Wednesday, September 14, 2022

life on mission

 


Happy Wednesday, friends! I thought I'd share something I was encouraged by last night. I attended an event at church to run the technical side of it, but I left feeling so encouraged. A branch of our women's ministry at church is called Women on Mission and while it's always been mainly older women who participate in this, we're trying to make it church wide for women of all ages, from eighteen on. This event was the kick off event for the next year of ministry. Seeing these ladies here is the sweetest thing to me. 






These are women who are older, as you see, yet they never stop serving God through active ministry. These ladies make knitted items for babies in hospitals, they collect goodies for and stuff Christmas boxes every year, many of them travel to another city and state to fill them in the distribution center for Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan's purse, they collect food and go to a local inner city school during the summer months to feed the teams of people who travel there for mission work within those impoverished communities, they are passionate about spreading the love and good news of Jesus. 


Basically, I want to be just like them when I grow up. 


I love something that their fearless leader, Mrs. Betty said: you don't have to go far outside of your community to do mission work. I wholeheartedly agree! Often times, our own next door neighbors are great opportunities...as are the people we come into contact with on a daily basis. Sometimes living life on mission actually means what it sounds like. I was having lunch with friends one time, when one of them stopped our waitress and told her we were about to pray and how we would love to pray for her as well. The young lady got so emotional over this and she shared with us a way we could pray for her right then. I loved witnessing that and thought it was such a simple and heartfelt way we can love on others.


Sometimes life on mission means offering a smile and a word of encouragement. There's a young man in my grocery store named Jonathan who is special needs and who is always stocking produce when I visit. I always stop and greet him by name and we talk. Sometimes he complains to me and I just listen sympathetically and sometimes I offer to pray for him. There's another man who works there who is also special needs who always wants to tell me something exciting. I love how simple it is to bring a smile to someone's face. You never know what people go through!


Sometimes life on mission means doing a good deed, or doing the right thing even when nobody is watching. I recently read an idea that someone shared on social media about ways to "pay it forward" other than buying someone's coffee at the drive-through: it was calling the local elementary school and paying off delinquent accounts of all the students you can afford in the lunchroom. I love that idea, especially because that's what I used to do. I was the lunch lady who walked around to help the students while they ate lunch. 


Life is hard and we all need encouragement from time to time. Remember the year of lockdown and how lonely all of us were? I will never forget how isolated I felt. Ever since then, we've had more of an opportunity than ever before to share the love of Jesus with others. The world is a mean place right now and often, the events that take place on a daily basis are overwhelming. I don't know the statistics of this, but anxiety and depression are diseases that are at an all time high right now. Almost every time I am in a conversation with someone, anxiety is something that is mentioned. There is no shame in asking for help and for talking to others about the hard things we go through. I am one who will quickly share when I am in need of prayer. I take very seriously James 5:16—


Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is righteous in its effect. 


These are just a few thoughts I had after last night and how I felt after being encouraged. So tell me: are you one who looks for opportunities to minister to or encourage others? I would love to hear how you do this on a daily basis. I don't do this every single time I'm out, so don't think I'm some saint. I assure you, I am not! I was aggravated over someone who cut in front of me in a line at the pharmacy last night, so trust me, I have my moments. How do you do this? Have you ever been on the receiving end of such a thing? I would be willing to bet that we've all had someone that extended some kindness to us that stands out. I'd love to hear from you!


Thanks for reading my blog, friends. Love to all. 

10 comments:

  1. I've been on the receiving end of kindness many times and I'd like to think that I've extended it numerous times but no great story comes to mind (it's early :)). I do look for opportunities to encourage others. I do this at the schools where I sub and when I spend time with the youth (middle school is where I serve) at church. Middle school kids need all the encouragement they can get- you mentioned anxiety impacting people more and more these days. It is rampant even in kids which is so sad. I can make a small difference- obviously I am not a mental health expert and there is nothing clinical that I can do for anyone but I can be supportive and kind and pray for those whom I know are suffering. It sounds like your church has some great ministries. I want to be like the ladies you mentioned as well when I grow up ;). Have a great day, friend!

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  2. Maria, I have heard how rampant it is, even in kids! That is so sad to me. Also, I feel like social media makes it so much worse for them, but they can't get away from it. I think that what you do with the youth and the kids in the school that you sub in are things that are very impactful. I know you're making a difference in their lives everyday that you're around them. I hope you have a great day today, my friend!

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  3. I hope to be able to do something fulfilling like this in my retirement. My mom helps run the clothes closet at her church for people in need of clothing or jackets. Since I like clothes, maybe that would be an avenue for me to explore. I do think people think they have to go to other countries, but there is so much need in each community.
    You are a blessing! I have a teacher at my school who always replies "blessed" when I ask how she is. She is so positive and upbeat. I love her!

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  4. Amy, that would be a great thing for you to do! Our church has a clothes closet and the ladies who work it are the sweetest. It's super organized there and they guide people through as they come to "shop". I've heard people say that kind of thing as well and I always love to hear it. Thank you for that, my friend! I hope your day is great!

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  5. Enjoyed this post. Hubby and I were in McDonald's drive-thru to get 2 Diet Cokes. When we got to the window to pay, she told us the person in front of us paid for ours. I waved at the lady in front of us to say thanks. I didn't think quick enough or I would've paid for the one behind us. But alas, I didn't...but we'll pass it forward sooner or later. Most people are so sweet and kind. I wish we could hear more about them than the other kind!

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  6. Reaching out to those near us is really such a long lost art. People now are afraid to do that, in fear of rejection, in fear of having to interact with people NOT behind a screen.. its a different world. The good ole days where neighbors really relied on one another... what a beautiful thing.

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  7. Thanks, Cathy! I love that someone did that for you. I know you will be faithful to return the act of kindness!

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  8. Rebecca Jo, you are so right! It's really sad. Those were the days!

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  9. What a great mission! And I agree, we can look right next door to do God's will... it doesn't have to be going off to another country. You have some amazing ladies in your church. Blessed!

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  10. Thank you, Bri! I agree. I always come away from them feeling so inspired. It is definitely a blessing!

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