Thursday, January 12, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness

I wrote a devotional that goes a long with my resolution to pray for strangers and perform random acts of kindness.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people,
holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion,
kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Colossian 3:12

I once read a story about an elderly gentleman who carried a can of oil everywhere he went. If he passed through a squeaking door, he poured his oil on the hinges. If a gate’s latch was difficult to open, he oiled it. People called him weird and eccentric, but he pressed on. He refilled his can when it became empty and oiled the rusty and creaky places he found.

Many people around us creak and groan harshly as they face difficulties. Nothing goes right for them. They desperately need healing oil applied to their hurts and troubles.

On the road called life people constantly come and go; some we only encounter once. God help us to be as diligent as the eccentric old man. When we see rough or rusty spots, let’s apply the oil of thoughtfulness. And when our oil runs out, may time spent in prayer refill us to do it again.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, Fill us with your lubricating oil. Open our eyes to the hard places in the lives of those around us so we can apply some kindness, gentleness, and compassion. Use your oil to diminish the jagged edges of many a sin-hardened life, leaving them soft, pliable, and ready to receive your redeeming grace. Amen.

Going deeper: Pray for those who have rusty, hard to open hearts and choose a random act of kindness to perform today.

photo courtesy of

Monday, January 2, 2012

About Resolutions

Not sure why, but I don't make regular New Year resolutions. But for a long time now, I have chosen one Bible verse to pray each new year (all year long) as a spiritual goal. For instance, in 2011 I prayed 2 Corinthians 5:7; that I would walk by faith, not by sight. When I chose that verse I was reading an excellent book over Christmas break, "Walking from East to West: God in the Shadows" by Ravi Zacharias. At the end of the book Ravi shares a beautiful prayer by the missionary explorer, David Livingstone. I took this prayer as my own and added it to my verse for 2011: Lord, send my anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on my, only sustain me. Sever any ties but the ties that bind me to your service and to your heart. The adventures and healing that occurred as a result of this prayer resolution inspire my writing daily, but much more than that, they have caused my faith to grow exponentially. I can truly say I'm walking by faith and not by sight like never before.

As God would have it, I read another great book over Christmas break, "Praying for Strangers" by River Jordan. She tells her amazing personal journey of uncovering the needs of the human heart as she made a resolution to pray for people she had never met before. As I read her stories, I realized how often I pray for strangers, but the big difference is that I rarely share this information with those strangers like River Jordan did. What a difference it makes! As a result, I have chosen to pray for strangers (and share that information with them) in 2012 and to purposefully perform random acts of kindness as I'm led. The theme verse I chose to go along with this is Matthew 25:40: Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

I can't wait to see what God will do in 2012 with this spiritual resolution. If you do something like this, please share your ideas with me. I would love to hear from you. And if you haven't tried this yet, won't you join the adventure and choose your own verse as a resolution for 2012 today? Happy New Year!!