Monthly Archives: December 2013

Paying it Forward

by Dr. Chad Audi

Recently, while reading a newspaper column about the importance of paying it forward, I was reminded of the following Bible verse:  “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed.”  – Proverbs, 19:17

This verse is particularly meaningful at this time of the year. As families celebrate Christmas with gifts and food and welcome in the New Year with parties, it is important that we do not forget those who are less fortunate.

When you give to non-profit agencies that assist the homeless, hungry, unemployed and disadvantaged — like the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) — you enable us to share the hope and love of God with those who need to know that all is not lost. The number of people turning to us for help has risen to an all-time high. Imagine if the same situation is occurring at rescue missions and shelters in cities across the country! We cannot imagine having to turn away frightened mothers and children or hungry seniors or men lost in their addictions. These are the people in need of real help and real hope this holiday season.

DRMM is thankful for faithful friends and supporters whose hearts are full of compassion for the poor. Their gifts can mean the difference between a homeless man shivering on the streets or being able to eat dinner and sleep in our heated shelter. When you help those in need, you will reap the rewards of knowing that you have made a tremendous difference in someone’s life. This scripture from the Book of Proverbs says that giving to the poor is like lending to God Himself, and He will reimburse those who honor those created in His image.

That is a pretty powerful metaphor, isn’t it?  Are you paying forward your good fortune to help others? When you’re making your New Year’s resolutions on how to increase your finances in 2014, one of the best investment decisions you can make is to help the poor. Because God pays back with interest and blessings.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Dr. Chad Audi

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Giving Thanks This Holiday Season

by Dr. Chad Audi

The popular holiday song, Give Love on Christmas Day, encourages people to “give more than just presents from a store” on Christmas. The lyrics state “No greater gift is there than love.”

There is something else that also makes a great gift during the holiday season: Gratitude. Express your gratitude for good health, having a boss who appreciates your work, getting the support of your family and friends, or having a comfortable place to call home. We all need to bless each other with expressions of thankfulness. Tell people what you are thankful for and why. In return you will receive a renewed appreciation for your life, become energized, and build stronger relationships.

Here’s a story that explains why verbal expressions of thanks are so important, not only at Christmas and Thanksgiving, but throughout the year.

During the annual Thanksgiving service, the congregation at a church became confused as they followed along in their bulletins. According to the order of service, the next items were: “Thanksgiving Offering and Presentation of Scripture.” The church members and visitors had just finished going up to the podium one-by-one to share what they were thankful for this holiday season. Their speeches were heartfelt and emotional — filled with stories of recovering from illnesses, spending many beautiful years with loved ones who had recently gone to be with the Lord, and experiencing kind gestures from relatives and friends. They talked about how each passing year helped them see more clearly the thousands of ways the Lord had shown His love for them.

Now, the speaker had taken the podium for the presentation of the Scripture. The congregation was perplexed. What happened to the collection of the offering? Surely, the pastor had not overlooked it, they thought. While they listened to the speaker, the congregation set their offerings aside for safekeeping. However, the service ended and still no offering was collected. Afterwards, many walked over to the pastor and told him, “You forgot to let us give the offering. Here . . . ”

The pastor quickly said, “No, no. It’s all right. I’m happy to take your donations, because we surely need the funds. But, we did take the offering this morning. Don’t you remember? You stood and told God what you were thankful for. That is the offering He wanted from you today!” The church members and visitors smiled; the pastor had gotten his point over in a way they would never forget.

What is your offering today? What are you grateful for? As the pastor in this story acknowledged, it is fine to show your appreciation for people or institutions by giving material items such as money or gifts. But the Lord wants to hear a verbal expression of thanks. That’s also what our family members, co-workers, neighbors, public servants and others need to hear when they do something that you appreciate.

Bless the people who blessed you by verbally expressing your gratitude for their kind actions. It may be the best offering — and best present — that you can give this holiday season.

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