Tag Archives: Acts

Community Property

A man is called selfish not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor’s. ~Richard Whately

“I know you; I grew up down the road from your dad.”

I was at summer camp, volunteering as a counselor. She was many years my senior, but that didn’t stop her from teaching the next generation with energy and enthusiasm.

“Your grandma used to send food to us because my mother was ill. She even gave us shoes to go to school.”

I was blown away.

My grandparents had thirteen children. I’m not sure how they afforded to clothe their own kids, let alone the ones down the road. But their generosity was still remembered sixty or seventy years later.

I remember the professor’s wife who invited us to Thanksgiving dinner because she had once been far from home herself.

I remember the mother of a student who passed along clothes to my little guys because she had three boys of her own and knew how  quickly they can go through a pair of pants.

Even now I think of my neighbor who keeps our howling hound free of charge every time we leave town. She does it for the sake of love.

The early church had an opportunity. They were surrounded by people in need. Travelers, widows, sick neighbors, and the constant threat of famine were common drains on the community. Many of these problem people were ignored, shunned, or exiled.

But the church seized the opportunity and goodness spread.

The hospital movement owes its momentum to Christians. Orphanages developed as early as the fourth century because of Christians. Christians promoted leprosy communities, libraries, education, and safe living quarters.

What started as a small movement- share your possessions with others- became a hallmark of the Christian church.

What started as a meal and a pair of shoes for my grandma’s neighbor turned into a lifetime of serving others.

You may not think you are doing much today, but you never know where those offered shoes may travel.

Follow in the footsteps of those first Christians, wherever they may lead you. Because good deeds are remembered, and love is recognized.


I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:36-40 ESV

At the Speed of Time

Drive slow and enjoy the scenery – drive fast and join the scenery. ~Douglas Horton

We used to live in Arlington, Texas- 18.5 hours away from our families.

18.5 hours of driving. Non-stop.

Of course we did stop. We had two small children, and sometimes the dog came along, too. That was before the days of dvd players in vans, Waze or Google maps, even before cell phones for us.

The road seemed to get longer as we drove. Usually we took a day and a half to complete the drive, but a couple of times we drove straight through, making it in less than 24 hours.

Go ahead. Say it.

We were NUTS!

I know we couldn’t do that now. I get more restless than a toddler when I’m in the car: squirming, twisting, putting the seat-back up and down. It’s just too long.

Moses led the Israelites out of bondage, through the desert, and then turned them over to Joshua for safe-keeping. He told the people that there would be another prophet coming and they should listen to him.

About 1500 years passed.

Talk about a long drive.

So when Jesus’s disciples prophesied and performed miracles in his name, people were stunned. They couldn’t believe it.

They thought the ride was over a long time ago, but now- what in the world!?

Sometimes on those long car rides across the country, I fell asleep and woke up disoriented.

“What state are we in? Are we out of Tennessee, yet?”

The Israelites had fallen asleep along the way. They were waking up disoriented.

Don’t be too quick to judge, though.

Have you prayed over a sick friend and then cried in surprise when your prayers were answered? Maybe you thought there would never be a baby, but you asked God and asked God, and now the flu is a bad case of morning sickness. You’re so stunned you stare at the test results in disbelief.

Jesus has been gone a long time. There’s no doubt that the gas is low in the tank, and we feel like a nap. It’s easy to forget that he is still  driving the car.

Instead of pulling in the rest area, pull out your map- even if you use the digital version- and get your bearings again.

It’s the trip of a lifetime.


I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3-6 NIV

Growing and Giving

I try to live my life like my father lives his. He always takes care of everyone else first. He won’t even start eating until he’s sure everyone else in the family has started eating. Another thing: My dad never judges me by whether I win or lose. ~Ben Roethlisberger

If you give a mouse a cookie, you better have crayons and cleaning supplies handy, as well as a glass of milk.

It’s funny how one thing leads to another.

An old friend was bemoaning the state of her church and that “young people just don’t seem to care” about being involved in church life.

Many times what seems important to one person is brushed aside by others.

A Christmas pageant is planned and only half the children are involved. A community yard sale for charity is scheduled and not enough people participate to make it a success. An elderly couple’s home needs to be weatherized before winter and only the two oldest men in the congregation show up to help.

Our lives are so busy that it’s easy to pass by these opportunities. We have our own schedules, priorities, and problems.

What can be done?

The early church seemed to have an answer: eating and praising.

Sounds too simple, doesn’t it?

Yet, when we take time to eat with people, we also take time to talk. Talking leads to concern and compassion. That leads to reworking our schedules and serving others.

And THAT leads to encountering Christ.

So grab a plate of cookies and a glass of milk. It’s time to share Jesus with the world.


How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Romans 10:14-15 ESV