From Central Vineyard Blogger – Northampton, England
Smile and say hello to your neighbours in the morning, even when you are in a rush!
Child-mind or baby-site for a family in the area. It is often a real treat for those with children to get a night or even a whole day off. You may want to get Criminal Records Bureau clearance for this.
Help parents with a newborn baby by cooking a meal or offering to look after older children. This will allow them to spend time with the newest member of the family.
Invite a neighbour round for coffee and a chat. The impact of simply spending time with another person cannot be underestimated.
Offer to go shopping for someone who is elderly or housebound. They still need to get their weekly grocery shop done and you can also support local businesses when you shop.
Provide a lift-sharing service for other children from the local school. This will be appreciated by busy parents, and it is good for the environment too!
Teach someone how to use e-mail, something which many people don’t know how to do. You might be able to help a grandmother keep in touch with her grandchildren.
Visit the sick in hospital, especially those who may be long-term patients. They might even welcome someone reading stories from the local newspaper to them.
Help an elderly churchgoer by providing lifts to church on Sunday. If he or she can’t be there, offer to get hold of a recording of that week’s sermon.
Organise churchgoers to clean up a local eyesore after the church service one Sunday.
Do some gardening for neighbours who might not be able to do it themselves. It might not be Groundforce, but mowing lawns, cutting overgrown hedges and taking rubbish to the dump can transform a garden.
Do some decorating for someone who doesn’t have the time, money or strength to do it themselves. You don’t have to be too ambitious – a lick of paint can make a big difference.
Offer to drive for Meals-on-Wheels and bring some nourishment and friendly company to those that are housebound.
Become a mentor for a child or teenager in your neighbourhood. It is a great opportunity to invest time in developing a positive relationship with a young person. Contact an organisation like Oasis Trust or your local YMCA, which run mentoring schemes.
Get into youth work and spend some time with young people in your area. Your church or council will probably be able to provide some training to get you started.
Offer your professional skills to someone who could not otherwise afford services such as a plumber, electrician, accountant, language teacher, lawyer, administrator, etc.
Become a school governor and contribute to the life of a local school. The time commitment can be considerable but many Christians find this incredibly rewarding.
Serve on a Youth Offending Panel, which recruits volunteers to work with young people who are in contact with the criminal justice system. You might be able to help them stay out of trouble in the future.
Throw a street party for your neighbours this summer. Get everyone to bring different foods, drinks, music and encourage people to get to know each other.
Design a website for your town using the format found at http://www.2day.ws
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The above blog post was written at a time when I was eclectic in my theological & biblical views and understanding. As of 5 February 2017 I am a functional cessasionist, that is, I believe the spiritual gifts, in particular gift like the vocative, prophetic gifts as well as healing & miracles have ceased. This means that my understanding is that at the end of the apostolic era, when the last apostle died (that would be John who was at Patmos & Ephesus, the author of the Gospel of John, Epistles of John & the Revelation of Jesus Christ, with his passing, the need for these particular gifts, the oracles of God given to men through the Holy Spirit, were no longer required. With the forming of the Canon of Scripture, there came to be no need for revelatory gifts. In fact in Revelation, John himself records the words of Jesus, “18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. 19 And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share of the tree of life and the holy city, which are written about in this book.” [Revelation 22, CSB]
God is sovereign, still heals, still manifests in the miraculous, but not at the whim or the discretion of men. We pray and ask the Lord, and then we yield and surrender to His will, echoing the words and the spirit of Christ, “Not my will but your will be done.” [Luke 22:42].
I embrace and hold to a Reformed understanding of theology & Christian living in the world. I have abandoned my other views entirely. I would be more akin to a Reformed Baptist (1689 Confession) type of Reformed theology. I used to be a continuationist (akin to John Piper) but no longer.
God bless you as you seek to know Christ and the power of His resurrection [Philippians 3:10 CSB].
In the eternal grip of Jesus,
Samuel M. Buick
29 January, 2018
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