Sunday, April 25, 2021

Weekend Words

 From Amish Peace...

Open Your Hands and Give

"Don't worry about these things, saying, "What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?" These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your Heavenly Father already knows all you need." - Matthew 6:31-32

Recession has hit our country in recent years.  Friends have lost their homes. Others have whittled down their savings.  Many are out of jobs.  But the Amish are a segment of society that has hardly been touched with financial trouble.  When the world around us uses advertising and promotion to urge consumers to buy more, the Amish raise their children to get by with just enough.  "Waste not, want not" is a common saying.  Amish are consumers, too, but they consume in a different way.  They don't purchase products to make them look good or to bring comfort, ease or beauty to their lives.  They purchase food, clothing, tools, or other supplies because they have a specific need.

The Amish live by common sense, and they foster contentment with what they have.  They also open their hands and give to those who are in need.  Giving to others as a top money management technique may seem foolish, but the Amish received this advice from the One who owns everything.  Jesus said, "Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full - pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over and poured into your lap.  The amount you give will determine the amount you get back" (Luke 6:38)

If you want to live in peace, throw away your long shopping list and learn to live with less.  Do you want to be unruffled and content?  Cease focusing on what you don't have, and instead consider what you can give to someone who has less.

Those who don't believe that God is there - and that He cares for them - have reason to worry and fret.  But our heavenly Father not only knows our needs but also brings others into our lives to help meet them.  He also brings people in need into our lives because He knows we will be blessed when we open our hands to give.

Dear heavenly Father, thank you for all You've provided - in unexpected ways and through the care of others.  Show me someone who needs something I have to offer.  I open my hands today.

From Beside the Still Waters...

Multiplying Kindness - Read: Titus 2, 3:1-8

"And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward." - Matthew 10:42

The Store owner was having an interesting day.  The elderly customer before him added a new dimension.  She had difficulty walking and had just purchased five bags of groceries.  With two more customers in line, how could the owner carry those bags out for her?  He glanced around, wondering where those assistants were whom he paid to be at his beck and call.  But before he could decide what to do, the next customer in line set down the lunch he was buying, picked up the lady's bags of groceries, and helped her out the door.

The third customer in line stepped up to pay for his own lunch.  He nodded at the lunch now sitting on the counter and said, "I want to pay for that too."  So when the first man returned after helping the old lady, his lunch had been paid for, and the kind man who had paid it was not there to thank.  But the owner was there and was left to marvel at the way one kind deed had prompted another, reminding us that when we choose to do good we never know how far that good deed may snowball, nor how quickly our "bread on the water" may return to us.

This story encourages me to do little deeds of kindness when I can - not to receive kindness in return, but to inspire others to also do kind deeds.  Of course, our greatest goal should be to give a testimony of the love of God in our hearts.  That love prompts us to show kindness even when we don't feel like it, or when we think ourselves too busy to take time for others. 

- Douglas Raber - Bloomfield, MO

"Little deeds of kindness, little words of love,  Make our earth an Eden, like the Heaven above." - Eben C. Brewer

Image: the Gift of Friendship - Bill Coleman

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." - Leo Buscaglia