Ed's Corner Archives

2011-8-9

posted Aug 16, 2011, 8:34 AM by David Smith

A few years ago country recording artist Lee Ann Womack recorded a song called: I hope you dance... that song has always seemed like a very positive way for looking at life to me.....here's the first few words:
 

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder

 

You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger

 

May you never take one single breath for granted

 

God forbid love ever leave you empty handed………….

 

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance…

 

I hope you dance…I hope you dance.....

 

Then one day I came across this meditation about Dancing With God and thought that is a very good way to look at our lives with God.....

 

Dancing With God
When I meditated on the word Guidance,
I kept seeing "dance" at the end of the word.
I remember reading that doing God's will is a lot like dancing.
When two people try to lead, nothing feels right.
The movement doesn't flow with the music,
And everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky.
When one person realizes that, and lets the other lead,
Both bodies begin to flow with the music.
One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back
Or by pressing Lightly in one direction or another.
It's as if two become one body, moving beautifully.
The dance takes surrender, willingness,
And attentiveness from one person
And gentle guidance and skill from the other.
My eyes drew back to the word Guidance.
When I saw "G": I thought of God, followed by "U" and "I".
"God, "U" and "I" dance."
God, you, and I dance.


As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust
That I would get guidance about my life.
Once again, I became willing to let God lead.
My prayer for you today is that God's blessings
And mercies are upon you on this day and everyday.
May you abide in God, as God abides in you.
Dance together with God, trusting God to lead
And to guide you through each season of your life.

This prayer is powerful and there is nothing attached.
If God has done anything for you in your life,
Please share this message with someone else.
Interceding in prayer is one of the best gifts we can receive.
There is no cost but a lot of rewards;
So let's continue to pray for one another.


And I Hope You Dance !Hope to see you in the pews on Sunday!
Ed

2011-8-2

posted Aug 9, 2011, 7:36 AM by David Smith

Here's a little story about faith...I think it fits many of us pretty well. We sometimes just fail to.....Look UP!

 

The Buzzard

If you put a buzzard in a pen that is 6 feet by 8
feet and is entirely open at the top, the bird, in spite of its ability to fly, will
be an absolute prisoner. The reason is That a buzzard always begins a flight from the ground with a run of 10 to 12 feet. Without space to run, as is its habit, it will not even attempt to fly, but will remain a prisoner for life in a small jail with no top.


 THE BAT:

The ordinary bat that flies around at night, a remarkable nimble creature in the air,
cannot take off from a level place. If it is placed on the floor or flat ground, all it can do is shuffle about helplessly and, no doubt, painfully, until it reaches some slight elevation from which it can throw itself into the air. Then, at once, it takes off like a flash.

 


THE BUMBLEBEE:

A bumblebee, if dropped into an open tumbler, will be there until it dies, unless it is taken out. It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out through the sides near the bottom.. It will seek a way where none exists, until it completely destroys itself...


PEOPLE:

In many ways, we are like the buzzard, the bat, and the bumblebee. We struggle about with all our problems and frustrations, never realizing that all we have to do is look up! That's the answer, the escape route and the solution to any problem!

Just look up.

Hope to see you in the pews this Sunday.......

 

Ed

2011-7-26

posted Aug 2, 2011, 7:09 AM by David Smith

 

Something to think about...good lesson for all of us....

 

Shirley & Marcy


A mother was concerned about her kindergarten son walking to school. He didn't want his mother to walk with him.  She wanted to give him the feeling that he had some independence but yet know that he was safe. So she had an idea of how to handle it.


She asked a neighbor if she would please follow him to school in the mornings , staying at a distance , so he probably wouldn't notice her.  She said that since she was up early with her toddler anyway , it would be a good way for them to get some exercise as well , so she agreed.


The next school day , the neighbor and her little girl set out following behind Timmy as he walked to school with another neighbor girl he knew.  She did this for the whole week. 
As the two walked and chatted , kicking stones and twigs , Timmy's little friend noticed the same lady was following them as she seemed to do every day all week.  Finally she said to Timmy , 'Have you noticed that lady following us to school all week?   Do you know her?'


Timmy nonchalantly replied , 'Yeah , I know who she is.'  
The little girl said , 'Well , who is she?'  
'That's just Shirley Goodnest , ' Timmy replied , 'and her daughter Marcy.'  
'Shirley Goodnest?'  Who the heck is she and why is she following us?


'Well , ' Timmy explained , 'every night my Mum makes me say the 23rd Psalm with my prayers , 'cuz she worries about me so much.  And in the Psalm , it says , ' Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow me all the days of my life' , so I guess I'll just have to get used to it!' 
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you , and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift His countenance upon you , and give you peace.


May Shirley Goodnest and Marcy be with you today and always.

 

In Christ...

 

Ed

2011-7-19

posted Jul 26, 2011, 6:57 AM by David Smith

Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree.... it's been 3 long weeks...do you still love me??? The song Tie a Yellow Ribbon was made popular in 1973 by the group Tony Orlando and Dawn. I can still picture the hair and the dress of the period...and shudder....did we really ever dress like that? I guess we did.

