Be the difference…

December 11, 2021

You can add to the message of the graphic that it not what you say but what you do that makes a difference. Knowing that something is wrong and even saying that something is wrong does little to change things. Taking action to bring about those changes is the only thing that counts.

Very often the things that may bother us as being wrong are much larger than just something that we can personally fix or right, and there is a tendency to let that put us off doing anything at all. Your actions may take the form of joining a protest march or writing a letter to authorities or maybe to your local paper. Change is often brough about through educational efforts to point out the wrong and making suggestions for fixing them.

The important things is not to let the size of the problem overwhelm your inclination to help. Food insecurity (we used to call it hunger) and homelessness are big, widespread problems, but they manifest themselves locally in smaller groups that you can impact by your own actions. Volunteering at your local food bank or at a local shelter helps with the problem in your neighborhood. If every neighborhood had groups and volunteers working on the problem, it would certainly be less than it is. At least you can be a part of the solution instead of just knowing or talking about the problem.

The next time you find yourself thinking about (or talking about) something that need attention or help, ask yourself, “So, what can I do about that?” Then don’t let yourself be put off by the size or pervasiveness of the problem. Keep thinking smaller and smaller until you think of something that you can do and do it. When you see a person in need, take action, not pity.

Be the difference…

Monday, Monday…

October 25, 2021

Monday’s get a bad rap as being the worst day of the week. I remember the Momma’s and Pappa’s song, Monday, Monday, in which they said the Monday’s leave them crying all of the time. Do Monday’s make you sad? Or, maybe you just dread having to go back to work on Monday. Maybe you just see Monday’s as “just another day” and dismiss them as unimportant. Here’s a thought –

“There’s no such thing in anyone’s life as an unimportant day.”  (Alexander Woollcott)

Perhaps, if you approach Monday’s (and really every day) with both thankfulness that you were given another day and anticipation of what will make this an important day in your life, you will recognize the hand of God in your daily life. Every day is full of opportunities to make decisions or take actions big or small that impact your life and the lives of others.

The simple act of holding a door open at a store for someone that you don’t even know may be the key to changing their day and putting them in a better frame of mind. That same act puts you in a better frame of mind too, since it forced you to get outside of yourself and your own thoughts and to recognize and act upon the needs of others. In most cases a verbal exchange of some sort will also happen, which further gets you out of your shell. The simple exchange, “Thank you” and “You’re welcome” bring importance to your day.

Occasionally, you might be presented with one of life’s big opportunities to do something highly important, like saving someone’s life. We see that on news shows from time to time, when some “normal” person, just like us, happens to be at the right place at the right time to pull someone from a burning car or house or maybe to apply the Heimlich maneuver at a restaurant. They probably weren’t having a significantly important day prior to that incident, but it will remain in their memories as an important day the rest of their lives.

The most unimportant day of your life is yesterday, so don’t spend a lot of time revisiting it. The next least important day is tomorrow, since spending time worrying about what might happen then seldom has any impact other than to waste time today. Rather, spend your time focusing upon the most important day of your life, which is today, even if it is a Monday. God has important things for you to do today, so don’t miss the opportunities.

Hey, can I get that door for you?

What difference will you make today?

October 1, 2021

Recently Pastor Jack Freed used this quote in his blog, Jack’s Winning Words

Jane Goodall

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.”  (Jane Goodall)

Most people probably don’t think about the difference that they make in the world because they mistakenly believe that making a difference means doing something really big or significant. In reality, one makes a difference with each interaction with another person. The key is Goodall’s observation that what kind and how much of a difference you make depends upon what you do at that moment.

Very many of us tend not to notice or acknowledge other people that we pass during the day or even try overtly to avoid making eye contact or saying anything. Some may even try to avoid specific people, because they just don’t want to spend the time talking to them. Maybe you know someone who is always down or complaining and you just don’t feel like sharing time with them because you don’t want to let them bring you down, too. This is probably the type of person for whom the term “Gloomy Gus” was invented.

If you are like that, you have made a conscious decision not to make a positive difference in the lives of the other people. I know a lady, who is a life coach, who uses the motto, “Making a positive difference in other people’s lives”. Most of us probably don’t start each day with that motto in mind; however, if we start each day without a thought like that in mind we have defaulted to indifference and have created an indifferent world for ourselves. We do not make a difference and that is just sad.

One doesn’t have to be a bubbly, cheerleader type person to at least be friendly during the day – to greet others with a smile and a friendly, “Hello” or “How Are you?” greeting. You might be surprised to find out that your friendly greeting may have caused that person to reset their mood from negative to positive. You made a positive difference in their day. You may also notice that it made your day a lot better, too. You may never know what that person whom you influenced was able to do today, but it started with you. You made a positive difference.

