Ideas for Encouragment

I thought I’d share with you an email my friend Melissa sent to me a few weeks ago. I always enjoy Chuck Swindoll’s encouragement, but thought this was not only a great admonition for serving during the holidays, but serving throughout the year. So many of his suggestions are great for that New Year’s resolution thing (ahhh, resolutions – not a strong-suit for a recovering procrastinator!)

Thanks for sharing this, Melissa … and walking the road with me.
-Kay

December 14, 2010
Christmas All Year
by Charles R. Swindoll

Have you ever thought about giving something away every day of the year leading up to Christmas? These daily gifts could be called our “Christmas projects,” one per day, every day till Christmas. Just think of the fun of being able to say “Merry Christmas” in July!

Here are a few suggestions:

Mend a quarrel. 
Seek out a forgotten friend. 
Write a long overdue love note. 
Hug someone tightly and whisper, “I love you so.” 
Forgive an enemy. 
Be gentle and patient with an angry person. 
Gladden the heart of a child. 
Find the time to keep a promise. 
Make or bake something for someone else. Anonymously. 
Release a grudge. 
Listen. 
Speak kindly to a stranger. 
Enter into another’s sorrow. 
Smile. 
Laugh a little. 
Laugh a little more. 
Take a walk with a friend. 
Lessen your demands on others. 
Play some beautiful music during the evening meal. 
Apologize if you were wrong. 
Turn off the television and talk. 
Treat someone to an ice-cream cone (yogurt would be fine). 
Do the dishes for the family. 
Pray for someone who helped you when you hurt. 
Fix breakfast on Saturday morning. 
Give a soft answer even though you feel strongly. 
Encourage an older person. 
Point out one thing you appreciate most about someone you work with or live near. 
Offer to babysit for a weary mother.

Let’s make Christmas one long, extended gift of ourselves to others. Unselfishly. Without announcement. Or obligation. Or reservation. Or hypocrisy.

This is Christianity, isn’t it?

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