She wasn’t friendly

I wish mama had told me that everybody is not going to like me. I wish she had said everybody is not going to talk to me. I wish she had told me that everyone wouldn’t be kind to me. Somehow she missed telling me, and though I certainly am not blaming her, I had a rude awakening one day this past week.

We had taken some extra printers to donate at a thrift store for my cousin. I was standing outside the back door on the dirt ground waiting for Doug to finish signing papers and finishing the deal. This nice looking young blonde haired lady drove up and came and stood by me. She had a tiny bowl with what looked like a bank bag in her hand. She waited. I thought she might be an employee. I motioned to the door with my arm and hand and said, “Would you like to go inside?” She stepped forward, looked inside, and said, “No, I wouldn’t.” Okay. Nothing was being said so soon I looked up at the clouds and said, “That cloud looks as if it might be a rain cloud.” Nothing!!! Okay. She shifted from one foot to the other and I felt uncomfortable. Finally, when I realized Doug and the man were almost finished, I leaned forward toward him (their backs were sideways to us) and said, “Sir, there is a nice young lady waiting out here to speak with you.” “Oh, okay,” he said and turned to take her things. She turned and walked away leaving a bad impression on me. I watched to see what she was driving. A Mercedes. A white Mercedes. A white Mercedes sports coupe. I watched as she drove away and wondered what was going on in her life to make her shun me the way she did. It was hard to get it off my mind as we came home, and somehow I knew I would write about it.

She thought I was not in her league possibly, but she could have shown herself friendly. Jesus talked to the lowly, and I can hear brother Ira North’s strong voice saying loudly, “Condescend to men of low estate.” 

The Bible says if we want to have friends we must show ourselves friendly. And then there is the scripture that says, “Take heed when you think you stand, lest you fall.”

Jesus died on the cross for me. He loved me when I was not even lovable. He died for her even when she was not friendly. I forgive her for being unkind to me.

#friendliness, #kindness

Extraordinary kindness

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

The local inhabitants showed us extraordinary kindness, for they built a fire and welcomed us all because it had started to rain and was cold. Acts 28.2

Paul was on his way to Rome as a prisoner. His ship was wrecked off the island of Malta. Instead of being put to death by the soldiers, due to the centurion’s intervention, Paul and the other prisoners were allowed to either swim to shore or to get there by use of planks from the ship. All made it to shore safely.

Upon reaching the shore, Paul and company were met by the local inhabitants who showed kindness to those from the ship. They built a fire so that these could warm themselves since it had begun to rain and was cold.

Paul healed the father of the chief official of the island, who was sick with dysentery and fever. Afterwards, others who were sick came to Paul for healing.

The inhabitants of Malta gave Paul’s company all of the supplies that they needed when the time came for them to set sail once again. They showed kindness to them while they were on the island and at the time of their departure. It made a difficult situation easier to get through because of kindness.

#risingjoy #Acts #kindness

How Zechariah refers to God

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

Again the word of the Lord came to Zechariah: “The Lord who rules over all said, ‘Exercise true judgment and show brotherhood and compassion to each other. You must not oppress the widow, the orphan, the foreigner, or the poor, nor should anyone secretly plot evil against his fellow human being.’ Zechariah 7.8-10

Zechariah was the Lord’s prophet. He refers to God here as the Lord who rules over all.

The commandment to exercise justice is not new. In Jeremiah 9.24, it states that the Lord acts out of justice in the earth. Not only does he act in that way, but he commands that those who follow him act in the same manner.

The word “brotherhood” in some versions is kindness. Kindness and compassion are the characteristics that God wants his followers to practice. Widows, orphans, foreigners and the poor were those who were at a disadvantage in society. Many times there was no one to stand up for them nor to care for them. God’s people are to fill that role.

The children of Israel, to whom Zechariah was sent as a prophet, refused to pay attention to his words. They turned away stubbornly and made their hearts as hard as diamonds so that they could not obey the Lord. God sent them into captivity. The land that once flowed with milk and honey became desolate and a waste.

May we heed what God has to say in his word! May we have hearts that are just and kind, always obeying what God has commanded in his word!

#risingjoy #Zechariah #kindness

Anyone left alive?

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

The king asked, “Is there not someone left from Saul’s family, that I may extend God’s kindness to him?” Ziba said to the king, “One of Jonathan’s sons is left; both of his feet are crippled.” 2 Samuel 9.3

David was king of Israel. He and Jonathan, Saul’s son, had been very good friends. Jonathan was dead having been killed in battle with the Philistines. Due to his friendship with Jonathan, David inquired to see if there was anyone left alive from Saul’s family.

David had Ziba, a servant from Saul’s house, to appear before him and he asked if anyone from Saul’s family was still alive. Ziba informed him that one of Jonathan’s sons was still alive and that he was crippled in both feet. David had Mephibosheth brought to his palace.

