In all the house hunting and moving of the past couple of months, I haven’t spent much time here. Frankly, I have missed you all. i have only been here once a week at most. That isn’t much! I have also missed the rest of my blog. But with all the other moving, I haven’t had a lot of time to think about where it was and what to do…until bills came in. That woke me up to the fact that I needed to get on the stick and settle on what to do with my blog…all the parts of it, and where to land.
After I moved over to WordPress.com, I discovered that I couldn’t move the rest of my blog here…so I was pretty stuck. I have too many years of back writing invested to just toss it out. I often look back over some of those old posts and discover they are pretty helpful. So in the next couple of weeks, I’ll be moving my blog to a new place. It will all get set up with the old blog, then I’ll move this new one over there. That will be the easy part!
I’ll also change the name of the blog to my own name: marthagrimmbrady.com rather than grittygrace.com. Since i’m moving more in the direction of hope for my blog now. Without grace, we obviously don’t have much hope, but this gives me lots of flexibility for the future! I’ll have something on there about being formerly grittygrace.com for awhile but since i didn’t have hordes of readers, it won’t take long to bring about the change.
So that is some housekeeping information. I’ll talk a little about what we did today. (I wrote most of this on Sunday.)On holiday weekends, we usually don’t have Sunday School classes at our church. So many people go out of town on holidays, the teacher ranks get decimated. Since our Sunday School equivalent meets after our worship service, the plan was that the different classes would do prayer walks at some of the ministries in town we support. One class stayed in and prayed.
Done with the housekeeping on to today’s post
We wanted to go to a location, so we went with another group. It was fun to see this ministry. It is called Village of Promise. It is in a community hedged on one side by government subsidized housing (one story homes). On the other side, by a school. I think it is an elementary school, but it is a magnet school, not a community school. The building they use is shared by a boys and girls club and United Way. They are unable to be overtly Christian in their publications because they receive government funding, but all the employees are christians and see their roles as sharing the love of Christ to the families of that community. It is a bilingual, minority community and they serve both Spanish and English speaking parents. Their ministry has been there for 14 years now, so many of the workers came up through their program. They serve children starting with preschool and are encouraged all the way through college.
But they don’t just help the kids with preschool and after school care so their parents can work. They also help the parents with parenting and relational skills, and the many other issues that make poverty and the working poor so generational. They offer encouragement and support so these families can break the chain of poor habits that many have known for generations. They give hope that change is possible through Jesus.
So we offered support by praying for them…the staff, the community, the people who are involved in Village of Promise
But back to what we were there for. We were there on site to pray for this community and the ministry that takes place in that building and in that community during the week. As we were praying for them, I was excited to think of the many ministries that are happening all around our city to those in need. Some concentrate in certain communities/neighborhoods. Others minister to people with specific needs such as crisis pregnancies, the homeless, alcoholics and drug abusers, job training, etc. They all struggle for finances and volunteers. They are beginning to work together so they can get more done with less waste and more ability to share skills. The task is monumental all over our nation. For the most part, it is done in little pockets and isn’t hugely visible. But GOD is working in these little places. The changes are taking place one and two at a time. But they are happening over a period of years.
When it comes to the poor and needy, there is never enough, in terms of resources, to help. There is always more that needs to be done. But GOD is working in our community for sure. How about yours? Are you looking around in your community and finding out what GOD has for you to do to help out? It will bless your socks off to get involved in helping people who are less fortunate than you are, especially if you are involved in ways that help you interact with the people who are needy in a way that has you on a more equal setting.
Your involvement may be at a local school to mentor a few students, or read to kids at a library. It may be to mentor women at a crisis pregnancy center or bring food or snacks to encourage the workers at a place like Village of Promise. I don’t know what GOD’s work is for you. But look around. He has a place for you and your family to serve a few hours a week. Ask Him to show you where it is. He might surprise you. Meanwhile, educate yourself about what opportunities are available in your community.
- Start praying for your community and groups that serve it. Become educated about them Let them know you are praying for them and find more specifically how you can pray.
- Don’t minimize the importance of prayer, but don’t limit yourself to staying at home and “only” praying if you can do more. Find ways to help one group. It may seem small. If you can’t get out of your house, write encouraging notes to those who work there. If you can, but can’t do much, find out what they need.
- Maybe they need help with snacks on a certain day and you can help bring them or organize a group to bring them. Can you mentor someone? That is an awesome way to help! But there are multiple ways you can help both behind the scenes as well as in the forefront. If you have a special skill, ask them, they may have a way to use it.
- Pray for GOD to lead you. He will show you where to go, where to serve. Remember, that is what you will be doing, serving.
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father,
inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
I was naked and you clothed me,
I was sick and you visited me,
I was in prison and you came to me.’
Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[f] you did it to me.’
Matthew 25:34-46 ESV
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?
It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before others,
so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:13-16 ESV