Thursday, December 31, 2009

Caring for the sick

When people in our churches and neighborhoods are sick or going through a hard time, what an opportunity we have to help. Not only are the ones being helped encouraged, but the ones doing the helping are blessed also.

A couple of ideas:

Arrange for women to take food or baby sit or help out in any way possible. Ask: What can we do to help you this week? Some women are reluctant to ask for or even receive help, so be persistent in your offers and caring.

Offer to take them for doctor's visits or treatment.

There is a nonprofit foundation that offers free housecleaning (1 time per month for four months) for women undergoing chemotherapy.
If you know any woman currently undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, please encourage her to go to the website - and fill out an application. Cleaning for a Reason will have a participating maid service in her zip code area arrange for the service. They have 609 cleaning partners in the US and Canada.

Your kindness will never be forgotten and may open the door to other ministry.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas gifts

It's almost Christmas and do you find yourself doubting? Oh, not about the birth of Jesus because we know and trust the story recorded in the Bible. I'm talking about thoughts such as:

Did I really get enough for that person? Will they be happy with what I gave them? What about the neighbors or mail carrier? What if someone gives us a gift and I don't have one for them? Maybe I should add another meat or dessert for the meal. What if I run out of food?

Thoughts such as these can ruin the good planning and work I've already done. It causes me to dash out into the cold cruel stores to buy and spend more than I had planned to (for which I will be sorry in January when the bill arrives)! Why do I buy into the idea that Christmas is about gifts and spend so much of my time and worry on that aspect of Christmas?!

Yes, Christmas IS about giving, after all God gave us the best gift He had so we could have life. But I must keep it all in perspective and not get so caught up in giving physical gifts that I neglect the true meaning of Christmas. How about a personal letter written to each member of the family to share what you love and appreciate about them? I have a friend who writes a poem sharing her feelings about the highlights of the year with each family member. These are cherished gifts that cost nothing. (Of course, that would mean I have to sit down and think and who has time for that?!)

One year my husband suggested that we get all the Christmas shopping done early and have the entire week before Christmas to be together and enjoy each other's company. We read Christmas stories each night and played games. That was one of the best Christmases we had. Giving ourselves may be the best gift of all.

I hope this Christmas is a happy one for you and your family.