Sandy Jones is the publisher of Christian Living magazine, a print publication located in Boise Idaho. It features real life stories of real life people with hobbies and passions like yours.
Here is her latest Publisher’s Corner article (reposted with permission).
As I sat down to write this I realized that it’s been a full year since my very first column. Many of you have reached out with story ideas, distribution locations, and gracious words of encouragement. We’ve made many new friends along the way. Every day I feel more blessed to have Christian Living Magazine as my ministry and my j-o-b.
The past couple of months it’s been my privilege to tour the Women and Children’s Alliance, the Boise Rescue Mission Ministry Center and Warehouse, City Light Home for Women and Children, and River of Life for men, and to chat with some of the big-hearted staff and volunteers at these locations. Although I know that we have truly needy people in our community, I had no clue how large the demand actually is.
During my tour at the Rescue Mission, I learned the sobering statistic that they serve over 1,000 meals a day, 365 days a year in their facilities. I also learned that the many turkey drives held for their benefit during the holidays help to feed the homeless and downtrodden all year long. The head cook at City Light informed us that they have turkey every Tuesday; she cooks two turkeys each week, while the cook at River of Life cooks four. Although we host most of the holiday meals in our home, I cannot even begin to fathom cooking four turkeys at one time!
At the Women and Children’s Alliance, we learned that Domestic Abuse Awareness Month is in October, the same month as Breast Cancer Awareness. Although twice as many women will suffer from domestic violence as will be diagnosed with the horrible disease of breast cancer, the topic of domestic abuse is still so taboo that it gets a fraction of the attention and coverage. Even with our own daughter-in-law fighting breast cancer, this statistic was staggering to me.
These tours were quite humbling for me. As I fret about not having new clothes, or some other “thing,” I was suddenly made aware of how blessed we are, and just how much we really do have. So often people desire tropical vacations, new bling, meals in the latest new restaurant ― while these centers are full of people who are simply grateful for a roof over their heads in a safe environment.
I don’t write this today to pull heartstrings (although none of these facilities would turn away donations of time, money, food or clothing). I am writing this as part of my continuing theme of living intentionally. Yes, there are those who chose to be homeless, but more often than not, these are people, just like you and me, who due to illness, loss of a job, or divorce ― any number of circumstances ― suddenly found themselves with no place else to go.
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Thanks to these tours I’m able to see how very blessed my family is, which makes choosing to be grateful and appreciative of what we already have, and less wanting of more things, much easier. The tours brought to mind the story of Jesus separating the sheep from the goats in Matthew 25:31-40 NIV, where in verses 34 to 40 He reminds us how important helping others is:
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
I know that each one of us is dealing with something, and while mine seems mighty big to me, I try to remind myself that everyone’s “something” is big to them. Do I always succeed? No! I have not yet arrived. You’ll find that my shirt doesn’t yield a big “SC” for Super Christian on it ― but I haven’t quit trying either. Self-improvement, like intentional living, is a daily process, one that can seem to be one step forward, two steps back ― although I strive for two steps forward and one step back!
I look forward to the coming year. God has clearly shown us that His plan for Christian Living Magazine is firm ― and bigger than our original one. We hope that you will pick us up, read us, visit our advertisers (without them none of this would be possible), and continue to reach out to us with your ideas and support! Until next time, God bless!