David restored all of Saul’s lands to his grandson. Ziba, with the help of his family, was given the task of cultivating the land and was to bring the food to Mephibosheth for him to eat. Jonathan’s son was also a regular guest at the king’s table.

The king was kind to Mephibosheth. David treated him as if he were one of the king’s sons. David wanted to extend kindness to Mephibosheth because of his friendship with Jonathan, his father. What David did was not necessary, but it provided for a man who otherwise would have had a very difficult time with his physical condition. All because David wanted to show kindness to Jonathan’s family.

May we be willing to show kindness to others.

#risingjoy #kindness #2-Samuel

Kindness begets kindness

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

Her mother-in-law asked her, “Where did you gather grain today? Where did you work? May the one who took notice of you be rewarded!” So Ruth told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked. She said, “The name of the man with whom I worked today is Boaz.” Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be rewarded by the Lord because he has shown loyalty to the living on behalf of the dead!” Then Naomi said to her, “This man is a close relative of ours; he is our guardian.” Ruth the Moabite replied, “He even told me, ‘You may go along beside my servants until they have finished gathering all my harvest!'” Ruth 2.19-21

The verses this month shall be about kindness. Ruth was a Moabite who had married Naomi’s son. After the death of her husband and sons, Naomi decided to return to the land of Judah. She encouraged Ruth to return to her parents’ home in the hopes of being able to find another husband. However, Ruth insisted on going to Judah with Naomi.

After their arrival, Ruth went to the fields to gather grain. She worked in a field that belonged to Boaz, who was a kinsman of Elimelech, Naomi’s husband. Boaz told Ruth to stay in his fields and work alongside his female workers. When asked by Ruth why he was treating her with kindness, he assured her that he had been told how she had accompanied Naomi back to Judah. She had shown kindness to Naomi.

The story continued with Boaz marrying Ruth and having a child who was Obed, the grandfather of David, who would later become king of Israel. Kindness shown to others can bring about results that we can not begin to imagine.

#risingjoy #Ruth #kindness

Hugh’s News & Views (A Bruised Reed . . .)

A BRUISED REED AND SMOKING FLAX

Matthew, an apostle of Christ, said of Jesus, “A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench, Till He sends forth justice to victory” (Matthew 12:20). This statement is part of a larger quotation from Isaiah 42:1-4, and Matthew’s use of it is the only time this particular prophecy is quoted in the New Testament. (Note: Flax was a plant from which linen and other products were made.)

In context, both Isaiah and Matthew are talking about Christ as God’s Servant, “My Beloved, in whom My soul is well pleased,” the One upon whom God would put His Spirit, the One who would “declare justice to the Gentiles,” and the One “in [whose] name Gentiles will trust” (Matthew 12:18-21). In short, it is a text relating to the redemptive work of Christ, not only for the Jews but also for the Gentiles. Continue reading

#compassion, #gentleness, #hughfulford, #kindness

God’s kindness is one of a kind

God’s kindness in one of a kind in that: Continue reading

#bare-bones-outline, #character-of-god, #kindness

THE LOVING KIND!

Some have encouraged random acts of kindness to be done in life. From those actions, we may not always know the full impact such kindness can have on the recipients because we are not always fully aware of what might be going on their life. Perhaps being on the brink of giving up on life, our actions may be the offering of encouragement and hope an individual desperately needs. With so much selfish ambition and self-centeredness in this world, there remains a great need for kindness to be extended; especially the loving kind.

There was a teacher who asked the students of her class for the meaning of loving-kindness. One boy eagerly offered, “If I was hungry and someone gave me a piece of bread, that would be kindness. But if they spread a little jam on it, that would be loving kindness.”

No matter how small the kindness we extend, let us not minimize its possible significance as it meets real needs whether they be emotional, physical, or spiritual. Jesus stated. . .

(40) Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. (41) The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. (42) And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward. (Matthew 10:40-42 ESV)

Receiving Jesus and His servants? Definitely significant! Accepting God’s prophets? Yes, significant! Meeting the need for even a cup of cold water? According to Jesus, even that is significant. Let us remember it was by the “goodness and loving kindness of God” (Titus 3:4-5 ESV) that the provision of our salvation was made. If we love as God has loved us, we will be mindful of spreading kindness to those around us; especially the loving kind! According to Paul, nothing is gained when love is absent. (1 Corinthians 13:3) Therefore, may godly love be the motivation behind the kindness we spread.

Have a great day ALLOWING GOD’S GOODNESS AND LOVING KINDNESS TO BE EXTENDED THROUGH US!

