Small Acts of Kindness: The Loving Heart of a Prayer Warrior

by Bonita Y. McCoy

phoneI wait for her to answer. I am upset, unsettled, and unsure.

I am reaching out, so I run to the person I think can help.

I hear her voice, “Hello?” And I begin.

Every family needs one, and my family has been blessed to have her, my Aunt Jeanne, the prayer warrior.

She is the one who diligently listens to those who seek her out, and then with patience and kindness, she points them to the Lord through his word and her prayers.

But she doesn’t just listen once; no, she walks the journey with you.

The year I graduated from college was a very lonely year. I watched as friends were pairing off, getting married. I longed for companionship but didn’t want just anyone. I wanted the right one, God’s best for me.

Over the course of that year, I visited Aunt Jean about once every two weeks. We would sit in her living room, her in the recliner rocker and me sprawled out on the carpeted floor. We would talk about life, and she would listen to my heart as it spilled out.

bible-bOnce I was done, she would bring out the Word of the Lord, and we would apply His truths to my situation.

One verse that we kept returning to was Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.”

Then she would take all my anxiety, fears, and questions and gather them up, and we would go before the Lord in prayer.

I have been married now for twenty-seven years. I can attest to the fact that when the desire comes it is a tree of life.

And Aunt Jeanne is still praying, still leading us to God’s truth, still answering our calls.

She rejoices with us when we have succeeded, and she cries with us when we mourn. But she never, ever stops praying.

Her loving heart of a prayer warrior has been a bedrock in our family.

There is no scale to measure the extent of her reach because of her kindness shown through her diligence in prayer.


bonitaHello! I’m Bonita Y. McCoy. I hail from the Great State of Alabama where I live on a five-acre farm with three horses, two dogs, two cats, and one husband who I’ve had for over twenty-five years. I am a mother to three mostly grown sons and one beautiful daughter-in-law who joined us from Japan. I love God, and I love to write. My blog is an expression of both these passions. Drop by and visit. www.beautifulpiecesofgrace.blogspot.com 

Christmas

By Ellen Andersen

I love this time of year. The Christmas season. I think about caroling, getting together with family and friends, Christmas parties, shopping for gifts, special church services where we celebrate Christ having come to live with and ultimately save us from our sins. But I’ve been thinking about other things this year too.

Instead of just thinking about Christmas decorations with Christmas lights, a tree and ornaments and presents underneath just waiting to be unwrapped to surprise their img_1834recipients.  Instead of a manger scene with Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus in a manger surrounded by cows, sheep, shepherds and wise men, just waiting for the big moment for Jesus to come into the world I’ve been thinking about what it was really like back then in all likelihood.

Jesus was born in a manger, yes, I know that. Most of us do. But it hadn’t occurred to me that this means he was born in a barn. A BARN, of all places. The cows weren’t lying down and sheep sitting still just outside the stable like they do in our typical manger scenes. They were roaming around, making all the messes and noises that cows and sheep do. Mooo, Baaa, Mooo, Baaa, Mooo, Baaa. Rolling in the mud and shaking it off. Then there were the donkeys that Joseph and Mary rode to get there adding to the choir.

It wasn’t a pretty little place set up just for Mary and Joseph to be surrounded by doctors and nurses to take care of the baby when he was born. A room with sterilized tools, trained doctors who would wash a baby before placing him in clean cloths and then in his mother’s arms. No, it was a barn with hay, straw, dirt and mud. Not exactly the kind of place I’d expect a savior to come into the world. Who thinks like that?

So who thinks like that? GOD does.

Isaiah was right when he spoke of the Lord who said, “My ways are not your ways. My thoughts are not your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8)

And Christmas is just the beginning. He has much more in store for our lives. With the way He thinks it’s unpredictable, to say the least.  A little scary since I don’t have any control, and I REALLY like to be in control, or at least think I am . But I trust God since He loves me. And He always does what He says even though we don’t know how He’ll do it or when.

How about you?  What have you witnessed or gone through that God used in a way you never expected?  Share it here.

 

 

Twenty Small Acts of Kindness During the Christmas Season

By Jennifer Hallmark

nativity-447767_960_720Christmas. What comes to mind when you think of this most festive time of the year? For me, it’s Jesus, Santa, decorations, trees, gifts, and children. Also words like hurry, busy, rushed, over scheduled, and underpaid. How can we make the holiday season better for people we know and those we don’t? Here are twenty simple acts of kindness:

  1.  Smile and greet people you encounter. There are many lonely people out and about during the holidays. Even those working behind the counter of the supermarket, bank, or restaurant could use a smile and a kind word. It only takes a moment.
  2. Take your family to a Christmas play or musical.
  3. If you’re waiting in a line, offer your spot to someone with fewer items or who has children or the elderly.
  4. Be a courteous driver.
  5. Buy a gift for a child you don’t know through a local or national charity.
  6. Donate items to a food bank.
  7. Take the time to send Christmas cards by the USPS.
  8. Invite someone new to the events you participate in, like dinners or shopping.
  9. Visit a person who is home-bound.
  10. Send a gift card to someone anonymously.
  11. Bake cookies with a child.
  12. Offer to baby-sit so someone can shop.
  13. Sponsor a child from a needy country.
  14. Put holiday sticky notes in a family members lunchbox.
  15. Just listen.
  16. Volunteer.
  17. While shopping, pick up items that have fallen or been left on the floor.
  18. Place your shopping cart in the designated place.
  19. Forgive.
  20. Be kind to yourself.

You can be an agent of change during one of the loneliest and most stressful times of the year through a simple act of kindness. Start today. You’ll be glad you did.

And Merry Christmas!

smile