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Many of us are familiar with the Beatles. The advancing crown of glory on my balding head reminds me that I am old enough to remember the Beatles’ rise to fame. The song Help! has an important message for us. We need each other. God designed it that way. He never intended for us that we go it all alone, that we be like the characters John Wayne portrayed going on in war even when he was wounded. I tease Karen with my impression of John Wayne.

Borrowing the way John Wayne would speak I say to all of you, “Listen up, pilgrim. I know I talk a lot about goin’ it alone.  Well, that’s just the image I show in the movies. Here’s the straight shootin’ truth, partner. We show the greatest courage in admittin’ that we can’t do everythin’ ourselves.  It’s okay to ask for help, uh huh, Even when I led calvary charges I always had a heck of a lot of help. When I played an Army officer I always needed the help of my platoon. Don’t take my word for it. Listen to what God says to your heart through that Beatles song Help! I have to go now and round up a posse to go after the Enemy. Watch out for that mean old varmint. His bite is worse than a rattlesnake. Talk to ya later, partner. Now, pilgrim, you keep on a fightin’ for your Lord. Here’s the Beatles singin’ that song I done told ya about. Adios amigos.”

I’m not gifted with technical stuff. I applied for the Canadian Armed Forces, I was to select the right answer for putting an engine back together. The recruiting officer tried his best to contain his laughter. Although I qualified for 32 of the 64 fields offered and wasn’t selected because of my eye sight, I was advised never to become an auto mechanic:) Wise man! It’s okay to ask for help because we can’t do everything ourselves. We all have different gifts.Focus on what you feel led to do. That is where you’ll find fulfilment and abounding joy.

As I pray and think about that Beatles song, I think how the chorus could be a prayer.

Lord, help me

I know You can

I’m feeling down

I sure appreciate You being ’round

Help me get my feet back on the ground

Won’t You please, please help me?

Yes, we need the help of our friends. I would like to say a special thank you to all of my friends. Karen and I sure do appreciate you being around when we need you. So many times you have been and continue to be there for us.

There are the times you came with groceries when we were on welfare. You listen to us as we tell you our need for me to have the medications for my health the government won’t provide. You help cover the cost of trips to  the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto that are improving my energy, focus and overall health. But most of all dear friends, I thank you for those outstretched arms of love — the love that asks no questions. The love that gives expecting nothing in return. The love that is there when we cry about the weight of our circumstances. May the Lord bless you all richly for your loving hearts!

Friend, thanks so much for providing the cost of getting my Christian counsellor re-certification through the Canadian College of Christian Counsellors. This gift will be used for God’s glory as I engage in my counselling practice to help people heal within.

This gift will lessen and hopefully eliminate our dependence on social assistance. That is the dream and hope of most who are on welfare. Most people needing food banks or any kind of support have self-determination to change their circumstances. I know from having worked in social services that while there will always be con artists cheating the system, most would do anything they could to stop living on welfare.

A friend of mine with advanced cerebral palsy cried one day as he said to tell you this. “Kevin, tell people that we don’t get enough support from the Wynne government in Ontario for the needs we have. Those on Ontario Disability are sick and tired of having to apply to Ontario Works (welfare) for more of the things we need. We feel like garbage. Our health suffers because we have to make painful decisions even on Ontario Disability that we can’t have the most nutritious diet. We’re always afraid if we make even a little bit of money to pay for medications and healthier food, that we will be labelled as cheaters.”

God’s heart cries out for all of those on welfare and disability.

I pray, oh God, that You will hear their prayers for help. Help them to know they are dear to Your heart. Work in the hearts of government and community to come up with better solutions, so no one is left behind, so everyone is given access to all the medications and treatments they need not merely to survive, but thrive. Melt and change cold hearts, who falsely judge all people on welfare as being lazy bums.

Give us creative minds that come up with out-of-the-box ideas on how we can improve employment support programs for all people. Help us to develop links with community, educational and corporate partners, who will help those in need to have the full cost of training programs, internships and post-secondary education covered.

The Beatles song can be our collective call, that we need to reach out for Your help and the help of one another. Amen.

While the love of friends is a special gift from God, as I put you all back in God’s tender and compassionate arms of enduring love, please prayerfully reflect upon the greatest friend you have — Christ. The Christ who can mend broken hearts and shattered lives. The Christ who died for your sins. The Christ who wants you to live a life of abundant joy. That’s the Christ I know with all of my heart and I pray you do as well.

If you don’t know this Christ, you can today. Just tell Him that you need Him. Take that step of faith and reach out to Him. Say you want to stop living in defeat. You want to sing a new song — a song of hope, love, joy and inner abiding peace.

Christ calls out to You today. Will you take His hand? Will you stop analyzing this important decision? Come as you are with all the abuse you’ve experienced, that destructive programming of the Enemy.

Dear friends, don’t let the darkness win. Let Christ’s light win

Christ is the greatest friend you will ever have.

What a friend we have in Jesus. All our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!

God’s peace and abiding strength be with you.