him.

The intersection was a busy one and would be difficult to hand off some food to him driving out. Thus the reason I parked. Plus, I wanted more than a quick drive by hand off. He needed connection and I needed it too. Don’t we all during these trying times.

It is a time in life where many are afraid of others because of what germs they may be carrying. Still…

No excuse not to be kind.

No excuse to not reach out to our fellow man.

No excuse to not connect.

I asked his name as each nameless face has one. Please don’t forget that.

His name is Tom.

Behind every sign there is a name.

A story.

A baby born that a mother loved.

A child made perfectly by God above.

No one would will hard times on another, but we live in a sin-sick, fallen world and don’t know the full story behind the sign.

I wanted to pray with him. I wanted to talk more and hear his story. I wanted him to truly feel God’s love and understand His promises like this one👇🏼

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1.9

I wanted to truly live out the gospel when Jesus said:

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13.34

Because of the coronavirus, our interaction was short. With gloved hands, he took the food and said: “God bless you.”

And He does. I know this. Do you?

For anytime we do something to the least of these (Matthew 25.40), we walk away more blessed.

That is the whole plan of serving. We give yet we get so much more. So serve your fellow man with gusto and without seeking anything in return except the happiness that is brought on by giving.

How can you make the world a better place today? Now go do it and..

be.the.light

So many like Tom deserve our time, attention, care, and kindness, but most importantly our prayers.

His name is Tom. Won’t you please pray for him by name today?

©2020 be.the.church aclearberry

it is time to be kind

This time of year people get stressed. Don’t do it – be kind!

And my two cents: Don’t get caught up in the wants, the shopping, the must haves unless you can pay in full and don’t go in debt paying off Christmas gifts til next March.

Regardless, know it is time to be kind.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3.12

And when you do, you will…

be.the.church

Here’s some other thoughts on kindness to apply and enrich your life:

Kind words are short and easy to speak but their echoes are endless.

If you can’t be kind, be quiet.

When you are wrong, admit it. When you are right, be quiet.

Be kind whenever possible. Note: It is always possible!

You never regret being kind!

When I was young, I used to admire intelligent people; as I grow older, I admire kind people. ~ Polish born American Rabbi Abraham Joshua Herschel

You don’t need a lot of friends; just the kind ones.

Appreciate those who are kind to you.

Nobody can truly take away your pain but God, so don’t let anyone take away your happiness. Keep being kind no matter what.

You don’t need a reason to be kind. Just be it.

Treat everyone with politeness and kindness, not because they are nice, but because you are.

Always have a willing hand to help someone, you might be the only one that does.

Being nice merely to be liked in return nullifies the point.

Always be friendly, always be kind, like the most beautiful flower that you can find.

In a world where you can be anything, be kind.

How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it

Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

There is beauty in being kind

Always stay humble and kind

Nobody forgets an act of kindness

Kindness is a language the blind can see and the deaf can hear

Kind people are the best kind of people

We rise by lifting others. Be kind in word and deed.

No act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted

Be kind to unkind people; they need it the most

Always be a little kinder than necessary

Here’s some previous posts on kindness:

https://bethechurch.home.blog/2019/10/25/be-kind/

https://bethechurch.home.blog/2019/11/15/kind-and-sweet/

https://bethechurch.home.blog/2019/08/31/it-is-the-end-of-be-kind-to-humankind/

© 2019 be.the.church aclearberry all rights reserved

kind and sweet

I did a lesson once about being kind then gave out KIND bars to the hearers. It got me thinking how it is good to have reminders to self regulate and bring you back to the simple place of just being kind and sweet. I suggest stocking your pantry with some KIND bars if you need to remind yourself to be kind.

The old saying: ‘you get more with sugar than salt’ is so true.

I have simply said: sugar gets you more than vinegar. In other words, being kind and sweet will take you farther than being mean and un-agreeable.

Of course, I am sure there are many more idioms* with similar wording but all with the same meaning. Not only can you persuade others by being kind but the world just needs more politeness.

