One crisp winter morning my husband shrugged into his jacket and prepared to leave for work. The sun had already started its daily trek toward the west, moving serenely among the gathering storm clouds. “Well, guess I’d better get going,” he said. “If I don’t hurry, I won’t have time to give Ben his pep listen.”
Amused, I pondered his words after he had gone. Most of us grab the opportunities to give others pep talks, attempting to stir them up to greater achievements by our sage advice. But my husband, with his characteristic, quiet wisdom, knew that Ben needed pep listens.
Most folk do.
Later that day as I worked on my Christmas gift list, I resolved not to wait for Christmas to start keeping my ears busier than my mouth. My prayer: “Loving Father, help me pattern my days to reflect Your ways, ready always to listen without condemnation, judging, and advice, but with just an eagerness to help by being there.”
—Jeanina Bartling, Mount Aukum, California
“It is easy to think of our church as the best in the world, while God would have us be the best church for the world.”
—Don Livesay, Lake Union Conference president, quoted from the Lake Union Herald, April 2012
“The church is a hospital for sinners, not a hospice.”
—Submitted by Chuck Hess; part of a quote from pastor and author Richard O’Ffill
A CAKE FOR MOM: It was nearly 50 years ago that our two daughters were determined to surprise Mom on Mother’s Day with something special—to bake a cake from scratch without Mom in the kitchen, to show and tell Mom how sweet she is. All went well until the recipe called for separating the egg whites from the yolks.
The most logical way was to boil the eggs first! The girls mashed the eggs and put them in the batter. Results? “It tasted like tiny bits of rubber band,” said the older daughter, but Mom was thrilled and loved the cake. Indeed, this unforgettable memory has left an excellent taste in Mom’s heart to this day.
—Submitted by Herb Pritchard, Ocala, Florida
This article was published August 9, 2012.