Archive for the 'scripture' Category

“Giving to the needy” – in secret?…Herman could use a chess set

Last Wednesday we went back to the Amtrak bridge and found Herman at the same corner we found him exactly a week earlier. Herman agreed to go to lunch with us. We went to our usual place – Benjamin’s on 10th. Man, we had a really fun lunch with Herman. The guy is so fun to be around. Here are a few interesting things we learned about Herman…

  • He’s on a waiting list to get an apartment from the Wilmington housing authority.
  • He could use a good pair of jeans (waist 32 to 36 – he said the size after looking at us and sizing us up)
  • A pair of jeans will only last him about 2 weeks before they’re too old and dirty and need to be thrown out. (The 2 week thing on the jeans surprised me)
  • He needs a tarp to cover up his stuff. (He showed us a makeshift pile of his belongings. It was raining and everything he had was wet)
  • He plays chess as a hobby. (Ben’s going to give him a chess set)

Ben and I have been doing a lot of hanging around with ‘the needy’ over the last 7 months. And along the way we’ve been able to help our new homeless friends with more than just encouraging words. We’ve been sharing our street stories with friends, hoping that we can encourage others to get involved – because the need is great.

I’m feeling pretty good about the work that Ben and I have gotten ourselves into. I’m proud of the risks we’ve taken and I’ve discovered that it’s a ton of fun hanging out with homeless people. But I think God was sensing my pride, because he brought me into this passage…

Matthew 6 – Giving to the Needy (TNIV)

1 “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ in front of others, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

The phrase ‘do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing’ really struck me. That’s an amazing statement that gets at the heart of how we should help people. I don’t always give in secret.

Maybe giving shouldn’t be something that we keep track of just so it can show up as a deduction on our taxes. I’m not saying we shouldn’t claim our charitable giving on our tax returns, but it is challenging to keep my left hand from knowing what my right hand is doing while working in TurboTax….

In the end, there is a healthy secretive aspect to giving. I’m glad God brought me to this passage – He reminded me that all the good I do is for His glory and not my own.

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the abundant life (on a farm in Winnipeg)

combines in the distance

I love the King James Version of John 10:10

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Jesus came to bring the abundant life. Thinking of American culture I wonder if we’re off on his idea of abundance.

This past summer I spent some time farming with my brother-in-law and his family in Winnipeg. Darrell grew up farming, but now he has a day job but he still helps out during harvest. I had the chance to ride with Darrell’s dad on the combine, harvesting the early summer wheat. It was an awesome experience, I felt like a little kid.

Darrell’s dad and I talked for a couple of hours on the combine. He is retired now, and his oldest son runs the farm. He said something pretty profound, and it relates to the idea of abundance.

He said that farming has changed over the years. When he was farming, it was done for survival. But now it’s done for profit and it’s turned into big business. There’s no room for the small farmer and farms just keep getting bigger and bigger. He said the whole mindset has changed.

I wonder if that’s where we’ve gone even with our spirituality, and how we view abundance in our life. We’ve shifted from having enough, to turning a profit.

Our whole idea of the abundant life is so far off, that when we hear Jesus offering us the abundant life – our response is just confusion. We want the abundant easy life, filled with easy stuff.

Maybe we need to reclaim the word abundant, in a whole new way – so it has nothing to do with easiness and stuff.

Spiritual abundance is connecting with God in a complete way, that overflows into each corner of our lives. I hope I’m running after this idea and not chasing after profit in my life.

combine.jpg

combine2.jpg

 

farm

i feel like a tree

The trees on the east coast are amazing…I’m so looking forward to the fall colors. It’s strange, but I feel like a tree. figuratively. Let me explain.

I was born in a Wilmington hospital. I grew up in Wilmington, Delaware. My parents live in the same ranch house that my 4 siblings and I grew up in. Before we added on to our house, there were 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 5 kids and my parents. My brother and I shared a room through high school. The pile of clothes that piled up between our beds was a beautiful thing (except to my mom and sisters). I still live in Wilmington, Delaware. Libby and I had talked about moving a couple of years after we got married, before we had kids. But we didn’t. And now it doesn’t make sense to move. But we’re praying about it again. I feel like a tree with deep roots. There is always a Delaware connection to be found when you meet someone around here. And our kids are a couple of minutes from both sets of grandparents and we are so close to family and friends.

So I feel like a tree with deep roots, that’s about to be balled up and planted somewhere new. It sounds dangerous and a little scary. I admit, part of me does want to move – just to have a different view. But the rest of me absolutely does not. I know it will be hardest on Lib and the kids. Hopefully we’ll get planted in some soft soil and our roots will catch on quickly deep and strong in a new place.

Whether the scenery of our life changes or not, He is the true vine.

And His roots run deep enough.

tree kids

John 15 – The Vine and the Branches

1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

Psalm 1

1 Blessed are those
who do not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,

2 but who delight in the law of the LORD
and meditate on his law day and night.

3 They are like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

sell your life and give it to the poor

I went to a men’s breakfast last Wednesday, before we left for Dallas. I was reminded that there are only two things I can take with me when I leave this place.

  1. My faith
  2. how I’ve loved (deeds)

Deeds will not allow me into heaven, but scripture is clear that God will reflect on my life and how I’ve loved.

We studied two texts this morning…the rich young ruler and the rich fool.

The rich young rulers life was his wealth. I wonder if I can insert my ‘life’ for ‘wealth’. So it would read like this…

Give up your life, sell it and give it to the poor.

Luke 17:33

Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.

the idea of glory in scripture

i’d like to study the idea of glory in scripture.  the idea that God would share his glory, and that we can carry his glory

glory = heaviness = substance = true life

Psalm 91:1 (NIV)

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Romans 8:16-17

Today’s New International Version (TNIV)© Copyright 2001, 2005 by International Bible Society

16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

John Piper – session 4 @ Passion 07

Dealing w/the guilt of failure in the sexual life

Satan’s lie – because we fail sexually, we should settle for middle class mediocrity – dropping coin’s from our SUV’s, because we’re not worthy of God’s high calling

Words to use the morning after the failure

Substitutionary Atonement – whose hands did the nails go through, not yours – his…who’s warrant was on him, not his – but yours…

Col 2:14

Rom 8:3 – what the law could not do, God did.

Micah 7:8 – rejoice not over me o my enemy, when I fall… “trusting Christ to the hilt with gutsy guilt”

Col 2:15 – God disarmed the rulers…

The Bible wasn’t written to be misunderstood

Satan will not be able to destroy your dream

the hope to which he has called you

A friend shared this passage with me today….we were discussing where God is leading us…we talked about seeking His face in the midst of this battle we’re in…Ephesians 1:17-19

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

Today’s New International Version (TNIV)

© Copyright 2001, 2005 by International Bible Society


author – Terry Foester

I'm a family man at heart. I admit my world revolves around my wife Libby and our 3 hooligans...Eli, Eden and Silas. They are easy to love. I'm trying to learn to love the rest of you. I also like to ask questions.

Give Herman One Dollar

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