Posts Tagged friend

Encourage One Another – Week Two – FBC – Say Something Nice Day

Scripture Focus: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

My friend has been unable to have full use of his right arm since having open heart surgery a few months ago. On the way back from lunch he said to me, “I can complain about all the things I can’t do with my right arm or I can be grateful for all the things I can do with my left arm. I choose to be thankful.” Wow! These words came from a man who has just lost his only daughter to a rare lung disease. His faith and courage under such circumstances gave me courage to walk back into my own house where my wonderful wife is plagued with Alzheimer’s disease. Carol taught in the public schools for twenty-eight years. She holds a Master’s degree plus thirty more graduate hours. She is the only person I have known who received more money on a grant request than she asked for. Five years ago she helped me edit my book, Christian Civility in an Uncivil World. She loved singing in the Sanctuary Choir. When our faith grows weak we can lean into the faith of someone’s whose faith is stronger. Peter Gomes said it best in his sermon for Christmas Day, “The House of Bread,” “The miracle of Christmas is that God cared enough to send the very best and that he continues to do so in the gifts now given to us in one another.” God has blessed me with friends whose faith helps me strengthen my own.

Prayer Focus: Dear God, thank you for all the wonderful people you have sent into my life. You have blessed me beyond measure. Amen

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Blessed Is He Who Writes Without Using Smiley Faces – Ethics Daily

Bob Newell

Posted: Friday, March 28, 2014 6:12 am ethicsdaily.com

Blessed Is He Who Writes Without Using Smiley Faces | Bob Newell, Facebook, Social Networking, Friendship, Relationships

Blessed is he or she whose written words can stand the light of clever inquisition without a preemptive smiley face, Newell writes.

Pity the elusive mouse who must struggle to disconnect himself in the minds of youthful humans from the ubiquitous, plasticized keyboard kind.

Does anyone any longer recognize the fundamental literary distinction between Walt’s beloved “Mickey” and some cordless, unconnected robot rodent? What have we done with our words? Rats!

Shame on the unwashed who thoughtlessly seem unable to differentiate the dissimilarity in essence that divides a computer keyboard and one played upon powerfully by Liberace or pounded upon forcefully by the fiery Jerry Lee Lewis.

Oh, how far has the never very noble Spam now fallen from its wartime usage as a marker for government-produced, cheap mixed meat to its contemporary reference to the unwanted and quickly-consigned-to-electronic-hell of today’s easy come, easy go communication.

And what has become of the serious obligation of equally serious deletion? Where is today’s cutting room floor?

Those who vociferously bemoan the disastrous decline in what was once considered polite, civil discourse might well spend a few well-chosen words of grief over the corruption of common communication.

In addition to the sharp descent of civil conversation in the public electronic square, is it grammatically correct always, insistently and increasingly to be angry?

“O, brother, where art thou?” Where have all the blessed beatitudes gone, “long time passing”? Blessed are those who need not place “LOL” after their messages to communicate their humorous intentions.

Blessed is he or she whose written words can stand the light of clever inquisition without a preemptive smiley face.

How sideways have become our smirking smiles, how crooked our occasional grinning communication.

Those that live by spell-check shall face an equal and equivalent death.

How curious has the malfeasance of our modern speech construction become. How “wearifying” the written art is fast de-evolving.

Perhaps nowhere is this language loss more obvious that the steep degradation of the treasured old-English word, “friend.”

“There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother,” it was once said and believed, in King James English; but modern friends seem to have little elasticity and even less “stickability.”

To be a Facebook kind of friend is unlike any previous species of genuine friendship and surely bears no resemblance to the Quaker kind. A true friend does not ask to be liked.

If it is sadly true that one can be “unfriended” and if friendship may indeed be a verb, isn’t it also true that authentic friendships are rarely so numerous as our electronic ones.

Real friends neither brag about their number nor boast of their political or ideological inclinations nor ruthlessly exclude those with whom they might potentially disagree.

