Free To Do Good

Brothers and sisters,
Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another,
for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

Romans 13:8

My last position in education was at the county level. This position allowed me access to many people and opportunities to serve which I might otherwise have never encountered. I very much appreciated working with others at this level to benefit our area children.

One new friend had been elected to a state level office. This person understood the possibilities that came with this position and was anxious to add good will and good sense to the mix. Over time, frustration mounted. Every attempt to transform a good idea into practice required support of not-particularly-good ideas in return. In the end, my friend found that too many bad ideas became reality as a result of the “deals” which had to be made to gather support. In the end, my friend moved on to a place where there were no strings attached to anyone’s good deeds.

We all occasionally find ourselves holding things over the heads of others to get our way. In the end, I never feel very good about this arrangement. I’d much prefer that the other person simply did the right thing because it was right. I’m quite certain that God prefers it when I do the same.

Dear God, please give all of your children the wisdom to discern what is right and to act accordingly. Help us not to hinder our own goodness or the goodness of others by attaching strings to good deeds.

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

No Strings Attached, Honest!

Brothers and sisters,
Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another,
for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

Romans 13:8

I retired from my career in education with a county level job. This position allowed me access to people and opportunities I might otherwise have never encountered. I very much appreciated working with others at this level to benefit our area children.

One new friend had been elected to a position at the state level. This person understood the possibilities that came with this position and was anxious to add good will and good sense to the mix. Over time, frustration mounted. Her every attempt to transform a good idea into practice required her support of not-particularly-good ideas in return. In the end, my friend found that too many bad ideas became reality as a result of the “deals” which had to be made to gather support. In the end, my friend resigned her elected position and moved on to a place where there were no strings attached to anyone’s good deeds.

We all occasionally find ourselves holding things over the heads of others to get our way. In the end, I never feel very good about this arrangement. I would much prefer that the other person simply did the right thing because it was right. I’m quite certain that God prefers it when I do the same.

Dear God, you’ve given us the wisdom to discern what is right and to act accordingly. Help us not to hinder our own goodness or the goodness of others by attaching strings to our good deeds.

©2018 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

We Are Family

How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!

Psalm 133:1

I admit that I can’t quite let go of the Chicago Cubs’ recent World Series win. No matter where I went before the Series and where I’ve been since, I encountered Cub Fans. It didn’t matter that we’d never met before. None of us could resist making a comment about the possibilities at hand. Since the Cubs secured that win, the talk continues. Hope-fulfilled is a beautiful thing!

Living together in unity is also a beautiful thing! It seems providential that the World Series played out in the heat of the pre-election day frenzy. For a little while, ones political party meant far less than ones sports affiliation. Since Cubby Blue was visible everywhere, there was nothing to argue except the number of games it might take to pull off a World Series victory. Even these discussions were less arguments than litanies of hope in the things to come.

Though I suffered with everyone else during Game 7, I watched through that final tag at the bottom of the tenth. I cried and cheered in unison with the rest of Cub Fandom for the team, the fans, the city, baseball -for everyone and everything! Being a part of the Cubs Family is indeed a taste of heaven.

As I consider just how wonderful this sense of family is, I wonder what I can do in the greater scheme of things to bring about unity among the rest of us. If the Cubs can do this after 108 years, I can certainly do something…

Patient God, we find so many reasons not to get along. Light our way with your loving ways and help to love one another a little more.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Hope in The Best…

“Lord, if you will do so, you can cure me.”
From Luke 5:12

When I was a little girl, my parents assured me that it is always appropriate to bring our troubles to God. We gathered in our living room to pray whenever serious illness or other maladies threatened. These prayerful gatherings and my parents’ seemingly familiar stance toward the Lord God encouraged me to speak plainly and directly in my own prayer. Though I would like to think that I have refined my approach a bit, I still find myself speaking with the Almighty as I would with my best friend. I never wonder if God is listening. Why question the obvious?

I admit that I have turned my eyes upward to moan and groan often over the past several months. This world is in a sad state. While I try to do my best to care for those nearby, I also pray fervently that the broader situation for humanity will improve. Today, I pray that those who were elected into office at every level yesterday search their hearts and turn their eyes upward for guidance. May all of our world leaders do the same. This world needs prudent and just, compassionate and peace-oriented governance more than ever.

In the mean time, I haven’t questioned God’s attentiveness to all of this. I also know that God always listens. Oddly, simply acknowledging these truths dispels the darkness and encourages my hope.

Dear God, thank you for listening. Now, please inspire those who govern with wisdom and the generosity of spirit necessary to lead competently and selflessly. May they serve all of your people rightly as you see it.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

No Strings!

Brothers and sisters,
Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another,
for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

Romans 13:8

I retired from my career in education with a county level job. This position allowed me access to people and opportunities I might otherwise have never encountered. I very much appreciated working with others at this level to benefit our area children.

One new friend had been elected to a position at the state level. This person understood the possibilities that came with this position and was anxious to add good will and good sense to the mix. Over time, frustration mounted. Her every attempt to transform a good idea into practice required her support of not-particularly-good ideas in return. In the end, my friend found that too many bad ideas became reality as a result of the “deals” which had to be made to gather support. In the end, my friend moved on to a place where there were no strings attached to anyone’s good deeds.

We all occasionally find ourselves holding things over the heads of others to get our way. In the end, I never feel very good about this arrangement. I would much prefer that the other person simply did the right thing because it was right. I am quite certain that God prefers it when I do the same.

Dear God, please give all of your children the wisdom to discern what is right and to act accordingly. Help us not to hinder our own goodness or the goodness of others by attaching strings to good deeds.

©2013 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved