Category Archives: Clothing the Poor

Little Things Matter

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Everyone can do something

 “And serve each other according to the gift each person has received,

as good managers of God’s diverse gifts.”
1 Peter 4: 10 CEB
 

Just think what a difference we could make in our community, our state, our nation…or throughout the world..if we ALL gave just a little bit of time, money, or talent for serving others? A few dollars out of your pocket, a few cans of food out of your pantry, or a few minutes out of your day, may not mean much to you, but to others it can mean everything.

So take a moment and think about the blessings in your life, and consider what one thing you can do today to serve others. If we all did our part, the result would be like the ever-expanding ripple effect from dropping a small pebble into a body of water. The sphere of influence of our combined actions could increase incrementally and spread throughout the world. The little things do matter!

“Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything.” 1 Peter 4:10 (MSG)

  •  “We are God’s masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago”  Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
  • ” Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.”  Hebrews 10:24
  • “Whoever speaks should do so as those who speak God’s word.  Whoever serves should do so from the strength that God furnishes.  Do this so that in everything God may be honored through Jesus Christ. To him be honor and power forever and always. Amen.”  1 Peter 4:11 (CEB)
  • Realize that the purpose of money is to strengthen friendships, to provide opportunities for being generous and kind. Eventually money will be useless to you—but if you use it generously to serve others, you will be welcomed joyfully into your eternal destination. Luke 16:9 (VOICE)
  • “In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets—some containers used to serve fine meals, others to take out the garbage. Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing.”  2 Timothy 2: 20 – 21 (MSG)
 http://howtoberich.org/time/
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Happy New Year!

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See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the wilderness

and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:19

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As the first new day dawns in the New Year, it is a great time to look forward and think about the possibilities a new year can bring.  Most of us start the year with ideas about what we would like to accomplish in the year to come.  (Exercise more, eat healthier, lose weight, organize our finances, clean out the closet, save more money, learn to do something new, mend fences with an old friend or relative, start a business…)  Regardless of what goals you have in mind, it’s a good idea to write these thoughts down and keep them as a reference throughout the year to remind us of our vision.

I encourage you to take 10 minutes today (or more) to reflect on the past year while looking forward to the year ahead.  But instead of just thinking about the things YOU want for yourself, ask God what HIS vision is for your new year.  Is there something on your heart that keeps surfacing in your thoughts?  God’s New Year’s Resolutions might be very different from our own New Year’s Resolutions.  His vision for you might sound something like this…feed the hungry, clothe the poor, house the homeless, volunteer at a food bank, donate money, clothing, food, or time to a worthy ministry, find a church to start attending, support a missionary, start a ministry, love your neighbors, forgive someone, go on a mission trip, help a widow, foster a child, use your talents to help a ministry, renew (or begin!) your relationship with Christ, etc…  This list is endless, and only you know what God has laid upon your heart.

God doesn’t ask us to do EVERYTHING.  We are all part of the body of Christ, each member doing its own valuable part, right where you are “planted.”  He may be asking you to do ONE THING that seems insignificant to you, but in His Kingdom that one thing can change eternity.  It’s no accident that you are reading this post today.  God has a plan for you, and He wants to use your life in great ways.  He has gifted you with unique abilities and talents, and He wants to show you exactly how your life fits into His big picture.  Take the first step today toward following through with whatever God has placed upon your heart.  Don’t let another year go by without accomplishing something divinely magnificent for His Kingdom.

Happy New Year!! May God bless you in the coming year…

Rising from the Rubble and Ruins

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“What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’
…If you are generous with the hungry
and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
    I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
    rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You’ll be known as those who can fix anything,
    restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
    make the community livable again.”

 Isaiah 58: 7 – 12 MSG 

 

For the victims in the path of Super Storm Sandy, our thoughts prayers are with you during this time of extreme despair.  Beyond our prayers, when anyone wonders, “What can I do to help?” the passage above from Isaiah gives us a very specific plan of action:

  • Share your food with the hungry
  • Invite the homeless into your homes
  • Put clothes on the shivering ill-clad
  • Be available to your own families
  • Start giving yourselves to the down-and-out

We also learn what God promises us if we do these acts of kindness and generosity for others, He will answer our prayers when we call on Him for help, and He will always show us where to go. He also promises these blessings for our obedience to His commands:

  • The lights will turn on
  • Your lives will turn around at once
  • Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness
  • He will give you a full life in the emptiest of places
  • You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew
  • You will rebuild the foundations from out of your past
  • You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again

I can’t find a more positive passage in Scripture to give hope and encouragement to those whose lives have been altered forever.  With God’s guidance and the help of others, your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, and you will use the rubble of past lives to rebuild anew and make your communities livable again.