Mr. Bubbles

I recently did some water extraction for a man named Jerome who’s sump pump had failed him. After the work I told him how good it was to meet him, but sorry for the circumstances surrounding our having to meet. He is a very gregarious person who told me the story of how he owns a laundromat in Chicago and how he is known as Mr. Bubbles.

I found out that at one time he had owned 6 total laundromats and now it’s down to one. He said that ‘it’s not like it used to be’ and how he enjoys just owning the one location because he’s able to concentrate fully on it and give his customers good customer service and atmosphere.

During our visit, he was playing his playlist of music the entire time. He asked me about some of my favorite bands and he went on a music site and punched in the band name that I mentioned. He said that he enjoys every kind of music and that he thinks he would just die if he couldn’t enjoy music every day. He also explained how his one laundromat plays certain song lists on certain days and at certain times of the day and his customers just love it.

Having met Jerome, he showed me how serving customers can be a joy, especially when woven with one’s passions and sharing those things together.

I am wealthier having met Jerome and I wish Mr. Bubbles the best in his quest of serving up clean fun to his great customers!

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A Smart Lady

I did some work for a lady named Jean. She told me how her parents were not very responsible and that she ended up being raised in an orphanage in India. She did have a very infectious British accent. As I talked with her she told of how she has a knack for getting plants to grow inside and how she can get little ‘babies’ off of adult plants and then she ends up giving them away to all of her friends.

She is a very sharp 86 years old, and was very fun to talk with. She said that everything that she learned about doing with plants, she taught herself. She didn’t have anyone else who could show her or teach her. Whatever it was that she wanted to do, she got a book about it and read it, then experimented with that thing. She was so funny when she said, “Don’t complain to me about not being able to do anything, or my parents didn’t teach me this or that. I didn’t have Parents who raised me and I had to find out things for myself, by reading or asking questions or just doing.”

As we spoke further, she told of a time when she was newly married of how she thought that her husband and her should do some investing and saving of money for the future. He told her “why don’t you go ahead and do it?” This was a fairly big decision for them being so newly married and he gave her the thumbs up and so she did it. She was scarred to death about some of the decisions of where to save or what to invest in. She said that all went well, in spite of her fears.

I was so impressed how Jean had so many huge obstacles in her life, yet never once did she complain or fuss that she couldn’t do something or blame someone else for her situation or lack of knowledge. She took the proverbial ‘bull by the horns’ and learned how to do what needed to be done and it has served her well. What an example this lady is to me on what my attitude should be in life. Thank you, Jean and God speed!

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A Prayer for our Nation: America for the National Day of Prayer, Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

“Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and have kept his commandment, by accepting his Son, Jesus;  we in our Nation, The United Stated, have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your servants the Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers, who spoke in your name to us, your church and its leaders and peoples and to our elected officials, fathers and mothers, families, political and business leaders, our ancestors, relatives and to all the people of the land.

“Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame —the people of Homewood and the inhabitants of Chicago-land and all of America, both near and far, where we have scattered and tried to run away from you, and have been unfaithful.  We, your church and the people of America and our ancestors are covered with shame, Lord, because we have sinned against you. Lord, God you are merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against you; we have not obeyed you or kept the Word you gave us through your servants: the Prophets, and Apostles, the Evangelists, the Pastors and Teachers. We in America have transgressed your laws and precepts and turned away, refusing to obey you.

“There are curses and sworn judgments written in Your Word, O Lord that will be poured out on this land if we refuse to accept your one and only Son; Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.  Let us therefore welcome your discipline and let it begin at the house of God. Convict us as Christians of our sins, recall us from our wanderings, and bring us back to you. I pray for those claiming to be Believers in You, who just sit at home on Sundays and refuse to attend church; draw them back to You, call them to return to their first love.  You alone are God and True. Please, Father, do not allow further disaster, shame or scorn to come on us. Help us as Your Church, be the leaders and examples to this Great Nation of America and all of its people, and may we see the leaders of churches, companies, villages, states, cities, organizations, families and groups – seek the favor of the Lord our God by turning from their sins and giving attention to your truth and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by accepting Him! You, O Lord our God are righteous in everything You do; yet we as a Nation have not obeyed.