There will be many other times during the day to interact with others in ways that are either uplifting and positive or negative and maybe even hurtful. Have you decided what kind of difference you want make today? The choice is up to you. You may not be able to do big things that will change the world all at once, but you can change the world one person at a time by the choices that you make today.

What kind of difference do you want to make? Maybe you can say a little prayer before you start out on your day and ask God to help you make a positive difference during the day. I’m pretty sure that you wouldn’t pray that God help you be a grump all day.

Have a friendly day!

Make a positive difference today!

What difference will you be…

April 26, 2021

I saw a little slogan line in an on-line ad recently that struck a chord – “Be the difference…”

As I thought about it I wondered how one can be the difference and I was surprised that a flood of possible examples came to mind.

Just imagine that by wearing your mask in public, maintaining social distance, getting your vaccine shot and doing the other things that are recommended by the health experts, you were the reason that someone else didn’t get the COVID virus and die. You were the difference in their life.

There are so many other examples that come to mind. Maybe you are the one who stops to render assistance to someone in need. You are the difference in their life.

Maybe you are the one who provides a shoulder to cry on and words of comfort and support to someone who is grieving or perhaps has just been harmed. You are the difference in their life.

Perhaps without even realizing it, the way that you are living your life has become the role model for someone else and is helping them do the right things in their life. You are the difference in their life.

Maybe you have taken up a good cause and volunteered at a local organization, perhaps packaging and delivering food to shut-ins. For them you may be the only person that they get to talk to all day. You are the difference in their life.

I thought how much better it is if you are aware of the difference that you make and that doing so gives you a rewarding sense of fulfilling your purpose in life.

We are told in the Bible – “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” – Colossians 3:23-24

So, as you start a new day and a new week, perhaps you can add to your prayers a request that God make known to your what you purpose is in life and then give you the strength and perseverance to carry out that purpose and be the difference in someone’s life.

Remember what Jesus said to his disciples about helping others – “‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:40

Add this single thought to your prayers –“Lord let me be the difference today”.  You might just be surprised what a big difference you can make.

Be the difference…

Will you make a difference today?

June 26, 2019

From today’s post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog comes this inspiration – “It’s easy to make a buck.  It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.”  (Tom Brokaw)

We begin each day faced with lots of choices – what to wear, what to have for breakfast, what route to take to work and many more. Add to that list the simple question, “What can I do to make a difference today?” and maybe that will put you in the right frame ofbored mind to go out and make that difference. Making the world a better place is a pretty big difference making challenge to throw at yourself the first thing in the morning; so. maybe start with the goal of just making a positive difference in someone else’s life. Something as small as a smile and a friendly “Hello” or holding a door open for someone can make his or her day better. Acts of kindness and consideration make a difference, one person at a time. Will you make a difference today?

If you have a goal to make the world a better place through some larger change, keep in mind that those changes take longer and that you may only be able to accomplish small increments on any given day. Keep at it, even though the evidence of change that day may be imperceptible. Persistence goes hand-in-hand with making a difference. Maybe sewrving soupyou are collecting signatures for some ballot initiative and today your goal is to get another 10-20 signatures. Keep at it. You are making a difference, however small today. Maybe you are saving your change each day, so that you can contribute to a worthy cause. Keep at it. Your nickels and pennies are adding up. Maybe you only have a little time after work that you can devote to helping coach a little league team or perhaps help at a local food bank or shelter. It makes a difference that you are spending that time making a difference in the lives of others. Will you make a difference today?

If you are hungry and I give you food; does that make a difference in your life? If you are cold and I give you a coat to wear; does that make a difference in your life? If you have nowhere to sleep tonight and I contribute to the local shelter; does than make a goaldifference to you? If you are seriously injured and you receive the pint of blood that I gave at the Red Cross; does that make a difference to you? If you suffered through a tornado that destroyed your home and the Red Cross uses the money that I contributed to provide you with shelter; does that make a difference to you? Making a difference comes in all sizes and forms; however, it almost always starts with a single person making the decision to make a difference by giving or their money or time. Will you make a difference today?

We often start our day by praying for God’s help in our own lives. We pray for the strength or courage or wisdom to get through a tough problem at home or at work. Maybe we pray for success in our business life or for help in resolving a conflict in ourGods work our hands personal life. How many of us pray for the opportunity to help make a difference in someone else’s life? That opportunity is the chance today for you to meet Jesus. Jesus said in Matthew 25 – For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. When the disciples said that they had seen or done none of that, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Will you take the opportunity to meet Jesus today? Will you make a difference today?