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Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Gift

Please join us in welcoming Beth Pittman to the Cafe!

As Jesus looked up, he saw some rich people putting their gifts into the Temple money box. Then he saw a poor widow putting two small copper coins into the box. He said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow gave more than all those rich people. They gave only what they did not need. This woman is very poor, but she gave all she had to live on."
(Luke 21:1-4, New Century Version)

Today is my oldest son’s birthday. He is 28 today and is spending this day in prison. My youngest son’s 20th birthday was just five days ago. Yesterday, he received a rare letter from his big brother. He read it and left it open for his daddy & me to read. It was a short letter. Just a “how are you doing?” kind of letter. He asked about his job and his new place (he’s recently left our nest). He also wished him a happy birthday. Inside the letter, were two pieces of chewing gum in wrappers. Those two pieces of gum make my heart hurt. I held them in my hand and thought about what my oldest son was thinking when he put the gum in that envelope. I think he wanted to give his little brother something for his birthday and that was the only gift he was able to give him. You see, my son has been separated from us for a long time. Crimes committed must be punished and the cost of that has been years in prison. It was not what his daddy & I envisioned when he was born 28 years ago today. We had big plans for him. He has missed so much of life behind those bars and razor wire. And now, in an effort to make up for some of that, he sends his brother two pieces of gum. I hold them lovingly in my hand and forever in my heart.

We have very little to offer as a gift to our heavenly Father. In a sense, I come to Jesus with my two little pieces of gum, wishing I was a better person, wishing I hadn’t hurt Him so much over the years, wishing I could change the things of the past and make up for what I have done. Jesus looks at me, holds out his hand and I give him my two little pieces of gum. He takes them and just as I did with the gum my son sent in his letter, he holds them lovingly in his hands, he smells them, he rubs his fingers across the wrappers and his heart breaks. He wanted so much more for us, you know. There were big plans for us in the Garden. Unbroken fellowship with him, lives lived in perfect communion with God. But then the fall and sin separated us from Him just like my son’s crimes have separated him from us. And now, all we really have to offer to God are comparative to those two little pieces of gum. He knows that we are broken creations, but still he lovingly and with great compassion takes our little gifts in his hands and forever holds them in his heart knowing that it is all that we are able to give, and for him, just as my son’s gift was for me, it is enough.

Heart thoughts:

· Do you find yourself comparing yourself to others with regard to talents, time or money?

· Do you feel as though you have little or nothing to offer to God?

· Is there an area you’d like to serve Him in but you feel inadequate?

· What steps can you start taking today to present your gifts to Jesus, no matter how small?

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for seeing my brokenness, my smallness and my weaknesses and for still loving me beyond measure. Help me to offer you all that I have and to know that even as small as I think my gift may be, to you it is a treasure that you hold within your heart. Amen.

In Him,

Beth Pittman

I am a “just-turned” 50-year old wife and mother of 3. (My friends accuse me of trying to hold on to 49!) I’ve been married for 30 years to the same wonderful, loving man. I’ve worked with the federal courts for over 24 years and am five and a half years away from retirement. I was raised in a Christian home with loving Christian parents, but it wasn’t until I was 32 that I really understood that Jesus loved and died for me and what that meant for me individually. My life has never been the same since.

Join Beth at her blogspot,

www.lifeboatmoments.blogspot.com

Beth.JPG

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8 Comments:

Blogger Donna Kay said...

Dear Woman of God, I have to rush to get to worship service. . .I overslept. But I wanted to connect to God first, quickly, before hopping into the shower.

My my, out of the blue the Spirit spoke to my heart through your devotional. It was about something I was wondering. . .'was it Spirit led, or was it just Me, thinking it was so'.

The Answer came in your comments. Thank you my Dear Christian Sister.

With Love

September 28, 2008 at 8:24 AM  
Blogger Esthermay Bentley-Goossen said...

Beautiful post on CafeDevotions today. My heart was touched! I sensed a (very) small piece of the hurt you must feel over the gum -- far greater was the picture you show us of God's heart. THANK YOU!
Kindest Thoughts,
Esthermay

September 28, 2008 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

A beautiful picture...

Thanks for sharing your heart and your story....

Julie

September 28, 2008 at 6:22 PM  
Blogger ChristiS said...

Thank you so much for this...it brought tears to my eyes. This is just what I needed this morning to remind me of what I CAN give! May God bless you richly today!

September 29, 2008 at 6:19 AM  
Anonymous Denise said...

I see you are from Peach Church....I am a "seasoned" FWB pastor's wife, currently in Belmont, NC area....God bless you for your fresh insite. My how Peach Church has grown over the years! Bro. Gordon has always been a favorite of my husband.

September 29, 2008 at 6:54 AM  
Anonymous Heather said...

That was really good Ms. Beth it still makes me cry when i read about your son. I hope that he is doing good.

September 29, 2008 at 6:58 AM  
Blogger Darnelle said...

Thank you for this amazing picture of the Father's love for us. I know that every reader was touched by your story and is - like me - drawn to pray for you and your son.

Thank you, again, for such a sweet and wonderful reminder of How God really sees His children.

September 29, 2008 at 9:01 PM  
Anonymous Kim Vail said...

Beth,
Please continue allowing the Holy Spirit to use you and the talents that the Lord has obviously given you. Romans 8:28 is definitely living proof in your life..."and we know that ALL things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose".
I am so proud of you!

September 30, 2008 at 10:55 AM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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