What CAN you do? – Part 4

So we’ve talked this month about how to think less about what we can’t do and more about what we can. We’ve discussed ways to focus more of our energy on things we are already doing for others close to us. And we’ve gone through ways we can do little things to increase joy in those we come in contact with on a regular basis.

This week, I want to share a bit about what we can do for strangers. I hear you out there. You’re thinking, what can I do for strangers when I can’t even get out to go visiting or even grocery shopping? Well, it’s 2019 and there are lots of things we can do!

Remember a few weeks back when I gave you a list of ways and places you can find to do things for those you are closest to? Well, let’s look at that list again because most of it can help us bring joy and uplift those we don’t know:

Numbers one and two were job and kids. Well, those are probably where you come in contact with folks you know. Here is the rest of the list and how you can impact those you don’t.

3. Church?
Is there a ministry you might join at your church? Possibly something your unique set of talents and interests or experiences are suited for?

4. Online ministry?
Is there a ministry you’d like to start or get involved in that is online? Like me, you may have time though not be able to get out on a regular basis.

5. Online business?
Is there a business you might start online? An online business can not only give you something positive to strive for but bring in some kind of income.

6. Art?
Is there an inner artist inside you? You might start using those talents for others or use it as a business.

7. Writing?
Do you have an inner author you’d like to let out? Is there a novel in you? A children’s book? A testimony you’d like to share?

8. Blogging?
Would you like to blog about a topic near and dear to your heart?

And here are some others:
9. Social Media connections?
Some folks are on social media to connect with friends and family who don’t live close by. Others are on to share about a cause. Some of them are those who want to promote a particular ministry. If you have a desire to support others, you can do that online and make connections with people on Facebook groups, Twitter, or just from your own Facebook profile page.

10. Asking to pray with someone going through a hard time?
Have you ever run into people who you can just tell are having a hard time? Maybe at the grocery store or at your son’s baseball games? You can make a point to pray with them, help them, or just listen to them.

11. Reaching out to those in need via text, social media, email?
I had a friend who moved away a while back. Not only couldn’t I travel to be with her, but she was busy and didn’t have time to talk on the phone. I made it a daily practice to send her a short inspirational text.

You may not be able to help someone financially, physically, or by being with them in person, but you can reach out through electronic means to be a light in their world.

If you have enjoyed or been blessed by this series, please consider sharing it on your social media or with friends in an email. You’ll be fulfilling one of the ways we’ve just discussed!

God Bless!

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Paul vs Job Part 8: Keep This in Mind

I only have two more parts to this series and today’s is about things we, who are going through long term, chronic, and lifetime trials need to keep in mind in order to be able to find the joy inside the struggles.  This week’s post is vital if you’ve never sat down to think of them before and even if you have. Stay with me.


  1. You’ll have good days and bad days.  Dealing with issues like these, unfortunately, isn’t a straight upward trajectory.  You’ll have good days and bad days. If you don’t expect that, you’ll be disappointed when the bad days come. If you do expect that, you can minimize the effects of the bad days and get more joy out of the good days.
  2. Watch for dangerous signs. Depression and suicide is an increased risk for those in one or more long-term chronic issues. Get help if you feel overwhelmed and depressed.  We are only human and things can get to us after a long while of dealing with life’s trials. Don’t suffer needlessly.  It happened to me a while back, but thankfully I was able to pull myself out after a short time.
  3. Make time for and pick your battles with your spouse. The divorce rate among those in trial is also much higher. Whether your struggle is financial or health-related, these things can make for grumpy spouses and that can affect a marriage.  Take time to work through things together before it becomes a pattern or too big a problem for you two to face together without help. If it’s already gotten to that point, consider getting some marriage counseling.
  4. Keep in mind that things are not as simplistic as others would have you believe. Most issues are much more complex than the platitudes and pat answers would suggest and they won’t help. Life isn’t all packaged up neatly in a perfect box.  Life’s messy and life in trial is even messier still.  And that’s ok. Knowing this allows you to dig further to find your answers instead of feeling as if there is something wrong with you because someone thinks you should just “get over it.”

I would also like to take this opportunity to share some tips for finding more joy in the midst of struggle and suffering.

  1. CDs of church sermons you’ve not been able to attend for health reasons
  2. Online church sermons if you can’t make it to church one week or more
  3. Upliftng praise and worship music or music that makes you happy from when you were a child or when you were doing well.
  4. Watching humorous tv shows or funny videos
  5. Our parent company Grape Stuff has a set of four CDs that have serene instrumental music on them that is designed to reduce anxiety and to calm.  It’s called the Serenity Package.  

Next week, I’ll deal with what I find in Paul’s writing that leads me to believe how he was able to find joy in all that was his trials. See you then.


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