Friday, April 29, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness!

Random acts of kindness.


Intentional reminders of God’s love

So many thoughts are running through my mind right now, I will try to organize them to get my point across! My point…God is real and is at work around us, we just have to be willing to engage Him. We have to want Him to be a part of our life; He is not going to force himself on us. But wow, when you ask God to be a part of your life and you watch for Him to show up, He ALWAYS does.

This is how God showed up this time.

I use the word “random” because people understand

what I am talking about BUT I do not really believe in

“randomness”, I believe that God goes ahead of us

preparing for us to be a part of His game plan!!

INTENSIONAL Reminders to others of God’s love.

Our small group decided to do some “random” acts of kindness for a service project. Twelve of us showed up to Salsarita’s to eat together and to decide exactly what we wanted to do. Ten sophomore girls, Lindsay and myself, I laid out an envelope for the girls to put money in if they wanted to contribute financially and then we would decide what we could do based on how much money was collected. While we ate, talked and laughed we decided that we would write some encouragement notes to two types of people: someone from our student ministry and a stranger that would be the recipient of a gift card from Meijer. The girls wrote beautiful notes! (There really isn’t any thing better than a hand written note of encouragement) So we counted the money, $175…. off we went to purchase SEVEN $25 gift cards (as I am writing this I am reminded that the number seven is a significant number to God, of course He gave us enough money to buy 7 gift cards).

The girls went into Meijer two by two, looking for just the right person to engage in conversation. The right person, yes, the person that God had already determined would get a hand written note of encouragement and a $25 gift card! At first it looked like there weren’t too many people there, but then all of sudden all the right people appeared. A handicapped lady who was shopping with her nurse caregiver, a stressed out mom with three little kids, a women who had one item in cart, a family who struck up a conversation with some of our girls and family that had two little boys who were crying and wanted to go home and woman with her daughter. The women with her daughter was just looking at clothes minding her own business when two of our girls struck up a conversation with the two of them.

Each one of these stories has God in it some where, we may never know how that simple card affected someone’s life; maybe no one ever gave them something for nothing, maybe they never had someone give them a hand written note of encouragement, maybe they never had a stranger want to talk to them or smile at them. Only God really knows how hearts were affected that rainy Wednesday night in Rochester Hills, but I do know that the prayers of some sophomore girls were heard and God used them to show His love, they were His hands His feet and they spoke His words.

So back to the un-expecting women with her daughter, they were given a note, gift card and were engaged in conversation. I happen to walk past them as the conversation was ending and the little girl had a huge smile on her face while her and her mom were discussing what just happened!

We went back to the bus and as some of us waited for the others, two girls from our group were walking a mom and her kids to their car and helping her put her purchases in her car!!!

We spent a few minutes sharing stories from the night and then went home. As I was thinking about the night and how blessed I am to be a part of the lives of such exceptional young women, I re-capped the evening in my Facebook status. Within minutes God gave all of us a real dose of the reality of His being, below is the status and comment from a friend:

Ten sophomore girls/two leaders….20 notes of encouragement….Seven $25 gift cards to Meijer….leads to at least 30 unexpected blessings all in less than 2 hours!!! God’s love makes people do crazy things…. like walk up to a perfect stranger and engage them in conversation purely to give them a gift and see a smile come across their face!!! I love my life!

Comment from my facebook friend: “Thanks for doing that! My step-sister-in-law was one of the recipients and was talking about it on FB. It meant so much to her! When she posted the website and I saw it was Woodside, I got the chance to invite her and she wants to come on Sunday! (Has to talk to hubby first, but she believes in "signs" and is really excited!”)

After being blown away once again by God’s creativity and timing I chatted with my friend a little more and couldn’t wait to share this story with our small group. What I love most about God is that He knows (and is ok with) the fact that as humans we sometimes need immediate gratification, so in order for us to see and believe that He is truly at work sometimes He allows us to know right away how the small acts of kindness that we participate in are used for His glory. It’s possible that these small acts of kindness, which really took little effort, can have a life long outcome, but more importantly the possibility of an outcome resulting in an eternity with God. WHO really knows what the words written by the sophomore girls of WBC meant to the heart of a perfect stranger?

These are the details that can be shared publicly, but there are more behind the scene details that God has so beautifully orchestrated, someday those details will be shared…all in God’s perfect timing. The results of these “random” acts of kindness did not only touch the hearts of those who received a gift but the hearts of those who wrote the words and gave the money for them. It’s all God’s plan for us who choose to be a part; God makes a way for us to give what we have to be used for His ultimate goodness.

My life has become so much more exciting since I decided to let God be a real part of it. Is He real? Yep. I see examples of His realness everyday. Seriously, not a day has gone by in the last year, which is when I really started watching, that I have not seen at least one proof of God’s presence.

Random act of kindness


Intentional reminder of God’s love

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I believe.....

