Awesome day earlier today… what I had expected to be a pretty good trip down to Monroe Park to distribute clothes, blankets and serve some food sure was something more… thanks to a major helping of generosity and giving by over 20 people from our church family.
Before moving out to go downtown, we made sure everyone knew each other and said a prayer or two; mine was one I read a day or two ago on this Church for Men Florida post:
Open my eyes that I may see the needs of others;
Open my ears that I may hear their cries;
Open my heart that they need not be without succor;
Let me not be afraid to defend the weak because of the anger of the strong,
Nor afraid to defend the poor because of the anger of the rich.
Show me where love and hope and faith are needed,
And use me to bring them to those places.
And so open my eyes and my ears
That I may this coming day be able to do some work of peace for thee.
I’m writing this post while watching the weather on the local news; it’s 25 degrees F right now (the record for today is 17)… and there were plenty of people out at Monroe Park (I should note that not always everyone out there has no home… but most don’t and many of them will be sleeping somewhere outside tonight). I’ll guess that we probably served soup, chili, sandwiches, pretzels, cookies, water bottles and more to over 50 people and made available a large amount of sweaters, jackets, pants, boots/shoes, socks (well these completely were taken… there’s never enough of them), gloves, hats, toiletries (fully taken, again never enough), and I can’t even recall what else. There was however a handful of other churches (I will assume they were churches… it doesn’t seem a lot of other organizations that I’ve met or heard about aren’t churches… ) also there.
I’m a little bit ahead of the message tomorrow, but some of the verses Steve will talk about tomorrow (about money and ‘investing’ in God … listen to it here) just resonated with me over this point:
Romans 12:3: “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
2 Corinthians 8:7: “But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.”
Matthew 6:19-20: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.”
Job 22:24-25: “Give up your lust for money…Then the Almighty himself will be your treasure!”