First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

Giving Back.

April 3, 2017

    "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38, NIV)

    We usually imitate what we have been taught. If a child is verbally berated, they will stoop to that level and be an angry person. If they are acknowledged for their effort and duly rewarded, they'll desire to perform with the utmost excellence. If one understands the value of good hard work, they'll appreciate those who work hard. If a person slides by with no consequence to their laziness, they will likely feel as though the world owes them a living.

    My siblings and I were so fortunate to grow up on a farm where hard work and love were blended together nicely. We never went to bed hungry. We did go to bed many nights absolutely dead tired. It was the kind of tired that was the result of meaningful fulfilling work. Often, we would be helping aunts, uncles, grandparents, or a neighbor with their farm work.  We learned to always offer to do more than what was asked. Many of those instances were accomplished when we still had work of our own to get done.

Dad and mom never seemed to mind the inconveniences. If they did, they didn't mention them - too much. Dad never met a request he didn't like. He would use his acetylene torch and Lincoln welder to fix things for people, including all of his own equipment. It was customary to see him pulling hayrides for many churches and organization.  He loved to drive his tractor and would often spend hours washing, waxing, and detailing -- yes, a farm tractor!  

    Giving back to neighbors and the community was a way to fulfill his internal hard wired need to serve. With generosity came many moments of joy for so many folks. Little children would have wide eyes as they were pulled through town in the annual 4th of July parade. Youth groups would revel on hayrides after dark and enjoy bonfires on the Hughes farm afterward. Pastors and churches would want to pay dad for his services and he almost laughed in their faces. He didn't do these things for money. It was for the joy of doing it.  I can add to this the innumerable times dad plowed snow for practically every neighbor within a couple miles from the farm. He was like a little kid in a toy store when he could plow people out and never take a cent for any of it.

   There is great joy then to offer help to others and watch their faces brighten; as though one offered a person one million dollars.  It was what I was taught and it is how I choose to live. Giving back just feels right.  How about you? Do you look for ways to bless others? Can you think outside the box when it comes to using the talents and gifts with which God has instilled in you?  It is a ton of fun. The way this world will eventually understand God's grace is when we all begin to help others without any idea of returned blessing.

    Giving back fills two diminishing tanks.The receiver of the action is renewed in spirit and their tank gets replenished. The giver of the action is renewed in spirit and their tank gets topped off. It is a win win situation. Our model comes to us from our God and Provider.

    "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38, NIV)

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