Saturday, June 21, 2008

Don't Worry Twice.

An Angel says, 'Never borrow from the future. If you worry about what may happen tomorrow and it doesn't happen, you have worried in vain. Even if it does happen, you have to worry twice.'
1. Pray
2. Go to bed on time.
3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.
4. Say No to projects that won't fit into your time
5. Delegate tasks to capable others.
6. Simplify and un-clutter your life.
7. Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)
8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places. schedule, or that will compromise your mental health.

9. Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don't lump the hard things all together.
10. Take one day at a time.
11. Separate worries from concerns . If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you do and let go of the anxiety . If you can't do anything about a situation, forget it.
12. Live within your budget; don't use credit cards for ordinary purchases.

13. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.
14. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble.
15. Do something for the Kid in You everyday.
16. Carry a Bible with you to read while waiting in line.

17. Get enough rest
18. Eat right.
19 Get organized so everything has its place.
20. Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life.

21. Write down thoughts and inspirations.
22. Every day, find time to be alone.
23. Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don't wait until it's time to go to bed to try and pray.
24. Make friends with Godly people.

25. Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.
26. Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good 'Thank you Jesus .'
27. Laugh.
28. Laugh some more!

29. Take your work seriously, but not yourself at all.
30. Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can).
31. Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most).
32. Sit on your ego

33 Talk less; listen more.
34. Slow down.
35. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.
36 Every night before bed, think of one thing you're grateful for that you've never been grateful for before. GOD HAS A WAY OF TURNING THINGS AROUND FOR YOU.

'If God is for us, who can be against us?'
(Romans 8:31)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Growing Old


I am an old woman! Even if i did not know my birth date, I would see my age in the faces of others. It is interesting to grow old.

My husdand and I married as teen agers and wanted a large family. After our youngest, David was in school, I enrolled in college classes as a “spare time” or hobby activity.

As a pastor's wife and mother of seven, spare time was not readily available. I started as a Histoy major but suppose I aged into the study of aging. I finally earned a Bachelor of Interdisciplinay Studies, and in addition, a Certificate in Gerontology after our children had earned college degrees and were married.

While a student at Georgia State, one day I was writing a paper about “growing older” for one of my Gernotology classes. I sat at my desk looking at the last two words I had typed. Two words; not just one! “Old” may be a word we avoid but “growing” in one that opens up all kinds of positive possibilities.

To some degree, at least, we can choose to grow old rather than just get old.

My internship in Gerontology was at the Christian City Complex which included a nursing home, assisted living, Alzheimer’s unit and retiree homes. I saw examples of both kinds of aging. Some grew as they aged. Others just got older in fear and bitterness.

It is true that often when we walk in Nursing Homes and see blank stares and some pitiful conditions, we think “old” is tragic and say in our hearts, “Oh Lord, I do not want to get that old.”

However, statistics tell us most of the elderly live in their own homes and take care of themselves. The percentage of the “frail… disabled” is small, much les than 10% the last time I checked.

Regardless of our present age, if we live long enough there is an old man or an old woman in our future:

Someday . . .Somehow . . .Somewhere in time
She's waiting . . . I will see
The old woman . . .Time is making
Time is making . . .out of me!

Will she be a sad complainer?
A fretful tenant of the earth?
Or a kind, productive person
Filled with happiness and mirth?

Please be patient . . . God is making
Molding slowly . . . Out of me
A shining portrait . . . He has promised.
Just you wait and see.

He is smoothing out the roughness,
Polishing the dreary places
Filling life with joy and gladness
Pouring out His gifts and graces.

God remake me . . . in Your image.
I want to like her . . . when I see
The old woman . . . time is making,
Time is making . . . out of me!

by Ruth Baird Shaw <><

Monday, June 16, 2008


When I was in high school, we were required to prepare a deck of vocabulary words. On the 3 by 5 cards we wrote a word on the front and the definition of the word on the back.

These cards we carried with us to study new words and to make them a part of our vocabulary.

As adults our stacks of vocabulary cards kept growing as got into jobs, marriage or moved into college and perhaps into graduate school.
My husband and I married as teen agers, and raised seven children. I finally graduated from college after our children were grown and went to Seminar

y and earned a Master of Divinity degree as a middle aged widow.

