Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amit′tai, saying, “Arise, go to Nin′eveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.
“Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life?
“Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.” – Titus 3:14
Sunday lunch is a fun time for our family. We love to go and enjoy quality time together after worship and before preparing for the adventures of the coming week. It was on a Sunday, while we were out for lunch, that a person at the table next to us did something that caught my wife’s attention.
I remember when automatic garage doors began appearing in neighborhoods. My grandmother thought they were evil. In her words, “Automatic garage door openers will be the ruination of America! People will come home from work, drive into the garage and shut the door. Neighbors will no longer talk to neighbors.” In a way, my grandmother was correct! I’ve lived in neighborhoods where I’ve seldom seen those who’ve lived within a few yards. You may be thinking, “is that really a bad thing?” But think about this; if you went outside and screamed, would anyone come to help?
Not long after we had just moved into our house, we were in our front yard, taking a good look at our front flower beds. As we were taking a look around, our next-door-neighbor came out of her house to introduce herself to us. We had a nice conversation as we stood in our yard on a beautiful June day. We were not long into our conversation with our new neighbor when she asked us, “Do you have a church?”
Kindness… one of the most talked about lessons in our household. My husband, Jeffrey, and I often discuss how we can teach kindness to our sweet daughter, Carter gal, through our own actions every day. There are little things we do to be an example to her, like holding a door open for a stranger, giving people a smile, or saying ‘thank you’ often. However, this last April, Jeffrey signed himself and Carter up to deliver Mobile Meals one Saturday a month – really putting “loving your neighbor” into action. I assumed Carter would go along, as Saturdays are her “Carter/Daddy Day.” What I did not see coming was how impactful it would be for both of them.
Lito Mason was in a local retail store shopping for some new shoes. He was minding his own business when he overheard 11-year-old Zach and his mother talking about a new pair of tennis shoes. Zach desperately needed a new pair, but his mom, a single mother of two, did not have a great deal of money to spend. Zach assured his mother he did not want to spend a lot of money, but he really needed a new pair of shoes because the soles of his tennis shoes were falling off.
And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered right; do this, and you will live.”
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers” – Ephesians 1:16
My daughters love the animated movie, The Tale of Despereaux. This is a great movie based on the book of the same title by Kate DiCamillo. The book features a mouse (which becomes a hero of sorts) named Despereaux, a princess named Pea, and a rat named Roscuro. These three character’s stories are brought together by soup.