New Year…Fresh Start – Help Others

…if you open your heart to the hungry, and provide abundantly for those who are afflicted, your light will shine in the darkness, and your gloom will be like the noon (Isaiah 58:10, Common English Bible).

I can’t say I have ever made this resolution, nor have I actually known anyone who has made helping others or volunteering a New Year’s resolution. I have heard people, during Lent, commit to performing random acts of kindness but I don’t see them as the same thing.

Perhaps that is because most of the people I know are very giving folks. They are quite willing to give of their time to benefit others. I think back to this past October to a group of people in my church who gave up two days of their time, some more than that, in order to prepare and serve the teachers of our school district. In a previous church they got up and were at the school at 5:00 AM to prepare and serve teachers breakfast. Another church served close to 100 children by providing Christmas gifts to needy families. A friend raises money to buy water filters, then forms mission teams to go to Haiti and teach families the importance of drinking clean water and then gives them a way. The list could go on and on.

I always feel blessed when I see these activities. I feel even more blessed when I am part of the work. I know others feel the same. It is at least part of the reason these people continue to be part of something bigger than themselves.

Just this morning I was talking to a woman who has a couple of volunteer opportunities she participates in. She felt she wasn’t doing enough and didn’t really do anything to help. I would argue she is wrong. If not for her and people like her, lots of other people would have less to eat. She is a blessing to others because she serves others.

In our lesson today reminds us that when we help others, we are shinning our lights into the world. For people of faith in Isaiah’s day, it was a dark world. It still is. When we help, our light shines in the world. We make a difference for them and we make a difference for ourselves.

I have long believed everyone should have at least three ministries. The first they do for their community, the second for their church and third for the world. Sometimes these ideas may overlap and that’s OK. It’s OK to go with a church mission team to take those water filters to Haiti and train the people who will be using them It is both service for the local church and for the world.

Make no mistake, when you serve you are making a difference. In my secretary’s office hangs a wall decoration. I have also seen it as a Facebook meme. It says, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” When we do that, we serve others, we volunteer.’

In what ways do you serve others?

Have a blessed day in the Lord,

Joy and Peace,

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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