Monday, April 7, 2008

The Joy of Giving

Rock Chalk, Jayhawk! Those of us from Kansas know what I'm talking about. Tonight is the National Championship basketball game with Memphis, and it is beginning NOW. Go, Hawks!!

Tonight I'm also starting the discussion on giving. Rozan presented some good thoughts about it on the last post so I'll just continue from there. "Giving and receiving are the same, and all that I give, I give to myself." says Jerry Jampolsky. Sometimes we think that when we give something away that b/c we don't have it anymore, we will suffer scarcity and loss. Actually, though, when we give, we will experience such an expansion and extension of joy and love that we will feel like we've gained much more by giving than we would have gained had we received. Jerry Jampolsky also says, "Become a love giver instead of a love seeker." The gospel in Luke 6:38 says, "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put in your lap, for the measure that you give will be the measure you get back." I used to think that verse was talking about money, but I've come to realize that it is referring to everything in life.


Mutterguse said...

Well, congrats, JayHawks! Way to go! We lived in Kansas City for 13 years, and boy, do we know what Rock Chalk Jayhawk sounds like in cheers! I have found a couple of different books that I am trying to read along with Joel's, and my word. I am enjoying them. M. Craig Barnes is the author of both "When God Interrupts" and "Yearning: Living Between How It Is & How It Ought To Be." My friend just landed in the Arms of Jesus, and her family here on earth is 'interrupted.' My son was settling nicely into his home in NC, and was shipped nearly 80 hours by car to Fairbanks. Other situations have arisen to change the course of our 'settled between the banks' river recently. Patty's comment from Jampolsky and Joel's paragraph concerning 'giving it away' help with attitudes in every situation. We can wallow in our pity pitt, or we can grab the bootstraps and ask the Lord for Grace and reach out to help someone else, and see where the new course of the river takes us. What an adventure we can have, opening our eyes to where the Lord's leading is. My husband and I are trying to work out the details of driving the Mustang up to Fairbanks, as our son needs transportation. Is this what I had in mind for my vacation? NO! My spring? NO! Will we enjoy it, love the scenery, enjoy time with our son who is set to deploy in September? YES! YES! YES! We are trusting the Lord to have gone before, to work out all the details of vac from both jobs, safe travel, etc. It is exciting, but there are so many details. I refuse to get bogged in them and am determined to enjoy the moment, not keep 'waiting' for the next day, the next week.

Patty said...

It sounds like you have an adventure ahead. You are smart to live in the moment and enjoy the present instead of worrying about the future. I need to constantly remind myself to do that very thing. Thanks for your contribution. It is a blessing to me.

Patty said...

Joel's seven principles have been so helpful to me. Enlarging my vision helped me to want to let myself be used by God for a higher purpose. Building my self-esteems gave me the confidence that I can do what I am called to do. Keeping my thoughts and words positive helped me let go of worry and judgment. Letting go of the past helped me realize that I am not a victim of anything that has ever happened to me. Finding strength in adversity made me realize that my trials give me what it takes to climb to higher ground. Now living to give is making me realize where my joy is and what gives me true satisfaction. I am looking forward to the last principle of choosing to be happy, but at the same time I am enjoying the journey of learning and living each principle. This blog will continue even after the book because the book is only a catalyst to my deeper spiritual growth that I plan to continue. Thank You, Lord, for the joy of experiencing Your favor and giving me purpose, joy, and fulfillment.

Mutterguse said...

Amen, Patty! There is so much hurt in this world, and yet people continue to search for the best course for themselves, and some of them, in telling me about it, raise my spirits, also. I recently told friends about this blog. As we were chatting they mentioned something we had just chatted about here. My husband just told me today that he just read the first three chapters. I will be taking the next book of Joel's with us if our trip happens, on CD. BTW, did ya'all see the news blurb on the best selling, by FAR, published book? It isn't Harry Potter!

Patty said...

I did hear that...the bible, right? Awesome! I'm glad your husband is reading the book. If he wants to blog, let me know, and we'll set him up. Back to chapter 25, I think that Joel is right when he says that "you will have more joy than you ever dreamed possible when you live to give." I always feel better if I'm able to do something for someone, even if it's a small thing. My daughter gave both Frank and me massages when she was here. (She graduated from massage school about a year ago.) She didn't want anything for them since we are family, but we paid her well, and she so appreciated it. There was giving on her side and our side so we all felt good about it. Her massages are wonderful. She uses essential oils, and I'm still feeling great from it. Joel says, "God created us to be givers." I've been feeling joyous this week just thinking about that.

