Be Generous

 

 

 

 

Why do we need to talk about being generous?
I looked the word up intending to prove that   generosity is relative, and was surprised at the definition.


1. Readiness or liberality in giving.

2. Freedom from meanness or smallness of mind or character.

3. A generous act: We thanked him for his many generosities.

4. Largeness or fullness; amplitude.


I hadn’t even considered the second definition. Generosity is certainly more than giving or sharing money, or even things, but when I think about it, usually that comes to mind first. I am   in the Detroit airport right now, and asked the person sitting next to me what she thought of when asked about generosity. She told me quite a few things, including how she had been at a chain restaurant where the waitress was so good, that she doubled the bill as a tip, and then made a point to talk with the manager to share how great a job that person had done. Here are some of the points I gleaned from all that she told me.

- We shouldn’t have to talk about being generous, it just makes sense to treat people well.

- Generosity often comes when we see ourselves in another’s shoes.

- Generosity often speaks profoundly to the   recipient, even to the extent of knowing who “your real friends are.”

- Generosity is about much more than money, and includes time, consideration, and kindness.


On my way off the plane, I helped two people with bags, and started looking for ways to be generous. Generosity is contagious!

So the assignment, if you choose to accept it, missionaries, is as follows:

Ask 2 people the question, “When you think of generosity, what comes to mind?” Be curious in the conversation and ask, “Where have you seen generosity?”

Be generous, and share the story with me at mwipperman@livelifetogether.com.

 

 

Moved to Action

I'm not sure about you, but whenever there's a large natural disaster, I always want to help, but sometimes these three questions keep me from doing so. 1) Can my small donation make a difference? 2) Will it get to the people who really need it? 3) Will it really get there quick enough to help? Check out the link below and consider a donation to "Fishers of Men Ministry". It's easy online.

Answers: 1) Even a few US dollars can go a long way in Nepal. 2) Through Fishers of Men, we know the funds will used to serve "the least and the lost" in Nepal directly with love and grace. 3) We wired previous donations less than 24 hours after the first quake and will wire more as soon as additional donations come in.

My wife, Mayme Keagy, worked side-by-side with navtive missionaries during two medical mission trips to Nepal, they've visited us here, and we are now good friends. They are the most selfless people we know. Their town was damaged but they are OK. They are now headed directly to the villages at the epicenter of the first quake that you don't hear about on the news, but where many are suffering. They also have ties in Kathmandu and will be helping there as well.

Thank you for considering even a small donation!

http://www.livelifetogether.com/nepal-earthquake-relief

 

What Does “Comfort” Mean to You?

If you’re like me, you often take a comfortable life for granted. I don’t mean to gloss over any hardships you or your family may be facing – I recognize that illness, financial difficulties, relationship struggles, and any other number of things can sometimes make life quite uncomfortable. However, I do think that for those of us who never have to wonder if we’ll have enough food to eat each day, a safe place to spend our time, and a bed to sleep in each night, we simply don’t think about these basic comforts very often. They’re a given. But what if they weren’t?

Jesus exalted those who faced poverty and hardship: the fewer things one owned, and the more one suffered, the more acutely he or she felt the need for a Savior. And recognizing God’s saving grace in every situation – as one is more apt to do when not distracted by possessions and power – stirs a greater sense of urgency to share that love and grace!

[Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.” Mark 8:34]

The more we recognize that our time and our treasures are not our own, but God’s, and that they are tools to be used for serving others and connecting them to life in Jesus, the closer we grow to Him.

Here are just a few ways that you can serve others, for whom basic comforts might not be a given:

  • Volunteer at St. Vincent De Paul Food Pantry (svdpmadison.org/food) by hosting pantry clients, or at the Verona Area Needs Network (vanncares.org) or The River Food Pantry on Madison’s east side (riverfoodpantry.org).

 

  • Get involved with Habitat for Humanity of Dane County, in their mission of “bringing the community together to build homes with God’s people in need”: contact me (egumm@livelifetogether.com) or visit habitatdane.org.

 

  • Pray for God’s comfort – strength, encouragement, and hope – for families on mission with Wycliffe Bible Translators: Don and Pam Leonard in Southeast Asia, and Jon and Marijane Beutler and their sons in Mozambique.

And I’d love to hear from you: What does “comfort” mean to you?

 

Easter Story Cookies

Our Lord is Risen! Hallelujah! Easter was always my favorite holiday as a child. Take a minute and think back to how you celebrated Easter as a child. What did you look forward to? The Easter basket filled with candy? Maybe you looked forward to searching for cee

 

Open your oven on Easter morning and see the surprise!

