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You Are My Sunshine

Good morning. It is Thursday, February 17, 2022. Jeanette Stark here.

Have you ever done something nice for someone, just on the spur of the moment? You know, a random act of kindness. If not, today is the day. It is officially Random Acts of Kindness Day.

Amelia Earhart once said, "A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.”

Kindness matters. Being kind not only changes others, it changes you.

According to the Mayo Clinic, kindness has been shown to increase self-esteem, empathy, and compassion, and improve mood. It can decrease blood pressure and cortisol, a stress hormone, which directly impacts stress levels. People who give of themselves in a balanced way also tend to be healthier and live longer. Kindness can increase your sense of connectivity with others, which can directly impact loneliness, improve low mood and enhance relationships in general. It also can be contagious. Looking for ways to show kindness can give you a focus activity, especially if you tend to be anxious or stressed in some social situations. Kindness can positively change your brain. Being kind boosts serotonin and dopamine, which are neurotransmitters in the brain that give you feelings of satisfaction and well-being, and cause the pleasure/reward centers in your brain to light up. Endorphins, which are your body’s natural pain killer, also can be released.

I remember one day many years ago sitting in line at the bank drive-up. It was taking some time but when the car ahead of me pulled away, I pulled up only to see the bank teller in tears. I asked her if she was okay, and she just burst out crying. The person in the car ahead of me had been terribly mean to her and it had a big impact. As I pulled away I felt God nudging me to so something kind. I pulled into the Grants Pass Pharmacy and chose a magnet with a beautiful picture and inspirational saying or Bible text…I cannot remember. I bought a card and wrote a note. I pulled back into the drive up and when she opened the drawer I put the gift and card in and quickly drove away. I will always remember the look on her face.

Several years later I received a note from her in the mail, telling me how much that little gift meant to her and how it was still hanging on her fridge.

Kindness matters.

Princess Diana once said, “Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”

I have been in the drive through at local fast-food establishments and paid for the order behind me. I had no idea who the person was, and they had no idea who I was, but I left feeling good! I needed no ‘thank you’, no recognition, I simply wanted to carry out a random act of kindness.

I bought a $10 gift card at the Dutch Bro’s in Sutherlin not too long ago and then asked the barista to give it to the car behind me. Total strangers that I never saw again but I left with a huge smile on my face.

Caroline Flack once said: “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”

One morning Wendell and I decided to eat out for breakfast. We did not eat out for breakfast often, but on this particular Sunday we decided to eat at a very small, mom and pop place, that we used to frequent. There was a line of people waiting to be seated. We waited close to 15 minutes before the waitress came to take us to our table. She told the couple behind us it would be about another 15 minutes. I turned to them and said, “Would you like to join us?” They were surprised. They looked at one another and said, “Are you sure?” “Yes!” I replied, “come, share our table.” And that was the time we had breakfast with total strangers. A random act, that felt good.

Desmond Tutu said: “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

Jesus performed the best random act of kindness when He left the splendor of Heaven to ultimately die on a cross for our sins. And really, it was not random. The Bible tells us there was a plan even before earth was created.

“knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible (or perishable) things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest (or revealed) in these last times for you.” 1 Peter 1:18-20 NKJV

He was foreordained before the foundation of the world.

Foreordained: predetermined. Predestined. Fated.

God had a plan for our life before we were born, before our parents and grandparents were born, before the beginning of time. That is incredible to think about!

The plan of salvation was predetermined before the world began.

2 Timothy 1:9 “who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,” NKJV

Titus 1:2 “in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,” NKJV

Yes, Jesus dying for us was not random, but very well thought-out and planned. He decided to do whatever it took to save us. Why? Because He loves us AND wants to live with Him. He wants a forever relationship with us. We can hardly wrap our head around that kind of God.

Jesus said in John 17:24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” NKJV

Thank Jesus for His gift and go out and so something great today!

Need some ideas?

Send someone a note of encouragement.

Pay for someone’s food behind you.

Cook dinner tonight or clean up after dinner.

Help around the house.

Send someone flowers.

Order take-out and have it delivered to a friend.

Send a text telling someone how much they mean to you.

Spread love and happiness wherever you go today. Smile and greet a stranger. Hold a door open. Be kind.

“Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.” – Eric Hoffer

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