So often people want to argue for argument’s sake or just have a disagreeable countenance as they come across confrontational to get their points across. Is it really necessary? Of course not! But often accepted and expected especially when people feel it is the only way to get ahead in the world.

As a society, we are moving more and more away from kindness and politeness. Many believe to get ahead you must have a brash, no nonsense attitude. I disagree.

When a conflict does arise a better approach then forcing the ‘I am right and you are wrong’ viewpoint is to let others ideas be heard. I would even go farther and say you be the last to speak. Take in all the opinions and ideas and gently reveal yours as impartial and impersonal as possible. And although it has been said: ‘oil and water don’t mix’, working together even compromising if need be, will achieve more and you might even be able to be in sync with others even if you don’t completely agree. This will breed balance and harmony within groups. I guarantee it. Sure at times some constructive criticism may be needed but being kind and sweet I believe will yield more positive results than hammering out your opposite position on any particular matter.

I have said it before and will say it again: Feelings saved are always more important than being right. And if you can yield your rights using a little sweetness, I think that will go a long way in relationship building and keeping.

The saying: ‘don’t mix oil with vinegar’ I interpret to mean that sometimes you might just need to remove yourself from disagreeable individuals or resolve to agree to disagree but all the while without being rude or demanding.

Just be kind and sweet. Checking the rudeness at the door helps too.

Benjamin Franklin said it this way: “Tart words make no friends; a spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar.” So even if you are asking someone to do something they might not like or want to do, being kind and sweet requesting politely maybe even offering to do something in return will yield more positive results than demanding rudely.

If you approach life being nice; people may help when you need it. If you are not, why would they want to bother!

Bottom line is just as simply as the title of this entry: be kind and sweet and apply the golden rule which says: Treat others as you want to be treated. Now that is a maxim* worth following especially as it is found in the Bible –

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Matthew 7:12

When you do, you will…

be.the.church

Look back at this post and enjoy reading some acronyms with the word kind: https://bethechurch.home.blog/2019/10/25/be-kind/

*a maxim motivates (example is the Bibical rule shared above but interesting to note that it is more often known as the ‘golden rule’ and although it is found in many religions and cultures in some form, it is not always connected as a command of God but rather just a way to live in harmony with others)

An idiom, on the other hand, expresses an idea that might not be fully grasped from the words used (example: “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar”)

© 2019 be.the.church aclearberry all rights reserved

lessons from the bees

It is towards the end of bee season.

Here’s some bee facts:

  • The bees main job is to pollinate flowers and produce honey or beeswax.
  • When a drone bee mates with the queen, it dies instantly.
  • Drones also do not have stingers, so it is the females causing the pain.
  • And it is only honey bees that die after stinging.
  • There are over 16,000 different types.
  • They live on all continents except Antarctica and in every habitat that has insect pollinating flowering plants.
  • Some live in social colonies.
  • They range in size from 2mm or 1/8 of an inch up to 39 mm or almost 1.5 inches.
  • The main reason they collect pollen is to care for their young.

Shouldn’t we be doing the same? How do we care for our young – either young in age or young in Christianity?

Well, first we need to ‘pollinate’ them with kindness and speak words of ‘honey’ into their souls.

Pleasant words are honey from a honeycomb – sweet to the soul and healing for the body” Proverbs 16.24

The bees dying after they sting remind me that:

The sting of death is sin…” I Corinthians 15.56

We need to teach that sin ‘stings’ and can entangle us to keep us from our true purpose.

“…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” Hebrews 12.1

We need to remind those younger in age or spirit and ourselves that we are unique, special, and one of a kind, but we have limited time here on earth. God has a plan that will suit just us and how He created us to be – each one of us as individuals. Let’s pursue that purpose and find it while we still have time to be used. We don’t need to be buzzing around aimlessly, but can be focused doing what God has called us to do until our time here is over.

Is that little one learning from the older?

I wonder, do those bees know they have a short season to live?

None of us are guaranteed tomorrow.

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” Proverbs 27.1

We should consider that with our comings and goings and use our time wisely.

One way is just by being kind.

