Stretcher Carrier for Christ
To those of you who have popped over from the Proverbs 31 Devotion today- welcome! Feel free to leave a comment below even if you are not a blogger. To do so, click on the word "comments" below and select the anonymous button after typing your comment in the provided text box

Today I am giving away a copy of "God's Purpose for Every Women", a $10.00 Starbucks gift card and a travel mug that you can personalize with your own photo. To enter simply leave a comment below and be sure to leave your email address.



The devotion today centered around being a "stretcher carrier" for Christ. The gospels are full of many examples where friends and family brought people to Jesus to be healed.

Matthew9:1-2
"People brought him a paralyzed man".


Luke 4:40
"People throughout the village brought sick family members to him-no matter what the disease was He healed them".


Matthew 25:34-36
Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why:

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.' (Message)

I love how the Message translation gives definition to the directives in the verse.

There are many ways that we can be a "stretcher carrier"
    • Carry others with prayer
As a need is brought to your attention be obedient and faithful to pray and actually do it. I know I have been guilty of saying I would pray and then getting busy and forgetting. I have a friend who told me that when she commits to praying for someone, as soon as she is away from that person she take a minute and prays immediately so she will not have the chance to forget. I like that advice.
    • Carry others with encouragement
Each day I have a "to-do" list. I have started allowing blank time for God to interrupt my schedule. It could be making a call to say hello to someone, sending an email or a note to let them no I am thinking of them. Running in to someone you did not expect to see and giving them a hug. Look at my previous post on "seeing God" for some other ideas. I personally do not want to miss out on a chance to be the hands, eyes or feet for Jesus.
    • Carry others physically
Do you know a someone that has a need, can you cook a meal for a family grieving, or dealing with an illness. Do you have clothes your kids have outgrown that could be a blessing to another? Do you know someone that needs a ride to the doctor? Is there someone that needs a place to stay that you can reach out to?

The devotion also referred to the child our family sponsors through Compassion International. Our family has been so blessed by this opportunity. We know the funds we send, and the letters of encouragement we mail are truly impacting the life of a precious little boy. This is a picture of David and I in Ecuador.

If you want to learn more about that please go to the Proverbs 31 website and then go to the Compassion link from that site.


Leave a comment on how you have been "stretcher carrier", and you could be the winner of today's give away. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you will visit again.

Blessings,



42 Comments:

Blogger Jeannette said...

I think it is exciting when you can be a stretcher bearer when no one knows. In the past, I looked down at Brittany Spears. Perhaps it was jealousy... Recently when she has been going through rough times a holy anger rose up within me when I read that a newspaper had written her obituary. I knew God was urging me to stand in the gap for her and her family through prayer and intercession. I started praying (I am sure there were many others...) and things began to turn around.
I am also an educator and God has shown me many opportunities to be a blessing to those around. The Blessing is in our life and we should share it!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recently a dear friend of mine experienced a series of tragedies affecting her best friend's two grandchildren. I have carried this stretcher in prayer to three or four online groups to which I belong that have people who pray, including one which has over three thousand members on an international basis. I am certain that they, in turn, have become stretcher carriers and carried this to other people and there churches.

I love what Jeannette has done for Britney - wow!

God Bless!
Jeannee in jersey
edisonmyndiecoco@yahoo.com

Blogger Granny Grant said...

I often times feel like a stretcher bearer to the parents of my first graders. Children today have home lives much more difficult than when I was growing up in the 60's. I'm honored to be able to be in a position to pray for their needs.

Thanks for the devotional on that.

Ruth

Blogger Lisa said...

Charlene,

Thanks for your devotion and your blog. I think that we often tend to think of praying for someone as a "last resort", something we do if we can't find some physical way to help someone. Instead, it should be our first response whenever we hear of someone in need of help. And I like your friend's advice about immediately praying for someone--I have often promised to pray for a friend and then promptly forgotten about it. I'm trying to do a better job of following through on that commitment. Thanks for the reminder!

Lisa
l_watkins74@hotmail.com

Blogger Laura said...

Charlene,
thank you so much for these beautiful words and images of inspiration. I so much aspire to carry the stretcher for some of my dear friends! sometimes, I am not strong enough, I need to remind myself that I don't carry it alone. Bless you, dear one, for blessing me today!

