I told her to put on some good music and turn it up loud.

Thankful Notes (#240)

A young woman in our church has been volunteering quite a bit lately because the restaurant she works at is temporarily closed due to the pandemic. Today she arrived first thing in the morning and spent hours and hours into the afternoon organizing our Food Bank and putting together bags of groceries.

There’s a local writer who I enjoy following on Twitter… today she said:

“One thing you learn about in crisis is who cares about just themselves and who cares for others.

It’s interesting to see who leverages petty grievances to generate outrage, versus the holy multitude shopping for the elderly, sewing masks, operating food banks, working overtime, cooking free meals, volunteering for spiritual support, donating blood, working on start-up projects, coordinating shop local campaigns, feeding medical staff, funding grants, reducing rent, etc.

I’ve watched a church distributing Amazon Fresh donations to hundreds of low-income families this week. An unemployed friend donating food and PPE supplies to seniors. Meals delivered to a nurse. Lunch for a man with no family. Groceries sent to a home after a virus death.

Daily I’m amazed to see such acts of generosity and service, everywhere.”

I agree. Pressure reveals what’s really inside us.

And I am so thankful for those who are stepping up and offering themselves and their resources to make life a little better for others.

This past weekend, between the Friday delivery route and our Sunday Drive-Thru Food Bank, we gave out approximately 100 bags of non-perishable groceries plus bread, bags of perishable groceries, and toiletries.

The Kent School District ran out of the boxes of lunches for kids and some teachers contacted us for help in providing food for their students.

It’s been a busy week for our Food Bank. I’m a little worried about more going out than is coming in, but I also know how good and generous the people of NWLife are.

Today I received a message on Facebook from someone who came to our Drive-Thru Food Bank on Easter Sunday, not for food, but just for Easter baskets for her kids. She said, “Thank you and your team for giving those Easter baskets. You guys were my saving grace. —From a VMC nurse”

Pastor Andy was the one who went up to her car on Sunday. He later told me she was still in her scrubs, coming from working a double shift, and very thankful to be able to have something to give her kids on Easter.

After a morning meeting, I was ready for lunch. Since I didn’t bring anything from home, lunch was what I could find in the church kitchen. Bread. Cheese. Butter. Red bell pepper. I made grilled cheese and sliced the red pepper to have on the side. It was good.

Later I received a text from Shari asking if I wanted anything from McDonalds. She was out with my dad running some errands and getting him some lunch. I told her about what I’d made for my lunch and thanked her for taking care of my dad. Then I told her to put on some good music and turn it up loud.

When I came home, I helped Shari make lasagna and put it in the oven. While dinner was cooking, I took my dad and Camper for a walk around the lake. After the walk, we sat at the table outside on our deck and ate together with Shari and Ashah.

We have this tree that we purchased last year at Flower World in Maltby. I forget its name now, but it has this wonderful scent in the Fall just before the leaves start dropping… it’s like cotton candy. I walk by the tree multiple times every day because it’s right outside our house, and just seeing those fresh, growing leaves makes me smile and look forward to the Fall.

“No one ever died saying, ‘I’m so glad for the self-centered, self-serving, and self-protective life I lived.’ Offer yourself to the world—your energies, your gifts, your visions, your spirit—with openhearted generosity.”

—Parker Palmer


I am a husband, father, pastor, leader & reader. I love God, love people & love life.

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