Life Church, my local church here in Oak Harbor, Washington encourages its members to belong to small groups we call, Life Groups. I am privileged to lead a group of lovely ladies. We love to celebrate and acknowledge each other, especially on birthdays. It is recommended that each life group take the month of August off for a break to re-group for a new start in September. My birthday is in August, so for the past few years, it has slipped under the radar. One of the gals did not think that fair, so she organized a special gathering for us August birthday ladies (another gal joined who also has an August birthday).
We usually share words of encouragement during this time for the birthday person. What a joy to hear the blessing of how our gathering has impacted the lives of those present. My heart was overwhelmed to hear them share little things that made just a big impact on their lives.
I want to encourage you that as you love others–your family members, your co-workers or ministry team release your faith to know that God is using you to touch their lives with his love. When the Holy Spirit speaks to you to reach out to someone, through a phone call, a text or a special act of kindness, do it! You may think it is optional or not needed, but the Holy Spirit knows what they need at the time. A well placed phone call with a word of encouragement can lift a load that might otherwise be crushing.
Facebook has some naysayers, but those of you who use it, it can be an effective ministry tool. If you read where someone is struggling, take the time to write and pray for them. During my husbands struggles Facebook was often my lifeline to the “outside normal” world. It helped me stay in touch with those whom I was far away. It was so special and uplifting to read this year the posts on my actual birthday. I have heard others say how strengthening it was to read the posts on their day as well. These are small things that we can do. They do not take much time but the rewards in strengthening some ones soul can be huge!
Some of the ladies gave me verbal words of encouragement, others wrote them in a card. Both ways were special and touched my heart. We had some first time visitors last night as well. They got a glimpse of the love and care we share for one another. It will be a joy to get to know them as we journey life together. Prayer is also something we do for one another. Last night we heard some marvelous God stories as different ones shared how God had showed up for them. We can not always be the answer to the needs of those around us, but we can always bring these needs to the one who can. What a joy to rejoice with our sisters when God answers these heart-felt cries!
Therefore be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. I Peter 4:7-10
Do not let our enemy rob you of the blessing of the joy of doing the small things, they truly make a difference! Thank you Morgan for your inspiration and cake.