Helpfulness…the quality of giving or being ready to give help
“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” --Barack Obama
When I first hear the word “helpfulness,” I automatically think of the words: giving, hope, and empathy. All three of these words make up what helpfulness means for me. Hope and helpfulness go hand in hand. In this difficult time, it can be easy to lose hope. Whether it is the pandemic, the election, or life just getting to you, it can be easy to become defeated.
If you are anything like me, losing hope can mean losing a need to be helpful or putting other people first, above your own feelings. I don’t mean this in a way of acting selfishly in an intentional way, just in a forgetful way. As a society, we can get into our own head and get so worked up over the needs of ourselves that we forget the best way we can be true to ourselves is to be helpful to others.
Being helpful can mean many different things depending on the individual. That is one of the beauties of the English language. Living a full and rewarding life to me means giving to others, being a shoulder for someone to lean on, or showing a smile or providing a sense of relief to someone even if it is only for a small amount of time. Just listening to someone and hearing them out can be helpful to some people or going out of your way to make someone else feel a tiny bit better. There does not necessarily need to be a physical action.
This has been a very trying year so far. I think especially today, just listening and trying to understand someone else’s perspective can be helpful in a huge unexpected way.
One of the quotes on the Living52 website this week is, “Be helpful. When you see a person without a smile, give them yours.” I also want to expand on this and say, “By giving someone your smile, they could pass it onto someone else who really needs it too.”
Getting up and starting the day is a reward on its own nowadays. Helping someone else to do the same can be huge. You never know what is going on in someone’s head and doing this could be a game-changer.
Paint splashing into unknown shapes on a canvas, unusual spices in a dish, unheard melodies springing off the guitar, an unseen plot twist in a screenplay, and unexpected words printed on paper. Creativity is the “un” in everything.
When I hear creativity, I feel a wave of childlike energy surrounding something I’ve never experienced. For a moment, creativity feels like a light and playful word. It’s so flexible and subjective, you could throw it around at a suburban playground or casually pluck it into your conversation at the museum.
Creativity is easy peasy stuff, right?
We found a way to use it in our ranking system, creating (no pun intended) a metric for others and ourselves.
“She’s so creative, I could never do that.”
Time out. How many times have we all said this? The next time this plays in your mind, drop the latter. Spread the love, this tiny downplay of yourself adds up, and you are an incredible human. I digress. Let’s carry on.
Reality is, there’s no denying some people do create some rad stuff. So, where does this creativity come from?
What so many artists, musicians, chefs, speakers, and a plethora of creative creatures have discovered is creativity is less about what you’re doing. Creativity is letting go of what you’re supposed to be doing.
Undoing what we have been conditioned to do, unraveling old ideas, and unloading the constant fear of acceptance from everyone around us. Creativity is undoing the tapestry of woven ideas and rules we’ve collected over the years. There’s a hefty dose of rebellion in creativity.
The true pinnacle of creativity isn’t about everyone praising you when they like it, it’s about not giving a shit if they don’t. Pleasing others shouldn’t drive creativity. Nothing new is born from prior expectations. When the fear of fitting in is gone, creativity will find you.
Today. Let go, unravel, create, and be well.
This week's blog writer is Carrie Presley. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BBA in accounting, and worked in the corporate field for 14 years before entering education. Presley's unique teaching style infuses creativity into the traditional mathematics classroom and has led her to be awarded Teacher of the Year in both Oklahoma and Texas. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband Pat and two boys Paxon and Scout.
“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6:18-19
When you hear the word “generosity,” what is the first thing that comes to mind? When I first started thinking about it, I thought of being generous with money. I, like many of you, ask myself often what I would do if I won the lottery. While I know I would keep some of the money for myself, I also know I would give most of it away. Church, charity, missions, my parents, my children. I know this because I want to do it now. I have the desire to pay for everything for everyone all the time. There’s just one problem…I never buy lottery tickets, so I have to be wise with the resources I do have. However, I have found being generous is so much more than how much money you have to give.
One definition of generosity (the first one, actually) listed on my dictionary app was “freedom from meanness.” To me, that means being generous is the equivalent of being kind. Opening a door for someone. Helping carry groceries. Picking up a mess you didn’t make. Doing something nice for someone who just isn’t always nice or simply offering a smile to someone you meet on the street. Kindness is simple and costs nothing to give away.
