Tag Archive | pray

Ill Loved Ones

Courtesy of Mzayat.com

Have you ever had a sick loved one? This week a close family friend endured a heart valve transplant operation.  It has been a roller coaster ride and I’d like to share three ways we found to help.

1. Pray – We’ve been praying asking God to guide the physician’s hands and for a quick recovery.

They set up a group chat to keep us posted on progress. It’s a very helpful way to communicate.

2. Visit – If your loved one invites you for a visit to the hospital or their home, it is an encouraging way to help him/her.

I must reiterate being invited, because I learned as a teen that you never just show up. I thought I would stop by to see how my coworker was doing at the hospital and, to my surprise, she became agitated and told me to leave.

3. Serve – We ask folks how we can help; even if it is picking up some milk at the grocery store.  In this instance, our friend asked us to coordinate some meals so they don’t have to cook when they return home.

I set up a meal schedule using Meal Train that allows folks to pick a day and time to drop off a meal they prepared.

Another successful program we have used is Sonshine at church wherein volunteers make a meal and drop it off at the person’s home. We benefited from it when my second child was born. It was helpful feeding our family of mom, dad, toddler and newborn.

Another cool program my husband was a part of as a volunteer firefighter was the women’s auxiliary wherein wives cooked meals, stored them at the firehouse and after a fire call, the guys would chow down.

So, these are just some of the ways we help ill loved ones. Of course, there are little things we do to nurse minor sickness such as make them comfortable, serve soup, read to them, give a card or dispense meds to get them back on their feet.

What are some ways you help ill loved ones?

National Day of Prayer

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Please join me in praying for our world, nation, leaders, communities and the people in our lives.

If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will forgive their sin and heal their land . 2 Chronicles 7:14

6 Ways to Grow Closer to God (and each other)

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Through our life journey, there are some things my family and I have learned along the way. This week, I’d like to share with you six ways our family draws closer to the Lord and (as a result) each other.

Blessings, Rebecca

worship

Worship

In addition to worshipping together at church, we carve out special time where we gather to choose favorite worship song and sing together; usually before we study God’s word or journal. I hope you do or try this with your own family.

pray

Pray

We pray throughout our day such as before meals, at bedtime and when we need His help. If you struggle with what to pray, you can use a simple formula PRAY (Praise, Repent, Ask and Yield). For instance, you could pray something like, “Praise you God for you are worthy to be praised. I ask to forgive me for ____. I ask that you help me in this area and I submit to your will. Amen.”

Twin Lakes Church Aptos

Twin Lakes Church Aptos

Attend Church (Regularly)

We go to church together every week. It gives us an opportunity to worship corporately, learn God’s word, fellowship with Christians, and serve others. In addition, we often join small group Bible studies, family camps, mission trips, etc. I hope you attend or find a Bible based church where your family grows as well.

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Read the Bible

We read the Bible every day. It’s a great way to get to know God, gain wisdom and learn to live like Christ. One way to do it is to read one proverb each day as there are 31 of them, or one Psalm. Another way, is to get a study book on a particular topic and answer the questions together, or look up the topic in the concordance and read all the passages that pertain to it. If you find reading the Bible difficult, there are many translations available to help you understand such as the New Living Translation Study Bible, New American Standard, Amplified Bible and The Message. Also, I recommend Bible Gateway app if you prefer using your device. I hope you find one that works best for you and yours.

Krusees Serving at Camp Attitude

Krusees Serving at Camp Attitude

Serve

We enjoy serving the Lord and others. Our family traveled to Mexico to build houses for brick layers. We went to Foster, Oregon to help families with disabled children enjoy camping activies. We’ve hosted Kidz Korner clothing exchange for thirteen years which helps familes in need. We hosted Project Warmth for twleve years which helped supply homeless men and women with winter supplies such as sleeping bags, coats, tarps, socks, beanies, etc. I say all this not to brag, but share some of the things we enjoy doing to serve God and our community. I hope you find something your family can do in your neighborhood.

journal

Journal

We find a quiet place such as our living room or a park to journal. Each of us bring our journals and pens/pencils, and simply ask the Lord to share with us whatever He would like to. It is a great time of quality time with God, and it’s fun to share afterwards what we learned. Sometimes, it is an encouraging word. Other times, He may give us direction or answers to our questions. I hope you and your family enjoy your time spent with the Lord.

Another way we journal is to capture answered payer throughout the year, and read it together at Thanksgiving. It’s a perfect time to give thanks to God for all he has done!

