Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Art Of Giving

"Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Bible / Luke 6:38 /New International Version / NIV).

The very first Spanish sentence that my Haitian-born mother taught me in my young age was: "Haga bien, no mira quien", meaning, "Do good, without looking at whom you do good to".  The second part can also be translated: "without choosing whom you do good to".

The   parable of the Good Samaritan is one of the most fascinating example in the Bible.  It teaches us and reminds us that it is commendable to help, to do good deeds, to give freely to others without any hope or expectations of getting something back from them, and with no strings attached.  This is where divine nobility is born and formed, this is also where real intrinsic pleasure springs forth.  The pleasure is not only intrinsic, but it is also divinely-reciprocating, meaning, it produces and generates great pleasure to God as well, for He knows that He can Fully count on the Good Samaritan to be Truly and Genuinely His hands extended here on Earth.  Somebody got to embed, to embrace, and to fullfil the role of His Divine Representative here on Earth, and this is a calling that is open to as many human beings as possible.

This is a Very Special Calling to be a Good Samaritan, to submit our hearts, our will, our emotions, our resources, our money to the will of God, and to behave according to His Divine Purpose as per the special stature, and as per the angelic status. His/her individual positioning will always be timely for the purposeful outcome of the benefit to the recipient, and for the blessings or rescue to the beneficiary, again truly and fully, without any strings attached, therefore, without any form of payback, compensation, award or reward in return.

The ability of the true Good Samaritan to fly above the earthly search for acknowledgement, recognition, and compensation is what makes them unique, is what differentiates them from others, and from those that are not called to this status.  They naturally understand that they are not seeking any personal gain, any individual satisfaction, any self-fulfilment, or any fame.  They are here just to fullfil their mandate and move on.  That is why they are never offended because they do not seek immediate appreciation, they do not expect manifestation or expression of gratitude.  The so-called ungratefulness towards them which is often the case they live by, is never an issue for them.  Like a Guardian Angel who rescues, fulfils their mission, moves on to the next assignment, and then disappears forever, the Good Samaritan, entrusted and bestowed with the same helping calling, just moves on, and disappears from the environment, from the territory, and from the scene of their good deeds forever.

Their behavior and their mindset are based on something unique to their understanding. They know that it is not about the here and now.  It is rather about eternal rewards, about deposits made to the spiritual bank in Heaven, and about investments made in eternity.  That is why, again, and time again, they do not fuss, and they never fume about the temporary things, the little passing stuff and token of the here and now, and of today, regardless of how big and how gigantic those things and stuff may seem, may appear, and may be to others.  They have the bigger picture of eternity in mind, where everything is grandiose in scale, immeasurable in size, incomparable in beauty and splendor, priceless in treasure and value, incomparable in terms of imagination, and in terms of what the mind can conceive.

One may wrongfully judge them, may laugh at them, may joke or make fun about them, may even think of them as fools, easy to be played, or easy to be manipulated, or easy to be conned and scammed, and so on.  Nonetheless, their divinely-revealed knowledge of the existence of the bigger, the greater, and the better picture, makes them the true Champions that they are, faithful to their calling, fixed to their mission, unwavering to their modus operandi.  They are selfless, spiritedly-large givers, unconditional helpers, transparent, with a "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" attitude, and they remain true to their altruistic devotion, and to their philanthropic mandate to do good at all costs, and no matter what it takes.

As a serious word of caution, and to avoid any blatant misinterpretation, the recipient or the beneficiary of the gesture of goodness, of generosity, or of kindness is by no means to be perceived or considered as an inferior individual, or as a subservient (or "less important") person to the Good Samaritan.  Immature witnesses that are aware of the heroic act of kindness are not to consider the Good Samaritan "Giver" or "Helper" as Superior to the beneficiary who happens to be at a moment of weakness, of impotence, of dire and urgent need, of powerlessness, of despondency, and of vulnerability.  Heartfelt Gratitude and Elevated Appreciation are Highly Sufficient enough without the compelling need, the tendency, and the impulse to place the Good Samaritan on an unexpected and unneeded pedestal above the recipient.  Both recipient and Good Samaritan have been strategically and respectively placed by God, for a divine purpose, so that God's Glory may be manifested, and in order for God's name to be exalted.  No one is superior or inferior to another.  The understanding of the individual role, of each other's synchronized positioning at the specific time and moment, must be justly, maturely, and fairly managed and interpreted.  We must also bear in mind and understand that their respective role of today could be inverted at any given time, in any other place, by other assigned and designated actors in the future.  We just do not know.  That is why inflated or derogatory comments or judgement must be vehemently silenced, and strongly avoided by all means.

In terms of an extended perspective, a woman in the Bible, Mark 12:41-44, has placed two very small coins in the Temple Treasury (that is the equivalent of what we would call today the Collections Plate, or the Offerings Bucket or Basket), which is all she had to give.  Moved and touched by her sheer act of giving, by her obedient spirit, and by her magnanimous gesture, Jesus mentioned to His disciples that this woman has given more than everybody else. She has given her all out of her poverty, while the others have given out of their abundance.  The story titled "The Widow's Offerings" is so educative and so timeless that it is mentioned in the Bible for us to still learn from it today and now in our generation, and for us to give it a serious consideration as per its significance.  To extrapolate we could say: "That woman has given largely, lavishly, and sacrificially out of her lack, and in consistency with her intrinsically-rich stature, while the others have given and contributed meagerly and poorly out of and with respect to their substantially-rich abundance".  This story is also mentioned in Luke 21:1-4.

