Jun 082016
 

And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.  Matthew 10:42
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”.  Acts 20:35

My daughter gave me some perspective this week.  (Why is it my kids are continually teaching me the love of Jesus, I am pretty sure that me, the parent is supposed to be the one imparting all wisdom.  And yet, doesn’t seem to be the case much of the time as I have to continually swallow yucky stuff on a regular basis, like taking cough medicine when I have to swallow my pride, my selfishness, my lack of patience and my kids are the one’s feeding it to me.  Awesome, Lord.) 

Anyway, my oldest daughter who is 7 told me a story which brought tears to my eyes.  She told me she was sitting as usual in the 1st grade line in the gym waiting for their teacher to bring them to their class to start the day.  She said a boy was sitting by her and she overheard him say to someone else that he didn’t have a snack. She said, “Mom, I felt bad for him.  I knew he would feel bad in class when he had nothing to eat and everyone else was eating something.”  She continued by saying, “So I gave him my snack.  And I gave him the cheese pretzel snack.  Not the other cheese stick and meat stick one.”  And right about here is when the tears filled my eyes with overwhelming Jesus love I just witnessed in my daughter.   (you see, you have to know the backstory to understand what a selfless act this truly was.

The truth was that as we were hurridly trying to get out the door that morning my daughter requested cheese pretzels for one of her two snacks.  She doesn’t usually make requests, but I had splurged and purchased these pretzels as an end of the year treat.  She knew it.  Didn’t get them usually.  And wanted to make sure I didn’t forget to include these special ones. )  And so now you may get the tears response to the fact that she gave the cheese pretzels, in other words her best, her favorite, her “firstfruits” to the boy, (but ultimately to Jesus because we know scripture says, “what you do for the least of these you do for me”).  My daughter concluded her story by saying, “And you know what Mom.  He was SOOOOO happy.  And that made me SOOOO happy.”  And I replied with an addition of, “And it made your mama and Jesus SOOOO happy as well!”

So once again, Jesus taught me, through my daughter, that rejoicing happens in true generosity and selflessness.  My daughter could have had a very different response.  She could have not done anything in this situation.  She could have even been a little happy in the thought that she had a snack and he didn’t.  This being the delighting in evil thing we are looking at this week.  But instead she experienced rejoicing and many others did to as she acted upon The Truth in God’s Word which says as is written above:

Matthew 10:42
“And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”

Acts 20:35
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

My daughter challenges me to give relentlessly-I see over and over the grace and gift of giving my daughter has from the Spirit.  It’s real hard to out give her and we have to simmer her down at times to not have her immediately go buy for someone once she receives a bit of money.  But I love this about her and she inspires me to be better because this is not one of my strengths/spiritual gifts.  And I love how we as the body of Christ are all given various gifts and as we work together we function real well to bring the love and light of Jesus to a hurting world.  I can even rejoice in this truth that we are not created the same, having the same gifts, and seeing the gifts God has given others should be a place of joy for His Kingdom not a place of depression or comparing.  Because I have been given gifts too, and so have you.  Going against our culture’s evil values of “greed, all out for me mindset” and taking God’s true word and acting upon it means joy.  For you.  For others.  And for our Father who see’s it all.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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May 222015
 

In the lives all around us the self-driven, self-seeking, self-esteem wishing priorities are evident.  And somehow we must find a way to step of the “self train” and enter into something better, bigger and best.  Something I am finding to be even more challenging than normal in my current state.  “Oh my Jesus, please show me how to lean into this ‘Love is not self seeking’ challenge’.”

Seek.  First.  His.  Kingdom.  And ALL the rest (the future worries, present pain, past hurts, current frustrations, current unknowns) will.  be.  taken.  care.  of.

Self-seeking versus Kingdom seeking moment-#1-My mother-Based on my current state, I keep checking the month to make sure it’s not April and that this “self seeking” love characteristic was simply God’s way of playing an April fools joke on my sorry self.  Turns out, “no”.  No joke.  Just real world lessons for me.  Jesus style. So-this word “self”or “it’s all about me” should pretty much be plastered to my forehead so those unknowing souls can quickly get caught up to speed about my current bedrested, all day sickness, pregnant self. Talk about feeling self-ish, self-reliant, self-undone.  This is more than humbling.  I find it much more comfortable to be the giver rather than the receiver.  Taker of the meal to the needy family, rather than being the needy family.  One extending a prayer of healing for a sick friend rather than hearing another’s prayer for me.

