A Baker’s Dozen

“One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:24-25 NIV).

In the verse above, it describes the character that is gained by a person who practices giving. We are to give from the heart. We are able to apply this today by going the extra mile for someone else. It is the same idea as a “baker’s dozen.

The meaning of a “baker’s dozen” is 13; a dozen plus one. To safeguard against penalties for short measure, the former bakers would add an extra loaf of bread to a batch of 12 loaves. This was to make sure they were not short the requested amount. Bakers today are still choosing to do this. Many people think that they accidentally received an extra; however, by the baker adding an extra he is going the extra mile to give one more.

We are to be devoted to God’s desires rather than our own and carry his love and mercy into the World.
Why do we go the extra mile? It is a response to God’s love. We gain a right perspective that our love was given to us by God to be used to help others. We receive the joy by giving and we receive God’s approval.

Our Heavenly Father, thank you for giving your love to us unconditionally. Thank you for going the extra mile time and time again. Forgive us for not giving as you give to us. Thank you for the gifts of time, energy and possessions. We ask that we be devoted to your desires rather than our own. We need to be the refresher for someone who needs to be refreshed. In Jesus name. Amen.

Open Up To Spring

“The most wonderful places to be in the world are: in Someone’s thoughts; in Someone’s prayers; and in Someone’s heart” (Author unknown)

The temperatures are getting warmer, more daylight hours are provided and the breezes are refreshing. Spring 2020 is being revealed! Spring is beginning to push away the colder temperatures, shorter daylight hours and cold winds. We welcome Spring by connecting with nature and people.

As we begin to awaken from our “winter hibernation”, the global outbreak of 1Coronavirus (COVID-19) has also been revealed. As we know, it is a respiratory illness. And to prevent the spreading of the disease, we have been advised to practise social-distancing, and for some they are to be in self-isolation or isolation.

Spring is a time of year to embrace and adapt to the changing season. And Spring 2020 is no different. What is different is how we do it!

Since we have been advised to practise “social-distancing”, we are to be mindful of the members of the community who are more vulnerable to the disease. Spring is being revealed! To make reference to the above quote, “social-distancing” does not have to mean we have no places to go and nothing to do. It is revealed that our society needs to change. By acknowledging the vulnerable, we are welcoming spring to us and to them. When we change and adapt to embrace COVID-19, we will overcome the restrictions that have been placed on us. As a society, we will become more knowledgeable and grateful through this season.

Spring 2020 is blooming with God’s creativity and His purpose. With the “social distancing”, creatively we can love one another and provide hope. 2“Bloom where you are planted”.
Our Heavenly Father, thank You for opening us up to experience the places where we are vulnerable but able to blossom. Forgive us for closing our eyes and not seeing COVID-19 as a blessing; a gift from You. We ask that you present us with ways that we can creatively spring open to love as You do. In Jesus name. Amen.

1Coronavirus information / updates: Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) at www.canada.ca/en/public-health; Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at www.cdc.gov; The World Health Organization (WHO) at www.who.int. 2Mary Englebreit made the phrase famous in her book, Mary Englebrit: The Art and The Artist.

Do What We Can …

“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty” Proverbs 21:5 (NIV)

As I look through the Contents of the *2019 Annual Report for Morning Gate Church Inc., I see a large list of opportunities that were used to serve God. I am not going to list them because each one of the used opportunities deserves equal recognition. By persevering in doing good works, those involved were earnest, hardworking, and dutiful. Did you know that those qualities are the definition of the word diligence? And those involved would not have been able to attempt to begin those tasks without their devotion: love, loyalty and faithfulness in God. 

In the Bible when Jesus was laid in the Tomb, it says that “Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid.”  These women could do very little but they did what they could. They remained at the cross until Jesus died. They followed Jesus` body to the tomb and prepared spices for his body. They were the first to witness the resurrection because God blessed their devotion and diligence.

Our Heavenly Father, thank you for the abilities for us to be available for you. Forgive us for the times when we are inactive and become bored. Thank you for the “profit” we received in 2019 through the used opportunities to please you. Often times, it is our inadequacies and inabilities that keep us from being available to you God. We ask that we worry less about what we cannot do and make it a habit for us to do more than expected. In Jesus name. Amen.

*The 2019 Annual Report, Morning Gate Church Inc, Fredericton, New Brunswick is obtainable from Kelly Dorcas, Office Administrator at Morning Gate Chruch. Contact Information: Office # (506) 458-0093; e-mail address: mgc@bellaliant.com.

Enjoy Being Here Now

“The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction” (Proverbs 16:21 NIV)

On Sunday, March 1st, it was Fellowship Day at Morning Gate Church. While I was waiting near the end of the lineup that was moving forward into the Fellowship Room, I started to strike up a conversation with a “young” 85 years of age person. I asked the question, “how could I pray for you?” With an unexpected but joyful response, that person mentioned that she could drive herself to and from places and get herself to church; she mentioned that her health has been well. I observed her patience while waiting in line and her friendly smile and willingness to connect with me.

I valued having to wait in that line because of that person’s attentiveness and faithfulness. She loves God and others. She was able to bring joy to me, herself and praise to God.

God is part of our everyday life!

Our Heavenly Father, thank you for your attentiveness you provide to us. Forgive us for being pursuers of our needs and time rather than being attentive. Thank you for providing us with opportunities to refocus on what truly matters. We ask for continued encouragement so we can improve on being able to give fully to life with fewer distractions. We ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

Forever in Blue Jeans

“Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord” (Proverbs 16:20 NIV).

 The rebound in the jeans industry started in 2016 with the stretch and comfort- jeans. The shift to stretchy fabrics reached its high point after Levi’s added stretch fabric to its famous 501s. Denim changed from being durable to providing softness. For the past 140 years, jeans have remained a tradition. They were first working clothes, then symbols of disobedience and then became fashion items. “History of denim and jeans is long and colorful”.

 Everything is changing and altering. So, why are we okay to remain complacent in life? Where there is comfort there is no growth; our life is not progressing. A quote by **Neale Donald Walsch is “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. God sees the opportunities for us to have growth!

 Our Heavenly Father, thank you for providing us with the comfort of your love. With your gift of salvation, forgive us for becoming immobile and setting aside your purpose for our life. Thank you for the pause in our beautiful place and the understanding that it is time to get moving. By trusting you, I ask if you can provide us with initiative to be active in growing our faith and make it attractive to others.  In Jesus name. Amen.

 

** Neale Donald Walsch is an American author of the series Conversation with God. He is also an actor, screenwriter and a speaker.