“teEn-MAIL” is sent out daily by Carl Hanson, preacher for the Church of Christ in Port Townsend, Washington, USA, located at 230 A Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Come visit us if in the area. www.porttownsendchurchofchrist.org

#kindness, #lovingkindness

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(#142) The Proverbs of Solomon 19:22-Be A Man, Son

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 19:22: “What is desired in a man is kindness, And a poor man is better than a liar.”

“Kindness” is evenness of temperament, constant return of goodness, consideration of others. It is a universally-recognized, timeless, and desirable, trait in humanity. “Love is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4), and uninspired people see its wisdom: “It’s nice to be important, it’s more important to be nice” (Anon); “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” (Aesop); “Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses” (Confucius); “Kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see” (Mark Twain); “A kind word is like a Spring day” (Russian proverb); “Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns” (Anon).

It is a man-trait, especially, because it takes a real man to be strong enough to return good for evil. “See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all” (1 Thessalonians 5:15). Kindness is a show of strength, but often mistaken for weakness. Regardless of who persecuted Jesus Christ, or how, He was more of a man than they, “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness–by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Peter 2:21-24).

“A poor man is better than a liar” shows that poverty should not be used as an excuse for immorality. “Better is the poor who walks in his integrity Than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich” (Proverbs 28:6).

The God of the Israelites was: “Ready to pardon, Gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, Abundant in kindness, And did not forsake them” (Nehemiah 9:17). Jesus Christ based one of His best-known commandments upon this characteristic of God: “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil” (Luke 6:35). Christians should develop the same characteristic: “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do” (Colossians 3:12-13).

God’s kindness extended through Jesus Christ should touch a sinner’s heart (Titus 3:3-4), and the sinner should kindly return toward God (Acts 16:22-34). “Be a man, Son,” obey the Gospel today (Mark 16:16), and make this a kinder world!

Cruel words can make us cry, but so can deeds of kindness.

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #evil, #kindness, #man, #nice, #proverbs, #strength, #unthankful

Nudge: What “Small” Thing do You do for Your Spouse?

There are “small” things that I do for the sake of my spouse. I may not do them often enough, but when they’re done it’s pretty much for her benefit.

So here’s the nudge:

What are some “small” things that you do that only your spouse can really appreciate? Or if you would rather brag on your spouse, what are some “small” things they do for you that only you can appreciate?

These things don’t have to be expensive, complicated or even too serious. For example, one “small” thing that I do from time to time that makes my spouse happy is I shave…that’s right, no one appreciates me shaving like my spouse does, and if it wasn’t for her I would do it a lot less.

So speak up, let’s hear what you’re doing or let’s hear your ideas for what can be done.

Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33 – NKJV)

#family, #kindness, #marriage

TFT: Never put a kindness off

NEVER put a kindness off,
Never wait to say
The word of praise or sympathy
Which someone needs today.
Lest suddenly it prove too late
For anything but ruing
The helpful, thoughtful things
You never got around to DOING.

—Elizabeth Ellen Long

Colossians 4:5-6 – Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

“Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn, Mercedes and Lauren Hitchcock

#kindness, #poetry

Eating Our Own Words

In reference to the words we use, James asks his readers a rhetorical question – “Does the fountain send from the same outlet sweet and bitter water?” (James 3:11 BBE)

When James used the word “bitter” he was describing words that are harsh and used with ill intent. Bitter words destroy unity, morale and trust. One of the quickest ways to destroy unity, morale and trust in the church is with the bitter words of gossip.

How can we keep from using the bitter words of gossip?

1)      When you hear about gossip address it.  When you hear someone spreading gossip about someone else ask them if they ever talked to the person that they’re talking about. If not, there’s a very good chance that what they’re saying is wrong! If you hear about someone gossiping about you, especially if it’s a brother or sister in Christ, go ask them about it (Matthew 18:15-17).

2)      Think about the way it would make you feel if someone were spreading whatever you’re saying about you or your loved ones. Some people have no problem with gossip unless it’s about them…and if that’s the problem we’ve got, then we need to keep the shoe on the other foot.

3)      If someone tells you something personal, keep it personal! Don’t go around acting like the church “TMZ.”

4)      Live in a way so when someone says something negative about you, nobody will believe it (1 Thessalonians 5:22). Some Christians love to give “impressions” and then get mad when the “impression” makes its mark.

5)      Get busy rowing the boat and you won’t have time to rock it! I will always be convinced that if a person is truly interested in making the church a better place to grow, to learn and to help others, then they won’t make messes that they’ll have to clean up.

When James used the word “sweet” he was talking about using words that bless (vs. 9) and benefit the hearers. The word sweet is translated from the Greek word Glukus pronounced gloo-koos (can you hear glucose in there?). The basic idea is that sweet words are words that refresh and give energy.

How can we remember to use words that are sweet?

1)      By being merciful with the way we talk. “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” (Colossians 4:6 NKJV) Paul isn’t talking about the kind of salt that goes on wounds and burns. He’s talking about the kind of salt that’s let people know you care.

