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    Compassion Reflects Overflowing Joy in the Lord

    One of the most amazing verses in the whole Bible is 2 Corinthians 8:2! Paul, writing to the Christians living in southern Greece, discusses the offering being collected by the Christians in northern Greece for those suffering terrible hardship in Jerusalem. “Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.” Oh, my, that is so radical! Extreme poverty giving generously? Those early Christians are an amazing example to all believers, including you and me, of the dynamic difference that God’s grace can make in the mindset of His people when it comes to provision. Gratefully receiving and generously giving comes from…

  • Seeds spilling out of a cup onto a saucer

    Leave it

    As a young Christian in college I was challenged to ask God to provide a specific amount of money so I could pass it on to a ministry or mission and experience the joy of being a conduit for God’s generosity. I stepped out hesitantly and asked God to give me $15 so I could give it toward a friend’s mission support. Then I watched and waited. Only a few weeks letter I received a valentine’s card from my stepmother (who never wrote to me). It contained a check for $15. Later, in our early marriage, my husband and I decided to ask God to overfill our cup by $100…

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    Praying for America with Franklin Graham in SC: Frustrated but Hopeful

    Undeterred by the 40° weather, we stand in front of the South Carolina capitol, thousands of us, joining Franklin Graham to pray for our nation. It's the fifth stop on his Decision America Tour to all fifty capitols.     No other speakers. No political endorsements.    The only piece of campaign literature I see is underfoot.   The head of Samaritan’s Purse relief agency and the son of Billy Graham says, “I don’t have any hope for the Democratic Party.” And as Republicans begin to high-five each other he continues, “I don’t have any hope for the Republican Party. Or the Tea Party. Or any party. I don’t see…

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    Responding to the South Carolina Flood

    The rains from Hurricane Joaquin wreaked catastrophic damage on South Carolina and its residents earlier this week. 771 trillion cubic inches of water have fallen within its borders. That translates to 12 trillion liters, or 21 trillion 20-ounce bottles such as the ones people drink from every day. That’s an epic amount of water to fall in about three days over just 32,000 square miles. The description “of biblical proportions” has been used by media to help viewers and readers get a sense of the scope of this disaster. But even as the floodwaters recede, the heartbreak continues and the danger increases. Homes destroyed, people killed, and dams on the…

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    A Season of Selfless Giving?

    This Christmas I am convicted by my own selfishness.    As I think of Jesus’s gift—God laying aside heaven and the worship due him to come to earth for us—I realize that my gift-giving bears little resemblance to his. Jesus emptied self while much of my giving costs me little. Apart from tangible family gifts, I do give time and money to our church and ministries throughout the year, but not to the extent that Jesus did—thinking of others before himself.   I am faced with this question: am I giving anything that really costs me anything precious and valuable?    I give money to God’s kingdom work, but I…

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    A Grace-Filled Gift

    Something happens to a child in need when they receive an unexpected Christmas gift. The sparkle of glittering wrapping paper distracts the hardness of life even if it’s just for a little while. The satin bow adds hope and laughter. Smiles replace hopelessness and joy comes like the first snow in winter. Forget opening the gift. Holding it means someone loves you!     I should know, because it happened to me.   One of my favorite Christmases of all times involves strangers, lots of gifts and a turkey. To this day, I don’t know the folks responsible for the presents, the cans of yams and the big ‘ole turkey.…

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    Offering Time at The Rose of Sharon Church, Ktado, Kabwe, Zambia

    She could hardly move, the bent over elderly woman whose hip had thrust its way so out of joint that she needed a cane to walk.  Even then she could only inch her way forward. It was offering time at the Rose of Sharon Church in Kabwe, Zambia; the band was playing as the singers told of Elijah and the coming of salvation and how Jehovah saves. The offering basket is not passed among the people in most African churches. Instead they stream forward to put their contributions in at the front of the church, and that’s the way it is at the Rose of Sharon Church… 0