Love Your Visible Neighbor

“To love the invisible God, you must first love your visible neighbor.” ~Unknown “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” ~ 1 John 3:17 NKJV After Wednesday’s blog post on benevolence, I’ve been wrestling through the idea that loving God and loving your neighbor are linked together. If I love God with all my heart,

Reaching Out With Yarn

Has your own little world expanded at all over the past two months? (See Expand Your World for the post that started this mini-series.) We’ve looked at reaching kids, seniors, soldiers, needy families, special families, and other cultures. Today, we’re wrapping up with a fun way to weave warmth for others. If you love to crochet or knit … or even snip and tie fleece, there are many ways for you to use your hobby to

Reaching the World

Stretch your arms up high over your head. Now out to the sides as if you could put your hands on the opposite walls. Twist your upper back a bit. Doesn’t that feel good to move out of your comfort zone for a moment? We’ve spent the last several weeks talking about how to reach out to kids, seniors, the military, our neighbors, specific groups, and now we’re going further out of our comfort zones.

Helping Special Families

I can still remember walking out of Children’s Hospital on a September afternoon in 1998. My brain struggled to process the geneticist’s diagnosis that my 22-month-old daughter had Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS). Caused by a rare and random genetic mutation, CdLS affects growth and development resulting in small stature, (often) limb differences, developmental delays, autistic-like behavior, and many other issues. On one hand, I felt relieved to know it wasn’t my fault that Anna was

Reaching America

When was the last time you talked to or even saw your neighbors? In our typical, activity-filled lives, we have the tendency to push the remote, pull into the garage, lower the door, and rarely set foot outside again until fetching the morning paper. While the kids may roam and play together, we are often clueless as to the lives and needs of those around us. With our continued national economic woes, more and more families are

Sending Precious Mail

One thing I remember about my college days is the hopeful trip to the campus post office. Most days my tiny box held junk mail (at least someone out there knew I existed!) and an occasional bill or bank statement. But I always thumbed through the envelopes searching for the “golden ticket” that meant I had a package to pick up at the window. A care package that might contain wonderful (and useful) surprises from

Reaching Kids

Ready for a few sobering statistics? An estimated 26% of kids are being raised in single parent homes. That’s basically one in four kids. Now consider this. 75% of children/adolescents in chemical dependency hospitals are from single-parent families. More than one half of all youths incarcerated for criminal acts lived in one-parent families when they were children. 63% of suicides are individuals from single parent families. 75% of teenage pregnancies are adolescents from single parent homes.

Expand Your World

Ever had the words of a song bring a smile to your face … and conviction to your heart at the same time? For me, the message came through Matthew West’s song, My Own Little World. A very self-centered world. Population? Me. As this blog’s regular followers know, my personal goal this year is to be like a tree planted by rivers of water. Developing deep roots and spreading out my branches to shade and support