“Give and it shall be given unto you, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will the Lord give to you.” Luke 6:38 [paraphrase]
[From a letter to my kids]
I’ve had more trouble with borrowing money from my Daddy. He’s loaned me money a few times, and he was always hitting me up about paying him back when I didn’t have it. We’ve two or three spells of almost permanent falling out. He’s gonna “chalk me off his list” over money?!?!?
On the other hand, Grandmommy has loaned me money over and over and never has even asked for it back. A few times I’ve tried to start paying her back, and she tells me to wait till I can really afford to.
I’ve heard stories about people loaning other people money, and then breaking their arms and legs when they didn’t pay on time. Little harsh if you ask me.
I like to give people money if I have it and they need it, and never expect a return of it. Then if they don’t pay me back, it doesn’t matter, because I wasn’t expecting it anyway. If they do pay it back, it’s gravy. Besides, God’s the One who is taking care of you. If you stick with God, He will stick with you.
This is my last post about “small groups for Jesus”, at least for the time being. I just have a few more comments to make.
1] In my opinion, small groups are like family; they’re not about enforcing rules, and everybody being disciplined; they’re about letting God’s love flow through you into other people. You may not believe this, but I’m convinced that almost every single person is acutely aware of their short-comings, and what they really need, on a regular basis, is encouragement and moral support. (I find a lot of support for this attitude throughout the Bible; call it grace and mercy) Small groups are, and should be, about sharing and expressing the fruits of the Spirit; and while self-control is one of the fruits and is therefore important to God and should be important to us; it is the very last thing on the list. Wonder why that is? (I don’t even know if there IS a hierarchy of the fruits, but I hear a lot more about love in the Bible than I do about self-control.)
2] One of the central, indispensible ingredients of a small group is trust. Continue reading →
There are a lot of “small” groups in the world, where people get together on a regular basis. I’ve been a member of a number of them, such as a foursome for playing golf every week. You get to know the guys. You enjoy their company. You tell jokes. You catch up on what’s happening in their world, how they’re getting along with their wives and their kids, their bosses and their employees. In a lot of cases you are closer to them than some members of their own families. And you have the benefit of a little fresh air and a little exercise. (very little) Maybe you have a beer in the 19th hole.
My mother had a long-standing relationship with a bunch of girls she formerly taught school with. They’d get together and play bridge every week. None of them were championship bridge players, but that wasn’t the point. The reason they got together was to share their lives with each other. When they were down they could call each other on the phone and get a little encouragement. When they were up they could have a special meeting to celebrate. You know it’s a great thing to have a husband and some kids to share your life with, but the girls in the bridge club are an indispensible part of a full life too. There’s just some things you can’t, or don’t want to, share with your husband. LOL Continue reading →
Dear John, I got your letter dated June 7. I’m very glad you wrote me. I can see from your letter that you are feeling pretty stressed about your situation, and I don’t blame you. I can tell that you are struggling with many things in your life, and I hope I can help you a little.
First, I certainly understand why people don’t attend church. They have a lot of other things on their minds and they kinda lose contact with the people they know in church, and then they don’t really have any reason to go. They don’t think they’re getting much out of it anyway, so why waste the time on it? I’ve been there many times in the past. Continue reading →