Spending time with someone is another act of generosity. A great example of taking time for someone is taking time to listen to them. I used to work in an assisted living community for people with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Often times, people with dementia will lash out in anger because they don’t know how to tell you what they are feeling. I did not work on the front line providing hands on care, but I would often find myself walking quickly through the building trying to get to my next appointment or get the next task marked off my list. Occasionally, I would stop when I would see a resident upset. Even if I could not understand what they were saying, nearly every time I took the time to listen to them, they would eventually calm down. It had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with the fact that someone took the time to listen to them, to validate their feelings.
Our world is so busy. We barely take time for ourselves, let alone anyone else. We have to be intentional. Listening requires a small amount of time, it is free to give away, and it could change the entire course of a day for another person.
Another definition of generosity is “readiness or liberality in giving.” I truly believe generosity begins in your heart. It means giving without hesitation or reservation. For many, this is probably the biggest roadblock when it comes to being generous, myself included. As humans, we want to overanalyze something till we are blue in the face. We know the right thing to do, but we can find a hundred ways to justify why we can’t or shouldn’t. I won’t give money to the homeless man on the street because he’ll just take it to buy alcohol. Maybe. So give him a meal instead. She is always so rude to everyone so why should I be nice to her? Why not? You might be the only one. I really don’t have time to sit and listen to him tell me about the same thing all over again. You will if you’ll set your phone down for a few minutes.
I get that choosing kindness and generosity isn’t always easy, but the way I see it, if you’ve done your part, what they choose to do with your act of generosity is on them.
We all have a still, small voice that speaks to us at critical moments. As a Christian, I believe it is God leading me to do the right thing, to make the right choice. When I was younger, there were many times I wondered how I was going to pay a certain bill. I would pray and ask God to make a way for me, then, just in time, someone would randomly give me money. He has sent someone to listen to me when I needed it. Someone has smiled at me when I’ve been in a crummy mood. God has never – not once – failed to provide for me at just the right time.
What if someone else is praying that same prayer and YOU are the answer?
Take some time today. Slow down and pay attention to your still, small voice. Choose kindness. Choose generosity.
And when you do, know you are storing up treasures in heaven far greater than anything you could imagine here on earth.
Candace Meiler is a 2003 graduate of Oklahoma Wesleyan University. A lifelong Oklahoma resident, she grew up in northeast Oklahoma but currently calls Shawnee home. She and her husband, Chad, have five children in their beautifully blended family. When Candace isn’t busy kayaking, writing, crafting, taking care of her family, following her kids to their sporting events, driving her land checking on their heifers (“the girls,”) and relaxing with her husband on their back patio, she spends time at her actual 8-5, Monday to Friday job. One of her favorite quotes is “My life may not be perfect, but it’s perfect for me.” If you’d like to read more of Candace’s writing, you can follow her blog at www.CandaceMeiler.com.
I typically drive into the city several times a week for a variety of reasons. On more than one occasion, my drive time becomes an opportunity for my wife and I to catch up on things we missed out on while being apart. There was a time, however, when I was fairly uninterested in being on the phone for any lengthy duration while driving.
It is tiresome to steer with one hand while holding the phone up to your ear with the other. After a few minutes, you have to brace your elbow up on the car window ledge to prop your arm up. This is so we don’t have to draw upon that phone holding strength on our own any longer.
I might should confess another reason I was uninterested in being on the phone while driving. Music, audiobooks, podcasts, sports radio, I love to listen to things! I know that you too, dear reader, have had your cruise control set on 70MPH while rolling down I-40, singing at the top of your lungs to Phil Collin’s “I Can Feel It Coming in the Air Tonight.” And just as you belt out, “Well the hurt doesn’t show, but the pain still grows. It’s no stranger to you and me,” you unwittingly take both hands off the wheel to air drum along with the most epic intro drum fill to ever come three minutes and forty seconds into a song.
Suddenly, the phone rings.
You are not only left without getting to sing “doo doo da doo doo da doo doo ba dum bum” along with the drum fill, but you were also scared halfway into the next lane because you never changed from the factory ring tone. Heart pounding and out of breath, you answer the phone, “Hello?”, in the calmest, and normal tone possible.
