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The "Say Yes" Plan

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I have a plan.   It’s the “Be Positive, Celebrate Success, Pray and Say YES!” plan.  It costs nothing and  is available to everyone!  We all need to learn to say “yes” more often.

 “Yes”                           “Right-oh”              "Yea”        

“10-4”                           “OK”                       “Very well”

"Okey-dokey”              “You got it”              “Affirmative”       

“Yup”                           “Uh-huh”                 “Totally”

 The Oxford Dictionary offers 22 ways to say “yes”!  Learn them all.  Use them often.  Speak them out loud.  Repeat them while you are driving.  Say them with a smile. Teach them to your children.  Share them with your friends.   Don’t worry, it’s easy to say “yes” and you will brighten someone’s life with your positive response.   Let’s learn to make “Just Say Yes” our mantra.  And when we can’t say “yes”, let’s prayerfully and graciously say “no”.

 “Just Say No!”   We have heard this phrase so many times in reference to keeping kids off drugs.  It was first used by Nancy Reagan back in the early 1980s when a school child asked Mrs. Reagan what she should do if someone offered her drugs.  The First Lady said, “Just Say No!”  

  But how does it relate to our service to God and His people?  Some of us always just say “no”. 

“No”      “Nope”      “Uh-uh”      “Negatory”      “Not on Your Life”

 The Oxford Dictionary also offers 29 ways to say “no”.  I think I have heard them all.  I don’t so much mind hearing someone tell me “no” when they do it thoughtfully and kindly.   We all have a lot on our plates. We are all busy.  We shouldn’t use excuses to try to “out-busy” the person asking for our help. Emily Post suggests we be considerate and respectful when declining a request.  She says we should think before we respond and to always accentuate the positive.   She’s right except for one thing – we also need to ask God if saying “no” is the right answer!

 How often do we pray before we answer a request for help?   Probably not often enough.   Instead of saying “no”, we should take some time to ask God for His advice and wisdom.  We should make sure we have all the details, including the length of the commitment and the amount of time needed to complete the task.   Many times a few hours of your time is all that is needed.  If you say, “may I get back with you?”, then DO IT!  Get back to them one way or the other!    

 When you have prayerfully determined that “no” is the right answer, do not be afraid or ashamed to say so.  Just do it graciously and thank the person making the request for considering you.  Then go home and practice your “yes” plan for the next time you are asked.  

    “Be Positive, Celebrate Success, Pray and Say YES!”

 

 Peace, Blessings and The Light of Christ be Yours

 Annette

 

Posted by Annette Blair with 0 Comments

The church family and singleness

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2,298 miles—that is the distance between my parents in Seattle, WA and me in Maumee, OH.  7,831 miles—that is the distance between my only sibling and me.  I love my family, and it is hard to be removed from them geographically.

Last Sunday, during the Traditional worship service, I was sitting next to Susan Hoffman in the Sanctuary.  The lyrics of the third stanza of the closing hymn declared:  “Join hands, disciples of the faith, whate’er your race may be.  All children of the living God are surely kin to me.”  As we sang, I was surprised and pleased when Susan took my hand in hers.  She reached out spontaneously and with kindness and feeling.  Suddenly, there were not thousands of miles between me and my kin:  Susan demonstrated to me that my kin was all around me in the pews. 

The first words of our mission statement are “the church family.”  This is huge.  Although we may have differences in how we’ll vote in the upcoming presidential election, in our ethnic makeup, and in our socioeconomic class, we are all siblings in Christ:  we are the family of God.  

As a single adult, I find the notion of “the church family” encouraging.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2014, 50.2 percent of American adults are single; that’s 124.6 million people.  Unfortunately, the other 49.8 percent often misunderstands singleness and single people.  But the church can be different.  The church must be different.

There are many single people in our midst here at First Presbyterian Maumee; we may have never married or perhaps we’re single due to divorce or widowhood.  The broader culture can sometimes render us invisible and at other times make us all too visible:  ostracized and pitied. 

But it doesn’t have to be the case within the church.  Our dignity is not derived from our marital status.  Our dignity is found in being God’s image-bearers, and that can never be revoked.  Because God loves us, we are of infinite value to the Lord. 

In Christ, we have become part of the household of God.  As Ephesians 2:19 puts it, “you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household.”  The household of faith is expansive—it’s not limited to only a pair of adults with their 2.2 children—it’s a description that encompasses all our spiritual relatives:  aunties, uncles, cousins, grandparents, etc. 

I am grateful that God used Susan Hoffman on Sunday morning to remind me of my place:  our hands were joined, and I received the affectionate touch of a family member.  Indeed, “all children of the living God are surely kin to me.”

Thanking God for our church family,

Emily

Posted by Emily Mitchell with 0 Comments

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