A Harvest of Beauty

 

fabric

A friend of mine is moving and part of the process is deciding what is going and what is going if you know what I mean. Denice decided that her stash of fabric had to go, and I became the lucky recipient. Score!

When Denice bought the fabric, she fully intended to use it for her own projects. She could see their potential for creating beauty. Little did she know at the time, they would eventually fall into my hands and I would pass some along to others. By sharing the fabric, beauty was going to show up in some unexpected ways.

Just one way the fabric was used was for teaching a another class in beginning quilt making. (See the other post on the first workshop here.) It brought a group together who knew each other from work, this time for some fun. They chatted and laughed, told stories about their lives, and encouraged each other. They built deeper, stronger relationships, and their quilt tops turned out awesome too.

And that’s not all. Each participant in the class donated some money towards a mission project that would benefit a family in Mexico by providing them a home. What will be created there is still to come, and from my experience, I can tell you it will be exceptional.

You can imagine the fabric Denice bought to make something beautiful certainly did its job and will continue to do so in the future. But as special as the gift was, it is the generosity that has revealed something even more wonderful.

 

Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through this, your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

2 Corinthians 9:10-11 NIV

I love this Scripture that is found in Second Corinthians titled Generosity Encouraged. Saint Paul, the writer, uses a planting theme to get his point across. He starts with, “Remember, whoever sows sparingly, will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” [2 Corinthians 9:4] Makes sense. Less seed planted results in a lower crop yield. More seed, bigger harvest.

Denice could have simply decided to keep her fabric tucked away in boxes and stored them at her new home. It was totally up to her, but instead, she chose to be generous, and her gifts touched others who in turn touched others. This is very much how seeds work. Each seed planted produces many more seeds that will produce even more. The harvest is multiplied.

Let’s take a quick look at what kind of harvest generosity brings. It’s the whole premise and promise idea—When you do this, you can expect this result. Second Corinthians 9:10 says, generosity will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. Righteousness is the state of what we ought to be, the way God pictures us. According to this Scripture, the more generous we are, the more we are who God meant us to be.

So, generosity satisfies a need for the recipient and builds righteousness in the giver, but it doesn’t stop there. According to Scripture from Second Corinthians, our generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. In fact, the verse that follows says,

“This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.”

What’s more— “Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity with them and with everyone else.”

Simply said, generosity is a sign you are indeed a follower of Jesus. “Loving your neighbor as yourself” [Matthew 22:39] makes the Gospel real to others and brings praise to God.

I guess some questions we might consider are:
  • Do we want to be more like how we ought to be? How God created us?
  • Do we want others to know when we say we are Christians it’s more than just words?
  • Do we want the world to be changed for the better because it sees the Gospel in action?
  • Do we want our lives to glorify God?

Generosity will answer all these questions with a resounding YES! But lest you worry if you have what it takes to be generous remember—

“Now He [God] who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed . . . You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion.”

You’ve got this. Just as it was for my friend, Denice, and the fabric she had stored away for the day she would be called upon to be generous, God has enriched you with what you will need to be giving on every occasion whether it be resources, words, time, prayer, etc. Believe what He says and see what beauty you will create with all He has already given you.

As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.
Proverbs 27:19
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Be generous.


Denice Kucera (2)
Denice is a true Girl on Adventure.

She would probably tell you she is no one special but her friends would certainly argue with that. Whenever there is a need, Denice is willing to lend a hand. She is a good friend, gives great advice, inspires others to have fun, and loves God’s word. She strives to follow Jesus every day because she knows He goes to the best places and  she would be the first to invite you along on the journey.


 

Here is a sampling of the beautiful creations from the workshop with my daughter’s co-workers. We had such a great day. Life needs more of this. Don’t you agree?

 

 


 

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

Proverbs 11:25

Thanks to Denice and others who were generous a house like this one will be built in the spring 2019 for another family in Mexico. To know more about Hands of Mercy’s ministry checkout their website here.

 

Loft house

Generously Sow

https://pattyschell.com/2017/09/30/generously-sow-2/
I fed a homeless guy last night. His name was Edward.

It isn’t unusual for me to feed someone I see that might be hungry. Maybe it’s because my mamma taught me it was impolite to eat in front of others, though I don’t really know if that applied in this situation, since Edward was sitting alone on the dirty curb, and I would eat my meal at a nice clean table surrounded by a large group of people who were laughing and chatting with each other. It doesn’t really matter, but I think the reason I fed him was because God placed him in my path to feed and so I did.

A passage found at the end of Deuteronomy 24 talks about making provision for the foreigner, fatherless, and the widow from the excess we find in our own “fields”. It is just one passage out of nearly 100 found in the Bible that address our responsibility toward caring for the poor. One thing I would also like to point out, it doesn’t say those who are rich be generous. It makes a statement to us all no matter where we find ourselves economically. If you have a “field” big or small God’s talking to you.

I have found that the most generous people are actually the ones who can afford it least. I’ve seen those who had very little of their own divide and share what they had with someone else in need. A few years ago, I worked with a small church in one of the poorest areas near my home. We ran a midweek children’s service with singing, games, and stories. At the end of the evening, we fed the children supper along with some home baked cookies. Every single time they would ask if there was enough to take home. Some refused to eat what we offered so they could carry it to a mom or dad, grandparent or sibling who was not in attendance. I can just see them running into their houses making their little offering to whoever was there, becoming givers themselves.

Giving is a simple matter really,

but it’s no small thing. Even though each of us may only have the capacity to make a momentary difference in the life of one, man, woman or child—it is still worth the effort. It adds up. Most of us have more to offer than we think. A hamburger, a smile, a dollar or two, a moment of your time to give recognition. God has placed what others need in our “field” so we get to be generous and practice love. It grows us up a little more into the image of His Son who gave everything.

The feeling you get when you follow through with God’s will in your life is exhilarating and makes you want to do more, give more, love more. I can’t describe it. You just have to experience it for yourself. And in case you didn’t realize, caring for the poor is God’s will for everyone–you, me, everyone. Remember he says it nearly 100 times.

After my encounter with Edward, I thought about him all the way home and prayed for his life. Would he always be homeless? Would he someday have a wife? Children? He was a very young man. Where was his family? His parents? His siblings? Would he make it through the cold night? Would he know Jesus just a little more because someone fed him a hamburger and asked him his name? Only God knew the answers. What I do know for sure, that night, Edward’s name was in God’s ears and on His mind.

. . . whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
2 Corinthians 9:6