Things are different, now. Among other things, the ability to have hands-free calling has eliminated the crick in the neck we used to get trying to hold the phone with our shoulders. Without the action of lifting and talking into a physical device, and straining to listen through the devices tiny little ear speaker, you could almost forget the person you are talking to isn’t right there next to you. If hands free helped address the need to hold the phone, then it was a loving relationship with my bride that changed my perspective on the rest. Since I know how much I love to be engaged in good listening materials while driving, how much more do I love listening to the voice of my wife as she shares her thoughts, her stories and her ideas and ambitions. Investing in who she is as a person should be and is as compelling as any true crime podcast.
Being able to feel like my wife is next to me as we talk makes it easy to carry on the conversation for the entirety of a drive. Sometimes, we talk about several things. Sometimes, we have enough to say about one subject to fill up the drive, the walk up and into the house, and all the way into the same room she’s in by the time I hang up. Sometimes, we just stay on the line in silence for several minutes at a time before picking up another topic, being contented by just knowing we’re together even when we can’t see each other.
What should we call this? Experiencing the fullness of relationship, or “relationshipfulness”? What about the fullness of human connection, or “humanconnectionfulness”?
What if you were able to have this kind of relationship with Jesus? You’ve already been singing along to Phil Collins since 1981, “I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord,” so that’s a start!
Do you know that God is with you even when unseen? You can talk to God as though God were in the seat next to you. And there never has to be a beginning or an end to your prayers. Prayer is an ongoing conversation within a loving relationship with the Lord. This is part of experiencing the fullness of prayer, or prayerfulness.
Prayer does not require a specific location. Imagine telling your spouse that you are only able to communicate with them when you are at home together at the kitchen counter? The lack of time and opportunity to meet in that space would cause you to not experience your relationship in its fullness. In the same way, our loving Savior is waiting to hear from you whether you are on a walk, mowing the yard, or on your knees at the altar of a church. It is not where you pray, but that you pray.
Prayer is not reserved for a certain time of day. Imagine telling your children that you are only available for them from 5:30 - 7:00AM on odd days when it’s not a leap year. I’d venture to guess that not only do your children need you more often than that, but you probably need them just as much. God loves you and desires a two-way relationship with you. One where God demonstrates love through blessings and grace. One that also calls you to offer the gifts and skills that God gave you to love and serve others. The best way to find out what that specific calling is for you is to ask! “God show me the places my gifts will best fit and help me recognize your nudges.” It is not when you pray, but that you pray.
Prayer, private or public, does not require owning a bible nor is it necessary to be able to speak as though you were reciting poetry at the Mozart Festival. There’s nothing that says “I love you,” to a friend quite like putting on airs and saying rehearsed formalities that are over their head. I know my friends would sniff out insincerity in no time. God knows your heart and mind. You were created to be exactly who you are. You do not need to pray any differently than you would talk to your best friend. It is not how you pray, but that you pray.
Prayer does not require you to go through some religious leader or head of church in order to talk to God. No one is so holy or has such authority as to play gate keeper between you and your heavenly parent. You have direct access! How impersonal would it be to have to go through your child’s teacher to have a conversation with your very own offspring? It would violate all kinds of boundaries to need to go through your spouse’s boss to let your very own life partner know you plan on putting the household on a cabbage soup diet.
Prayer is as casual and accessible as hands-free calling. From the time you wake up and thank God for a beautiful morning to that moment you start to drift off while thanking God for another day, there is an open line of communication with the one who created every star in the sky and every hair on our heads.
At times, prayers, like popcorn, will pop into our thoughts quickly and consist of several people and situations that are on our hearts. Other times, we have enough to pray about on one topic to fill up the whole day. Sometimes, we pray by pausing in silence. The spirit within us prays on our behalf for the things our mind may not know how to pray for. Even in the silence there is peace from being engaged in the salve of prayer.
We often get too busy to pray. There is always something of more importance we must do or focus on. Facebook to scroll through with posts we’re dying to comment on. Work that has piled up and can’t wait for a few extra minutes. A documentary series on the exotic world of big cats and a man who may or may not have been fed to Tigers. But, as we fall more in love with God and grow more conversational with God, we will desire to pray often and without pomp and pageantry. When we learn to pray at random, before, in the middle of or following any circumstance, knowing God is always listening, we start to recognize God’s presence and blessings all around us.
