North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose 

    My parents taught me at an early age to help others. In fact, the church we attended, had a children’s mission program where mission-education turned into mission-action. Our youthful, energetic group frequently performed community service projects. Our chapter motto was: “Help Others in Jesus Name”. I naturally was drawn to this type of work because it was fun, and I enjoyed witnessing the look of delight and expression of thanks I saw in the eyes of those we helped. Our little community was filled with easy-going people, and there were people who needed help. In any group, whether it’s in the city or in the country, big towns or smaller ones; where there are people, there will be needs. Meeting the needs of others opens doors of dialogue, and potential for wholesome friendships.    There are many ways to encourage and help one another, particularly by the words we speak. Proverbs 25:11 says, “A word fitly spoken, is like golden apples in a silver basket.” It’s important to know when to speak and how to speak words of encouragement. The ministry of fitly spoken words includes the tone of voice, the expression of the eyes, the lines of the mouth, and other body language. There are other ways to express our appreciation of others, to encourage them, and show them we care.

    Once while visiting in Bethany, Jesus was in the middle of supper and an unusual thing happened. A woman came with a container of precious ointment. It was equal to a year’s wages of a day laborer. It was customary to sprinkle a few drops on the guests. But this woman poured the entire contents on Jesus’ head. The Bible gives record that Jesus was deeply stirred by her unmeasured generosity. Some of them said, “Why this waste of such expensive perfume? It could have been sold and money given to the poor! So, they scolded her. Then Jesus replied, Leave her alone. Why criticize her for doing such a good thing to me? I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed” (Mark 14:3-9).

    A hard fact of modern life is some people tend to get lost in the shuffle, taken for granted, and many needs are left unmet. People are hungry for feeling wanted and appreciated.

    Take for instance, those whom we refer to as “public servants”. Good government officials, schoolteachers, and administrators, editors, honest radio and television personnel, ministers, denominational employees, faith-based groups, non-profit organizations, and a host of others often are taken for granted. There are also individuals that seek to “save the world” by doing good deeds and advocating for the weak and those that seemingly do not get their voices heard.

    There once was a man who went to see the religious editor of a large newspaper. The editor bristled up in self-defense and asked, “What’s wrong?”

    The man replied, “Nothing’s wrong I just stopped by to thank you for the good service you render to our community, and I wanted to tell you what a fine job you’re doing.”

    So accustomed to harsh criticism, the editor could hardly believe what she was hearing. Too many people are long on criticism and fault-finding and short on appreciation, and the expression of that appreciation. We live in a day when the opportunity to thank some one may not always be there. There’s an old rhyme: “What to closed eyes are kind sayings? What to hushed hearts is deep vow? Naught can avail after parting, so give them the flowers now.”

    There may be those in your immediate community who are overwhelmed with a mood of despondency and loneliness. Is it possible that they have the impression that no church is vitally concerned about their spiritual welfare? One does not have to take a scientific survey to know the answer to this question. Not only are their multitudes who have the feeling that no one really cares for them, but there are also multitudes who have no inward assurance that even God cares or is concerned about their welfare. As a Christian, you have the power to affect change in the life of someone else. If God has changed your life, you are fully equipped to be a “chain-breaker” and “change-maker”! Choose to be the person that shows compassion and takes the time to care. Be like Jesus and express God’s love.

    Knowing there are people who are discouraged with their failures or imagined failures, you can intervene and give them the bracing word on which they can lean. The woman of Mark chapter 14 probably had heard Jesus speak a word of forgiveness and hope to some discouraged person, and she felt the same need. Having received it, she used her experience to bring blessings to others. Take your own experiences and find someone to bless with encouragement and appreciation.

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s a Public Health Manager for the State of Florida, former U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain, and the Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in the New York Community. His “Living With Purpose” Book series can be found and purchased on www. You can contact him by email:

Posted by on Jun 14 2020. Filed under Church News, Churches, Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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