Plight of the Poor

Let us Help the Sick; Let us aid the Weary

http://www.gfa.org/cs/medical-ministry/?cm_mmc=GFA-_-Email-_-2903832-_-160405%20Digest%20317%20WB64-G100%20(1)%20remainder

 

What can I say that has not already been said? Live like Jesus. Walk in His steps. If He needs clothed, clothe Him. If He needs food, feed Him. If He needs medical aid, aid Him. If He needs upliftment, uplift Him. Whatever the need, we are called to meet it. And He said that if you do these things to the least of these, you have done them to Him. (Matthew 25) Let us go forth weeping and sewing so that we may return rejoicing, bringing our sheaves with us (Psalm 126:). Let us help the sick. Let us aid the weary. 🙂

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Plight of the Poor

Earthquake Victims Receive Warm Blankets in Time for Winter

 

Because there’s still a need and there are still hurting people. This disaster left it’s mark and it’s our job to be with them. God, please provide for the needy and helpless….

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Holidays, My Thoughts, Plight of the Poor

Too Full to Care

*This is an artilce that was supposed to be posted the day after Thanksgiving, but the holidays were too busy for me to really remember and post it. So, today, the first day of a new year, we are going to enjoy a little flashback from the previous weeks of holiday cheer:

 

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A heavy tension hung in the air. Their was a steady build-up as the week progressed. But now it was finally here. Thanksgiving had arrived at last!

 

All through the week-long holiday break, I had prepared mentally for this day. “No overeating,” I told myself, “Absolutely no gluttony this year.” When Thanksgiving morning finally came, it was the most gorgeous day we had had in a long, long while. Perfect for the holiday! As we cooked and made ready, an excited tension welled up in us with each moment.

 

I kept focussed.

 

The day progressed, and I had the best Thanksgiving since the ones when I was a little girl making trips to Alabama to see my grandparents for the holiday. We spent nearly the whole day there! We had so much fun! We ate lunch and laughed and talked and talked and talked. I ate more than usual but not too much. I was just over satisfactory (a huge improvement from previous years!) and I was quite pleased with myself, though slightly disappointed that I didn’t do as good as I wanted to. We stayed for hours. Then, we watched a movie and had a good time. Then, we ate supper. I did a little worse then, but still not terribly (this was an unexpected meal, to be honest). We stayed a little while longer talking, but finally had to go since my grandmother was about to fall over with fatigue. So, we left.

 

When we got home, we unpacked everything and started settling down. It was late now. As I finally managed to make it to my room, I thought, “I’m so full!” I glanced over at the clock. 7:40pm.

 

“Hmm…” I thought, contemplating this, “I wonder what my missionary sister-in-Christ is doing.” (I have a copy of her schedule for a normal week.)

 

I dug out the schedule, but already I knew. Between 7 and 8 ( It would be A.M. where she was, and ~30minutes before our time), she would be eating breakfast…..Breakfast. She would be eating breakfast. In India. A small breakfast, no doubt. And risking her life daily to proclaim the Gospel.

 

 

And I had just complained about being too full.

 

 

I nearly broke down into tears. What had I done? Didn’t I care? I am less ignorant about the extreme poverty in places like India, yet I am “too full” to care. “What am I doing?!” I asked myself.

 

That’s a valid question. What am I doing? What am I living for? Am I satisfied with overeating and squandering my God-loaned resources when His command is to give relentlessly? Am I satisfied with letting my poverty-stricken brothers and sisters do all the work while there is a world of resources I could be sharing to further the Kingdom of God? Am I satisfied living for nothing but myself? Brethren, this is far too small a thing to live for! What a worthless treasure! O what guilt and shame to stand before the almighty and holy God and give account for my self-centerdness! What a waste to stand before the One I love and tell Him of all the reasons why I spat in the face of all He suffered for! O what tears of bitter grief I write this with even now! Am I satisfied with this? Knowing what will one day be? Knowing the souls that are in hell that I could have reached had I not been too preoccupied with pleasing myself?

 

I am determined that this shall never more be. I will not continue to be too full to care. I am tired of living for myself. God, stamp eternity once more on my eyes and show me what is truly worth living for. I will follow You.

 

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***Picture was done by Unnibabu on Deviantart. It is entitled, “beggar and burger(Poverty)”. http://unnibabu.deviantart.com/art/beggar-and-burger-Poverty-574356890

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Holidays, song lyrics

Beauty in the Ashes: Remembering to Love the Forgotten

 

‘Twas the night before Christmas

When all through the house

Every creature was stirring,

Perhaps even a mouse!

 

Indeed, my parents were wrapping gifts and finding a place to put them (since we didn’t put a tree up this year) while my brothers chatted away excitedly in their room (sharing a wall with mine. Fun.). Even I was up, but I couldn’t breathe (Sinuses. Only in Mississippi are there tornado watches/warnings in 70°F weather at Christmas time). Christmas lost some of its magic for me some time ago, when I truly experienced the materialism of our culture. We opted for a small Christmas this year. So, I wasn’t quite so excited about gifts. I wanted it to be about more than that. I wanted to focus on higher things. Focus….

