~ DASH ~

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Jennifer K. Lewis

“I Am Alive With Christ.”  Ephesians 2:5

 A few years ago, I chose to mature my faith by joining a very active and growing ministry.  Our group focused heavily in the power(s) of the Holy Spirit which Jesus left us to enjoy.

That particular ministry became like a family in that as each member became a familiar person in the ‘fold’.  Our personal bonds deepened as we chose to focus on our common denominator, serving others and worshiping Christ.

We celebrated Christmas by going up and down streets stopping in welcoming homes to sing Christmas carols.  We were thrilled to provide scrumptious nut-breads, colorful candies and holiday cookies for local homeless shelters and our community Salvation Army.

As temperatures climbed and the Spring months matured, we embraced the warming rays of sunlight as the cold temps of Iowa gradually melted and liquefied longstanding snow(s.)

One of the ladies, Mary Beth, had pioneered the genesis of the group.  The ‘normal’ dynamics of our group quickly changed.  She experienced the sudden loss of her Father.

Mary Beth invited our ministry to be at the funeral.  She was greatly admired, and respected in our group.  We united as a sacred assembly desiring to give our Respects to her Air Force Dad.

It has been my experience(s) in the funerals I have attended, most of them are rather sad and ‘down’ in spirits.  Everybody is crying.  People embrace like there is no tomorrow. Strangers hug one-another, even though they don’t know their neighbor!

But, this funeral was different from the get-go.  (we’ll call him James Doe ~ John Doe’s brother).  There was a HUGE sign near the coffer at the front of the auditorium.  It read:  James Doe “it’s about the DASH.”  (Born June, 1926 –Heaven Bound March, 2014.)

James’ children and several grandchildren sang touching hymns, and shared happy stories and memories of their beloved Dad and Grandfather.  Apparently, James liked to entertain the kids by making whimsical animal balloons.  (one of his Grandchildren shared a poignant yet, funny, story of how her Grandpa had made numerous balloon animals for different occasions.)  (by the way, James’ casket was lined with artsy, animal shaped balloons.)Image result for balloon animals images

As the service progressed, I learned the meaning of the ‘DASH’.  It’s simple!  The year you were born ,- DASH -, then the date you passed-away.  The ‘DASH’ is representative of the years in between your birth and death.  DASH will define itself in the manner of life you chose.

Being a military funeral, he was in full dress uniform.  James was revered by a color-guard of valiant Air Force men who formed a noble arched walkway with their swords at the entry/exit of the building.

After the oddly, happy funeral, I noticed many family members still smiling!  (of course, there were tears, but folks remained jovial.)  A few minutes later, fellow Air Force members proudly escorted James’ wife and family to awaiting cars for the honorable procession.

It’s About the -DASH-.  What about yours?  What do YOU want it to say?

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One life, the still small voice, Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave, And to God’s holy will to cleave;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, Now let me say,” Thy will be done”;
And when at last I’ll hear the call, I know I’ll say “twas worth it all”;
Only one life,’ twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last ”                                   http://paulhockley.com/2016/05/24/quote-only-one-life-twill-soon-be-past-poem                -by-c-t-studd/

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 “I Am Raised-up With Christ and Seated in Heavenly Places.”  Colossians 2:12

Growing In Christ,

Jennifer K. Lewis

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May Our Savior Richly Bless Your Life!

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“THE ELDERLY GENTLEMAN”

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by Jennifer Kay Lewis

7-4-2016 ~ The Elderly Gentleman

Several months ago, I was most blessed and fortunate to secure a volunteer position with a large local hospital.

Recently, I was enjoying regular daily events as duties were fairly ‘routine’, that is for most of the day.  Then, an elderly man came up to our station.

In a few short-minutes, my ‘routine duties’ were unpredictably changed; and, little did I know just how welcome the change was to become.  A tall, thin, elderly gentleman seemed barely able to walk over to our work area.  He asked, “can anyone help me to my car?

“I think maybe I need a wheel-chair!”

I quickly volunteered to help the older gentleman, as waves of compassion quickly flooded my tender heart.  (it was plainly obvious he needed me; and as it ended, I needed him too!)

He said, “I think I can make it to that chair over there. (I wondered ~ in his dignified manner, was he trying to maintain his ‘pride’?)

I helped him get safely seated and off we strolled to the parking garage.  He informed me, “it’s a quite a piece down there little lady … are you sure you want to do this?”  I assured him, “it’s no trouble and that he shouldn’t think twice about my ‘choice’ to help him as I was most Happy to assist.”

We had gone about half of the distance through the long, concrete, parking garage, and he INSISTED he could probably “make it the rest of the way.”  (silently, to myself, I was thankful it was an inside, covered garage.)

Then, he exclaimed, “there it is ~ it’s that old white truck with the blue tailgate!”

For his safety, I maneuvered the wheelchair right up to his door so all he would need do was to stand and scoot himself into his truck.  He lifted himself up and got in his vehicle.

As I turned to quietly walk away, he said, “I KNOW this wasn’t in your job description … so I’m certain you didn’t need to do this; but, I just want to say, “GOD BLESS YOU LITTLE LADY!”

He had tears welling-up in his eyes as I left to go back to my station.  (me too)

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In purposely “offering” to do this assignment, I had visions of my own elderly Father, of eighty-seven.  I sure hope and pray someone would come to Daddy’s aid if and when he might also need the support and assistance.

Although it was “quite a piece” as he put it – our walk that day, was the best, longest walk I have ever enjoyed!

Growing In Christ,

Jennifer

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

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Jennifer Kay Lewis

 

The most important lesson Christ left for us to shadow and reflect is his ‘Perfect’ Love.  Love each other as Jesus commanded.  Do you want your little ‘corner’ of the  block to be at peace?  What can you do to improve relations with your family and friends?

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A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another”.  John 13:34-35 New King James Version 

 

Imagine a world where we actually knew our next-door neighbor.  What if we went-one further and actually helped our neighbor.  Wouldn’t it awesome if  everybody spoke to one-another in earnest love expressing compassion and care?

Doesn’t it seem all to surreal?  But what can you do, right?  Isn’t this what you are thinking?

Could you be a friend just like the kind friend you want to meet?