Reflections from an Index Card - Encouragement Café - December 4, 2015
Reflections from an Index Card
Café Menu for Friday, December 4, 2015
Today’s Special is: Remembering the Forgotten
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Aj Luck
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:10-11 ESV
Is it just me or does it feel like retailers are just a little too eager to begin the holiday celebrations?
It’s like as soon as the calendar turns October 1, the shelves are lined with Christmas décor. I don’t know about you, but honestly, that kind of freaks me out.
I start to feel a little anxiety rise up inside and I hurriedly walk past the displays, ignoring them at all cost.
I walk into the store to buy shampoo and I’m ushered past three different holidays via vivid displays and subtle music.
Dear God, I just wanted some shampoo.
Anxiety rises even further. I start feeling light headed. Then my heart reminds me of something.
A few years ago, our church held a service where they asked us to take a name off of a tree to buy items for children in need in a devastated neighboring state. My son picked a child and my husband picked out their parents and siblings.
We decided as a family that we were going to forego a big Christmas celebration, and celebrate and maybe even introduce Jesus to this family whose names and needs were only known from an index card on an artificial tree.
As our family shopped we found what we needed for them and got them a few board games too, to invite them to spend time together as a family. We wrapped the packages and prayed together. We wrote them a card and told them how much God loved them. Then we sent them off.
We as a family didn’t have a lot of money that year for our own gift exchanges. We put most of our budget into the other family. Yet, somehow that was the best Christmas we have ever had.
Instead of getting anxious about the upcoming holidays this year, may we be mindful of others and the journeys they are walking. Some have lost loved ones, hope, and even the belief that they matter.
Let’s not get lost in the commercialism of the holidays, but rather find ways to reflect Jesus towards others. A gift is just one way. Sometimes, someone just needs a hug and a smile to hear the words,
You are loved and you matter.
Start each day out morning asking God to show you how He wants you to reflect Him to others today.
Maybe – Smile at the cashier and strike up a small conversation.
Buy the person’s coffee in the Starbucks line behind you. Tell the cashier to pass along the message that God loves them when they hand it to them.
Offer to pay for lunch for someone who may be staying in to eat. (Maybe start a friendship)
Compliment someone who looks discouraged.
Offer free hugs to anyone who needs one. (This one's fun. I do this a lot! I. Am. A. Hugger!!)
As we go forward into the season of what is traditionally celebrated as Your birthday, show us how You would like us to be presents with Your presence to those around us.
Open our eyes and hearts to see those who are sick or hurting; those who may be in need or those who need encouragement. Lead us to them and give us the words to say that would honor You.
Help us to celebrate You in others and introduce You to those who may not yet know You.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.
© 2015 by Aj Luck. All rights reserved.
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