Several years ago Chi Chi Rodriguez, a stalwart on the Senior PGA Tour, said, “If you don’t share you may have material success, but you’ll be very poor in spirit”.
As a young boy, Chi Chi recalls learning this important life lesson as a young boy growing up in a tiny tin-roofed shack in rural Puerto Rico:
“It was 2 AM when my father woke me because he heard someone out back. We crept outside and found a machete-wielding neighbor standing beside the small banana grove that fed our family. Despite the fact that the man could have killed him, father said, ‘Give me the machete’.
Then father cut a brunch of bananas and handed half of them to his neighbor. ‘From now on,’ he said, ‘anything you want back here you come and ask for it. And make sure you leave some for my kids, too.’
“The compassionate way he handled that man was one of many things my father did that influenced my life. That night he taught me that takers eat well, but givers sleep well.”
Tags: Caring, Father's Day, giving
Young Jonathan, who had been promised a new puppy for his tenth birthday, had a tough time choosing between a dozen likely candidates at the neighborhood pet shop. Finally he decided upon one nondescript shaggy pup who was wagging his tail furiously. Explained Jonathan, “I want the one with the happy ending.”
Everyone loves a story with a happy ending. Anita and I prefer to watch older movies on TCM because they tend to have a happy ending. I have invested my life in other people because I love seeing happy endings in their lives. Trouble tends to rob our happiness, but standing firm in the faith through those trials brings about the happy ending we desire.
Today is a day when you can help bring about a happy ending in someone else’s life. Speak words of hope to them no matter what they throw back. Show God’s compassion like “Chris” did to the bag lady in our skit last weekend. Don’t take an offense but be a friend to the friendless.
Tags: adoption, Caring, encouragement, resurrection
Our short-term trip to New York City is now back home. I just read through the Mission Trip Evaluation forms that the team turned back in and it appears to have been a great trip. The office is working to put together a trip report for this weekend via pictures or video.
One of the evaluation questions was: “How do you think this trip has changed/will change you?” One member responded: “It gave me confidence to minister back home. It taught me how to just strike up a conversation with someone and ask about their needs.” What a great lesson.
We sometimes think that we have to know a lot of theology to talk to someone about faith. But this person learned its not about us and what we know, rather its about them and what they need. It starts with caring about them. Perhaps there is someone you know who just needs a listening ear.
Tags: Caring, evangelism
My mother had a brother, Carl Cook, who was killed at Iwo Jima in 1945. I knew little about him or his war experiences except that Mom said he was shot by a sniper. So I set out to research his life and his wartime experiences with the goal in mind of writing a book of his experiences. In addition to purchasing several vintage books recounting the day by day description of his unit’s progress, I ordered his military records from NARA (National Archives and Records Administration).
Because the government is very picky about who it releases personal information to, I had to state that I was the next of kin and that my purpose was to write a family history. I sent in two requests on different application forms to different agencies to be sure my request got through. I received the copies of records I was hoping for, along with an awesome surprise: an original official military photograph of my uncle just before departure. No one in the family had ever seen it before. What a blessing from Uncle Sam.
A month later I received a letter from the government saying that they could not grant my request because I did not prove I was next of kin. Go figure! This is a great example of two standards: one agent was caring about the family and shared, the other agent was caring about the records only and withheld. This reminds me of the difference between law and grace. What do you care about most?
Tags: Caring, World War II
Elmer Towns promoted an idea that many churches have built upon: Friendship Evangelism. He taught that before you had the right to talk to someone about their faith, you had to develop a friendship relationship with them. You do that by hanging out with them, playing with them, asking them questions about themselves that shows you care.
Our culture has made some negative turns in this area. The invention of the garage door opener has made it possible to drive out of your garage in the morning and drive into your garage in the evening, and never have to even see your neighbors. Some people moved into a new housing addition near my house named ‘Country Village’, and immediately put up a privacy fence to keep the country out.
Every house used to have a big front porch with a swing, now we build a back deck so we don’t have to meet people. Friendship is a dying art. You can’t go up to a stranger cold turkey and ask if they know Jesus. You must build a trust relationship with them. Once they believe you care about them, then they’ll let you into their real lives.
Tags: Caring, evangelism, friendship
Voltaire told of a king whose favorite horse was lost, so he offered a reward for finding it. Many wise men tried and failed, but a simpleton in his court found it and brought it back.
“How’d you do it?” asked the king. The man replied, “I thought, if I were a horse where would I go? Putting myself in his place, I soon found him!”
Jesus knows how we think, and that’s how he found you and I. Compassion is just putting yourself in the other person’s place!
Before Peter denied his Lord, Jesus said to him: “When you are converted, strengthen your brothers.” When grace touches your life, you should always reach back to touch another.
The heart of the gospel is that God loved us enough to come to where we were, so that we would love others enough to go to where they are.
Who will you have compassion for today?
Tags: Caring, compassion
A letter written in a childish scrawl came to the post office addressed to “God”. A postal employee, not knowing exactly what to do with the letter, opened it and read: “Dear God, My name is Jimmy. I am six years old. My father is dead and my mother is having a hard time raising me and my sister. Would you please send us $500?”
The postal employee was touched. He showed the letter to his fellow workers and all decided to kick in a few dollars each and send it to the family. They were able to raise $300.
A couple of weeks later, they received a second letter. The boy thanked God, but ended with this request: “Next time would you please deliver the money directly to our home? If you send it through the post office, they deduct $200.”
Rather than chuckling over the boy’s misunderstanding, let’s admire his faith. Would we have responded in confidence like that boy?
Tags: Caring, faith, prayer