“Now, Lord our God, who brought your people to America with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a Country that has endured to this day, for your purposes and the fulfillment of your plan, we have sinned, we have done wrong. Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from America and please bring revival to our land once again. Our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors have made your people, Christians, an object of scorn to all those around us, we are mocked at and laughed at. Help us to love our enemies and pray for those who do this, so as to reflect Your love and your gospel, so people may be won to You. Your Word says that ‘He that winneth souls is wise’. We need to be wise!

 “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servants. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your Church, and this land, America.  Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see our emptiness. Fill us with your Spirit once again, just like on the Day of Pentecost, fill us with You. Let us not be satisfied unless we drink in your true spiritual food and drink. We do not make requests of you because we have acted righteously, but because of your great mercy.  Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because this country and your people bear your Name. In the Mighty Name of Jesus, who died for our sins!”

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A Lady named Ellen

I met a lady named Ellen today, she was a vibrant 85 years young. As I worked in her house, she seemed to be a bit hungry for some conversation. I did the best I could engaging with her and sharing with her as I did my work. She told how she and her husband owned a business together and that she had lived in her little town most all of her life. She was very alert and with it mentally, but got around very carefully because of some recent physical ailments.

 

She was a joy to talk with and she confessed that she didn’t want to go to a nursing home in the future, if that ever became something that her family were ever to be confronted with. I liked her style. She told how she helped her husband run their business and that they never had children, but she worked hard with the business and doing things around the house with the yard and other things. She told how her and her sister put insulation in her attached garage and made it usable year round.

She said that she was very independent always doing things with the business or fixing things around the house or yard work. She admitted that her life has changed in the last few weeks because of health limitations and she is not liking it one bit. She is trying to “get used to it, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it”. She was a joy to talk to and meet and share in this juncture in her life. God bless you Ellen, may you have many more years of life to live!

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A Person I Didn’t Meet

I worked at a man’s house the other day. He was apologetic about his talkativeness but I enjoyed the company. His name is Stanley and after the work was done, we talked for over an hour. He told of several accounts from his childhood that I thought were fascinating. He was raised in a Polish neighborhood and went to Catholic Schools right in the City of Chicago.

He told about how impressed he was with the way that his Mom treated people. He remembers a meticulously dressed black man in a suit that came to the house. His Mom let the man in and he talked with her for quite a while. The man then prayed with his Mom and she gave him a few coins and he left. After the second or third time that the man came and left, Stanley asked his Mom who he was. His Mom told him that he was a Baptist Minister. Stanley objected, “But we’re Catholic.” His Mom said, “There are other people who need our help who aren’t as well of as we are,” even though he remembers being dirt poor.

Then there was a time when his Mother was driving with him and his small brother in the car. He remembers passing a Mom with two small children in tow with dirty faces and a dilapidated suitcase with a rope around it. His Mother stopped and was nosy enough to find out that this woman’s husband had abandoned them and they were sleeping in alleys. His Mom took them to their house and told Stanley to gather all the pots to heat water up for baths since they didn’t have hot running water. His Mom then wrote out a bunch of notes for him to take to the Priest and several others. By the time all clothes were washed and all baths given their Priest and several others had come to their house with bus tickets to Tennessee and a new suitcase full of clothes for the abandoned family.  Their Priest had also arranged for another Priest to meet them on the other end when they arrived at their destination.

What an example this man’s mother was of Christian Charity and how affected by her life many people were, including me, who never met her!

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A Mix Master?

There is someone who I want to tell you about today. X is very talented. Ever since this person was little, X would catch on to anything having to do with technical things very quickly. It was like gadgets and electronic things were an extension of X’s person.  X would figure them out rapidly and know all there was to know by just playing, or I mean working with it.  This creative exploring of all things gadget-like has served X well.

