A Lesson from my Dad (Think Twenty-three)



One of the phrases Dad often said to us was: “Do something of eternal value everyday.”

No matter what you do, make at least one thing you do each day count for all eternity.

Last night I was talking to a friend. Not a friend I talk to that often, so we had a lot to catch up on. Something she said reminded me of Dad’s phrase, (Not that I’d forgotten it.)

But sometimes it is difficult to remember to actually do it.

As I sit in the house and sometimes feel ok and sometimes feel very not ok, making sure I’m doing something of eternal value is not always my top priority.

But when life is somewhat normal and I work with the kids in Sparks, or serve in the church library, or do a service project with my friends, doing something of eternal value doesn’t seem that distance.

Yet when I’m home … and can’t go out … taking those words to heart is a little more difficult.

Though we can do them.

  1. Send an encouraging note to a friend (or someone you don’t know too well.)
  2. Have your kids draw pictures for those on the front lines (or write thank you cards.)
  3. Teach you kids/grandkids a verse about trusting God.
  4. Call someone who lives alone and doesn’t have anyone with whom to have a conversation. Sheltering in place without anyone to shelter in place with can be a difficult experience.
  5. Put a cheerful verse/quote on the internet.
  6. Ask everyone in your extended family to read a chapter of the Bible or at least a passage. Then have a Zoom conversation discussing it.
  7. Have your older kids help your younger kids put on a skit of a Bible event.
  8. Thank your pastor for his messages (speaking to an empty room/auditorium isn’t easy)
  9. Volunteer to help out your church’s children’s ministry staff. Could you donate some money or small gifts/treats for gift bags?
  10. Volunteer to help your church do “ding dong ditch” to church families. (Many churches are doing this, some even using actual ding dongs – and dropping gift bags off at people’s houses.)
  11. Let your kids FaceTime grandparents, aunts and uncles.
  12. Choose a family verse and have your kids make a poster.
  13. Offer to tutor (by zoom, etc.) the child of a friend, especially if it’s a subject in which you are particularly skilled.
  14. Fill gift bags for neighbors with treats, cleaning supplies … and an encouraging verse.
  15. Take seriously any online teaching responsibilities you have … and don’t get discouraged if only one or two kids/adults watch or listen.
  16. Contribute to a food bank or homeless shelter – choose a Bible-based one that includes the gospel in their packages.
  17. Ask your kids what questions they have about the Bible and answer one every day.
  18. Study a book of the Bible with your kids.
  19. Buy supplies for someone who is making masks. Encourage the person.
  20. Are there elderly people in your neighborhood who can’t get to the store? First, check on them and make sure they’re ok. Let them know you are praying for them. Second, if you can get them some needed food or supplies, be willing to do so.
  21. Send encouraging notes to seniors who are missing out on graduation and other end of the year activities.
  22. Call a friend you haven’t talked to for a long time. Or call someone who has helped you spiritually and thank him or her.
  23. Let your neighbors, friends, church staff, kids, grandkids know you are praying for them.

Maybe you have a different idea.

Whatever it is, do something of eternal value every day.

Dad’s advice was good.




  1. These are good ideas and I have a team at church I’m going to share them with. I especially liked the ding dong ditch idea. I was planning on sending out some cards today as well. Thank you for the list!


    1. I’m on a kids min site and the ding dong ditch idea has really spread – many are buying stores out of Ding Dongs!


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