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Let us not become weary in doing
good, for at the proper time we will
reap a harvest if we do not give up.
(Galations 6:9)

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Entries in Perspective (22)


Filling the Pool

By Michelle (Graceful, Faith in the Everyday)

Last week as temperatures soared into the 90s we spread a plastic tarp on the backyard grass, hauled the electric pump out of the basement and inflated the kids’ pool. We upgraded this year. A couple of weeks ago we trolled the aisles of Menards until we found a suitable pool – one that’s  a step or two up from the standard kiddie pool but yet  can still squeeze into our postage-stamp backyard.

The kids danced around the blue lagoon as freezing water sloshed from the hose into the pristine plastic. It took several hours for the pool to fill to the top – 3,463 gallons in all – but it wasn’t until the pool was completely full that we noticed the problem. Because of the slight slope in our yard, the pool was uneven. Unfortunately, the filter side of the pool happened to be the shallower side, so instead of sucking in water, the filter wheezed air, straining the motor and threatening to burn out.

There was only one viable solution: drain the pool and move it to a flatter spot.

So that’s what we did. Granted, we used a few buckets to water the plants and flowers in our yard. And the water we drained from the pool was useful for the grass. But still, while the pool drained and as it filled again with another 3,463 gallons of water, I couldn’t help but think about how that water could have been used much more productively in many parts of the world. How those few thousand gallons might have saved actual human lives.

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Fingerprint Friday: Clean Water

By Ginny (MAD21)

Here in Maryland we have somehow missed late spring/early summer weather. We went from 50-60 degree weather to 90-95 and humid in just a matter of a week or two. But to put things into perspective, all we have to do is turn on our local news and suddenly we are thankful for such "miserable conditions." After seeing images of entire towns being completely wiped out in a matter of minutes by all the tornadoes our country has seen in the last month or so it makes one a lot more thankful.

I think most of us in general don't think about how fortunate we are in our every day lives. But put an entire area into a situation like the devastation caused by all the tornadoes, and people are quickly confronted with the harsh reality of how fast it can all be taken away. One day you go to work and have a "normal" day, the next, not only are your house and all of your belongings gone, but you no longer have a job either because your place of employment also no longer exists. Suddenly you aren't asking what you are going to have for dinner that night, you are in crisis mode because there is no food to eat, or water to drink at all... for you or your family, or your friends and neighbors. People who are used to living in our society with everything at their fingertips are suddenly thrushed into living in survival mode and just looking for the barest of necessities. Much like how a lot of people around the world are living, except for them, this is the normal. And they don't have access to enough food or clean water... at all.

My oldest had a service project with her class last week. We went to one of our local public playgrounds and planted flowers. Everyone brought with them at least a gallon of water to pour on the flowerbeds once we were done. As I stood watching the kids work, I looked over at all of the gallons of water and I was struck by how much we take advantage of having clean water. No one there that day probably even gave it a second thought about what an incredible blessing it was to have as much of it as we wanted... and not only to drink, but to pour onto the flowers in the ground... something that is unimaginable to a person living places like Kenya, Ethiopia or Uganda.

Next week I'm going to be sharing about an important project we are part of for the month of June. I can't wait to tell you about an amazing opportunity we have to help those who don't have access to clean water.

Clean water... definitely one of God's fingerprints.

Fellow blogger Beki at The Rusted Chain has a really great weekly post she does every Friday called "Fingerprint Friday." We are to look around and see where we can see God's fingerprints. Is it in nature? Kids? Animals? Anywhere? Go find out where Beki saw God this week, and be sure to check out the other bloggers who linked their stories as well.


Walking With Me

By Pat

A few days ago I was playing outside on the swings with my little granddaughter, Annie, who just turned two. She wanted to go down the sliding board, so as I lifted her to help her up the steps, she said, "No, me do it myself!" I said, "Okay, you do it!" and removed my hands from her. She carefully made her way up to the top, not knowing my hards had been there only inches away to catch her at the slightest slip. When she finally got to the top, she broke into a big smile and victoriously said, "ME DID IT"!

It reminded me so much of my relationship with God. I am very quick to say, "I did it!" Whatever successes I may have, hurdles I jump, mountains I climb, or victories I achieve, I sometimes say I did it, forgetting that I didn't really do it at all...God did it! God gives me everything I need, every moment or every day. Whatever I'm doing, God is right there with me, hands and arms outstretched, ready to catch my every fall and protect me from to boost me along and give me the strength and courage to forge ahead.

Just as Annie couldn't see me behind her keeping watch over her, I can't see God, but I know He's there/He told me so, and I believe it! And so, I will try to be more mindful and remember that without God, I can do nothing. I AM nothing. With Him, I can say say, "God and I did it!"

"The Lord watches over you-the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm-he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore." (Psalm 121:5-8)

Pat is a good friend who is passionate about her faith and her family. She works from home supporting a family business, and loves to read, write and garden when she can, and spends every spare moment with her grandkids.


Our Daily Bread

By Chuck (Sharing Compassion)

I can remember going to Colorado for a National Conference for Compassion. Our hotel was right there nestled in the mountains. It was so awesome just to see the snow capped peaks and to gaze at the majesty of the Rockies. The leaves were changing and everything just spoke of God's creation. I stood on the balcony in awe and just praised Him. Amazingly enough that evening I happened to mention the sight to one of the hotel workers and was kind of surprised my her apathetic response. How could those glorious sights become so familiar that the beauty did not excite her anymore.

Reminds me of the Israelites in the wilderness. Shortly after their exile they ran out of food and cried out to God. In a wonderful fashion he provided them with their daily bread-their manna. I can only imagine the wonder they had each morning as it appeared and fed them. Yet after awhile they grew tired of the same food and began to gripe and complain. God had provided and yet it became familiar and boring to them.

Each day God provides for us. He gives us shelter, food, friends and family, employment-everything we need. Not everything we want but everything we need. I can not imagine anyone reading this in need of anything more than they already have. God gives us blessings each and every day for which we should be thankful for. Take a moment and think whether you are taking them for granted. Have they become so familiar that we are no longer grateful for their provision? I am not just speaking about the material things He gives us but what about our health, strength and life. Each day should be counted as a blessing and we should be thankful.

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Keeping Up With The Joneses

By Chuck (Sharing Compassion)

I am guilty! I admit it! It is just so easy to get caught up in the materialism of this world. I don't have the latest 4-G phone but the one I have is not shabby. I don't have a 54" plasma television but I do have a 28" high def version. My lap top may not be the best available right now but two years ago it was one of the better ones. Even recently when my step-daughter turned eighteen we new we had to get her something special. The problem is she has almost everything you could want. The other side of the family is not Christian and they have made sure that she wants for nothing. We ended up getting her an iPad. She has a laptop, an iPod touch and and iPhone....did she really need an iPad? We so easily get caught up in the trap. We see something and we want it. The Joneses next door get the next latest and greatest thing and we begin to wonder how we can do without it.

I have been to Mexico, the Dominican and Honduras. I have seen poverty and I have had my heart broken. In fact at one point I felt so convicted that we ended up downsizing from a four bedroom colonial to a more modest split foyer. I have come back from those trips feeling so changed. I see families of seven people living in a home the size of my family room. I have seen four adults sharing a bed. I have seen these people cooking over an open flame and I worry how long it will take to cook my dinner in the microwave.

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