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A Christ Message for Every Day

Over time, receiving little to nothing in response to my giving and openness has led to a distancing of my heart from the giving and services I offer. The below series of emails has cracked the shield around my heart today. It has warmed the coldness that sits like a bottomless pit in my chest.

I fully and thankfully receive the Christ in the call, the message and the process. And I humbly submit to you to consider giving where your gift(s) will make the most difference. What may be a small consideration for you, may impact another’s life greatly. In this process and cycle of giving and receiving, both parties experience God’s abundant supply.

Be blessed as you go, and in all you do, be sure to be a blessing.

Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2015 5:12 PM
Subject: Giving Opportunity from the Homeless Clinic
Dear Volunteers,
The Homeless Clinic (HC) is seeking a one-time donation for our formerly homeless client to be able to buy a Christmas present for her severely autistic son. Our client lost her mother in November. Not only is she devastated because her mother was a major source of emotional support, but our client used her very limited savings and borrowed money to pay for her mother’s funeral. Now she is without funds to pay for a Christmas present for her son.
If you would like to make a small, one-time dollar donation (no donation is too small) for this HC client before the end of Monday, December 21st, please respond to this email. Funds raised are not tax deductible and will be given to this client on a gift card. As always, we thank you for all you do on behalf of our homeless clients. Happy holidays.
Most sincerely, Program Coordinator
Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2015 6:55 PM
Subject: RE: Giving Opportunity from the Homeless Clinic
Hi, I can make a donation. Do you want PayPal, cash, check or card? I can do $50 so she can have something left over hopefully.
Happy holidays and all the best, A Volunteer
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2015 9:53 AM
Subject: RE: Giving Opportunity from the Legal Clinic for the Homeless
Hi LaShawnda,
Thank you so much for your kind generosity. Please either drop off or mail a check. We appreciate all you do for our clients. Happy holidays to you and yours.
Program Coordinator
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2015 9:59 AM
Subject: Thank You from the Homeless Clinic
Due to the fantastic response from our wonderful HC volunteers, we are no longer accepting donations. Thank you to all who responded to help make this Christmas season special for this HC client and her son. We appreciate all that you do for our clients. Have a restful holiday season.
Kind regards, Program Coordinator
Sent: Tuesday, December 22, 2015 11:18 AM
Subject: Thank you!
Dear Ms. Jones,
It is such a pleasure to know that you took time out of your schedule to think about [my son] and I in our time of grief during this holiday season.
We are both struggling with the passing of my mother, and when I was informed by the Homeless Clinic that we were chosen for a special wish list to get us back on our feet I was overwhelmed with Joy. [They] pushed for overnight passes when we were in shelter so that my son could be with his Grandma due to their close bond. [My son] is devastated by her passing, and I know he will need some sensory items to keep him busy. God Bless you because you are a true Angel. Our Christmas will be difficult without Grandma, but it will be so much better. Thank You from the bottom of my heart, you are a life changer.
All the best, The Client
Sent: Tuesday, December 22, 2015 11:39 AM
Subject: RE: Thank you!
Dear Client,
My deepest condolences to you and your son during your time of grief and hardship. The kindness and thoughtfulness of your note has brought me to tears and has a great effect on my heart. So many take so much for granted that my giving has become somewhat grudging. That is not a space I ever want my heart to be in. Thank you for responding so generously. It means a great deal to me.
May you find comfort in your storm. May your heart be at peace in your valley. May you and your son never be without the knowledge and awareness of your mother’s deep love for you and the everlasting love our Heavenly Father has for you both. May you be forever blessed wherever you go, even in the darkness of all your nights.
With love and grace, A Volunteer

“These things did not really come from me and my people.
    Everything comes from You;
    we have given You back what You gave us.
We are like foreigners and strangers,
    as our ancestors were.
Our time on earth is like a shadow.
    There is no hope.
Lord our God, we have gathered all this
    to build your Temple for worship to You.
But everything has come from You;
    everything belongs to You.
I know, my God, that You test people’s hearts.
    You are happy when people do what is right.
I was happy to give all these things,
    and I gave with an honest heart.
Your people gathered here are happy to give to You,
    and I rejoice to see their giving.
Lord, You are the God of our ancestors,
    the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Make Your people want to serve You always,
    and make them want to obey You.
Give my son Solomon a desire to serve You.
    Help him always obey Your commands, laws, and rules.
Help him build the Temple
    for which I have prepared.”