Blogger Van said...

Thanks for bringing back the memories of our life-changing trip!! I just wrote a letter to William and Jessica. I praise God that He is so big that I do not have to physically carry the stretcher for others. I have stepped into their lives to help in a small financial way so Compassion International can find the hands-on stretcher bearers for my two sponsored children! Have a great day, Charlene and don't forget to pick up the DVD you won over at my blog. You can drop by the office and Teri will give you one.

Blogger Amy Wyatt said...

Thanks for such a challenging and inspiring post. We often get so busy with our own things to do, that we don't stop to wonder what "interruptions" God has planned for us to help someone else. I love what Jeannette said also about praying for Brittany Spears. My husband and I also have been praying for her as well as a few others that are role models for our children, such as Lindsay Lohan and Miley Cyrus.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved this devotion. Unfortunately, I feel like I am the one in need of being carried in the stretcher to the feet of Christ. Please pray for me.
erinborden@gmail.com

Blogger KathyB said...

This devotional came at a great time for me. Our church is in the middle of our Easter Pageant which runs for almost 3 weeks and it's been a great opportunity for me to ask a friend who isn't a believer to come and hear about Jesus's love for her. I need to be more aware of other opportunities to be the stretcher bearer. Thank you so much.

Blogger Bobbey said...

I never thought of myself as a stretcher bearer before, but as I was telling my 4 year old this morning it is our job to tell everyone about Jesus.

Thanks for reinforcing that message to the one who needed it most (me!)!!

Blogger Alyce said...

Hi and thanks for your devotion this morning.
Its also encouraging to know that we have "carriers" of our own. When I first read the scripture today, my thought (and i've read this scripture several times before) Wow..what awesome friends of that paralytic. Everyone can't say that they have friends that close to them. I sure hope so though, cause they are precious. Its a great reminder of the friend we need to be.
Blessings~Alyce
bassfmly@earthlink.net

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed your devotional, it was very inspiring and made me think about those in my church and community that I could help. It seems we all get so busy with our immediate families that we let precious opportunities pass. I pray that I can be more sensitive to others needs.

I'm glad to read some comments on Compassion International. I've always wondered if they do what they advertise that they do. It is a good way to touch the hearts of those less fortunate. I enjoyed the write up on Eucador.

Blogger Tammy Nischan said...

Charlene, I love when a devotion makes me stop and think so deeply. So many times, I see people who do not have Christ and even though I am their friend, I don't always know exactly how to reach them with His love. I LOVE the thought of simply "carrying" them to Jesus' feet through my words and actions. You have blessed my day, and my prayer is that I can carry that blessing on to others! Love, Tammy

Blogger April said...

Thank you for the devo today. Today was my first day of receiving them from Proverbs 31 Ministries. I signed up after attending the Hearts at Home conference in Normal, IL. I have thought about this story alot in the past and am in awe over his friends' commitment. I have thought in that very situation, I'd like to think I'd be that faithful, but not until now did I think of it in these terms - of today.

Thank you for bringing it to the forefront today in my thoughts as I intentionally try to be the stretcher for those around me.

Blogger April said...

Oh, I forgot to leave my email address...I'm sorry. april_marsaglia@yahoo.com

Blogger Kelly said...

I think one way the Lord has called me to be a stretcher bearer is by sending a card to someone I know that I hear is sick, or just a note to someone to say hello, how are you doing? Finding encouragement and being remembered in one's mailbox in the middle of all the junk mail and bills is a way to brighten someone's day. I like to put colorful stickers and include a couple of flavored tea bags or a bookmark or cute magnet too. We all rush around so much and are so busy, but stopping to write a card and remembering someone can be a huge thing for the receiver!

Blogger Grace said...

What an awesome reminder to pray for your friends and family.I also liked the comment about praying for even someone you don't even know personally, but you know they need a touch from the Lord.
The Lord has given my family several oppurtunities to be stretcher barriers for our neighbors.
Grace

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Knowing I have given birth to a wonderful "Spirit Filled" daughter gives me great joy - know too Honey that you bring me closer to Jesus and increase my faith with your love and devotion of Him. "Stretcher Carrier for Christ" you are.... Proud Mom

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great thought and inspiration! It made me think about all our family has been through the past year with our children, accidents, drinking, wrong decisions, etc. I felt as thought no one cared - no one was my stretcher bearer- and I had a pity party. Then I realized that I was not praying for my children or myself for things to change! I began to pull away from others because of all this. Then I realized I needed to change my attitude and begin to pray for others and forget about myself and boy did God begin to open doors and work miracles in our lives then. I cannot began to tell you all the things that have happened in our lives. Having a positive attitude and being a stretcher bearer - what could be a better blessing to those around us?!?!

