Monday, October 22, 2018

Contribute Your Extra

There is a trend right now. I am sure most of you have seen or heard  - being minimalist.  I love this idea in theory. If I were 20 or 30 I may be able to do it to the fullest. Being 59 it is not that easy.

I have  "things" that belong to other people, gifted from loved ones, or items used for many occasions when I open my home for others.

I am not a pack rat by any means but I am someone who makes most things myself, hence too much extra to make from. I am sorting through my craft and art supplies and getting rid of half of that as I just don't have time for hobbies any more. And I do get rid of clothing on a regular basis. I have many things I am slowly getting rid of but I wanted to point out an idea that we can all do no matter our age.

Maybe you, like me, have felt caught in this vortex. Maybe you have even felt judged. You give what you can to help others, you gladly reach out to help others.

I came across this passage in research for my book that comes out this next summer. I wanted to share it with you all. Deuteronomy 24:19-21 says, "When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow, in order that the Lord you God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat your olive tree, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow. When you gather the grapes in your vineyard, you shall not go over it again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow."

Hmmm, I would say that is pretty clear. If you have extra, don't keep it. Share it.

Please do not misunderstand me. We obviously need to pay our bills and debts but I think there is most likely something even in its smallest form that is an extra. Maybe we could just set a goal to give something each month. I know I could go through my home and probably be able to help ten people at least. And I am not referring to garage sale items or things we donate to the thrift shop. I mean I could set up someone's small kitchen or give extra sheets and blankets for a bedroom. My daughter had worked at our rescue mission as a grant writer for a couple years. She said there are some items that are seldom donated but really needed. Like socks. All different sizes needed. There are many homeless women and children too. And work attire. Many are looking for jobs and have need of interview clothes. And there are some food items that are quickly used up every week. Like peanut butter, coffee, ground beef, milk, eggs, produce, snack type items for lunches, travel sized items, diapers, over counter medications, womens hygiene, razors and the list goes on.

I have a few things in my lined closet I haven't used the past couple years. Why do I still have them? I need to get rid of them. The excess. I may not ever have the perfect minimalist home that a 30 year old has but I can certainly streamline. I am just wanting to get you thinking and encourage you to contribute.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Let The Lord Fight Your Battles

Do you sometimes doubt a positive way through obstacles in your life? Do you feel overwhelmed? Do you doubt God's power?

We say, "Of course I don't doubt God." But I think when we become anxious about answers we don't see then we are not understanding His power. Sometimes the best things happen because we have let Him take the time to set His perfect plan into motion. We haven't rushed in to tweak things to our liking only to figure out we have made a mess of things.

In Deuteronomy, God uses Moses to explain to us, to remind us, that God gave so many chances. He showed compassion over and over only to have the Israelites continually doubt. There are SO many promises in this book and words of encouragement. If you are not a reader of the old testament then you should take time to familiarize yourself with it. Sometimes people think its archaic but it is the basic background for the entire Bible. Without it the New Testament doesn't make sense.

Here are a few excerpts for you. Deut. 1:30-33, "The Lord your God who goes before you will Himself  fight on your behalf, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way in which you have walked until you came to this place. But for all this, you did not trust the Lord your God, who goes before you on your way, to seek out a place for you to encamp, in fire by night and cloud by day, to show you the way in which you should go."

Oh how often I have done this. Not waiting to see how God's plan unfolds. Not trusting He has the answer. In chapter 4:30-31 it says, "When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to the Lord you God and listen to His voice. For the Lord your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them."

He will not fail us. He has compassion beyond our understanding. I think THAT is the key. We can not possibly fathom who He really is and why He works the way He does. SO THEN, we must get to know Him. Pray for Him to show you how. He will not fail you. Study His Word. Claim His promises. Then trust and see what unfolds.

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