Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Better to Give than to Receive

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““In this way we remember the Lord Jesus’ words: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” ”
Acts 20:35 (ceb)
Franklin sits on an empty milk crate on Fulton Street, a block down from my subway exit near the World Trade Center. I don’t know his whole story, but I’ve garnered bits and pieces: he is estranged from his son who struggles with some sort of addiction. His wife died a couple of years ago. He likes worshipping at a nearby church and drops in at another one to get a shower and a free meal.
He has a cardboard sign that says “God bless you” and a cup for donations, but he doesn’t do much to solicit funds. Most of the time he’s too absorbed in a small, well-thumbed copy of the New Testament and Psalms. I like talking to him about that because he reads carefully and loves God, which I find hard to imagine considering the life he leads.
“Rick,” he asked me one morning, thumbing through his Bible, “where does it say ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’? I think it’s in the book of Acts.”
“I’m not sure, Franklin,” I said. “Let me check my concordance at the office.”
Franklin was right. “It’s Acts,” I told him the next time I saw him.
I give him cash from time to time and things to read. Once I gave him a backpack with food, gloves, a parka, and a warm blanket, most of which were gone the next day. “What did you do with the stuff in that backpack I gave you?” I asked him.
“Gave it to a friend,” he replied.
I was surprised but only for a moment. After all, wasn’t it Franklin who reminded me where to find Jesus’s words about giving?
Digging Deeper:   2 Corinthians 9:7   
Lord, let me be the cheerful giver You know I can be.

From Daily Guideposts, 5/10/17

The above was my devotion this morning.  

It is right where my mind is as we begin our 7 days on duty this morning.
We had a great 7 days off, spending time with friends we call our Texas family, relaxing, sleeping reading, crocheting, fellowshipping with believers and just being immersed into God's love.

Last night as I laid in bed I thought about the coming week and what attitude I need to have as we re-enter the boys world.  Wednesdays are usually a hard day ~ we are learning about what has happened, we are bringing with us the expectation of a good week and praying we don't have any major mishaps during our week on.

We know this week will be busy with the regular stuff, picking kids up from school, taking boys early to school, new things like taking one boy early for church as he sings on the Praise Team, getting one boy to his job each day Friday to Sunday and then you throw in a special concert on Thursday night and figuring out new schedules and getting to know better the two newest boys in our unit...I hate that word - I need to start referring to our home as a home ~ we are not in an institution we are in a 
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We are currently reading "The Connected Child" by Dr. Karyn B Purvis.  It is such an eye opener as our boys here at MCH ~ we don't necessarily know all the details of their birth and early years yet so often we expect them to act/react/behave like our own boys that we raised since birth.  But when we stop, take a breath and open our eyes, we realize our boys here at MCH need all the things that our own boys received as babies ~ hugs, love, food, patience, understanding, nurturing, laughter, structure, expectations and consequences that they did not receive.

As I was reflecting this morning and then reading my devotion I was reminded that I just need to give our eight boys here at MCH the love and attention we so freely give to Jamie & Brandon and then to our five grandchildren, to encourage them to become the strong, healthy boys that God has made them and wants them to be.

Please join me in praying for our eight boys and us as we serve these boys and love on them like parents and grandparents should have from the beginning.

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