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MAKE A DIFFERENCE 3



You and I can make a difference by showing unconditional love. It’s a choice really! Recently, there have been a couple of people in my world that have been extremely difficult to love. But, because I believe love is an attitude and that I can choose to love, because of Who lives inside of me, I will choose to extend that love to the unlovely and to all my neighbours.


How do we do that, particularly when is it hard work? Okay, so we have the 'what' but let us now look at the 'how.'1 Corinthians 13 tells us that love is patient and kind and a whole lot of other things. In 1 John 4:18, the Bible tells us that perfect love casts out fear. This fear could be from: others who are different, of not being understood, or misrepresented, fear of harm, etcetera. There are any number of reasons that cause us to fear, which sets us up to be challenged to extend love to those who we are fearful of. God’s love however, is perfected in us, through the perfect love of Christ in our hearts. So we love from the reservoir of love given to us and overflowing.


Let me challenge you (and me). Think about the person/people that are causing you anguish or discomfort in your world? Perhaps they need the love of Christ perfected in and through you. Perhaps your impact to make a difference might not just be you as an individual but your family, small group, church – being the light of love by being his hands and his feet on the ground.


A way to give is through a loving gesture and one means to do this is through volunteering. By volunteering, you may be surprised what God will do through your efforts in the community. I can personally testify to this. Some years ago, I had an idea about running an event where women could gather to connect .


God put wings on it and it became a fundraiser for the A21 Campaign—a Christine Caine initiative, to stamp out human trafficking. From that seed, a woman of influence, (AWI) was born. To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing but at the time, the idea felt quite glamorous. The truth is that it has been anything but! In fact, it’s been very hard work. The team members and I, over the years, have been attacked, every which way and over the years we’ve had maybe 30 volunteer members that have come and gone, but the solid base of four, with other helpers (up to 20 or 30 at anyone gala event that we run) is now operating with success so that every gala gets better and better. People have loads of fun, money is raised and people, as a result, get set free!


The story doesn’t end there though.

As an avid listener of 96three, I advertised there in the community file and DJ & Gosha interviewed me about the event. From that a most surprising thing happened. I received a phone call with DJ asking me if I would like to do an interview chat with him on radio. I said yes, not really knowing what he meant but it turned into a regular weekly spot, starting with the topic of relationships. Three or four years down the track and I’ve been on radio just about every week since then, with many of my clients coming from that base.

God is so good.

I’m also regularly on Vision radio too, which goes all around Australia! What a joy and a blessing to provide some godly input into people who may be struggling. Who would've thought that volunteering could lead to this?


What can you do as a volunteer? Be obedient to his voice, even if it sounds off the beaten track a bit. I love the Jabez prayer in 1 Chronicles 4:10, where Jabez prayed for personal blessings, for the enlargement of his territory, for God’s hand to be upon him and to keep him from sin. I believe that volunteering is one way of enlarging one’s territory because it means going out to places where you and I have never gone before.


Another great reason to volunteer is as a stepping stone to employment. What better way to discover about an organisation than to volunteer in it? You are not overly tied down, whilst trying out new ways, new ideas, new concepts and working with new people. You can showcase your skills and attributes and your worth as a prospective employee.

I’m presently working as a volunteer counsellor at a TAFE college in Melbourne, as a requirement of my degree. I've found it stretching in many ways but have also made some fabulous new friends.

The advantages are endless.


You may be thinking about how to start. Think about what's already happening in your community. There could be a Salvos or Vinnies store near you. A friend of my daughter's volunteered for years in a Brotherhood store, making a business by reselling some of the bargains she found there. This eventually led to her being employed by them.

So have a think about what your church or community does. You can make a difference wherever you are placed as a volunteer, to touch and change people’s lives.


Blessings

Peta


Listen to more about this topic-96three FM, 8.30 am Thursdays.

Or Vision radio 20twenty with Neil Johnson

Click Here to Get Inspiration with Daily Gems & Amens



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