2)      By strengthening others with the way we talk. “The lips of the righteous feed many,…” (Proverbs 10:21 NKJV) What would our words do to us if we had to listen to them all of the time? Would they pull the life right out of us, or put the life right in us?

3)      By complimenting others with the way we talk. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11 NKJV) Do you know what it feels like to be genuinely complemented? Why wouldn’t we want to share a feeling like that?

We have all made mistakes with the words we use (James 3:8), but the question is are we learning from those mistakes and striving to do better? If we had to eat our words – or rather, when we have to eat them, how are they going to taste? (Matthew 12:36,37) James says we’re going to have to decide what kind of spring we’re going to have, so which will it be?

If you would like to check out more thoughts on James 3:7-12 (particularly verse 11) then continue reading here at http://keltonburgpreacher.wordpress.com/2012/03/25/how-do-our-words-taste

#gossip, #james, #kindness

God’s Kindness

The kindness of Boaz to Ruth is certainly like the kindness that God has shown sinners in sending Jesus, his son, to die for sins.

When Ruth was gleaning in the fields, Boaz saw her. The harvesters had told him she had been working hard all day. Boaz went to her and said, “Stay right behind the young women working in my field. I have warned the young men not to treat you roughly. And, when you are thirsty, help yourself to the water they have drawn from the well,” (Ruth 2:8-9 NLT).

Thanking him, Ruth asked what she had done to deserve this kindness since she was a foreigner. Boaz said, “Yes, I know. But I also know about everything you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband,” (Ruth 2:11 NLT).

Before we obeyed Christ, we were also foreigners, weren’t we? The apostle Paul wrote, “So, now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family,” (Ephesians 2:19 NLT).

What have I done, Lord, to deserve this kindness? “You are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people.”

Thanks be to God for the great gift of his son.

#boaz, #kindness, #ruth

Acts of Kindness

A friend I grew up with, posted the following note on Facebook and she gave me permission to re-post it here. Kathy Thompson Gifford is a dear friend in Florence, Alabama and she recently helped someone in need in Phil Campbell, Alabama after the disastrous April 27, 2011 tornadoes.

Kathy wrote the following:

Friends,

As I write this, I am drying my eyes over something that came in the mail today. I was so moved, I just felt compelled to write it down.

A day or two after the April 27th tornadoes that devastated our state, I (like many of you) learned that a young boy, Ethan Knox, (who I never had the chance to meet), aged 10 years died in the tornado in the Phil Campbell area. A kind, charitable man (also who I have never met) made thousands of people aware of Ethan’s death and his family’s dire financial situation in the face of the loss of their son & grandson, in addition to their home and possessions.

The kind gentleman is Mr. Don Parker. Mr. Parker found it in his heart to give all of us a chance to serve this family by giving money to pay for Ethan’s funeral, grave marker and provide some financial assistance to Ethan’s family. I, like many of you, sent in my small contribution, feeling warm inside about being given the opportunity to help this family. I was also feeling such a great sense of loss for Ethan’s family, as well as feeling incredibly blessed to have been spared and not be the parent dealing with the loss of a precious child.

That, I thought, was the end of the story for me. Until today.

This evening, after coming home from work, I went out to get the mail. In my box was a small envelope, addressed to Rodney and me, from a family in Phil Campbell, whose names I did not recognize.  The small envelope contained a thank you note from the family of Ethan Knox. Inside it, was a picture of Ethan, a handsome blonde haired boy. Ethan was only 10 years old when he left this Earth for his heavenly home. Ethan didn’t know me, but, he has touched me profoundly.  In the midst of their grief and loss, Ethan’s family had the grace to thank those who helped in a small way. It wasn’t necessary. But, it sure felt good.

God has a way of letting us think we are helping and blessing others, when in the end, through our service and obedience, we end up being the ones who are blessed. I thank you God for blessing me in such a special way, that I will never forget. Please keep little Ethan safe in your arms until he can be reunited with his family again in Heaven.

What a touching tribute! We never know what small acts of kindness can do in the lives of others. We always need to be people who are thankful, appreciative and eager to share that with others. Acts of kindness do not have to be random, they can be a way of life.

 

#disaster, #kindness, #tornadoes

Grandmotherly saying: The True Royalty

In a world that seems to be bombarded with decadence and
degradation of values, I am reminded of the saying that my
grandmother used. I finally was able to trace it to another
grandmother:

There is nothing so kingly as kindness, and nothing so royal as truth.

… Alice Cary

(Prov 23:23) Buy the truth, and do not sell it, Also wisdom and
instruction and understanding.

If you want to start a restoration, seek truth above all else…

"Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day" by Glenn Hitchcock

#kindness, #quotes, #sayings, #truth