 

So, I decided to read some Scripture (sleeping wasn’t really an option, even if it was 9:30pm and I hadn’t slept well the night before). What to read? Well, what better place than in Luke for this season? So, I decided to start at the very beginning. Chapter 1.

 

 

I didn’t get far.

 

 

Something immediately got my attention. Verses 5-6 of Chapter 1——

 

“There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.

And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.”

 

I did a double-take. Now, I don’t know about you, but I thought Mary was quite somebody, the way she took the whole thing. But this! This was way more mind-blowing! Did I just read that Zacharias and Elisabeth walked in the law blamelessly??? I understand that they were sinners like the rest of us, but apparently they were doing pretty well at this time in their lives! I mean, to be called “righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless”! That’s serious stuff! I started thinking about that….

 

What would I give for the same to be said of me? Righteous before God…Walking in all His commands blamelessly….What would I give for such a powerful testimony?

 

This thought seemed to coincide with another thought that has been haunting me lately. Afterall, what are His commands that we should walk in? Well, I can tell you one major one:

 

(James 1:27; KJV)

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

 

This one “command” is very powerful to me. This ordinance, established primarily in the Old Testament, has impacted my life in a more violent way than perhaps any other ordinance I’ve found. And I still struggle with it….

 

 

What, God? Haven’t you seen the widows around here? They are crazy! Out of it! They don’t really need me. Besides, that’s someone else’s job. Oh. And the fatherless? They may be more messed up! How do you expect me to minister to that little boy whose Daddy is in prison and whose Momma can’t have him by law? He is absolutely messed up! I mean, do you see the way he acts?! And oh my goodness—the way he talks! No way. Not my mission field. Orphans? Er…I don’t know any…..So, that’s out of the question….What? What do you mean, “What’s your mission field then”? I have a mission field…..er….Well, you know….there are people….around….that come in contact with me occassionally….Well, what did You expect? I’m not perfect, afterall!

 

 

For years, even though I never dared to say such things to the Most Holy and High God of the Universe, I nevertheless thought them (indirectly) in my mind. I dodged around doing my part. And I am ashamed to say that it took a series of near-death experiences for me to wake up. I still try to blind myself often, but it’s over. God has completely wrecked my life. I can never go back again. It’s too painful to stay where I am. I must move forward.

 

So, why not strive to be blameless in at least this command? What I have found while reaching out of my comfort zone, was that it’s not so bad when God is already there waiting to bless everyone involved. Sure—I’m not completely comfortable. I’d just as soon be at home playing Legend of Zelda Windwaker on the Wii than be in a Nursing Home with an old woman I barely know. Yet, when I did reach out or saw others reach out, I found something of far greater worth that I hadn’t seen before: beauty in the ashes, treasure in the brokeness. The smile of an old woman who is usually all alone at Christmas. when someone suddenly reaches out and helps the her find joy this season. The sparkle in the eye of the orphan who receives a gift for the first time. The neediness and hurt of the fatherless child finding healing in time spent with a new mentor. What these things are doing are of far greater value and beauty than imaginable. And all because someone followed God’s commands, perhaps not perfectly, but at least blamelessly.

 

So, this Christmas season, let us truly analyze whose life we can impact. Let us visit the widow and fatherless in their distress and try to keep ourselves unspotted from the world. Let us reach out and love somebody.

 

To go with this, I thought we should listen to our brother TobyMac, who is bringing us partially into the shoes of an orphan with a need:

 

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“This Christmas (Father of the Fatherless)”

By: Nirva Ready and TobyMac

 

 

Now Jonnie never got his wish December 25th

That’s what he said when we left the orphanage

Nine years old, but Jonnie was an old soul

Gonna spend his first Christmas in a real home

Then he showed me a picture he made the night before

A drawing of a man standin’ outside the door

He said, “I see him in my dreams

He comforts me when I can’t sleep”

 

Father of the fatherless

Be with your sons and daughters this Christmas

This Christmas

 

“Believe in angels?”

He asked starin’ at the sky

I said I do and saw a sparkle in his eye

Big brother for the weekend, respondin’ to the season

I took the chance that givin’s better than receivin’

Two nights, a new family, some holiday cheer

We laughed and sang

Came on a midnight clear

We gave, received, and as we headed to a close

We looked to the heavens, and it started snowing blessings

 

Father of the fatherless

Be with your sons and daughters this Christmas, this Christmas

(You ain’t livin’ ‘til you choose to give

Love and joy and peace to one of His)

Father let us not forget

The children who are all alone this Christmas, this Christmas

(You ain’t livin’ ‘til you choose to give

Love and joy and peace to one of His)

 

[James 1:27]

Religion that God our Father

Accepts as pure and faultless is this:

That we look after orphans and widows in their distress

Merry Christmas everyone

 

Joy to the world

The Lord is come

Let Heaven and nature sing

Let Heaven and nature sing

Let Heaven and nature sing

 

