Archive | January 2016

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

Everlasting Arms

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
leaning on the everlasting arms;
what a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
leaning on the everlasting arms.

Refrain:
Leaning, leaning,
safe and secure from all alarms;
leaning, leaning,
leaning on the everlasting arms.

O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
leaning on the everlasting arms;
O how bright the path grows from day to day,
leaning on the everlasting arms.
(Refrain)

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
leaning on the everlasting arms?
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
leaning on the everlasting arms.
(Refrain)

Text: Elisha A. Hoffman
Music: Anthony J. Showalter
Audio: Stephen Sollars
Photo: Marge McCoy

look out

Look Out

Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:4

At one time or another we have all been in need of someone else’s help. We have also all been in the position to help someone else who is in need. Do we accept help with gratitude? Do we offer help with humility?

Regardless of our status in life, we are all called to look out for the needs of others. We can’t all do the same thing in every situation but we can all do something. Wouldn’t it be great if we all made a conscious effort to do one good deed each day? The deed could be simple or more complex. We could put a cheery card in a neighbor’s mailbox. We could carry groceries inside for a neighbor who is elderly or juggling a toddler. We could take a hot meal to a shut in or offer to babysit for a single mother. We can offer prayers for our neighbors and invite them to church. The possibilities are endless.

Help sometimes comes from unexpected places.

We don’t get a lot of snow but when we do my husband is always good about taking his tractor down our country road to help plow neighborhood driveways. He often plows out our church parking lot as well. During a recent snowfall he bundled up and worked a few hours clearing several driveways. He came inside to warm up before going back out to work on our church parking lot. While changing out of his snowy clothes he spotted an unusual sight out the window. He called to me saying, “Come look and see who is plowing over at the church.” I was expecting to see my brother in law or possibly another neighbor who recently got a new plow. To my surprise I saw an Amish man and two beautiful horses going back and forth with a homemade plow. Have you ever seen an Amish snow plow? We hadn’t. The sight of the Amish man and two big horses working to clear snow at our little country church really lifted my spirits. I got my camera just in time to capture him departing the church as he continued down the road. It really blessed my heart to see this demonstration of neighbor helping neighbor.

I don’t know which of our Amish neighbor’s this was. I’m pretty sure he did not set out from his home that afternoon with the goal of plowing at our church. Perhaps he was on his way to help another Amish family when he spotted the snowy church lot. He saw a need and took time to stop and help. He did his deed without fanfare and did not receive anything for his effort. He was not focused on himself. He came across a need that he had the means to address and unselfishly donated his time to be a good neighbor. Being a good neighbor means taking action. We can’t just see the need, we have to do something about it if we are able to do so.
When you do a kind deed people will take notice and be grateful. When we take time to help it is an encouragement to others.

We are all busy and tend to focus on our own families and our own goals but God wants us to look out and be good neighbors. It’s never too late to renew our efforts to do just that! Pay attention to what is going on around us. Talk to our neighbors and get to know them. Treat neighbors the way we want to be treated. The more we look for opportunities to help, the more opportunities will come to mind. In the midst of helping others every now and then we will receive an unexpected blessing of our own.

Devotion and Photo by Marge McCoy