A still small voice can be felt, can be heard, in sudden memories playing like old home movies across your mind’s eye or new ideas that sweep across our frontal lobes. In music that strikes a chord within our core. In the laughter of children and the greetings of neighbors. Are you listening? That voice whispers a love story from the very creator who knew you before you ever took a breath of air. When being in prayer is a part of all aspects of your life, it becomes the car window ledge propping your arm up. Experiencing the fullness of prayer means we don’t have to draw upon that holding life together strength on our own.
So, sing for fun, sing in prayer or at the top of your lungs! God is listening, maybe singing along and undoubtedly playing the best air drums Phil Collins could ever imagine.
This week's blog writer is Tate Monroe. Tate is the Director of Adult Discipleship and Student Ministries at Shawnee St. Paul’s Methodist Church. Tate also has a passion for community development and serves on non-profit boards and advisory committees in Shawnee. When the opportunities arise, Tate loves performing on the stages of Shawnee Little Theatre and Lincoln County on Stage. You may have seen him most recently in a custom-made lime green spandex jumpsuit and disco silver platform shoes in the role of Harry in SLT’s production of Mamma Mia. Tate has also taught theatre workshops for children at the Mabee–Gerrer Museum of Art.
Selflessness is the word that was given to me by “Living52words”. After contemplating this word, “selflessness” this past week, some old thoughts regarding words came forward, too.
When I was a child my great-aunt, told me time and time again, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything”, “Be careful what you ask for” and my dear mother-in-law told me years ago, “Words have power”. Yes, they do! Words evoke emotion, words inspire, words express love (they do lots of negatives, too, but I’m choosing the positives here).
Well, well, what is “selflessness”? It is being “selfless”. It is being “other” focused. It is an action taken for the benefit of another person or persons. It’s giving, it’s kind, it’s not judging. It does NOT have an ego, it does NOT expect a reward, it does NOT expect recognition. It is the “Good Samaritan” a person who gives assistance to those who are injured, ill, in peril, or incapacitated. The life of Jesus, his acts, his teaching, his words are the highest examples of selflessness.
A few years ago, I was curious about my ancestry/ethnicity and submitted my DNA for testing. To my surprise, I found two half brothers and a half-sister. My husband and I saw that one brother, (80 years old, very poor health and in dire straits) needed help; he has lived with us now for 2 years. We chose to do this to improve his life. I tell this now only because after writing about what selflessness is, I see this could be an example of a selfless act.
So, I ask, what does selflessness create for others? Blessings, surprises, hope, joy and perhaps saving a life. What else can you think of?
This week's blog writer is Hattie Reed. Hattie Reed grew up in Oklahoma City, OK. She and her husband, Randy (her high school sweetheart), moved to Colorado in 1980. Hattie, with her husband, are the former business owners of Village Frame, a custom picture framing and art store, in Greenwood Village, CO, and in Castle Rock, CO. Furthermore, she established and managed H Reed & Company, an executive search and staffing company in 2006. She is an active contributor to the community and served on the Castle Rock Art Commission, as well as supporting her husband during his terms as Castle Rock's Mayor. In April of 2020, both businesses were closed to pursue retirement, travel, and fun. Hattie enjoys art, DIY projects, knitting, and journaling. Currently, she is very excited to be working at Nick Lucey’s, Rhyolite Gallery, in Castle Rock. She and Randy have two daughters, two sons-in-law, and two grandsons all living in Colorado.
I googled the word “tolerance”. According to Merriam Webster it means the “willingness to accept feelings, habits, or beliefs that are different from your own, the ability to accept, experience, or survive something harmful or unpleasant, and/or your body's ability to become adjusted to something (such as a drug) so that its effects are experienced less strongly.”
Tolerance is something everyone has to measure on their own whether it be physically, mentally, or spiritually. Everyone is different. Some people have a strong tolerance to stress, while others may feel crushed by even a small amount of stress. Tolerance can be attributed to those that work out and learn about their body’s limits. We even have to learn to tolerate each other as people, like those that are introverted and those that are extroverted.