The song was about a convict who had done his time in prison and was now on his way home to his girlfriend and family. He had been away for 3 years...and was unsure of the welcome he might or might not receive, so he asked his girl to tie a yellow ribbon around the tree on the road into town and if it was there...he would get off the bus...if not he would just keep going.

I haven't been away for 3 years..it was 3 weeks.. it wasn't in prison..it was in recuperation from surgery...so I think (hope) you are ready for me to come back. I know that I am. I may still be a little slow..and I may have to rest a little more for a while...but I not a person of inactivity. I see the doctor on Monday, and have an appointment on Tuesday morning. I should be back in the office starting sometime Tuesday afternoon for the rest of the week.
I thank you for all of your patience and love that you have shown me this year with the two knee surgeries. Hopefully everything else will hold togtether for a while before I have to do anything else. See you soon....
 
In Christ...
Ed
 
 If anyone is looking for a good used piano, Liz has one for sale. (Or we do) It's built by Hobart M. Cable Co., and is similar to the one in the fellowship hall or choir room. We are asking $400. Needs tuned....it's been a while...but otherwise in good condition as far as we know.
 
Ed

2011-7-12

posted Jul 19, 2011, 7:23 AM by David Smith

This is a long story that I received via email... don't know how true it is. But the lesson is there whether or not the story is completely true...and I felt it was too good not to share. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

 

THE OLD FISHERMAN

 
Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore . We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to out-patients at the Clinic.

One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. 'Why, he's hardly taller than my eight-year-old,' I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body. But the appalling thing was his face, lopsided from swelling, red and raw. Yet, his voice was pleasant as he said,'Good evening. I've come to see if you've a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, and there's no bus 'till morning.'
He told me he'd been hunting for a room since noon but with no success; no one seemed to have a room. 'I guess it's my face. I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments...

For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me, 'I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning.' I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch. I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us. 'No thank you. I have plenty' And he held up a brown paper bag.
When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes. It didn't take a long time to see that this old man had an over sized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury.

He didn't tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence was prefaced with thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He was thankful for the strength to keep going.
At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children's room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded, and the little man was out on the porch.
He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, 'Could I please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won't put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair.' He paused a moment and then added, 'Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don't seem to mind.' I told him he was welcome to come again.

And on his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning. As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen. He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they'd be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4 A.M., and I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us.

In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden.

Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; fish & oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious.
When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning. 'Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!'

Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice but, oh if only they could have known him, perhaps their illness would have been easier to bear. I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude.

Recently I was visiting a friend who has a greenhouse. As she showed me her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, 'If this were my plant, I'd put it in the loveliest container I had!'

My friend changed my mind. 'I ran short of pots,' she explained, 'and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn't mind starting out in this old pail. It's just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden..'

She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in heaven. There's an especially beautiful one,' God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman. 'He won't mind starting in this small body.'

All this happened long ago -- and now, in God's garden, how tall this lovely soul must stand.
The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'

It is so good to have Friends. They are very special. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear and they share a word of praise.

If you pass this on, you may brighten someone's day.

Nothing will happen if you don't. The only thing is that you may miss the chance to bless someone!
 
Never look down on anybody, unless you're helping them up. "Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point."
 

WISHING YOU LOVE IN YOUR HEART...
PEACE IN YOUR SOUL...
AND JOY IN YOUR LIFE...
ALWAYS...

 

God is still on the throne, and prayer changes things!

 

In Christ...
 

Ed

2011-7-5

posted Jul 12, 2011, 6:58 AM by David Smith

Happy Tuesday everyone....as most of you are aware I got out of the hospital last Friday as planned and am now recuperating at our home in Piedmont. As I mentioned last week....I am expecting the recuperation process to be different this time.... and so far it is. I feel like I am more mobile more quickly... but I am certainly not winning any foot races. I have the same home health therapist as last time...so I kind of know what she expects of me...and what I can expect from the rehab process. Don't have much of an appetite back yet...but it certainly won't hurt me to miss a few meals....especially with some new and different dishes and menus to try out this fall in Scotland and Ireland. I hope you enjoyed Michael Bartley this past Sunday...and I certainly thank him for filling in for me.

I am really looking forward to getting back to work and to being with all of you...I miss you when I'm gone! My followup/release appointment with Dr. Kowalski is on July 18 at 2 PM. BTW... if anyone is looking for a good ortho doctor and joint replacement program....I highly recommend my Dr., Mark Kowalski, and the Joint Replacement Center at Mercy. (and I am not in the least bit prejudiced.! )..maybe only slightly.

In Christ...