Blogger Wanita said...

Thanks for your devotional and your blog today. I especially appreciated the idea of praying for someone immediately after they ask for prayer. I've also been carried by the prayers of the wonderful women in my Sunday School class and other dear friends as well. With the chaos in our world today, it's so important for us to be stretcher carriers who pray and share when we have the opportunity to do so.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dena said...

Thank you very much for that inspiration word today. it really touch my heart. it made me realize that i need to be there more for my friends. i am there for them but i can do more. starting today is a new beginning for me and i will learn to listen more and talk after. thanks again

dslittle23@msn.com

Blogger Renee Swope said...

Charlene,

I loved this devotion!!! I have a few people in my life now that need some "carrying" and today I am praying that God will show me how. One thing I do when I know someone needs prayer is pause and pray for them right then and there - on the phone, in an email response or in person. That way I fulfill my promise to pray and don't risk forgetting later. As I pray I ask God to give me a verse from His word to speak into their lives so they can take them with them, too.

Thanks so much for this devotion and the great ideas on your blog.

Hugs!
Renee

PS. Please don't enter me in the drawing. I have the book :->.

Blogger Lisa said...

I started keeping a prayer journal and will write down peoples names and why I am praying for them so I will not forget. It is for people I know and those that I see on the news or internet that need prayers.

Thank you for this devotion. I am remembering in prayer today the people that were my stretcher carriers when I had cancer.
Lisa
pastorboggs07@sbcglobal.net

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the reminder that we can be used of and by God to help others with their faith. I can use my faith to help someone else find peace or healing. I can pray alone or I can go out and do something physical for that person with Christ as my lead. I really appreciate such wonderful reminders!

Amanda in Ohio
4myers@dishmail.net

Anonymous Christy said...

When a friend's husband stood in the way of her attending church because it took away from family time, we started a bible study during the week. Because of our schedules, this only worked for the summer but I've been reminded how important it is to provide opportunities for her to meet with God. Also, making sure that my speech is always "seasoned with salt" and that I'm ready to give an answer.
Thank you for this blog!

Thank you for the encouragement today from Proberbs 31. It touched me and I guess I am wondering what do we do with our famiy and friends who do not want to be carried? I thought 3 people close to me who are not walking in faith. I do pray for them and I also lead by example. Again, thank you for your wisdom and words!! God Bless!

Blogger Melissa said...

Hey Charlene:) Great devotion today and blog.

Prayer is the key to everything I think. Often we say, "all I can do is pray" like it's not much. But, IT IS HUGE!!! Jesus shows that over and over again.

Right now I want to pray for the woman who posted and said she felt like she needed carrying.

"Dear Lord. I pray this sweet child of yours can rest easy in Your arms today. Please give her strength and allow her to feel your unconditional and unfailing love. Show her that she is special and is Your masterpiece. Help her to feel treasured. I pray protection over her heart and mind that no condemning or negative thoughts take over. You made her. You love her. I pray for her in Jesus' Name, Amen."

Charlene-thanks for sharing and please do not enter me in the drawing. Although, I'd love a Starbucks card, I'll pass on the chance since I do have the book:)
Love you!
Melissa

Blogger Joyful said...

Charlene - this is EXACTLY what I needed to hear today!!!

Yesterday I signed up for "She Speaks" - and I may not be physically paralyzed, but I am bound by fear - so much so that it almost kept me from being obedient to God's call. Thankfully, some very wise and loving friends spoke God's truth to me. I need "Strecher Carriers" to bring me through all that lies ahead. Prayer is POWERFUL! Thank you for how this message has lifted my heart today and carried me to the feet of Jesus.