That is what we can be reminded of when we see some bees…

to just be 🐝 kind

and then others will see us…

be.the.church

Here’s an earlier post on being kind: https://bethechurch.home.blog/2019/08/31/it-is-the-end-of-be-kind-to-humankind/

© 2019 be.the.church aclearberry all rights reserved

things that make you go hm

    • Tubeless toilet paper rolls that don’t work as you think they would.
    • Bug bites that don’t itch til day 2!
    • Saying hair cut instead of hairs cut.
    • Beard stubble growing too fast that you have a five o’clock shadow by noon.
    • Getting sun burned on a cloudy day.
    • People talking nonstop in the theatre.
    • Gum smackers.
    • Buses that are not on time.
    • Trains that don’t show up.

    But the biggest one for me was being trapped in a parking lot because someone parked in the exit. Wish I had taken a picture I could share, but it sure was something that made me go hm!

    Here’s some funny ones I found on the net: https://www.neowin.net/forum/topic/699178-joke-things-that-make-you-go-hmmm/

    And here is a previous post on pet peeves similar to things that make you go hm: https://bethechurch.home.blog/2019/03/25/pet-peeve/

    There is even some Bible verses that can make you go hm. Take what it says in Hebrews 10: “Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.”

    Did you catch that? “…joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property…” I don’t know about that. Would you be joyful as your property was confiscated!?!? I get we will be rewarded in heaven, but sometimes in the human our humanness gets the best of us. Agree?

    Bottom line: don’t let any of the above frustrate you or make you loose your cool. The world needs to see us level headed, consistent, and kind. That is how we can…

    be.the.church

    Look back if you need to be reminded how to be kind: https://bethechurch.home.blog/2019/08/31/it-is-the-end-of-be-kind-to-humankind/

    Please comment on things that make you go hm or ways you show your kindness in your everyday comings and goings.

    © 2019 be.the.church aclearberry all rights reserved

    it is the end of be kind to humankind

    Well, of course, we still need to be kind but today marks the end of be kind to humankind week.*

    Did you even know?

    I didn’t!

    But, regardless, it is no excuse for us not to be kind. After all it is one of the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5.22+23: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.

    I love the enriched meaning in the amplified version: “But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.” ‭‭Galatians ‬ ‭5:22-23‬ ‭AMP‬‬

    Bottom line: let’s exhibit all the fruit and start by just being kind.

    “But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard – things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good – crucified.” ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:22-23‬ ‭MSG‬‬

    Yes, let’s kill the stuff that needs to go and cover everything else with kindness. Being kind will allow us to…

    be.the.church

    So, go 🐝 kind each and every day.

    Just…

    as you…

    be.the.church

    *thanks Lorraine for beginning this ‘kind’ journey 30 plus years ago – check out the Be Kind to Human Kind website http://bk2hk.org/week/ for ideas to implement each and every day of the week and I would suggest not just this week but each and every day the whole year through.

    © 2019 be.the.church aclearberry all rights reserved

    dress your best

    Growing up dressing up for church was more of a show than learning to respect the house of God. It was Sunday suits and ties for the boys, ribbons and curls for the girls. Of course, Easter would be new bonnets and clothes. Christmas might be this as well.

    But, I did not learn that just as we can grow out of last year’s digs, we should be continually growing to be our best for the Lord.

    Growing up it was more about the outward appearance then the status of your inner man.

    That came later in life for me and I am more and more convinced that setting an example is so much more important than what you wear on the body.

    How can you dress your best for the Lord?

    Your speech should be seasoned.

    “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” Colossians 4.6 NASB

    You should exhibit self control.

    “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self control.” Proverbs 25.28

    You should yield your rights and not seek your own way.

    “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself”. Philippians 2.3

    You should stick up for those unable to do so for themselves.

    “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31.8+9

    “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” James 1.27

    You should look evil in the eye and boldly proclaim: Not today, Satan!

    “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4.17

    Dress modestly; speak kindly; and be your best one self.

    In doing so, others truly will see you…

    be.the.church

    Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3.12

    Don’t be that kid who never grows up and just is spiritually immature and a fat little baby…

    © 2019 be.the.church aclearberry all rights reserved