Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Service Suggestions Day TWO

TODAYS TOPIC: Ministering to the Neighbors

Today we move a bit closer to home and talk about how we can serve those who live next to us. If this is an area you feel God calling you to, here are a few ideas to stimulate your creativity:

For Those with Limited Time: How about having a "Neighbor Prayer Day"? As you go through your day, pray for your neighbors. This will work great even if you don't know their names. As you get up in the morning ask God to help them wake up refreshed and joyful. As you get ready for work pray that they will have a productive day. As you do your devotions pray that God will send people into their path who can share God's love with them. As you leave for work pray that they will have a safe journey wherever they need to travel through the day. Continue this throughout the day. One or two sentence prayers all through your day take little time, only the effort of remembering to pray.

For Those With children at Home: How about making summer treats for a neighbor. A cold ice-cream pie or brownie sundaes are simple and fun and perfect for summer. Have your kids help make the treats (and make some extra for your family to enjoy!) Have the children color a handmade card that says "A Summer Hello" or "Keep Cool" and have the entire family deliver the card and the treats. If you have some Seniors in your neighborhood, another good idea is to have your whole family drop by and offer your help. Do they need weeds pulled from the flowerbed, furniture dusted or a squeaky door oiled? They would probably love the company for an hour even more than the help you provide!

For Those with More Time: How about hosting a neighborhood ice cream social or ladies tea? You could invite a few neighbors over for ice cream and have each family bring a favorite topping. Or invite the ladies in your neighborhood over for tea. Tell them you want to pray for them regularly and ask if there's anything they want you to pray for. Another option if you have the time is to take a neighbor out for lunch or coffee.

As I close this entry, I just wanted to give another word of explanation for those who are reading this because of the Purpose class. I am not suggesting that you do these things each day. I am only doing this to show you that service can be done by anyone regardless of your financial or time situations. I am hoping only to help you see service in a different way and to help you think more creatively. Have fun with it and see what God stirs your heart to do for Him in the future!


Anonymous Lisa Long said...

Jess -

Your ideas are great! For some time I have been thinking about doing something to cheer patients in hospitals. With our experiences, we are very blessed to have someone available to stay with Ian when he is in the hospital. But there have got to be some who aren't so blessed. So my idea...and I will try very hard to put it into practice this weekend...is to take a bunch of flowers to Gettysburg Hospital and give them to the nurses on the wing where Ian usually goes and ask them to distribute them to patients of their choice who the nurses think could use some cheering. Come to think of it, I'll take Ian with me and he can deliver them to the nurses station.

Also, loved the comments about the cell phone and the bus trip.

;-) Lisa

6:30 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Great idea, Lisa! I love to hear how people use the things that happen in their lives to encourage others going through the same situations. What a blessing!

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Leslie said...

Praying for neighbors is something that Randy and I have been doing for a while when we go for our evening walks. There is even a new development coming in and we've been praying for the families that will be moving in.

I also want to share with you about my cousin. Her name is Judy and she has lost 55 pounds--her inspiration was prayer. She had a burden for a while about reaching out to her neighbors and she was also really frustrated about her weight, so she thought, the best thing I can do for my neighbors and myself would be to walk and pray--so she does 4-5 miles a day around her development (which is a big development) and the neighbors she knows more, she spends more time in prayer for them and the ones she doesn't know, she prays for opportunities, etc. Not only does she feel great, but she's gotten to meet some new people and feels very blessed to have the opportunity to pray for them.

Oh yeah, I must say we don't get out for our walk every night, but we are trying :-) It is a very peaceful time.

9:09 AM  
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