At the women's retreat this month Dorsey Jones shared on "Redemptive Works," those big and small things we do for others that can be an enormous encouragement and means of grace. During one part of her message she presented an excellent list of the kinds of things we can do for others. Let her ideas inspire you. 

"I know you all can recount the many times you have been on the receiving end of someone loving you, laying down their life for you, serving you and doing a good deed on your behalf. Think about those things done for you and consider what good things you can do for others.

Here are a few ideas:

  • have tea with an older or younger lady
  • help with Keepers (either as a substitute or guest lecturer)
  • watch kids for a working mom or a sick mom
  • babysit for someone who can't afford a sitter
  • send an encouragement via note card, email, or text (Ladies, it's wonderful when we receive a hand-calligraphied note on hand-made paper, but don't you think that what we need most is for someone to enter into our day and remind us of God's love and good plans for us? I find email and texting to be one of the easiest ways to do a good deed for someone. We all need encouragement, and we don't always get it. Often Gail Barnes or Donna Burnett will group text an encouragement about caring for our mothers. So often it has been the right word at the right time to help me keep my eye on the prize.)
  • run to the store for someone
  • track down a needed item
  • loan much needed items (cribs, bassinettes, chest of drawers)
  • help a single mom or a sick family clean or cook
  • help someone with carpooling
  • pick up a prescription
  • pay for something that someone else can't afford
  • visit people in the hospital and, if you can, bring something to leave behind (magazine, book, note cards, etc)

You can volunteer at:

  • a soup kitchen
  • Raleigh Rescue Mission
  • Hand of Hope
  • Western Wake Crisis Ministry
  • a hospital
  • a nursing home
  • With Love From Jesus

Not everyone can give freely of their time for such worthy local organizations, but you could:

  • sponsor someone who is raising money
  • sponsor a missionary

Then there's:

  • staying behind to help clean up
  • or you can volunteer to help set up
  • make an extra meal for a single or an infirm
  • paint someone's room
  • volunteer at a church work day
  • do yard work for the elderly or single parents
  • make a meal
  • give an anonymous charitable gift
  • include others into your family for holidays and special occasions
  • truly listen without inserting yourself into it
  • participate in or organize food drives
  • use your organizational skills to help someone
  • sew something for someone
  • help with mending or ironing
  • take a stack of laundry home to wash and fold
  • have little ones color a picture as a gift
  • be available
  • call someone
  • visit someone, just bring ice cream
  • house sit
  • pet sit
  • use your computer skills to help someone less tech savvy
  • send a birthday card
  • visit the elderly or offer to parent sit
  • take a walk with someone who needs encouragement
  • teach some lessons for a homeschooling mom
  • help pack up a room for a move
  • hunt down packing materials
  • store things in your attic or garage for someone
  • loan your extra car to someone with car trouble
  • pay for someone's meal
  • buy gift cards for a needy friend or just as a blessing

You are gifted in something you can do for others:

  • organizing
  • sewing
  • thrifty shopping
  • decorating
  • art
  • knitting
  • quilting
  • cleaning
  • teaching
  • music
  • praying
  • encouraging
  • gardening

So, you can offer your service to someone in need or whomever God puts on your heart to love through serving them.

Pray for someone - right then and there! We are all tempted to say, "Oh, I'll be praying for you." How often we forget to do just that even though we've committed ourselves to prayer! Because of a pastor's wife's example, I have learned to ask the person right then and there if I may pray for them. It's an amazing faith builder and shows true Christian care.

Finally, chronic care or crisis. There are those times when someone is in a situation that requires long term, multiple people care. Be it a serious illness, death in the family, a difficult pregnancy or delivery. Often there is a rush to help initially, but sometimes these situations require ongoing, long-term care. So if you're able, try to serve more than once! In these circumstances, the church elders or home group leaders are keeping a watchful eye on it. Someone will be making lists. Please, look it over and see what you are able to do to help and how you can volunteer your gifts and talents."

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