But as I sit in the “receiving” state, my mom, gets the “love is selfless” award of the year (and truly should receive this award for each year of my life).  Let me give you some examples:  she forgets to get dressed until halfway through the day because she is tending to my cold wash rag, eating every hour and a half, massaging, grocery shopping, laundry, dishes, and two girls’ needs.  When we found out I was pregnant and that it fell over my husband’s work planned 3 week trip abroad with his college students, she put her entire life on hold.  For me.  She has lived in my house and taken care of my oh so many needs, and let go of hers.  My mom is currently clothed as a real life Saint at the moment.  Truly.  The selfless love of Jesus.  Pours out of her. Onto a needy soul like me.  And I am forever grateful.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Phillipians 2:4

Who do you need to thank today for their selfless acts of giving to you?

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Mar 022015
 
I am pretty sure, “Now, be kind please”, comes out of my mouth everyday as my girls maneuver the challenges that “getting along with others” poses.  This week we take on the challenge to show others the love of Jesus by being kind to them.

Our #2 1 Corinthians 13 Love attribute this week is:  “LOVE IS KIND”.

Webster’s defines the word, “Kind or Kindness”, for us:
  • the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate
  • an act of kind assistance

Friends, here are some like minded words for kindness to further expand our mission this week:

affection, warmth,gentleness, concern, care;

consideration, helpfulness, thoughtfulness, unselfishness, selflessness,altruism, compassion, sympathy, understanding, big-heartedness, benevolence, benignity, friendliness, hospitality, neighborliness;
generosity, magnanimity, charitableness, mercy, service, grace
And to follow up with some words opposite to showing kindness.  (In other words, what NOT to do this week):
coldheartedness, hard-heartedness, inhumanity, inhumanness,mercilessness, pitilessness, rude, callousness, coldness, disinterest, indifference, unconcern;cruelty, harshness; animosity, antipathy, dislike, hatred, hostility

My heart tells me the love of Jesus for me, which spills out onto others in a kind way means action on my part.  The above definition says an “ACT” of kindness.  Kindness involves moving myself in such close proximity to another that there is a service performed for them.  If I shut myself and my love for Jesus in my room it is pretty hard to rub shoulders with friends, neighbors, the poor and needy.  And kindness requires reaching out to others-it may be nonverbally, verbally, or through an act of service that causes the individual to feel Seen.  Loved.  Cared for.  Listened to.  Provided for.  Considered.  Helped.  

Of all the opposite’s to kindness, the words, “unconcern and rude”, hit too close to home for me.  I say something in a defensive spirit to my husband and it comes out as a jabbing put down.  In fact it is a downright rude, manipulative, prideful thing to say.  Not kind.  I don’t make eye contact with the checker who always checks me out at the grocery store but only tend to putting items on the belt.  There is no excuse for my unconcern for them.  Not kind.

Of all the like minded words to kindness, the words “consideration and selflessness” were highlighted in my mind and spirit.  How much of my day do I consider self rather than consider another-unfortunately the “me monster” is priority more than I would like.  My needs, desires, comforts, schedule, frustrations, pain, good news are at the forefront of my mind.  This week, my prayer is that we would consider less of ourselves and more of others.  To be filled so much with the loving kindness of Jesus, our Lord, that we can’t help but extend His kindness to those we rub shoulders with.

Quotes/Verses to motivate us towards showing kindness this week:

  • “Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You.”  Psalm 63:3
  • “Don’t you realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”  Romans 2:4
  • “A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.”  William Arthur Ward
  • “Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight.  Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward.  Your life will never be the same again.”  Og Mandino
  • “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”  Aesop
  • “Kindness, I’ve discovered, is everything in life.”  Isaac Bashevis Singer
  • “Kindness is loving people more than they deserve.”  Joseph Joubert
  • “A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money.”  John Ruskin

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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