Tag Archives: gift

A Tiny Gift

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Isn’t it nice to find out someone was thinking of you while they were away? And isn’t it nice when they say something or give you something that says “I know you, and I love you”? My daughter found this tiny heart pebble while looking for shark’s teeth on a North Carolina beach, and she brought it back for me! She is truly a gift!

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I Heart You

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Randomly Selected? Somehow, I Don’t Think So

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Have you ever had an anonymous, random act of kindness done to you? Yesterday as I was getting some work done in and around the house, I was feeling a bit like Cinderella, and I started talking to our heavenly Father about how I was feeling. You know those times when you feel like God is far away, but in your head you know He’s always close by, because Jesus said He would never leave us nor forsake us? That’s how I was feeling.

To my surprise a car pulled up, and a lady came out and asked, “René?”

“Yes, I’m René,” I responded as I looked on with curiosity.

She opened the back door of her car and pulled out a HUGE bouquet of balloons. “Are those for me?” I inquired with bewilderment.

“Yes, they are.”

I was so touched, tears welled up in my eyes, and I had to keep myself from crying.

“Is there a card?”

“Yes, on one of the top balloons.”

The card read, “Rene, You have been randomly selected for a happy Saturday Bouquet! Please pay it forward.  — [name of local balloon shop]”

“Wow! Who could I pay it forward to?” I wondered, “And is this something [the local balloon shop] actually does, or did someone I know send it anonymously?”

I thought of a friend, who has been homebound and in pain, and after taking pictures and posting what happened on Facebook, I loaded the balloons into my car and took them over to her. She was so surprised and happy, not only to receive the huge bouquet of colorful balloons but also to have some company, so I was doubly blessed!

Thank you, Father, for putting it on someone’s heart to send the balloons to me and brighten my day when I was feeling a bit lonely. Thank you, too, Anonymous, not only for such a wonderful gift, but also for prompting me to pay it forward, so that someone else could be blessed as well. What a great idea!

 

 

If you liked this, you might also like… God Danced?

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Gifts From Afar

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One of the things I have enjoyed about blogging and other social media outlets is meeting new people from around the world.  I have even had the privilege of meeting a few in person.  Today I received a green envelope in the mail from, Ralph, a wonderful blogging friend in Spain.  If I remember correctly, I found Ralph’s Bluefish Way through another blogging friend, and I’m so glad I did.  Although a few of his posts have caused me to blush a little, his kind heart and humor have been such a blessing.  Thank you so much, Ralph, for the beautiful gifts… and your gift of friendship!


Wisdom Wednesday: The Power of Giving

"A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men."  —Proverbs 18:16

Photo credit: Charles Thompson via stock.xchng

Have you ever tried to ‘open a door’ by giving a gift? Maybe you wanted to get a special someone’s attention, make a good first impression, or gain favor. Proverbs 18:16 says that giving a gift has the power to open doors and give access to important people. Gifts are often given to people in positions of authority such as presidents, royalty, and judges. Part of doing so is etiquette or what is expected, but part of it is done in hopes of finding favor.  If an appropriate gift is given with knowledge about the person’s likes and desires, it can find its way into the recipient’s heart.

“An official never flogs the bearer of gifts.” —Chinese proverb

“A gift given in secret subdues anger, and a bribe given secretly subdues strong wrath.” —Proverbs 21:14 NET

Proverbs 17:8 well says that a bribe can work like a charm and bring success. We know how well bribes work in politics, because governments are well-known for being corrupt. So am I advocating the giving of bribes?  No, because if a person can be bought, then someone else can buy them for a higher price. It is better to not offer bribes nor to accept them.  When a bribe is accepted, there are often strings attached.

“A friend that you buy with presents, will be bought from you.” —Latin proverb

“He who would stop every man’s mouth must have a great deal of meal.” —Italian proverb

I once heard a friend say it is hard to say anything against someone who gives gifts or does nice things, even if the person is not really all that nice or even leads people astray in some way.  You probably know someone that is well-liked by a lot of people and either don’t know the real person or don’t care about moral ethics because what really matters to them is the end result and how it benefits them.  This, too, often happens in politics, whether it is in government, organizations, or even within families.

