Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Celebrate a Co-worker's Birthday

The last few weeks, we have been discussing the idea, “Ten Ways to Demonstrate His Heart, My Hands.” The first week, we presented the concept of performing random acts of kindness. Last week, the idea presented was to write a handwritten note of appreciation. What a difference that can make other's lives as well!

Here comes idea Number Three. The concept for this week is to celebrate a coworker’s birthday. Now, you may not even be working outside the home, but even through your connections through civic organizations you can reach out to and maybe surprise people by finding out what their favorite flavor birthday cake is and their birthdate. Those who don’t like cake may appreciate doughnuts or other types of dessert.

At the University where I work, my department has a long tradition of every year selecting a colleague in our department. When their birthday comes along, around lunchtime we spend a few moments together to honor them. They sure do appreciate it. You might know somebody who might be little introverted and normally not the life party. So this is a great chance to reach out to them to show Christ's love. You can decorate their office door or the reception desk and find out what their favorite birthday cake is. Then invite the folks on your hallway or in your department or, if you work at a small businesses, all those that work there. They are gather together maybe at about 11:15am just to celebrate. Who doesn't like birthday cake! Get real!

It can be a lot of fun and it can mean a lot to somebody who is perhaps a bit depressed. Not everybody likes to have birthdays and so this might be one way to brighten their day. This ties into Roman 12:9-10 and 15. “Let love be genuine . . . Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor . . . Rejoice with those who rejoice.”

A great way this week to show honor or over the next month is to show honor to somebody that is so coming up on another birthday. We tend to get so wrapped up in our little world that we fail to see the needs of those around us and make a difference in someone else's life. One way to do this is to celebrate important days with them. Find out when their birthdays are. Choose somebody to celebrate his or her birthday. Perhaps you can even throw a surprise party. Have some fun with it see what a difference you can make!

Note: There will be no episode next week as I will be on a trip with my wife. We're celebrating 25 years of marriage!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Write a Hand-Written Note of Appreciation (Idea #2)

If you’re new to my Christian podcast, welcome! Last week I began a brand new series entitled, “Ten ways to demonstrate His Heart, My Hands.” The first idea I shared was to “Do a Random Act of Kindness” and, wow, what a tremendous response I have been receiving via Facebook and Twitter. It’s truly been inspiring!

Today, I would like to present my 2nd idea, and it is this: “Write a hand-written note of appreciation” to someone you need to thank.

We live in a day and age of quick and easy communication, via text messaging and multiple forms of social media. Sometimes, it can feel so impersonal. But I’ve got to tell you: Nothing can replace the joy it brings someone to receive a hand-written note, card, or letter, especially when it comes in the mail. Letter writing has seemingly become a lost art. But it is so personal and meaningful.

In Galatians 6:11, the apostle Paul writes, “See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand.” This took tremendous effort for him in light of his failing eyesight, but it meant so much to the letter recipients.

I have a sweet older lady in my congregation, named Ramelle, who is in the routine habit of writing letters to persons in the church and community. In fact, I’ve been the recipient of a few of those. And believe me when I say that they have really made an impact on me. It’s such a pleasure these days to go to the mailbox and find something other than junk mail—an envelope that is personally addressed to you and hand-written. Yeah – emails, Facebook messages, tweets, and texts are great and convenient, but maybe sometimes they’re too convenient. The time, thought, and effort required by a hand-written note or letter really means a lot to people.

Is there someone you need to thank in a special way for the impact and influence they’ve hand in your life? I’m sure there is. Sit down some time this week at the kitchen table, or somewhere comfortable, get some paper (and it can even be the old loose-leaf lined school paper), and write someone you love and appreciate a letter expressing just that. I promise you -- it will make a big difference!

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness

Who is the kindest person you know? And what makes them so kind?

Over the course of the next few weeks I will be focusing on the theme, "Ten Ways to Demonstrate His Heart, My Hands." Each post will focus on a hands-on, practical idea for you to put into practice.

My present challenge to you is to perform a random act of kindness this week. 
In Micah 6:8 the prophet said, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Some potential things you may try to do along these lines include the following:
  • Pay for someone’s drive-through meal (the stranger in the car behind you. It is contagious).
  • Be a courteous driver and let people merge in front of you.
  • Take a bag of groceries to needy person or family.
  • Do something thoughtful for your parents (wash their vehicles, wash their windows, mow their grass, do their dishes, take them out to lunch once-a-month and check up on them—you don’t have to be the center of attention, take time to spend just with them.)
  • Do something thoughtful for your spouse (prepare favorite meal; clean the kitchen; fold the laundry; put a positive “Post-It” note on the bathroom mirror or bedside, or car rear-view mirror with something encouraging or complimentary).
Being kind doesn't have to cost you very much monetarily. It just requires your having a heart for others and the desire to make a difference.

Why not try to become the kindest person you know? And I'll do the same.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Beginning the Journey

What are you truly passionate about?

Hi, I’m Dr. Ryan Fraser and this is HeartPoint.

Welcome to my new podcast. I look forward to sharing encouraging and uplifting ideas with you each week and also receiving your personal feedback.

When I think about some of the things that I am passionate about, I think of ministry, pastoral counseling, Christian care and service, and marriage and family issues.

I also think about Jesus Christ and his powerful, unparalleled approach to ministry. His style was unique, countercultural, and extraordinary. Jesus cut through the complexity of the outer layers of problems to get to the very heart of the matter. The Son of Man loved people with an eternal, uncompromising love—one that traversed gender, race, nationality, and socio-economic status. He felt deeply for others, caring for their souls, and reached out to them with his Father’s unconditional love to touch and transform their lives.

Matthew 9:35-36 says, “And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

Like Christ, we are also called to swim upstream and make a difference in this world. We are challenged to step out with courage and faith with the purpose of loving as Jesus loved, serving as He served, and caring as He cared. Yes, we are told to have His Heart and use Our Hands to be his tangible presence on earth, while we eagerly await his return.

There are many creative ways in which we can provide effective care and empathetic support to the hurting, the lonely, and the struggling.

HeartPoint is a podcast that is dedicated to honing our skills and motivating us to step out of our comfort zones and make a positive impact.

What have you done today to show Christ’s heart to those around you? I invite you to join me on this journey of self discovery as we talk about tangible ways to show Christ’s compassion to others. Thanks for tuning in.