Saturday, September 08, 2007

two very small copper coins

In Luke 21 Jesus is watching the people putting their gifts into the temple treasury (and yes, He's still watching so don't be skimming from yo tithes and offerings!). In verse 2 He sees a widow putting in 'two very small copper coins'. Jesus tells His disciples "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on". I was thinking about this story on Friday morning.

As many of you know, we do a women's support group every Friday at the Baton Rouge Dream Center called 'Ladies Thrive'. We usually have somewhere between 25-40 women from the community come to hear a bible teaching and then have small-group discussion and prayer. Afterwards we share a meal and send them home with groceries. If I had to guess I would say probably 90% or more are living below the poverty line; many with disabilities, many elderly and all in harsh situations. That's part of what made Friday so special.

A few of the ladies got together because they wanted to bless the BRDC volunteers for giving our time every week to help them. The picture above is the gift basket they presented to me as a thank you for helping out. The moment I received the basket I thought about the widow's 'two very small copper coins'. These women did not give out of their abundance...they gave out of their poverty. I don't even want to think about what they will do without this week so that they could offer me a gift of gratitude. It's precious and so very humbling.

I know that my God noticed it...He always notices gifts given without strings. I believe sacrificial giving makes Him smile. And I believe He will pour out a blessing on these ladies that they can't contain. I hope I'm there to see it.

I love HPC. I love our pastors and I love inner-city outreach. Can you even believe that I get to do this every week?!?! Thank You Father...all glory to You!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Live for God or shut up.

I'm a bad blogger. I get busy with everything that's going on and forget to write it down. Here's what stuck with me:

Elevate (internship program at HPC) has started up again for their Fall semester. We've been blessed by getting to work with several of their students, some first-year and some second. These young people are laying down their lives for the cause of Jesus. They spend their time between classes, assignments, work, prayer and serving in various capacities with the church. The crew that we have are fantastic; great attitudes, hard working and dedicated. I'm sure you'll hear more about them in future posts.

Wednesday afternoon we went into the community to do Widow's Outreach. We got to visit with some incredible people and share their lives. Miss Agnes wasn't home. Miss Agnes is always home, so when she didn't answer the door we went to ask the neighbor if she was okay. As it turns out she was in hospital. We promptly loaded up the van and headed to Baton Rouge General to find Miss Agnes. She's a very special lady whom I've had the privilege of getting to know a little bit over the past several months. She's 91 years old and was a preacher for 32 years. She always has a sermon ready and it's always a word for the moment. Wednesday afternoon was no different. As she was propped up in her chair, breathing oxygen through a tube, I asked her what she wanted to say to our Elevate interns. She looked directly at them and said, "Live for God or shut up. If you're not going to live right than don't you even be talkin bout Him."

Talk about a word that will preach.

That has stuck with me all week. Through Ladies Thrive on Friday, street outreach on Saturday and Pastor Dino's weeekend message. Live for God or shut up. A strong word from an awesome lady.

All glory to God!