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We are getting down to the wire here – have asked for help cleaning out a home in Torrington. I started the appeal on Wednesday, and here it is Friday. Owner has to have all items out by Sunday evening so that we can begin the second phase of her move.

Yikes, it is Friday, and we have two truck owners that have committed to being a good neighbor, a reliable Christian, a concerned helper, and we are again telling the story. Are you going to be part of it…

Call Shirley Zimmerman 860-597-7516 and be part of the solution.

If you have the vehicle, have compassion, and have at least two hours to donate to pick up stuff from one room only, then you are paying forward for the person who helped you when you were down.

Items taken from the home can be kept by you for your own sale (too late for owner to have one.) Or you can take items to the Goodwill store and donate, receiving a donation slip that is yours…

We need your able-bodied help and vehicle today, Friday. to commit at 4:00 or 6:00 p.m.;Saturday hours are 9:00 and 11:00 a.m., 1:00 and 5:00 and 7:00 p.m.; Sunday afternoon hours are 2:00 and 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. Call Shirley Zimmerman, 860-597-7516 to schedule. You will be assigned a single room. The owner and a friend will stay with you. It will take less than two hours.

Call Shirley Zimmerman, 860-597-7516 to schedule and let the blessings begin with all Glory to our God in the Highest…

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A Shout Out for Christian Action…

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2  

To Torrington Neighbors:  I have heard that a  Sister-in-Christ is in need of immediate help.  She must be out of her home in less than 10 days!  Her home is in Torrington.

Ten trucks are needed with a minimum of two workers per truck to empty her home.  We need one truck per room to completely empty the room and you can either bring items home for a sale or drop off at the Goodwill store.  If items are donated to Goodwill, the tax write-off will be yours, so get one.  The work has to be finished by late Sunday the 16th and then our second phase of help will happen. 

I, Shirley Zimmerman 860-597-7516, am in charge of scheduling, and the work can take place beginning today, Wednesday the 12th, from 2:00 until 8:00 in the evening.  Trucks that can come on Thursday, and Friday will be scheduled during the same hours.  Saturday appointments can begin at 9:00 and continue through 6:00.  Sunday afternoon the schedule will be from 2:00 – 6:00.  No trucks and work will overlap; one truck, one room.

We anticipate that each room will take a minimum of an hour, and no more than two.  Call me today 860-597-7516 with the day you can provide the service and I will schedule you a time and room that will work.  The owner and a friend will be in the room with you, and most items will go with you.

Consider the blessings you will receive to have helped out a neighbor, a friend, a Sister-in-Christ who needs you.  We have expectations that even if you cannot answer the call, the Lord will lead you to the person(s) who stand ready!  Please share so that the need will be met…

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2  

My Story

I’ve lived in several houses.  The first was a little apartment near the children’s grandparents.  I was found at a tag sale, filthy. The woman saw that I was sad, just as she was, and had to consider before paying the 25 cents I cost her.

She and her two little kids took me to their apartment and scrubbed me up.  “It’s a jewel,” she said.

That day, they went outside and picked from the early-flowering bushes, adding some berries and placed them in me so that I could brighten their scuffed table.

For several years, I travelled to the Cape in early summer where a kindly lady gave us a barn to stay in exchange for housekeeping and opening the main house.  Each day of those two weeks, my little family filled me with sea roses and shells and placed me on the makeshift table above the seawall where they ate.  We were so happy then.

My next stop was a farmhouse.  The family was growing.  There was a man in the house and more children. I sat on the dining room table, and we seemed a happy family for a bit.  As the days darkened, though, and the joy left the house, I was moved to a cupboard.  Sometimes, I was taken out and filled with fragrant flowers; no more wild flowers, early-blooming bushes or berries.  Most of the time, though, I was forgotten and I missed the days past.  Those were hard times.

We moved again. The children were gone, and we had a new generation of grandchildren.  Our home was filled with light and laughter, art and flowers, and there was a new man, a gentle man who filled me with tiny roses.  I was happy again.

Something has changed.  I’m going to a new home.  This morning the woman filled me with forced forsythia and berries from the lake, tears flowed down her cheeks.  She whispered so only I could hear… “You’re my jewel; you were a gift when we needed hope.  And now, someone else needs that love.  Be brave and kind and shine as you did with us.  Bring joy to your new home.”   And I decided that I would.vase for story

IMG_3011It was during my formative years that everything I ever wanted to know intellectually about God I learned from the Baltimore Catechism. I was eight or nine when I wrote my first biography about “Puppy Heaven” and read it to the classes at St. Francis School.  It would be my teen-age years, though, that I began to question God about my place in the world.  As Mary, the Blessed Virgin pondered and accepted God’s will, I wondered if I, too, could answer the call, whatever the cause.

Years later when I was introduced to the Bible, I realized that the catechism was my foundation on which my faith was born, but my real life story lied in the promises that God revealed between its pages and how I would apply them.