Big brother turned dad in a couple weeks

Some gifts give more than you could ever dream

Started out as a plan just to do my part,

But that little man went and stole my heart

 

Father of the fatherless

Be with your sons and daughters this Christmas, this Christmas

(You ain’t livin’ ‘til you choose to give

Love and joy and peace to one of His)

Father let us not forget

The children who are all alone this Christmas, this Christmas

(You ain’t livin’ ‘til you choose to give

Love and joy and peace to one of His)

 

Let Heaven and nature sing

Let Heaven and nature sing

[x2]

 

From me and mine, to you and yours…

Merry Christmas

This year, reach out and love somebody, y’all

 

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★DISCLAIMER: All images used on this blog are strictly copyrights of their owners. I do not claim credit/ownership for any images used here in my blog unless stated otherwise. If I have offended anyone by posting any images on my blog, please contact me via email and I will remove specified image(s) ASAP.

 

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Encouragement for Sisters Lost in the Mist

[Photo not mine.]

 

Our dear sister Kinuko has blessed my heart deeply with one of her recent posts. I pray you to take a moment and read her encouragement to sisters around the globe who feel like they are in the mist and cannot get out.

 

http://japanesebiblewoman.blogspot.com/2015/12/are-you-feeling-as-if-you-were-in-mist.html

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The Truth About Your Age: It Doesn’t Matter

“How old are you?”

“16b.”

“Do what?!!”

I have been thinking….I have noticed that we tend to get tangled up in things that don’t matter. Concepts of the way things should be, for no apparent reason at all. Don’t get me wrong: There’s a time and place for everything (Ecclesiastes teaches that.) And there are certainly things the Bible prohibits at certain times/places (for example: 1Corinthians 14:34-35). But there are a LOT of things that we hold onto that are not commanded in the Bible. I don’t really know why we hold to them so tightly. But we do. And today, seeing it is my birthday, I want to address one of them:

Our age.

I started thinking about this a week or two ago. Why does it matter what I say my age is? I get that “17” tells you how many years I’ve lived on earth by the generally-accepted calendar dates and doctor-written times. But what does that matter? What does that mean? What bearing does it have? Isn’t our age just a number? If a certain lady wants to call herself 29 for the rest of her life, what does it matter? If I want to refer to my age in line with my schooling*, what does it matter? It has no effect on my life, really (as for the age to vote/drink/etc., I care for none of them). It leaves no mark on others. So, what does it matter how old I am or what my default age is? The truth is: I don’t think it does.

As I thought more on this, I started seeing something I had previously only seen glimpses of. What if maturity is the important thing here anyway? Honestly, as I look around, I realize that maturity seems to be lost for most western countries. What if we viewed the 50-year-old who is living like a teenager as a little girl and the 12-year-old who is living like a young lady as a woman? I think that would be the more accurate description—not how long we’ve lived.

So, today, if you ask me how old I am, I will ask you this question: “Do you want my elected age or my default age?” Because the truth is: it doesn’t really matter. But for myself I ask, “Am I a young lady, becoming a woman, more meek and quiet and mature daily for the Lord?” This is the question I ponder today. Not how old I am.

*I am homeschooled. I made the decision to split my 11th and 12th grade years into two years each for various reasons. We call my remaining years 11a, 11b, 12a, and 12b. I’m currently on 11b. So, by my elected age, I would be 16b this year, 17a next year, and 17b the next year. Then, I’ll turn 18 and go on my merry way. 🙂 But, by my default age (a.k.a. “normal”), I turn 17 this year. ^~^

[Picture is from http://www.wordbypicture.com/age-is-just-a-number-quotes/___bWVkaWEtY2FjaGUtZWMwKnBpbmltZypjb218NzM2eHxiOXwyNHw2N3xiOTI0NjdkNDE2ZDMxNmFiZDRhNGI0ODFiZmJkZGYwNipqcGc_Y2FyLW1lbWVzKmNvbXxhZ2UtaXMtanVzdC1hLW51bWJlci1xdW90ZXN8/%5D

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Lord, I am a Blind Sheep!—A Prayer from Kinuko-san

[Picture not mine]

I was so touched by dear Kinuko-san’s recent post—a poem that she wrote. I asked her permission to reblog her post. You can find the original here: http://japanesebiblewoman.blogspot.com/2015/10/lord-i-am-blind-sheep-my-poem-and-prayer.html

Please go check out her site. She is such a tender maiden for our Lord. 🙂

“Lord, I am a Blind Sheep”

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Lord, I am a blind sheep.

A dull sheep who runs about thoughtlessly.

Even truth-seeking heart would lose its power in front of this dullness.

The tragedy is that, though I know well that there are various wolves with sheep clothes,

walking about, seeking whom they may deceive,

I cannot hear Thy voice very well!

One day, am I going to be eaten by one of them?

Since I am blind and cannot hear very well,

would You do me a special favor?

Even after calling me by name and leading me out to the pasture,

Lord, would you continue to carry me through to the final destination?

Because of Thy servant’s dullness and weakness,

please grant me Thy special mercy.

[written by Kinuko]

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