Tolerance is also something we have to learn to change and challenge in ourselves as human beings. Sometimes we must learn to tolerate negative things in our lives and know when it is time to speak up or change the things around us. An example-- How long can you tolerate someone yelling at you? How long can you tolerate others ridiculing you? How much can we tolerate before we speak up?
I am Native American with some French ancestry. I am Navajo, Sac & Fox, and Prairie Band Potawatomi. I have had to tolerate the ignorance of others about my Native culture and heritage. But because of my high tolerance to ignorance, I don’t get mad or upset, I use the moment as a time to educate others about my Native background. I am also an artist so I have learned to tolerate criticism. Not everyone is going to like my work, and that is ok. We have had to tolerate many things this year with sickness and other stresses. With tolerance, we learn how well we can handle various situations, but also how to grow to be better human beings. Tolerance can be a good and bad thing but it depends on how we perceive it. Because of tolerance I have been able to take a deep breath and learn to look at the situations around me.
Because of my tolerance, I know when I need to improve myself and when I need to speak up. Sometimes there are times to be silent and humble, and other times when words need to be spoken to stand up for something that is right. We all must learn to tolerate many things, but we can work together to learn what each other’s limits are and how we can help each other to grow. This is what tolerance means to me.
This week's blog writer, Amber DuBoise-Shepherd, is a Native American artist and has participated in various exhibitions and shows across Oklahoma. DuBoise-Shepherd is the Manager of Education and Outreach at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art since April 2019. She currently lives in Shawnee, OK with her husband Josh Shepherd.
Covid-19 has even impacted common courtesy. Yesterday, as I was leaving my voting precinct, I held the door for a woman who was about to enter. She stopped short, as it was impossible to keep six feet apart. She finally motioned for me to move on, so the door closed and I took a wide detour around her. I felt awkward and sad that courtesy has also suffered during these strange times.
But as I reflected on the changes, I thought of a time in the past when my offer to hold a door was not accepted, but for an entirely different reason. The time was about 1969 (yes, I am old), and I was visiting Mobile, Alabama. As I was entering a department store, an elderly black woman was coming from the opposite direction, so I held the door. She said, “Oh honey, please don’t do that. You will get me into trouble”. This was my first introduction to understanding discrimination, a lesson learned through an attempt at courtesy. My commitment…Be more aware, empathetic, and observant.
Also, now that I have retired and time is not at such a hectic pace, I realize that in driving I often sped up to keep someone from cutting in front of me. And what did that get me…I arrived at the next stop light one second ahead of the other car. My commitment…Be more courteous as I drive.
Some form of courtesy that was made aware to me as a child, was the importance of calling people by name. I have three sisters, so the four of us were always referred to as “The Sheward Girls.” People rarely called us by name, as they probably couldn’t remember who was who. It became important to me to address others by name, especially children. These days it might take longer for me to recall a name, but my commitment…do my best.
The local Sonic had a wonderful young lady who worked the drive-through window. She always said “Good Morning” and then “Have a great day”. This is not all that unusual except she said it as though she meant it. She made a difference in my day with only a few well-spoken words. My commitment…no automatic responses, but honest, meaningful statements.
And, have you ever been to Chick-fil-A? The employees often say “My Pleasure”. This obviously is something the company teaches and stresses. Recently, I was in a store and after I said thank you, the young employee responded with “My pleasure”. I did not ask, but my guess was that he had previously worked at Chick-fil-A. The important aspect of the encounter was that his response appeared to be heart-felt. My commitment…remain mindful of the manners I have been taught.
So much of courtesy is an interconnection of the words and lessons we have learned from Living52. Let us all be kinder, more loving, more gracious by being courteous.
Another reminder: It is courteous to wear a mask, maintain social distance, and wash hands. Thank you for reading my meanderings and blessings to each of you.
Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart. --Henry Clay
Written by Ann M. Way, former Senior Program Officer and Interim Director of Sarkeys Foundation and Executive Director of Mary Abbott Children’s House which provides forensic interviews of physically and sexually abused children. Her greatest joys in life are her children, Tonya and Michael; her son-in-law and daughter-in-law, David and Laurie, and her grandchildren, Braden, Ethan, Andrew, Alex, Kate, and her grandson, Taylor, who resides in Heaven.
