October 2022


Let’s Be Givers

Let’s Be Givers

Mark 12:41-44

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

1st. King 17:12-16
12 “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”
13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”
15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.

On a scale of one to ten, with ten being the highest, how would you rank your giving?  Most of us would probably feel that we give adequately.  Some would probably admit that they don’t give nearly enough.  And even fewer would say that they have ever given sacrificially.   

I have come to realize over the years, that my level of giving is in direct correlation to my view of who God is. When I finally wrapped my head around the fact, that I own nothing, and God owns everything, I was able to release that which He had loaned to me more freely.  I am not the source of my provision, but God is. 

It is one thing to be a good steward of that which God has entrusted to us, and it is totally another to be stingy. When I looked up the definition of the word stingy it said; unwilling to give or spend, to be ungenerous.  I personally would not like to have that label associated with my name.  What about you?

Could it be that those who are stingy, think that they are the source of what they have been blessed with?  With this thought pattern, it is easy to become a person who starts to worship and hoard their possessions instead of worshipping God who is the source of everything.   We should always be mindful to worship the Giver instead of the gifts.

In Mark 12:41-43 Jesus speaks of the sacrificial gift that a poor widow gave.  She only had two small copper coins to give, which were only worth a few cents.  Jesus told His disciples that the widow had put more into the treasury than all of the others because they gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty,  put in everything- all that she had to live on.  This would definitely be considered sacrificial giving.

In 1st King 17, the widow at Zarephath had only a handful of oil and a little olive oil in a jug. She made Elijah a loaf of bread with all that she had, even before feeding herself and her son.  Although the widow initially thought that after she and her son ate what little they had, she would lay down and die. God honored her generosity by promising that; “The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends the rain on the land”.  What incredible faith she had, sharing when she didn’t even know where her next meal would come from.

Giving is absolutely an act of faith.   It’s trusting that in some way, somehow God will continue to provide more.
Please be clear,  I am not referring only to our financial gifts, but also to your time, gifts, and talents.  Any resource that God has given to us is to be generously shared with others.  Why not start today looking for more opportunities in which you can serve God by giving to others?  When you feel hesitant to share be mindful to remember that you can’t beat God’s giving, no matter how hard you try!

Other Scriptures On Giving

Acts 20:35
35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
2nd Corinthians 9:7
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Luke 6:38
38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Hebrews 13:16
16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
Proverbs 19:17
Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lordand he will reward them for what they have done.
Proverbs 22:9
The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.
Proverbs 28:27
Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses.

Girlfriends and Birthdays

Girlfriends and Birthdays

It was a beautiful sunshiny September day, and it was just perfect for an outdoor Birthday celebration.  As I sat outside on my girlfriend’s patio, eating the best salad that I think that I have ever tasted, that was followed by the best chocolate cake that I think that I have ever tasted,
I felt complete gratitude. 

My gratitude was not because the food was so good,  but because my two girlfriends and I, could be together again, for our yearly Birthday celebration. This year was really special, because we had missed the last two years, due to the pandemic and also due to some health issues. 

We were so excited to be together again in person.   It was great for the three of us to catch up on how things were going in our lives, and to just sit and enjoy each other’s company.  We had some serious heart sharing moments, and some giggles too of course.  More giggles than heart sharing probably.  God had blessed all three of us to see another birthday and our yearly Birthday tradition was back on track.  God is good!

When I returned home I reflected on the time that we had spent together that day,  and it made my heart feel warm.  There is nothing like having great friends!   

God in His infinite wisdom,  knew that we would need to be connected to one another.   Our connection to one another gives us  support, relationship, accountability and  recreational fun and enjoyment with one another.

 My prayer is that you are not choosing to live life isolated from the great friendships that you could be enjoying.

If you are a person who struggles with  building friendships, I encourage you to get connected to a local Church in your area, and attend a few of the events that they are having for the congregation.  At first it may feel a little awkward but keep going, slowly you will start to make friends and the quality of your life will become so much richer.

Both of the friends that I share my birthday with each year, are women that I met at church almost thirty years ago.  They both have been such a blessing to me and I hope that I have been the same to them. 

If you are in need of a great friend, I encourage you to pray today and ask God to bless you to meet a good Christian friend, and He will certainly bless you with one.  Before you know it,  you will have traditions that are special to you as well.  Most importantly remember this,  to have a good friend, you have to be a good friend.

If you already have great friends, but you have not connected with them in a while,  I encourage you to reach out to them, even if only by phone.  Stay connected!   Remember great friends are like jewels.  They are rare, so cherish them.  May God bless you as you start to experience the richness of true friendships!

Proverbs 18:24
24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 17:17
17 A friend loves at all times,  and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
Proverbs 27:9
Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart,  and the pleasantness of a friend
springs from their heartfelt advice.
John 15:12-13
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Ecclesiastes 4:10
10 If either of them falls down,   one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Psalm 133:1
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
1 Thessalonians 5:11
11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
Romans 12:10
10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.