“He says, “ ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’ ” — Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

I have seen the most people who are living alone now, many because of the loss of a spouse, divorce or they just have chosen to live alone.

There are some of them who have plenty of money and can pay to get everything done around the house, but many of them are living from check to check, and they must let things go because they can’t afford to pay someone to come and do it for them.

I have personally witnessed things that different churches have done for their members and community such as building handicapped ramps, visited with someone living alone just to offer the gift of their presence and ease loneliness, brought food as a way of saying we are here for you, and I am sure that there are many other things that are done as each church sees the individual needs.

What I have discovered is that we need each other when things are bad, but we also need each other when things are good.

If we just need to cry because of sadness, the loss of a loved one and so many other things, we have a huge family with their arms wide open ready to let you vent or just to cry on their shoulder.

This is one of the many things that we miss if we don’t go to church.

It bothers me to hear someone say that they can be a Christian without going to church. That is a true statement, but God has made a way for us to be together, have fun with each other or be the strength for someone that doesn’t know how they are going to find the strength to make it through one more day.

As Christians, God gives us the power to show love and understanding when the need arises.

God lives within your heart and will shine through you if you just let Him. I promise there are people in your church and community who are hurting and lonely who would be blessed more than you could imagine to just have you come by and offer a few words of encouragement or just find out if there is something you could do to help them.

Have a blessed week, and remember that God loves each of you, and so do I.

Prayer: Help me not to fear the future but to boldly trust that you are in control when my emotions plunge me down, and when I am in despair. And times when I can’t talk and don’t know what to say, help me to “be still, and know that you are God.” Be my comforter, my healer, and bring me peace. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Thought: Have you reached out to someone who might have a need in your church or community lately?

Prayer focus: People who are alone

BEST EVER PEPPER STEAK (CROCK POT)

You’ll need:

16 oz. of beef stew meat

2 of each bell peppers

1 vegetable oil

3 tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. of minced garlic

1 can of beef broth

1 can of stewed tomatoes

1 season salt

1 all-purpose flour

How to:

In a large bowl, mix together the flour and season salt, then coat the meat in the mixture.

In a skillet, heat the oil, add in the meat, minced garlic, bell peppers (cut into strips) and cook until the meat starts to brown.

Remove the meat and peppers from the skillet to a lined slow cooker, leaving the grease behind.

In the skillet where we cooked the meat, add the stewed tomatoes with juice, and 1 can of beef broth to the oil. Add the flour gradually while stirring until you make a gravy, then pour it over the meat in the slow cooker. Cook covered on low for 8 hours.

Janice Sasser is the daughter of Ruby Hicks, who wrote weekly columns for the Mount Olive Messenger for six years. She is from Goldsboro and writes weekly columns out of an interest in continuing her mother’s tradition in the paper.