THE NEW EWE

"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"

Luke 15:4-6

February 19, 2020

LIFE IN THE FOLD:

This week I just want to share a short story about how God provides for His children. So many times when He provides for us, we see it as our own efforts and resources, therefore, we don't give Him thanks. We think, "I worked for and earned that money, so it's mine." We fail to see God's involvement in meeting our needs; or in using us to meet the need of someone else.

Probably three or four years ago or so I decided to look online to see if Jon or I had any unclaimed funds in the states that we used to live in when we were single. I found some in Jon's name, and he found a 401K and some stock that had been issued to him when he worked for a particular company several years ago. We received a check for some back interest on the stock that hadn't been sent to him due to them not having a forwarding address, and got the paperwork for both accounts up to date. He knew that he had the 401K at one time, but had no idea that it would still have any money in it; but had no idea that he had been given stock in the company when he had been an employee.

Since that time, we had allowed the stock to remain where it was and received a quarterly interest check. This had been an unexpected surprise and we had thought that we would just keep it until we retired. But God had other ideas! Had I not looked for unclaimed property, that stock and 401K would still be sitting uncollected in a state fund. But God put it in my heart to check it out and see if perhaps we had something, after hearing a story or reading something about how much unclaimed property/funds states have that people never collect on. I had no idea if I'd find anything or not.

God knew at that time that in a few years, Jon and I would need those funds for a couple different specific needs.

A while back the building fund at our church had been pretty much depleted, and there was still a lot of construction that needed to be done in order to pass city inspections and get our buildings useable and finished. God placed it on both mine and Jon's heart to use that to help our church. We prayed till we knew how much, and with other gifts, it was pretty close to the amount needed to finish the required surfacing for the parking lot. God knew!

A few weeks ago, Jon and I contacted a couple in our church about doing some work on the exterior of our home. They work for a construction company that is willing to take on smaller home projects. Our home is two-story and the bottom half is brick, with the top story having cedar siding on it. We knew that some of the pieces of siding was rotted, so our intent was to replace only those pieces. We were also going to have the facia boards replaced around the roof, because we knew that they were rotted; then was going to have the house painted. We got a bid, we had the funds to cover the project, so gave them the go ahead.

Last Friday they came to begin the work. When one of the men began tearing off some of the siding, he realized that all of the wood siding was rotted where the pieces overlap. My in-laws bought this house in 1969 and my mother-in-law told me that she didn't think that the siding on the back of the house had ever been replaced. Many years ago, they had replaced some of the boards on the sides. So really, the siding lasted very well for over fifty years!

But you know how home projects go.... one thing leads to another. All of the siding had to be replaced, the backer-board underneath, all of the trim and soffit and facia, plus painting. The cost ended up being much more than we had originally planned. We had the money in savings to give the larger down payment, but didn't have the funds to pay the balance when the work is completed. But Jon and I talked it over that the work had to be done, we really didn't have a choice, so we would trust God to meet our need.

We remembered that we still had this stock! So we were able to sell it and the funds will be more than enough to pay the balance owed when this project is completed. Yay God! He knew the future, knew that this work was going to need done on our home, so already had a way provided for us to be able to pay for it before we even knew about it.

I am often reminded of my sister and brother-in-law changing insurance companies just a few days prior to him being diagnosed with a brain tumor; which was totally unexpected and a shock. He was healthy, active, and no one had any idea that there was anything wrong. When it happened, they had no idea if the new insurance had taken affect yet; or if they were in a lapse time and had no insurance. But God knew! The new insurance company paid exceptionally well. Upon his death, my sister was left with absolutely no medical bills; which the doctor told her was unheard of. He said that most people in her situation would have had thousands of dollars in medical bills. In fact, had they stayed with the other insurance, that was what would have happened. God provided for their need before they even knew that they were going to have one, placing it in their heart to change insurance companies when they did.

Philippians 4:19 says, "And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."

All means all! This scripture doesn't say that God will supply part of your needs, or that He might supply your needs, or you can ask and then wait and see if He will supply your needs...... No! It says that God will supply ALL your needs according to His riches in Glory.

He is unlimited in His riches and there is never a lack of resources. We may become anxious when we see a need and don't know how it's going to be met, but that doesn't change what is in God's storehouse. He has the means to supply all of our needs -- always.

Malachi 3:10 says, "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. 'Try Me in this,' says the Lord of hosts, 'If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such a blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.'"

Deuteronomy 28:12 says, "The Lord will open to you His good storehouse (good treasure), the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow."

God has a heavenly storehouse that contains good treasures. His storehouse contains blessings and provision for His children. When we walk in obedience, bring our tithe into His storehouse and give willingly, and trust Him in all things and for all things then we will benefit from the open windows of heaven.

JON'S PERSPECTIVE:

I have to admit, I'm a little uncomfortable with how Malachi 3:10 gets used over and over. Many people start to look at it as investment advice. They think they invest $100 into the church, and they will get $1,000 back after a short time.

But giving a tithe is very different from making an investment. To tithe, we have to give up all claim to the money (or crops, young sheep, or calves; whatever our first 10% is). It's fine to keep track so we can make sure we aren't coming up short. But if we keep track, hoping for a return, then we haven't given it with the right attitude. In fact, it doesn't even feel like we've given it at all.

That bit of stock I had was a great example. I had enrolled into a stock purchase plan, and completely forgot about it. I had let go of that money years ago. I didn't have any expectation of a return, or in fact of getting my original investment back. Then many years later, it came back to me several times over.

The money we give up to God does its best when we let go and forget about it. It probably won't come back as money, though. It comes back in other blessings, and rewards.

ON THE MENEWE:

Frito Salad

1 head lettuce, chopped fine

green onions

cheese, cubed or shredded

green pepper, diced

yellow pepper, diced

red beans, drained

boiled eggs, chopped

tomatoes, diced

olives

Fritos

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, except Fritos. Just before serving, add the Fritos and toss.

Ingredient amounts depend on how much you want to make.

THIS, THAT AND THE OTHER:

I love hearing things from a kid's perspective, because well... it's often funny and only makes sense to them. When one of my nephews was a little boy, he was darker complected. He only wanted "brown friends" and didn't want friends who were "white with freckles". His sister was white with freckles and would get upset because he kept saying he didn't want to be friends with people who basically looked like her.

THOUGHT TO PONDER:

God wants us to believe and to understand that His promises don't have expirations dates. - Christine Caine

OUR HEARTFELT THANKS TO YOU:

We love you!

Loretta & Jon

http://www.graysheep.org