February 1, 2017 – Friends are Family
I was never one who had a lot of true friends. I can’t even remember any from grade school, only three that were my best friends from one of the Junior High Schools and none from High School other than my first boyfriends.
When I was in grade school, I was being shuffled from one foster home to another so I never really had enough time to develop true friendships, and with two of the foster homes being on farms, I was never really in a position to meet many other people.
During the years I was back at home with my mother, after she married my step father, we moved almost every year to a different city. Supposedly he was trying to get us into better neighborhoods and schools, and of course with him going to college and my mother working, almost all the household chores fell on my shoulders because my older sister had moved out and my younger sister was five years younger.
Early on in my young adulthood, after my son’s father was incarcerated and we were divorced, I got myself into a very bad relationship for almost 20 years. During this relationship I was told who I could talk to and who I couldn’t and I was not allowed to have friends.
When I became a Christian, I soon found that there was a whole new world of friends and family available to me. Today, 24 years later, I have more friends and family that I ever dreamed of. The bible tells us that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, so my friends are also my family. Today I am thankful for those friends and family members.
Matthew 12:48-50 But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
Romans 12:5 So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
February 2, 2017 – The Least of These
I just love where I live now. It is so pleasant to hear all the birds singing, to walk out back and see them eating the seed we put out ,to talk to Mrs. Beasely (the squirrel) and to just feel so close to nature. We put food out for them every day, sometimes twice a day if they seem like they are really hungry.
We’ve had a couple families of possums back there, and a large skunk ignored me one evening and walked on by. I don’t doubt that there have been some raccoon’s wandering through and maybe a few other small woodsy animals on their night hunts while we are asleep. I wish that I could afford to feed them all, that they would never have to hunt again.
I’ve watched mates feed each other, a male Cardinal feeding his mate because she is over-heavy with eggs, and mamma Blue jays feeding their young ones on the deck, picking up grain and putting it into their little mouths and then nudging them to take some by their self.
Usually by the end of the month we run out of seed so I start putting out what stale bread we might have, because we really can’t afford more than one bag of seed a month, and as the pickings get slim, there are less birds to be seen, but they always come back.
Sometimes I wonder if feeding them falls into the same category of the verse Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” I love being part of nature, even if it is just a small part and today I am thankful that I live in an area where I can take part in it.
February 3, 2017 – Money
What would we do without money? Think about it. In earlier times people bartered and traded, apples for wheat or a cow for a horse, or eggs for some grain. Sometimes it would be labor, such as mending a fence, removing rocks, or cleaning out a shed in return for some food or a place to lay your head.
As time went on, man discovered the value of metals and precious stones and started trading them for what they needed. In the days of the Bible, the coins would be newly made every time there was a new procurator, King, Pharaoh or Governor. Taxes were soon in place to make this person coffers that much richer.
As time went by, and countries developed their own governments, they developed coinage and paper money to be paid out for services. In the US, this money was backed by gold bars and so the use of money began.
Now, today, not everyone owns land, not everyone owns personal property, not everyone has marketable skills that they can trade for food or a place to sleep. People are hired and paid for what they do so they in turn can support their families, put a roof over their heads, be able to eat and have a place to sleep.
Governments like ours developed programs for that would help to support the pour, the disabled and the elderly who otherwise would be starving and homeless. Money can become an item to worship by some people, and there are many who do exactly that, but in this day and age, it is a needful commodity to keep us going. Don’t get me wrong, I do not love money, I do not hoard it, not do I aspire to be rich with it, but today I am thankful for money because I can’t plow a field or weed a garden or mend a barn to earn food and a place to sleep.
Proverbs 23:4-5 Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.