Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Witnessing the Incarnation- In Decoration byLauren Reinhardt

Squeals of laughter flowed from the sanctuary, the lobby of both new and old buildings, and the hallways in between.
Grown men dangled festive bows from high in the balcony, but it was a woman brave enough to scale the ladder to hang ornaments on the towering tree. No hands were idle. Boxes were unloaded, garland was unraveled, and many missions for pipe cleaners and ornament hooks were made. A cardboard container was designated a “doc box” to hold past decorating treasures that need a little TLC. Ribbons and bows were carefully smoothed, and yards upon yards of garland and dozens of wreaths were “fluffed.” The end result is a church in splendid anticipation of advent and the coming incarnation of Christ.
Behind the scenes were nearly a dozen children ranging in age from infants to kindergarten and three nursery staff who lovingly kept them occupied. The activity room in the nursery area was … active! But even the baby with severe separation anxiety separated from mama and played happily for several hours. And when the nursery workers were due to depart, two moms headed into that swell of activity to meet the children head on.
The after-advent party took place in Huddleston Hall with pizza and bananas – and cupcakes for a special birthday girl. It sure seemed like one big, happy family. And it is. They say it takes a village. I’d like to say I LOVE where I live. J I’m so thankful to my church FAMILY who show me Christ in so many ways.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Day I Called 911 by Lacy Ngo

I had to call 911 on Hilt’s first day of preschool.  The day had gone so smoothly until I had to pick him up from school.  I picked him up, put him in the car, and buckled him in; then, I buckled my two month old in the car seat next to him.  I put my purse in the passenger seat, closed the doors and walked to the driver side.  You can probably see where this is going.  The driver door would not open.  I have one of those new keyless entry cars.  You never have to take your keys out of your purse.  The car unlocks all by itself when it senses the keys are near.  Moreover, the car is never suppose to lock all by itself, and you are not suppose to be able to lock your keys in your car.  Well, my car had a fluke malfunction.  I could not get any of the doors opened, and it was noon on a hot day! So on Hilt’s first day of school, I dialed 911.  Firemen cam with lights flashing.  They began pumping oxygen into the car while they worked to get the door open.  Fortunately, the firemen arrived quickly and got them out quickly.  During the whole ordeal, many church members, staff, and preschool staff stayed to comfort me.  They flagged down the fire truck, and afterwards, they even stayed longer to offer emotional support, water, wet rags to cool off the children, and even called my family for me to explain why I was late.  My church and preschool family, and the firemen were my heroes that day.  But they did more for me than they know.  You see, months earlier, I had decided I wanted Hilt to experience the joy of helping others more frequently.  I wanted to start planning an act of kindness activity that we could do together each week.  In fact, I am pretty sure God told me that he wanted me to start this activity after I prayed for guidance, but that is a whole other story.  Now, even though I felt God wanted me to do this, I kept putting it off.   First I said we would start in the summer, when school is out; then I said I would wait until Neeshie is born, and finally I decided to wait until she was beyond the newborn stage.  I would have kept putting it off, if it weren’t for the kindness shown to me.  The kindness of all those people on the day I called 911 put me into action.  Their kindness meant so much to me that I wanted to show kindness to others right away.  The next week, I started by giving all my heroes sweet treats and cards expressing my deepest gratitude.  What is interesting, once I started looking for ways to show kindness, I found multiple acts of kindness to do every week.  The impact on my 3 year old has been huge.  Not only did he experience acts of kindness from his church family, but he also contributes now.  He now often asks about the needy and makes suggestions on what we can do for others.  The lesson I got from this experience is that just doing nice things for others is a witness of God’s love, and CAN really influence others more than I realized.  When I think of witnessing, I think of telling others about God, but people showed me God’s love through their kindness.  I have also seen the impact from our weekly acts of kindness, but I will save those stories for another blog.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Bell Rang 5 Times by Lacy Ngo

The Bell Rang 5 Times by Lacy Ngo

On the Children’s Sabbath, we learned that every 5 seconds a child dies of hunger somewhere in the world.  In remembrance of these children, we stood still for 5 seconds while a bell rang 5 times.  Although this was a moment meant to honor and remember these children, those 5 seconds took on another meaning for me.  Standing still, for me, symbolized how I am often just “standing still” doing nothing when so many are in need.  I actually felt a sense of panic during those long 5 seconds.  I began thinking, “A child is dying RIGHT NOW from hunger, and I am just standing here!”  Those 5 seconds helped me feel a personal connection to those children and their struggles. Thank you for a moving moment.