“Yes…but this time because it was for a good cause,” I replied with a chuckle.
My son’s tennis team had a fund-raiser last night at one of the pizza places in our town. The budget is really tight this year because of our economy. My friend teased me because it seemed like I just had pizza the other day and then, she learned that I had some more last night. As soon as my husband came home, together with our son, we went there and had ordered the largest pizza to help out the team in whatever way.
My son, after eating a couple of slices, went out and stood by the door with the other teammates. They started handling out some flyers to let the people walking in that they needed help.
The coach came to the table where my hubby and I just got done eating our pieces. Sipping my rootbeer, he uttered, “Thank you guys for coming here and helping us out. Thank you for the donation you gave. It truly helps us and I just want you to know that some of the money, we give back to the boys who have potential and do well academically through scholarships.”
“That’s a great cause. Wish we can give you more,” I uttered.
As he turned to my husband, the coach continued, “Right now, it’s not looking good, too. There are 178 teachers facing a possible lay offs.” He sighed… “And I’m one of them.”
The rootbeer was suddenly hard to swallow as I heard his words. My husband and I looked at each other and we talked through those eyes, knowing that we needed to lift them up in our prayers.
“Coach,” we both said, “We’ll pray for everyone. This is really a tough economy. So unstable and a lot are hurting. But we hope that it won’t happen for you and other great teachers we have.”
He shook our hands as our son came to the table and got done helping out with the flyers. We all got up and said bye to the coach. And we shared the sad news with our son, though we knew it before during the initial meeting we had before they started playing tennis. But the news seemed becoming a reality now more than ever.
I didn’t need to eat pizza. Trying to live a healthier lifestyle. But our schools and tennis team are in great need. Whatever little money we had, we gave to help out. As we asked the Lord to bless it prior to giving it. And as my son handed the money to his coach, I thought about the boy who brought 5 loaves of bread and 2 small fishes who was in the big crowd, eager to hear about Jesus but the people were all hungry and had nothing to eat. Of how Jesus gave thanks to God and broke those bread and fishes and was able to feed the 5,000. There were even left overs! 12 baskets of bread and fishes! [John 6:1-14]
Of those times when Mary broke an alabaster jar containing an expensive perfume and poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped it with her hair. Its content worth a year’s wages. How she demonstrated to give sacrificially to the One she loved so much. And no one felt that impact but Jesus Himself, that He wanted this act remembered forever. [Mark 14:3]
Of how God chose the way of brokenness in order to be used. [1 Corinthians 11:24 - “and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’”
Likewise we must chose the way of brokenness. [2 Corinthians 4:7 - “But this precious treasure - this light and power that now shine within us - is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies.”]
I looked at the left over 5 pieces of pizza. Served whole earlier. 2 slices for my husband, myself, my son and a teammate who sat next to my son, starving and had no money to buy. It is through breaking one whole thing, and sharing it that the power of God and His blessings are known. I want to be broken and spill a fragrant scent of worship like that alabaster jar.
Oh Lord, I don’t even know how to pray this morning. Knowing there are so many precious friends and family hurting. During this hard, economic times and also spiritually. Lord, You alone know their needs and I lift them up to You. Thank You for all the blessings that You give us, in return we are able to use to bless others. Remind me O Lord to be humble, knowing that the power and all the blessings are from You, not my own doing. Thank You Lord for the strength, the protection, the discernment and everything that You always give to us. Thank You for Who You are, God of love. Who gives us “wholeness” in our broken state. I love You Lord. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
[Please pray for our teachers facing lay offs. And for many, many others hurting at this time. God bless you all.]
The Attacker (5/15/09)
The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies.
Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.
Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.
All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.
When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.
The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.
When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.
[Source: NLT Bible ]:
We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.
“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14
Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].
Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.
Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.
Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].