Love Likely

Posted by Sharon Krause on Jun 27, 2022 6:00:00 AM

My husband received two phone calls in a row this afternoon, but “Scam Likely” popped up on his phone screen, so he did not bother to answer. I realize that sort of thing happens to many of us many times.

I heard about a scam that claimed to be a way to donate to help the war victims in Ukraine. Someone was skillful in inventing this fraud very soon after the invasion began,

A lady I used to work with told me how her mother was scammed and lost $2,000 because she thought she was helping her grandson who had supposedly been arrested. Whoever had phoned the solicitous elderly grandma was very convincing.

How upsetting to think about people with clever imaginations and creative story-telling ability who selfishly use their talents to perpetrate evil trickery for their financial gain!

Have you ever watched television episodes that show in detail how an evil person can go to great lengths to outsmart victims to make a profit or get revenge for a past encounter? Whether the stories are true or not, it is evident that many people have extremely creative minds that can be used in terrible ways.

So what about our creativity? What about those gifts and talents God has given us? Are we supposed to use our talents and gifts to spread evil for selfish pursuits? What kind of example does that provide for others? We know the answers Jesus would give. We, ourselves know what is overtly evil, but we have to be on the lookout for rationalizations we might excuse or oversights we could lazily ignore.

Creativity involves planning and personal touches. Creativity gives life and love. We read in the Bible that we are made in Creator God’s image, so with that comes accountability. We know we should use our God-given talents with love in mind. I suggest a “DSD” day every now and then: a day during which we do something different to spread God’s love. We might phone folks we don’t see too often just to wish them well, perhaps share good wishes, or tell them of a little blessing we have experienced recently. Instead of a “scam likely” it will be “love likely.”

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Topics: use your gifts, Sharon Krause, sharing our gifts

My Norfolk Island Pine

Posted by Sharon Krause on Jan 31, 2022 6:00:00 AM

This past Christmas I received a surprise gift from a new acquaintance: a small Norfolk Island Pine tree in a silver pot. It resides atop my computer table in the kitchen, so I look at it often. In a way, it is like a new little friend given to me by a new human friend. As frequently happens, I have been led to some blog-worthy thoughts.

Do you ever think about the little surprise gifts God has given you? He gave me a little poem about a snowflake one day; another time, it was a favorite song popping up on the car radio at a time when I was feeling a bit weary. One day a friend from many years ago found my phone number and called me. Some people call those things coincidences, but I don’t.

I am partial to green, so my little green friend is certainly welcome in my home. Liturgically, green is the color of hopesomething we all need after two years of a pandemic. The tree is a lovely deep green color, and I pray our hope runs deep for a happier, healthier, year ahead.

   (B)ut the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,

   in those who hope in his steadfast love. (Psalm 147:11)


   For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your

   welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

So long as I remember to water wee “Verdie” (the name I have given my tree), it will continue to grow. I believe Verdie has good roots in the soil in that silver pot. We, too, strongly rooted in a belief in a loving, ever-present God, can grow to be more loving and understanding of others. I don’t know how high Verdie will ultimately grow, but we can challenge ourselves and see how much we can grow closer to our Savior Jesus in this new year. We have to nurture our faith with a faithful prayer life and stock up on spiritual food for thought.

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Topics: use your gifts, Sharon Krause, silent prayer

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