The Ant Hill

405 East Bismark Road, Grand Island, NE, 68801
© 2011 United Congregational Church of Grand Island

The Ant Hill

My Perfect Mini World

by United Congregational Church of Grand Island on 06/20/15

My Perfect Mini World

by Bonnie
It was a typical late Spring morning, the temperature had climbed to 81 degrees and my good friend, Audi, was getting a little anxious for a walk. As we drove to the lake, Audi seemed to say, "why do we drive to our walk?" "Well," I said to my little dog, "I love to reflect on what's happening in the world and Eagle Scout Lake helps me do that." And if she could speak, something other than Dog, she would have to admit she gets a lot out of the smells that surround the lake. The city has done such a good job in presenting a serene setting for the citizens of Hall County and surrounding areas. We park the car, make sure we are leashed up and get out of the car to the cheering and encouragement, for young ball players, on the field next to the lake. The water is blue and the foliage around the lake is at least 100 shades of green. The area is mowed to perfection, leaving many different volunteer weeds and plants in a designated area. The cattails in the lake are approximately six feet tall and seem to wave at us. Look Audi there is a grouping of milk weed, arranged perfectly, just enough space between them for the leaves and flowers to stand individually. The sunshine on the water and a slight breeze lit up the lake as if millions of diamonds had been tossed out on the water. The rustle of the old cottonwoods seemed to be in concert with the birds. Not too many people but those in attendance were, also, fun to observe. The ones who were responsive to a "Good Morning," and those who didn't raise their heads from their phones and those who smiled at what they were hearing on the head phones.  A few young bikers and a couple of elderly bikers. The silence of the walk was broken by the train whistle and Jake brakes on the highway. And then conflict . . . a Border Collie vs a Shih-tzu/Bichon. Luckily both owners restrained their pets and the incident went off without a scene. Again, I think I heard Audi say, "let me at him." Yes, all 17 pounds of you! What this walk brought home to me was such a feeling of calm and a reminder of all the beautiful things in my life, a life with very few liabilities. I took the time to look around at what God has made and could give thanks for things that really matter. My mind went to the relatives of those murdered in Charleston and how they found forgiveness in their hearts, perhaps the good outweighs the bad. Perhaps they know that God will not give them more than they can handle. Perhaps they know that those nine faithful Christians are in heaven and have seen the face of God. Bless those survivors and keep them strong, as for me I'm thankful for my perfect mini world.

Family Reunions

by United Congregational Church of Grand Island on 06/04/15

Summertime is the time for family reunions, have you finalized your plans? My Mom's big family have a family reunion every three years, I was being a critic of most everything about the event. Most of her brothers and sisters are gone and some of those meeting are second and third cousins. No one knows these people except their immediate family. Well as plans progressed, people start to communicate and there was a glimmer of interest in me. Then we were invited to a family reunion in Colorado, on the other side of my family, A reunion in which I knew absolutely no one, except through e-mail and a genealogy search program. We went and met wonderful people, who are my second and third cousins, imagine that - I thoroughly enjoyed meeting them. Now it's no one's fault that these families moved away from Nebraska as world War II began. the opportunities for work and a different life-style attracted them, so off they went and now ninety of "them" are meeting in South Dakota to get acquainted. And it sounds like fun, after my attitude adjustment. We lose so much when we do not take the time to talk to people, to hear their stories, it enriches our lives and grounds us. So when we Italian American descendants converge on the Black Hills I hope we have some stories to tell, to laugh and be grateful for the many blessings which are ours every day. And to give thanks to God for that fourteen year old boy who challenged the ocean and secured his citizenship and allegiance to the USA, that young boy whom I called Grandpa and the wonderful woman he married, my Gram.  

Morning Readings

by United Congregational Church of Grand Island on 05/19/15

As I was reading one morning, I came  across the following quote, but the author was no-where to be found, I hope he/she doesn't mind if I use it . . . it is deep and I'm not sure if I have it in my head yet?? Since we are looking for a new minister, this spoke to me. In a foreign language, but it did jog my interest, non the less;

 "Do not expect a perfect Church, but find in a church, the means of coming very near to Me. That alone matters, then the much, that is husk, falls away. Hold it of no account. Grasp the truth and find Me - the true Bread of Life. The lesson of the grain is the lesson of My Church and Me. The real life is all that matters, the outward Church is the husk, but the husk was necessary to present the life-grain to man."
 The psychologist in me sprang into action, with my analytical hat on I decided the following: I do not expect a perfect church, nor do I expect the perfect minister, nor do I think we can replace Lonnie. We are simply going to employ a different minister. It has little to do with the messenger, it's the message, the message which draws us closer to God, it will possibly be the same message Lonnie has been giving us for many years, in many different ways. What matters is that we do draw closer to God and who knows when each of us will hear the message and respond in kind. Once we have give ourselves completely to God nothing else matters. But until that happens, and since I'm prone to exercising my will, I need the protection of the husk. That's my take - What's yours?

