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Receiving Good Gifts

I have received a lot of good gifts lately.  Different groups come to Foundation For His Ministry’s home for needy children here in Oaxaca,Mexico to give.  They give generously of their time, talents, and treasure.  Recent groups  gave a lot of time in helping me to prepare an area for the planting of a soccer field.  They gave of their treasure in buying dresses and books for my daughters, peanut butter and brown sugar for my wife, and an umbrella for me.  Janelle, who works in the main office in San Clemente, California, visited the mission with Charla Pereau, the founder of FFHM, this week.  She knows I like magazines and the Civil War, and brought me super gift.  She brought me a National Geographic magazine all about the Civil War.  Perhaps the best gift that I, and all the staff members received, was a moving speech by the talented speaker, Charla, who just turned 81, and may have made her last trip to Oaxaca,Mexico.

A successful basketball coach once said something to the effect that it is a good day if you do three things; think, laugh and cry tears of joy.  Going along with that idea, I think someone gives a great talk if it makes me think, laugh and cry.  Every time Charla speaks publicly I do all three, and this time was no exception.  I thought deeply about FFHM’s commitment to making disciples as Charla spoke about the Mission Statement.  I laughed heartily when she told about her conversion to Christianity as a young lady, and how she ran home and exclaimed to her father that she was going to do great things for God.  He told her that God didn’t need her help!  Then she told her mom that she was going to do great things for God.  Her mom told her that she could begin by making her bed!  Finally, tears of sadness rolled down my face as she described  her first visit to a Mexican garbage dump and told of the pitiful situation of  children living there, scrounging around for food and stuff that they could possibly sell for a few pesos.  Then I cried tears of joy as she shared with us that the first group of kids to live at the home for needy children that her and her friends created, were rescued from a garbage dump in Ensenada, Mexico.

Charla's Family With My Family

Charla’s Family With My Family

More Blessed to Give Than To Receive

Jesus talked about giving good gifts.  In the Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 7:9-12), Jesus asked a question.  When your child asks for a piece of bread, do you give him a stone?  If your child asks for a fish, do you give her a snake?  Obviously no.  Jesus continues by saying that though we are evil, we know how to give good gifts to our children.  How much more will our heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him!

Our eyes light up at the prospect of getting good gifts from our heavenly Father.  He gives the best gifts!  He gives the most gifts!  He gives great gifts!  He loves us and wants us to be happy!  One of the best gifts our Father gives us is the ability to give good gifts to others.  In Acts 15:35 Paul says that Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  The word “blessed” can be translated “happy”.  Jesus is saying that you will be happier when you give good gifts than when you receive good gifts. Jesus goes on to say, in the Sermon on the Mount, that in “everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.”  If we like to receive good gifts, we need to give good gifts.

A-S-K

But we need to A-S-K.  Ask, Seek, Knock.  Jesus said in Matthew 7:7,8, “Ask and it will be given to you;  seek and you will find; knock and the  door will be open to you.”  In context, I believe one of the things Jesus is telling us to do, is to Ask God what good gifts can we give today, and to whom.  Then we Seek to find the ways and means to implement the giving of the gift.  Finally we Knock, which is the actual giving of the gift.  For example, one day I was asking God what else he wanted me do here as part of the ministry  in Oaxaca.  I sensed that he wanted me to teach English and share the Gospel at the prison across the street.  So I asked and received an answer.  Next was to seek.  I had to seek permission from the administrator of the home for needy children here, then I had to seek permission from the prison  warden, then I  had to seek curriculum that I could use to teach ESL (English as a second language).   I did the seeking and found what I needed to proceed.  Next was to Knock.  The day finally came when I stood before the huge metal doors of  the prison and actually knocked on it.  A prison guard opened the door and I went to the classroom and gave the good gift of English and the Gospel.

Good gifts. It makes us happy to receive them, and even happier to give them.  Let’s glorify God today by asking our Father what gifts we should take out of our bag of Time, Talents and Treasure and give away.  Let’s seek what we need to implement the giving.  Finally, Give the Good Gift!  Knock on the door of someones’ room, someone’s house, or someone’s heart and GIVE.

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Foundation for His Ministry is a mission whose purpose is to glorify God by making disciples of Jesus Christ. To this end we share and demonstrate God’s love through the power of the Holy Spirit by meeting basic spiritual, physical and educational needs of those in Mexico and beyond. This will be done in such a way as to establish the Mission as a model of effective ministry for other parts of the world.           Mission statement of Foundation For His Ministry