Putting Thoughts Into Action

please helpEvery single year during the holidays, I think about how I can serve others.  How I can give back.  How I can make an impact on somebody’s life for the good.

I imagine scenarios where I buy somebody’s groceries, or I pay somebody’s car off, or I show up in a Santa Claus costume and bring presents to kids in need.  My mind gets pretty creative during these daydreams.

Don’t get me wrong, these are great things to think about….better yet, these are awesome things that folks should be doing for each other.  On a personal level, that’s where I struggle….the whole DOING part.

Typically, I have a lot of ideas.  I think about them for a bit and then they subside after facing an obstacle or I can’t see the final outcome.  It’s kind of lazy really, and I’m fully guilty of that.

I’M SLOWLY STARTING TO CHANGE THOUGH.

Last Saturday, a couple buddies of mine and I went downtown Portland and fed some homeless folks.

The idea blossomed from a simple conversation at our church small group.  My friend David has a passion for feeding the homeless and helping them out with other basic needs such as providing clothes, toiletries and blankets for them.  So we talked about how cool it would be to serve in a soup kitchen or something like that.

Randomly, after that conversation, I thought about how cool it would be to simply make PB&J sandwiches and hand them out to folks on the street…..no church affiliation or anything, just a couple of us with willing feet to walk and willing hands to give…long story short, we ended up putting the talking into action.  Simple sandwiches turned into sack lunches, toiletries, cocoa, coffee, candy canes, granola bars, pears and peppermint patties 🙂  It’s beautiful how ideas evolve sometimes!

We all had the chance to serve together, to feel sympathy together, to get soaked in the rain together, to love together and most importantly, to be Jesus’s hands and feet together.

None of this would have happened if thoughts only stayed as thoughts.  Action happened….beautiful action….and the rest is history.

The moral of the story is this: Please don’t let time slip by as you sit on the sidelines.  If you feel inspired to help someone or bless someone, FREAKING DO IT!  Whether it’s the holidays or a Tuesday, Let your “DO” loose!  You and those you’re blessing won’t regret it!

 

God Bless,

Paul

.

 

 

Advertisements

My Simple Christmas Fun Last Night

kids carolsI experienced a rare moment last night…..Christmas simplicity.

My son’s school had it’s first annual Sing Along.  Basically it was a time for families to gather and sing Christmas songs, pretty simple.

We walked in the doors of the high school auditorium.  No frills, no elaborate decorations, only 3 garbage cans and smiling faces to greet us.  The garbage cans were for the canned food being collected to help the less fortunate.

We then took our seats in an uncrowded space and waited for the music to start.  We enjoyed small talk, and a slide show while teachers meddled around thanking folks for coming.

Then the pianist took stage and quietly started playing Charlie Brown music while everybody finished getting seated….it was really relaxing.  No fancy anything, only a piano and anticipation.

Finally, the music started and we sang and bobbed our heads and voted on which songs were our favorite.

The highlight of the night was getting to ring bells for a couple of songs because we happened to be in the front row.

After about 30 minutes the music was done, we got a small candy cane, hugged our friends goodbye and left fulfilled.

Christmas is a perfect time to be simple, to be cheesy, to be generous and to be joyful.  It’s a time to both reflect on our faith and attempt to wrap our minds around who Jesus Christ is.

I really hope that you all find a simple moment this season, like I did.  Heck, I hope you find numerous moments!  If you keep your eyes peeled and try to avoid the chaos, you’ll find those moments, I promise!

God Bless,

Paul

The Power of Encouragement

EncourageSometimes, the simplest, kindest of words can change a person’s day…..in some cases, those words can even alter somebody’s life path.

Every day, we have 3 choices: 1.  To encourage someone  2.  To tear someone down  3. To simply do nothing

As bad as it sounds, sometimes offering a word of encouragement can be a challenge.  Taking our eyes off of ourselves and noticing others takes intention and effort.

Offering encouragement can also be uncomfortable.  You run the risk of talking to a brick wall.  Of somebody not receiving your words in a way that you expected.  You run the risk of being vulnerable.

BUT THOSE WORDS OF YOURS ARE POWERFUL!!!!!!

“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” -Proverbs 12:25

Isn’t that the truth!  Have you ever had a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day” and then someone comes along and tells you that they appreciate you?  Maybe you received a hug or a high-five or a smile, that’s cool too….ENCOURAGEMENT DOESN’T ALWAYS HAVE TO BE VERBAL…..JUST FULL OF LOVE.

So today, I ENCOURAGE you to be an ENCOURAGEMENT to somebody, anybody…..I’ll try right along with you.

In a strange way, as we lift others up, we become empowered ourselves.  I think God designed it that way.

 

God Bless,

Paul