Leave the water jar

In my post,Domino’s, I talked about the story of the woman at the well, and how sometimes we need to do the will of God so that Gods will may be done in the lives of someone else.

Today, I heard another interesting perspective from the very same story. After talking with Jesus, the woman left her water jar at the well and went into the town to Summon them to come and see Jesus.

The water jar would have been important to her, as she would need it for drinking and cooking, and other things. Yet she left it because she had something more important to do.

There are times when you have to leave your water jar to do something God is asking you to do, to leave something important to you in favor of something God has for you.

Perhaps you’ll come back to it later, as the woman probably did. Or perhaps it will become less important to you, and you may never return to it.

The point is to hold on loosely to that which you deem important and always be willing to go where God is asking you to go or do what he’s asking you to do.

Be blessed today, my friends

SB

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Khloe

In previous posts, I have mentioned my youngest daughter and her faithful prayers… she has been a prayer warrior since she was a little.

One of the little girls on her list was my friends’ cousin, Khloe, who was diagnosed with cancer at three years old. Khloe fought valiantly and went into remission for five years. In 2017, Khloe’s cancer came back with a vengeance.

We struggled to understand God’s plan in this. It was so hard to accept, and so hard to watch such a precious child suffer so much.

My friend and another family member organized meal trains for Khloe and her family. As we prepared some of Khloe’s favorite meals, my daughter said she wanted to do something special.

She brought to me a prayer book my husband and I had gotten for her in 2015, when, at the age of ten, she made a decision to be baptized. (In our denomination we dedicate babies to the Lord, and save baptism for individuals who make their own decision to do. I mean no disrespect to other denominations with other practices, and only make the distinction to demonstrate my daughters choice in both the baptism and in the note she wrote)

Completely on her own, now at twelve years old, broken-hearted about Khloe’s sickness, she wrote the note below in the inside cover of the book. We took it to Khloe along with popsicles and some of her favorite meals. Khloe died a few weeks later.

We sometimes don’t know the impact of our actions but are called to be obedient to what God is asking, even when we don’t understand, and even when we don’t like the outcome.

“I accepted Jesus as my savior and because of that I know I’ll live forever. I want you to be able to live forever, too.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

I am blessed, my friends.

Love,

SB

Cheyne, Shane, Bear, Peter, Little Carter, Miss Kitt’s Awana Group…

Cheyne, Shane, Bear, Peter, Little Carter, Miss Kitt’s Awana… part 2

Cheyne, Shane, Bear, Peter, Little Carter, Miss Kitt’s Awana…. part 3

Cheyne, Shane, Peter, Little Carter, Miss Kitt’s Awana…. part 4

Cheyne, Shane, Peter, Little Carter, Miss Kitt’s Awana part 5….

Life is a journey

Birth is a beginning and death a destination

And life is a journey

From childhood to maturity

And youth to age,

From innocence to awareness

And ignorance to knowing,

From foolishness to discretion

And then, perhaps to wisdom,

From weakness to strength

Or strength to weakness,

And often back again.

From health to sickness

And back, we pray, to health again

From offense to forgiveness

From loneliness to love

From joy to gratitude

From pain to compassion

And grief to understanding

From fear to faith

From defeat to defeat to defeat

Until, looking backward or ahead

We see that victory lies not at some high place along the way

But in having made the journey, stage by stage, a sacred pilgrimage

Birth is a beginning

Death a destination

But life is a journey

From birth to death to life everlasting

Author unknown, from the prayer book of the Shiva of my friend.

Baruch, my friends, Baruch

(Blessing, my friends, blessings)

SB

When all that’s left of me is love…

When I die, give what’s left of me away to children, or to old men that wait to die.

If you need to cry, cry for your brother walking the street beside you

And when you need me, put your arms around anyone and give them what you need to give me

I want to leave you something, something better than words or sounds,

Look for me in the people I’ve known Or loved

And if you cannot give me away, at least let me live in your eye and not in your mind

You can love me most by letting hands touch hands,

Love doesn’t die, people do

So when all that’s left of me is love,

Give me away

Author unknown, from the Prayer book at the Shiva of a friend

Be blessed,

SB

Shiva

Last March, the world lost a wonderfully eclectic soul, Eric Cohen. He died far too young of cancer. His sister and my sister were best friends ever since they were in 7 th grade and our families got to know each other well. Eric was a fellow musician, and invited me to play in his band when I was in 7 th grade, my first band. He looked out for me as if he were my older brother. Although he never asked me personally, my mother said that when he was in high school, he asked her if he could someday marry me, and promised to become a doctor so he could take good care of me. Lol. He had multiple doctorates when he died, in sociology and psychology, though he died essentially penniless. We never married nor even dated, but he was always a friend.

Eric was a very free soul, and extremely eccentric. He was the only Jewish Mason I ever knew, and he had a giant heart for people. Here he is in Central Park. I had a poster made of this picture for my studio, to remind me of his creativity.

Last Sunday, just eleven months after Eric died, his father died of a heart attack….or broken heart.

Last night was a Shiva service for Eric’s father, at their home. It was the first I’ve ever experienced. I have tremendous respect for Jews, as they are Gods chosen people, and the service was awe inspiring. Though I don’t know much Hebrew, (I know a few key words like Baruch (blessing) and Adonai (God)), I sat quietly during the service, just drinking it all in. I could feel the presence of God as His people followed their rites. I followed along in the prayer book, where some was written in Hebrew and some English.

Toward the end of the service, they observed silence and encouraged participants to pray either on their own or to some of the prayers and poems in the service book. I hope it was ok, I took a picture of the two that stood out to me. I don’t know who wrote these, so I don’t know who to give appropriate credit to, but am trusting that it’s ok to share.

The last stanza of ” when I die” is my favorite. I will post these as separate posts because I feel their words are incredible.

Birth is a beginning is among the most touching works I’ve ever read. It speaks to me in volumes, and fits so well with my blog that I think I will stick it to my home page (if I can figure out how)

Be blessed today, my friends.

SB

NYC Missions

As I get on my bike today, my mind wanders through various trains of thought… first I think about riding my bike, and the upcoming bike fundraiser I’m preparing for… then ultimately the purpose of that fundraiser… our NYC missions trip coming up in June.

Over the next several Saturday’s, I will details of our trip, and anticipate the experiences we’ll have this June. I’m excited for the trip and the For people going on the trip.

We went on a similar trip several years ago, with a small crew, our first time taking children to NYC. I’d been in New York before, and I love the hustle and bustle of big cities but it was honestly a little intimidating to be responsible for youth in such a big place.

The adults in our crew were Pastor Jerry, our children’s pastor, two young couples and myself. Both Jerry and I have been on plenty of trips with youth over the years, but for the others in our group, this was their first.

Our service projects included:

1) working in the World Vision warehouse preparing clothing packets for underprivileged

2) a gardening project

3) meals on “heels”

4) working in a soup kitchen

And, of course, plenty of time for fun

I’ll share more details about our trip but for now, my bike is calling me!

Be blessed today, my friends!!