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Compassion Meets Opportunity

When I turn on the news, I am amazed at the amount of stories focused on people doing unthinkable acts to others.  Adults hurting other adults, Parents hurting children, Children hurting other children are all apart of a vicious cycle that does not seem to have a conclusion. Hurting people are lashing out at those closest to them.  When I look at all of these terrible things, I see an absence of compassion for others.  I thought to myself, ” Where are the stories of the heroes?  The ones who not only thought of others kindly, but also took it upon themselves to go the distance in showing compassion to someone else. Where are those who saw an opportunity to take compassion to the next level from thought to action?”

I may not see many in the news, but as I look around me, I see heroes who show compassion. I see it in my family members, in my friends, and in my church family. It reminds me of Jude 22, “And of some having compassion, making a difference.”  When a need arises they don’t just think about doing something for someone  else, They do it.  These heroes do not just say, ” I sure do care about you, buddy.” and move on. They have a compassion that inspires.  I have seen them give when they had little to give. They sacrifice their time in the midst of a busy schedule.  People who go beyond meeting someone’s needs with compassion they minister to their hearts.  They are ones who take the meaning of Jude 22 literally. They make a difference. 

 I can testify about these dear people because in a time not to long ago, I was a first hand witness to this compassion they showed. Last year, I had a badly sprained ankle that turned very serious very quickly.  Because of the severity of the sprain, I could not put even the slightest pressure on my foot for three weeks.  Due to my inactivity while recuperating, I developed a  severe blood clot in my leg. I had to undergo some aggressive medical treatment in the days following the finding of the clot. During this trying time in my life,  my church family and friends rallied around my family and me. They fervently prayed for us, they brought us meals, and  they went out of their way to comfort and love on my kids.  Without asking anything in return, they showed me  the lengths that compassion can go when faced with opportunity.

A few minutes ago, My boys and I watched  as Sgt. Dakota Meyer was awarded the Medal of Honor. Sgt. Meyer is the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.  On September 8,2009, Sgt. Meyer saved 36 of his fellow soldiers by going back again and again under heavy fire to save those to which he refered to as “his brothers”. Even after being wounded, He returned to the battle.   I am sure if given the opportunity He would do it again.   Finally, a news story that shows compassion in action.

I am so thankful that in my need God showed compassion to me. He went beyond the call of duty.  He was wounded in showing his great love and extending compassion to me. In all these things, He made a difference. I pray that in some small way, I will in my life be able to pass on a portion of the love He has given to me to someone else. I pray I will make a difference.

Happy #12

It seems like yesterday that I was in the hospital giving birth to my eldest child. It was not yesterday, but actually 12 years ago today. I remember counting the days of my pregnancy. I couldn’t wait to become a mom, yet I was a little nervous about having a living, breathing gift from God in my care. I was sent to the hospital by my mid-wife on Monday morning on July 15, 1996. My baby boy was born 32 hours later at 9:00 p.m. I remembered the amazing love that swept over me as the doctor placed that wiggling, crying baby in my arms as my husband and mother-in-love looked on. My boy is constantly amazing me even today. 

Clay is one of those kids that was born to communicate. He loves people. Even as a toddler in the buggy at the grocery store. He wanted to talk to everyone who passed by. He kept the cashiers entertained constantly. If he saw another child, He wanted to “meet that kid” he would say. He organizes the kids at church in games after the service in the church yard. Clay is definitely a go-get-er, and never at a loss for words.

Clay also has a heart for God. At age 5, Clay called on the Lord to save him. His love for God shines through all he does. During Vacation Bible School, he witnessed to some of the kids in his class and encouraged them to make a decision for Christ. One friend of his made a decision to follow the Lord in baptism since he had already accepted Christ. Clay was so excited; he was practically bouncing off the walls. I was so proud of Clay. I pray that God will keep him safe from worldly influences and continue to work in his heart and life.

For the first time in his life, Clay is not with me on his birthday. He is at R. A. camp.  I am probably more melancholy about this than he is. Nothing gets him down for long and I know he is having a blast today with all the new friends he is making. So if all of you would be so kind as pray for “Mom” and “Meme” (Clay’s grandma) today, We would appreciate it. Meme has never missed seeing Clay on his birthday either. She was there for him when he was born and been there for him every day since.

