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There are things that are good for you, and there are things that are just GOOD!

About sixteen years ago, I was leading a neighborhood Bible study when an amazing lady walked through my front door. She has been an influential part of my life ever since. Her wisdom and depth of knowledge and understanding kept our scattered brains focused on what truly mattered, Christ as center to our lives.

The majority of the ladies in our small community, and this Bible study, were young moms with little kids. Sometimes the only appropriate adjective to describe our lives would have been "chaos." Don't get me wrong, I kind of enjoyed the rowdy house I managed. I love kids in and out the back door, playing basket ball in the driveway, riding their bikes up and down the streets as a young brood staying on the good side of adventure and mischief. All the while, this godly grandmother would speak God's truth, love and wisdom to each of us, even when we would have preferred to not hear it. She is an amazing woman.

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:25-26 NIV

On occasion, my birthday, mother's day, Easter, and sometimes on random days, this precious lady would deliver the most wonderful piece of heaven. A carrot cake. This was just not any carrot cake, this is the most marvelous carrot cake we have ever had the privilege to consume. Others may try, it has never been surpassed! Every time she drove into my drive way with one of these marvelous gifts, my sons would sing the Hallelujah chorus! This marvelous creation would arrive, half frozen, wrapped in foil imploring some one to unwrap and devour it. Which was never a problem in a house full of boys!

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12:4-8 NIV

Our family received each of these extraordinary deliveries with great excitement, but to this lady baking a cake was nothing special. Sometimes she even apologized for bringing the same old cake! She had made these cakes for years. It was what she did.

I am rambling on and on about these cakes, which to many people is simply a dessert, but to my family it was a gift of love that brought great joy to each of us. My college son once discovered that one of her cakes had been consumed while he was at college. Oh, the groaning that followed! I let him complain for a bit then retrieved a large slice I had placed in the freezer for him. The Hallelujah rang out once again.

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:1-2, 16 NIV

Another lady who has blessed to know suffers from weak health, but in spite of this she always has a kind word for those around her. Before the LORD moved her from our area, she greeted my family arriving for church. Faithfully she stood at the door with her bright smile and warm hugs. My children learned of God's loving embrace because her arms wrapped around them each week. Even today, although she lives far from me, this most precious lady, is faithful to send words of encouragement and perseverance with great frequency.

Likewise, my ingenuous sister, lives in a facility, doesn't drive and is unable to move about her community, but my loving God has placed her among a group of people that benefit from her positive outlook, cheerful demeanor, showing and sweet encouragement. She is also a faithful prayer warrior who takes the burdens of others to her ABBA Father with deep compassion. She does not have the lifestyle that I desire for her, but Yehweh's plans and purposes for her are greater than my own. I believe He is glorified by her love for others.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 NIV

Each of us has been given gifts, talents and abilities. We can choose to go about our day, focused on ourselves, our tasks, schedules, needs and desires, OR we can choose to love others recklessly as our LORD has love each of us. What may appear to be just regular stuff, may mean the world to someone on the receiving side. His love breaks down walls, chases down prodigals, and fills the tummies of growing boys. Thank you my most wonderful sisters, for loving me so well. Each of you are a treasure in my life.

Holy Father God, You have greatly enriched my life through humble ladies who do not realize the abundant blessings they have poured out on those around them. From their generosity, selfless acts of kindness and treasured gifts, my family has been blessed. Adonai, there are many of Your children, like the three I have spoken of today, who daily make sacrifices of themselves for Your Kingdom, not because of their great financial wealth, but from the abundance of Your Spirit within in them. LORD, please grow and shape each of us, as well as our children, to be like these ladies who selflessly take the love You have placed in them to demonstrate the selfless love of Jesus to the world around them. Thank you for allowing them to love on me, please help me do likewise. I ask this in the Name of our Savior, who reigns with You with the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen

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