Saturday, July 24, 2010

Learning to Love Well!!

Isaiah 58:5 -11 (God has brought this section to me in 3 different situations in one week, none were related -- think the Spirit is speaking!!)

Isn't the fast I choose:
To break the chains of wickedness,
to untie the ropes of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free,
and to tear off every yoke?

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
to bring the poor and homeless into your house,
to clothe the naked when you see him,
and to not ignore your own flesh [and blood]?

Then your light will appear like the dawn,
and your recovery will come quickly.
Your righteousness will go before you,
and the LORD's glory will be your rear guard.

At that time, when you call, the LORD will answer;
when you cry out, He will say: Here I am.
If you get rid of the yoke from those around you,
the finger-pointing and malicious speaking,

and if you offer yourself to the hungry,
and satisfy the afflicted one,
then your light will shine in the darkness,
and your night will be like noonday.

The LORD will always lead you,
satisfy you in a parched land,
and strengthen your bones.
You will be like a watered garden
and like a spring whose waters never run dry.

Deuteronomy 15:7-11
"If there is a poor person among you, one of your brothers within any of your gates in the land the LORD your God is giving you, you must not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Instead, you are to open your hand to him and freely loan him enough for whatever need he has. Be careful that there isn't this wicked thought in your heart, The seventh year, the year of canceling debts, is near, and you are stingy toward your poor brother and give him [nothing]. He will cry out to the LORD against you, and you will be guilty. Give to him, and don't have a stingy heart when you give, and because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you do. For there will never cease to be poor people in the land;that is why I am commanding you,You must willingly open your hand to your afflicted and poor brother in your land."

The weekend of July 17-18 the Hope shepherds and wives had a retreat together. We all pitched in and organized to have a speaker and food and the Mills hosted our gathering in their home. Daniel put together some structure for us to benefit from prayer and discussion time. We also went through the Hope member directory and caught each other up on what is happening in their lives. We are all prayerful about each one of the sheep and it was refreshing to be able to speak of each member to each other!!

Mark Hewitt of Love and Care Ministry in Abilene spoke to us. After spending the morning with Mark, I continue to pray that I never look at a homeless or poor person the same. I really want to work on having a snack pack available in our car at all times to hand out. Just this week I was reminded by my niece that my parents' love for her is what makes her know there is a God. Our love toward the homeless and poor may have the same impact. The Lima Team has been using a phrase that keeps coming back to me - you have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you (John Bunyon). I have even thought of this as I have been reading The Hiding Place. We have so many opportunities to love others well. Daniel and I have so enjoyed the others God has put us with to shepherd our group in Abilene.

Daniel and Cathie, Mark, Laura and KB, and Mitzi and Foy.

On Friday night, July 23, we enjoyed a party celebrating our sweet friend, Kelli Bryant. She is currently studying at Oxford University. but came through Abilene with her parents. Many from Hope gathered to hug and listen to her stories, eat and laugh!!

1 comment:

mad4books said...

Thank you, Cathie!! Great post. God has been so generous to us, and I certainly need reminding that money & things are relative. (One of His greatest gifts to me was the HOPE church--Kelli, Amanda, Shannon, Swinney, Lloyd, the Driskells, the Hines, the Christiansons, and so many others...getting to know these people is like unwrapping presents!)

Confession: Yesterday I was all worried about how to pay the plumber and how it cost nearly $600 to spring my car out of the shop...and all grumbly because I'm working THREE jobs at the moment...and then a fellow teacher reminded me that an American who works 40 hours a week at *only minimum wage* is among the world's richest 12%. Turns out, I'm one of the wealthiest people in this entire world!!

How dare I worry and dare I be stingy or inhospitable!! Please remind me of this when I get all crazy about making ends meet!