Archive for the ‘Charity’ Category

As many of you will be aware I’ve been off work on sick leave for a number of weeks. As I’ve been unable to do very much I’ve found myself watching TV programmes which I wouldn’t normally watch. What I’ve noticed though in the last two or three weeks is that the focus of the adverts in between programmes has changed – Not only it is now adverts about Christmas, Black Friday deals and bargains but nearly every second advert is one highlighting either people or animals in need of our help by giving a donation to their charity.

While I understand that charities need the public to donate to them so they can continue their work, but really, does there need to be quite so many of these adverts on all day, it really is very depressing. Please don’t think I don’t care about these charities, as that’s not the case – it’s depressing for two reasons:

  • No matter how much I may want to give to each and every charity, there’s no way I can support them all, but they all have an uncanny way of making me feel guilty if I don’t donate!
  • The adverts highlight just how much need there is in this world, and how many awful people there are who are cruel or abusive to people and animals.

Each of these adverts show shocking images of children, adults and animals who’ve been abused or neglected – All designed to pull at our heart-strings and persuade us to donate to their cause. How I wish this world was a better place where no one is abused, homeless, alone, or hungry.

So while these charity adverts are a hard watch, and make me feel guilty, it does remind me of all those who are far less fortunate than I am.

If each of us could give what we can to the charities/causes that we feel are most in need of our help, we can make a difference, and help make this world a better place.

Have you ever stopped and thought what it would be like to be completely on your own, with all your family and friends have passed away?

That sounds such an awfully lonely place doesn’t it?

Well sadly there are many people in our world who find themselves in exactly those circumstances today. I wonder, what can we do to help them, so that they realise they are not on their own, and in fact are loved?

There are in fact many ways we can help people in our local communities who feel alone – Here’s a few suggestions:

  • We can become a volunteer in an organisation which helps the lonely and vulnerable people in your area.
  • We can give monetary donations to charities whose aim is to help or befriend those who feel alone.
  • We can pop in and visit people we know who are at risk of feeling alone – the elderly, those who have been bereaved of their life partner, single parents etc

As well as these suggestions, we can pray, because I believe praying for someone is the best thing we can do for someone.

In so many areas of life we find people who freely give up their own personal time and talents to help others, expecting nothing in return except the knowledge that they’ve helped others.

Whether it running a kids’ football team, working in a charity shop, taking on a position within your church, helping those with disabilities, helping to educate others by leading evening classes, or some other voluntary act, people do these things voluntarily, and that is what others need to remember.

We can all be quick to make derogatory comments about the ability of the person who has volunteered. Many will think they can do better than the person who is in charge, but can they?

From experience, probably not! Even if we were capable of doing a job better than the person who has volunteered, we should be supportive and helpful towards the person, after all they have given of their time and talents freely, while we haven’t! They may not be perfect at the job they have undertaken, but they are doing their best – They wouldn’t have been given the job if those in charge didn’t think they were capable of doing a good job.

Volunteers aren’t in it for their own glorification, but are there to help others, so if you find yourself putting your trust in volunteers to lead, help, train or educate you or your family, don’t put them down or tell others you could do better.  Instead, always give them your support and encouragement.

When we’re asked a question, we can often give elaborate answers which really tell the questioner nothing. So for the following questions I’m looking for single word answers only :

  1. Have you ever felt so broken that you couldn’t even pray?
  2. What makes you smile, no matter how you feel?
  3. Do you have regrets?
  4. Do you donate to charity? Which one(s)?
  5. How has your life changed over the last year?

Whatever your answers, did you answer honestly or did you give the answers you think you should be giving?

If you didn’t answer honestly, can I suggest you try again, but this time be honest with yourself, because if you are, you might get an insight into the ares of your life you need to change.

oneword

Yesterday in Recycling #1, I asked you to consider giving your unwanted items to a local organisation/charity that can make use of your unwanted items rather than just sending them to landfill.

I used a different translation of the John 6:12 yesterday, but we get the same message if we read those words in the NIV translation:

When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”

Jesus instructed the disciples not to waste anything – In this scenario he was talking about food, but does the same apply to all things?

Not only must we not waste physical items such as food and furniture, neither should we waste our knowledge of God by keeping it to ourselves!

There are many people around us who are in need of God, so get out there and recycle your learning of God by telling the world about Him.

 

Last week as I was driving along some of my local streets and was aware that there were a number of unwanted items piled up outside quite a few of the houses. At first I was wondering what was going on, but soon remembered that it in my area it was ‘uplift day’. i.e. the day that our local council collect items we no longer want, and take them to the tip for us.

My main thought was why are people “throwing out” items that appeared to be in pretty good condition, when they could be reused by someone else – Items included several sofas, a couple of tables and chairs, and a wardrobe.

