Ordinary ConversationNew Every Morning | September 25, 2022
Conversation is the most important part of creating shared ministry. Before we can share ministry, we need to share our stories through ordinary conversation. If we really listen, our ordinary conversation can lead to an understanding and awareness of how other people live and of the forces that make some people’s lives harder than others. When we allow ourselves to be moved by stories, we find ourselves in solidarity with people who live in poverty. And this feeling of solidarity makes us want to work with them to change the systems blocking their way forward. Small conversations make a big difference in our relationships.
—Elizabeth Mae Magill, Five Loaves, Two Fish, Twelve Volunteers: Growing a Relational Food Ministry (Upper Room Books, 2020)
When has a small conversation made a big difference in your relationships? Join the conversation.
Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.
—1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
God is great!
God is good!
Let us thank God for our food.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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Small “conversations” and the support and prayers of people here make a difference. I have not been commenting here in awhile. I have been back and forth to my hometown frequently as my brother is failing rapidly and I’ve been trying to support him and my mother. I’ve never considered myself a “caregiver” even though I have 3 children- just a mother. But now indeed I am able to relate to those here who are struggling to support others in a caregiver role – it is all consuming. I ask for prayers for my strength, continued health and peace for my mother and peace and lessening of pain and suffering for my brother. Thank you all for your prayers. I continue to pray for you all daily.
I’m in total agreement with this reflection, but am having a hard time remembering a conversation that made a big difference between my relationships. Some how I think there were at least a few. Most likely one was when I asked Soo Ok to marry me.
Thankful for a safe trip to and from the railroad historical society convention. Used the map app to get me there, to and from local places, and home.
Prayer meeting worship and a luncheon this morning. Next Sunday it will be October! Our DS pastor of record will lead us and serve communion.
Safe travel for Larry to Florida, am concerned about the hurricane coming.
Time to feed Pearl. Then off to church.
For the past several months, David and I have been attending a weekly luncheon and food distribution at a local church near our home. It was hard to put aside pride and let the people minister to us. All is free with no questions asked. It’s set up like a cafe and we sit at tables with others attending. It has been a blessing for us to not only receive love and grace from the volunteers who provide the delicious lunch, but to interact with other attenders and hear their stories. Some depend on the program to provide a nutritious meal and help with provision of groceries. Some are those I know from the local mental health community and come for fellowship and an encouraging word. Still others are working folks who come just for the meal and a little fellowship and rest during their workday. It has been a blessing to get to know others in our community and see God’s grace at work in our community.
My back pain comes and goes. I’m thinking of contacting a chiropractor tomorrow. Despite pain yesterday, I was able to persevere and get a few things done around the house. Ran some errands too. David is doing more for himself, but needs encouragement to work on practicing with the cane. He still has a great fear of falling. He still has issues with incontinence, but we are hopeful that they are improving. There are a couple of family weddings coming up and I’m not sure David is up for travel. Pray for this, please. Also the holidays coming and we want to be with our family.
Lou, prayers continue for you as you care for your mother and brother. Thanks so much for your prayers for us. Robert, prayers for your church service and fellowship time at church. I continue to pray for your and Erich’s efforts with CBT. May you continue to experience reconciliation and grow closer. Julie, prayers for you as you provide care for H, glad to hear of the insight you gained from the Parkinson’s workshop. Prayers that all us caregivers can extend grace to ourselves and allow ourselves to feel what we know to be valid. Jill, prayers for you as Larry goes to Florida. Many prayers continue for the loss of your friend and colleague and for all the students who benefited from her teaching and compassion. Prayers for you each day as you think of little Roger. May God bless our animal companions and the joy they bring. Lord, we lift up those impacted by storms. we lift up our friends here whom we haven’t heard from. We especially lift up the nation of Ukraine and the Russian people who are protesting the new draft measures and for cool heads to reign as nuclear strikes are threatened Lord, be with us and in Your mercy, hear our prayers. Love to all on this beautiful fall day.
Have you heard Jesus’s teachings in the lives of others?
When have you seen a ministry improve because everyone shared their gifts?
When has a small conversation made a big difference in your relationships?
Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.
Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Perhaps you were born for such a time as this Esther 4:14
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
This past week I have been “hit” when I have read short passages, including the above, but many more too. They just seem to pop off the page and register with me, so I know God is reaching out and I am asking Him how He would like me to take action. Today I am going to post to the NEM site and thank you all for holding us in your prayers….they sustain us!!
I love to be out in our neighborhood yard, planting flowers, pulling weeds. I am on my knees and close to God. The neighbors often stop by to share a bit of news and I also am alert to wondering what is happening if I don’t see activity on their porches or extra weeds growing. There are a couple of older couples that I often share desserts/salads with. Few minutes of chatting brightens their days and fills their tummies.
Every day I answer the questions above as I hear, see and have conversation with others. I feel happy that I can be the hands and feet of Jesus in ordinary ways and while I am also a caregiver.
I feel Blessed to be in the NEM family here. Please know that I look forward to reading this site every morning and holding you up for God’s hand to rest upon you. In Christ.
I think of the conversations I had with the young mom I mentored in the program. She was thoughtful, though a person riddled by poor decision making. I tried to gently lend her some of my wisdom, although not from a mothering standpoint. She was embarrassed by her poor education and I continually reinforced the need for her daughter to get the assistance she needed at an early age.
I also think of the relationship which I formed this summer – with my tennis friend – all borne out of a conversation regarding her mother’s failing health and my friend’s care for her. No doubt she was “willing to go there”, and the timing was perfect…God ordained. I know she has other close friends. I am not sure if/why she had not been able to share deeply with them. But – from what she has said to me – she felt safe and she appreciated the intent with which I listened. I am grateful to God for the opportunity.
This space here, where we share and carry each others’ concerns in prayer, is beautiful. My heart goes out to you ladies – April, Ally, Lou and Julie – and the caregiving roles you find yourselves in. May you find God’s strength sufficient for each day, each moment, each situation. You are honoring Him in your service.
Dad’s plane has been delayed multiple times – but he still wanted to be to the airport at the original time. I dropped him off around noon. Last time I checked, it was to take off at 3:45. I am waiting to hear from him, that he has boarded. My sister called this morning, they were back on land from their cruise. I am grateful that they are back in the US and will be getting dad this evening. It is a huge sigh of relief for me.
Grateful for worship this morning, before picking up dad. Now, a quiet afternoon at home, getting some needed chores accomplished, cooking a meal which will provide leftovers for the week. Keeping an eye on the golf and football.
Blessings to all who stop by here, for this last week of September.