Those of us who enrolled at Candler School of Theology (Emory University) remember our first class when Dr. William Mallard said, “When you go home today and you are asked
what you learned in seminary you can say, 'uh Hermeneutics.’" So we added “hermeneutics” without the “uh” (as well as other theological words ) to our vocabulary. Mallard defined " hermeneutics"as “the science of the interpretation of Scripture or method of exegesis.”

Let us imagine each word in our vocabulary… is on a 3 by 5 card and the cards are stacked in rows on a table. As we write and/or as we speak…even as I am now writing…words are selected and combinations of words are used…to communicate…to convince…to tell a story…to relay a message.

All the words in our English language use only 26 letters. Everything we need to know…all the words used to express all meaning can be said or written using only 26 letters. Yet it takes a thick dictionary to hold them all.

And we are sometimes speechless. We are often inadequate when it comes to selecting the right combination of words and putting the words together to really communicate with one another.

I suppose all of us who have an interest in writing or speaking or in any communication, struggle with finding the right word…the correct combination of words…and with putting meaning into ”words.”

If we are a writer or a teacher, or a minister, in one sense, “words are the tools of our trade." Churchill said, “short words are best and old words are best of all.” It was said of Churchill, “He mobilized the English language and sent it into battle.”

Recently I had occasion to go to Fort McPherson. I stopped at the gate to get a pass. Two young soldiers, a man and a woman were in the gatehouse. They were talking loudly in sounds that sounded like serious argument. The young man came over to see my drivers license. As he was filling out my pass, I decided to ask about it. I asked if they were fighting or just clowning around. He said,“Oh we were just talking.” Just taking?

It got me to thinking about language…words…rhetoric.

Which comes first, language or thoughts?
Do words form or belief systems or do concepts?

Do concepts (from the depths of our subconscious)
give birth to our language…our rhetoric.

Words! In these few minutes…as I have been writing, I have taken a stack of words…short words…old words…words that tend variety…and arranged them as prose.
Prose is words which tend toward variety.

Poetry or verse in our culture is words arranged with repetition in their accent rhythm and which tend toward uniformity rather than variety.

The value of poetry is not confined to what is said. Equally as important is the language used …the words! Not just the meaning but being “surrounded by the words.”

In the Old Testament book of Ruth, we might say "Ruth was homesick. It is not the same as saying with Keats, “She stood in tears amid the alien corn”.

We might say “the surise was beautiful” but we catch our breath when Emily Dickinson
wrote, “I’ll tell you how the sun rose…A ribbon at a time.”

I close this meditation with some words, some theology vocabulary words…arranged as verse. And I suppose it goes back to our society being inundated with words.

The prophets of old came generation after generation with words about God and many did not "get it." The first verse in the book of John tells us one day in the city of Bethlehem "the Word was made flesh" and came among us and "we beheld his glory."

Could it be so often “what we are a building” is not a brave new world but a
Tower of Babel .
I pile my poetry words…Up high
And stand and gaze …Up to the sky.

And higher…High as eye can see

Early on…Diversity…
The “cutting edge.”…Plurality.

Then add “Process Theology”

I clap my hands… My words have power,
I dance around…My poetry tower.

Confusion…Babel tumbles down.
My words lie silent…On the ground.

And kneeling there…in wordless loss,
I find the”WORD”..Beneath a cross!

by Ruth Baird Shaw (copyright 1987)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Median Sib Cooks Sunday dinner for me.

The Median Sib, our middle of seven children came down to Georgia to check on her mother who had spent a few days in the hospital. One of the special dishes she prepared while here was "Creamed Chicken on Cornbread."

I found the recipe on one of her blogs, "Cabbie's Cooking." She wrote;
Creamed Chicken on Cornbread. "This recipe was given to me by a friend, and I’ve made some adaptations to it. I leave out the mushrooms and the peas, and it is SCRUMPTIOUS! You can also leave out the sherry - I usually do., This is a fantastic meal - one of those foods that makes you feel good - true comfort food. I’ve served it to company many times, and it always receives raves. Make a salad to go with it, and you have a complete meal."

