America is great because America is good. When America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.
Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites (Mark 12:42)
Have you given your all?
What simple thing can you do to offer hope to hopeless people this Christmas?
Yesterday morning I went to the monthly Culpeper Ministerial Association meeting held at Culpeper Hospital. Despite having a very full schedule, I chose to go primarily to honor Pastor Randy Orndorff for his two years of outstanding service as President of the Culpeper Ministerial Association. Pastor Randy has been a faithful supporter of our Pray Culpeper team.
Boy, did God have an unexpected Christmas surprise for me. Our guest speaker for the day was Rev. Joseph Samuel Reeves (Sam), a native of Liberia, West Africa. Sam returned to the U.S. after the barbaric and horrific Liberian Civil War, which lasted more than 15 years.
David Bean introduced Sam with a powerful story sharing how God clearly instructed him to covenant with Sam. As a result, Sam became Project Manager for Operation Rescue Liberia. David serves as President of the Greater Charlottesville District for the United Methodist men.
Sam started by sharing the history of Liberia. I knew very little about that country. I learned Liberia is the second oldest country in Africa and the only African nation that is a creation of the United States. Liberia was born in the U.S. and especially Virginia. Almost all the presidents have either come from the U.S. or been descended from people here. The name Liberia derives from our word liberty. Learn more about Liberia and its ties to slavery at today’s Link of the Day.
Sam then shared three important points about Christmas:
1) Christmas is a reminder that God operates out of the ordinary. Elizabeth and Mary got pregnant is unusual manners (Luke 1:26-38). God wins over traditional wisdom and human logic. He wins over fear, doubt, and skepticism. Sam shared his goal to raise $30,000 by March 2008 to ship more than $1,000,000 of much needed medical and educational supplies to Liberia to rebuild a nation ravished by Civil War.
2) Christmas is a reminder that God transcends selfishness and provides hope in hopeless situations. The initial prophecy of incarnate Jesus coming to earh in the form of man reminds us that God seeks to save fallen humanity (Gen 3:15). The star of Bethlehem that fascinated human history and transformed lives demands our sensitivity to human needs and sufferings wherever they exist (Num 24:17). See also Isaiah 9:14 and Isaiah 9:1-7.
3) Christmas is about giving because God gave His best to all of us. We are to give from the heart, in accordance with our abilities and to glorify God (Ex 25:2, Ex 6:1-4, Mark 12:42). We are to give our widow’s mite, to give because generosity provides abundance, to give in our spare times, and we are to give wholeheartedly (Mark 12:42, Deut 15:16, 2 Cor 2:1-8, 1 Ch 29:9). Sowing and reaping go hand-in-hand (2 Cor 16:2, Mal 3:10, 2 Cor 9:6-7).
Sam’s story so deeply touched my heart that I decided to create a free website for Rim of Grace Ministries to help Sam communicate God’s important message much more effectively. It’s interesting that near the close of 2007, the 400th anniversary year of the founding of Jamestown Virginia, that God moved so mightily in my heart. Perhaps God will use this opportunity to bless the entire continent of Africa. After all, Jesus was born in a manger in little, tiny Bethlehem.
Heavenly Father, my heart is deeply troubled over what is going on in Liberia. We commit Operation Rescue Liberia to You. Thank You for Your promise to establish our very thoughts. Be Lord over the website that is designed. Be Lord over how Sam and his team communicate. Be Lord over the $30,000 Sam has requested. Be Lord over Liberia. Use this nation and opportunity to bless people throughout Africa. I pray people in Virginia will rally behind this worthy cause. Thank You Jesus. Amen.
Link of the Day
Liberia’s history timeline
Blessings to give your all that all may have!
Joseph Peck, M.D.
The Time Doctor
Author, I Was Busy, Now I’m Not
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