Tag Archives: helping others

Sticks and Stones?

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.  Aesop

We’ve all heard the chant “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me!”  I don’t buy that, do you?  I think I may WANT to believe it, but have learned over the years…that words can be very hurtful.  In this chapter – “My Neighbor Has Been Beaten Up”, Coach doesn’t refer to the physically beating someone up, but he writes on verbal abuse – verbally beating someone up.

As I posted in The Best Welfare Program is a Job” Dr. John M. Perkinsstatistics show that the impact of words spoken before the age of 3 is HUGE!  One’s self-confidence is developed at a very young age.  Then, as we age….the avenues of abuse take on new forms – like bullying on the playground, at school, and in the neighborhood…..even cyber-bullying! Child cyber-bullies grow up into adult cyber-bullies.  Have you ever read the comment sections of blogs, news articles, etc?  I’m astounded at the sheer negative, rude and bullish behavior that takes place! There’s a lot of hurting people out there.  Hurt people hurt people.

Are you hurt or miserable? Coach gives this advice:

If you want to stop being miserable, start doing nice things for others and saying nice things to them.

I am convinced that we all need our own personal cheerleaders. Who do you cheer for? (I know…the Hokies, Wahoos, Rams, Cowboys, Redskins, and other sports teams don’t count!) Your neighbor is someone who needs a cheerleader.  It could be your spouse, your child, a co-worker, the cashier at the local grocery store, the guy who empties the trash at work, or the person in front of you in the Starbucks line.  Find a way to be kind.  If you are stuck and need some help in that area…check out the wonderful ways that Patience Salgado cheers for and encourages others via Kindness girl….because kindness changes everything. I’m encouraged by her ideas and challenged by “guerrilla goodness”, and you will be too!

Coach provides us great advice on page 67…

“….He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted” (Isaiah 61:1, TNIV). Part of our job as Christ followers is to participate in Christ’s mission to “bind up the brokenhearted.”

As we seek to bind up the brokenhearted, we would do well to remember the message found in Colossians 3:12 – that as God’s chosen people, Christ’s followers, we are “holy and dearly loved.” As people who are dearly loved by God, we have the opportunity each day to clothe ourselves in the garments of “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience’ in our interactions with other people.

Find a beaten neighbor and bind up their broken heart via kindness, love and cheers!

Oh God, I confess of the times that I have torn down others (often those closest to me – like Louis) through my words. Forgive me. Lord, may I become my neighbor’s personal cheerleader! May I find frequent words of affirmation, love, patience, compassion, and gentleness. Teach me to love like You love….in words and in deeds.  Thank you, Lord Jesus.


This is the 13th post in a series that I wrote about in a series that I wrote about in a post called who is my neighbor? series.  I am reading who is my neighbor? by Wayne Gordon and exploring just one chapter a week. In addition, I hope to post on each Wednesday. (although, I am late with this week’s post!)

Neighbor 12 is a Foreign Traveler

There is much debate about immigration in our country.  I can’t imagine what it must be like to move miles away from home to start a new life in a new country, where I don’t know the language, customs, processes, etc. And the only job I can get is a job that no one else wants. One that pays minimum wage. Tough going for sure.  Both of my grandparents on my dad’s side came over from Czechoslovakia, but didn’t meet until they were in New York.  They got married then moved to Caroline County in Virginia, where they heard they could get some property inexpensively.  I didn’t have an opportunity to meet either of them, but life couldn’t have been easy for them. Many of us have that story in our history, because as Coach points out, unless  you are Native American/First American….all of us come from an immigration heritage.

The Bible says this in Leviticus 19 (NIV)…

33 “‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.

How well do we do that? How well do our churches love on immigrants?  What could we do better?

Lord, thank you for teaching us how we should treat our neighbor…the immigrant, by putting it clearly in your Word.  May we, your church, find ways to love them as ourselves.  In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.


This is the 12th post in a series that I wrote about in a series that I wrote about in a post called who is my neighbor? series.  I am reading who is my neighbor? by Wayne Gordon and exploring just one chapter a week. In addition, I hope to post on each Wednesday. 

Neighbor 11: has been Stripped

In a previous post,  Neighbor 7:  Someone Who is Naked, I wrote about our friends who have been ‘outed’, hated on, gossiped about.  In addition, Richmond Justice Initiative was mentioned…and how they are helping those who have been trafficked.  Both of which are horrific, without a doubt. But when I think of stripped, I think about a car being stripped.  I guess that’s because I have watched way too many cop shows over my lifetime.  When a car is stripped, everything that is of value is taken from the car to be sold or used by someone else, leaving behind the shell of a car…nothing of value.  Thieves have been documented as being about to strip a car in less than 5 minutes.  It doesn’t take long at all for a car to be taken down to its shell and a pile of parts.  Gordon, however speaks of people who have been stripped, not cars.  If it takes less than 5 minutes to strip a car, how long does it take to strip a person of their dignity? of their humanness? of their personhood?  How long does it take to dehumanize a person? Not long at all.

