Why Leadings?

Not to lead, but to be led            -- by the Holy Spirit.

See Leader, Servant, or Slave? in the section below, "Walking the Walk".

Jack in Denali National Park, 2012.

God's Wrath

Why was Sodom destroyed? Ezekiel tells us in chapter 16, verse 49: "This was the sin of your sister, Sodom: Pride, full-ness of bread, and abundance of idleness. Neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy."

That's also why Jerusalem was destroyed.

And now, with greed as our national virtue, what hope is there for the United States of America? We are afflicted by imperialistic pride, obesity, and entertainment addiction, and we are all called to do our part to "strengthen the hand of the poor and needy".

"Strengthen the hand" is the King James wording. Modern translations say "help the poor and needy." And there's a world of difference between the two. Helping the poor = as little as throwing some cash in the Salvation Army bucket at Christmas time. That's charity. It's doing for, not doing with.

My Grandmother was right about charity. On a below-zero day, she went out on the back porch with a skillet to throw hot grease on the back-yard snow. She shivered as she re-entered the kitchen and said, "Wooooh, colder than charity."

Strengthening the hand is much different. We get personally involved with another person who needs help, and we work with her or him to get the needed help. That's risky. You're vulnerable. It takes prayer, time and patience. You need knowledge and wisdom from the LORD. There are great rewards, however. You get a brother or sister.

Strengthening the hand is great work for our churches -- which we ignore far more often than we perform. Why? Because we're afflicted with the Ameri-can curse of individualism. Christians are to be a tribe -- a tribe that takes care of each other. In Galatians 6:16, Paul calls us "the Israel of God" -- the new 13th tribe.

Jesus said, "The poor you shall always have with you." He didn't mean that as a curse -- the notion that the poor are an inevi-table nuisance and expense, to be hidden in the slums. Rather, He was saying, "You shall always be among the poor."

When you strengthen hands, you fulfill Deuteronomy 15:4-5: "However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the LORD your God . . ." It's a glorious responsibility and promise.

And how do prosperous Americans fulfill that promise? Generally, by making sure they have no contact with people who are poor -- and we have been that way from our beginnings in the 17th century. Early villages in Massachusetts solved the problem by out-lawing poor people. Today, we deal with the same problem by confining the poor in urban reservations, our slums.

As the Supreme Court Bailiff says at the beginning of each session, "God save the United States of America..." 

Sunday
Mar232014

THE CASE OF THE WAITING TRUNK

My Mother wrote this article in 1951, when I was a junior in high school. The article was published in Guideposts, with the following lead sentence: "Mrs. Towe, with her husband Larry, is a newspaper broker in Holland, Michigan." Note that back in the 1920's, when mother went to college at Olivet, these small schools did not have scholarships. Note also that in the 1920's, long before the interstate highway system, a drive from Florida to Michigan was a major expedition that took about eighty hours each way.

 

After my freshman year in college, Father told me that there was no money to send me back in the fall. Dad had suffered a slight stroke because of financial worries, so we were all anxious to do anything to help.

"If it is God's will, somehow, somewhere, a way will be provided," Mother said to me with quiet confidence.

About ten days before college was to start, Mother began packing my trunk. An expert seamstress, she had made clothes all summer for me, including a beautiful new evening dress, the prettiest one I had ever owned.

College started, but I did not go! Yet my trunk was all packed, standing by the kitchen door. I tried to get her to let me unpack it, but Mother ignored my protests.

"You are just like so many others of small faith who feel that God does not answer prayers," she said one day.

Half a semester went by. All that time my trunk stood by the kitchen door, packed, ready to go.

Then came a never-to-be-forgotten morning! In the mail was a letter from the college President, saying he had a check covering all my expenses if I could return.

I danced the highland fling across the kitchen floor and cried for joy.

My Mother, with a misty expression, said, "I knew something would happen." How unshakeable had been her faith!

Each succeeding year a check for all my expenses came ten days before college started. I had to buy only books and clothes.

Can I ever forget my graduation day! It was then I met my benefactor. He had driven from Florida to be in the audience when I got my coveted sheepskin.

After graduation exercises he told me how he had learned of my situation from the College President. "ElDean, this has been a rich experience for me. I have too much money already; so do not try to pay me back. But if you ever have a chance to pass on to some deserving boy or girl when I have done for you financially, please do so. That is all I ask."

It has been some years since my graduation, and I have not yet had the financial means to fulfill has and my own desire. But, to be true to the memory of my benefactor, now dead, and to my mother, I have given freely of myself, my time and my talents to helping those I come in contact with. My faith has been deepened, for in helping others I have found the true source of happiness.

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Purpose of this blog is to compile several books for my grandchildren to read in 25 years.

Copyright  ©  2014 by Jack Towe

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