Ed

2011-6-28

posted Jul 6, 2011, 7:03 AM by David Smith

By the time you read this on Tuesday afternoon, I will either be in surgery, recovery or in my room. Whichever it is, I just want you to know that I appreciate your thoughts and prayers for my recovery. This trip through the process is going to be a little different from my surgery last March on my right knee. Since that time Mercy has developed what they are calling a "Joint Replacement Center" that will only have knee and hip replacement patients on the unit. The nurses, Physical and Occupational therapists, nurses aides, and doctors have all been trained in taking care of joint replacement patients. The patient is followed by the team from the time of admission to the time of discharge and so far the results have been very encouraging. Expected stay on the unit after surgery is scheduled for 3 days, meaning that with my surgery on Tuesday, I will probably be discharged on Friday. This is at least one full day shorter than my last stay for the same surgery. In some cases patients are going home at 2 days post op. We also have to get up and dressed each day, have 2 hours of PT & OT, and no running around in flappy hospital gowns. The stay can be longer if needed. I'm sure the insurance companies are loving this...and I would imagine the patients are as well. We all know that hospital food is less than stellar, and the sooner you can be back to home cooking...the better. As I did last time I will be staying in Piedmont to avoid Liz having to commute 2 hours a day to assist me.

I hope to be out no more than I was last time (3 Sundays) and I have some great speakers lined up in my absence. On July 3, Rev. Michael Bartley from OSU Wesley Foundation will speak and serve communion. On July 10, Mark Howard, Director of Residential Services for Circle of Care Boy's Ranch will speak, and on July 17, Gary Gilpin, a Certified Lay Speaker from the Woodward District will bring the message. Gary is a member of the Addictions Committee, a former chaplain for a treatment center, and an active architect in the Panhandle/Western Kansas area. I am sure you will enjoy each of these, and I pray you will give them your support by your attendance.

I look forward to a rapid recovery and returning to you soon.

In Christ...

Ed

2011-6-21

posted Jun 28, 2011, 7:17 AM by David Smith

Saw the following little fable in an email and thought it fit pretty well with Sunday's sermon. A little story about life and getting along with each other in pretty much any situation. Thought it was worth passing along for something to think about.

Fable of the porcupine

It was the coldest winter ever. - Many animals died because of the cold. The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep warm. This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions. After awhile, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth. Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the heat that came from the others. This way they were able to survive. 
The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person's good qualities.

Hope to see you in the pews on Sunday.....

2011-6-14

posted Jun 28, 2011, 7:16 AM by David Smith   [ updated Jun 28, 2011, 7:21 AM ]

A little story with something to think about........(not my story.. someone else's)......

Last week, I took my children to a restaurant.  My  six-year-old son asked if he could say grace. As we bowed our heads he said, "God is good, God is great.  Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert.  And Liberty and Justice for all!  Amen!".

Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby, I heard a woman remark, "That's what's wrong with this country.  Kids today don't even know how to pray...  Asking God for ice cream!  Why, I never!" Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, "Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?"

As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job, and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table.  He winked at my son and said, "I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer." "Really?" my son asked. "Cross my heart," the man replied.

Then, in a  theatrical whisper, he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), "Too bad she never asks God for ice cream.  A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes." Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal.  My son stared at his for a moment, and then did something I will remember the rest of my life. He picked up his sundae and, without a word, walked over and placed it in front of the woman.  With a big smile he told her, "Here, this is for you.  Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes;  and my soul is good already."

I believe that God's Grace and Love can include a little ice cream once in a while...and for sure it includes the gift of laughter. Sometimes we just take ourselves a little too seriously, and that doesn't get us anywhere. Laughter is a gift...humor is a gift...and so is God's love. Use and enjoy it.

Hope to see you in the pews on Sunday.....

2011-6-7

posted Jun 13, 2011, 8:34 AM by David Smith

Another year gone by....Last Sunday marked my last official Sunday of last year's appointment. I preached my final sermon for Perry UMC for the 2010-2011 appointment year. For those who are not familiar with our system, United Methodist pastors are appointed for a 1 year term at Annual Conference each year. The Sunday following Annual Conference is the last Sunday in the pulpit for the outgoing pastor, and the 2nd Sunday after AC is the first Sunday in the new appointment.

Sometimes our appointment is renewed at the same church....sometimes we are required to move to a new church...a new appointment, depending on the needs of the church. I have been fortunate in being reappointed to Perry UMC every year since being first appointed here in June of 2003. I believe we as a congregation have changed quite a bit in those 8 years...all for the better. It hasn't always been easy. We have had disagreements over changes made in decor and worship experiences. We have had struggles financially. We have lost leadership and gained leadership. We have lost in attendance... and now we are gaining in attendance and in our finances. But we always tried to keep God first and follow His direction. In the past 8 years, our main growth...our main gain...in my opinion is that we are now reaching out to our community and to our neighbors in a way we have never done before. We are more open and welcoming that we have ever been, and we are becoming...we're not there yet...but we are becoming what we should be; the hands, feet, arms and legs of Jesus Christ in our community.

Once again, I will be preaching a new sermon, in a familiar pulpit, as we begin the new conference year. I am so very fortunate to have been reappointed to a great congregation....one that Liz and I love dearly... Perry United Methodist Church. I look forward to our continued growth and experience in reaching out and assisting in the building of the Kingdom of God right here in Perry, USA. As I preach my first sermon of my new appointment, based on Jeremiah 31: 27-34 and also the prayer of Jeremiah found in 32: 17-20, I pray that you will recommit yourselves and your time, talents, gifts and graces to the work of Jesus Christ here in Perry.

Hope to see you in the pews on Sunday....

Ed
 

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