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DEVOTIONAL:

Radical Acts of Irresponsible Kindness *                                 

“Give, and you will receive. You will be given much. Pressed down, shaken together, and running over, it will spill into your lap. The way you give to others is the way God will give to you.” Luke 6:38

Pastor Matthew Barnett’s message on Sunday, was entitled, * Radical Acts of Irresponsible Kindness. This title mostly reflects how Jesus has “out of the box” logic/thinking.  Giving doesn’t seem like receiving at first, but it can be understood as “bounce back blessings.”  An illustration used was one person was bouncing a ball to another person’s body facing him.  Naturally, the ball bounces back to the giver. 

Serving produces healing to ourselves. Thank God WE GET TO serve.  We need to serve out of our pain.  If you want to quit, tell someone else not to quit.  You can tell them, “You need the joy of the Lord… and I need the joy of the Lord.” The love you’re looking for is the love that you give.

This is so true in some experiences in the past.  One time I delivered “Angel Tree” Christmas gifts to kids of incarcerated parents.  When I got to one of the homes, a little girl came up to me and led me inside.  Inside they were eating snacks.  The little girl gave me a Styrofoam cup and inside were little goodies, cookies, candy, nuts, all wrapped up like a gift. I was touched because how ironic this is that I’m supposed to be giving gifts and this little girl gave me a gift.   It was a humble little package but a big serving of thoughtfulness.  That was one of the best gifts I’ve ever received!

Another time, a group of us went to Tijuana, Mexico to visit an orphanage and same thing happened.  We thought we were going to be blessing the kids but it ended up the kids at the orphanage blessed us!  Some of us didn’t know how to speak Spanish so we were worried that we wouldn’t be able to communicate with the kids. Later, someone told us, it’s not the language that the kids appreciated, it’s the time you spent with them.  Wow when I heard that.  Also I planned to teach the kids a fun quick hula, but most of the kids were boys.  I thought to myself, “Great… the boys wouldn’t participate…they’ll think it’s sissy or something.” Next thing I saw, all these girls AND BOYS lined up, all excited to participate and they hula’d their hearts out.  What a blessing.  Another blessing was to see the kids at the orphanage act so civilly, politely, kindly, and so thankful when we were handing out more goodie bags.  First of all, they lined up in a single file, so well behaved and disciplined instead of just pushing each other to get to the front of the line to get their goodie bag first.  And then we ran out of goodies and didn’t have enough to give to each kid.  Instead of complaining and getting mad at us, some gave their own bags to another kid.  One of the kids said to us, “It’s okay,” as if to console us from our worried faces. Double wow.

So in our hula ohana, we give all the time… our donations for use of our room, and donations for costumes and other ministry expenses.  We give of our time, fuel, energies.  But I pray that you experience God’s blessing on you when you dance for Him and for our audiences…that someone tells you that you’ve blessed them with your hula.  When that happens to me, I get goose-bumps, I mean, chicken skin… and I feel like the Holy Spirit just hugged me right there and then. Thank You, God!

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