People with lots of wealth, especially if they are generous, often wonder who their real friends are, but it is not only people with a lot of money who eventually find out who their real friends are when the well runs dry.  I have heard a lot of people say when they ran out of drugs or booze, they also ran out of ‘friends’.  Reminds me of the account of the prodigal son.  (Luke 15:11-32)

“Many will seek the favor of a generous man, and every man is a friend to him who gives gifts.” —Proverbs 19:6

Sometimes people are generous simply because they want to be liked or to gain power. It’s like buying votes. But that works for only so long.

“You can get by on charm for about 15 minutes. After that, you better know something.” —H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

I like giving gifts, and although my motives are usually to brighten someone’s day or to meet a need, I’m sure I have given a gift or two to open a door or make a good first impression. Is there anything wrong with that? Well, it really comes down to whether the motive is purely selfish and deceptive or whether it seeks the best interest of others as well, which is why we should be discerning when it comes to befriending or endorsing someone simply because they are generous with their time, possessions, and power. Jesus gave a principle when he sent the apostles out and said, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. “ (Matthew 10:16)

“Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.” —English proverb referring to the Trojan Horse

 

If you liked this, you might also like… Wisdom Wednesday: When It’s Never Enough


Snow Heart: A Message of Love

" Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."  —Ephesians 6:23

“Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” —Ephesians 6:23

Look what the Father left for me today to share with all of you!


Sewing Love

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The ladies Bible study I attend has craft days occasionally, and we have made felt hearts to give away for Valentine’s Day the past two years.  Since I will be away during Valentine’s Day this year, I am making some to take with me.  A friend often visits shut-ins, people who are home-bound, and we have decided to give the Valentine hearts to them on Valentine’s Day to spread some love.

“…love one another earnestly from a pure heart.”  —1 Peter 1:22b  NET

To see a couple of finished hearts, click here.


Wisdom Wednesday: Service With a Smile

“The kindness is doubled if what must be given is given willingly.”  —Latin proverb

“The kindness is doubled if what must be given is given willingly.” —Latin proverb

Have you ever asked someone to do something for you only to have that someone respond with a heavy sigh, whining, or complaining? If you’re a parent or a teacher, that’s a pretty silly question, isn’t it? What’s even sillier, although less amusing, is when we adults do it to one another. I know we all have bad days and should try to respond with grace when met with a bad attitude, but isn’t it so much sweeter when someone gives and serves cheerfully? And don’t you feel more loved and respected when someone responds happily to a request?

“Cheerfulness gives sweetness to life.” —Filipino proverb

“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”
—2 Corinthians 9:7

“The kindness is doubled if what must be given is given willingly.” —Latin proverb

“The visible sign of utter love is an undying smile.” —Sri Sri Ravi Skankar

“He gives well and bountifully who accompanies the gift with a pleasing look.” —Latin proverb

“A gift with a kind face is a double grace.” —German proverb

Years ago while dining at a restaurant in Canada, I remember the response given by our waitress when I said, “Thank you.” With a pretty smile and a French accent she replied, “It is my pleasure.” I loved that response, so I adopted it.

“Forget the favors you have given; remember those received.” —Chinese proverb

Sometimes people give or serve in order to receive or to be served. Although we shouldn’t give or serve with selfish motives and a score card, isn’t it funny how people sometimes act as if you owe them for what they have done instead of giving and serving out of love and gratitude for the things you have done for them? Or maybe it’s the other way around.

“Every gift which is given, even though it be small, is in reality great, if it is given with affection.” ―Pindar, Greek poet

“It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding.” —Kahlil Gibran

If you liked this, you might also like:  Wisdom Wednesday: When It’s Never Enough


Wisdom Wednesday: How to Have a Merry Christmas

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Have you ever felt truly loved and known after receiving a particular gift?  Have you ever felt unloved and unknown even though given a gift?  While it’s true that some of the best gifts are handmade, the truly best gifts are those that are timely and fit who we are, because they were given out of love and according to knowledge and not simply out of duty or expectation.  One of the keys to loving is knowing.

