Looking for Joy

In this day and age, it seems that most of the “so-called” news is bad. Rarely do you find encouraging news stories on page one of the paper and you have to search out good news and uplifting stories. The good news is, there is good news and we need to hear more heartwarming stories of people doing nice things for one another instead of committing acts of violence.

I’ve been in a position lately to see some of these random acts of kindness first-hand and I just want to share some of them with you. A few of them seem to be in direct answer to my prayers and maybe some are an answer to one of your prayers.

I have been praying for quite some time for the Grace and Mercy Outreach Ministry in Amelia. Rick and Vicki McCarty do an outstanding job of meeting the needs of people in the area, both physical and spiritual. I heard yesterday that a group who collected food and toys needed to find someone to bless and they were directed to Grace and Mercy just in time for their annual Santa Shop on Saturday, Dec. 19. I couldn’t personally help them out, but God heard our prayers and met the needs.

When I was invited to the annual CNE Senior Citizen Luncheon last week I witnessed how a school district is reaching out to those who need help. The gifts that were given to the seniors were very nice and some were one-of-a-kind. If the seniors didn’t need the items, they have been given an opportunity to share what they have received with others. I’m sure many of the gifts received will create a ripple affect of generosity. I wonder how many prayers were answered on that day?

The Christmas Parade in Amelia was also an answer to many prayers. The weather may not have been the best, but the smiles on the faces of the children who were watching brightened the rainy afternoon skies.

Being in the audience at Christmas in the Village of Batavia the other night, I was blessed to see so many people laughing at the magician’s tricks. I could tell that everyone who was there was caught up in the moment and many of us were transported back to our own childhood remembering magicians from days gone by.

I had the pleasure of running into Santa at several events the past few weeks and was moved by the love he showed to little children and adults who came across his path. This jolly man knows what Christmas is all about. Giving instead of receiving. I can only hope that his stocking is filled to overflowing when he gets up on Christmas morning. He should be blessed because of the blessing he has been to others.

I saw a story in the paper the other day about a group of prisoners who figured out a way to make money and purchase toys for needy kids. Not an easy task for those incarcerated, but very commendable and unselfish. That was good news.

Maybe you have your own story about generosity to share. Please tell someone about it, we all need to hear words of encouragement and hope. After all, that was why Jesus came to earth, to bring the world hope, peace, joy and love. I hope that your Christmas is filled with these things. Mine has been already.