Category Archives: Thoughts

Cries for help

We received two cries for help this past week: one from our bishop friend in Liberia, and one from missionaries in Burma.

Guinea-Liberia-Sierra Leone

In Liberia they are experiencing a food shortage-money simply goes to supply basic needs. The ebola outbreak, civil wars, conflicts, skirmishes and perhaps corruption deny services to many. We send our small contribution in the hopes of alleviating suffering and helping our brothers and sisters as we are mandated to do.

While struggling with drought in California, it’s hard to imagine floods across the globe in Southeast Asia. As our lawns wither, we find such a deluge a bit inconceivable, yet the stark reality comes home when one views the photos of mass destruction from flooding.

Christians, alongside other relief organizations, work feverishly to rescue trapped victims and bring food, water, sanitation, and other necessities to the ravaged land.

So what’s the point here? Only that weekly we take an offering for the poor during our Bible study gathering. Such small amounts accumulate and we have been able to help out a bit through the years to many requests for help. We have purchased presents for needy families at Christmas, helped many folks in difficult circumstances and contributed to the “needs of the saints.”

We were able to help support a Washington D.C. church’s jobs ministry for many years, sending a small monthly offering. For this insignificant act, we were treated as heroes when we went there to visit our brothers and sisters.

This week we were pleasantly surprised to find that a thousand dollars had accumulated in our offering, and we were able to send help to those in urgent need. Consistent acts, even seemingly paltry efforts can make a difference.

Faithfulness is measured moment by moment. We hardly consider this sufficient effort; however, we believe Jesus when he says that being faithful in a little will help make us to be faithful in a lot. God multiplies our loaves and fishes in amazing ways. Hallelujah!

Photo credit: Morguefile

More reflections on the lost art of writing…

Old style letterMy Family History class recently compiled a small anthology of our writings. We were giddy with excitement upon seeing the final product entitled “Our Memories.” I was slightly cross-eyed from editing this slim volume, but it was well worth it; the stories are priceless.

A young girl’s passage to America and adulthood, an idyllic Mexican vacation gone wrong, mopping the front porch to help mom, remembering a favorite cat. Now these stories are immortalized, the poems and photos will be enjoyed for many years to come.

In Letters to An American Lady, C.S. Lewis reveals much of his character in his one-sided correspondence with said lady. I do not suppose that he expected these letters to ever be published, yet they were. Remembering that Lewis hated writing, yet he faithfully responded to all who wrote him, one passage becomes all the more poignant. Dated 15 July 1960 it reads: “Dear Mary, I’ve just got your letter of the 12th. Joy{his wife} died on the 13th. I can’t describe the apparent unreality of my life since then. She received absolution and died at peace with God. I will try to write again when I have more command of myself. I’m like a sleep-walker at the moment. God bless. Yours Jack.”

It’s hard to capture the full impact of such a letter written at such a time. Lewis had once described the happy life as “that a man would have almost no mail and never dread the postman’s knock.” In spite of his letter-writing antipathy, C.S. Lewis believed that taking time to encourage other Christians was an act of humility (using one’s talents in such a seemingly insignificant way), and as much a work of the Holy Spirit as producing a book.

Small glimpses into Lewis’ life are illuminated in his letters, things such as his fear of heights, love of cats and dogs, doing his daily chores, and his shared dread of poverty. The posthumous revelation that Lewis had given away 2/3 of his income is all the more impressive when his fear has been disclosed in his letters. So much more could be said on this topic, but suffice it to say that I am convicted by this example of faithfulness by one of my favorite authors, indeed, one of my favorite people.

As I was exhorted last night by a brother to take time and discipline to edify and encourage the brothers and sisters through writing, do I have any acceptable reason not to do so? After all, C.S. Lewis responded faithfully two days after his wife’s death. No excuses!

 

Photo credit: sw_PenOnManuscript_ncp9648.jpg on Morguefile.com

Loving to the end

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“I will wait. I wait. I will wait.” So sing Mumford and Sons. Their words are literally music to our ears. Everyone longs for happily ever after, to be waited for, to be special, considered, loved.

All too often we regard this as romantic love, but God has a far bigger vision than this. He came to bring together those who are far off a and those who are near, to allow everyone a love lasting and true, offering family to “whosoever will” and save a place at the table for us.

This is the call of the church, to be as Jesus: “Those whom the Lord gave Him, He loved until the end.”