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Posts Tagged ‘giving’

And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication.

Zechariah 12:10a (NIV)

May your day be so very blessed! 😀

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Two Kinds of Wisdom

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.  —  James 3:13-18 (NIV)

And, they will know we are Christians by our love…to love whole-heartedly without reservation, full of peace and absence of malice, hate and jealously. May we set our goals high and always keep reaching! May your day be blessed and may you bless someone else’s day! 😀

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Do you thirst for God?

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

17 “I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”   –  John 4:7-26 (NIV)

 

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In the past week I have spoken to many people who do not believe that there is a God of any type. I am not accustomed to speaking with so many unbelievers and nonbelievers. My witness is my faith, my life, and my spiritual wholeness. My witness is about the miracles that have occurred beginning with the ones that brought me into the world, and then the ones that have sustained me thus far AND finally, the miracles that have happened for my children.

 

I believe one must truly accept to believe but people will not allow themselves to accept because they do not want to believe. To know God is to experience God. This is my belief but it is echoed in John 8 beginning with verse 42:

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” – John 8:42-47 (NIV)

 

This is powerful scripture. It may not make sense the first 10-100 times you read it and only will you understand it when you are ready. God’s wisdom does not come until one is ready—prepared in the heart, mind, and soul.

 

Back to my witness… Not everyone has a multitude of miracles to share. We each have our way of reaching others. Sometimes my witness is not about the miracles but only about the love God has for us. It varies depending on the situation and the person. I am not a pushy witness. I believe in planting seeds and allowing them to find fertile soil in which to grow and germinate. Take care and may you find your way to witness that is pleasing in God’s eyes.

 

 —  garden2day

 

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Being a parent I have thrown all kinds of stuff at the wall hoping something will stick. If you have had children at the age of middle and high school, I’m pretty sure you know what this is like. The problem is that we really don’t know what will stay with them. When “learning” something for a test—often they don’t really learn it but just repeat the information and it is gone in a flash. I guess it is more like throwing it on the ceiling hoping it will stick but I will move back and stand far away because I am scared whatever it is…it just might fall. 😀

 

When we arrive at the church for Sunday worship I discover I have forgotten to bring my checkbook. My daughter asks me where my check is to put in the offering plate and I tell her I will have to take care of it later. She opens her wallet and there sits a single one dollar bill—no other money. I closely observe to see what she will do…will she say no and pass or will she quickly give it away?

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Without hesitation she pulled the dollar bill out to add to the collection plate. It was so heart-warming! I have renewed faith in humanity—well, at least in my daughter. Something stuck! I don’t know if you understand the significance of this but I sure hope and pray it keeps on sticking…

 

This was what we used to call a Kodak moment but then it wasn’t. What we give should be very private, not because we think our gift is so small but we should give from the heart and not what gives us prestige or reward. I am still pinching myself. It isn’t the first time it has happened so you see this is very special. She didn’t have to do this–she wanted to do it. This is very important. We should give with a cheerful heart and this is a sign of a giver and not a taker. Oh, Praise God! 😀 😀 😀

 

Have a wonderful day and be so very blessed! 😀

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16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. — Luke 2:16-20 (NIV)

 

To ponder…what does it mean? From the American Heritage Dictionary:

  • To think about (something) with thoroughness and care.
  • To reflect or consider with thoroughness and care.

 

Mary pondered them in her heart… She treasured up first and then pondered. Why is this written this way? Why is it important? Can anyone really understand what this means if they have not given birth? I believe pondering is important here. Let’s put ourselves in Mary’s shoes. Look at what all she has experienced in the past 9 months before she gave birth.

 

Before a baby is born today, there may be baby showers where gifts, tokens, and all types of things for this precious soul that is about to come into the world are given. A mom will not only treasure these things but will pay (or should) close attention to the gifts and the attitude the gifts are given—the attitude of the heart.

 

I believe Mary was overcome by the outpouring of attention to her beautiful little baby. She kept these things close to her heart. More than likely she thought quite frequently about this time as her son was growing up. It was a momentousness occasion. It gave her peace and joy. I wonder if while watching her grown son die on the cross she thought back to that time when He was born and so much attention was on her son and his future. I suspect Mary also pondered at the cross, too.

 

Do you treasure? Do you ponder? The attitude of the heart… It matters so much. It matters everything. Mary pondered these things in her heart…she treasured and pondered…she kept what all people did for her son in her heart. She did more than think about it all—more than making a scrapbook of memories. The actions of others and that moment in time was forever emblazoned on her heart both at the birth and at the cross.

 

Please understand the Lord, the Love we are supposed to share, and please tattoo it on your heart.

 

Have a most blessed day! 😀

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The greater the reward

As children, we strive for the attention of our parents. We want to do what pleases them many times so we shall receive something in return — rewards — (and to avoid punishment). And, if our siblings are misbehaving, we want them to suffer the same punishment we have suffered—we want justice… In the religious realm, specifically the Christian one, we think how great our reward is and perhaps think how others will suffer for the wrongs they have committed. We feel that there will be justice one day. We compare ourselves to others, “I’m not as bad as so-and-so…

 

We may envision how close we will sit at the table with our Maker compared to others but I think we may not

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understand what all of this means. Our reward is not contingent on someone else’s failures but is based on the attitude of our heart. When we want our fellowman to be punished while we sit in some lofty place, what does that say about our heart? We should want mercy for them just as we desire mercy for ourselves. This is what true love is—not punishment—but joy.

 

I’m not there yet and know very few who are. Yes, there are those I believe are there. I can only strive to be that way and do my very best to look at myself and focus where I should be. So often we look at life as a race with a finish line. We want to be first, the winner; we want to beat everyone else. The race of life is not about being first or beating someone there. It is achieving the goal and helping others to get there as well—and not just our best friends. It is about helping as many as we can without condemning others–helping those who need aid the most.

 

Our reward is greater when we desire the best for everyone and not for just a few with us. Think back to the way life used to be when someone came in late and was offered a seat by a person already sitting. Or, when a neighbor moved in and people came over to help. Doing things together—including rather than excluding—taking time—offering simple things… All of these actions and goodwill count toward helping others—not that it will increase our reward but it will help put our heart in a better attitude by wanting the best for everyone and not just a few. It is all about the heart—the attitude we have.

 

May your day be richly blessed! 😀

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