Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Wednesday's Review

First off, I need to take care of some quick business... I want to welcome some new visitors to Kisses of Sunshine that joined in yesterday: Shalee from Shalee's Thoughts, Heather from Heather's Roller Coaster Ride, and Anne Glamore from Tales From My Tiny Kingdom. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you come out of lurkdome frequently!!!

Next, I wanted to share a new phenomenon about the blog world... you develop friendships ... you learn to care about each other... and you worry about them when "stuff" is going on... like the tornadoes, the fires, etc. So -- Shalee -- thanks for checking in. It's good to know you and your family are safe and just fine!

Now ... it's myyyyyy turn!!! Wow! Again, I am truly amazed at all the wonderful comments. I love having Tuesday be "your day" -- it really adds so much to MY day! I check back regularly during the day to see all the new comments, and trust me when I say, it is TOUGH for me to keep my mouth shut and my fingers still ... but there is truth and power in the verse that says ... "Be still and know that I am God" (Ps. 46:10a) in more ways than one ... yes, it is important for us to be still and know that He is God... but it is also important to be still and listen to what others have to say because then, when we listen, we realize that He is God and it becomes even more alive! I sure hope that made some sense, because in my small brain, it did ...

So ... FIRST OF ALL ... I totally need to clarify that the author of this quote is Jim Elliott... not Bill Elliott. I'm not sure what happened to my fingers as I was typing... lets just call it a Brain Toot. But I think it's hilarious that Momma M thought of Bill Gates... how appropriate! I wonder how easy it would be for him to give everything away? It seems like the more we have, the more it hurts, doesn't it?

Quote: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."

The first thing that went through my mind was a post that Shannon, from Rocks in My Dryer put up a while ago... She was talking about being addicted to convenience (in other words... all our "stuff"), and about keeping her eye on the prize, and she shared this scripture... "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (Matthew 19:24) -- Ain't that the truth?

Think about it. Let's say you wrote down all the things you have that you rely on... computer, dishwasher, hair dryer, car, washer & dryer, etc. Then, try folding up that piece of paper as small as you can, and try threading it through the eye of a needle. I don't know about you, but if you were to look at my list, it would be IMPOSSIBLE to thread it through even a tapestry needle, which has a pretty big eye!

These are all earthly things ... and honey ... trust me when I say ... you will NOT be taking them with you when it comes time to meet your maker! So, why do we hold on so tightly to them? Okay ... so maybe you're not going to give away your computer, your dishwasher, coffee maker, etc. But the point really is ... are we willing to give up our earthly possessions for our heavenly rewards? Are we willing to help others with our money, our time, and other things we hold on to so dearly? I would like to say that yes -- I am willing. But the fleshy part of me will whine and complain the entire time. How spiritual is that? Sorry... but it's the truth. I'm human. And I'm being honest here.

But ... I know first hand that the blessing you get in return for the less selfish act of giving of your self, your money, and your possessions, is far greater than the actual "thing" you were holding on to. After all ... God is the one who gave me everything I have in the first place! And as Sarah Grace pointed out ... this man ... Jim Elliot ... gave away a whole lot more than his earthly possessions. He gave away his life. Man! That's a brave person, right there, folks. That's a person secure in his relationship with Christ! I think I would be cowering, crying, and fleeing. I'm much more comfortable giving my jacket to a homeless person (than my life), because it's "safe."

A few months ago, I read a story about a woman named Carol Kane. She founded The Mustard Seed Furniture Bank in Florida back in 1984 out of her garage. She financed everything herself, and she and her family did all the work. Her dream was to help one homeless family per month that was starting over again and needed furniture. Then, a couple years later, several things happened. She moved into a warehouse, and a few weeks later, her husband was laid off from his job. He told her that the only way they would be able to continue this ministry was if they sold their home. And without a moment's hesitation, she did just that. Sold her own home so that she could help others. Huh. I'm not sure I could be so generous! But, her ministry has been so blessed. It has grown beyond what her wildest imagination of this minstry could have been. And the thing that struck me the most was... she was willing to become homeless herself, and give up everything she had to help other people. To me... she is a living example of holding her hands open to receive what God wanted to give her, and she also held them open to give back to others.

And just for the record... I absolutely LOVE what Peaches said... and I had never thought of it that way... It deserves repeating because it's another way to look at that quote: "...I also think it applies in how I treat my children. If I give of my time, effort and energy -- pouring my life into theirs-- I am essentially multiplying my life and sending them out to tell others about the Lord, too. The end result is eternal. "

I guess that the mom in me really relates to that. It's a win/win situation, really... and it's teaching your children to give of themselves!

Thank you all for participating in Tuesday Toss-up. As usual -- y'all just blew me away! And HolyMama -- I hear ya! Sometimes I have to read, re-read, and re-read stuff again just to find the true meaning, and that's what's so great about Tuesday's Toss-up -- we get many viewpoints that help explain something that might be tough to understand.

I know this was a long post, and I thank you for reading through all my ramblings. Have a great and joyous day in the Lord... and give away something of yourself!


someone else said...

Good food for thought, GiBee. I love your Tuesday Toss-Up. (I think I said that last week, too, but it's still true).

"Be still and know that I am God." We must be on the same wave length today. I posted about that on my blog.

Kristen said...

It's hard to imagine giving up all worldly posessions if we were asked to do so. We don't realize how much we rely on all of those little things each day that seem so inconsequential. I know it would be extremely hard for me, and would I do it if I was asked to? Hard to say since I haven't been asked to, but I would hope I'd be willing. The story of the woman who sold her house for her cause is amazing. That is someone to look up to. Thanks for your thoughts today.

Stacey said...

Today is the first day I've visited your blog. What an amazing post for me to read. You said it all so clearly. I do rely on all my earthly 'things' so much. I'd also like to think that I could easily give them up to do the work of the Lord but it's so hard to know how you would really react until it happens.

Today I'm going to try to do something good for someone else and not think of me and my comfort zone. Thanks for the encouragement!!

GiBee said...

Stacey ... thanks for visiting Kisses of Sunshine! Stepping out of our comfort zone can be tough ... WAY tough ... but God is pleased with us when we do... which makes us have a little bit more courage the next time! I'm so glad that I was able to be of encouragement for you!

Morning Glory... you are so right on my wave length! And you know what? I love Tuesday Toss-Up , too!

Kristen -- you just don't know what a creature of comfort I really am! I LOVE my stuff and find it hard to let go. Maybe that's why when I finally do trust in God and let go of my stuff ... it's even more of a blessing to me. I hope I'd be willing to give it all up too!