Reflections on Rice

• It takes a seed to form ideas to have a vision for great things
• We often underestimate the impact of one life upon another
• The effect of one person will have lasting results
• Fear and uncertainty can blind us or hold us back from taking positive steps
• Sometimes we need to remove things which prevent us from growing and becoming
• Cultivate good qualities and use them to benefit others
• A single skill or interest has endless possibilities for expression
• We absorb attitudes, assumptions, ideas, expectations, and philosophies from everything around us
• It is prudent to keep a clear head and take time for contemplation before making decisions and following a chosen course
• Let experience bring calmer responses and clearer insight
• Offering encouragement and value to others is like water to sustain a body
• Food for the soul comes from God, the great provider and source of life

From “Reflections from the Everyday”
“Charlotte-Anne Allen

Gracious Grace

Crash! “Oh, no! I didn’t know that was there!”
“Goodness gracious! What happened now?!”
Responding with good grace we cleaned up the mess together.

Ever been in a situation like that? … I was thinking about how we use the words grace and gracious in so many ways. Handy for many circumstances! “Grace” is the middle name we gave our daughter and “gracious” is literally “filled with God’s grace”. They are beautiful words rich in meaning.

What thoughts or pictures do these two words bring to your mind? Perhaps you think of love, kindness, goodwill, forgiveness, generosity, and maybe a certain ease or elegance…

Can you think of some positive uses of these words? Maybe you have another saying or proverb. Here in the south, we “say grace” when we offer thanks to God before a meal. We are grateful when we have “gracious plenty”, whether that is something physical, emotional, or spiritual. A person’s “saving grace” is some quality about them that balances or makes up for not-so-great qualities. Responding “with good grace”, with patience and politeness, is a good attribute to pursue! Whom of us have not appreciated a “grace period” for some overdue or forgotten responsibility or chore? “Goodness gracious” fills many a need for expressions of surprise, dismay, or awe… Sometimes there are just no other words.

What about some other phrases that express our needs or mistakes?! “By the grace of God” acknowledges our own need for God, as well as our humility and our compassion for others who are in difficult circumstances. We all “fall from grace” at times, losing favor or the liking of others, whether it is a word misspoken or unsaid, miscommunication, or any number of perceived or real shortcomings.

I can relate to Paul as he talked about grace in his letters to the church in Corinth. He said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect” *(1 Corinthians 15:10). He reminds us that it’s God’s grace that brings life and that we need to extend that grace to others. Paul called this the “grace of giving”. Isn’t that a wonderful way of putting it?!

But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
2 Corinthians 8:7

My prayers for us all is that even as we receive God’s awesome gift of grace, we will also excel in this grace of giving.

Charlotte-Anne Allen

Share your thoughts!

Reflections on Pancakes

● The right combination of ingredients brings out our best
● The blending of our experiences shape who we are
● Consider the ways you can improve yourself and then follow through
● Using a fresh perspective opens our eyes and hearts
● Making needed adjustments keeps us out of the rut and enriches life
● Memories are thoughts that bubble up and burst upon us, often at unexpected times
● Be true to your faith and commitment wherever you are
● A calm and even temperament is much to be desired
● Adding some sweetness brings smiles and shares happiness
● Begin all things with a solid base as you look ahead
● Establish positive routines for development and accomplishment
● When we’re feeling the heat, God’s Spirit helps us to rise

Charlotte-Anne Allen

“As…so” Proverbs for Summertime

As cool weather moves to summer heat, so does time flow ever forward

As gatherings bring reunion, so friendship brings renewal

As outdoor activities and fair weather draw us, so encouragement and enjoyment bring us together and build positive relationships

As lightning flashes and thunder roars, so is one who seeks attention or hides pain

As vacations and travel bring welcome breaks, so shared experiences and time bring greater understanding and perspective

As fields are harvested, so completed work satisfies and brings provision

As yards are mowed and gardens tended, so treat your own bodies with care

As the smells of summer cooking waft through the air, so does the telling of stories and revisiting of sights renew and build memories

As the sun’s light and heat engulf us, so may God’s Word fill us

As water cools and refreshes, so does a positive spirit bring calm and hope

– from “As… so Proverbs”
Charlotte-Anne Allen

Reflections on Ashes

• The good that we create lives on to nourish others
• Live in consideration of the legacy you will leave
• Things left behind are windows for memories
• A little preparation helps prevent unforeseen situations
• Commitment results from warm embers and brings about change
• Developing strong character and integrity sets one apart
• Judging worth by appearance is speaking without experiencing
• Seeing ruins may bring both sadness and wonder
• Releasing negative thoughts and emotions is not an easy task
• When trust is broken relationships can crumble and blow away
• A spirit of renewal lends strength to rise above adversity
• Humility is not weakness but is gentle strong compassion
• A quiet presence during grief brings comfort
• God takes the ashes of our lives and creates masterpieces

From “Reflections on the Everyday”
Charlotte-Anne Allen

“As… so” Proverbs for Springtime

  • As the soil is tilled, so are we made ready to receive
  • As seeds are planted, so are our thoughts guided
  • As creatures emerge from winter shelters, so we step out to discover and grow
  • As flowers rise from the earth, so life is reborn
  • As the sun warms and draws new life, so kind words bring healing and hope
  • As spring rains soak in and nourish, so the sharing of knowledge and wisdom betters our lives
  • As wind tears and roars, so ill-spoken words tear and hurt
  • As weeds are cleared to make room for desired plants, so removal of harmful relationships or habits encourages healthier lives
  • As bushes are pruned and stronger growth results, so we gain wisdom and strength through trials and experience
  • As flowers brighten and green buds burst forth, so music and laughter express joy and peace

from “As… so Proverbs
Charlotte-Anne Allen