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FAITH: Are you a brass cymbal, or a trumpet?

Karen Stevens

I have felt blessed all my life; even in bad times, I always knew there was someone out there that was worse off than me.  My truest blessing, (besides my salvation), is being born in America.

I have thanked God all my adult life for allowing me to live in a country that has plenty of food, plenty of clothing, plenty of cars, plenty of houses, plenty of restaurants, plenty of grocery stores, and plenty of shoes!  (Just to name a few).   I have a shoe fetish, so I especially thank God for plenty of shoes!.

Even at my poorest time in life, I always had at least a weeks’ worth of outfits, if not more.  They might not have been the most expensive items, but I kept them cleaned and ironed, and always tried to look my best.

I was reading different articles on-line about most charitable organizations don’t give your used cloths away to 3rd world countries if they can’t sell them.  They sell them to 3rd world countries, and countries that are well off.  Nothing wrong with this, but I never thought about it.  Some sites say they take all clothing, and the clothes that are in really bad shape, they will be used for insulation, or other things.  There are several sites they say they won’t take any cheap used clothing, only the fashionable and quality items.  They went as far as to say “Not your garbage.”  Which is fine if the market can bear that in those countries.

I know some Americans won’t buy anything off the rack.  There are so many fashion designers in California that they have massive warehouses, and once a month they sell the samples they have made.  I went one time and I could have spent three days shopping and probably could not have seen it all.

A report came out the other day about Americans and their cars.  Americans are just now keeping their cars longer – up to 7 years.  CNBC.com reported that this could be a bad thing due to older cars might only have one airbag, or no airbag at all, among other items.  I know my vehicle is seven years old, but I tend to keep a car for about 10 years, and I bought it when it was two years old.  If it runs well, and gets me to where I’m going, I’m good.  I’m not very materialistic, even though I do drive a nice car and live in a nice house.  That sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?  Not materialistic, but I have nice things.

The thing is, if I lost everything tomorrow, I would still be ok with it.  I know God would put a roof over my head, and feed and clothe me.  He always has.

When I was 15 years old, my house burned, and I had no cloths to go to school in.  Our church was so gracious they brought my entire family (6 kids) gently used items.  I was so grateful because a lot of the items were nicer than the ones I lost – only God!  I know I’m not special in anyway, but I do have faith that God will do what He says He will do.

Matthew 6:25-34 and Luke 12:22-32 say pretty much the same thing.  Paraphrasing, it says don’t be anxious about anything, but seek first God’s kingdom, and all these things will be given to you.  He has always delivered on this promise.  Sometimes it’s not what we think, or what we want, but God is always faithful.  We should also be praying for our Leaders.  We desperately need to pray for wisdom for each one of them.

I Timothy 2:1-2 – “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”

Our America is great because God allows it to be.  With the end times right around the corner, things are growing dimer and bleaker.  Our Politicians seem to get more corrupt, and things are turning upside down.  I am as guilty as the next person on dropping the ball about praying for our Leaders, but we must stay diligent.

We need to encourage one another to do better.  Remind each other of our responsibilities.  Keep each other on our toes about the Lord’s work.  I love writing this article because it helps remind me of what I should be doing.  Don’t be a brass cymbal, tinkling in the wind, but be a trumpet and bring the walls of Jericho down!

 

Karen Y. Stevens, Executive Director, Meals on Wheels