The Table  (formerly Manor Ministries)

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  • Black Friday, Cyber Monday and oh yeah. Giving Tuesday if you have any spare change…lol  needless to say I think we have it backwards here.  If we are really serious about this, I think Giving Tuesday needs to come first.

    I can’t lie, I certainly am one who likes a sweet deal, an amazing find at an unbelievable price, but there is something so rewarding about being part of giving to something that is beyond myself, my family or my own personal gain. I believe it is the very reason that I’m excited to be a Canadian ambassador for Trust Future Uganda.  www.trustfutureuganda.org

    The moment I think that I “owe it to myself” or that I have every right to hold on to my own blessings, I miss out!  Living a life of generosity forces me to not hold on to things, but to learn the art of holding everything I have with open hands.

    I’ve wanted to share some reflections on the real beauty of contentment.  I had a chuckle when I read the following…  the problem with contentment is that I want more of it J

     Giving is the best place to start if we want to live a life of contentment.  I believe that is why the LORD challenged His people always about starting with giving Him our “firstfruits”, the cream of the crop so to speak. I believe this is the beginning of the pathway to experiencing contentment.   It has been said that contentment is soul rest, but why is it so difficult to really experience.  I remember that even using the word “restlessness” as it related to my aspirations as a pastor and where God was leading me was acknowledged as a good thing.  However, I’m not sure anymore.  When you go back to the very first sin recorded in Genesis, it wasn’t violence, lust, murder or stealing….it was discontentment.  So, if contentment wasn’t even possible in the Garden with perfect conditions, how much more difficult is it for us to live in our world constantly being bombarded by what we don’t have.  It truly is a sickness of the heart.

    If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.  C.S. Lewis

    At the end of the day, I’ve always known that it is not about what I possess.  My life verse from Matthew 6:21 is found in this paragraph.

    19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

     

    1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 

    Thankfulness also paves the pathway to a life of satisfaction. 

    Spiritually speaking we become sick when we start tolerating God’s blessings instead of being thankful  for them.  Gary Thomas

    The very lack of thankfulness and forgetfulness for all that the LORD had done led the children of Israel astray

    Deuteronomy 8:10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

    I really work on being mindful here especially with thankfulness from the moment I wake up to even the very ability to do the work that I do.  I find myself in the midst of my work taking time to breathe prayers that are filled with gratitude for everything that I am, that I’m able to do and enjoy.

    I learned very early on in my desire to do ministry to take nothing for granted.  I really have seen the providence of the LORD in placing me in the positions that I was called to.  The very fact that my first full time position as a youth pastor had nothing to do with my experience, my resume, my education…(don’t get me wrong, those are all very helpful)  because I never applied for the job!  However, when I was asked to take on the role, I knew I had finally understood that it’s all about God’s timing and not my own.

    Inner Peace is experienced through contentment.

    A heart at peace gives life to the body,but envy rots the bones.  Proverbs 14:30

    Thankfully I can say that I have not struggled with envy.  To be honest, when I look at what other people have, I’m really happy for them.  I’ve been on a lot of roofs and surveyed a lot of properties.  I’ve been able to compliment others on their own personal oasis, but possessions, nahhh, couldn’t be bothered with the stress of worrying about my stuff.  I also realize that is why I gravitate towards older vehicles now… less insurance, less cost, less worry about nicks and scrapes because you know full well someone’s going to ding your door…lol

    As my brother Edwin told me, the best way to be happy with my vehicle is to stay off a new car parking lot…lol

    Contentment is about resting, about removing ourselves from the comparison game or striving to catch up to the latest designs or technology. It is really finding peace and quiet in the place where God has me right now, in this season, in this very moment.  

    I’ve presently unplugged from social media and it’s a good place for me in this time.  I pray that you will find real peace, joy and contentment as we enter this season of advent and the celebration of Jesus becoming the very peace, good will to all people. 

    Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.  Luke 2:14

    I pray that His favor will rest on you as you experience His amazing, faithful love and truth of the realization that He came to be your Savior!  He came to give you forgiveness, hope and fullness of life as you put your faith in His sacrifice for you.

    John 10:10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it in all its fullness. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

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