Engaging with homeless people I encounter has become a joy and a passion for me. My friend Bobby Hegedish has discovered a similar calling. I think you will love his story of a homeless veteran.
Kindness and compassion are usually the motivations behind RAKs—Random Acts of Kindness.
The phrase caught hold through a book—Random Acts of Kindness—by Anne Herbert, telling true stories of acts of kindness. Defined as unpremeditated, inconsistent actions designed to offer kindness toward the outside world, RAK’s have become popular practices in our world today, counteracting, according to author Herbert, “random acts of violence and senseless acts of cruelty.”
Kindness and compassion began long before—in the beginning as we humans were first created by a kind and compassionate God. To be kind and compassionate was hardwired in us, though most of us have strayed from that approach to life in varying degrees.
The Apostle Paul emphasized the importance for children of God to live and love as Jesus did—putting on compassion and kindness (Colossians 3:12). Random Acts of Kindness should be a way of life for us.Continue Reading
This past weekend I had the privilege of participating in a Christmas in New York gathering for friends of Cru Inner City. We saw some of the realities of life in the inner city and heard stories of help and hope. I was especially moved by this message from John Sather, co-national director of this ministry to the poor and marginalized. This truly expresses the heart of God. You will want to watch the Brennan Manning video at the end–I believe this helps us grasp the heart of Christmas.
- Matthew 5:3 – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
- Matthew 25:40 – “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
- Jeremiah 22: 16 – “He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is not this to know me? declares the Lord.”
- Isaiah 61:1 – “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…”
- Psalm 35:10 – “All my bones shall say,“O Lord, who is like you, delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him, the poor and needy from him who robs him?”
Pastor John Piper states, “The point of Isaiah 58 is this: Piety that does not produce a passion for God-exalting social justice and practical mercy is worthless. Or to put it positively: God promises that we will break forth like the dawn if our piety produces a passion for social justice and practical mercy.”Continue Reading
Our Compassion children have come from South America and, most recently, from Haiti. Each of my children has (with me) sponsored a Compassion child. Next will be my grandchildren.
I love what Compassion does: serve, meet need needs and develop children, working with churches in local communities to make specific provision. I enjoy writing and receiving letters to our girl in Haiti, “meeting” her family, understanding her situation. Someday I hope to visit.
I think Compassion is appropriately named to correlate with the biblical emphasis of compassion. It demonstrates what I believe Paul is talking about when he tells us, “…as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion.” (Colossians 3:12)
The English dictionary defines this as “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.”
But God’s Word adds much richness to this word. Scriptural nuances include to suffer what someone else suffers, to sympathetically participate in grief. It is closely tied to grace.Continue Reading
I love to speak and write blessings to those I love and to anyone I can. May these blessings unleash the good God wants to do in your life in the coming year.
May you know that God delights in you and is crazy in love with you. (Zephaniah 3:17)
May you be convinced that nothing can separate you from the love of God. (Romans 8:38-39)
May you know that you have been rescued from darkness and brought into the light of the Son. (Colossians 1:13)
May you know your sins are forgiven. (Luke 24:47)
May you know that God will be with you when you go through the floodwaters and through the flames. (Isaiah 43:2)
May He affirm in your heart that you are loved, accepted, desired, treasured—of great value to God and to His kingdom. (2 Thessalonians 5:16-17)
May you be built up, not torn down; planted, not uprooted. May you turn to God with all your heart. (Jeremiah 24:6,7)
May you comprehend that it gives God joy to always do good to you. (Jeremiah 32:40)
May the light of your life shine brightly into the darkness around you. (Matthew 5:14-16)
May the saltiness of your life make people around you thirsty for the living water. Matthew 5:13
May you know for sure that you are His and He is yours. (Song of Songs 2:16)
May the compassion of Christ flow through you to everyone you encounter. (Mt 10:42)
May you never settle for less than God’s best.