Opportunities for Kindness

Opportunities for Kindness

Several years ago I was at a train station in Amsterdam waiting in line to buy a ticket. As I stood there I saw a young homeless man asking people for money so he could buy breakfast. It was early in the morning and most of the travellers simply ignored the young man or gave him a dirty look.

There was one exception though – an older, well-dressed businessman who looked as though he was from the middle-east. When approached by the panhandler, the gentleman looked straight into his eyes and quietly asked: “How much will you need?”

I couldn’t hear what the young man said but watched as the older man pulled several bills from his wallet and calmly placed them in the young man’s hands.

I don’t know if the young man actually used this money for breakfast or for some other purpose. What I do know is that I witnessed two completely different reactions to the same situation. I saw people who were either afraid or annoyed or distrustful. And then I saw this man who was not afraid and treated the homeless man as though he were a brother. I decided then and there that, even though we have to be careful in this world, I would rather be like him.

May this day bring us many opportunities for kindness.

by Ron Atchison

Meditation: Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering – Colossians 3:12 (KJV)

You will succeed because Jesus loves You!

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One Good Reason to Hang on (2)

One Good Reason to Hang on (2)

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
– Romans 8:28

While under pressure, one other reason to hang on and not adopt a capitulatory attitude is because of the fact that God makes all things to work together for the good of His children – and yes, it is ALL THINGS He contrives to turn out for good, not some of them. So, rather than get bogged down with the weight of your circumstance, you should rather focus on the goodness of God in the past, then look out for the inherent good in the present situation, and the likely good that will come out of it.

By nature, God is benevolent; He is always seeking ways to bless; He is not all out to judge and to exact. He is a God of justice, yes; but He is more inclined to show compassion first before meting out judgement. Even in the midst of punishment, He is always looking out for a repentant heart, so He could have a ground to stop. His mercy prevails over judgement (James 2:13). In the word of the Psalmist, ‘He is good, and everything He does is good’ (Psalm 119:68).

Meditating on this nature of God should give you an assurance that He’s got your back. He is watching out for you. Even in the thick of your challenges when all you could see are woes and nothing else, He has not abandoned you and He is not going to do that anyway. The fact that you don’t see Him doesn’t mean that He is not with you; and His silence does not mean that He is not hearing your prayers either. But you need to ensure you are really praying, not whining and throwing tantrums. He is up to something; and it is something good. He is about to turn your test to a testimony and your tears to cheer.

Now, that’s a good reason for you to keep hanging on.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

One Good Reason to Hang on (1)

One Good Reason to Hang on (1)

I say this because I know what I am planning for you,” says the Lord. “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.
– Jeremiah 29:11 (New Century Version)

The pressures of life can be overwhelming at times that you wonder if you will ever get out of this, or will it ever end. You might even have considered calling it quit on life altogether so as to be relieved of all the stress. It can be that bad; but it does not have to get to that point.

Perhaps the vicissitudes of life have boxed you into such a state that you are discouraged from doing anything or taking any further step for fear of aggravating an already bad situation or being misinterpreted. It can be that tough; but you don’t have to let it get the better of you. You cannot afford to stop praying and trying, taking guided steps and making calculated attempts.

Whatever your own issue may be at the moment, be it finance, marriage, family, business, career, health, or other forms of social pressure, it is always good to adopt a long term perspective and see yourself vis-à-vis the challenge in a couple of years time; will it become bigger than you or you would have outgrown it? You can also borrow a leaf from Robert Schuller’s classic that “tough times don’t last; only tough people do.”

Another perspective that can help you to cope with the storms of life is the fact that challenges are part of living; they are not peculiar to you alone. The fact that you are in the midst of storm does not mean that God does not reckon with you or that He loves you lesser than someone who seems to be enjoying all the fortunes of life. God cares for all His children, even the recalcitrant ones. He is a loving Father. He does not scheme and He is not driven by the thoughts of how He might undo you. He says that the thoughts (note the plural) He has toward you are for peace, not evil; to give you a hope and a future.’ Amplified Bible says His plan is “to give you hope in your final outcome.”

