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  • Writer's pictureA Musing Pastor

Be Kind. The World Needs More Kind.

I. Am. Not. A. Hoarder!

I. Am. A. Pack. Rat!

I grew up around parents who would often say, "Hang on to that you never know when you might need it." I can attest that they both have instilled into me that character trait. Out of their frugal nature, they were able to help many friends and neighbors in need. The generosity of their soul was born out of a great appreciation for all things and the stewardship of those things. Both were born in 1931 and in the midst of the Great Depression. Both grew up on family farms that provided them with food out of the field and not from stores. They both understood back-breaking labor that made good things possible. I can still hear my dad say, "There is no substitute for good hard work." I guess dad would have scoffed at the new perspective of, "Work smarter not harder."! The image here is of a tube of toothpaste that I have been squeezing, coaxing, and cajoling to release its contents for about two weeks. (There is still at least two more days of tooth brushing joy yet to be realized....**insert toothy grin here**)

Why toothpaste? Well, it could be any product that we use and depend upon for daily living. Living in a "throw away" society has weakened us to a place where simple items have now become difficult to procure and or so expensive to buy. We depend upon so much that we used to take for granted.

Today is another day of anxiety and fear for many. I feel a disturbing knot in my abdomen and wonder what tomorrow will bring. Oh wait, today needs to be dealt with. As is usually the case, I find solace in God's word and today is no different. The book of James is akin to splashing alcohol based aftershave on a freshly shaved (scraped) face. Or applying hand sanitizer on hands with cuts and cuticle tears. Holy Snikeys!!!!!! Read these 17 verses. It will take about a minute or two at the most. It will set your heart straight and give you hope in an otherwise hectic day.

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,

To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings.

2 My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; 4 and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.

If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; 7, 8 for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

Let the believer who is lowly boast in being raised up, 10 and the rich in being brought low, because the rich will disappear like a flower in the field. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the field; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. It is the same way with the rich; in the midst of a busy life, they will wither away.

12 Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. 13 No one, when tempted, should say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil and he himself tempts no one. 14 But one is tempted by one’s own desire, being lured and enticed by it; 15 then, when that desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and that sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved.

17 Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Trials are a given. Temptations will arrive. Giving (generosity) is godly and most needed now more than ever. Be kind. The world needs more kind.

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