Friday, February 1, 2008

Happy February. . matters of the heart

Yesterday I went to our local big box store to stock up. I'd hate to run out of food. Before leaving, I did a quick check of my pantry to see what I was running low on or worse yet .. .completely out of and found the cupboard still had food ..
but perhaps not what I was hungry for.


When I arrived .. .I first checked out the fun things .. like books. I was amused at the table dedicated to books designed to improve our health by either eating differently or less or how to exercise off all the food we eat.. . . you've seen them.

I'm not even sure how to say what is all in my heart about this subject .. .but since it is February . . .and essentially we will see hearts everywhere for the next 14 days, it seems I may as well just lay it out before you.


Last weekend in church we were challenged to think about what are we doing with all that God has entrusted to us. What are we doing with our . . .time. . .. energy .. . .

and money?
It was the most fascinating and inspiring hour and a half that I've spent in church for quite some time. The words in the Bible came alive and set deep into my heart.


We were left considering what we are doing with what we have.

I'm assuming that if you are reading this, at the very least you have been able to afford a computer and an internet service to read it.
So stay with me. . . .

Yesterday as I continued to walk through the big box store I wondered about all I had heard ..

At church we were treated to the mind searing statistics of global hunger.
There was no where to go but listen to the hard facts.
  • a child dies every five seconds due to hunger related causes . ..
  • globally .. . 800 million people suffer from hunger . .. .
  • villagers in Kenya live on $1.00 per day .. . .
  • In Sierra Leone only 41% of children attend school.
We were also told the cold hard facts of what we spend in North America on what we consider necessities such as gourmet dog food, beauty supplies and diet aids . .fitness clubs.


Ouch.
It's interesting how God gives me such a clear memory at the most appropriate times, does that ever happen to you?



My memory took me back about 20 years when one Christmas my dad suggested to all of us that we give to the needy in lieu of a gift exchange. I can remember exactly where I was sitting when I announced that we were a bit needy ourselves.
Yikes. I've since regretted that cold hearted statement more times than I can recall.
I remember that we were needing to be careful with our finances and kept very close to a budget and yet I don't ever recall not being able to buy the
staple groceries that kept our family fed.
Are you still with me?
Good.
The wonderful part is that last weekend when we left that service we weren't feeling defeated at all. Rather, we felt such a sense of challenge to do something for our part.


The amazing thing is that there is enough food in the world that no one should die of hunger.
There is enough.

I'm sure that all around the world, where money is earned and spent everyday there are available projects to be involved in.
In Canada there is a project called
The Rice Raiser (click on the link for more info)

It's mission is to inspire this generation to actions of generous love to eliminate hunger locally and globablly.

Their vision is to work with schools, community groups and charitable organizations. They are educating us about global hunger and providing opportunities for action.
We are so excited to be given the privilege to particpate in a project that will save lives.

So, here's the snowflake part that I talked of yesterday.

If we all do a little, we can make a difference in the world.
You and I.
All our little parts could become one beautiful creation of giving out of selfless love.
I was thinking about the numbers that read this blog everyday and imagined that there could be children living to see another day because we did something to ensure that they would have enough rice to eat.
There are many exciting opportunities.


$1 will buy vegetable seens for 7 families in Bangladesh.
$10 buys two fruit trees for 10 families.

In Sierra Leone $65 provides lunches and snacks for an entire school for a week.

This is only a small sample of what some wonderfully organized team has already done in the way of the homework, investigating and brainstorming.

In our home we intend to make a concious effort to consider how we can help the global and local community be less hungry.
We can make a difference.
Some weeks, it will mean that we pull out our check book.
Other weeks I'll be sure to put something in our local food bank container as I leave the grocery store.

It's not that hard.

I'm excited.
I have a cheerful heart.


Have a wonderful day my friends.



The pedometer is firmly attached.

17 comments:

  1. The timing of your post is perfect. This is the weekend that we bring bags of groceries to church that go to the Hispanic ministries food pantry of a sister church.

    The items that I am purging from our household in preparation for this move (clothing, furniture, etc.) are going to our community Christian thrift store - proceeds from any sales go directly to ministry to the needy, and the clothes are provided to them.

    Small ways to help, I know, but they're all part of a big picture. Thank you, Lovella, for pointing out an important way to share love with others - this is a great alternative to exchanging Valentine's Day gifts!

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  2. What a great encouragement your post is today to me. It is well written. The reality of hungry lives is always before us, but we are so blind to it because of our great satisfaction. I will join your challenge.

