Here is a poem I discovered the other day. I just thought it was so true of many people today...and me too. Not wanting to give up something in order to help others. And also how that by refusing to share what they had, they lost all; they all died. I expect in the end if we do the same we'll reap the same results...
The Cold Within
Six humans trapped by happenstance
In bleak and bitter cold;
Each one possessed a stick of wood,
Or so the story's told.
Their dying fire in need of logs,
The first man held his back;
For of the faces round the fire
He noticed one was black.
The next man looking cross the way
Saw one not of his church,
And couldn't bring himself to give
The fire his stick of birch.
The third one sat in tattered clothes;
He gave his coat a hitch.
Why should his log be put to use
To warm the idle rich?
The rich man just sat back and thought
Of the wealth he had in store,
And how to keep what he had earned
From the lazy, shiftless poor.
The black man's face bespoke revenge
As the fire passed from his sight;
For all he saw in his stick of wood
Was a chance to spite the white.
The last man of this forlorn group
Did nought except for gain.
Giving only to those who gave
Was how he played the game.
Their logs held tight in death's still hands
Was proof of human sin.
They didn't die from the cold without,
But from the cold within.
There are flowers coming out...
...there are vegetables ripening...
...there are buds on the fruit trees...
...and there are sunny days... (Okay, winter has sunny days too...)
I can tell spring is coming by the signs. It's the same with Jesus' second coming. We can tell it's getting closer because of the signs we can see all around us.
'But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.' Luke 21:9-11
Well, you wouldn't believe it I know, but last week I turned sixteen. I had been thinking about the fact that I was turning sixteen for months before it actually happened. See, I figured turning sixteen was a pretty big step (I now think otherwise) so I wanted to do something special. I wanted to celebrate. But I didn't know how or where or what. I really had no idea what I wanted to do. Ideally of course, I would have all my friends over. But that is quite impossible. So, I decided that it would be fine to just do 'nothing.' Then we learned some people we had recently met were having Bright Lights on my birthday. (Bright Lights is basically a meeting for girls where we study/talk about a particular topic, with an older girl leading. We also sang, and memorized scripture.) I wasn't sure if I wanted to go or not... meeting new people...spending the day with people I hardly knew...and it was one of the other girls birthdays too and they were having a surprise party afterwards for her...so I thought that might be a bit awkward... (Partially because I had made some biscuits for the occasion, and they did not turn out how they ought to have.)
But we went. :) And honestly, it was the best birthday I can remember having, and sooo much better than anything I had imagined. We had the Bright Lights meeting and that was good. But it didn't stop there. :) After, we had afternoon tea (or some of us did anyway), then we did a photography scavenger hunt which was really fun, and then by the time we talked and played around a bit, it was dinner time! So we stayed for dinner and talked some more, and then left. Rather, reluctantly left. It was so good. I just felt so blessed! It was so much more than I'd imagined.
Also, a few weeks before my birthday we bought an expensive 'tool', that was to be part of my birthday present. So I was seriously not expecting any presents. But.. my family still gave me some gifts! I was honestly surprised, and that just made things all the better. And, I dare say, I received the most birthday cards I can remember too. Now... this is not to prove how popular I am. It is to prove how blessed I am. I'm just feeling so blessed of late I had to share. And these birthday blessings were a good place to start. :)
It reminds me of this verse: ...and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.' (Malachi 3:10)
It also reminds me of the things I have been reading lately. 'Elli: Coming of age in the Holocaust', which I posted about here, and since then I have read another book 'Tears of the Rain.' It tells the story of an American family who went to Liberia, Africa, as missionaries for a couple of years. The things described in this book, the way the people live over there, starving, living in shacks built out of whatever they can lay there hands on, of the wars they have lived through and the horrible things they endured, of the orphanages filled with starving, sick and dying children, whose parents died in the war... It says to me yet again, I, we, have so much. We are so blessed. We live in comfort, have families to call our own, and eat as much as we please. (Or I do anyway.:P) We need to realize how blessed we are, like Shanna quoted Ellen White as saying in the previous post, we've nothing to fear except as we forget the way the Lord has led/blessed us in the past.
So, how has God been blessed you of late?
Anyway, I think that is the end of my random somethings... I hope you were encouraged somehow. :) And don't forget that you are blessings to me too. :)
'The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.' Psalms 37:23-24
My current favourite verse. :)