Monday, September 23, 2019

HEARTS THAT LISTEN...

I was given this topic a few months back to prepare a lesson for our women's class.  The summer went a little different than planned and so I was starting to panic when I didn't have it completed in August and I was to present early September!

Anyway, it finally came together and I learned so much!  What I learned was mostly introspective on my part as far as being a listener, and a little more on how to handle situations better.  One of my favorite resources was this book.  It's part psychology and part listening tips.

Over the last couple of months I began to notice people's conversation skills, how they listen, and examples of good listeners.  When we visited the Jimmy Carter Presidential Museum and Library in Atlanta, Georgia, there was a great example of listening that stood out to me.  I used it in my talk:

Last Saturday, I visited the Jimmy Carter presidential museum in Atlanta.  I was in elementary school when he was elected, so all I really remembered about President Carter was that he was a peanut farmer and had a daughter close to my age.  It was very interesting to me as an adult to look at his life, and see how his faith showed through his presidency.  One display highlighted the Peace talks that he set up in 1978 at Camp David, Maryland.  This was a time when good listening led to peace for two countries. 
President Carter had established a friendly relationship with both Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.  Despite their initial efforts for peace, the two countries had a long history of difficulty with each other.  First Lady Rosalynn Carter suggested to her husband that inviting them to Camp David, where privacy might provide the setting for a breakthrough.  Both men accepted, but with their personality differences, it was a hard task for President Carter to negotiate.  One was very concerned with details, whereas the other left the details to his advisors.  Carter had to listen well as he drafted and re-drafted peace agreements.  Do you know how long these peace talks lasted?  13 DAYS!  After the first 3 days, they reached an impasse.  Carter thought he might have a fistfight on his hands.  He then went back and forth from Begins cabin, then to Sadats cabin with concessions.  At one point Sadat decided to leave and ordered for his helicopter. Carter convinced him to stay.  Then Begin decided to leave but before doing so he asked Carter to autograph pictures taken of the three men for his eight grandchildren.  Unbeknownst to him, Carter’s secretary had found out the names of each grandchild.  Carter signed each photo “with love and best wishes to ______” and put each individual name.  When they were presented to Begin and he saw the names of each child written on each photo, he got tears in his eyes and so did Carter.  He said, “Why don’t we try one more time?” 
Rosalyn confirmed this story and she believed the pictures touched Begin’s heart as he thought about his grandchildren living in peace.  It led to the three men being able to come up with a peace agreement between the two countries, and the Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel stands to this day.  As Carter addressed Congress about it later, he quoted from Jesus’s Sermon on the mount, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”  Jimmy Carter showed excellent listening and negotiating skills and great perseverance during that time.  

The bottom line of the lesson was LISTENING IS LOVING.  💜

In Matthew 26, Jesus spoke the greatest commandment:  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it:  Love your neighbor as yourself.  

Having a listening heart is loving.  Having a listening heart encourages others and helps us serve them better.  Hearts that listen can resolve problems, heal divisions, and promote peace.  Hearts that listen can change the world.

Don't you love it when you dive into a topic and enjoy learning and sharing about it?





Friday, September 13, 2019

CHILLIN IN SENOIA, GEORGIA...



Veranda B & B in Senoia, Georgia
 On Labor Day Weekend we met up with our old Bible Study Group - 3 other couples we've maintained a great friendship with for 36 years!  We live in 3 different places now.  One of the other couples planned this trip to Senoia, Georgia.  I really had no idea about anything we were doing and it was refreshing to just go and enjoy!  I usually love trip researching but my plate had been really full of women's ministry lately, so I was happy to do whatever!


The Veranda B & B was such a pretty place filled with antiques!  Built in 1906


We ate so much good food!  Kinda crazy with the fried stuff, though!  Over 4 days we had fried deviled eggs, fried chicken, fried okra, sweet potato fries, fried green tomatoes, fried apples (breaded), and fried chicken livers!

Matt's Small-town Pizza wasn't so small!

