Spread a Little Hope, Part 1

Greetings, Reader! Today I’d like to inspire you. The more I see of the world, the more it strikes me that there are so many people living without hope. None of us are immune to pain or disappointment. At times I am overwhelmed by the amount of suffering compared with my ability to ease that suffering. There are so many types of suffering, and we are so constantly bombarded with requests for help in the form of money or volunteer hours, that we quickly begin to feel guilty. So what is a person to do? How are you to do real good, rather than just wishing that you could? As I always say, there is a better way.

Here’s what you need:

  • A compassionate heart
  • A desire to make a difference
  • Time
  • Generosity with whatever resources you have

Here’s what you do:

  • Think through the many types of pain and suffering around you. Focus in on the one or two that really move your heart.
  • Look for established organizations in your community that serve in the areas that you care most about.
  • Make a list of your talents and resources. If you are not very creative, offer up those talents and resources to the organizations you have found, and let them place you where they can best use you. If you are creative, however, you may spend some time thinking of your own ways to meet the needs in your area.
  • If there is no group or organization in your area meeting the needs of the people you would like to help, use your connections and social networks to find others in your community who share the same passions as you, and pool your talents and resources.
  • Get your family involved. Serving others together is an excellent way to strengthen your relationship with your spouse or significant other. Children are very enthusiastic about helping others, and there is no better time to develop a generous and compassionate spirit than childhood.

I hope that you will be inspired to find your own niche where you can do the good that you were made for.  In the future, be looking for ideas on more specific ways to Spread a Little Hope.

Peace Be With You

What Makes Your Heart Glad?

What brings joy to your spirit? What makes you truly happy? Not a fleeting sense of amusement or merriment, but a true, deep joy. Can you hold onto that joy when life is anything but joyous? These are questions that we each must ask ourselves. The answer has everything to do with the source of our joy. The bare fact is that if our source of joy is anything that can be imperfect or perishable, then our joy will be likewise. The New Testament book of James instructs us to count or consider our trials joy. At first glance, that is an absolutely ludicrous statement. Pain, suffering, trials – they are the exact opposite of joy.

But James goes on to explain that we can consider even the trials of life as joy because they make us better people. The responsibility falls to us, though. Our suffering can only do the work of refining and perfecting us if we allow them to, or more specifically, if we allow God to use them in that vein. We always have the option of allowing life to crush us instead. What it comes down to is this: we are going to have trials and suffering in our lives. There is no escaping it. So if that is the case, I would rather become a better person, a better Christian, each time I face a trial, rather than letting it beat me down. How about you? The choice is yours.