Summer is such a great time, a time for teachers to recuperate, and a time to be with friends that are rarely seen during the school year. Met a couple of friends week before last, and we talked for over four hours. We had been trying to get together since February and had a lot of talking to do. This week, I met a friend I hadn’t seen in ages for coffee/tea, and she said they might have to post bankruptcy. We hadn’t talked in months even though she is dear to me. It was great to catch up and talk for a couple of hours.
We had our neighbors over for pizza Thursday evening, and then a couple of friends came over last night. (We ate really healthy! She brought delicious chicken & veggie soup, and I made a mixed greens salad with baby portabella mushrooms and then a fresh fruit salad for dessert.) So, summer is a blessing because it offers more time to get together with friends and let them know how much they mean to you! It’s a shame when life gets so busy that it’s hard to get together with those you love!
When I was a child growing up, we knew all our neighbors. I wonder, however, if neighbors nowadays know each other as well as they did back when I was growing up. I don’t think so. Back then, we knew nearly all our neighbors up and down the street and many on the streets on either side of ours as well. Now, we basically know our neighbors on both sides of our house (both are great neighbors, by the way), across the street, and a few others on our street and a few people on other streets in our neighborhood.
One thing that’s sad to me is hearing about some people who don’t even know their neighbors at all. It’s great to have neighbors to be friends with, to watch out for each other’s houses when gone, and to be there to help out when needed. One definition of “neighborhood” is friendliness appropriate to a neighbor (a feeling of neighborhood). Even though neighborhoods may change in dynamics, I hope the “feeling of neighborhood” never changes. So, one goal we have is to get to know even more of our neighbors.
There are many charities out there from children’s homes to health related ones and those dealing with health issues such as triangle direct media. With all of the good causes, everyone should be able to find something that tugs at their heartstrings. The ones that tug at our hearts the most happen to be children’s homes and causes that help children. But for someone else, it might be health related causes, especially if they’ve had a friend or loved one affected by a certain health issue.
We viewed a video at a Teacher In-service not long ago and found out that more than 16 million kids live in poverty. There are people right around us in our school neighborhood who are having hard times such as these, and many people all over the country are, in fact, due to the economy. People lose their jobs, they can’t make their mortgage payments, they lose their homes, and then they find themselves homeless.
Many people (several that we know and some that we’ve heard about) have lost jobs and are either still looking for work or have taken a job for less pay and satisfaction. Here in the Metroplex, we see new stores opening but yet other stores are closing and going out of business.
Things are not getting better in the teaching job market. A teacher I work with every day said that her husband has been applying for jobs and applied for a certain teaching job recently where there were 700 other applicants for that one position. He is still looking for work. Two years ago, a substitute teacher who was looking for a teaching job said there were 400 applicants for one position for which she applied. A couple of years ago, a friend of mine who works in school administration in another district said they had over 2,000 applicants for their jobs posted. I have relatives in other states, and it’s the same way there, too.
Churches are really good about helping those in their surrounding areas with free food and clothing, utility payments, finding places to live, etc. There are more and more people coming to church food pantries because they can’t find work. Times are hard! Some people’s situations can bring tears to your eyes.
There are so many people hurting emotionally and/or physically right now. So many lost homes and everything in the Texas fires. Hundreds have lost everything in all of the devastating tornadoes plus the hurricanes. There is nothing that we can count on to last in this world…and that’s when we hold on to our faith in God. He’s our strong tower, our refuge, our Abba (Abba is a term of endearment) Father who loves us!
The band Kutless has a song that means a lot to me. It’s called Strong Tower. We all need a place where we can feel safe. For me, keeping my eyes on God is that safe place, especially when I’m having a hard time. Please pray for all the many people who are hurting!
Jenny Bizaillion and her husband didn’t have any medical insurance, and he is overwhelmed right now by the enormous medical bills incurred during her hospital stay and then also for her funeral expenses. Jewelry for Jenny is selling jewelry designed specifically with Jenny in mind. Jenny’s daughter and close friend helped design the jewelry, and part of the proceeds will go directly to help with medical costs. It’s very touching to go to this site and read the story of Jenny and see the pieces of jewelry that reflect her life.
Thousands of prayers for Jenny were lifted up during her sudden illness (flu/pneumonia/sepsis), and you can still visit the FaceBook site set up for her! Although Jenny passed away at the young age of 31 and is greatly missed, her family believes God has a greater purpose in mind. Jenny’s passion for Christ has touched so many people’s lives!
Philanthropists are interesting to read about and learn what they do to help other people. For example, I was reading about richard willich recently, and the article said that he asks these three questions in his personal and philanthropic philosophy:
- Is it the truth?
- Is it fair?
- Will it improve things?
I think these are very worthwhile questions, and I like the fact that he supports positive youth programs as well as educational and historical preservation pursuits. That’s probably the teacher side of me that’s drawn to these pursuits.
Do you know of some interesting philanthropists?
Would you like to check the quality of drinking water in your area? Just go to the University of Cincinnati’s website and click on a major city on the United States map. A graph will show you the quality of the drinking water according to several different contaminates.
I’m surprised at how much chlorine is in our water. Well, actually I guess I’m not too surprised. We can definitely taste the chlorine in our water which is one of the reasons we’ve been using bottled distilled water. However, we just purchased a “Pur” water filter so we won’t be buying gallons of water now. There’s no chlorine taste using the filter, and we like the taste of the water so far.
These are five girls aged 8 to 13, the “Cactus Cuties,” singing the National Anthem – really good!! They seem so young but they can really sing. There is something that warms the heart to listen to these younsters sing a patriotic song such as this. I wanted to know the words to the whole song so I looked it up. We never sing most of the verses, but the last verse impressed me with this phrase:
“And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust’ “
When addressing your Christmas cards this year, please take one card and
send it to this address. If everyone sends one card, think of how many cards these
wonderful special people who have sacrificed so much would get.
When you are making out your Christmas card list this year, please include the following:
A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue,NW