faith life

Minister to Christ by Serving Others

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

books, daily life, faith life, prayer

An Undivided Heart

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)

crafts, faith life, prayer, snail mail

Bible Journaling

I like the idea of Bible journaling…only not in my Bible.  I do write in my Bible (it’s a wide margin) and underline but I don’t want to do art work in it.  For the longest time I’ve kept a commonplace book; basically just a place to write down quotes that I have come across and want to keep.  Last year I started a prayer journal.  This isn’t a journal of prayer and praises (I have another for that) but a journal of quotes, Scripture, articles, etc., all having to do with prayer.

I am new to the world of mixed media but I thought my prayer journal would be the perfect place to try it.

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I also tried my hand at mail art.  I’ve done some before but mainly I use washi or just create an envelope out of scrapbook paper or old calendars.  Here’s a recent creation:

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I had fun putting it together.  The images are from an old calendar and then I used some stamps that I had.  I like the way it turned out!

And finally a birthday card and envelope that is heading out today:

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faith life

Kindness

For months now whenever I get on Facebook, I would feel agitated.  I didn’t know why but because of it I’ve really cut back on social media.  Yesterday, I finally figured it out.  Kindness!

No one (well, not every one!) seems to be kind any more or give people the benefit of the doubt.  Earlier in the week Meryl Streep made some comments at the Golden Globe Awards about Donald Trump.  This unleashed such harsh words from friends on Facebook, either from themselves or postings that they shared.

So she said some things that people don’t like.  Is that an excuse to call her names like “idiot” and “stupid”?  I saw several posts saying that she didn’t have a real job because she was an actress.  Really?  How is acting not a real job?  Isn’t going to work every day and getting paid what constitutes a job?

I can remember when people would disagree on a topic but still be civil and kind to each other; they would have respect for the other’s opinion but I fear that that time is long gone.

I was reading today in Proverbs 31:26, “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”  I thought that while I can’t control if others are kind, I can clothe myself with kindness (Col. 3:12) and allow the Spirit to work in me to show kindness to others.