Posts Tagged speak

Be Kind

Parade Magazine in a major article on January 1, 2017 stressed the idea that we should all strive to be kind this year. The author suggests many reasons why this is a beneficial thing to do. I agree with the premise of the article 100 percent. Just be kind.

Being kind sounds simple enough, but when reality sets in it’s a different story. I was riding with friends this week when the car in front of us took longer than usual to move on. One of the passengers in our car became irritated and began to shout at the driver in the other car. His yelling served no purpose except it irritated me. I am afraid I was not too kind.

We all become frustrated. We often feel that we have been mistreated, taken advantage of, or put down. It is at these moments that we need to hit our pause button and re-think the situation. Be kind. The Parade article editor encourages us to write a Thank You note once a week for the following year – a great idea. About ten years ago I started Thankful Thursday on my blog. The idea is that each Thursday we will single out a different person to thank for their contributions to our lives. Please join me in doing that. Tell the people around you just how much they mean to you.

We are talking about simple things. Put the neighbor’s newspaper on his or her porch. Bring their recycle container back from the curb. Ask if a shut-in needs something from the market when you are going. Hold the door for a mom pushing a baby carriage. Just find simple ways to be kind.

Saying something nice to every person you meet is easy If that is too difficult, just smile at her or him. You can create a better world.

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The Cuban Missile Crisis – A Family Story

The death of Fidel Castro has brought a flood of memories and reminded me of one of the most unexpected and rewarding experiences of my life. I recorded this story in my book, Our Father: Discovering Family, published last year by www.WipfandStock.com. This began in October 1962 and continued for the next several months.

The Cuban Missile Crisis ignited while we were in Baton Rouge and the city was flooded with Cuban refugees.  Somehow I was asked to teach a course in oral English for them at the YWCA.  The television program, Sing Along with Mitch (Miller) was popular at the time; therefore my courses quickly became known as Speak Along with Mitch.  What a turn of events.  Remember I flunked Spanish at Mars Hill College.  This exposure and acceptance by members of a different culture broadened my knowledge and appreciation for people whose backgrounds were far removed from my own.  Again the teacher learned more than the students.

This is a story that has played an important role in my development and in my understanding of who belongs in God’s kingdom. Who would have ever believed that I would have this brush with history.

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Baton Rouge Still Has a Place in My Heart

During the past couple of weeks I have been grieving and praying for the people of Baton Rouge. Liz and I spent four years there and I went back for another summer to study German. Our children, Suzanne and Michael, were born in Baptist Hospital there. Baton Rouge is a beautiful, friendly city. The staff at the Cerebral Palsy Center and the folks at Goodwood Baptist Church, where I taught an adult Sunday school class, opened their hearts to us. The faculty of the Speech Department at LSU were some of the finest people I have had the privilege of knowing. You cannot imagine the friendliness and the professionalism of that department.

We were there during the anxious days of the Cuban Missile Crisis and I was asked to teach oral English to many of the Cuban refugees. It was during the time that “Sing Along with Mitch Miller” was on television and my course quickly became known as Speak Akong with Mitch. Paula Eagle, director of the Cerebral Palsy Center, Sally Coperthwait, occupational therapists and I were in Dallas the weekend that President Kennedy was assassinated and Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald. We were attending the convention of the National Cerebral Palsy Association.

We were very tempted to stay in Baton Rouge. We had developed so many friendships. I also had a private practice and was teaching in the Speech Department in addition to being a graduate student. The invitation to come to Charleston was too challenging to pass up. It was the right move for us, but Baton Rouge and its wonderful people still have a place in my heart.

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Live What Matters – Emory R. Hiott*

Emory R. HiottMichael Brown, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Alton Sterling, and now Philando Castile.   In the past two years there have been a lot of officer involved shootings. Even more than these few mentioned.  Some of these cases were clear, others were and are not.  Either way, they are heavy on the Christian heart, but what should our response be?  As one wise 19 year old said “Love overcomes hate.” – Chris Singleton.   Young Chris seems to echo the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. a Christian Pastor known for his peaceful stance against racism.  One of my favorite quotes by him reads, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”  So that brings us again to the Christian response as these current events flood our minds and conversations.

  1. Pray – I know by taking all matters to the God who created each one of us, He will help give us the words and clarity necessary to deal with hard situations.   Sometimes God just needs us to run to Him for comfort and rest there.
  1. Speak with love – We don’t always have to “choose sides” when matters like this arise.  Whether you are an advocate for Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, or All Lives Matter, we need to see that in each of these there are two hurting sides.  There is compassion needed in our words as well as our actions for all involved and affected.
  1. Serve – Jesus calls us to a life of service, and love is an action word.  If we are truly reaching out to love others the way Christ loves us, then we are looking for ways to serve and reconcile broken parts of our world.  This can be overwhelming, but it has to happen.  We as Christians need to be known for the peace, kindness, goodness, patience, and joy that can flow through us into our communities through being the hands and feet of Christ.  Go sit and talk with someone today that you wouldn’t normally talk with and LISTEN.  Go serve in a way that may feel uncomfortable at first and WATCH.  Go give in ways that seem unnatural and FEEL.  Let the God who is sovereign use you in ways you can’t imagine and bring healing to a hurting world.

 

Heavenly Father, don’t let our words or actions be those of hate, help us to respond to all situations showing love as you would do.  Guide us to opportunities that we never thought imaginable so that we may serve and let your love be known.  Help us show others the peace and joy found in your son, Jesus.  Amen.

*Emory R. Hiott is the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Charleston, South Carolina/

 

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