Life was not a breeze:  Overcoming was a challenge, and my biggest obstacle was wanting to fix things or figure them out on my own strength.  I soon learned, in my middle years, that if I were to stay in the present and not fear the future, I had to fully, in mind, body and spirit, accept a God who created me in His likeness; a Son who died that I might live; and a Holy Spirit who would guide me and turn my prayers into petitions and supplications that would bring me peace in the darkest of days.  I not only needed forgiveness, I needed to find thanksgiving in all things and accept that there was a master plan above the one I wished for my life and the lives of my husband(s) and children.

In my hunger for the Word, I grew to love Moses and wanted an honest relationship like his with God.  I wanted to wail that I could not possibly continue on the narrow path.  Then I learned about David and how much he sinned and how often he repented and wrote of his redemption through the grace of God.  This gave me hope for the future.  Jeremiah 29:11 confirmed it.

Oh, but life goes on, its ebb and flow, wins and disappointments and then discouragements that bring us to our knees and finally face down; our tapestry of life darkening with each breath.

I found:  Psalm 34:18 “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit” and once again held fast to the offer from the Balm of Gilead.

In my elder years, after one peaceful year of self searching and yearning to fulfill my destiny with Christ, I synthesized all I had learned on my journey and Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God”  took on a clarity that could not be denied.  When I was frantic and hemmed in by my circumstances, I remembered… all that God had promised and done.  I believed… that I would regain my strength through repentance and rest…Isaiah 30:15 promised that my salvation lied in quietness and trust.  I had hope… that this state of being that held me captive was temporary.  I needed to let go and let God shelter me with his divine and absolute and cleansing peace.  And it happened…  Mourning and sadness was turned to dancing and praise.  Once again my arms were uplifted to receive grace and embrace life.  Light had replaced darkness.

My life’s goal now is as a memoirist.  I turn my life’s happenings into a timeline to share my story.  I believe that the experiences of our seasons shape and grow our faith, increasing our capacity to love.

Accepting our challenges as a means to grow our faith helps us to push past fear and confusion and find purpose; seasons where God grows and uses us.

 

#Love 1 Another

A prayer for forgiveness:  O Lord, we come before you in repentance for our sin.  We have sinned against you in word, thought and deed.  We have not heeded the warnings given to us by the Holy Spirit, we have not looked for answers in your Holy Word.  We have mocked the warnings from friends, our pastors and counselors.  Forgive us, O Lord, not because of our righteousness, but of your mercy.

As I was praying and thinking of what message to bring to this post, I learned that Dr. Ronnie Floyd, President of the National Day of Prayer, had chosen the theme for the  2019 NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER!  It is “Love One Another Just as I have Loved You.” John 13:34

Perhaps some of you do not know that the National Day of Prayer was established in public law by President Truman in 1952, and celebrates its 68th year of one Day of Devotion throughout the United States on the First Thursday of May each year.  On May 2 2019, many of us will be participating in the event as our churches, pastors and leaders intercede in prayer for healing of our nation in all areas of influence:  government, military, media, business, education, church and the family.

Dr. Floyd fasted for 21 days seeking God’s word for this year’s event, and it meshes nicely with words of Martin Luther King Jr., whose life was celebrated this week…“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  

John 12:46 tells us: “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” 

Most of us, believers or not, have to admit that we live in a hate-filled secular world where words and actions seek their challenge through mistrust, fear and denial.  In the words of Solomon through Ecclesiastes 1:9 “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”  As a student of the Bible, and most recently the study of Daniel, we continually see similarities throughout all generations.  Can it be that this is the season to try love…

My question to you is:  Do we hear the word of the Lord who speaks and directs us to action and then denies it as Jonah in the Book of Jonah did?  As you will recall Jonah was told by God to go to Nineveh, a sin-filled city, to “preach against it, because its wickedness has come before me.” Jonah went the opposite way to “flee from the Lord.”  Love prevails, though, and Jonah’s story becomes a parable of God’s mercy.

Jonah’s story reminds me of mine and how I wanted to flee from an action because of fear.  Swimming in the pool at the Y one evening, a friend mentioned that our mutual friend, Claudia, was in the hospital, and it did not appear that she would live.  I continued to swim the laps, each stroke becoming harder and harder.  In my mind I visualized my last experience in the hospital with my father.  He had died that past week, and I certainly did not want to go back to the day we had taken him home.  The clock was in front of me…20 minutes to eight.  I knew I had to go.  Throwing on clothes, towel drying my hair, I prayed it was not too late.  It was after closing when I stepped off the elevator.  I was told Claudia had been in a light coma for the day, and I could certainly see her.  “Rub her arms lightly and speak softly to her,” the nurse said.  I prayed as best as I could in those early days of Christianity, before acceptance that I was worthy of His love.  Shortly after I entered the room and barely touching her arm, she opened her eyes and we immediately picked up the thread of fabric that had joined our lives…someone, I thought a male nurse came while we struggled with scripture.  He sat with us for long minutes, explaining the text as he understood it.  He shared his testimony as we claimed ours.  A call to the hospital the next day let me know that Claudia had died, slipping into a deep coma after I left.  There was no knowledge of a male nurse on the floor that night.  To my Sisters and Brothers in Christ:  Do not miss the task and the blessing it will bring.

