Archive | June 2016

A Volunteer’s Reward

This post is dedicated to the innumerable volunteers who give so much of themselves to serve others.  Sometimes it is a thankless and unappreciated service.  There are times when we have to get ready to go out serve when we’re tired and have so many other things calling for attention in our lives and we wonder if it’s worth continuing because we have no idea whether or not we’re making a difference.  Once in a great while God allows us to see the difference we’re making or have made.

One of the volunteer positions I served in was called Read Fur Fun at our local library.  We would bring our therapy dogs on a Saturday morning, the children would pick a book and read it to the dog of their choice.  One Saturday our time was up, but I saw a young boy who had that “love at first sight” look when he saw Buster Brown, so we lingered.  Tommy (not his real name) was developmentally challenged and wanted to know why a dog was in the library.  We explained the program to him and he started to get a book, when he was told we were done for the day, but he could sign up for next month.  He eagerly looked at his mom.  She was the kind of mom who was doing everything she possibly could to help her son.

A month later Tommy came and slowly read to Buster Brown, his finger under each word.  His mom was trying to get him to put more feeling in to his reading, but Buster Brown listened attentively nevertheless.  As they were leaving, his mom said, “He practiced every day for the last month so he could read to the dog”.  Tears came to my eyes and I never forgot him.  I looked for him each time we went, but he was involved in several other therapeutic programs and didn’t make it back to the library. 

It’s been five or six years since that Saturday.  I was at the library this afternoon for a performance of Old Time Radio Players.  I recognized Tommy at the counter as soon as I saw him.  He came to the show and sat in the front row.  The performers asked for two volunteers to read from the scripts for the next skit.  Tommy was the first to volunteer and I admit I cringed a bit – some of the old time radio shows were rather fast-paced.  His turn came and he had no problem following the script or reciting his lines.  His expressiveness was much better than it was years ago.  I was so proud of him!

I was also very touched to have been a minute part of his progress, and grateful to God for allowing me to see a glimpse of what we encouraged.  Don’t give up.  Don’t doubt your effectiveness.  Keep volunteering!

BB best pic

 

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Psalm 69

Save me O God.

The waters have come up to my neck – waters of fear

                                                                                Waters of doubt

                                                                                Waters of work

                                                                                Waters of tiredness

I sink – no foothold – deep waters – floods – worn out – calling – parched throat – tired eyes – looking everywhere for God.

People hate me without reason – many enemies – I’ve made restoration for what I didn’t have to just to keep them quiet.

God knows my sin.  Don’t let my imperfection be a hindrance to others.

I am ridiculed because I follow you.  My own family distances themselves from me.  Everyone makes fun of my beliefs, my commitment.

But I pray to God – God favors, God loves, God answers with sure salvation.  He rescues me, unsinks me, delivers me, floats me, answers me out of goodness, comes near, redeems me.

No one comes to my aid – in fact, they make the suffering worse.  But they’ll get theirs – the tables will turn on them. 

Praise is better than sacrifice.  Seek God and live!

Psalm 68

When God arises, enemies are scattered like smoke in the wind.  When thoughts of God overtake your mind, negative thoughts and emotions dissipate, melt like wax.  Gladness, happiness and joy replace all those negatives. 

That joy leads to singing and praise. 

God is Father to the fatherless 

             Defender of widows

             Gives families to the lonely

             Leads prisoners in singing

             Goes out before His people even through wastelands where He sends rain for his people.

             Provides for the poor with bounty. 

 God is victorious – He has the best equipment, is as strong as a mountain, has the most equipment and warriors.

God daily bears our burdens.

God saves.

 

Psalm 67

God be merciful unto us.  Be gracious unto us.  Bless us.  Smile on us.  Be proud of us.

That way His ways may be known to all – His saving power.  His eternal plan.  His abundant life.

Let everyone praise God.  Be glad and sing for joy. 

God is just.  He judges righteously.  He guides nations.

When we praise and give God the glory, then the earth yields her increase, gives a bountiful harvest and God blesses.

Whatever your occupation, give God the glory and God will give the bounty.