Psalm 143:8

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Psalm 143:8

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lessons from Sunday School...The Widow's Offering

Today I will go and sit in my little classroom at church, with my little three-year-old "bitties", as I fondly call them.  I love these children.  I love seeing the sparkle in their eyes, I love the way they fidget, I love the way they smile, I love the way they learn.  Little three year-old sponges, who soak it in and delight in learning new things.

Today we will talk about the widow and her offering of love and faith and trust in her Lord.  I will read the story to them out of the Gospel of Mark chapter 12, verses 38-44.  The story of how Jesus spoke and taught the people at the temple.  How he spoke of the hypocrisy of the scribes - how they puff themselves up in their importance, take the best seats, make long prayers in pretense.  Then he sat, and watched the people drop their money in the treasury.  Many people came and gave.  Many rich people gave out of their riches, giving large sums.

But then, that little widow.  I like to think of her as almost shy, quietly walking to the treasury box, her eyes on the floor.  Her movements slow, but sure.  Her hand reaches out, the sleeve of her robe possibly a little threadbare.  And from her hand, drop two little coins - two little copper coins, which together add up to a penny.  As they drop into the box, perhaps clinking on the other offerings given by those before her, she turns and walks away.  Her gift given.

And Jesus calls his disciples to him and points out her example.  He tells them that though her gift is small and meager in comparison to some of the other gifts, in His heavenly economy, it is greater, yes greater, than those other gifts.  Others gave out of their abundance, which, don't get me worng, they are also called to do.  But they gave and still have enough to be comfortable.  But the widow, she gave all that she had.  All.  She was a poor woman, yet that did not stop her from giving.  I would venture to say that she had a thankful heart, a great faith in her Lord.  That though she gave all she had, she knew her Heavenly Father would take care of her.  She reached her hand out in faith and let those coins drop into the box.  All that she had.

Will God use our gifts we give out of our abundance?  You bet He will.  He tells us in another parable that whoever has much, and takes care of it the way a good steward should, they will receive more.  But how often do we give sacrificially?  How often do we give our all?  How often do we share all that we have with others less fortunate?  How often do we hold out our hand in hospitality to give out of our own poverty?  How often do we open our entire self up and give it to our LORD?

In this coming time of holiday festivities, as we give thanks for what we have....we should also be thinking of how we can give.  How we can share with the world around us.  How we can step out in faith, knowing that God blesses our giving.  How we can be like the widow and offer all that we have to our Father in Heaven to use as He wills.  Not just part of our heart, not just part of our mind, not just part of our strength...but all of ourselves...out of the poverty of our sin, can we give Him ALL of us?  Imagine how He will use you, when you freely, in faith, give your all to your Lord.....

Friday, November 9, 2012

5 Minute Friday: Quiet



1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..http://lisajobaker.com/2012/11/five-minute-friday-quiet/



OK, are you ready? Please give us your best five minutes on:::

Quiet…


When you think of quiet...what goes through your mind? Those days when it seems nothing is quite right? When the silence is almost overwhelming and you'd do anything for some noise?

Or maybe its when you are surrounded by so much noise and all you really want is an absence of it?

Or peace...the quiet of sitting on a bench at the park, watching the river flow by. Or maybe its that time when the kids are in bed, the tv is off, and you can put your feet up and just breathe....

Sometimes I crave quiet...and sometimes I hate it. Sometimes I want everything to stop, and other times I just want someone, anyone to talk to.

In all those moments, there is one constant...One who can quiet the soul, soothe the frayed nerves, and whisper oh so quietly into your soul...

Zephaniah 3:17
Yahweh your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will bring you quietness with His love. He will delight in you with shouts of joy.”

He will bring you quietness with His love....He will...bring YOU...quietness...with His LOVE. Never, ever forget that!

 

Friday, November 2, 2012

5 Minute Friday: Roots


Now, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..


OK, are you ready? Please give us your best five minutes on:::

Roots…

Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”

John 4:13-14 
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.”

The words of Jeremiah 17:7-8 explain what it means to trust in the LORD so well.  And what if we stop and think about what those words say?  Where do your roots go?  What quenches your thirst?  Money?  Power?  Material things?  Your own self-confidence, self-strength, ego?  The way others lift you up on a pedestal and tell you how great you are?  Your fabulous car, house, clothes?  The loads and loads of things you buy to make yourself  "happy"?  Food?  Drinks?  Parties?  
When your soul reaches out to those things...is it truly fed?  Is your thirst quenched?  Or do you simply find yourself needing more?  Worrying more?  Afraid of more things?  What do those things really do for you?

When, instead, the very roots of your soul reach out to the Living Water, our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, things are so different.  No longer do you need to be afraid of the things of this world.  No longer do you need to worry.  No longer will your life be fruitless.  Jesus promises that when we drink of the water only He can give, when we trust in Him, we will have eternal life.  We will have the support and love and strength that only He can provide. 

So, where do your roots go?  To the drought of this world?  Or to the living water Jesus provides?



counting 1,000 gifts ...
212.  the words of Jeremiah 17:7-8
213.  the voice of a loved one on the phone
214.  chocolate
215.  relief from a three days old migraine
216.  warm sweaters on a chilly day
217.  the memory of a spontaneous hug from my beloved godson a couple nights ago..."just because"
218.  the musical talent with which God has blessed all three of my children