Thanks for taking the time to let me share with you about my boy. He is the joy of my life. Happy “12th” Birthday, Clay! I pray you have 100 more.

“Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord…”  ~ Psalm 127:3

Just Give It Away…

This morning, as I was flipping through the radio channels, I came across  the phrase of a song so I stopped and listened for a moment as the crooner lamented his lost love and how said love told him since things didn’t work out between them to give all the things they shared away ’cause she didn’t want them any more. “Just give it away” was her refrain. The motivation behind her giving was a tad different response than the dear lady I told you about in my last post.

Does our motivation behind what we do really matter in the grand scheme of things? I would give you a resounding, “YES”.  Why we do what we do does matter.

It matters to our Savior! He commanded the Children of Israel to offer their gifts willingly to him. (Exodus 25:2) We need to look on our giving to Lord and to others not as a duty or an obligation, but as act of compassion and love sharing what God has so graciously shared with us. In 1 Chronicles 29:9 reads, “Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with a perfect heart they offered willingly…” Wow.  People rejoicing in their giving would probably stir the heart of God again just as it was stirred in the Bible times. For it says in 2 Corinthians 9:7, “Every man according as he has purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”  If you want to make the heart of God glad, give something away cheerfully.

It should also matter to us! Deuteronomy 16:17 reads, “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee.”  Do we need to give everything we own away?  No, I think the scripture is saying that we need to give something away when the Lord prompts us to do so.  Some have such a tight hold on their possessions that God would have to use a crowbar to open their fist. I don’t think he wants us to live holding on so tight that we are hesitant when he speaks to us to give. He wants us to live with a loose hold on our possessions.

I don’t want to be the one who only gives away what I can’t possibly use anymore,  or what I don’t like anymore. It never ceases to amaze me what some people give in the name of Jesus.   For example, I heard a preacher say one time a lady called him and said, “Preacher, I know you need some new furniture for the church office and I just bought a brand new couch because mine was falling apart. I thought I would take it to the dump, but if the church could use it I would be glad to donate it.”  Yikes!!!

God has blessed me and you with so much, and not with just material possessions.  I want the motivation behind what I give to be one of love for my Lord. I want to give my best to him. I want to give my spiritual best, my emotional best,  and especially my physical best.

Let’s all hold our possession loosely, so when he calls upon us to give the best…

Just Give It Away!

Overload

This time of year I find myself focusing on the resurrection of our Lord as we all do during the Easter Season. The churches in our community have been celebrating Holy Week this week. It is the time where different churches have at short service focusing on the Resurrection then serve lunch. Today, it was at the church where I work as church secretary. I was able to help the pastor’s wife set out the meal and fellowship with the many friends that were there. 

There has to be something in setting out food for a hungry crowd that puts me in the giving mood. I love to watch their faces as they pass by the table and all the smiles are a nice treat. I have been thinking about the great lengths at which Christ chose to give of himself.  It overwhelms me with gratitude and thanksgiving. He gives so much to us daily. The Bible says in Psalms that “he daily loadeth us with benefits.” He doesn’t just give till I have some benefit, but overloads me till I can’t possibly handle any more. He over-overloads me. It begins to pile up because he doesn’t just do it today. He does it every day.

The gifts he gives to me humbles me because I am supposed to be more like him. I find I do not give to others the way he gives to me. Why do we stop ourselves when we know we need to give more than we do?

I met a beautiful example of love in action the other day. A dear lady in the church here saw that someone that had recently become a member of the church did not have a Bible. She told me God spoke to her  heart and said, “Give her your Bible.” Without hesitation this dear lady scooted down the pew and whispered to her, “I want you to have my Bible.” The dear lady told me that she wouldn’t take anything for the look on the lady’s face and the joy she felt in her heart that she had done what God wanted her to do. The generous spirit she showed spoke to me.  I want to give to others like this without hesitation and with a cheerful spirit.  I want to live so I can pass the benefits I receive on to someone else. God will supply all that I need and then some.

George Muller was known to say, “God judges what we give by what we keep.” 

I want to give like that so my giving is more than my keeping!