Stop - Look and Listen

by United Congregational Church of Grand Island on 04/13/15

As young people we sometimes miss things like judgment vs being judgmental and what exactly does balance mean? Does this still apply when we have attained the ripe old age of retirement? I can attest to the fact that the judgment and balance thing is still alive and not so well, even after retirement. The best part is that I recognize, most of the time, when I'm being judgmental and when I get to feeling out of sorts, the balance of my life is way out of whack. AND it is usually when I'm minding someone else's business. Taking on way too much and trying to manage it by myself. Remember that little safety slogan we learned as children when crossing the railroad track; Stop, Look and Listen. Oh! what wisdom those little words hold and we don't have to be crossing or approaching a railroad track, we can be having a cup of coffee with a friend, or sitting in church, or shoveling snow from the driveway, or listening to a newscast, what exactly is important in our lives? Peace is one asset I'm seeking, how do I get it? I'm sure if I stop, look and listen and add a little thinking, I can solve a good share of MY problems. My issues are not monumental and they are not to be minimized, there has to be some balance in between the good and the bad. There really isn't much I can do about the catastrophic bad nor the serenely pleasant good, stuff happens and if I put myself in check, I don't have to judge anyone and I can keep this old boat on an even kneel. Stop before I go there in judging others, look at the situation and listen to others, so I actually know what their situation is, and don't agree or disagree with the subject at hand, it's none of my business, but it is important that I give them some space and a hug and a prayer. I think that little safety tip I learned in school, so many years ago, still holds a treasure trove of wisdom for a way to live - STOP - LOOK & LISTEN. Lord help me to think before I speak and pray before I act. 

God Calling 101

by United Congregational Church of Grand Island on 02/18/15

I’m trying to figure out what I am – after taking on the responsibility of the web site. Am I the web master? The overseer? The password protector?  The Editor? Or just the lady who loves working with newsletters? I do thank Debbie for the opportunity to help contribute to our church and those who accidentally or purposefully log on to see what’s going on at the United Congregational Church in Grand Island, NE. Remember this is not my site, this is our site and we all need to contribute our thoughts and inspiration to this venture. A little background that you might not know about me. My career led me to and through the printing industry. After college I started working in a print shop, some umpteen years ago, and that job led me to designing and printing all sorts of materials. So although the printed word is sacred to me, this web site is foreign, So if I drift back into the Heidelberg days, please, gently, remind me that this is digital 2015. I pause to wonder – on the day that Lonnie was devoting the sermon to answering God’s call, Debbie steps up to ask for some relief on the web site. Still thinking about the sermon I said yes, to the request, so I will take God with me on this new walk.

 Do you ever get so busy that your first thought in the morning is so far removed from the reason you were put on this earth? I know I do but as the saying goes, too soon we get old, too late we get smart. However; I have learned a simple thing that helps me to stay in God Mode. My day goes pretty good when I put God first and thank Him for all the many blessings He has bestowed on me. But again I forget and slide back into “My Will Daze.” My solution, from something I read long ago, is to picture a baby food jar, rice and a walnut. God is the walnut, the rice is all I have to do today. If I put all the rice in before I put the walnut into my day, God simply will not fit into my day. But if I put God in first, all the other things, which I feel are so important, filter in around God. So this is my recipe for my days; one baby food jar, one walnut and ½ cup of rice. Shelf life FOREVER. So as I start this new adventure I’m taking you along and maybe, just maybe, a roving reporter may stop you after church and asks you things like; what’s the secret to your long marriage, and takes your picture, we hope you will gladly share with the rest of us. Does Discipleship come to mind? So in conclusion to my first message from cyber space, come join us to make the site a United Congregational effort.

Thank You for this opportunity, pray for our success and message to Debbie, you are not off the hook! God Bless this congregation - Bonnie

Just like the ant, everyone brings a little something to the website to store and share with others...
© 2011 United Congregational Church of Grand Island