Firstfruits began with an idea: How could women’s needs to gather with other women, experience God’s love and go forth more centered on their own giftedness and purpose be met? Then the Holy Spirit stepped in and something powerful happened!
In the beginning … Firstfruits began as a vision for a women’s ministry whose purpose was to gather women to experience God’s love. And as a result, be transformed!

As word spread about this unique opportunity, other parishes became interested in hosting a Firstfruits gathering. It became apparent to the founders of Firstfruits that this “gathering” needed to be moveable. We became known as a moveable feast of spiritual opportunities for women.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

I’m a big fan of Mr. Rogers. When the kids were little, our daily routine was lunch at noon, Mr. Rogers at 12:30, then down for a nap. I remember for a while, after our youngest was in all day kindergarten and I was home alone at lunchtime, I still tuned in at 12:30 with a sandwich and a smile. There was something so calming and reassuring about the words of his opening song, the sound of the trolley, and the sight of those six cardigan sweaters in his closet, not 75 golf shirts! (See my blog from 2/1/18)

I wanted to live in Mr. Rogers’s neighborhood. Things were simple and honest. He was always positive and encouraging. He made you feel good about yourself. He gave you the feeling that each day was special because you were part of it. Not to mention the trips to the crayon and the saxophone factories! And when he did address some more difficult topics, he always left you with a sense of hope regardless of the challenge. I think hope was one of the greatest gifts he gave his viewers, young and old.

We have the capacity to bring hope to the lives of everyone we meet. We heard this sentiment echoed by both presenters at our first men’s event at Firstfruits last week.  Dan Burnett and Tim Christian both spoke on the powerful positive effect we can have in the lives of everyone we meet. Dan outlines in his book, I Am CXO, Now What?, the six behaviors or attitudes we need to make our encounters with others positive and life giving—hope giving. He lists them as: Approachability, Positivity, Authenticity, Vulnerability, Humility, and Generosity. Sounds a lot like Jesus. Sounds a lot like Mr. Rogers.

There is a quote from Mr. Rogers with a similar focus. He says in his book, The World According to Mr. Rogers,  “ If you could only see how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of you that you leave at every meeting with another person.”

The world needs hope. The exhausted new mom, the grieving widow, the unhappily married, the recently unemployed, and the newly diagnosed all need a neighbor. You or I might just be that source of hope for someone that God puts in our “neighborhood.” What is that “something of you” you want to leave with each person you meet this week?

I was so excited to hear that there is a renewed interest in Mr. Rogers these days. There is a movie coming out about his life starring Tom Hanks. I can’t wait to see it. Maybe I’ll pack sandwiches and take my grandchildren. Then they can put me down for a nap!

Joan

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Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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