I am a prayer warrior for others. Often when I say I'll pray for a need for someone else - if it's at an appointed time - I set the alarm at home to go off minutes before so that the ringing will remind me to stop and pray. I have several ladies who God has called me to pray for on a daily basis - and it's only because the Lord has specifically placed them on my heart, that I can even begin to follow through with this commitment. The funny thing is, these ladies are not gals I know very well - there's one I haven't even really met - but because the Lord so strongly impressed their name on my heart - I pray.

Praying the Lord will continue to help me see the needs of others today and lovingly carry them to His throne of grace.

Blessings,
Joy

Blogger Debra Zantman said...

Thank You for your devotion today. Erin I said a prayer for you that Our Lord will keep you close.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just recently shared this story with the children in my 3rd grade Sunday School class. When we truly listened to the story and talked about how difficult it was for those friends to bring the man to Jesus, they were amazed. The crowd of people, negotiating the steps with a stretcher (while not dropping thier friend!), digging through mud and grains that had dried for years - using just their bare hands, and getting him through the opening (again, without dropping him). Boy, we could all use frinds like that!!
I love when a story comes to life for kids because it is "shared" with them and not just "read" to them. They then shared stories about how they had recently helped/"carried" their own friends.
There's nothing like the heart of a child!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this story. I'm leading a prayer campaign at my church right now where we are praying for those who need a relationship with Jesus. This is the stuff that inspires me to keep up with the campaign even though getting out and meeting with members of our congregation was starting to feel like a burden. I plan to share your devotion with the members of our Outreach Team at our next meeting to inspire them as well!

Blogger Charlene Kidd said...

I am so enjoying all the comments and ideas. You are all amazing. Melissa, thanks for praying on the spot for our friend that asked. I prayed again after reading yours. You all have know idea how you have blessed me today.
Much love,
Charlene

Blogger Charlene Kidd said...

I am so enjoying all the comments and ideas. You are all amazing. Melissa, thanks for praying on the spot for our friend that asked. I prayed again after reading yours. You all have know idea how you have blessed me today.
Much love,
Charlene

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I just popped over from the Proverbs 31 devotional. I enjoy the encouragement I get from them each day. I find that when I get discouraged, I find someone to encourage. It works for me!

Through these simple efforts, some of the ladies at church have joined me and we have started an encouragement ministry to the shut-ins in our church and community.

We visit, have devotions and take fresh fruits and vegetables which many of us grow in our own gardens. We occasionally cook a meal for them also. The most "unique" project we have undertaken was "A Day of Relaxation and Renewal", which included facials, hand and foot massages. We opened it up to the ladies of the entire church, many of whom were elderly and widowed.
We have had requests for that one again! We were all tired at the end of the day but we got such a blessing out of being a servant to so many. Encouraging others is the best way I've found to be encouraged.

God Bless

E-mail: carolinadesigns@embarqmail.com

Blogger kim said...

I am person who is often looking for ways that I can be a "stretcher carrier" to someone else. Although I definitely feel this is a calling from the Lord for me I often experience exhaustion from always "thinking up ways to help" someone. I am learning that the BEST service I can do for them is to pray for them and pray for God's direction in what way I can help them!! I am realizing that sometimes he just wants my prayer for that person and he will use someone else to "physically help" them.

henchicks@verizon.net

Dear Charlene, Thanks for your words and encouragement!

I am here today because my family in Christ carried my stretcher, as Jesus sustained me.

In 2006, my sweet son Tucker died in his crib just before his third birthday. It was unexpected and tragic, and I was 4 months pregnant with my fourth son. One beautiful winter morning, our lives were forever changed.

I didn't want to live. I wanted Heaven, and now. I couldn't open my eyes to my reality. The doorbell would unexpectedly ring, "Jesus sent me" she'd exclaim. This happened over and over again. People cooked, cleaned, parented my children, organized, washed newborn clothes, prayed, slept at my house, made arrangements, helped with legalities, and I could go on and on. HE even sent strangers to my door with meals. Many prayers and cards from people I've never met.

I consider it an honor and privilege to have been carried. I am naturally an independent person, but in my grief I didn't even know my needs. Jesus did. HE sent loving hands to carry me in His strength. If Jesus sent them, I let them help. Who was I to say no?

I now encourage everyone to listen to God's proddings and do exactly what He prompts them to do. There is nothing "too silly" to do as a stretcher bearer for Christ.

