To wrap up this month’s Encourager’s Devotional theme (Finding Peace in the Midst of Chaos), I thought I’d give you a list of ideas for ways to maintain a personal sense of peace and/or encourage others. This is a list I included, along with other support materials, in the Leader’s Guide for the March devotion. If you would like to receive the Leader’s Guide for each month’s theme, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Help someone whose loved one is away for military duty. You can tie this into the theme of “a world in chaos” and how this puts added stress on military families.
- People whose spouses are away suggested the following: stamps, packing materials, offer to babysit or organize a “spouses night out.”
- Remember that some have basically been thrust into the role of single parenting. Any help with errands, home repair, carpooling, etc. is sure to be helpful.
- Those who are actively serving also need support. One friend said her husband loved getting care packages, especially cookies.
- Letters from children in Sunday School classes or other groups are encouraging.
- I also really liked one idea I heard where someone bought two copies of a daily devotion book. They gave one copy to the wife and sent the other to the husband in Iraq. That way, they could have a daily “connection” by reading and thinking on the same things.
- Plan an event to make or view Christian artwork. Below is a picture from a mosaic making night we had at my church. Several of the people who came told me how relaxing the night was for them.
- Visit a Christian bookstore. The atmosphere is usually wonderful and you’ll find much to lift your spirit. You’ll also find things to help you minister to others. (Teacher: You could plan a group outing and then share what you each discovered over lunch. You might also give everyone the assignment to find at least one item they will purchase to give to someone they want to encourage.)
- Organize a prayer walk, set up a prayer room, or set a time of day you will pray with others even if you are not in the same location.
- And finally, how about supporting a local Christian radio station? The positive message they put out daily is a blessing to many. Most Christian radio stations do some form of fundraising during the spring. Your participation would not only be an encouragement to the people who run the stations, but also to those who benefit from listening. Here’s a link to a new Christian radio station that I highly recommend, The Rock. It’s based in the St. Louis area but you can listen online. Update May 15, 2015: The Rock is currently raising funds to create an app for their station. For more details, or to support this cause, click here.
Given our current situation in St. Louis, I’d also like to create a list of ways we can support local law enforcement families. While many are working to right the wrongs of those in law enforcement who have contributed to the problem here, we must remember that there are also many good people serving our communities in local police agencies. Recent events have put an incredible strain on their families. If you have any ideas on ways we can support them, please post them in the comments.