January 2019 — Serve Vigorously

January 2019 — Serve Vigorously

Introduction

We often think of service as taking place at the corps building or with a group of friends heading out on a specific mission. But what if we were prepared to serve while out and about? What if we had our hearts always ready to serve vigorously, actively? We can prepare to serve in this way from our very own handbags.

Activity

Check out some handbag trivia online and share the information. One site is: http://ezinearticles.com/?Historical-Handbag-Trivia&id=6149936. If any of the women sell or make purses, invite them to share their bags, possibly showing how to make them.

Group Game

Purse Scavenger Hunt
Divide the women into groups. Ask them to look in their purses for the following items for which they will be awarded points:
1 Point:      Keys, cell phone, calendar, note pad, pair of glasses, ink pen
5 Points:    Driver’s License, credit card, check book, library card, calculator
10 Points:  Coupon, sales receipt, mints, gum, Kleenex or hanky
15 Points:  Lipstick, makeup/mirror, brush/comb, nail file, hand sanitizer, hand lotion
20 Points:  Photo of husband/boyfriend, kids or grandkids, cash, snack, postage stamp, pain reliever.
25 Points:  Sewing kit, safety pin, tool of any kind

You can find a cute printable version at http://www.juliabettencourt.com/printables/puzzles/pursegameprint.pdf

Service Project

  1. Encourage the women to bring old but still usable purses or small backpacks to donate for this project. If you have a thrift store, you could collect a number of these items in advance.
  2. Pack the purses with items to share with someone out in the cold, having a bad day, or in need of encouragement and care.
  3. Items to consider packing: Socks, gloves, hats, scarves, tampons, pads, toothbrush, gum, granola bar, aspirin, razor, quarters, shampoo, Band–Aids®, deodorant, candy, necklace, hair clips. Pass out this list the week before the program and invite the women to contribute some of these items. Many can be purchased at the 99–cent stores.
  4. Include information about your corps or a local shelter, pantry services and social service office.
  5. Also include a note inviting the individual to the corps service giving the time and address.
  6. Include a couple of appropriate Scripture verses.
  7. Give each woman one of the purses/backpacks with the instructions that they are to give it to a homeless person when they encounter them.

Scripture

Read Hebrews 6:10-11, “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized.”

Stay the Course

Shop until you drop. We laugh at this phrase but if we are honest, we do it to ourselves pretty often; at least I know I do. I love the energy and excitement of heading out for a good sale. I check the paper, set my course, grab my purse and I am off. After about three garage sales I am going strong, but 10 stops and one large cup of coffee later and I am ready to drop. My energy has dwindled and I just don’t care anymore. When I reach this point, I often make ridiculous choices, pass up great offers, or make a bee–line to the Little Caesar’s Hot and Ready counter because I cannot even imagine cooking dinner at this point.

I find myself doing this in my relationship with Jesus as well. Some days I wake up ready to go, ready to serve, ready to live this faith thing out loud. But a few weeks or months later, I find myself not caring like I used to.  Have you ever felt the same? In our Scripture we are encouraged to “show the same diligence to the very end.”

Listen to The Message paraphrase of this passage: “God doesn’t miss anything. He knows perfectly well all the love you’ve shown Him by helping needy Christians, and that you keep at it. And now I want each of you to extend that same intensity toward a full–bodied hope, and keep at it till the finish. Don’t drag your feet. Be like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them” (Heb. 6:10, 11).

Maybe serving others has become a tedious task that you dread. What can you do about that? How can you continue to serve with an active strength to the very end? Pause today and remember the great God you serve. Recall the times your loving heavenly Father has worked in your life and heart. Are there areas in your life that need the refresh button? Perhaps there are activities to cut back on so that you can spend more time with the Lord? Don’t serve until you drop. Find a way to serve with active strength that comes from Him. Pray each day that the Lord will guide you in what He wants you to accomplish in that day.

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