These are some things we do together to grow closer to God and each other. I’d love to hear what you and your family do. Please comment below.

Guest Blog by Linda Joann Kay

I first met Linda  when my children attended AWANA (Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed ),at one of our local churches. She is a wonderful lady who is involved in many aspects of our community. This week, I asked her to share her insight on working with children, and she will tell you all about a fantastic organization. Both my kids enjoy participating every year, and it is very rewarding! Please welcome Linda Joann Kay!
Blessings,  Rebecca
 linda
As parents we want the best for our children. We enjoy not only meeting our children’s needs but giving them special things, as well. However, many of us as parents are concerned when we start seeing our children respond with an attitude of entitlement – “I deserve ______________”, “All my friends have __________”, while at the same time they lose their sense of gratitude. The expectations get bigger and bigger and yet their joy and appreciation becomes less and less. What is a parent to do?

I would suggest that one of the best ways to change a child’s perspective is to take them on a missions trip to Mexico or Haiti, to see children who live without all the luxuries and who appreciate the most simple gifts. However, this can be expensive and there are a lot of unpredictable variables – weather, sickness, transportation – to name a few.

But there is an effective and affordable way to change your child’s perspective, not only on consumerism but in realizing they can make a significant difference in another child’s life through Operation Christmas Child (OCC) a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse. OCC encourages people to give the simple gift of a shoebox stuffed with school supplies, toiletries, toys and candy for a boy or a girl between the ages of 2 and 14. Operation Christmas Child has distributed more than 200,000,000 shoe boxes to children in over 100 war-torn, impoverished and/or natural disaster hit countries over the last 22 years, bringing the message of love, hope and joy not only with the gifts but in sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.

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The cool thing is that your children can be involved from a very early age. Let me suggest a few ways to make this happen in your home. First, watch a video about OCC with your child. There are many to choose from but you may want to start with this video that gives you a great overview of the ministry of OCC. Once you see this video, you and your child will be hooked! It’s exciting to see how much joy we can bring to another child! You may want to watch some of the other videos right then but you may want to come back and watch a video once a week. Then have your child decide if they want to pack their box for a boy or a girl. Next, pick an age group, 2 – 4 year old, 5 – 9 year old, or 10 – 14 year old. Often children want to pick someone of the same gender and age making it easier to think what that child might enjoy.

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Then go shopping! Often you will find that your child will be very generous and will want to buy quite a bit for the child they have in mind. Sometimes it’s a good idea to take a shoebox along so your child realizes the restraints of space, or you could decide to pack more than one box. As you shop you can educate your child on the importance of things that they take for granted – soap, toothpaste, a comb – and point out that not all children have even these basic things.

When you pack your box encourage your child to write a letter to the child receiving the box and include a picture. Children who receive the boxes treasure these personal touches. Then include a check for $7 to cover the shipping – much cheaper than a missions trip! Or you can pay on line and get a tracking label so you know in which country your box is distributed.

Relay Centers are open the third week of November to receive your box. You can check on the OCC website to find a Relay Center near you.

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But if you don’t want to wait until November you can Build A Box on line. Again, your child gets to pick the age and gender of the child. Then they are given a choice of gifts to put in the box. With each choice they get a short story how a similar gift impacted a child’s life, and expanding their understanding of others and an appreciation for the life with which they’ve been blessed. The total cost for a Build A Box is $25 – again, much cheaper than a missions trip. Many of these boxes are delivered to “sensitive countries” where the Good News of Jesus Christ isn’t often heard.

An OCC distribution at a muslim school.

An OCC distribution at a muslim school.

I encourage you and your child to pray. Pray as you choose to pack a box. Pray as you shop. Pray as you pack. Pray as you drop it off. And then pray some more. Imagine what life might be for the child on the receiving end. Picture each item packed and pray that it will bring the child joy. If you find out in which country your box was delivered, learn about that country and pray some more.

One word on unrealistic expectations: you may hear back from your child, but probably not. If they have a piece of paper it will be used for school. They may not know how to write. They may not have access to a post office. Suffice it to know that your box has brought great joy into a child’s life.
An Operation Christmas Child shoebox doesn’t only change the life of the child receiving the box but it changes the heart of the one who sends it as well.

Linda Kay is the Area Director for Operation Christmas Child in Santa Cruz, CA. She is the mother of four children and grandmother to two. She met her husband, Randal, doing children’s ministry at Mount Hermon Christian Conference Center and they have been involved in ministry together ever since. You can contact Linda by email, scooterkay@gmail.com.