Neither do they post only highly idealized or PhotoShopped versions of themselves solely for other so-called friends or groupies to admire.

It is actually rare for authentic friends to complain publicly to the unfriendly world of sleeplessness or send out detailed reports of intimate toilet habits to be shared with a host of so-called friends and many other unsuspecting passers-by.

If the tin-alley wordsmith once suggested of friendship that “it’s the perfect blend-ship,” there seems less and less to blend, so little longing for harmony.

Khalil Gibran, after all, said, “Let there be spaces in your togetherness.” But, in our days, we seek uniformity of thinking and conformity of doing from our erstwhile friends.

What thinkest thou? In our speech and written communication, can we be no more precise and selective than this? Can we not observe some boundaries?

Can we forego some less important things, in order to experience genuine communication with others? Can we, at least, think as much as we type?

When our words cannot be more properly managed, what hope is there for our ways?

Bob Newell is ministry coordinator for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in Athens, Greece. A version of this column first appeared on his blog, ItsGreek2U, and is used with permission.

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Thankful Thursday – Clarence Glover

On this Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for the gifts that Clarence Glover brings to my life. Clarence grew up on Johns Island, graduated from Clemson, and went into the army. He spent his career at the Charleston Navy Shipyard as an engineer. He and his long suffering wife Sarah are pillars at First Baptist Church of Charleston. Clarence has a real sense of humor and is a genuine cut-up. In fact my wife, Carol, says that we can no longer sit together at meetings because we feed off each other and disrupt everything. What I admire most about Clarence other than the fact that what you see is what you get, is that he is able to get to the heart of the matter. He can and does ask the difficult questions that no one else will ask. He served as clerk during part of my term as church moderator. I could count on Clarence to get the minutes both concise and accurate. It is not an easy task. Clarence enjoys flying his own airplane and tried his best to kill me when I was reckless enough to fly with him. When that didn’t work, he flew over the waters surrounding Folly Beach and showed me all of the sharks out there. He clearly indicated that they would enjoy a good Mitch meal. He is devoted to Sarah, his children and grandchildren. Clarence brings a real gift to my life. He is the rare individual who can disagree without being disagreeable. He is a booster of Say Something Nice Sunday. On this Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for the presence of Clarence Glover in my life.

Thankful Thursday is a day set aside to recognize the importance of someone to our lives and to let her or him know of our appreciation. Develop an attitude of gratitude. Say Something Nice; Be a Lifter. You will be glad that you did.

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Thankful Thursday – Barbara Vaughn

On this Thankful Thursday I am thankful for the gifts that Barbara Vaughn brings to my life. I have known this talented woman since the day she first came to the Charleston Speech and Hearing Center where she started her career as a speech/language clinician. She moved on to become the ombudsman in the City of Charleston and later Director of Media Relations. Mayor Joe Riley recognized something that I already knew. Here was a hard-working, dedicated, gifted person who knows how to stick with a job until it’s done. She does all of this with charm and good humor. Barbara came to Charleston from her native Alabama and is a graduate of the University of Alabama. I have known her children all of their lives. Her daughter, Mary Chris, served on the Say Something Nice Sunday committee before she returned to full time teaching and her daughter Elis is the mayor of Cayce, SC. Son Ryan has an aquarium shop in West Ashley. Barbara loves to travel, but is really immersed in all things Charleston. She represents the city and the mayor well. Way back, she helped make my daughter Suzanne’s wedding dress and veil and I still own and use an armoire that she rescued and refinished. I am so happy that Barbara and her family are a part of my life. On this Thankful Thursday, I am grateful for the gifts that Barbara Vaughn brings to my life. Pictured are Barbara, Mary Chris, Elise, Caroline,Emma and Zoe.

Thankful Thursday is a day set aside to recognize the contributions of someone special to our lives and to let her or him know of our gratitude. Develop an attitude of gratitude. Say Something Nice; Be a Lifter. You will be glad that you did.

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