I found Niki, from The Richness of a Simple Life, during this year’s 2017 A to Z Blogging Challenge. If you did not see any of her challenge posts you should click on her blog link and check it out. She has a great perspective and I am happy to connect with another strong Christian online.
Before we begin the seven week 2017 Kindness Challenge Niki has asked that we take some time to put together and intention post. What is that? It is kind of a plan for what we would like to accomplish in the Kindness Challenge. What will be the kindness you will seek to embody? How will you touch others or allow them to touch you?
I find myself in a weird mood as I approach this. I know everyone has a different perspective on kindness, but I want to share this thought. Kindness is not doing something you should do as a matter of politeness or being a positive part of society.
To say thank you is not kindness. To do something after you are instructed is not kindness, at least in my estimation. In order to register on the kindness scale I think your action must be beyond your normal habits.
The kind of example I might give is seeking out the manager of a retail store and telling them what a good job their staff does. Or what a good job they do about keeping their store clean and stocked. Take a buggy in for someone in a parking lot so they don’t have to roll it to the buggy return. You are going in anyway.
Recently there has been some opportunities to send birthday cards to members of my church. I have been selective in who I send to, choosing those who may not receive a card from anyone else. Everyone deserved to feel special on their birthday, so it is a small thing on my part.
Looking at the seven weeks and themes I can give a better intention of what will be the focus.
Week 1 | Self-love
Week 2 | Self-compassion
Week 3 | Self-acceptance
Week 4 | Kindness role model
Week 5 | Choosing kindness
Week 6 | Kindness without expectation
Week 7 | Grateful for kindness
I may have trouble with week 1 because as a Christian I feel like self-love is something that can cause issues. This blog is called Living the J.O.Y. Principle, which espouses the idea of Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last. I find the more I focus on Jesus and doing for others the happier I am.
However, I do realize you must have balance in all things and eventually you will tap yourself out with no input to your own self-development. I suppose that may be a big reason I wanted to take part in this challenge. Plus a challenge with a large quantity of participants provides someone to hold you accountable. We could all use more of that can’t we?
Today the one word prompt from Daily Post land is Purpose.
I was blessed to have an earthly angel in my life to guide me into an understanding of what it meant to have a Christian relationship with the creator of the universe. Yes, I am a Christian and not ashamed of it at all. I am sure you did not expect to find yourself here, on a faith based blog, but that in a nutshell will describe my primary purpose in life: to share my faith with others.
One of the primary instructions to all Christians is to share our faith. If you do not know, it is called the Great Commission. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20. This to me is something I think about every day as I go about my life. Am I living the kind of life others will be interested in? Am I treating others in a way they will want to know more about my purpose?
Without a purpose we are destined to wander aimlessly fulfilling our own selfish desires which not only serves no one else, but can be ultimately harmful to us. A purpose which involves assisting others gets us past a narrowed path that means we will leave this earth no better than we found it. Part of my philosophy grows from the J.O.Y. Principle. This principle goes as follows: Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last. Yes, that is right, you must not focus solely on your desires and wants. I am much happier when I am serving God or others than serving my own selfish desires. You can learn more about the J.O.Y. principle here.
Not so long ago there was a huge bible study by Rick Warren called The Purpose Driven Life. Many folks completed this study and live more fulfilled lives as a result. We have to have a purpose and a direction to succeed. My purpose has grown stronger as I have learned under great bible teachers in the churches I have attended my entire life.
I look forward to reading your description of Purpose.
Here you are for day 3 of the A to Z. What is it they say about how long to form a habit!
Confess with your mouth you accept Christ as your Savior. Savior? From what am I saved?
Death? God will save me from death? Not exactly. A relationship with God will save you from being separated from God forever. That is the death to which Romans 6:23 refers. You see separation from God means you do not live forever with him in heaven.
FOREVER! Take a minute to fathom the word and its full meaning. How long will time last? God is eternal, meaning there is no beginning or end. So being with God forever means, well forever. No end. Time will not stop. On the other hand, if you choose to ignore God and choose not to accept you are assured of eternal torment. There is an alternative to heaven. It is called Hell. This is not the mythical place you might hear others tell someone to go. It also isn’t anything like what people will say they are going through.
It is a place no one wants to find as their final destination. How do i know? Because I believe every word between the covers of my bible and there is plenty enough teaching to convince me it is nowhere I want myself, my family, friends or anyone else to be.
At this point you have read about the main tenets of ABC: Admit, Believe and Confess. Confess your sins and you are assured of heaven. Because you have Believed and invited Jesus into your life.
Acts 1:8 Ye shall be witnesses…unto uttermost part of earth
Mat.28:19,20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations
Some of my favorite verses in the bible talk about going into every nation and sharing the love of God with all you meet. Of course this verse says nothing about involving the children of your church. This is no job for children. Or is it? Why not teach them early about sharing their most precious gift with others?
My family got involved with wrapping shoe boxes with Samaritan’s Purse and their Operation Christmas Child several years ago. Even as young as my children were then they could appreciate the effort we put into blessing others in countries around the world. For many countries targeted by Operation Christmas Child it would be the first mention of Jesus. That shows we have either failed to go everywhere in this world or stopped spreading the word in every way possible.
First of all we worked with shoe boxes that would be sent to any area of the world. This was a less exact process because we had no idea where the shoe boxes might go The kids were willing to pack whatever was before them so it was up to the adults to put the best things in front of them. That is one of the things about kids, their enthusiasm drives them to complete the process much quicker than adults.
Then a couple of years ago we got a chance to go to Belize and establish a one to one relationship with some missionaries that can better direct our efforts. It is important to me to reduce the distance between our church and the missionaries as much as possible. If they know them by name they are more likely to care about them.
WE were blessed this past summer by a visit from Tim and Carol, not only to our church but to our home where we got to know each other on a more personal level. The connections moved our interaction to another level and will pay great dividends in knowing how to minister to Heart House in the years to come. Already with that possibility in mind I am trying to ge the kids to identify as well.
When I was at Heart House last in December of 2013 I had the HH kids stand in front of a whiteboard with a thanks to the kids at my church for all they had one to stuff back packs in the preceding 3-4 months. I felt like it was a great way to “make it real” to our kids.
Some of you will remember a fad a couple of years ago called Bandz where kids wove together colored rubber bands to make bracelets. I felt like this would be another way to connect the kids and had 3 or 4 of the kids at my church make about a hundred to take with us to Belize. On the day we gave them out their was a lot of buzz about it. This last picture shows everyone in attendance sporting their friendship bracelets.
As I prepare to take my daughter on her first mission trip to Belize this year I am laying out more plans to connect the kids. I know she will find this experience as rewarding as i do because as my wife says “She has a heart like you do.” We all want our life to matter and serving God while searching for that end is a wonderful adventure.