In the day of Facebook and other social media, it’s easy to “like” a post or say “praying for you” and then letting that be the extent of our involvement in another’s life. There are so many tangible ways that we can serve people and minister to them, whether it’s in a time of need or “just because”. Here are some ideas:
- Visit a new neighbor with a basket of goodies and perhaps dinner prepared to make their first night a little easier.
- Have a yard sale to raise money for missions, whether for your church or other organizations.
- Write notes of encouragement to shut-ins, widows, and others.
- If your church has sign-ups for meals for the sick or new moms, sign up! The meal doesn’t have to be elaborate because all are thankful for any meal they didn’t have to prepare!
- Encourage your pastor by notes of thankfulness and prayer.
- Serve the elderly by checking up on them during storms or winter weather, sit by them in church, or listen to them (they have a lot of godly advice).
- A simple “hello” to someone on a Sunday morning can brighten their day. Look for people other than your friends–introduce yourself and welcome them to your church.
- Whenever your church has a gathering, try to sit or meet with someone new. Remember what it was like to be the newcomer.
- Notice the teens and young people in your church and encourage them in their walk with the Lord.
- Have a ministry of prayer and send those you pray for a note to let them know. Who wouldn’t like to receive such a note to know that someone is bringing you before the throne of grace!
- Whenever you enter are meeting of a group of people, whether at church or work or at a party, etc., ask yourself, “Who can I encourage?” and ask the Lord to bring you in the path of those people who could use a listening ear, an encouraging word, or maybe just a hug.
These ideas are nothing new and just a sampling of ways to serve. I’m sure you can think of many, many more ways to serve and encourage others. The first step is doing it!
God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. ~ Hebrews 6:10
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. ~ Mark 10:45
My friend and I are almost finished reading “12 Ways” and I have already begun making changes. I will have an update and longer post soon. This book was eye-opening and very helpful. I knew that I needed to change things but had been putting it off. This book and the accountability has pushed me to do what I know I need to do!
I almost feel silly writing this because I only work two days a week but it has been a huge change for me. The main thing is how tired I am! As soon as the kitchen is cleaned from dinner, I want to go to bed! There are many things that I have put aside because I’m just too tired.
I will be starting a new Bible study in the fall and it will be on Thursday nights, one of the days that I work. I will head home, eat, and then go out. I am praying now for the strength and energy to not only go to the study but also to work on it each day.
Lastly, one of things that I enjoy the most during the spring/summer/fall is being able to sit outside on my deck. We have a canvas gazebo that covers it along with a few chairs and a 3-seat swing. Oh, how I love sitting there and watching the birds in my backyard and listening to the sounds of nature. Last year I made a little fountain and the sound of the water is lovely on a hot day.
A friend and I are working our way through Tony Reinke’s “12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You“. We started two weeks ago and the conviction has hit hard and fast. But I don’t want to be only convicted; I want to change. I know I am on my phone too much; I waste time on Twitter and Words with Friends. I do some texting but not a lot. I don’t have Facebook or Messenger on it, but I do have Instagram, which often turns a few minutes to “just check it” into many, many minutes of mindless scrolling.
After each of our sessions, I have purposed to make one change. Last week it was to use my phone less. According to Screen Time I was down 11%. I hope to continue that downward trend. At the end of Chapter One are ten diagnostic questions we can ask ourselves in the digital age. This week I am going to pray through and answer each of those questions. Tony Reinke says, “The questions sting, and they touch every area of life–God, spouse, family, friends, work, leisure, and self-projection. But this sting can lead us to make healthy changes.” (pg. 52)
Tony says, “Let’s be honest: our digital addictions….are welcomed addictions. The key is to move from being distracted on purpose to being less and less distracted with an eternal purpose.” (pg. 52)
My prayer is like David’s in Psalm 86: “Teach me Your way, O Lord, and I will walk in Your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name.” (v11)
And I ask that with the Lord’s empowering grace He will do this: “I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them.” (Jeremiah 32:39)
The Gift of Listening: But you must really listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.
The Gift of Affection: Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back, handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.
The Gift of Laughter: Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. These are fun to put inside a card or letter.
The Gift of a Written Note: It can be a simple “thanks for your help” note. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life!
The Gift of a Compliment: A simple and a sincere “you look great in red” or “you did a super job” or “that was a wonderful meal” can make someone’s day.
The Gift of a Kindness: Every day go out of your way to do something kind.
The Gift of Solitude: There are times when we want nothing better to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.
The Gift of a Cheerful Disposition: The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone. It’s not really hard to say “hello” or “thank you”.
As of February 14, I am working outside the home. When my oldest daughter was born in 1986, I left the working world to become a stay-at-home mom, then a homeschooling mom, then an empty-nester….grandma at home? I’m thankful for all those years at home; it was hard and required a lot of sacrifice but it has been worth it.
I’ve been looking for a part-time job that wouldn’t take me away from my home keeping duties or from serving in my local church. I took my requests to the Lord and left them there. A few job openings came my way and I applied but didn’t get them. Probably because I haven’t worked in 32 years! But at last one came up that I really wanted and felt like it was a perfect fit. After going in for the interview, it looked promising but the Lord had other plans. It was not to be! I admit that I was very disappointed. Very!
I took that disappointment to the Lord and also left it with Him along with my desire to serve Him. Through a friend I heard about a job opening for an administrative assistant at a local pregnancy center. I went for the interview and a few days later was hired!
I was nervous about getting back into the working world with all the new technology that is out there and because I have been on my own for so long. I’m used to setting my own schedule and working at my own pace.
The Lord answered the desires of my heart through this job. It is 2 days a week from 11 am to 5 pm. It was an adjustment at first but I am getting used to it all now. I have time in the morning to get things done around the house and am home in time to make dinner. While it is about a 30-40 minute commute, it is all highway. I’ve actually been enjoying the drive because I’ve been able to listen to audiobooks. Listening to “Jane Eyre” this past month has been a delight.
I love the people I work with, the volunteers, and the work that I’m doing. Every day it is something new but it uses my administrative and organizational skills. The best part is that I am working at a place that is changing lives and saving lives! I am so very thankful to the Lord for this opportunity to serve Him this way.
I came across this short film on Tim Challies’ blog and wanted to share it with you all. It will be a blessing to you. “Hearing His Voice documents the story of what happened when a people group just like this encountered God’s Word for the first time. They were forgotten by the world in the jungles of Asia-Pacific until 20 years ago when a Christian pilot spotted them in the foliage below.”
You can watch the film here: https://accesstruth.com/media/hearing-his-voice-a-short-film