This is God Himself assuring you that of all the thoughts He thinks about you, none is to hurt, undo or afflict you. On the contrary, even with your present issues in mind, His thoughts are to give you hope in your final outcome. Now that is one good reason for you to hang on.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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My 10 Resolutions for the New Year

My 10 Resolutions for the New Year

My 10 Resolutions for the New Year

This coming year, I have decided that with God’s help, I shall:

1) Give up complaining . . . focus on gratitude.

2) Give up harsh judgments . . . think kind thoughts.

3) Give up worry . . . trust divine providence.

4) Give up discouragement . . . be full of hope.

5) Give up bitterness . . . turn to forgiveness.

6) Give up hatred . . . return good for evil.

7) Give up anger . . . practice patience.

8) Give up pettiness . . . put on maturity.

9) Give up gloom. . . enjoy the beauty that is around me.

10) Give up gossiping . . . control my tongue.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Ruth’s Hospitality

Ruth’s Hospitality

Ruth’s Hospitality

Ruth went to her mailbox and there was only one letter. She picked it up and looked at it before opening, but then she looked at the envelope again. There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address.

She read the letter:

Dear Ruth,
I’m going to be in your neighbourhood Saturday afternoon and I’d like to stop by for a visit.
Love Always,
Jesus

Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table. “Why would the Lord want to visit me? I’m nobody special. I don’t have anything to offer.” With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets.

“Oh my goodness, I really don’t have anything to offer. I’ll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner.” She reached for her purse and counted out its contents: Five dollars and forty cents.

“Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least.” She threw on her coat and hurried out the door. A loaf of French bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk, leaving Ruth with grand total of twelve cents to last her until Monday. Nonetheless, she felt good as she headed home, her meagre offerings tucked under her arm.

“Hey lady, can you help us, lady?” Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans; she hadn’t even noticed two figures huddled in the alleyway. A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags.

“Look lady, I ain’t got a job, ya know, and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and, well, now it’s getting cold and we’re getting kinda hungry and, well, if you could help us, lady, we’d really appreciate it.”

Ruth looked at them both. They were dirty, they smelled bad and, frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to.

“Sir, I’d like to help you, but I’m a poor woman myself. All I have is a few cold cuts and some bread, and I’m having an important guest for dinner tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him.”

“Yeah, well, okay lady, I understand. Thanks anyway.” The man put his arm around the woman’s shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley. As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart.

“Sir, wait!” The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them. “Look, why don’t you take this food. I’ll figure out something else to serve my guest.” She handed the man her grocery bag.

“Thank you lady. Thank you very much!”

“Yes, thank you!” It was the man’s wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering.

“You know, I’ve got another coat at home. Here, why don’t you take this one?” Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman’s shoulders.

Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street…without her coat and with nothing to serve her guest. “Thank you lady! Thank you very much!”

Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door, and worried too. The Lord was coming to visit and she didn’t have anything to offer Him. She fumbled through her purse for the door key. But as she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox.

“That’s odd. The mailman doesn’t usually come twice in one day.” She took the envelope out of the box and opened it.

Dear Ruth,
It was so good to see you again. Thank you for the lovely meal. And thank you, too, for the beautiful coat.
Love Always,
Jesus

The air was still cold, but even without her coat, Ruth no longer noticed.

– Author Unknown

Meditation: Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. – 1 Peter 4:9-10

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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The Difference Between Strength and Courage

The Difference Between Strength and Courage

The Difference Between Strength and Courage

It takes strength to be firm.
It takes courage to be gentle.

It takes strength to stand guard.
It takes courage to let down your guard.

It takes strength to conquer
It takes courage to surrender.

It takes strength to be certain.
It takes courage to have doubt.

It takes strength to fit in.
It takes courage to stand out.

It takes strength to feel a friend’s pain.
It takes courage to feel your own pain.

It takes strength to hide feelings.
It takes courage to show them.

It takes strength to endure abuse.
It takes courage to stop it.

It takes strength to stand alone.
It takes courage to lean on another.

It takes strength to love.
It takes courage to be loved.

It takes strength to survive.
It takes courage to live.

– Author Unknown

Meditation: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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