Creamed Chicken on Cornbread
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups light cream (half and half)
2 cups milk
4 cups chicken (cooked and chopped)
8 oz. can mushroom pieces, drained
3 oz. jar diced pimentos, drained
1/4 cup sherry (optional)
1 pkg. frozen peas or one can of peas(optional)
salt and pepper to taste.
Melt butter. Add flour and salt; cook until bubbly. Add chicken broth. Stir with a wire whisk until smooth. Add cream and milk. Simmer 30 minutes. When ready to serve, add the other ingredients and heat thoroughly.

Serve over corn bread, cornmeal sticks or muffins. The creamed chicken is also great over toast. Yield 6 to 7 servings.

Carol doubled the recipe and invited her siblings. She served the creamed chicken over corn sticks, with tossed salad, fresh cantalope and had whipped up her special Sour Cream Pound Cake with a lemon glaze for desert.

Friday, June 13, 2008

To Die is Glory. To Live is Grace.

Harold E. Nicely tells how Justice William O. Douglas recalled that at age 6 or 7, his mother told him how wonderful his father had been.
The family had moved from a small town to Portland Oregon for surgery that proved fatal. Before the surgery his father had said; "If I die it will be glory. If I live it will be grace."
These words were beyond the understanding of a small child. But years later they came back with meaning to interpret a great crisis in his own life: To die is glory. To live is grace.
These words can only mean that beneath our laughter and our tears is the great foundation of the unchanging goodness of God's amazing grace that overflows the cup of life. Sometimes our journey is "walking in sunlight...heavenly sunlight." Sometimes the pathway turns toward the valley, even this is an appointment in the divine wisdom for a glory not yet seen.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tribute To Charles Columbus Shaw

Little known facts about Charles Shaw in reply to a letter from one of his children.

In thinking back, Charles had a lot of leadership skills early on. When he was inducted into military service at Ft Mac, they gave him the choice of what branch of service he wanted to serve in. He chose the Marines. He was put "in charge" of a group that were traveling together to the Marine base in San Diego, California for his basic training. His later service was in the South Pacific until the end of the war in 1945.

Charles Shaw served two years in the Marine Corps from 1943-1945. I think his leadership qualities must have been recognized because he only had a High School education at the time.

Charles, like most Marines, as the Marine hymn states, was “proud to be member of the United States Marines.” He served in the Marine Corps, Semper fidelis in World War II in the South Pacific.

“Always faithful“ was more than a motto to Charles and to his buddies and also to the wives and widows of these men, who do not question that they (not we) were indeed the “greatest generation.” In other words, we respected each other.

When he was a teenager, Charles wrote the "love letters" for many of his buddies. I can testify...he was good at it! Before we were married , he wrote to me every week. When he was away in the Marine Corps, he wrote several letters each week. I am sorry we did not keep the letters.
Another thing your daddy did as a teen ager which shows his uniqueness was "adopt" a child at the Methodist Children's Home. There had been something presented in church about the need. So Charles asked to "adopt a child" and spent some of his "hard earned money" on toys and clothes for the child they assigned him. I suspect many if not most of those who chose to participate in the "adopt a child" project of the church were people older and with more money.

He, as you know, was a wonderfully tender hearted man. And a worker!He delivered newspapers as a young boy. Later he had a Dry Cleaning route where he went around from house to house and collected clothes his customers wanted cleaned, took them to a Dry Cleane Service in Conyers. Later in the week he went back to Conyers to get the cleaned clothes and delivered and collected the payments. He made only a pittance but every little bit helped.

As soon as he was old enough, he went to work for Calloway Mills. He made the amazing salary of 25 cents an hour. As was common in those depression years, he gave all his paychecks to his Dad and Mother to help with household expenses. He did this right up to the week we were married.

Your questions have started me thinking about WHY we did not keep his Marine stuff together. It was not a time when one thought about family history as much as they do now. Mainly we did not think of family history because there was not leisure time then as now.

We lead such a busy life with him taking advantage of the Veterans Bill of Right to go back to school and finish college and then going for 3 years more of Seminary and such busy pastorates which he continued with love and committment after two heart attacks and bi-pass surgery and until death.