April 18, 2012


Our ministry got the sad news early Friday morning that one of the women in our widow’s ministry had died suddenly.It was shocking to say the least, as no one knew she was sick and this woman was only 40 years old.

Her name was Costa. I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing her very well, but every interaction I had with her was always filled with a huge smile, a big warm embrace and a kind word. She always made me feel so welcome.

Yesterday at our weekly widows meeting, women had an opportunity to share their memories of Costa. It was sad, sweet, funny and touching but the one word that was repeated off everyone’s lips was Costa’s JOY.

 Costa was indeed a joy-filled woman despite her tough life circumstances. Women mentioned how she encouraged them in a dark time or brought food to them when they were sick. And everyone remarked on her amazing dancing abilities. Costa loved to dance! Wild, life of the party, dancing Costa.

At the end of the tributes to this special woman, one of the leaders of our ministry asked us all a very sobering question. It’s been lingering on my mind as well:

"Costa will be remembered for her JOY. What will you be remembered for?"

What legacy will I leave for my friends and family when I am gone? The truth is we don’t know the day or the hour of our passing and so we must live purposefully, with intention, forgive others, love deeply, live generously and remember that our life on earth is just the “cover and title page” to the rest of our story.

As we mourn with her friends and children and other family members left behind, we cling to this truth:

Costa is free now. Free from the pain and stress and sickness and burdens of this life. And as we were reminded by one of her friends, she is dancing in heaven now with her Savior, truly radiant with JOY!

April 02, 2012

Give more than you can spare.

A friend of mine sent me this quote by C.S Lewis and it’s given me much to think and pray about.

This concept of our generosity actually “pinching and hampering us” was something that struck me as profound and I am challenged by and maybe you will be too.

How often do I give to the point where it truly affects me? Not just what I can spare? 

I’m realizing that generosity is a condition of our hearts, not a condition of our bank account or circumstances.
If I'm not generous with $1, I won’t be generous with $1000.

As the Lord has been bringing this theme of generosity to mind, I had an honest time of self reflection where I felt prompted by the question:

What is it that keeps me from living generously?

Without hardly a hesitation the word FEAR came to mind.  
What am I afraid of?

As I worked through what this meant, I realized I was afraid that there wouldn’t be enough for MY needs.

I had to admit to the Lord that I didn’t trust He would take care of my every need.

It was a hard thing to say because my whole life has been one glorious story of the Lord providing for my every need! It was hard to tell the Lord, "despite your track record in my life, I still have fear and doubt that you can and will take care of me."

 My fists were tightly clenched, not willing to let go of that “security blanket” and truly live generously. With hands closed we are certain to not lose anything, but we won’t be able to receive anything either.

And I have seen bit by bit as I release the tight grip and work through the fear and distrust, there is something so beautiful to be gained: 

JOY! Overflowing!

What is holding you back from living a life of extravagant generosity? Maybe it isn't your money but your time that you hold onto tightly?

“And my God shall supply all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” phil 4:19