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In This Year

 

Brenda DeLauder Columnist

  Each morning I pray for Maggie and Justin. I have no idea who they may be, but some time back, I started praying for them. First Maggie came into my prayers and I remember trying to think ďWho is Maggie?Ē Yet each morning this name popped into my head as I moved through my prayers. Then not long ago, I started praying for Justin. Again the name came to me, this time when I prayed for those serving our nation, who are wounded, physically or mentally. I believe I am being led to pray for these faceless names and feel honored God has asked me to do so.

  A friend of mine was making her way across a parking lot. She was already running behind schedule and if she didnít hurry, she would be late for a meeting. Thatís when she looked up and saw him. At first she told God ďNot today, Iím already late!Ē Yet she knew it was pointless to say so. The look of lost on the older gentlemanís face said it all. There was admittedly a sense of relief when it became clear he was mentally fine, but had simply forgotten where he had parked. Her calm demeanor quickly eased his frustration and in a few minutes the car was found. She laughed on the way back to work because she caught every green light, which allowed her to get back on schedule and make it to her meeting on time. God doth provide!

  Have you ever had a bad day, when out of the blue you heard from an old friend who quickly lifted your spirits? They may have commented on how you suddenly were on their mind and felt impressed upon to contact you. Or have you been in a store and suddenly thought the person approaching you needed a smile or a kind word? Sometimes their reaction says it all when their face lights up. Whenever we have the honor of being Godís servant, it is a joy. So often the smallest of kindnesses is the exact thing someone needs.

  During the Christmas season we seem to be more readily willing to help those we donít know, which is great, but it shouldnít stop there. I really donít like to shop, except for our annual charity drive. This, to me, is great fun! Over the next couple of months, the clearance racks become a challenge to win, for several of us in our community. Itís almost a game to see who can find the best deals. Buying a brand-new winter jacket for a few dollars is a great joy, because you know it will be keeping someone warm the next winter. On each of those shopping trips I pray about it before I ever leave my car, asking God to bless my limited budget. I always leave amazed at the deals I find!

  Too often people seem to think helping others is some major undertaking, when it isnít at all. There are so many things we can do to serve Christ without costing a lot of money, or taking tremendous amounts of time and energy. Praying for whomever God gives us, speaking kindly to others or lending a helping hand, are perfect examples of serving God. He already knows how busy we are and asks very little of us, yet gives us everything we need.

  In this new year, perhaps we can set aside all those resolutions we will break in a short time, and simply focus on listening to God. The more receptive we are to Him, the better we can serve our Lord. What a great way to start a year! 

 

  Brenda Nail DeLauder is a native of Henry County. Her heart remains in her hometown.

 

 

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