A Gift From God 11

The other day I received a text from my cousin.  He is having his house remodeled and needed to get some things moved.  He knows that I take things to the mission each month as people give them to me.

This time the things had to me removed because the men doing the work inside the house needed to start demolition in the room.  So, I was hurried along on my picking up and deliver this time.

When I arrived the mission I was greeted by a man twice my size and we began to shake hands he pulled me to him and said, “Give me a hug my brother!”  I could have cried.  God knows when to send these men into my life.  I needed that hug like another breath of fresh air.

The men were so excited to get three televisions, a nice pair of tennis shoes, 2 DVD player/VCR combinations and a big chair.  These items will be put into hoses that families will transition into from the family shelter before going back into the world.  The men were like kids unloading the pick up truck.  I forgot to mention that my cousin loaded the truck for me too.  It is his truck that I drove over there.

You see, God used my cousin to be a real blessing to people that need blessings.  These blessings are a gift from God.  They will probably never see the man that sent these things over to them; but, they will be forever impacted by his acts of kindness.  Let’s take a look at James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”  God can use anyone that is willing to be “A Gift From God” if you will just allow Him.

So, how are you doing?

A Gift From God 6

I was thinking about the idea of gift giving and I remembered something.  When my wife played the piano for our Church and I led the music and choir I received a precious gift.  On dear little older lady in the Church came to me one Sunday before Christmas and handed me a card and a gift that had been wrapped.  I took it and joyfully told her thank you.

In the card was three one dollar bills.  The wrapped gift was a box of chocolate covered cherries.  That was a precious gift to me for sure!  This dear lady had given all she could.  I have not forgotten that gift.  Here is the thing.  I despise chocolate covered cherries.  I think I stooped so low as to re-gift them to someone that I know likes them.  I felt bad; but, I did not want them to just go to waste.  Instead they went to waist on someone else.

I travel the path of memory lane because it reminds me of James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”  That sweet lady gave those gifts to me and I counted them as a gift from God.    I know that our LORD was well pleased with His darling daughter that day.  It moved me to tears at her kindness toward me and my dear wife.  I can honestly say I have never received a dollar fifty (three dollars split between us); but, to me that was just as priceless as a million dollars for Christmas.

God has given His son Jesus to be our substitute and pay for our sin.  Yet, millions refuse this free gift of salvation.  One day they will regret this.  Will you trust Him today.  We are not promised another breath, let alone another day.  Trust Jesus today.

So, how are you doing?

Thanks-Lliving 5

There have been times in our marriage of over twenty years that times were lean.  Most times we would tell family about it and they would come to our rescue.  God has used them many, many times to deliver us.

The other day I received a message that a friend wanted to bless us for Thanksgiving.  I knew that meant food.  I was excited.  I like to eat for sure.  So, Tuesday evening I went to pick up the food.  To my surprise there was double the amount for one family.  I knew what that meant.  It meant that we could either keep a double portion or find someone to “bless” with a feast also.

So, at 9:30 at night I drove twenty-five miles to a relative’s house who I know struggle with finances and she has children.  It worked out that my Grandmother got out of the hospital on Wednesday after having three stents put in the back side of her heart.  My Dad was staying with her after she got home from the hospital.  So, I because someone blessed my family and I we were able to bless my Grandmother, my Dad and my cousin and her family.

On my way home God spoke to my heart about a dear Pastor friend in our area that has fallen on hard times and is struggling financially and is living with their youngest child and their family.  God told me to bless them with the food that was given to us.  I talked to my wife and she immediately so yes, let’s do it.  So, Wednesday evening we met this dear Pastor and gave him the food we had been given and we even purchased a little more to go with it.

Why am I sharing this?  Please know that I do not share this so you will know how wonderful I am and what a good person I am.  Not at all!  I share this in order to help you see the truth of God’s Word.  Look at Acts 20:35, “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  I promise you this is true.  I have lived this for the past four days and I cannot describe how I feel.

So, how are you doing?

Give It Away

There have been many times over the years that God has blessed us when we were at rock bottom.  He never fails to bring in what we need when we need it.  Sometimes it has not been when we thought we needed ti.

For instance, a few weeks ago things were so tight that my wife and I ate toast and tomato sandwiches for four straight days because we could get free tomatoes from my cousin’s farm.

When some people heard the truth about this they sprang into action.  We received a card with a grocery store gift card in it and our Church gave a very generous love gift to our son for graduating high school.  Praise the LORD.  Maybe eating toast and tomato sandwiches for four days was not my original plan; but, we enjoyed it and it was awesome watching God’s hand of provision move and work on our behalf.

The love gift’s of all those were like something in the Scriptures.  I was reading this earlier yesterday.  Look at Mark 14:3, “And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.”  Your love gifts are like a sweet perfume.  Thank you all!

So, how are you doing?

Thank You For Giving!

As you all know I enjoy going to the mission to preach chapel service once a month.  I always try to let people know when I am going so if they have any donations that I can take them when I go.  I have had loads before that I had to take both bench seats out of the van to make room for everythingl

I will never forget overhearing one of the men talking; as they unloaded a pickup truck, that the one thing he missed the most was sugar for his coffee.  Yes, the tears ran.  Something so simple that you and I take for granted.  I cannot begin to tell you what an impact that had on me.

Then my wife saw a post on social media that the mission needed eggs.  Her heart broke and we bought several dozen eggs.  God allowed us to have some extra money at that moment to help with the need.  We could by no means do much; but, we did what we believe we could.

