January 3 – Mighty Mites



One of my dearest friends in the whole world and his precious wife have found themselves in a tremendous battle. To some, their situation looks pretty tough. But I tell you, there’s nothing like hard times to bring to light those who truly love you and stand with you.

My buddy’s the sort of guy that served his country, paid his dues, and wouldn’t ask anybody for a single penny. He believes in hard work and helping others. So, when he found himself swimming upstream and holding on to his wife’s hand for dear life, it was all he could do to keep his head above water.

Well, out of the blue, people from where he works started strategizing on how they could get involved and help remove some of the financial burden. They started collecting change in mason jars! Now, I am told that a pint-sized mason jar might hold $30 or more of random change. That doesn’t seem like a lot when you are talking about serious medical bills.

But it is an extravagant amount when you consider why people would give. My own children, when hearing about the jars, filled their own share. All because they, like everyone else involved, wanted to let my friend and his wife know they were not in this fight alone.

After the fact, I couldn’t stop thinking about the power of the widow’s mite in Mark 12. Often, I viewed this passage as a plus for the “have not’s” and a minus for the “haves.”  But that all changed for me. No, I began to see that Jesus was showing the disciples the power of “from the heart” giving.

The widow didn’t have a lot of surplus when it came to money.  But her heart said, “It’s the least I can do to give what I have to the Master for His service.” And it is that spirit, I am convinced, that I have witnessed in these precious souls pouring out their change for my buddy. So, today, may you and I be most encouraged. Whether our giving is big or small, when it comes from the heart, it is extravagant in the eyes of God.  

Sitting across from the offering box, he was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions. One poor widow came up and put in two small coins-a measly two cents. Jesus called his disciples over and said, “The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave  what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford-she gave her all.” Mark 12:41-44 (MSG)

Biblical Meditation: Mark 12      

December 9 – Warning: Blabbermouth Ahead!

He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; therefore associate not with him who talks too freely. Proverbs 20:19

Once upon a time there were four preachers. All served different congregations in four different denominations. They felt it necessary to know one another, seeing they lived in the same town and were in the same line of work.

After getting together each week for a couple of months, they decided to take a day and go fishing. The day was amazing! Each of the men caught his limit, they laughed like none of them had in forever, and wouldn’t you know it? They let their hair down.
“Guys, this has been one of the best days of my life! Thanks a million,” one of them spoke up. “And I feel really comfortable with you guys…so I wonder if you all wouldn’t mind praying with me about a struggle I’ve been battling for some time?”

All the men nodded and chorused, “You bet!” So he poured out his heart. And a second chimed in his relief to finally have a group he could confide his struggles.

This went on for hours and all the men shared back and forth and talked freely and candidly until…the one who had shared very little looked as if he would be sick. “Buddy, you ok? You are among friends and there is nothing you face, feel, or fear we won’t understand. We are not here to judge you, but to stand with you, no matter what.”

At this, he sighed and wiped his brow. “That’s so good to know. Because my weakness is gossiping and I can’t wait to get home and tell everybody what happened here today!”

That joke is funny if you have never been the person who shared your heart in order to heal, only to find that the person you told had loose lips and did not understand confidentiality.

In cases of legality, we have an obligation to act appropriately, but most breaches of trust have nothing to do with broken laws…just lack of consideration of the damage tale-bearing can cause.

In all honesty, most of us have felt the blade of that double edged sword and have scars to prove. And today’s proverbial wisdom reminds us to keep our mouths shut about other folks affairs and be very sparse with whom we share our trials.

That’s what real friends are for!

Gossips can’t keep secrets, so never confide in blabbermouths. Proverbs 20:19 The Message Bible