I Ran In The Rain…

Running n d rainI ran in the rain this morning.  Did I know that it was raining before I went out? Of course I did. I almost didn’t go because of it. I opened my garage door, looked to see if it was coming down really hard, stood there for a moment, closed the garage and went back into my house and sat in the living room waiting for the rain to subside.  I sat there for a few minutes, maybe 5 or 10, hoping it would stop but it didn’t. I got up and went back to the garage, opened the door and looked at it again, but this time I decided to just go. So I ran.

I had to run this morning.  During my devotional time, I thanked God for the rain. I told Him that He had put this love of the rain in me; I didn’t know why, but I feel deeply that He did. Also during my prayer time this morning, I remember asking God to cleansed me and revive in me a new spirit. I prayed for a washing of my mind. I asked Him to forgive anything in me that offended Him or anyone. Finally, I remember saying to Him to create in me a pure heart. (Psalm 51:10)

As I ran in the rain this morning, I could hear myself going back to what I journaled earlier. At one point I thought the rain was dying down, for a minute, it felt lighter. I smiled and thanked God for that. I stopped at a red light and as I stood there, I prayed again for a cleansing and a renewing of my mind.(Romans 12:2) All of a sudden, an outpour began. I laughed because I felt God was saying to me, “Here you are. Think of this as Me washing away the old; the old feelings, the old filth and creating you new this morning.”  I accepted that right then and there.

James 4-10You may not believe in God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit, but I do.  One thing that is foundational in my faith, is the need to repent and ask for forgiveness. To realize that He is in charge and not me. When pride, ego, and self, or should I say, selfishness, gets ahead of my commitment to Him, I have to remember to step back and acknowledge that as sin too. Thinking of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I become small (humble) as I stand in His presence.  The Word of God says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up.” James 4:10. So I pray for a more humble spirit and a clean heart.

Lord during this month of fasting, my He be exalted and we be humbled.

Generosity or Greed?

generousMany of us would like to think that we are generous and we would never admit to being greedy. Let’s face it; greed is such a distasteful word.

The Bible tells us “a generous person will prosper; the person who refreshes others will also be refreshed.” (Proverbs 11: 25).  I think we can measure whether we are generous or greedy.  I don’t mean at times you are generous; many are. What I mean is do you hold your “stuff” loosely?  Or do you hold on tight to your “stuff?” Your money, your time or even your skills and talents? Do others have to beg you for everything?

My husband is a generous giver; he has always been that way.  One lovely night, we were walking hand in hand, leaving a Hilton hotel heading to a 5 star restaurant when a woman came out of nowhere and walked right up to him and asked him for money for food. He did not hesitate. He just took money out of his pocket and handed it to her and we begin to walk hand in hand again to dinner. Not saying one word about what had just happened. I remember thinking that I would have never stopped and done that.

Another time I was in Washington, DC with a friend on a freezing cold night. We were driving onto the off ramp, when I noticed her feverishly digging in her purse and braking as she was slowing down on the ramp; I had no idea what was happening.  All of a sudden, she just stopped on the ramp and yelled “Hey, come over here and get this!” a homeless man was sitting on the railing on the ramp in the freezing cold and her goal was to feed and shelter him. Again, I was struck by her generosity.

After witnessing those two acts, for some reason I changed. I stopped thinkinggenerosity 2 the worst when people would stop me on the streets and ask for money or if I would see them on the corner with a sign. Instead of judging their situation, I started thanking God that He had blessed me so and I prayed for them as well as just hand them what I had in my purse.  I used to be good about thinking that people should go and find a job or I would think they are going to get that money and go and drink or buy drugs. I stopped doing that. Why? Because like the two people I witnessed up close and personal, it wasn’t for me to question. I was to do what God led me to do and watch how the person I gave to was blessed; ultimately I was too. Now, I won’t say that I give to everyone; I don’t. However, I do give more than I should probably, but that’s okay, God gives me more than He should also.

I have read that scripture in Proverbs several times. In the Message version, it reads:

                                      The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed ;those                                         who help others are helped.

You see we all benefit from being a little more generous. Not only do we help others, we also help ourselves in that we lose a little more selfishness each time we release something that we want to tightly hold on to.  In the process of developing generous habits, we become more Christ-like. We lovingly give to the poor, we take care of the elderly and orphans, and we enhance the world we live in.