“To be known is to be loved, and to be loved is to be known…”  —Chris Kinsley and Drew Francis in “The Woman at the Well”

3Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: 4And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  —Proverbs 24:3, 4

If wisdom is the right application of knowledge, then knowledge without application must be foolishness.  And even more foolish still is to have the knowledge available but never take advantage of it.

“Knowledge without wisdom is a load of books on the back of an ass.”  —Japanese proverb

“[The] opposite of love is not hate. The opposite of love is apathy. Love and hate both engage the emotions. Apathy demonstrates a lack of concern.”  —BJ in The River Walk: Weeping and Laughing

When you fall in love, don’t you want to know everything about that person?  Don’t you want to spend as much time as possible with them?  Don’t you try to think of ways to make them smile?  In order to do that, you have to spend time with them and learn to know what would make them smile, right?

“Nothing is desired that is not known.”  —Latin proverb

“There is no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out.”  —Russian proverb

“Lack of knowledge is darker than night.”  —Hausan proverb

With today being Christmas, Jesus’ birthday, people sometimes wonder what they can possibly give Him as a birthday present. The Westminster catechism based on several verses from the Bible says that the chief purpose of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  Don’t you enjoy people who enjoy being with you?  Part of the reason Jesus became a man was so we could know and understand God better.  He came to demonstrate His love for us and invites us to live with Him.

“Come live with me and you’ll know me.”  —Spanish proverb

“Knowing about Him is a necessary precondition of trusting in Him, but the width of our knowledge about Him is no gauge of our knowledge of Him.”  —J.I. Packer

“Christianity is not an action; it is a reaction.  The Bible is not a list of requirements, but a list of results after experiencing God’s love.”  —Peter Haas, pastor in his sermon Pharisectomy Part 2 – Joy Driven Christianity

The apostle Paul, who had a list of religious credentials, wrote in his letter to the Philippians that he counted everything as loss and even as poop in comparison to really knowing Jesus.  Because Paul had had an encounter with Him and experienced His mercy, grace and love, Paul had a desire to know Him more.

Since Christmas is really about the birth of Christ, the best way to have a truly merry Christmas is to find peace with it. Usually the best way to find peace with something is to understand it, and to understand we first need to learn and gain knowledge. So the best gift we can give Jesus, as well as others and ourselves, is to seek to know Him.  And if we already know Him, seek to know Him more.

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!


Wisdom Wednesday: Gratitude

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“Thankfulness is giving the gift of appreciation.” —John O. Reid

Have you ever wanted to give more to people who are appreciative, take care of and use the things you give them, and are themselves generous?  Proverbs 12:27 says, “The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.”  A comparable Latin proverb says, “An ungrateful man is a tub full of holes.”  Grateful people take care of and value the things and relationships in their lives, while those who are ungrateful take people and things for granted and even allow them to go to waste.  Have you ever noticed, too, that grateful people tend to be happy, generous, and kind?  Because they are a blessing, don’t you want to bless them, too?

“In our daily lives, we must see that is it not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.”  —Albert Clarke

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” —G.K. Chesterton

“Who gives not thanks to men, gives not thanks to God.”  —Egyptian proverb

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  —John F. Kennedy

“If you haven’t got all the things you want, be grateful for the things you don’t have that you don’t want.”  —Unknown

“Each day offers us the gift of being a special occasion if we can simply learn that as well as giving, it is blessed to receive with grace and a grateful heart.”  ― Sarah Ban Breathnach

“Each day comes bearing its own gifts.  Untie the ribbon.”  —Ruth Ann Schabacker

Have you ever received a gift and intended to write a thank-you note or call the giver but kept putting it off?  Although, as a Greek proverb says, “Swift gratitude is the sweetest,” even a delayed thank you is still a sweet gift.


Heart Stones

I found these two heart-shaped stones while strolling the beach a couple of days ago.  More of God’s little love notes.  (❉◠‿◠)

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Jesus loves me this I know,
For the Bible tells me so,
And little notes He scatters round,
Like heart-shaped stones upon the ground.
I don’t need signs so I’ll believe,
But from His heart I will receive.
His little love notes make me smile
And stop to praise Him for a while.
The heavens reveal His love notes, too.
Like dove-shaped clouds in skies of blue.
Jesus loves both you and me,
Just open your eyes and you will see.

© René Yoshi 2013


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