Let me start out by saying what we do know…
Things are hard.
We are resilient.
We can change.
I want to open with a prayer to Jesus, for giving us everything we’ve been given.
Thank you for your joyous abundance that we see,
and then unsee sometimes.
Thank you for your gift of an offering,
an experience of life and death.
The same treasure we are all given,
yet seem to forget about.
Distractions. They are everywhere.
Anything that exists can distract us from The Source of everything.
Life altering abundance,
in a simple whiff of a feeling, of thanks.
The most powerful energy comes from this moment of praise.
An offering, the only one we are equipped to send up.
Thank you, Alleluia!
You are righteous, we are not and yet: This.
A feeling shoots up my fingertips, my toes, my spine.
A force inside of me purrs and reminds me,
The offering of contentment you only feel,
when you are humbled in a moment of deep gratitude.
We don't think of gratitude as an offering,
mostly thinking of it as a state.
A place to be in to give ourselves pleasure,
because pleasure surely comes.
A pinging of emotion opens up inside of us,
when we look around and feel awe.
A burden leaves our shoulders
for as long as we can cover ourselves in this thanks.
Dear Lord, you are righteous,
we are not and yet: This.
Thank you, God for the gifts we’ve been given at every single moment.
Thank you for this, here, now.
It never stops.
He never ends.
Thank you for allowing us to feel GLORY,
whenever we praise you tickling the insides of our arms, our legs, our scalps.
He is good.
Matthew 10:27 - “The things that I say to you in the evening, speak ye in the light.”
Okay, I’ll start: I NEED you God. I need you Jesus. Thank you!
Erinn Shaughnessy is a writer and painter living and working in Oklahoma. She graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University in 2016 where she studied Philosophy. She is interested in natural health, art, family, friends, and dreaming of her childhood donut shop that is no longer in business. She loves to write letters and has big plans to single handedly save the US Postal Service.
Originality bubbling up
Appreciation, heart swelling
Inside out living
Optimistic ideas swirling
Never dull, together unfurling
Cooperation. The process of working together to the same end. What in our day could get accomplished without the cooperation of others? Whether getting children ready for (virtual) school, completing objectives for a project at work, or ordering lunch in the 6 mile long line at Chick-fil-A, we need each other to uphold agreements in order to move forward and make progress. Appreciating the cooperativeness of others can help us feel more grateful and connected throughout our day. Being in relationship with cooperative people enables us to build trusting relationships and take on complex, out of the box tasks and ideas. Cooperation gives all voices a chance to be heard and allows people to work within the skill sets with which they are most adept, which builds confidence and future collaborative opportunities. Cooperation makes the world go round.
Alicja Carter, MHR, LADC, BHWC, has been working in the behavioral health and addiction treatment field for over 13 years at Gateway to Prevention and Recovery. Alicja is passionate about wellness and collaborating with others for the purpose of stimulating positive change in her community.
Hebrews 2:6-7 Amplified Bible
It has been solemnly and earnestly said that in a certain place, What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You graciously and helpfully care for and visit and look after him? For some little time You have ranked him lower than an inferior to the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor and set him over the works of Your hands.
In this scripture it reminds us how much God has invested in us. When I researched the word mindful, I discovered that it means to be thoughtful, attentive, aware or careful. Just the very thought that God was thinking of me, is reassuring in itself. I realize that thoughtfulness always causes a person to be singled out. The man that was healed at the pool of Bethesda was simply a man who was singled out. There were hundreds or even thousands of impotent or lame folk waiting for the troubling of the water. So why was this man chosen amongst so many? It is very simple, God was simply thinking of him. This man had spent the last 38 years being disappointed by his inability to get to the pool first.
The Bible says whosoever would enter the pool first, after the angel troubled the water would be instantly healed. Year after year this man was robbed of his opportunity to be healed. How could people be so insensitive and thoughtless of this man’s faithfulness? Every year he was forgotten about and treated insignificantly. I am so grateful that God remembers when people forget. You may even feel forgotten and feel devalued, but God will always show up to let you know that he has big plans for you. My job as a Pastor is to inform everyone that God has not forgotten about you. As a matter of fact, God is very much aware of your situation. Jesus was aware of this man’s condition and had plans on visiting him. No matter how busy Jesus was, he always made it clear how important one person was to the Kingdom of God. We’ve heard the parable of Jesus talking about how the shepherd left the 99 to go find the 1. He left the secure to find the insecure. He left the stable to find the unstable. So today I want to remind you how much God thinks about you. Now the enemy’s job is to make you think that God doesn’t care about your issues, concerns or condition, but I want to share a personal story with you to assure you that God is always thoughtful of his children.