I believe—
that we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.
I believe—
that no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.
I believe—
that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.
I believe—
that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.
I believe—
that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.
I believe—
that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.
I believe—
that you can keep going long after you can't.
I believe—
that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.
I believe—
that either you control your attitude or it controls you.
I believe—
that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.
I believe—
that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.
I believe—
that money is a lousy way of keeping score.
I believe—
that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.
I believe—
that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.
I believe—
that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.
I believe—
that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.
I believe—
that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.
I believe—
that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.
I believe—
that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.
I believe—
that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.
I believe—
that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.
I believe—
that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.
I believe—
that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.
I believe—
that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.
I believe—
that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.
I believe—
that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.
I believe—
that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

Author unknown to me but can read my mind.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

Reality is…life is rough. Sometimes we are able to carry on in our daily life with some pleasantries and an attitude of “life goes on” those days are a blessing, sometimes though we just want to hide from life and people. When life stinks you have few options, you can either do something to change it or learn to live with it. But how ever we choose to deal with our life, it's often easier to deal with when it's shared with a friend. God gives us friends to help us through life's little disasters {and the big disasters!}

In many situations we have to learn to live with our difficulties because our life is often intertwined with other people who have life situations that effect us and we need to learn to accept those difficulties as well as our own. Humans are basically a clump of matter riddled with anxiety, self-consciousness, worry, doubt and sin. Although our sins can be forgiven and God doesn’t hold those against us if we accept His gift of forgiveness, but we still have to consider the consequences to our sins, and accept that our humanness often causes us problems that are reflected in our life here on earth.

When we marry and have children (or are a child) we commit ourselves for a life time and in that lifetime there is going to be situations that we are put in that are perplexing, uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing. When we are a part of any community of people there is going to be conflict, unfairness, and other problematic situations. So what are we to do? Walk away? Stay and be miserable? Make the best out of the life we have? Change our self because of it? Close our self off from the world? What is the answer?

I surely do not claim to have the full answer, but I think that the bible does. Humanly speaking, walking away or closing ourselves off from the world, seems like an easy way to deal with conflict. But from what I understand of the bible, God wants us to use our difficulties (or burdens) to comfort and help someone else. There really is comfort in knowing that someone else can relate to our situation or that there is someone that cares about our situation, but if we keep our lives to ourselves we may never know the struggles of others and they will never know ours.

Should we go around telling everyone we meet the details of our scattered and shattered life and that if they really knew the life we lived they would be mortified? No, I don’t think that is a good idea. But it does seem like there comes a time when a friendship begins to develop that reality can and should be shared. It’s not a true friendship if you only allow a person to see what you want them to, it’s actually kind of fraudulent. We do have different levels of friendships, but when a friendship has been pretty well developed, truth about the ups and downs of life should be shared. Not shared because we want to be a burden or that we want to be a downer or because we want others to feel sorry for us…. but because God tells us to carry each other’s burdens.

"Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2
Every one has difficulties in their life, whether it be relationships that are troubled, illness, finances, dysfunctional families, wayward children or friendships going bad we all have them. So if we all have troubled lives or at least troubles in our lives, then why is it that we don't depend on each other more for help and support, a helping hand or a warm smile? All of these things can make a difference in someone's life.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Sometimes there just aren't the right words to describe God's love for us. He allows us to have difficulties but only to show us the depth of His love. There is no comparison to our daily troubles and the extreme feeling of God's love when we depend on Him for direction, comfort and answers to pray.~~me.
My whole purpose in writing a blog is to have in writing some of the miracles that God has allowed me to be a part of. But I would also like to be able to encourage others by pointing out these sometimes small but sometimes monstrous miracles.
1. an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.
2. such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of god.
3. a wonder; marvel.
So here’s a recent miracle. My daughter Courtney is in Australia and a week ago she was distraught because she did not have the remaining $1700 she needed to go with her team to the second part of her outreach. Her team has been training for three months to go to Thailand. If a team member does not have all of their funds, they stay back and then go to Thailand when their support money comes in. So literally a week ago Courtney still needed $1700, that’s a lot of money. So Courtney, many others and myself began to pray for a quick miracle. With in 24 hours she was given $660 from some of her team members, people started putting money in her Paypal account, and she got a couple of checks in the mail. Then she sent me a note telling me that every time she goes to her bank account she finds she has mis- calculated the money and she has more than what she thought, and instead of needing $200 three days before she leaves, she only needed $23. THEN, the last banking day before she leaves for Thailand, her tax return check came in the mail and I deposited $415 for her. Which covers not only the remaining money but will cover the $150 she had to borrow from a credit card. And money is still coming in, which all go towards the people in Thailand.

All of this to say, God’s timing is always perfect. God could have held back the money from Courtney and if He would have, to me, that means He had a different plan for her, in Australia, but He did not hold back. He gave Courtney more than what she needed, of course He did.

“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.”
Ephesians 3:20

The feeling in my gut that I felt when I thought for a second that maybe Courtney would have to stay back, was a real physical ache in my heart. (I have had this feeling before, it’s a real physical feeling right in the middle of my chest, my heart literally aches with pain when it looks like God has other plans for me and those I pray for.) But even this real feeling of pain doesn’t hurt as much as the joy and goodness feels when God answers a prayer with a real tangible answer.
{An answer that clearly exhibits God’s power, grace, mercy and love. }
There are many other tangible answers to pray that I have experienced lately, but because they involve other people and I do respect other’s privacy, these stories will have to be shared in God's timing and that time will come because these stories are how we know our God is real.
What I’ve learned: if I pray I have to be looking for the answer, it’s not always going to be what or where I expect, so I need to look in all directions because my blessing may come in a form that I would have never thought of!
God is so creative.