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 Rev. Molly's Blogs  
Wednesday, November 27 2013

BY Katie Altobellis

Though I am not Catholic and some of what he says has been a bit controversial, I like following Pope Francis and am interested to see what he will do next. All the humanitarian things he does lets me know he is a man who seeks to do what is on God’s heart. 

Thousands of rare diseases affect many millions of folks every day and of course, there are no cures for many of them.  I guess the first time I ever became aware of something I thought was disfiguring and disgusting, was when I read and saw pictures of Joseph Merrick, an Englishman who suffered from skin abnormalities.  He was abandoned by his father and stepmother and eventually gained a “manager” who exhibited him across Europe. What a lonely existence not to be accepted by society and have no real friends, due to no fault of his own.

Recently, Pope Francis showed up at St. Peter’s Square.  He singled out a man with a rare disease, a genetic nervous system disorder that is not contagious (not that the Pope knew that), that is characterized by tumors who has lived with this disorder since he was 15; he is now 53. Naturally, he has been shunned by society.

Riva met the Pope and was allowed to kiss his hand.  Francis then pulled Riva toward him, embraced, kissed and prayed with him!  Riva said afterward that this could not have lasted more than a minute and left him speechless.  Of course, as with just about everything Francis does this immediately went viral.

I was moved by this display of unselfish self-sacrifice, compassion and love the Pope extended.  I then thought, What’s the difference in this and what Jesus did for lepers, the blind men and the raising of the woman’s son in Nain (he touched a dead person’s coffin)?

Some folks know who they are in Christ; some do not.  I pose this question to you:  Loving Jesus as you do would you have kissed, embraced and loved this man as the Pope did?  Think about it as we enter into this Christmas season and let us each reach out with the hands of our Savior.

Posted by: Molly Painter AT 05:10 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, November 22 2013

Years ago, I learned what I considered to be a very valuable lesson.  In my mind the holiday season begins with Thanksgiving.  For me, it is the prelude to the really big one, Christmas!  

When I think of Thanksgiving usually the very first thought that pops into my head is food.   I love to eat my sweet potato soufflé (it is like hot fluffy candy!) along with corn pudding.   And, of course, the other items on my plate are white turkey meat (no dark for me), mashed potatoes with gravy, hot buttered rolls, sage dressing and my newly acquired taste for jellied cranberry sauce (could be an age thing!).   It is a day of dressing up, eating well (of course washing dishes!) and then resting.  And all of this in preparation for the really big one!

But as I came to try to understand who Jesus Christ really was a dull nudging began in my stomach right before Thanksgiving and I began to wonder, are there others around me who will not be eating a Thanksgiving dinner this year?  The feeling would subside as I would push it out of my mind.  But with each subsequent year the nudging became worse.   Thanksgiving almost became unbearable to me as I would top off my big meal with a wonderful dessert. 

Finally, I began to make some inquiries to do something about helping someone less fortunate than myself just so I could enjoy my dinner.  And this year I am going to nudge you.  Step up, ask around and find out if anyone needs a little food to eat during this time of year.  The Help Center and Joy of a Child Mission Outreach specifically target children and families on Carolina Beach during the holidays.  If you would like to help by making a donation you can always do this via our Website and earmark it specifically for either cause.   As always, I will personally see that it gets to where it needs to be…every time.

I have learned to be thankful at Thanksgiving (in preparation for the really big one!) but then to give a little and I can tell you (from real life experience) my food goes down a whole lot easier.

God bless you all this Thanksgiving,

Jesus Without the


Posted by: Molly Painter AT 04:45 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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