Sunday, December 17, 2017

Day 1337 Christmas Kindness Advent 17

Day 1337: (Day 17) "Sabrina Drude was standing in line at Walmart, her cart piled high with notebooks, pencils and markers.

The seventh-grade teacher at Francis Scobee Middle School in San Antonio, Texas, explained to a customer behind her that she teaches in a very low socioeconomic area where kids can’t always afford what their peers can.

When her total of $97 flashed on the cash register, the customer, later identified as Lester Brown, jumped between Drude and the cashier with a bill in his hand.

“He said, ‘Put your wallet away,’ and I just started crying,” Drude told CBS News. “That’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard.”


Trust me when I say teachers are not paid enough money to have to buy supplies for their students. When school budget cuts happen, and they seem to cut budgets more ever year, class supplies is always one of the hits that go first. There are struggling families all over that have a hard time to cover the cost of  their student supplies. 

The teacher, Ms. Drude, shows us her kind heart first by taking an underpaid job to educate youth and again willing to give her own money to help cover the cost of supplies her students need. The stranger, Mr. Brown, stepping up and taking the bill exemplifies a beautiful kind act. Mr. Brown didn't even know the teacher or the students he put his money toward. 

Your kindness challenge: Go shop for some school supplies for the spring semester school year. Contact a teacher within your community for a list of needs and help mark off that list. Every dime spent will be appreciated. Keep this kindness act up year round, you'll be surprised what a difference your donations will be for a class that needs your help.

Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; 
teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.
Proverbs 9:9

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Day 1336 Christmas Kindness Advent 16

Day 1336: (Day 16) Justin Corva may not be a name you've heard before. This young man is an inspiration and proof there are still hard working determined young people that is willing to work for what they want, what they need. I can't help but think of 1 Timothy 4:12 when I read this: "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." Corva definitely does set a powerful example here:

"When Andy Mitchell saw a man walking on the side of the road in 95 degree Texas heat, he pulled over and offered him a ride.

The man, 20-year-old Justin Corva, told Mitchell that he usually walked three miles to and from his job at Taco Casa every day because he was still saving up for a car. Inspired by his tenacity, Mitchell snapped a selfie with him and posted it on Facebook.

"To all the people that say they want to work but can't find a job or don't have a vehicle all I can say is you don't want it bad enough!" he wrote.

Then the chain reaction began. Samee Dowlatshahi, owner of Samee's Pizza Getti Italian Bistro & Lounge in Rockwall, Texas, heard about Corva's situation and put a donation box inside his restaurant to collect funds for a car. A friend of Dowlatshahi's named Danny Rawls, who also happens to be a general sales manager at Toyota of Rockwall, asked his boss about finding a car for him. His boss agreed and lowered the price on a 2004 Toyota Camry.

Thanks to their fundraising efforts, they also had enough money to pay for a year of insurance, two years of oil changes, and $500 of gas. Mitchell, Dowlatshahi, and Rawls drove the car to Taco Casa to surprise the unsuspecting Corva."

Wow, what an incredible person. Corva is driven and determined to hold his own in a world that stereo-types our youth. You just do not know what is going on in the lives of young adults today. It is so easy to assume they either have it made or they are moochers with no work ethic. Respect and faith is what our youth generation needs from us today. 

Your kindness challenge: During finals week, you can walk into coffee shops and see zombie looking college students cramming for a final while downing the liquid caffeine to help keep their weary eyes open. College is hard work, young adults like Corva trying to make it the best they can with what they have to work with is hard work -- in his case his two legs taking him to work. When you see a young adult, buy them a cup of coffee or let them know you have faith in them to keep up the fight. You will never know what an inspiration you will be in their success. Just look at the kind heart of Andy Mitchell offering a stranger a ride. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Day 1335 Christmas Kindness Advent 15

Day 1335: (Day 15) If you watch the news you are well aware of the media shining a negative light on police officers. Why do we notice a small group of bad apples and want to throw all the apples in the bunch? There are more honorable and humble-hearted men and women in uniform that does not deserve the negative attitude toward police officers today.

A young boy named Noah did an act of kindness that Officer Benitez will never forget:

"Nine-year-old Noah Smiling saw a policeman eating breakfast at Denny's and asked his mother, Amanda Cantin, if he could pay the officer's bill.

He wrote a note on the receipt that said "I want to be you when I grow up. Thank you for your service."

Officer Eddie Benitez was stunned and touched by the boy's kind gesture. He asked Smiling for a picture, which the Lakeland Police Department shared in a post on their Facebook page.

"It meant everything," Benitez told WTSP News. "It meant that I'm supposed to wake up every morning and put on this uniform and go out there and do what I do. You know? It means that I need to keep trying to be a good example to all these young guys."

Your kindness challenge: Understand our officers carry a lot of the weight of the world on their shoulders: the calls they answer, the evil they witness, the moments they put their own life on the line. Police officers have families and the same life struggles that you have. When you see an officer this holiday season let them know you appreciate them. Follow Noah's kind example and buy them a meal if you have the opportunity.

"Give justice to the poor and the orphan; 
uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.
Rescue the poor and helpless; 
deliver them from the grasp of evil people."
Psalm 82:3-4

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Day 1334 Christmas Advent 14

Day 1334: (Day 14) When did Christmas become so stressful? I hate the thought of going into stores this time of year and from the attitudes reflected off other shoppers, they hate it as well. There are victims of our buh humbug vibes, those who have to serve with a smile and drilled in orientation The customer is always right.

Have you ever snapped at someone serving you -- a waitress, a cashier, a floor rep? There may have been a time there was so much stress piled up on you, people surrounding you, all you want to do is be at home, you are hot, don't feel good and then an item is not right or the line to check out is a mile long or maybe you didn't like the tone the employee spoke to you -- SNAP!

