I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.

~Psalm 40: 1-3 NIV

I am a bit of a Bible hog, I have collect many translations over the years, I lean more to one or two translations, but tonight I like the words used in the NIV for  Psalm 40.  In the King James it says, ‘he inclined to me,’ and in the NIV, ‘he turned to me.’

It makes me think of when one of my children calls out, I immediately turn to them to see what is the matter.  How often do we pick up our little ones out of the dirt and set them down on firm ground?  God does the same for us, he rescues us, dusts the muck off and then places us on sold rock.

He doesn’t stop there though, He gives us a new song to sing.

I picked Psalm 40 today not just because of the wonderful picture it paints of our Heavenly Father, but also because a few days ago I turned 40.  Funny, at 40 I am still learning to sing that new song!  Looking back I thought that by 40 I would have so much wisdom, hehehe…  I remember in my younger days listening to a woman in her 80’s grapple with, how do we really, really express our  love for God, in my arrogance I thought it wasn’t that difficult.  As I got to know this lady I realized her words were not spoken in ignorance but in humility.  She had a far greater understanding than I.

I have learned over these years that if I am so blessed to live to be a woman of her age I will still be learning how to love Him more.

Throughout my life the Lord has taught me many new songs.  I’ll confess the newest one He is teaching me I am having trouble with it.  It is a song of praise and it is beautiful, and when I can really sing it my heart radiates His beauty.  Yet there are days when I look only to my own circumstances, I stumble over the words and I struggle with getting the praise to come out… and therein lies the truth.  As soon as I take my eyes off of Him and look to my situation I stumble, and then He is pulling me out of the muck again!

I am not the only one in our family to have celebrated their 40th year.  Dave and I both celebrated 40 this year.  50 days before me Dave went first.  Neither Dave nor I make a big deal about birthdays… but this was 40.

Well we decided that we wanted to do something we had hoped to accomplish our mission in the 50 days between our birthdays.  Umm…it didn’t happen, but we have not given up on it and we hope to finish before the end of the year!  Are you on the edge of your seat wondering what it was???

40 Random acts of kindness! (Some perhaps not so random)

As I said, we are not there yet but here are some of the things that have made the list, some are really simple, they don’t have to be big items.

  1. Return someone else’s shopping cart, discarded ones in the parking lot count.
  2. Write a note to someone in your neighbourhood telling them how you admire their home.  There are about 5 little homesteads that I am writing notes for.  Their homes are not necessarily anything you would see on the cover of a magazine, but their buildings are well maintained and there is order to their property.
  3. Leave Timmies gift-cards in random folks mailboxes.  For just $20 dollars you can leave 4 people smiling.
  4. Don’t be in a hurry, you can let someone else go first at the grocery store, or while you are driving…
  5. We went through the children’s clothing and gave away 4 garbage bags full of clothing to different folks we knew could use some clothes.
  6. We dropped off potatoes from our garden
  7. We dropped off peppers from our garden.  As we were working between October to late November most of our garden items were done.  Summer time is a great time to bless folks with random acts of kindness from the garden.
  8. Send baked goods with Dave to leave in the lunch room for folks to help themselves.
  9. Hold open the door for someone, if you see them struggling with a parcel offer to help.
  10. Sweet treats in mailboxes, we did some random and some went in our neighbours’ mailboxes.
  11. Smile at people, offer them a kind word.
  12. Put some coins in a parking meter
  13. Drop off some coffee at various businesses we shop at!
  14. Make bookmarks with encouraging quotes on them and leave them in random books at the library.
  15. Leave a few one dollar coins (or bills) hidden amongst the toy section at the dollar store.
  16. Just be polite, say please and thank you, good morning, remember the cashiers name at the grocery store and say,”It is really nice to see you Sally!” and mean it!!!
  17. Dave took me out for lunch on my birthday and left an extra generous tip, it was fun hearing her ask “are you sure.”  By the way we don’t go out to lunch together very often.
  18. Pick up garbage you see lying around.
  19. Pay for the car behind you in the drive-thru.
  20. Say Hello to the new person, start a conversation with the person standing by themselves.
  21. So, this one is not so random after talking with a few friends who shared our passion we started a care and share group, the goal is to share God’s love by meeting the needs of those around us by sharing our talents, gifts, and material blessings.
  22. Send Christmas cards to a soldier.
  23. Leave a treat in your own mailbox for your mail-carrier, this works well for the end of the road mailboxes we have in the country.
  24. Be the listening ear, shoulder to cry on for someone.  (When Joel was diagnosed with cancer we had many folks just walk out of our lives, I have heard this time and again from other oncology families we know, many people don’t know how to care for others through the tough stuff.  Honestly, most of us don’t know the right thing to say or do, I still struggle with this.  Just put yourself out there, just being there says so much.)
  25. When you see someone doing something good tell them.  They may otherwise never know the impact they had.
  26. Like the last one when you see a child doing the right thing don’t just tell them, tell their parent.
  27. Similar again if you have had good service take a minute and ask to speak to the owner or manager and tell them how much you think of their employees and establishment.  Too often people take the time to complain and not the time to encourage.
  28. Drop off a meal, or invite someone over for a meal.
  29. Offer free baby siting!
  30. In the age of social media, you can leave nice comments on someone’s blog, Facebook etc.
  31. Share, let someone else have the last cookie, or last…
  32. Drop off some special items at the local Children’s hospital
  33. Don’t forget your family, call your parents and tell them you love them, miss them, respect them…
  34. Encourage your child/children
  35. Make time for them, read a book together, bake, take them out for a hot chocolate and ask them what their dreams are.
  36. If there is a chore in the house that belongs to someone else and you know they don’t enjoy it, do it for them.
  37. Get up early and make a special breakfast for everyone.  (I realize some of you do that everyday.)
  38. Hug your family members and tell them something that is unique and special about them.
  39. Write notes of encouragement.
  40. Forgive
This is what Dave and I have come up with, we have not checked everything off our list but we are well on our way.  There are many more ideas out there, grow your hair and donate it, volunteer, cut someone else’s grass, shovel snow, visit the elderly, be a mentor, donate items, give blood, learn CPR you could save someone’s life one day.

I know this post reads a bit like two different posts but to me they fit together, so I apologize to those of you who found this disconnected.  Blessings!

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