He executes justice for the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, he lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves those who live justly. The LORD watches over the immigrant and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. -Psalm 146:7-9

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Cheerful Giver

And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. 1 Cor 8:1-4

well, I tell ya one thing..my prayer has been to see God in the hood and dog on it, he has answered my prayer!!!!
I have such sweet neighbors. It has been a blessing to live amongst them and to learn the gospel more deeply from the lives that they live. One of the families that live next door to us have looked out for us in soo many ways.. For example , people have talked about breaking into our home and they have promised us that they wont let that happen..(i.e. the husband stayed up all night peeping out of his window looking at our house with his semi riffle...don't cha just love the hood, thats how we do things here :) not just that, they are always welcoming us home with warm smiles and loving hugs..but the one thing that gets me is how the wife is always willing to give to our family..she called me over one day and gave me a big bag full of curtains for our home..she said it made no sense for her to be at home with all these curtains and see a neighbor with nothing on her windows..the next day she came over with a bag full of new wash clothes and told me she loved us and just wanted to give us these..tho this family has not confessed Christ, ( LORD I pray you bring them into the faith) the LORD used them to teach me what the verse above means... just as the church above, this family in their poverty and much afflictions have lead them to an overflow of wealth and generosity on their part...John piper once said that this new, poor group of christians gave beyond their means..they took risk in giving..now I'm not saying that was the heart of my neighbors,,but goodness, they gave..just as the believers above, my neighbors giving is so passionate..when I say"no thank you" she is almost to the point of begging and shoving things into my hand...I saw GOd that day..I saw the heart he wants me to have in my giving..a heart that isn't full of complaining, whining, but one that is overflowing in an abundance of joy in my giving to others...my neighbor, man, she is so calm, relaxed, and very thankful for what she has..going over to visit her from time to time really shows me how simple life should be

God would you please continue to show me who you are through others and their lives...Help me to not hold onto things of this world, but to seek to make others glad in you through my giving..I pray as a family we grow more and more into RADICAL RISK TAKERS for your kingdom