Ice Cream is Soul Food

While purging some old papers I came across a story my sister shared with me back in 1997.  It was sent to her anonymously so I can’t give credit to the author. Upon reading it again, I felt compelled to share its timeless message with you.

Last week I took my children to a restaurant. My six-year-old son asked if he could say grace. As we bowed our heads he said, “God is good. God is great. Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And liberty and justice for all! Amen!” Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby I heard a woman remark, “That’s what’s wrong with this country.  Kids today don’t even know how to pray.  Asking God for ice cream!  Why, I never!” ?

Is God mad at me?” As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table.  He winked at my son and said, “I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer.”

“Really?” my son asked.

“Cross my heart.”  Then in a theatrical whisper he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing),  “Too bad she never asks God for ice cream.  A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes.”

Naturally, I bought my kids’ ice cream at the end of the meal.  My son stared at his for a moment and then did something I will remember the rest of my life.  He picked up his sundae and without a word walked over and placed it in front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, “Here, this is for you.  Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes and my soul is good already.”



The elderly gentleman’s actions set the stage for a teachable moment for mom, the little boy and of course the woman.  We get so caught up into religious ideology that we forget Christ said to come unto Him with the simplicity and heart of a child.  Our grown up ways cause so much misalignment with our Heavenly Father and with each other.  The streets, workplaces, schools and churches are filled with people ready and willing to “rain” on your parade, inflicting their brand of “righteousness.”  However, we don’t have to become a carrier of negative attitudes and behaviors.  Each moment present the opportunity to cast our lot with the likes of the elderly gentleman, whose brief encounter, listening to the beauty of a child’s prayer, opened the door for joy. In that moment the sound of childlike innocence and laughter brighten the room, and gave purpose to an ordinary meal.  He  made a deposit into the little boy’s heart and soul which the little boy appropriately withdrew and transferred to the woman.  “Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes, and my soul is good already” he stated with the blessed assurance that God was not mad at him, and that he could share his blessing with her.

When was the last time you made such a deposit? ice-cream-sundae

Christ told us to love our enemies, and those who mistreat us. Perhaps if we shared our ice cream with those who need it, there would be a little more joy, love and forgiveness in those places that are much too dark and dreary.   Share some today.   You may be surprised to discover just how really good for the soul ice cream is.

 

 

On Purpose

While doing some spring cleaning, I came across this brief statement written (adapted) by my husband in 2003.

On Purpose

By the time I leave God’s great Earth, I hope the world would know that I truly existed. I may be invisible throughout my lifetime, to many.  I may presently shout out loudly, but with the softest of sounds.  My large shoe size may make only the smallest of footprints. My actions may often times continue unnoticed, but my contributions and impact are discovered, however small.

I have noticed throughout life that abundant and visible doesn’t necessarily equal fame and fortunate.  I have learned that a list, regardless of how tiny, can become a devastating feat.  I now understand; no matter how many attempts are made, I cannot please everyone.  I ‘ve come to know a great number of people well, only to find strangers amongst my closet friends.

No, I didn’t come close to inventing rocket science.  I didn’t make strides in the discovery of blood plasma.  I cannot say truthfully if I possess the wherewithal to create something as simple as a stop sign or a flashing yellow caution light.  Nor do I have the capacity to conduct great symphonies or preach dynamic sermons like the great masters before.

What can I possibly leave behind for all to bear witness to?

I can leave a legacy of strong will and good character.  I can leave my mark of kindness and humility on humanity of my time here on Earth. I can generously leave my true spirit of joy and inner peace.  I can share my hopes, dreams, challenges, failures and success; and above all, I can share my faith and love for God.  My Purpose.

I wanted to share this message, because right now my beloved husband is spending his day off mentoring a young man in the Big Brother/Big Sister Program. He is doing what he does best “On Purpose.”

Celebration of our son

I celebrated the life of our dear son Shawn who passed away on March 17, 1998. What a tremendous joy he was to so many. And he left a legacy of life and love that Michael and I cherish to this day. 

Thank you God for Shawn, his sons Mavrick, Jordan and for the awesome circles of family and friends you gave him and us. O Lord, you have blessed us beyond measure.  Thank you for to his sister Coquese, and brother Paul and those who, still to this day, remain part of this endless circle of love. These young men and women (adopted brothers and sisters) who came to us through their relationship with Shawn have enriched our lives. They have never left us, and have kept their promise to make positive life changes.  We and the greater community have benefited from their commitment and their deep and abiding love.  So out of tragedy came “a family and a community united by God’s love.”   As a result Shawn’s light still shines bright.  

It is with deep appreciation that Michael and I extend our thanks and gratitude to all who loved him, and to those who continue to demonstrate their love for us, for his family and for the community.

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Do You See What I See?

Saturday mornings are typically times when we try to breathe deeply, restore some degree of calm from a frantic and chaotic week. The weekends, for some is when they fully express their authentic selves as they engaged in family and community activities.  Words like rest, relaxation, fun and enjoyment resonate during these brief 48 hours.  Our souls and spirits seek and yes, yearn for these times when we can pause to see what’s ahead.  The problem is we often don’t or can’t clearly see what is before us, nor have allotted sufficient time to do so.  We need clear vision and focus that penetrates the veil of confusion and chaos so we can be prepared for what lies ahead.  Our spiritual and physical eyes need to be opened to the reality of our times, our homes and our communities.

Do you see what I see? This is a familiar phrase from an old hymn celebrating the birth of Jesus.  This short question is powerfully packed.   Seeing (vision) in the natural involves complex workings between the brain and the optic nerve.  Some are born with 20/20 vision which means they can see everything with crystal clarity.  It matters not if the object is small or some distance away, their brains registers the shape, color and distance of the object and relays this information to the eye and its receptors. During Jesus’ ministry he healed the blinded eyes, so those without sight could see in the physical.

However, there is also spiritual sight which requires transmission of information that allows us to see and be aware of activity in the principalities, dominions, etc. Elijah saw into those other dimensions and asked God to open the eyes of his companion, so he could see that the Lord’s armies were far greater than the enemy. Moses requested to see God’s face but was only permitted to see God’s glory walk by him and as a result his face shone with a heavenly light, and his spiritual vision was changed. 

Jesus’ disciples witnessed the miracles, but often failed to see who He really was and his mission.  When Jesus asked the question, who do they say that I am? Peter answered correctly, but even Peter’s spiritual eyes were dimmed.  

Unfortunately, we often have the same kind of eyes as Peter. We want a spiritual concierge, but not the Lord.  We want a provider, but not the Judge. We want the sermon on the mount, but not the one who overturned tables, and drove out the money changers.   And because our spiritual eyes are dull, cloudy we too fail to see Jesus as He really is. Therefore, we miss the signs of the times, the power, the judgement seat, and the wisdom, and other indicators of His presence and our purpose.  God wants us to see clearly so the information,and the truth about Jesus can be shared with those who are walking in darkness. 

Do you see what I See?  A star, a star shining in the night it will bring us goodness and life. It will bring us goodness and life.  Do you see Jesus as he really is?  Do you see who Christ is, and not what the world wants you to see? Do you see the Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace, The Bright and Morning Star…?  I hope so because your spiritual eyes can and should be a gateway to the revelation of Christ, and the joyous and powerful message that He brought us goodness and eternalImage life. 

True Woman Manifesto

This wonderful article published in 2009 offers great advice along with scriptural references for women seeking to honor God with their whole lives.
After reading it, I would be curiously to find out if you signed the declaration at the end of the article.
I welcome your comments and reflections.

True Woman Manifesto.

Have a blessed day.