The Widow’s Mites: A Poem

widow mites Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.” (Mark 12:41-44, NLT)

During the last days that Jesus walked upon this earth as a man,
He went up to the temple to see if anyone truly understood God’s plan.

A nameless, faceless widow passed by Jesus as He rested against the temple wall,
But He did not miss her devotion as she offered her whole living – her absolute all.

She passed unnoticed by the stream of visitors in God’s house that ancient day,
But she did not escape the eyes of Savior as he sat unnoticed and out of the way.

The gifts of the richest men in Jerusalem from memory have faded away,
But Jesus intended that the story of the Widow’s mites would be here to stay.

Even though her pockets were empty and her clothing was threadbare,
She withheld not a cent, regretting only that she didn’t have more to share.

The story of her sacrifice and devotion around this old world has spread,
Inspiring others to help the needy and to see that the hungry are fed.

It’s not how much of my money to God I will decide to give
But how much of God’s money can I keep, if for Lord I want to live.

Money is Jesus’ most powerful enemy, a tool of destruction in the devil’s hand.
The love of money is His rival and the root of all kinds of evils in the heart of man.

She moved through the crowd to cast in her two mites and then silently drew apart,
But more than the two mites she left there, for with them she left Him her heart.

I ask you today, what are you going to do in light of this widow’s account?
Will you determine to give of your abundance, a sacrificial gift that will really count?

Will you understand the Master’s message of the widow and then answer His call?
For Jesus said of her small gift, “The poor widow hath cast more in than they all.”

~ Brother Roy

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Get the First One Right

morning prayerAs time goes by and the years pile up, I find that even the easiest of tasks can present a challenge. Recently, I was getting ready to go to the store, and I put on a fresh shirt. When I finished buttoning the shirt, I hurried on my way, stopping momentarily in front of the hall mirror. I apparently had started one buttonhole off and proceeded to the bottom. There was about three inches of leftover shirt hanging out! Thank heavens – I caught my error before going out the door.

There seems to me to be a ‘life lesson’ here. If we start the day off misaligned, then the further into the day we get, the more skewed things become. The secret to a good day is starting off in the right ‘buttonhole’.  The right place to start each day is in the presence of the Lord. In Psalm 5:3, David begins his day with the Lord: “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up”. There is also great wisdom in starting the day by taking Solomon’s advice: “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3: 1, KJV). Starting the day with prayer was a pattern in the life of Jesus. For example, Mark 1:35 (KJV)“And in the morning, rising a great while before day, He went out, and departed to a solitary place, and there prayed”. 

Lord, help us to establish the pattern of starting each day with you.

Help Us To Get The First One Right !

~ Brother Roy

Wisdom from Joe

Live and learn concept.In some recent devotionals, I have mentioned the group of friends that gather at Fitch’s IGA Store in Wilmore for morning coffee. (See: Grandpa I Need You; A Tree Full Of Owls; A Pen). NHIM Board Member Joe Hardman had been one of those ‘wise men’ that gathered around the coffee table for many years.  Joe went to be with Jesus last week.

Some time ago, we were discussing a person that seems to repeatedly make the same unwise decisions. Joe commented, “Some people live and learn, and some people just live”.  Someone has said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. Some people never seem to learn from experience, as Joe says, “they just live”. 

Proverbs 14:12 (NKJ) points out this truth: There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death”. Only when it is too late does the deluded person discover that he is on the crowded wide way that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13). The implication is not that the person was tricked, but that he relied too heavily on his own “wisdom” rather than turning in humility to learn from the Lord.

In the Book of Lamentations, Jeremiah provides us with some sound advice: “Let’s take a good look at the way we’re living and reorder our lives under God” (Lamentations 3:40, The Message). Solomon observes in Proverbs 4:18-19 (The Message): “The ways of right-living people glow with light; the longer they live, the brighter they shine. But the road of wrongdoing gets darker and darker – travelers can’t see a thing; they fall flat on their faces.” 

Prayer: Lord, please, help me to live and humbly learn from you.

 I don’t want to “just live”!

~ Brother Roy

A Tree Full of Owls

tree owlsA number of ‘gentlemen’ gather each morning at the local IGA grocery store for coffee and biscuits. The proprietor, Leonard Fitch, warmly greets us and makes us feel welcome. He treats us as if he is our pastor and we are his congregation. It’s a good place “where everybody knows your name”.

As you can imagine, a lot of wisdom is dispensed around the coffee tables. Dwight Blakeman, a local sage, often shares witticisms that stay in the mind long after the morning gathering is over. One such saying, in particular, has stayed with me. Dwight evoked the traditional folk idea of owls being wise. Speaking about an acquaintance, he said,  “He’ smarter (wiser) than a tree full of owls.”

I cogitated for some time on that saying. I wondered, “What does it mean to be wise?” As I pondered of the idea of wisdom, I started with Solomon, reputed to be the wisest man who ever lived. His book of Proverbs in the Old Testament is one of the most quoted sources in all of literature, either sacred or profane. I started there and followed a trail through scripture. May I share just a few verses to get us started on the road to wisdom.

  • 3:13 & 14 (NKJ) “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding; For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold.”
  • 3:7 (NKJ) “Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.”
  • 28:28 (NKJ) “And to man He said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.”
  • 3:21-24 (ESV) “My son do not lose sight of these (God’s instructions)—keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck. Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble. If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”
  • Hosea 14:9 (NKJ) “Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right; The righteous walk in them in them. The transgressor will stumble in them. 

Would you like to be smarter than a tree full of owls? God’s Word can get you there. Jesus said, “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to the wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock” (Matthew 7:25-27, NKJ). The foolish man – not so much!  

~ Brother Roy