Speaking of Courage…My Friend Gloria

While at a women’s midweek last night we had a group discussion.  One of the sisters in my group was recounting an example she heard many years ago from Gloria Baird.  The sister was remembering Gloria’s example of how we can sometimes try to get cool on a hot day by moving the blades of an electric fan with our fingers.  She recounted how difficult and futile this exercise was as we try to live life on our own power, and that if we merely plug the fan in to the power source we can enjoy a powerful, cool breeze.

Sometimes, people have lasting impact and don’t realize how much difference their lives and words make.  My friend Gloria has impacted so many lives, including mine.

Philip. 2:1-4

    If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, [2] then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. [3] Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. [4] Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

This scripture makes me think of Gloria, and how she strives to live her life.  Now, during a very trying time, she is continuing to lead by example.  While in the midst of fighting cancer and undergoing chemotherapy and its associated difficulties (including lessened immunity and hair loss) she continues to show us how to be joyful and giving in the midst of adversity.  This is just a “shout out” to say thank you for your continual example of courage and love for God, his word and his church.  And, for those reading this… please continue to pray for her comfort, peace and complete healing so she can continue giving to so many.

And even though it’s past the “electric fan” season here in New England…the analogy still applies.  God is so powerful beyond imagination…we’ve just got to plug in to that power.

John 15:5
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

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  1. Marian

    Gloria has always inspired me as we’ll. I still pray as she taught us one time, with our hands open palm-side up as we surrender ourselves and our prayers to God. I did not know she was ill but will now add her to my prayers. Thank you for letting us know of her illness so we can encourage this woman who gave us courage, especially the women with non-member spouses.

  2. Lori

    Thanks for you continual insights and your loyal, constant friendship to Gloria. I just said a prayer for her.


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About Jeanie Shaw

After retiring from forty-five years in full-time ministry, Jeanie Shaw went back to school to earn her master’s and doctorate in spiritual formation and discipleship. She also serves as a certified Christian life coach who loves helping people discover the joy, peace, and purpose that come from finding and following God’s plan for their lives. She has taught classes and workshops all over the world and has written numerous books. She has four grown children, eight grandchildren, and a golden retriever who thinks he is human. When she is not reading, writing, coaching, teaching, or enjoying her family she might be found walking along rivers, learning new lessons about life.

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