Invite the women to write down three ways in which God has blessed them during the year. Instruct them not to put their names on the paper. Similar to how you would play musical chairs play song “God is Good” by Don Moen (available on YouTube®). Have them pass the paper to the right until the music stops. The woman left holding the paper when the music stops reads it to the group. This continues until all the papers have been read.
Put together Son Shine Bags or Breast Cancer Awareness bags. Fill yellow bags with items that are the color yellow. Inexpensive items can be found at the dollar stores—candy, gum, shower scrub, hand lotion. These can be given when visiting someone in the hospital or sent to someone who is going through a difficult time. The color yellow represents the sunshine of Jesus.
Fill pink bags with pink items. These can be taken to your nearest cancer center so they can be distributed to women going through chemo or radiation treatments. The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. These colorful bags can also be used for the Community Care Ministry program.
Invite the women to write a note of encouragement and share a Scripture verse to be included in the bags. Advise the recipient that as the bags were filled a prayer was offered for them. Include a copy of the War Cry and contact information.
The Kindness of the Lord
I love the fall season. I’m from California. So many people from other states tell me that we Californians can’t distinguish one season from the other. That’s not true. I know it’s summer because the kids are out of school and the temperature gauge reads over 75 degrees. I know it’s spring because at my local hardware store all the potting soil, flowers, and gardening tools are on sale. I know it’s winter because, believe it or not, it rains (not a lot, but it does!) I know it’s fall because the tree in my backyard goes through its annual ritual. At the end of September, the leaves turn a pale yellow. By the end of October, they go to a bright, beautiful orange. Then by Thanksgiving the tree is completely bare. I love to see how my beautiful tree changes throughout the year and I know that come spring, it will start to sprout leaves and flowers, and by mid–summer I will have delicious pears.
I see my life like that tree. In each season, the Lord has been so good. In our Scripture today we read, “I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord…” In the spring of my life, my dreams were tall and full of flowers. God was teaching me that His plans for me are plans of good. When my father lost his job and suffered a heart attack all in the same week, God showed us that we were not alone. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship…” (Rom. 8:35 NIV). My dad recovered not only his health, but got a new job. The Lord was good.
In the summer of my life, God saw that there were some branches that definitely needed to be chopped off and thrown into the fire. It was a painful process that took a long time, but in the midst of it all, He was there. “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you…” (Heb. 12:5 NIV). Even while in the middle of the discipline, I could say, “Thank You for loving me.” The Lord was so good.
The winter of my life was filled with much doubt, confusion and pain. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (Psalm 23:4 NIV). The pain of others’ rejection and belittlement made me question who I was and why I was living, or better yet, simply existing. God showed me that it wasn’t others’ opinions that made me who I was. It was the fact that I am the daughter of an Almighty King—a princess! The Lord was so very good. I didn’t walk alone.
So now in the autumn of my life I can look back at my experiences and see that I have been highly favored. “I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord, the deeds for which He is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for us” (Isa. 63:7). Those deeds are too numerous to mention, but just to name a few: health, safety, loving people, surrounding grace, and mercy. Not only has God blessed me with things that are meaningful to me here on earth, He has blessed me with the most meaningful gift that will last an eternity—salvation. Those deeds are most definitely something for which to praise Him because He has done so many good things for us.
Heavenly Father, what words can we use to express our gratefulness for the blessings you have showered us with, blessings that we surely do not deserve. But in your infinite mercy and love you open the floodgates of heaven and pour them down upon us. All we have to do is give You our hearts. Use us however you see fit and we will give you all the honor and glory forever and ever. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.