Then again I put the call out for the mission this month and another friend responded with countless items like aspirin and razors.  This family is an “extreme coupon” family and it allows them to have their needs met and to meet the needs of other.  I know that I was deeply convicted when I saw their gift to the mission.  Here is the thing.  If we are going to do this we have to make a plan and execute it.  It takes work to do this kind of thing.  I will say it is well worth the investment.  When you see the joy on their faces for a pan of brownies or some cookies.  It makes it worth it all.

Look at Luke 6:38, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”  Just remember, you will NEVER out give God.

So, how are you doing?

Bring Back The Glory 4

I think one reason people do not want to go to Church is that they thing all that is discussed is money.  Give, give, give is their excuse at least.

Well, there is a Biblical aspect of giving and it is to be discussed among God’s people. Here is the thing.  People get hung up on giving because the Bible teaches that we are to tithe or give 10% (ten).  They get focused on the small amount and loose sight of the bigger picture here.  God only requires ten percent and that leave us with ninety percent.  Besides, the tithe is only a starting point.  Remember, it is tithes and offerings.

Remember the widow that Jesus spoke about.  He said that she gave more than all the rich people putting their money into the treasure.  Why?  Simple really.  It is not equal giving; but, equal sacrifice.  If I sacrifice until it hurts then I can give just as much as someone who has a lot to give; but, my gift is seemingly much smaller.

Look at II Chronicles 5:6, “Also king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel that were assembled unto him before the ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen, which could not be told nor numbered for multitude.”  Notice what the king and people did here.  They all sacrificed.  That is the key.  They all sacrificed.  King Solomon obviously could afford more than the others; but, God said sacrifice.

So, how are you doing?

Give

In the recent past we were asked to help someone who was in need.  We love to help others.  It is better to help someone else than to need help.  We have been on both sides of this issue.  We love to help others.  We look forward to what God is going to do with the small gifts we give.

Interestingly enough, this time what we gave came back to us.  The great thing is that it came back with interest so to speak.  In what was given to us there was a package of men’s socks that will fit our son.   His mother just threw away all of his black sport socks due to holes in them.  Once again, God met our needs right on time.  This awesome and nearly brought us to tears.  Yes, over six pairs of socks.  You see, Jesus cares so much about us that He meets even the seemingly small needs.

Look at Luke 6:38, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”  Remember, you cannot out give God.  He will be a debtor to no man.

So, how are you doing?

 

Christmas 25

Merry Christmas!  The day is finally here.  The children should be playing with the boxes that their toys came in and parents should be sitting down for a quick nap before the rest of the family arrives.  Oh, what fun!

I find myself being “left out of the loop” so to speak many times.  It is due to lack of good hearing most of the time.  We have seen the angel and then a host of angels appear to a group of shepherds.  They brought a message of hope, peace and joy.  This message and everything that surrounded it motivated these shepherds to do something.  Look at Luke 2:15, “And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.”

The shepherds said, “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem,”.  Notice they did not delay as far as we are told in the Scriptures.  They left the care of their flock to under shepherds and they went investigate what they had been told.  There are many things that motivate.  Fear is one of the greatest motivators.

Love is another great motivator. Love is the motivator for Christmas.  We are told by the Apostle John that God so loved.  Christ coming to earth was motivated by His love for us.  He sacrificed for us.

As you celebrate today and give gifts think about your motivation.  Have you given to get gifts or have you given because of the ultimate Gift from God.  The Gift of His Son, Jesus.  There is no gift under the tree that will even compare to the Gift given that hung on a tree to pay for our sin and to set us free.  That is the Christmas story.  Jesus gave Himself to us, for us so that we might have eternal life.  Have you trusted Him for salvation.  I pray that you do today before it is eternally too late.  That is the greatest gift of all.

So, how are you doing?

Thanksgiving 25

The other evening I had the pleasure of preaching at the mission again this month.  I love it so much.  My wife bakes two pans of brownies and puts frosting on them.  She also bakes three different kinds of cookies, a couple dozen each.  This is a labor of love for our family.  We love these men and it is our pleasure to bake these snacks and share them with the men.  They appreciate it so much.

I was moved nearly to tears as I told one of the men that the 600 count package of napkins would be left for them to use.  He responded, “Praise the LORD!  Thank you.”  It was a package of napkins.  To you and I this is a simple thing that we take for granted; but, to this man it was a luxury.  It was such a small thing to us; but, to him it meant that someone cared enough to share what they had with them.  It humbled me for sure.

This man’s response to a package of napkins brought to my mind I Thessalonians 5:18, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  I have come to learn that I have no idea what life is like for these people.  One thing I believe is that if Jesus were here today walking on earth as He did in His day that He would have gone to the men, women, boys and girls at the mission.  He ministered to the down and out more than the up and up crowd.  After tonight, I am thankful for napkins.

So, how are you doing?

 

Grace

There was a day in my young life that if you had said the word “grace” in my presence I would have thought of “saying grace” or praying for a meal.  The word grace means so much more than that.  It means kindness or favor.

Why do we show grace to people?  God demonstrated His grace to us and so we demonstrate grace to others.  Dare I say, we demonstrate the grace of God to others.  People have a hard time believing that people will just do some deed for them that they cannot repay.  If it Jesus Christ working in us that allows us to do such things.  I mean really, God demonstrated grace to us at the cross.  Was it not an act of kindness that Jesus died on the cross on our behalf?  Absolutely!  Grace is God giving to us that which we do not deserve.  If we received what we deserve we would all be in hell for eternity.

Look at Genesis 6:8, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.”  I hope you can replace the name “Noah” and put your name there.  Grace is free to you and I; but, it cost Jesus His very life’s blood.

So, how are you doing?