Ephesians 4:31-32 tells us, “ Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”  That evening with Claudia and the days that followed were the beginnings of a faith-filled journey that has no destination.

1 John 3:1 helped me to understand what I had to do to love…“See what kind of love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”

Romans 13:8-10 tells us:  “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”

Jesus the Christ died and He rose from the dead. We receive, and He transforms, indwelling as a light in our spirit, so that all might know us by our love for one another.  This is the Gospel.

1 John 4:7 instructs us, “Let us love one another, for love is from God.”

A prayer for Hope:  Father God, restore us that we might seek your face with our whole heart, rebuking the lies that have worked their way into our souls.  Create in us a new heart that is white as snow and lead us to our purpose here on earth.  Sweeten us O Lord that we might be pleasing in your sight and remembering your promises to us, give glory to you in all that we are and do.  To you, O Lord, is the glory.  Amen and Amen.

 

 

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Thinking of purchasing a home this year?  If so, it’s one of the most important buys of your lifetime.

Are you a first-time home buyer or looking for a vacation home in Litchfield County?  If so, you should consider the services of a buyer broker, an agent whose fiduciary responsibility is given solely to you as a client, representing your interests only.

 You’re probably wondering if it costs more to have your own agent than using the seller’s agent, is that right?  Commissions for the sale of a home are always built into the purchase price of the home so it is reasonable to say that the buyer pays for the total commission that has been set by the seller.  Seller will receive that amount less in his closing proceeds.  So, to recap, the buyer pays the commission in his/her accepted offer, and the seller’s proceeds are less that amount, usually split between seller and buyer agents.

Is there upfront money that I pay to have a buyer broker represent me.  All agents with a Listing, whether it be from Seller or Buyer is entitled to commission as written in the Multiple Listing Service, and will be paid on the day of closing.  After explaining to you a disclosure on the types of agency in Connecticut, and having you sign a document that you are not presently under contract with an agent, you and your buyer agent will discuss services. Prior to showing you listings, an agent is required to have you sign an exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement for a specific property or types of properties in one or more areas for a specified period of time.  That time can be one day, 30 days, or a year; whatever you feel comfortable with.  I generally prefer a face-to-face meeting with potential clients to see if there is a fit.  If so, I recommend a 30 day trial when both my clients and I look through listings to find those to see.  My listing with clients say that I am entitled to commission paid through the multiple listing service, no more.

I just want to see the house.  Will you show it to me?  Because of all of the home sites: Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia and others, you have found the house of your dreams and want to see it now.  Is that right?  I recently cancelled all of my lead-generating contracts. Why?  Because many of the people asking for information gave phone numbers that didn’t work, and those who did answer a call back didn’t have pre-approval from a lending institution, and even worst, did not know how much mortgage they could handle.   Yes, I can meet you at the house, but we have paperwork to do prior to seeing the house, so in your car or mine or the comfort of my office or the coffee shop.

So, where do you stand?  do you want an agent to represent you and your interests?  Would you like help in finding the house of your dreams; an agent who can give you a market analysis and show comparable sales so that you can make an informed offer; an agent who will negotiate on your behalf giving out only information that you have agreed to provide…An agent whose phone and e-mail and text is open 24/7.  An agent who has nearly 40 years experience as a broker and for a time was a property appraiser.  An agent who will work with your bank, your inspector and your attorney from day of offer until closing, renegotiating if necessary.   If so, you want a broker to represent you, the buyer.

 

 

 

I hate to swim.   When a child, about 10, my brother and his friends decided to play monkey in the middle with me, taking turns dunking me.  At that age, I was a good Catholic girl with a pious attitude of humility, however, I used every potty word possible that might stop them from killing me.  Yes, I had visions of not being able to catch my breath as I bobbed up and down.  My father, who could not swim, waded in the water as far as he could, and when my brother eyed him, they stopped and went away.  I can’t remember if there was a lifeguard there or not at Highland Lake in Winsted, CT, but it my father who was my hero that day.  (Those neighborhood boys never came to the lake with us again.  I don’t know if my brother had any consequences from the actions.)

The upshot of that day was that I cannot put my face in the water to swim…I’ve tried, but doesn’t work.

So, I utilize our fantastic swimming facilities at Lakeridge in CT, http://www.lakeridgect.com by doing pool exercises with weights.  Works fine.  I prefer early morning at the West Lodge, shown above, for the heated indoor pool and hot tub, followed by a quick shower and sauna.   Our community has a seasonal, heated outdoor pool at the East Lodge. The wall of windows at the Lodge face East, so early morning is very special with sun sparkling off the water onto the side wall.  Priceless.