I also encourage those needing to be carried, to allow their family in Christ to bear their stretcher! If Jesus sends them, embrace their help.

Recently, God has directed me to be a stretcher bearer for a Mormon woman who's 8 month old daughter died in her sleep, and she is 5 months pregnant with her sixth baby. I was scared! Scared of her Mormonism, sharing my HOPE, my own grief, and entering her private sanctuary of grief.

I have been comforted by Jesus, and I am called to comfort others with the same HOPE and comfort I received. (2Cor 1:3-5)

She doesn't have the HOPE of heaven and eternal security. I have purposed to share the only HOPE we have in grief, and all of life: Jesus and the Gospel Message. Please pray for her salvation, as she continues to welcome me into her world.

There are too many details to share, but I am in awe watching God battle in this darkness for her family. I have been blessed, spiritually attacked, and traumatized by my own flashbacks, walking with her through her own details.

It isn't easy to bear one another up. We must leave our comfort zones. It's okay to be scared.

We are blessed as we obey God's directions.

To all our stretching bearing days ahead!

www.tuckersalisbury.com
email: Darci@vingster.com

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not that I had not heard or read Acts 20:35 (....it is more blessed to give than to receive) before. But somehow the head knowledge trickled down into becoming a revelation of my soul and the earnest yearning of my heart. This revelation also came with the profound understanding (finally) that all things belong to God. And when I really really got that it became much easier to surrender. God has allowed me to purpose in my heart to dedicate all that he has given me (family, home, car, finance etc) and all that he allows me to be (mom, wife, sister, stranger etc), to serving others. Above all I thank him for the privilege to serve in such a multifaceted capacity.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your encouragement to be a 'stretcher carrier'. Lately I have been in a funk over feelings of uselessness. Your devotional helps me to remember that the things I do even if small make a difference!
Appreciating you,
Adrienne


fmikef@comcast.net

Blogger Melissa said...

Darci,

(2 comments up) You are so Spirit filled...each time I speak with you or hear from you or just read about you, I feel carried by Jesus! I am praying for you as you give and pour out to this woman who has lost her precious child. Of course you know her loss. I love your encouraging words to 'listen to God's proddings' and there is nothing 'too silly' to do.

I love you my friend. I'm so glad you posted here to share your life and your Jesus with others.

Love,
Melissa

We have recently had to do the extremely emotional and guild-laden task of putting our dear mother in a nursing home. She loves the Lord and is still helping with the prayer chain at church and trying to have a great attitude. What has impressed me most are the "stretcher carriers" who have been there for her every time she has fallen, needed an arm to lean on, a hand to hold, or even medical assistance in extreme situations. It's tough to know that we, her loving family, cannot always be there when she needs us, but I know and have seen that that is why God sends Angels in our place. Those angelic Angels have been HER strecher carriers and I thank God for them every day.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the encouragement! There are so many ways to be a stretcher carrier for Christ!
"THE ART OF HELPING" by Lauren Littauer Briggs has been a helpful resource in helping someone who is hurting.

Darla.Leatherman@uscm.org

Blogger Nancy said...

My son Philip shot himself on March 1st, 2007 at the young age of 23. I had many stretcher bearers for me to get through this last devastating year of my life. But the 3 years before Philip died I think I was one for him. He was bi-polar and also had chronic physical pain. Even though he was saved, he found no joy in living. I never told him to SHUT UP or "you can never come in this house talking about not wanting to live"...I ALWAYS told him I LOVE YOU PHILIP...NO Matter WHAT!! I was his SAFE PLACE, the shoulder to cry on, the arms that enveloped him, I am his MaMa! I know Philip knows that I tried to keep him here with us on earth. And he did try to stay for three years...but he could not stand the mental anguish or the constant physical pain. Suicide Grief of a child is unique. I wrestle with guilt, depression, heart wretching pain of loss of my baby boy, and the WHYS and the HOW COULD HE? Philip was such a blessing in my life and he will always be remembered as that!
Nancy Wickett
Philip Hagan Wickett's MaMa

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I am taking some time away from speaking to glean more from God and draw closer to Him. I need to be at home more with my children for a season. I will continue to post on my blog and update you all. I covet your prayers during this new season.
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