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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Generosity



JEAN SAID:

The air is chilly-no, it's cold, Lord-and I love it. I love bundling up in fleece or flannel. I savor a steaming cup of tea or decaf. Hugging the cup in locked fingers is as enjoyable as the warm liquid going down. Thanksgiving Day is one week away and, at last, the weather is cooperating with the season.

The trees are stripping, exposing their skeletons and the neighbor's junk piled behind his barn. I look out my kitchen window and see 1000 shades of brown beyond my white picket fence. In spring and summer mammoth trees hide all this. But I enjoy the scene of a lifetime of stuff piled helter-skelter behind his fainting barn. It sags here and there and the rusty tin roof adds to the collection of browns. Each year I look at the scene and wish I were an artist so I could paint it.

The changes the seasons bring-that's another of my One Thousand Gifts, Lord. Thank you. You know I get bored with the same old thing day after day and the changes I view through my kitchen window add variety to my days. With the symphony of browns comes Thanksgiving Day. Each year it reminds us all to BE grateful and to EXPRESS that gratitude. But how?

Giving to food banks and mercy closets is one way I can share out of my plenty, or my want, with people around me. I pray we'll all develop the life habit of sharing with those who have needs greater than our own. There's no lack of "worthy causes" in our Land. I know we are in a financial "crisis" at this time. But even in our crisis we own and buy and toss away more than any other people in the world.

Lord, rip open our hearts so that we can't help but let other people's needs penetrate them. Make me sympathetic and empathetic even if it causes me pain.

Lord, make me (and those who read here) grateful. If we lapse into being calloused or smug or taking our blessings for granted do whatever it takes to bring us back to gratitude and appreciation that spill over into generosity.

GOD SAID:

As your purse is emptied your heart is filled. Strange, isn't it, that the more you give away with absolutely no strings attached, the more your life is blessed. As you empty your pantry to feed those who are hungry, the more satisfied your own belly will be. Strange to your way of thinking, perhaps, but common sense to Me.

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. (Luke 6:38)