The Word: November 2016

Psalm 36:7-8 “How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights.”

This month I celebrate one year of unbridled gratitude.

Last year a group of friends got together to say, “I will acknowledge God’s saving grace and my reliance on Him by writing a daily list of blessings.” I promised that I would write one blessing each day and never repeat that blessing as there are so many in my life. So each evening, as part of my spiritual discipline, I write in a special book one of the blessings that I recognize that day.  Sometimes it is difficult to select only one blessing among the many.

I’d like to share some of these blessings, highlighting some those blessings which have been experienced by the guests and residents of Meeting Ground and Cecil County Men’s Shelter:

What a blessing that Meeting Ground is beginning its eleventh season of Emergency Rotating Shelter. There is not enough ink or space to thank everyone involved in this effort. Today I will especially lift up in prayers of thanksgiving the volunteers who are now preparing for their week and preparing the space at Five Rivers Church. (Below are members of Journey Church assembling beds and painting, painting, painting!)

What a blessing that the men at Cecil County Men’s Shelter enjoyed a special feast courtesy of George’s BBQ on Veterans’ Day and will again enjoy great gifts on Thanksgiving. Even more special is the fact that under the leadership of staff member Jeanne Tracey, the residents of Cecil County Men’s Shelter will be preparing the meal for the commemoration of Homeless Memorial Day on December 21st. Please hold the date a special invitation will come to you in early December.


What a blessing that “LB” is enjoying his new home, and what a good reminder to all of us that the simple pleasure of home is one of the greatest gifts of all. Yes, a simple pleasure that takes efforts by so many working together. We rejoice knowing that simple pleasure is really not so simple especially for those who encounter so many barriers.larry-brashears



What a blessing thabby-huffman_mom-leslie_wh-childrens-play-areaat Abby Huffman and her mom, Leslie, are re-designing and decorating the children’s play space at Wayfarers’ House. When I dropped by and saw their work  I chatted with them about children’s books and my personal favorite Stone Soup, a story which celebrates and encourages collaboration. It is a wonderful story of how many people working together accomplish something for the good of all. That message is so true at Meeting Ground!



What a blessing that so many people are working tirelessly and giving generously to sustain the services of Meeting Ground and the Cecil County Men’s Shelter. Oftentimes these efforts get overlooked by almost everyone. A great example is Gary Cochran a volunteer at the Mary Randall Center who quietly provides socks and underwear to those most in need. It is a delight to watch Gary slip someone a pair of socks and see the flood of gratitude on the guest’s face. It is a constant reminder to me of how important all the “small” things are. If that were not enough, Gary and his wife, Laura, donated funds to Meeting Ground so that we could purchase a new dryer for the Mary Randall Center. Gary joked that this was really in his self-interest as he was falling behind in folding towels because the old dryer was ineffective.

What a blessing that the community is supporting and sustaining Meeting Ground. The North Elk Coffee House at St. Mary Anne’s is a special delight as was the amazing Empty Bowls at Art Space on Main held October 7th.

What a blessing that each and every day I witness the incredible outpouring of love and grace.

Remember that God is smiling about you.



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