One day I had to go to the store to purchase some items and my girls were with me. So I told Victoria and Kennedy, “come on lets go to the car.” We all were buckled up and ready to go, all of sudden I heard crying and sniffling in the back seat. I turned around and Kennedy was crying. I said “what’s wrong, she replied I left my baby doll in the house.” Well, for the size of those tears that were falling from her face I thought it was something way more important than that. I told her, “baby it will be alright because we’re not going to be gone long, we will be right back.” Well, why did I say that? She really broke down and cried even more. So I had a choice, either I could let her continue to cry or do something about it. I decided to go back in the house and find this baby doll and deliver it personally to Kennedy. She immediately wiped her tears and said thank you Daddy.
God taught me a very important principle that day, no matter how small or insignificant that baby doll was to me it was still important to Kennedy. Her problem immediately became my problem because of the love that I have for my children. Then God said, “don’t ever think your problems are not important to me because whatever is your problem becomes my problem. You are my children and I hate to see my children in tears. So whatever bothers you bothers me.”
Do not think that God is insensitive or thoughtless because anyone who is willing to die for you clearly has you in mind. There is not anyone who is more thoughtful than Jesus. A man who was thinking about you while he was being crucified on the cross. A cross that became an intersection for our heavenly Father to have a relationship with his earthly children. God is not only thinking about me, about you, and all of us, but he has also invested in us by giving us his son, Jesus. So tell the devil, I know God loves me because he gave me the greatest gift a person could ever receive. He gave me, himself!
This week's blog writer is Pastor Orrick Quick. Pastor Quick, the son of Bishop Alber Oliver Quick and the late Mother Rosetta Quick was born and raised in the city of High Point, NC. He has been married to his lovely wife Ashley Quick for ten years. To their union they have been blessed with three beautiful daughters: Victoria, Kennedy, and Taylor. Pastor Quick is a prolific teacher, preacher and motivational speaker that helps people realize their God given potential. Pastor Quick has taught in the foreign country of Belize, Central America on various mission trips which has impacted thousands of lives. His slogan is, “You must be able to convert your pain into passion, so your passion will fuel your purpose.”
His mother Rosetta Quick was diagnosed with Lupus during her pregnancy. Even against the doctor’s recommendation to abort this child, his mother had faith to proceed even while her life was threatened. Pastor Orrick Quick had to overcome many obstacles in his life such as: being in a coma, learning to walk all over again three times, being temporarily blind, remaining in the hospital for a total of 8 weeks, and being confined to a body cast for 13 weeks. All of the above injuries were a result from two deadly car accidents that Pastor Quick encountered.
In 2016, Pastor Orrick Quick was a TV Co-Host for the FOX Daytime talk show, “The Preachers.” As a result of the 15 episode showcase, Pastor Quick was selected as one of EBONY’s Power 100 honorees which can be revealed in the December 2016/January 2017 edition of EBONY magazine. Pastor Quick was a featured guest on the Dr. Oz show twice and appeared on the television show, “The Real” showcasing his Forever Candles.
As of 2017, Pastor Quick has released his first book entitled, “Your Reign is Over” which deals with discovering your God given purpose while overcoming depression. It also teaches you how to overcome the enemy's greatest tactics such as manipulation and intimidation. In addition to the book, Pastor Quick has a brand new album entitled, “Spiritual Warfare.” The album has a fresh new sound guaranteed to inspire the world. “Spiritual Warfare” is an album that incorporates Christian hype music to keep you invigorated for your lifetime goals.
Pastor Quick plans to use his voice and his experience as a witness tool, to help this younger generation overcome any situation that they may encounter. “Too many times we allow our mistakes to define our destiny.” Therefore, Pastor Quick believes that you should “never allow your past, to have a meeting with your future, without your potential being present!”