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  3. Nice post Lovella. Did you see last night's episode of The Apprentice? The people who make 'CROCS' (you know, the shoes) are donating thousands of pairs and encouraging people to donate their own crocs to people in Africa who don't have shoes. It was kind of moving for a reality show.

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  4. Thank you, Lovella for this reminder today! I don't attend the same church as you do but I know that message inspired more people and a "project" was discussed at our family business this past week. The snowflake is growing.

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  5. Your post is definitely "FOOD" for thought and not only thought but action!!
    When the problem seeems sooo big it is easy to forget that many doing a little can overome any need !!
    Thank you for a beautifully written post, and the challenge !!!

    Let's have a 'heart' everyone !!!

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  6. Thanks for the reminder...we can't so it alone, but together we can make a huge difference! I shall take your 'message' to heart.

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  7. I love your post. It reminds me of a story I read once where two men where walking along a beach where thousands of starfish lay washed ashore. One man kept picking them up and thowing them back in to keep them from dying. The other man said "Man, your wasting your time, you can't possible make a difference here." The man picked up another starfish and threw it back in and turned and said "It made a difference to that one".
    We can conquer hunger "one at a time".
    Blessings
    Linda

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  8. I hear you. This year for Christmas Doris and I bought each other a pig for a needy family overseas. We don't need more stuff we never use anyway. We also support several Children on a monthly bases so their families can get an education and learn to support themselves. We sponsor through Canadian Food for the Hungry. It's only $30 per month per child and helps the whole family. Because it is up to the administration workers to raise their own support 100% of what you give goes towards the cause. This is one reason we chose to give through Canadian Food for the Hungry. They also go into the communities and help provide clean water and teach them to farm and give them the tools they need. I like this approach. They try to work themselves out of a job. "give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime". I highly recommend "Canadian Food for the Hungry" as a reliable way to reach out to those less fortunate than we.

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  9. Giving to sustain life and meet needs is the most delicious thing on earth!
    I especially like the projects that allow us to give ducks or chickens or goats to families. Hand up rather than just a hand out. And often women benefit most from those donations. Yeah~!

    My biggest concern is distribution. It breaks my heart that often the food and clothing and medicine is available, but no way to get it distributed in war torn countries.

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  10. Amen! There are many good programs for giving...and don't forget to also pray that the aid reaches those who need it; in some countries that can be a problem. Also that more of us who live in affluent countries will have our eyes and hearts opened to the great need out there and be moved to do something about it, and to keep giving whenever we can, as your thoughtful post does.

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  11. I absolutely LOVED the sermon on Sunday, too. My parents were there with me and they loved it as well. Very inspiring. I'm also looking into a website called Kiva where you can loan people in 3rd world countries money to start their own businesses. Thanks for the challenge!

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  12. I wholeheartedly agree that the message was not only a reminder of God's love for us, the tasking with responsibility & accountability, but was inspiring to take on the challenge to use our talents/resources in their entirety for the sharing of His Love..which is a matter of the heart....thank you for this posting nearly a week later as a reminder..much appreciated.

    Elma

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  13. Isn't it interesting how we can sometimes come home from church and say, What did the pastor say today that I already don't know?
    And the next time...the light bulb goes on.
    Our world is so much bigger and we need to be aware of the needs not only overseas but right here at home.

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  14. Good thoughts Lovella - I'm glad to see that you left church feeling empowered to do something rather than overwhelmed by the immensity of the problem. You're right - we all can do something. On PEI my school has been involved with "Farmers Helping Farmers" in Kenya. Our church also has a food cupboard for those in our community who run short and we have worked with local farmers through the World Grain project. We sponsor a foster child through World Vision but there is so much more we could do. Thanks for the challenge.I'll be exploring ways to do more.

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  15. Thank you Lovella for the challenge...a good reminder that I can do more. Every little bit helps!

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  16. Great post! I totally agree - there is MUCH we can do to help those in need. I think your post is a great encouragment/motivation for people to find practical ways in their communities to help fight against hunger and poverty. May you be richly blessed as you bless others.

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  17. Good thoughts, Lovella. I have been thinking these same thoughts especially since reading a post at www.walkslowlylivewildly.com. Scroll down to her Jan 30th post where she writes about excess and just enough.

    What you have written speaks to my heart too. I have always tried to live a simple life; when we were missys in Papua and again in the inner city in Los Angeles. The excessive ways creep in so easily; I have to constantly diligent to remind myself how little I really need to live.

    Thanks for the reminder.

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Thank you!