I've been there and have been on the receiving end of someone snapping at me for no fault of my own. There is a lady named Debbie that snapped at a Starbucks Barista and really felt bad after the fact. Read her letter below:

The card reads:

Greetings Starbucks Barista! Yesterday at your drive thru we had a less than cheerful encounter. At no fault of yours, you were out of carriers and said you could not take my empty cup (trash). I was less than understanding & my manner was curt. I need to apologize. The thought of leaving a trail of unkindness like that is not the path I want to reflect. Not for you, not for me. You are a young man, clearly working hard to build a fortune and you should be commended. Keep your attitude of cheer & hope. Stay hopeful no matter what kind of people cross your path (or drive thru). Surely, God has good blessing in store. You taught this ole lady something yesterday about kindness, compassion & staying humble. I thank you! God bless you today and all your todays. Debbie.

Your kindness challenge: No matter how stressed you are, how frustrated the situation is respect the feelings of other people you cross paths with. You never know what stress load they are carrying on their shoulders or how bad of a day they are having. Remember, a smile can hide a lot. Hand out candy canes to the employees that serve you this year and let them know they are appreciated. I assure you, they are dealing with many buh humbug customers on their shift. 

A cheerful look brings joy to the heart;
good news makes for good health.
Proverbs 15:30

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Day 1333 Christmas Kindness Advent 13

Day 1333: (Day 13) Do you believe every single person was born with a kind heart? I do believe God created us all to have kind hearts and we choose to follow our heart or follow the worldly ways. There are many stories of a kind heart that has changed lives, even changed history. It takes a person to seek the kindness within themselves and grasp on to the courage to follow their heart to make a difference.

Here is a story of Oskar Schindler, a man that could have easily turned a blind eye to the Jews but couldn't because his heart was kind and sincere. Schindler is an inspiration today and should encourage us all to seek the kindness within our heart at all costs -- sometimes someone's life may depend on it; in Schindler's case, thousands of lives depended on his kind heart.

"Although a far more complex character than director Steven Spielberg made him out to be, Oskar Schindler’s choice to be kind to 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust still resonates throughout the world today.

An ethnic German and a Catholic, Schindler bought a Jewish-owned enamelware factory called Rekord Ltd., changing the name to Deutsche Emalwarenfabrik Oskar Schindler—also called Emalia— in 1939.

At his factory, Schindler employed Jewish workers from the nearby Krakow ghetto—a Jewish ghetto created by the Nazis, from which they exploited Jews for forced labor. But while these Jews were basically slaves in Schindler’s enamelware factory, he went to great lengths to ensure they were protected.

Schindler repeatedly bribed SS officers to not deport his workers to extermination camps, adding an armaments manufacturing division to his factory so that he could claim his Jewish workers essential to the war effort.

When Krakow was liquidated, and many of its Jewish inhabitants sent to their deaths, Schindler let his workers stay safe within the walls of his factory overnight so that they would not be taken.

Later, Schindler convinced the SS to convert his factory into a branch of Plaszow concentration camp, and brought in Jews from other camps as well, protecting them from the brutality of the Nazis at great personal risk, even going so far as to falsify armament production numbers so as to continue safeguarding his Jewish workers, only shutting down operations the day that the Soviets liberated the local concentration camps.

Schindler’s act of kindness saved the lives of over a thousand people, earning him three arrests by the Nazis during his clandestine activities—none of which stuck. Although he died without fanfare or much recognition, he has since been recognized with many awards, and was subsequently reburied in Israel, where he is honored for his extraordinary deeds during the Holocaust."


I opened this blog with a quote of Schindler, "There was no choice. If you saw a dog going to be crushed under a car, wouldn't you help him?" It is easy to answer yes to that question, isn't it? But hear this, there are men, women and children all around you today that is being crushed by evil influence -- sex trafficking, drug addiction, low income households struggling to keep utilities on and food on the table while the wealthy turns a blind eye, homeless, abuse, victims of hate and prejudice -- are you standing by watching them get crushed or are you going to take action? You do have a choice. Your kindness challenge: Make the right choice.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; 
then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, 
full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 
Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
James 3:17-18

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Day 1332 Christmas Kindness Advent 12

Day 1332: (Day 12) Instead of sharing a modern day act of kindness, I am going to go back a couple thousand years and share the legacy of a woman named Dorcas. (Also known as Tabitha.)

In Acts 9:36 we learn Dorcas was always doing good and helping the poor. Acts 9:39 we have an insight what Dorcas did with her time, "All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them."

Dorcas took her own time and used her own resources to help the poor, clothe the widows and children. She is an important woman in the Bible many do not even know yet she is mentioned because she teaches us valuable life lessons:

Galatians 2:10
All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.

James 1:27
Look after orphans and widows in their distress and keep yourself from being polluted by the world.

Matthew 10:42
And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is My disciple, I tell you the truth, He will certainly not lose his reward.

You do not have to be a wealthy person to show kindness to another; most kindness acts doesn't even require money. At the death of Dorcas, all those she helped gathered around her in mourning as if she was family because she treated and loved them as such. Simple acts of kindness using your heart and your gifts is all it takes to make a difference. Are you ready to be the difference you've been called to be? Your kindness challenge: How can you be more like Dorcas in your life? Take time one on one with God and pray He leads your heart to the direction you can best serve.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Day 1331 Christmas Kindness Advent 11

Day 1331: (Day 11) I love Chick-fil-A! "Mondays are tough." Today is Monday, your kindness challenge: You don't have to go out and spend $1000 on random stranger's meals but do at least one thing to pay it forward to someone you cross paths with today. Buy someone's meal, give a random stranger a flower ... the sky is the limit on the numerous ways you can share kindness to another today. Go -- do it.

"Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart." Proverbs 3:3