Ingredients:

 • Bible

 • 1 c whole pecans

 • 1 tsp. vinegar

 • 3 egg whites

 • pinch of salt

 • 1 c granulated sugar

 • 1 qt. or gal. size zipper bag

 • wooden spoon

 • tape

Directions:

 1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

 2.  Place pecans in Ziploc bag and let kids beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read: John 19:1-3.

3. Let each child smell the vinegar. Add teaspoon of vinegar into the mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.

4. Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.

5. Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl.  Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sins. Read Luke 23:27.

6. So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup of sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.

7. Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

8. Fold in broken nuts.

9. Line cookie sheet with waxed paper. Drop mixture by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60.

10. Place the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66.

11. GO TO BED. Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and John 16:22. 

12. On Easter morning, open the oven and remove the cookies. Take a bite. Notice - the cookies are hollow. On the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9.  

 

Resurrection Rolls: These rolls are super sticky but a delicious way to remember the real reason we celebrate Easter!

Materials: A can of crescent rolls, a few tablespoons melted butter, 8 large marshmallows, cinnamon and sugar mixture, parchment paper

1. Pre-heat oven according to directions on crescent rolls. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. (This recipe can be very sticky and this step will make clean up much easier!)

2. Unroll the crescent roll triangles. These represent the tomb.

3. Give each child a marshmallow. These represent the body of Jesus.

4. Roll the marshmallows in butter and then cinnamon/sugar. These represent the oils and spices that were used to prepare Jesus’ body for burial.

5. Wrap one marshmallow in each crescent roll triangle. Be sure to seal the seams tightly to prevent the gooey mixture inside from seeping out. (They will look more like balls when you are finished). This represents Jesus’ body being buried in the tomb.

6. Place the cresecent rolls on the parchment paper. Place in oven and cook according to directions.

7. After baking, allow to cool before eating.

8. When you open the rolls, they will be empty – just like Jesus’ tomb!

He is Risen! Hallelujah!

We’d love to hear your stories and see your pictures of how you are teaching your children the story of Easter and the joy of our Risen Lord! Share them on our blog, on our facebook page or email me at epowers@livelifetogether.com.

 

Fun Easter Activities with Your Kids

Our Lord is Risen! Hallelujah! Easter was always my favorite holiday as a child. Take a minute and think back to how you celebrated Easter as a child. What did you look forward to? The Easter basket filled with candy? Maybe you looked forward to searching for colorful hidden eggs. Did you cherish the moments you spent dying eggs with your brothers and sisters? Holidays are special times for families to create traditions together that result in lasting memories. However, I wonder how often the traditions we create point our children back to the real reason for the celebration. The Easter eggs and pretty dresses and hunts in the back yard are meaningless if we don’t take time to share with our children the reason for our joy....the promise of Eternal Life!

This Lenten season, I would like to share with you a few family activities that could very easily become a new tradition in your home and help you share the story of Jesus with your children.

This week I'll share with you Resurrection Eggs

Resurrection Eggs: This 12 day devotional journey will walk your child through the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Each day, beginning on March 25th egg and read the passage as a family. To begin, you’ll need 12 plastic Easter Eggs and an empty egg carton. Your children may enjoy decorating their egg carton and personalizing it. Have each egg filled ahead of time, with the passage tucked inside the egg as well. Your child will open an egg each day to reveal the surprise and read the passage.

Egg 1: Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey while people praise Him.
Item to place in egg: A piece of a palm branch or leaf.
Passage: Matthew 21:1-11

Egg 2: Mary poured perfume on Jesus’ feet to worship Him.
Item to place in egg: cotton ball sprayed with perfume or cologne
Passage: John 12:2-8

Egg 3: Jesus shares the Last Supper with His disciples.
Item to place in egg: A piece of bread or a cracker
Passage: Matthew 26:17-30

Egg 4: Judas betrays Jesus.
Item to place in egg: 3 dimes
Passage: Matthew 26:14-16

Egg 5: Jesus is arrested and tried before Pilate.
Item to place in egg: a small piece of rope
Passage: Matthew 27:11-26

Egg 6: The soldiers put a crown of thorns on Jesus and mock Him.
Item to place in egg: a thorn or a piece of Chex cereal broken in half
Passage: Matthew 27:27-31

Egg 7: Jesus carries His cross.Item to place in egg: Glue two small toothpicks together to make a cross.
Passage: John 19:16-18

Egg 8: Jesus is crucified. Item to place in egg: a nail
Passage: Matthew 27:32-44

Egg 9: Jesus dies. Item to place in egg: a small piece of sponge soaked in vinegar
Passage: Matthew 27:45-56

Egg 10: Jesus is buried. Item to place in egg: a small rock
Passage: Matthew 27:57-61

Egg 11: The women go to prepare Jesus’ body. Item to place in egg: spices
Passage: Mark 16:1-3

Egg 12: The tomb is empty! All the women find is the linens Jesus had been wrapped in. Item to place in egg: a small piece of white cloth
Passage: John 20:1-18

Next week I'll share: Easter Story Cookies