Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘generosity’

Accept Grace & Express Gratitude


Day #7 in the A-Z series: Adding Meaning and Purpose to Life

G = Grace and Gratitude

Are you grateful for God’s chisel?

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Photo by Werlley Meira on Pexels.com

You know, our lives are filled with things that crowd out what’s really important. Sometimes, we clutter our time with frivolity. (Do you ever feel like your blogging might qualify in that category?) Transforming our lives so that the most significant goes to the top of our to-do list is not an easy task.

The shaping tool that God uses is like a chisel. By His Grace, He chips away at our selfishness, our self-centeredness, our pride, our laziness, and our greed. When we accept His Grace, He replaces those attitudes with generosity, concern for others, diligence, and a far-sightedness that only He can give.

Unlike my SnapChat app that can instantly turn my skin silky, vibrant, and wrinkle-free, and surround me with hearts of love, God’s chisel is not a one-click deal!

I am grateful for the shaping tools God uses to help me slough away the detrimental parts of my being. (I wish it COULD be a one-click deal, don’t you?)

In yesterday’s devotional page in Daily Guideposts, Isabella Yosuico identifies some of those shaping tools:

He sends people to challenge some obstinate defects in me.

He puts me into circumstances beyond my existing skills to control… to compel me to grow.

He allows problems that overwhelm me. They are sometimes so beyond me that I have no choice but to turn to a Higher Power, and surrender to His/Her solution.

By Grace, I have

Love,

Courage,

Strength, and

Wisdom.

By Grace, I can exhibit

Sympathy,

Loyalty, and

Power –

The Power that lifts me into The Word.

bible blur christ christianity

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

In my eight decades of living on this troubled earth, I have found the wisest and, ultimately, the easiest path to a meaningfulness, purpose-filled, contented life is to submit fully to the Chiseler’s Hands. The Word, my Bible, is my guide. Its guidance directs my attitudes and actions. The Holy Spirit is my constant companion. I am grateful for its presence in the heart of me.

The Grace of the Holy Spirit + Gratitude = HAPPINESS 

Tales from the Mama Duck – family5power –
posted this from the image: Medium
on the subject of Gratitude today:

gratitude=happiness
May The Chiseler’s grace continue to shape me.

God Bless You, my “Ideal Reader.” I am grateful for you.

May God’s Shaping Tools continue to chisel away at you, too!

Terribly Self-Serving?


Are the terribly blessed also terribly self-serving?
This is a question we were inspired to ponder
as we listened to the sermon in church today.

The sermon, by Rev. Jean Johnson
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
was titled, “Blessed.”
It was a response to the scriptural message in
Luke 6:17-26.
Here are my poetic notes,

taken as I listened carefully and digested the message:

 

woman wearing gray scarf and gray coat near group of people

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“How are you today?”
“Oh, me?¬† I’m terribly blessed!”
She answered me happier
Than do most of the rest.

illuminated high rise building

Photo by Brayden Law on Pexels.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She lived in a shabby
apartment for the poor,
But her attitude was
Blessed with something more.

Count your blessings!
You, too, have something more
Than most other folks.
But how do you keep score?

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Photo by Mat Brown on Pexels.com

Is it a warm, safe home?
Is it items of comfort and joy?
Is it how many things you have –
More “stuff” – a favorite “toy”?

IMG_1591

Jesus suggested a different way
To measure how much we’re blessed.
He told us being poor and hungry
Makes us more blessed than the rest.

What was Jesus really saying?
“Look out! Your blessings bring you danger!”
Do your good things make you proud?
Stingy to the needy, hungry stranger?

grayscale photography of man praying on sidewalk with food in front

Photo by sergio omassi on Pexels.com

Are we supposed to long to be
Hated and hungry and poor?
If we have so much to give,
Doesn’t that bless us to give more?

God takes the hand of the pitiful.
He says the mountains will be made low.
If our Madison Range was lowered
And our valley raised, we would know:

A leveling off of highs and lows,
A giving of our hearts to those in need.

brown haired boy

Photo by Arvind shakya on Pexels.com

The most vulnerable need us
To share our blessings, not harbor greed.

All should live with dignity.
All should have self-respect.

man person men old

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We, the wealthy, must be willing
To help the poor, the sick, the wrecked.

The more we are blessed,
The more we are tempted to be
Selfish and terribly self-serving.
Lord, please take such temptations out of me!

orange fruit

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Help me be like the prolific orange tree
That freely gives from its abundant fruit.
Let me work for God’s “Leveled-off Kingdom.”
Let Christ’s generosity enter me and take root!

 

How Giving Are You?


Give With Abandon

Is the message for today

Let’s hold nothing back.

Mother Theresa inspires me with her wisdom. She told us, “It’s not how much you give, but how much love you put into giving.”

Today I will give with abandon all the love I have in me.

And I won’t stop there. I will give:

  • Joy
  • Compassion
  • Encouragement
  • Trust
  • Hugs
  • Hospitality
  • Lasagna, French bread, a salad, and strawberry sundaes…

How about you? Give with childlike generosity. Give with abandon!

What will you give today?

Where the Money Goes


Image

In my last blog, I told you about the many helping hands in the Madison Valley Woman’s Club and shared a song we sang to the tune of “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain.” I indicated that the ladies of the MVWC donate countless hours as well as gently used clothing and household goods to the Nearly New – the thrift store owned and operated by the club. They sell the items for an affordable price (like $4 or $5 for a nice pair of jeans or a shirt or pair of shoes, and $2 for a t-shirt). Over $51,000 of the proceeds from the store in fiscal year 2012-13 went back into the community.

As promised, here is a list of the individuals and organizations to whom the money was donated:

Woman’s Resource Center
Ennis Caring and Sharing
Madison Valley Public Library
Senior Companion Program
Montana Dentist Outreach
Piecemakers of the Madison Valley
Madison Valley History Association
Montana Talking Books
Madison County Volunteer Respite Care
Meals on Wheels
Madison Valley Manor Auxiliary
Madison Valley Manor
Ennis High School Booster Club
Pennies for the Arts
Ennis Children’s School
Madison Farm to Fork
Ennis After Prom
Ennis Lions Club
CASA
HOBY
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Ennis Arts Association
Madison Meadows Golf
George Ball Australia Trip
Madison Valley Medical Center Foundation
Ennis Community Choir
Giving Tree
Madison Byways
Madison Valley Aquatic Center
Ennis Ambulance Service
Madison Valley Rural Fire Department
14 Scholarships (ranging from $500 to $1000 each)

The total giving actually was closer to $52,000 (exact amount was a whopping $51,890.00). Remember, our little community of Ennis has less than a thousand residents! This is an impressive undertaking. It takes many hands working together to make all that giving possible.

Isn’t it amazing what the sale of other people’s castaways can do? If you have items to donate, be sure to come by the Nearly New in Ennis, MT. You can be sure your cast-offs will find a new home – and the proceeds will be put to good use!

God Bless the Madison Valley Woman’s Club and their incredible generosity!

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