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PRECIOUS DAD MOMENT
As ham sandwiches go, it was perfection. A thick slab of ham, a fresh bun, crisp lettuce and plenty of expensive, light brown, gourmet mustard. The corners of my jaw were aching in anticipation,
I carried it to the picnic table in our backyard, picked it up with both hands but was stopped by my wife suddenly at my side. "Hold Johnny, (our six-week-old son), while I get my sandwich," she said.
I had him balanced between my left elbow and shoulder and was reaching again for the ham sandwich when I noticed a streak of mustard on my fingers. I love mustard. And I had no napkin. So I licked it off.
It was NOT mustard. No man ever put a baby down faster. It was the first and only time I have sprinted with my tongue protruding. With a washcloth in each hand I did the sort of routine shoeshine guys do, only I did it on my tongue.
Later my wife said, "Now you know why they call that mustard íPoupon.í"
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GIVING THE POOR A REASON TO LIVE
So let's humble ourselves before each other and experience His grace. It's the way to true glory and dignity even if we find ourselves down and out.
That's what Abbe Pierre discovered when he founded the Emmaus Communities in 1949. The Emmaus Communities today serve homeless men and women all across Europe in a unique way. They don't just give the homeless handouts. Instead, they ask the homeless, whom they call "companions," to serve others.
It all started with Abbe Pierre's first companion in ministry, a homeless man named Georges. After Georges' release from prison, his family couldn't cope with his reappearance, so they told him to leave. Homeless, unemployed, and on the verge of suicide, Georges came to Pierre and asked for help. Much to Georges' surprise, Pierre asked Georges to help him instead. Pierre told Georges that he was overwhelmed with meeting the needs of homeless mothers and their children. So Pierre challenged Georges to turn his life around by serving those less fortunate than he.
Georges became the first "companion" for Emmaus, helping Pierre build shelters for homeless mothers and their children. In the following years, every companion, like Georges, was invited to serve others as they received help. Initially, all the companions collected second-hand goods and prepared them for resale, thus earning the name "the rag pickers." Later in his life, Georges said, "Whatever else [Abbe Pierre] might have given me -- money, home, somewhere to work -- I'd have still tried to kill myself. What I was missing, and what he offered, was something to live for." Well, those sentiments became the unofficial motto for Emmaus -- give the poor a reason to live, not just things to live on.
According to Margaret Visser, this ministry restores dignity and breathes new life into the poor because "members turn to those who have nothing and ask them to give."
(Margaret Visser, The Gift of Thanks, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009, p. 373. From a sermon by C. Philip Green, The Way to Glory, 8/13/2011)
Generosity isnít always as generous as it might seem. There is a story out of Miami, Florida about six Royal Palm trees that had been vandalized and cut down along Miamiís Flager Street. Due to the expense involved in replacing them Dade County wasnít sure how soon, if ever. they would be replaced. Along came a generous donation of six new trees. Not only were the trees paid for but they were even planted by the donor.
The former trees had been 15 feet tall and formed a beautif...
Arthur Pink wrote about how some people do not worship:
They bring their bodies to the house of prayer but not their souls. They worship with their mouths but not in spirit and in truth.
They are sticklers for early morning communion with God but they take no thought about keeping their hearts with all diligence.
They boast of their orthodoxy but disregard the precepts of Christ.
Multitudes of professing Christians abstain from external acts of violence, yet hesitate not to rob their neighbors of a good name by spreading evil reports against them.
They contribute regularly to the church but shrink not from ...