Nic & Norman's

The town itself was pretty small.  We found out it's claim to fame is that many movies have been filmed there.  Downtown we saw stars in the sidewalk that represent different ones like Driving Miss Daisy,  and Sweet Home Alabama.  Right now the Walking Dead series is being filmed there and they have a Walking Dead tour (we aren't fans so didn't do this).  In the town there are some beautiful new homes and also old broken down barns.  Kind of interesting!


Walking Dead windmill and a cute church!


We visited Calloway Gardens and they had a balloon festival there! Loved the balloon glow.

This was a double dip....seriously!  But it did cost $8, so I guess he should've expected it to be big!


We drove down to Warm Springs where FDR's Little White House is and enjoyed the museum and the house.  He chose this area because the hot natural springs made him feel better with his Polio. 


I hadn't heard about the Unfinished portrait.  This was being done right before he felt ill and died, at the Little White House in Warm Springs.

This was at the International Market in Atlanta.  It was a huge indoor market that sold all kinds of international foods, including shark!  We all got snacks there, and skipped lunch.  We also spent a few hours at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Museum and Library.  I absolutely loved learning more about the president that was elected while I was in elementary school.  All I remembered about him was that he was a peanut farmer and had a daughter close to my age.  His faith was prominent in the museum and I really enjoyed it.

Back at the B & B, we had a fun picture taking session with everyone!




We had a great time together and ended on a Sunday where we worshipped together.  We were able to sit outside the B & B in this beautiful setting and share the Lord's Supper, a message, our prayer requests, and songs.  What a wonderful blessing to have these friends in our life!


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

LONDON THE SECOND TIME AROUND...

What to do when you've been to London before and hit all the main tourist attractions???

We tried to go to the Churchill War Rooms, but it was a very long wait.  So we went to the amazing British Museum (again)!  We also rode the London Eye, which I wouldn't recommend unless you have a discount of some kind (we did).



We ate dinner at a wonderful Turkish restaurant near our hotel.  


 Day two, I was on my own and walked around Kensington Gardens, saw many beautiful flowers, got kicked out of Princess Diana Memorial Playground (you could only go in there if you were with children), and had Afternoon Tea at The Orangery.




 I also shopped at nearby Portobello Road and got  some goodies, including a shirt from a thrift store!




The next day was church day -  I spent time at two very different churches!  St. Paul's cathedral was pretty amazing.  What i did not know before I went was it is second only in size to St. Peter's in Rome.  The architect Christopher Wren designed this one and helped rebuild St. Dunstan's.
 Lunch on the street - fried potatoes with all the fixings!

 Monument to the great fire of 1606


 StDunstan's in the East, a former church the city has let turn into a garden.  It had a lot of destruction due to the great fire, then Christopher Wren helped rebuild it.  After the blitz in WWII, it was not repaired but is now a quiet oasis in the city.  





Day 4 I did a lot of walking!  I tried to find a special store but didn't so I shopped a crazy huge cheap store called Primark.  Then I got back on the Tube near my hotel,walked to the Borough Market and had some delicious cheese olive bread and hot chocolate.  There were all kinds of turkish, meditteranean, fish & chips, etc., along with produce.  I also walked through nearby Southwark Cathedral - found out Shakespeare worshipped there and John Harvard was baptized there.   I walked on and saw many neat sights on my way to Tate Modern Art Museum.


A building they call the Walkie Talkie!


 Shakespeare's Globe Theatre - rebuilt by a nice American
Tate Modern Art Museum
Picasso!
 Street art



We went to a business dinner and this is the dress I bought for the occasion!

Last morning we found the hot chocolate place I was wanting to go to - SAID 1923. AMAZING.



After the hot chocolate, we checked out of our hotel and moved to a hotel right beside the airport.  We toured Kew Garden, which had some really interesting architectural things, and had a Chihuly exhibit there!  I loved it.  We also ate at a wonderful little cottage place outside the garden called The Original Maids of Honor, that had been recommended by a woman from the dinner the night before.  







It was a great end to the trip!  Thankful to get to spend some time exploring the world outside the US!