April 7, 2011

See a need, fill a need....

 (thank you Mr Big Weld off Robots...)   Otherwise known as Practical Ministry in Crisis.... (warning acronym soup ahead for those not in the military!)

So the looming deadline for the govt budget or shutdown is quite the "talk of the town" in my circles..... just gotta say though I love the military, already seeing an ok this would really suck but how can we deal with it mentality kicking in, although I have to say it truly angers me that Congress and the President would continue to get paid whilst our troops would not. How is this a good leadership model? And ummm hummm who needs a paycut and to deal with reality....but I digress.....

I wanted to just point out a couple things I see at this time.
  1. We who name the name of Christ need to take this opportunity to minister to those around us, to be an ocean of calm in the midst of chaos. Even if we are ourselves are in that boat too! Here's what I mean -- so there's the chance we could all get 1/2 pay this next payday, Yippee!, but is your 1/2 pay equivalent to or possibly even more than someone elses full pay? ( ie MAJ vs PFC?) It's all perspective! Surely you could spare enough to buy that young mom on your street or in your study group some groceries, diapers or fill up her car? Babysit so she doesn't have to pay CDC while she's going to the Dr? Offer a ride?
  2. Some of the things I've already mentioned are just practical ways to help others around you whether you make more or less than those around you. Does it really matter if you earned your rank or if you've been more fiscally responsible than the one of the same rank who hasn't? (yes it's important for daily living and getting your budget under control but in the middle of a crisis, um NOT!)
  3. Be sure to explain to your children what's going on -- not in a scary way but in a lets get through this together, God will provide, think of creative things to do way.
  4. We should be looking for ways to minister to one another here's some other thoughts:   
  • Share meals if you can - not military or govt worker? Invite someone over who is for dinner! Make it a standing invite even! (every Monday night for example....)
  • Maybe a recipe swap day or a frugal living program at PWOC or FRG meetings? (sure we can all point fingers but wouldn't it be more productive to look for ways to help each other?)
  • Make your own laundry soap and cleaning products ( Homemade Cleaners is just one of many sites)
  • Carpool if at all possible
  • Service members who live off post -- consider taking a cot to the office and saving gas by sleeping over a night or two each week. If there's a bus available take it even if it means your hours are wacky (remember this is temporary)
  • If you regularly buy in bulk or have property and animals, share with those around you without expecting payment later (milk,eggs, meat, etc)
  • Skip mowing the lawn this week (grass is healthier a little longer anyhow)
  • Consider ending your cable contract or suspending it, same with internet service if possible you can use the library or go down to the slowest speed (and trust me you won't die if you can't skype with your loved one who's overseas! I love it too but you can survive without it and who knows you might actually get letters to treasure!)
  • Now's a great time to quit tobacco! (have you really added up how much that habit costs?!) 
  • Allow others to live with you for a short time if necessary - camping gear and airbeds work indoors too or let them camp in your yard! 
  • Got mechanic skills? Help out that wife who's husband's away and car just broke down! Same with bicycles
  • Start a military ministry in your church -- ask families to have a list ready and expect a group of people from the church to show up on this day and get it done! 
These are all practical ways to encourage those around who may be frightened or needing help..... it's not exactly a pretty picture for us either as we are still living paycheck to paycheck for the most part. Just really starting to get things squared away (no lectures necessary and trust me your neighbors don't need or want them either we all have enough guilt) .... so this will be dicey especially if it continues and we don't get paid AT ALL the end of the month. Yet I know that God is still able to supply all our needs and it will work out. What an opportunity the Church has been given this year to RISE UP and be the hands and feet of Jesus both abroad and at home! ( yes this list should be what we do every day no matter what but sometimes it takes a crisis to wake people up and who knows that package of diapers you deliver just might open the door to share the Gospel and usher someone into the kingdom?!)

(feel free to post more ideas, thoughts etc....)

1 comment:

Stac said...

I enjoyed reading your Post! These are all wonderful ideas of things that we can do to help others. Also, we do not have to wait for a crisis to happen in order to help someone that has a need. See a need, fill it, ASAP if you are able to.

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“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." .... Jeremiah 29:11 (esv)