Patty said...

Joel says, "if you want to experience a new level of joy, if you want Him to pour out His blessings and favor in your life, then you're going to have to get your mind off've got to get your mind off your problems." This portion really hit home to me. I spend way too much time thinking about my own problems when I could be helping someone else with theirs. Joel suggests, "You can give a smile. You can give a hug. You can mow somebody's lawn. You can bake somebody a cake. Your can visit someone in a hospital or senior citizens' center. You can write somebody an encouraging letter. Somebody needs what you have to share." Hebrews 3:13 says, "We should encourage one another daily." With those concrete suggestions, there is no reason for me to have a Patty's pity party....ever. Thank You, Lord, for sharing Your wisdom and knowledge with me today, and thank You for inspiring me with this book.

Patty said...

"God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:7-8

Patty said...

"I was hungry, and you gave me food; I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you welcomed me; I was naked, and you gave me clothing; I was sick, and you took care of me; I was in prison, and you visited me." Matthew 25:35-36

Patty said...

Holly sent this article. What a testament to the Jayhawks' faith and Coach Self's leadership!

Jayhawks buoyed by Coach Self's faith

Posted on Apr 7, 2008 | by Art Stricklin
SAN ANTONTIO (BP)--Before Kansas goes for its first NCAA championship in 20 years, the Jayhawks players will watch more video of the Memphis Tigers and review their game plan one last time.

But one Kansas player, freshman guard Tyrel Reed will engage in what he sees as an equally critical preparation -- reading his Bible and joining the team in prayer.

"I can't play a game unless I read my Bible first," Reed told Baptist Press.

The Jayhawks, coached by Bill Self, a professing Christian, punched their ticket to the national title game with a semifinal rout of North Carolina, but despite the joy of victory, a number of Kansas coaches and players are keeping their focus on the main thing regardless of tonight's outcome.

"God has given us this platform and He deserves all the glory," assistant coach Kurtis Townsend said. "We're going to give the glory to Him."

Townsend added, "Tuesday morning we're still going to be praising Him. It's another opportunity to witness to others and to know God."

Assistant coach Ronnie Chalmers, a Wayland Baptist University graduate, said he marvels at how God has placed the team at the brink of NCAA glory.

"I'm a big believer that God has a plan for this team. I've been spending a lot of time with my pastor, and our prayer is, What you do, do it well," Chalmers said.

Chalmers and others praised Self not for his bold, verbal witness, but for setting a moral and Christian standard for the team.

"The Bible says it helps when two or more are in agreement," Chalmers said. "God will be there also. Coach Self, Coach Townsend and myself, we don't pray together, but we each pray and His Word says the Spirit dwells within us."

While Kansas players and coaches pray before and after every game, as many teams do, they also pray before every practice.

"We've been doing that ever since Coach Self got here," Townsend said.

Junior center Matt Kleinmann said he traveled with Self when the coach gave his testimony at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes coaches forum two years ago, and he felt blessed to be playing for a fellow Christian.

"Sometimes with a coach, there is a bunch of yelling back and forth, but it's good to talk with them as a Christian brother," Kleinmann said.

Neither Kleinmann nor Reed start for the Jayhawks, but each said their faith keeps them grounded in the highs and lows of college basketball.

"These players have overcome a lot to be here," Kleinmann said. "I've seen a lot of guys grow in their faith on this team and that's thanks to Him."

Townsend's faith was tested when he was fired as an assistant coach at the University of Miami after only one year following the 2004 season.

"Being fired after only one year is the toughest thing possible," Townsend said, "but we don't always know what is best."

The following year, Self was hired at Kansas and one of his first hires was Townsend as an assistant coach.

Townsend said he learned of how God blesses a faithful witness 15 years ago -- and being on the brink of a national title was only the latest chapter in his faith journey.

"Fifteen years ago, I was an assistant coach at California making $1,200 a month and looking for a career change. I had a faith-filled wife and she said we needed to pray and tithe our money. I found when you tithe your money, even $1,200, God will stretch it for all you need," Townsend recounted.

"I had never even been to the Final Four in 17 years and now I have a front row seat for the final game. I'm a man of faith because I know God's way works best."
Art Stricklin is a sports correspondent for Baptist Press and director of ministry relations for Marketplace Ministries in Dallas.

Ah, the joy of giving---thanks, Jayhawks, for giving us such a wonderful season and for being an inspiration! With all the prayer and preparation, it is no wonder that God showed His favor in the last few seconds of the championship game.

Patty said...

"breathing is wishing
wishing is having
having is giving
giving is living"