The A, B, Cs of Loving One Another, “N”

By Elaine Baldwin | @elainehbaldwin

Never Forget! September 11, 2001

For those throughout the world who lost loved ones, friends and coworkers…

we ache for you…we pray for you…and we remember…

We Will Never Forget!

On this fateful day 11 years ago almost 3000 people entered eternity within just a few hours and a few hundred miles of each other. 19 of those knew they would die that day. They planned for it, but I doubt they really planned for what awaited them in eternity?

The rest of those who faced eternity that morning did not intend to die that day.

They awoke from sleep. They showered. They ate breakfast. They commuted to work or an airport. They road an elevator or got on a plane. They turned on computers, made final phone calls before takeoff and chatted by water coolers. They tested fire equipment and gassed up patrol cars. It was just another day.

But none of them planned to die on September 11, 2001. They didn’t know 19 others had picked that specific day to take as many with them to eternity as they could.

They didn’t know the kiss at the door would leave a lifelong impression or that the angry words shouted through closed doors would be their final legacy. They didn’t know the call they meant to make to a friend, a parent or their child would be a call never made. They didn’t know words unsaid would remain unsaid or that the forgiveness withheld would remain withheld.

But most of all they didn’t know that on that day they would meet their Creator face to face.

The question above all questions for them was…were they ready for that unavoidable meeting?

We must ask ourselves the same question because, in reality, we may think today is just like any other day…


 Psalm 119:93 “I will never forget Your precepts, For by them You have revived me.

photo credit: Puzzler4879 via photo pin cc

photo credit: TheMachineStops via photo pin cc

An Olympic Challenge

By Elaine Baldwin | @elainehbaldwin

Just six more days and the 2012 Olympic Games will take its place in history and what a remarkable place it will have. The old adage “Thrill of victory and agony of defeat” aptly describes what has taken place on the world stage in London, England.

I have appreciated the extended coverage of the Olympic Games this summer. I’ve enjoyed watching the better known sports of soccer, volleyball, gymnastics, swimming and track & field. But, I’ve also benefited from observing lesser known sports such as; women’s boxing, men’s field hockey, water polo and numerous others.

And who knew a ping pong ball and a shuttlecock (the little feathery thing used in badminton) could travel faster than a speeding bullet right at someone’s head?! But in all that I have watched I have been most impressed with the dedication of the athletes circle of support. Michael Phelps has his coach of 16 years, his mom and family. The male gymnast, Danell Leyva’s coach is his dad. And the entire women’s gymnastics team has their own cheering section for each and every performance. We see these faces. We hear some of their wired comments and shouts of encouragement. But for every coach or cheerleader we see on our television screens, there were hundreds of others who never receive any camera or media time.

I am confident, though, that these unknown faces are the real heroes and valued greatly for their influence and input into the life of the athlete they invest in. They don’t do it for the glory or the camera time. In fact some of them will never be fully compensated for their investment of time and expertise. They stay on the front lines with their athlete because they believe in them, because they have a calling to invest in someone else.

I cannot imagine anyone making it to the ultimate athletic accomplishment, The Olympic Games, without a solid circle of support and influence. It just can’t be done with a solitary mindset. Can anything?

Is there anything we have done that we can truly claim we did it on our own? Someone taught the greatest thinkers, writers and philosophers the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. Someone gave the finest musicians their first instruments and lessons.

But most of all, we all have had someone or several someones come along side us when we had setbacks or failed. Even an Olympian needs that kind of someone to truly succeed.

So, what is this week’s one another living challenge? Be the person to come along side someone else and help them with their Olympic challenge. Don’t think you know anyone with that kind of challenge facing them? Think again! Think outside of sports and just look around you. I know you know someone who is facing a tough decision this week or is staring down a life-threatening disease, or is facing hurdle after hurdle in their quest for an enriching life. How can you help? How can you come along side?

Someone put Michael Phelps into his first pool. Someone stood Gabby Douglas on her first balance beam. And someone gave Justin Gatlin his first pair of running shoes.

Be that someone this week!

In the Nick of Time

Where would we be if our favorite hero didn’t show up just in the nick of time? Or how many ordinary agreements would  become historical events if the key piece of information didn’t show up in the nick of time? And even more importantly, how could we survive if those steaks weren’t pulled off the flaming grill just in the nick of time?

Our books, movies, video games and even music would be quite ordinary and boring without the arrival of you can fill in the blank (_______) in the nick of time. Superman, The Green Hornet, Jack Bower and even Lassie would be useless to us if “in the nick of time” were removed from their plots.

Truth be told we live for and fantasize about in the nick of time moments. From our early girlhood dreams of our knight in shining armor rescuing us to a young man’s daydream quest to thwart the assassination plot, it is the “in the nick of time” element that awakens all our senses and makes the dreams worth dreaming. I mean, come on! What good is a dream if the prince arrives days ahead of when the damsel is to be married to the bad guy.

The phrase, “in the nick of time”, means “just in time, at the precise moment”, according to Phrase Finder. It came into use in the 16th century to signify someone being on time for an event. Originally, the phrase was “in the nick.” A nick referred to the notches placed on a tally stick to measure time or to keep score. “Of time” was added years later and was, at first, considered redundant. Gee, imagine that…the English language being redundant.

God is a true in the nick of time God! He does everything “at the precise moment” He intends for it to be done. But unlike, Lassie and Superman, He isn’t chasing through unknown hoops or looking for phones booths to accomplish His just in the nick of time plans. He knows exactly what, where, when and how the precise moment will be executed. I would save myself a lot of hand wringing and pill popping if I could just let that simple truth permeate my soul and daily living.

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Revelation 22: 12,13

In other words, He, Jesus Christ, is coming back to claim His own, me, just in the nick of time!