~ 1 Chronicles 29:14-19

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What really matters in the end…

I am not one to admit to having favorites within my family. There’s a great deal of jealously on both sides and I learned early on that what I did for one person, I had to do for others. Most especially for my two grandmothers, who had the wonderful foresight (or cunning) to be neighbors for the majority of my life. From the age of five, I have been a visiting granddaughter “from out-of-town”, and as such, my grandma time has been split almost consistently down the middle during my visits to my hometown. Morning at Grandma B’s, evening at Grandma S’s. First night at Grandma S’s, second night at Grandma B’s. If I needed a tie-breaker (or just a break!) – I ran to my aunt’s house for relief. Don’t get me wrong, the reason I was so diligent in dividing my time between my grandmothers was because of my love and respect for them both. I had no desire for either to ever think they weren’t a priority to me. I don’t remember the content of all our conversations, but we always talked. My time with both of them consisted of me just sitting with them in their space, sharing conversation, watching their TV programs with them, me reading and them doing their own thing. I was also their occasional errand girl, driver to doctor visits, personal shopper, etc. I did whatever was needed during my time with them.

Grandma S passed away in mid-December 2012. The last time I had visited with her in her home – when it was just her and me – was sometime in 2004. After that, it was mostly urgent visits to the hospital with family and doctors telling me it was her “last days”. Thinking of it in this way, for nearly eight years, we were in her last days…. I received another such urgent call the last week of November. My aunt told me through her sobs that my grandmother was asking for me and I had to come “now”. I managed to get across the country to her bedside within 36 hours or so. I will tell you, we had been in a nearly fifteen-year stretch of urgent calls and emergency hospital visits for Grandma S. Part of me didn’t think this would be the last time I would see her alive; she had continued to live despite what her doctors predicted time after time for so many years. But my spirit knew better. My spirit wanted to share Jesus Christ with her. I can’t recall ever discussing faith or religion with Grandma S. That wasn’t one of our topics. We talked sports, we talked school, we talked work. In more recent years she wanted to know if I had met someone. I would teasingly respond that she had to keep holding on because my man hadn’t come for me yet.

When I got to her bedside, I could only look at her, kiss her repeatedly and tell her over and over again that I love her. After a bit of that and concern that the attention was a bit much, I sat with her until she fell asleep. Then I took out my journal and my box of Christmas cards that had been in my bag for over a month. The first card went to her. This is what I wrote:

December 1, 2012

My Dear Grandma Stuart,

I can’t remember the last holiday season we shared time, but I certainly never thought the next holiday season we came together would be in a hospital – you in bed & me at your side praying for the peace of Jesus Christ to fill you and the breath of the Holy Spirit to soothe and comfort you. We’ve never spoken of spiritual matters, but I asked God to take you in hand and hold you close. I now ask you to receive His Grace, receive His offer of Salvation, receive His Son Jesus Christ into your heart – welcome Him with your voice. I love you so very much. It’s a comfort to me & it should be to you to know that God loves you so much more. He is here for you & He brought me to your side.

Love you always,


Grandma S

When she awoke, I read the whole card to her – the pre-written message and my personal note. I asked her if she understood and she nodded. I didn’t want to push her beyond that, but I did feel confident that I had delivered the message I was meant to deliver. I sat by her bed most of that day praying, journaling, writing, and thinking. Paramount in my thoughts was the fact that I couldn’t remember much from a lifetime of conversation with my grandmother, but I knew the one thing we had never talked about was the only thing I wanted to share with her before she departed. It is truly well with my soul that I was there to do so. She passed away two weeks later.

In the end, all that mattered was that I was able to hug and kiss her one last time and tell her that all my love for her was nothing compared to God’s love for her.

May she rest in eternal peace.

Related posts:

“Beloved, your life matters to me.”

I Love You, But God Loves You More

What if today were your last day on earth?

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It’s the willingness that counts

In overcoming some challenges in relationships that my stubbornness has contributed to, I’ve noticed that the Door opportunitysituations did not get better when I got my way or when the other person got theirs. For me, the situation always got better when I became WILLING to set aside my pride, my wants, my point of view, my needs, and my issues for the benefit of the relationship. Whenever I am willing to meet the other person where they are, I then become able to overlook my own agenda in any dispute. The result is: the hardship or disagreement stops being a challenge. What was previously a sore spot in a relationship becomes a doorway – an opening to new opportunities, different perspectives, previously unthought of possibilities.


Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.  ~  2 Corinthians 8:11-12, NIV

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Excerpt: You Must Believe to Understand

Introduction to The Process of Asking for, Receiving and Giving Love & Forgiveness

[F]or you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.  ~1 Peter 2:9, 11-12

The most difficult tasks involved in writing The Process of Asking for, Receiving and Giving Love and Forgiveness were deciding to whom to address the text and to maintain that focus throughout the book.

My questions to “self” consisted of: Am I writing to the people who love, or to the people who are loved? Am I addressing the repentant at heart, or the unrepentant? Should I focus on those who have forgiven, or those who have received forgiveness? Is this work ultimately for people who believe in God, His Son Jesus and His Holy Spirit, or for those who don’t believe at all?

The answer from “self” was: everyone represents, has represented or will represent each of those characteristics at any given point of their life.

This book is a tool to be used in working out love, repentance and forgiveness issues in human relationships through the examples God has provided. Those relationships could be with parents, siblings, spouses, other family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors or community members. There are many relationships during the course of our lives through which we have to navigate our way. Some of those relationships fail and die because one or both parties involved are unfamiliar with the process of love, repentance and forgiveness. Love, repentance and forgiveness are more than just words that you speak and forget about. Love requires action. Repenting mends the love you hurt. Forgiveness is a loving response to the attack on love. They are all choices. Asking is involved. Receiving is necessary. Giving is the only way each is shared.

The Process of Asking for, Receiving and Giving Love and Forgiveness is a work by a Christian woman who has chosen to purposefully sow into the Kingdom of Heaven. My goal with this book is to speak directly to anyone with eyes, ears and a heart open to see, hear and receive the truth of the Word of God. The majority of Biblical scripture used in this volume is addressed to Believers from the mouths and pens of Jesus and His Disciples.

The Holy Bible is a Teacher’s Manual full of instructions telling Believers (a.k.a. Teacher Aides) how to conduct themselves… and how to show God to other people. Believers are commissioned to teach the world by showing nonbelievers God’s ways through their mode of living and their treatment of others. The Father’s process is very deliberate!

The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.  ~ 2 Peter 3:9-10

This knowledge encouraged me to address Believers and nonbelievers alike. My hope is that the Believer will be encouraged, edified and strengthened; and that the nonbeliever will be exposed to a truth they can no longer deny and will begin to pursue.

What does it mean to “believe”?

God’s word is locked. His secrets are hidden. His word does not make sense to everyone. He does not reveal knowledge and understanding to all of Creation. But those He call His children are permitted to know His secrets and understand His ways through His Spirit.

How do you become a Child of God?

You must believe on and receive the One He sent – Jesus Christ the Messiah.

We must have confidence in and be convicted of God’s existence. That’s how we believe. By believing in His existence, we can then believe in His works.

He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize Him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected Him. But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn — not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.  ~ John 1:10-12

Having faith is another way of expressing belief in God. Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is the confidence that our hopes will manifest and it assures us about the things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:6 further explains:

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.

Again, this may not make sense to a nonbeliever, but then again a nonbeliever wouldn’t be reading this if they weren’t seeking truth. So, if that’s you, keep on reading!

For the Believers, this may be elementary, but a review never hurts anyone. So, you keep reading as well!

Do you believe God?

You acknowledge that God exists, but do you have enough confidence in His existence to obey His Word? To believe God is to accept what He says as true. He doesn’t allow picking and choosing or alternating between a straight walk and a zigzag. If you claim to believe in God, but you do not believe what He says in the Bible (His Word), then you do not really believe God. God and His Word are one. “The Word” is also another name for Jesus Christ. God and Jesus are one. If you believe God, you will believe and obey His Word. If you do not believe what God says directly or through Jesus, it is God Himself you are disbelieving and rejecting. (Yoonu Njub, 1998)

But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in Him you will have life by the power of His name.  ~ John 20:31

How to become a Believer

If you desire to become a child of God, a Believer, one of God’s chosen people, a member of His royal priesthood and holy nation, then simply do so. All that is required is that you follow His instructions. If you desire to become one of God’s very own possessions and heed His call by walking out of the darkness of the world and into His wonderful eternal light, then you have only to believe in your heart and speak with your lips the words of Romans 10:9-10, and ask the Father to be your Teacher and Guide for everything He wishes for you to learn on your spiritual walk with Him.

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in Him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on Him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  ~ Romans 10:9-13