One thing we’ve always done when replacing/renewing items in our home is to recycle items which are in reasonable condition – There is a local community church which helps rehouse refugees, so we know all items we give them will get put to good use. Places like our local church, are always delighted to take items that are in reasonable condition as they are inundated with requests for help, so are always in need of items.

I wonder why these people near me hadn’t considered giving their items away to help people in need, but instead were happy to pay the local council to take away their items to dump in a landfill site.

Just think how many more people could be rehoused and given items for their home if we all gave our unwanted items to organisations who help refugees and homeless people!

Did you know that the bible tells us to recycle?

And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” (John 6:12)

So next time you have unwanted items in your home, please consider contacting a local organisation who can make sure your items are given to people who need them.

 

 

What does your Christmas look like?

Lots of parties and nights out?

Spending time with your family?

A chance to help others, by providing gifts for those less fortunate?

A time to celebrate the birth of Christ?

 

I must admit to being disappointed by a number of conversations about Christmas that I’ve heard, as Christ hasn’t been mentioned. More than that, it seems for most, that Christmas is only “good” if, one, “the kids get everything they want for Christmas”, and two, they have a great night out where they get really drunk and can’t remember anything about it the next day.

Yes, it’s nice to be able to give and receive presents, and it’s great to see the joy on a child’s face when they get that gift they really wanted, but is this really what Christmas is about? Is this really what we want others to think this is what Christmas is all about?

It’s also great to “let your hair down” and have a good night out, but is there any need to drink to excess? What’s the point of drinking so much that you can’t remember anything about the night and have a hangover the next day? Personally I don’t get that, as isn’t it better to have a great fun night out that you can remember, rather than a night you can’t remember so have no idea whether it was good or bad?

no christ no christmasSo where is Christ in your Christmas? Is He centre of your festivities, or has He been given a bit part role meaning we attend a Christmas service at church out of habit or duty, just because that’s what we’ve always done at Christmas?

Christ should be the centre of our Christmas celebrations, and He should be at the centre of our every day lives, each day of the year.

Therefore this Christmas, don’t get too caught up in partying and presents that you forget that if it hadn’t been for Christ, we would not have CHRISTmas!

Are you looking for simple ways to encourage your heart and nourish your soul?

In the last while I’ve given you some ideas which will hopefully inspire you to implement them in your own life, and over the coming weeks I’ll share some others with you.

So here’s today’s suggestion:

De-clutter

Clutter can be a reminder of things that need to be done, spurring a feeling of failure, so cheer yourself and your day quickly by straightening out of cupboard or a bench.

If you want to go a bit further, why not tackle your wardrobe as I’m sure if you’re anything like me, you’ll have things in your wardrobe you kept, “just in case it fits me again sometime“, even though realistically I know, it’s not going to happen.

Even just sorting your things into some kind of order rather than the cluttered chaos it currently is, will give you the illusion of de-cluttering without throwing anything out!

 

how-to-declutter-choices

Are you looking for simple ways to encourage your heart and nourish your soul?

In the last while I’ve given you some ideas which will hopefully inspire you to implement them in your own life, and over the coming weeks I’ll share some others with you.

So here’s today’s suggestion:

Have a clear out                                                                                                                                                 

 

When a say have a clear out, I mean have a look through your wardrobe and take out anything that you’ve not worn for over 6 months. If you’ve not worn it in that amount of time, are you really going to wear it again?

I’m sure we’ve all got things in our wardrobe that we’ve kept because once we “lose a bit of weight” it’ll fit us again. But let’s be realistic, how long was it since it last fitted you? Are you really going to ever fit in it again?

Once you’ve been through your wardrobe and taken out the things you’ve not worn for a while, bag then up and take them to your local charity shop. Not only will you help the charity shop, but clearing out will help you feel you’ve achieved something worthwhile.

clear out your wardrobe

 

 

I’ve done a few Word Associations with you over the last while, and today it’s time for another one. So as usual I’m going to throw some words at you  and I want you to note down the first word that comes into your mind when you read each word.

So here goes…

  1. wordsDress
  2. Lamp
  3. Charity
  4. Hair
  5. Lipstick
  6. Elephant
  7. Fence
  8. Scarf
  9. Emu
  10. Storm

 

So how did you get on with those words? Did you find it easy? Did your answers surprise you or were they just as you expected?

Well here’s my responses to my questions:

  1. Infrequent
  2. Fall
  3. Fundraising
  4. Cut
  5. Red
  6. Safari
  7. Wood
  8. Warm
  9. Australia
  10. Windy

I still believe that when we respond with the first words that come into our minds, our answers tell us a lot about our emotional state, and what’s important to us at that particular point in time.

Bearing all this in mind, review your answers, does my theory hold true?

By the way, if you want me to explain any of my answers, just ask!