Paul Tripp writes in, What Did You Expect?

Because sin is antisocial, it tends to dehumanize the people in our lives.

No longer are they objects of our willing affection. No, they quit being the people we find joy in loving.

Rather, they get reduced to one of two things.

They are either vehicles to help us get what we want or obstacles in the way of what we want.

Because of sin, in what ways do find ourselves dehumanizing another person or group of people, stripping them of their dignity?  How can we be friends to those who have been stripped?

Father God, we thank you for your Son Jesus.  We confess that we don’t fully appreciate what Jesus did for us, and how we still sin…every day. We dehumanize people with our words and actions, our minds and thoughts, with our policies, rules and laws.  Please help us to see everyone through the eyes of your Son…to act justly.  Everyone is made in your image, and we miss that totally. Help us to see your image when we see others.  Help us to be friends of those who have been stripped.  Jesus modeled that for us during his time here on Earth. Teach us how to love like He did. Thank you, Lord.  In His name we pray, Amen.


This is the 11th post in a series that I wrote about in a series that I wrote about in a post called who is my neighbor? series.  I am reading who is my neighbor? by Wayne Gordon and exploring just one chapter a week. In addition, I hope to post on each Wednesday. (although, I am late with this week’s post!)

Neighbor 10: is a Stranger

From the day we learn to walk (if not before) we are taught not to talk to strangers. Everyone has heard the term “Stranger Danger”. And for good reason, we need to teach children to be suspect of strangers, no doubt. When I hear this term, however…I think about the scene from Kindergarten Cop…check it out.

Good morning.
– Good morning, Mr. Kimble.
Sit down. It’s very nice to see you all again. Meet my very good friend, Phoebe O’Hara.
– Good morning, Phoebe.
Miss O’Hara is going to talk to you about something very important. So pay attention to what she has to say, okay?
Remember, no fear.
– Thanks.
– Boys have a…. Girls have a…..
Well, you taught them the basics.
– That’s important.
Okay, now…today we’re going to talk about something else that’s really important. Today we’re going to talk about strangers.
If a stranger knocks on your door…never answer the door. Because we never talk to strangers. Let’s say that together.
– We never talk to strangers.
– Can we talk to kids?
Yeah, it’s okay. You can talk to kids.
– What about dogs?
– Can we talk to dogs?
Yeah, you can talk to dogs. But what you can’t do…what you must never ever do is…never talk to strangers.

In the parable of the Good Samaritan, the injured man was a stranger…was unknown to the Samaritan, yet he stopped to help the man. We are surrounded by strangers all the time. Our neighbors are often strangers. We have clients, co-workers, vendors, cashiers, soccer moms, teachers, etc. who are all strangers to us. Coach states…

Mature persons in Christ are no longer children. We have the ability to discern when a situation is safe enough to intervene and offer our help to a stranger in need.

I think back to the night Frank was shot. Some people think we are totally crazy for going out there just moments after he had been shot 9 times. But, in my mind and heart, there is no doubt that the Holy Spirit guided us that night and knew when to send Louis and I out there to help Frank, who was a stranger to us at the time. The Spirit knew when it was safe enough for us to help. We weren’t medically trained, and we certainly didn’t have the police skills to handle the situation. I was just an HR person and Louis – a pastor. My medical training came from watching Medical Center and Marcus Welby, MD as a child, then ER and Grey’s Anatomy as an adult. That’s it. But, we were spiritually trained to know when and how to respond to someone’s extreme need. It was up to us to obey. Although, it was so automatic, we didn’t even give it a second thought. Once the scene was clear…we went. No questions asked.

Coach also reminds us of Hebrews 13:2

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

So, as God-fearing, Spirit-driven mature Christians, we need to unlearn what we learned as a child – Stranger Danger. If not, we just might miss an angel – an encounter with the God most high.

Open our eyes, Lord. May we learn to see people as You see them. Teach us to respond as You would….to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, to care for the widows and orphans, to see prisoners as though we were in prison next to them, to see the abused as one who has also been abused. Lord, teach us to appropriately minister in these and other situations. We want and need to better discern when and how we should respond. We need wisdom. Lord – we need to learn to slow down and pay attention to those who are hurting around us. Our calendars are so full and we are so busy running to-and-fro. May we have the time to notice and respond. In the name of Christ I pray. Amen.


This is the 10th post in a series that I wrote about in a series that I wrote about in a post called who is my neighbor? series. I am reading who is my neighbor? by Wayne Gordon and exploring just one chapter a week. In addition, I hope to post on each Wednesday. The first post in the series can be found here: Neighbor 1: Hurting.