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Archive for April, 2013

For the others put in what they had to spare of their riches; but she, poor as she is, put in all she had – she gave all she had to live on.”

http://bible.us/Mark12.44.GNTUK-EN

PENNIES

Jesus is sitting in the temple courtyard, watching wealthy Jerusalem landowners and rich pilgrims visiting Jerusalem for the Passover as they cast their money into the large, trumpet-shaped offering bowls. Then along comes a widow, her poverty obvious from her dress. She throws in two tiny copper coins-the smallest coins in circulation.

Not impressive. But she has given all she had. She has less money than the others, but is far richer in spirit and understanding. The story follows a stinging attack on religious leaders who were oppressing the poor (Mark 12.38-40). Yet the people they are cheating are godlier than the rest of them put together.

It’s not the money, but the motive; not the amount, but the attitude; not, perhaps, a question of how much we give away, but rather how much we keep for ourselves. This woman could have kept one of the coins for herself. She didn’t have to make a gift at all. But she chose to give all she had to God.

How does Jesus’ rebuke of the rich challenge us to examine those policies which bring us comfort at the expense of others? If you were present, how would you have responded to the widow’s offering? What comment do you think Jesus would make about a recent offering you made? Why?

Be generous in your giving. Think of how much God has given you and be willing to give it back to him in thankfulness. God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9.7). Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom – let your email find you!

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Jesus promised not to leave us alone in this horrible world. He promised to send a helper, a guide…the Holy Spirit. The time has come for us to start listening to the Spirit’s call. He wants to lead us into our life of service to the Allmighty…we just need to follow.
Over the past weeks I’ve realised just how long I’ve been deaf to this call. Now I listen and am amazed at what God has done for me…the way He opened doors… People of the world….God IS alive, He is still looking to be our Father. He never abandoned us, no indeed, it was us…we abandoned HIM. Turn your life around now my friend. He is waiting to give you a drink from the cup of life.
I pray: Thank you Jesus, for the gifts You’ve given me…nothing I do comes from me, nothing is done BY me….what I do is to show people how powerful God is. How He sends me, a sinner, to help others. What a blessing….

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I’m currently reading day 18 of Restart: Compassion and Justice. To join in and read along go to:

http://bible.us/r/7y.I.e

Isaiah 58:6-12:
6 “The kind of fasting I want is this: remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice, and let the oppressed go free.
7 Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor. Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear, and do not refuse to help your own relatives.
8 “Then my favour will shine on you like the morning sun, and your wounds will be quickly healed. I will always be with you to save you; my presence will protect you on every side. 9 When you pray, I will answer you. When you call to me, I will respond.
“If you put an end to oppression, to every gesture of contempt, and to every evil word;
10 if you give food to the hungry and satisfy those who are in need, then the darkness around you will turn to the brightness of noon. 11 And I will always guide you and satisfy you with good things. I will keep you strong and well. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water, like a spring of water that never runs dry.
12 Your people will rebuild what has long been in ruins, building again on the old foundations. You will be known as the people who rebuilt the walls, who restored the ruined houses.”

RESTORATION

While the prophet Isaiah had harsh warnings for the people of Judah, he also had good news: after enduring punishment, God’s people would later be restored. Restoration means more than putting a bandage on a wound. The society Isaiah described was not “patched up.” Instead, in this passage, there is an emphasis on wholeness, permanent change, and on bringing people back into complete health-mind, body, and spirit.

Changing the lives of those devastated by poverty, illness, and other issues mean more than offering temporary solutions, as helpful as they may be. It means looking at employment, security, health-deeper issues, that when addressed, bring lasting changes.

So, don’t only provide a patch of land, but provide a well-watered garden. Help to build a home, not just a roof over someone’s head. Strive not only for the absence of war, but also for restorative, healing peace.

Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom – let your email find you!

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NASA – The Rose.

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What a day…

You may think it is nothing remarkable…..but today was like no other I’ve had in a while. I actually finished my ironing before 2 o’clock in the morning! Yet, I’m so tired I can hardly keep my eyes open to type this post up. The past few weeks had been quite hectic….but I loved being so busy. One thing that really bothers me, though is that I simpky don’t seem to get around doing those tiny things around the office….things that has to be dine. Sometimes I really wish I had an assistant. Someone who can finish building my websites and complete the pamphlets and posters for my projects. I just hope that, somewhere, somehow, I’ll get it all done. Now….I’m off to bath, Bible study, Peter James and bed….in that order. Tomorrow its time for Dad’s groceries again and I have to take my son to the doctor….and I have to deal with the in-laws, who keep on nagging from their corner for a visit. It sucks being someone who cares….wish someone will feel that way about me sometimes.

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28 So there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles, between slaves and free people, between men and women; you are all one in union with Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are the descendants of Abraham and will receive what God has promised.

http://bible.us/Gal3.28.GNTUK-EN

DIFFERENCES

Paul lived in a rigidly structured society. A person’s birth defined everything: status, family life and even his job. While there was some room for movement (for instance, a slave could become free), most people’s lives were set from the time they were born. Jesus’ death and resurrection provided the means for a new way of life. Believers could “put on” this new life and become part of a new, extended family.

The early Church did not abolish a person’s identity-Jews were still Jews, slaves still beholden to their masters, women still obliged to fill their limited roles within the community-but new roles and opportunities opened up for everyone who was part of God’s family. In a special way, all were now equal.

So we see the radical nature of Christianity: no room for racism, classism or sexism. There is only the family-each member being a part of the body of Christ, having a different function and having his or her own identity, yet all clothed by God’s love.

Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom – let your email find you!

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