X loves to understand things whether they be mechanical, electronic or auditory. Did I mention that X is a very talented musician? That fits right into X’s personality of understanding the complex and methodical. X is very good at math as well, because of the way that God has wired this person. X has a gift from God, being able to play certain instruments by ear from memory. When X was little, after hearing a song just once, he was able to figure it out on the piano within a few short minutes.

I’m sorry that I have kept you in suspense for too long! I have an ulterior motive for this painfully long build up that will turn into a shameless plug. X just happens to be none other than my son, Joshua and he has some very keen sound mixing and musical talents. Here’s the latest contest that he has entered: Check out this submission in Family Force 5 – Tank Top Remix Contest on Indaba Music. Take a listen, if you like it, then vote. And thank you!

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A Classy Lady

This is a blog about a very interesting person who I have known for many years. Her name is Dorothy and she was like a second mother to me. She would walk into a restaurant and ask the person who would seat her, “Do you know my Jesus?” She was so matter-of-fact about her Christianity that she thought everyone needed to know about it. Her smile was as big as the world and her favorite song was “Jesus loves me”, which all seven verses have very significant meaning.

Dorothy had this keen gift of sensing where someone was in their relationship with God, weather they were near to His heart or like Jonah, running to get far away from Him. I remember I was 19 years old and came to her house to do some work. I had brought an unsaved friend with me to help. Dorothy sat down and started questioning him about his relationship with Jesus. I’ll never forget Shaun’s look on his face when she questioned him, He glanced at me and she looked at me and in a New York second Dorothy determined that I was far away from God.

In a few short months, I was attending a Bill Gothard Seminar “Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts” at Dorothy’s behest and sponsorship, and after the fact ended up rededicating my life to the Lord. I still have a plastic puppy named ‘Flopsy’ that she gave me to keep me company when I would come to her house and spend the night. Dorothy was my Aunt and she passed away at the age of 86 this Summer. I praise and thank God for people that He puts in my life to help direct me back to Him, you see my Aunt Dorothy never married, She was always interested in her Nieces and Nephews and especially in one who will never forget her.

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Author: Kirk Severs

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A Retired Cop.

Several weeks ago I had the fortune of meeting a man named Lynwood. He told me that he was a retired Chicago Cop and had worked at that position for over 30 years. He reminisced about how he would try to help some of the young kids that seem to find their way into trouble. He told of one young man who was only 15 years old who was the absolute best gunsmith he had ever seen.

The young man lived with his Grandma who thought he was going off to school every day. A gang found out this kid’s talent in making guns and threatened his family if he did not make guns for them. He made some of the best guns that Lynwood had ever seen. Some of the cops wanted to help him get away from the gang influence, because ‘he really was a good kid’ according to them.

When they told his Grandma the news, she was heartbroken and agreed to let her grandson get relocated, to move into another area of Chicago where the old gang that threatened him would no longer be able to. When Lynwood finished telling the story of this young gunsmith, he had tears in his eyes and I thought ‘this guy really cared about his job and helping people’. Thank you, Lynwood for your part of keeping Chicago safe – back in the day!

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An Old Man?

I pulled up to the house to clean the carpets and this man was parking his car in the driveway. He got out just as I did and we greeted. I said, “My name’s Kirk” He shook my hand with a strong grip and said “I’m Durward”. He said that I could come on inside as soon as I was ready.

I found out later that Durward was going to be 100 years old the first week of August! His firm grip and steady gait didn’t suggest a lad soon to be 100. He was acting like he was in his 80’s! His caretaker ‘Dee’ said that he stays very active and showed me the stack of birdhouses that he made out in his wood shop. There must have been 50 or more of them. He also reads his Bible every day and does other wood working type activities.

Judging by the size of his sawdust collector in his garage/wood shop, Durward is not going to stop making things out of wood anytime soon. Go Durward! And Happy 100th Birthday! God speed!

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