Too often, we apply that passage only to money. The application is that we have to give money to get money. Whether its the TV preacher telling us to send him a big offering, or a "seed" or whatever they want to call it now, or if its just us thinking that if we put a big check in the offering plate at church is Going to bless us and pay some bill we have hanging over us (or whatever it may be).
But Luke 6:38 and the principle that it teaches us goes well beyond money. It applies to every aspect of our lives.
There are a LOT of thing in your life that you've probably been praying about for years. And you are frustrated because you feel like God is not giving you the things that you are asking for. That He is not listening to your prayers. You are asking but not receiving answers.
Maybe, just maybe, the reason is that God cannot give you the new until you first give away the old.
Let me give you an illustration. In a relationship. Your wife, or your children, or your co-workers, your employer, your parents, your siblings, your "friends," etc. cannot make emotional deposits into your life if the bank is already full. You have to empty yourself into others so that there will be room to receive the same.
Or I will give you an even more practical illustration. I know a couple who has wanted new furnishings for years. They have even prayed that God would enable them to replace their old furnishings. But that prayer never seemed to be answered. My advice to them was to give away everything that they didn't need or want. And in so doing make room in their house and life for God to give them new. It worked.
They gave the lion's share of their furniture and window coverings to a couple that was just getting started and could not afford such things. And over the next 6 months God blessed them in a number of ways and they have now replaced everything with very nice, new, everything they had ever hoped for.
Sometimes, we make the mistake of holding on to things that we should just give away because we think we should sell them. And then when they do not sell we end up holding onto them. Because we are holding onto them God cannot replace that which we've not let go of yet. The new cannot be given unto us because we are yet to give away the old.
I'm not saying that there are not times when it isn't appropriate to sell things. It certainly is. But sometimes, we just need to let go, give what we have away, let it be a blessing to someone else, and then trust God to replace it with something else. God knows what we need. And whatever replacement He gives will be exceedingly better than anything we gave away.
The principle applies to our Southern heritage as well. And today I am going to give us all a very personal object lesson by practicing what I am preaching. For the last few weeks I've been trying to sell my Suttlery tent. Instead, I am just going to give it to someone who will use it to advance the cause. I will give them the canvas, interior and exterior walls, poles, stakes, ropes, everything. All I ask is that you use it to promote our heritage, teach our history, and pass the faith and character of or ancestors on. No doubt as I give this away God will give me something greater in its place that I can use to advance the cause. In the process we will both be enabled to do the work.
I cannot afford to ship the canvas, poles, etc. And truth be told, that cost would be hundreds of dollars and make the "free" offer impractical for both of us. But if you can pick up the tent in Central Florida please respond to this eMail. We can make arrangements for you to pick it all up.
One of FDR's "make work" programs during the depression was to give motion picture and recording equipment to young people and send them all over the country in search of "Civil War" veterans. Their job, was to interview the veterans, both Northern and Southern, so that there would be a permanent filmed record of their experiences during the War Between the States.
This is not a documentary. It is the actual veterans telling their stories, themselves, unscripted. The footage from the Civil War Veterans Project is now on DVD. It is an awesome DVD. See the actual veterans. And hear them tell the stories, themselves.
The cost will be just $10 and I will pay the postage to get it to you.
I will get a DVD out to you. I'll even pay the postage to anywhere in the US or Canada.
THIS WEEK IN THE WBTS
Twenty tons of captured Confederate black powder “shook the foundations” of Mobile, Alabama, when it exploded in a warehouse being used as an arsenal. The powder blast set off numerous other explosions. Boats at the dock, warehouses and other buildings were left in ruins. There may have been as many as 300 casualties. Property loss was estimated at $5 million.
At New Orleans, Confederate Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner, acting for General E. Kirby Smith, Confederate commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department, entered into a military convention with Federal Major General Peter J. Osterhaus, representing Major General Edward R. S. Canby. Under the terms of the surrender, all resistance would cease, and officers and men would be paroled under the terms similar to those of the Appomattox surrender. Some troops, including part of Jo Shelby’s command, refused the terms and marched to Mexico, or just went home. Now only Confederate Brigadier General Stand Watie, in charge of the Indian Division, remained the last holdout to surrender.
Seven Confederates, George R. Smith, Michael S. Barnhart, Hugh McGee, Nick Taylor, Jonas Myers, Rufus Holmes and Thomas Raney arrived at Federal headquarters at the St. Charles Hotel in Pocahontas, Arkansas with hopes of receiving their paroles and going home. Instead, they were bound, blindfolded and shot on Bettis Street in front of the hotel. Two additional unnamed Confederates were wounded but lived and three additional men were able to escape unharmed. A detachment of the 7th Kansas Cavalry Company C, approximately 45 in number, was responsible for the massacre.
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Deo Vindice, Chaplain Ed