I can't even begin to tell you how so many of you encourage us and what this encouragement does to brighten our days, increase our strength and spur us on in our work for Soaring Wings Ministries.
This encouragement comes in so many ways and is often unexpected and we are always SO VERY GRATEFUL! Sometimes the encouragement will come when we open our mailbox and find a precious handwritten note quickly scribbled on a piece of memo paper from a friend back in New Hampshire that says "I was thinking of you today and prayed for you". Sometimes it is a book of postage stamps mailed to us with a short note that says "Thought these stamps might help with Soaring Wings Ministries". Sometimes it is an email from a friend in Massachusetts that says " As God blesses me, I will bless you with a monthly donation to Soaring Wings Ministries". Sometimes it is from a relative in Texas that says "I have some kids clothes and toys that I am sending you for the homeless families". Sometimes it is from friends who send us boxes filled with items to be handed out to homeless people. Sometimes it is from of an elderly widow who emails us with her prayers and her wisdom from a lifetime of knowing that God never fails! Sometimes it is from a teenager who is willing to volunteer her time here at Soaring Wings this coming summer. Sometimes it is from our monthly supporters who faithfully remember us each month with their prayers and financial support. Sometimes it is from family who give up their secure lives so they can be God's servants at Soaring Wings Ministries. Sometimes it is phone calls or emails from friends of 50 plus years. Sometimes it is from new friends in Colorado who say "I can help with....." or "I pray for you every day". Sometimes it is a posting on Facebook from friends and family. Sometimes it is from family who will travel all the way from the east to help us out this summer. Sometimes it is from a Snap Chat that says "I love you" or "I miss you" or "I can't wait to see you". The list goes on an on and with each note, email, text message, snap chat, prayer, donation, partnership and volunteer.... our spirits are raised, our strength increased and our joy in service grows.
Encouragement is contagious. As I am encouraged by each one of you, I ask God to help me to be more of an encourager to others. Encouragement is also important and my hope is that I will take the time to write a short encouraging note to someone or send a quick email, snap chat or make that phone call that could make a huge difference in someone's day. The world is a hard place to live in. People get discouraged. People need to know that other people are thinking about them and care about them. People need encouragement. One thing that Ed and I love doing is handing out "blessing bags" to homeless people as we go about our day. We always have several of these bags in the bag seat of our truck ready to hand out to a homeless person in need. The people are always so surprised, grateful and ENCOURAGED. Those small "blessing bags" let them know that someone in this crazy, fast paced, selfish world cares about what happens to them. So many of you are gifted encouragers!!!!! Please continue to use your gifts of encouragement to reach out to others and if you want to improve your acts of encouragement like I do please make the effort. Acts and words of encouragement can make a huge difference in someone's life.
You all are such a huge blessing to us!!!!! I try to let all of you know how much we love and appreciate each one of you but sometimes my thank-yous and expressions of gratitude feel so inadequate. I love reading the Bible. It is my guide through this life and promises me eternally life through my faith in Jesus Christ. It also expresses beautifully what I sometimes feel so inadequate to express with my own words and so I will close by quoting Colossians 1:3 from "The Message"........ "Our prayers for you are always spilling over into thanksgivings. We can't quit thanking God our Father and Jesus our Messiah for you!"
"I woke up this morning
Saw a world full of trouble"
These are lines from a song, DO SOMETHING by Matthew West. Isn't it true? We are in a world that is full of trouble, poverty, homelessness, child abuse, children needing forever homes, dirty air, water, etc., etc., etc. What is our response? Do we do what the song says, do we ask God , why don't You do something? After all it is His world, right? We are part of it, we see the problems, and they are huge, so what is God's plan?
The song says God answered the question of why He didn't do anything by saying, "I did, I created you" Umm, me what am I to do with such major problems here on earth. Why me?
In the Message version of the Bible, 1John 3:17 "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?" It is up to me to do something. In Deuteronomy 15:7 the command is clear, "... do not be hardhearted or tightfisted towards your poor brother."
I am sure not everyone is passionate about the homeless, you may want to do something about another wrong in the world. Proverbs 31:8 "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute." God may be calling you to speak up for others. Or adopt a child, or show up for a clean up day at a local park or just do something about what you care about!
Later there is a verse in the song that in part says, " I'm so tired of talking about how we are God's hands and feet." Same verse says "I wanna be the one that stands up and says "I'm gonna do something" In Matthew 25:35 Jesus says to the sheep "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink..." You did something about the need you saw.
I challenge you today to think about it, what is it that bothers you most in the world, what has God laid on your heart for a concern? Then what can you do to help? Anita and I worked with families and children all of our work life, God said "go and do" for homeless in Colorado. You have a choice, we did too, we said as the song writer did, "if not us, then who, If not me and you right now it it's time for us to do something, If not now, then when will we see an end to all this pain."
The last line in the song says, "It's time for us to do something." AMEN? AMEN!
To see and hear the video for this song go to YouTube and type in Matthew West Do Something.
Anita Rennells is the author of this blog. She and her husband have moved to Colorado when Ed retired and are in the process of opening a ranch to help homeless young adults.
Soaring Wings Ministries