In other words, it is good and commendable to give, to help, and to do good.  However, the spirit of humility, of selflessness, of self-sacrificing, and of heartfelt impulse with which we give is what makes the big difference between a mere giving routine exercise, and a genuine act of impulsive sharing and heartfelt giving, which we can also refer to as an act of pure and serious worship depending on the context.  This is the point where pure divine blessings abound, blessings that also encompass insights, inspiration, foresight, revelations.  This is also the point where, by our genuine gesture of giving, praises go up, and where we manage to touch the heart of God.

One Entity and Technology Giant on the planet that I consider to be a Good Samaritan, and that I truly like because of their approach towards giving and sharing is Google.  I mentioned about them on my previous blog posts before.  And, I will never stop referring to them as such.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Fruit Of Faith

Life, as a God's creation, is full of beauty, and is a display of wonders.  We have at our disposal all that we need to live and to sustain life.  Greatly enough, we are also equipped with skills, knowledge, intelligence that enable us to create, to build, to innovate on a continuous basis.  That is why we keep on developing products, writing books, writing new songs, composing new music, creating new software, generating new and improved apps to assure the continuity of our progress, and to confirm the flow and the establishment of our success.

Besides all our present feat, and in spite of all our current achievements, accomplishments, breakthroughs, and conquests, we still, at times, find ourselves in tight places, in tough situations, in sudden and unpredictable predicaments, and in uncontrollable challenges that have the full potential to wreck our lives, to shake our Faith, to weaken our belief, to create havoc, to even prompt us to question God by asking Him why, how come, and why me, to challenge our self-confidence.  When those times come, unless we know who we are, where we stand, and what we have, unless we have a strong faith in God, unless we have a strong anchor and an unbreakable shielding system, unless we are surely equipped, we run the risk to lose the battle, to give up, to lose the faith in ourselves, to give in to temptations, to take the quick escape,  to dwell into illusions, to adhere to odd clingings for support, or to hide behind false mechanisms such as drinking, and so on. Some even become rude or violent due to their inability to cope, to deal with the stressful situation or the urgent matter, and due to the fact of not being equipped to withstand the heat, to stand firm and strong, to dig within for the needed solution, to skillfully face the challenges, to absorb the impact, and to manage the outcome of the bad news, and the demand of the tight requirements, of the pressing expectations, of that fast-approaching deadline, and so on.  We could even forget to pray and to call on God altogether.

The good news is that the solution to a lot of our problems is already available to us and, most of the time, rests in our own hands, and resides in our own inner self.  All it takes oftentimes is our determination to face the problem for what it is, and to decide to draw from our natural and innate resource in order to resolve it, and to be victorious.  In some cases, the solution may require that we do the unusual, (or the publicly-misunderstood) out of sheer obedience, in order to trigger, to activate, and to bring about the crucial and vital results.

The following cases in the Bible remind us of the instances when people have to do unusual things, and take unusual steps to obtain the desired, the anticipated, the expected, and the imperative results:

  • A woman was in a deep debt situation, and the creditors threatened to take away her sons as slaves in exchange as a form of payment for her debts.  When asked by the Prophet Elisha what she does have available in her house, as per her natural knowledge, she replied "nothing except a small jar of olive oil." The Prophet then instructed her to collect as many empty jars as she could find.  After she did and begun to pour oil into the empty jars, they all became miraculously filled with oil that she sold and used the money to pay off all her debts to her creditors, and be free.  (2 Kings 4:1-7) ("The Widow's Olive Oil")
  • Joshua was directed by God to walk with the armed men around the Jericho walls silently seven times, and to shout at the end of the seven times.  (Joshua 6) (Full Chapter).  Out of obedience and "By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days." (Hebrews 11:30).  Joshua did exactly what he was directed to do, and the Jericho walls collapsed.
  • Hebrews 11 (Full Chapter), titled "Faith In Action", also referred to as "The Book of Faith", is a listing of many cases where, by Faith, many great exploits were accomplished.  

The above cases are just some examples of faith coupled with obedience that triggers the positive outcome, that leads to the vital solution, and that produces wonders.  In our days, we possess, as well, the same faculty to be obedient by faith, and the same ability to take the initiative that enables us to activate our potentials in order to achieve the optimistic outcome, and the positive results.  The key to our success in many instances resides in our determination and in our willingness to make that decision, and to take action, at times, quick and prompt actions since fleeting time may work against us if we delay, or if we procrastinate.

The skills, the talents, the unique expertise that we possess, the art that we practiced, the craft that we mastered, and that constitute the components of your inherent strength, must be put to work and be utilized when it is deeply required and urgently needed to generate and to produce the catalytic and life-saving results.  That is why we must not keep them selfishly to ourselves, or hidden solely to ourselves, or buried within ourselves.  We must share them by putting them to use for the benefit of others, either through Volunteering, or through any other opportunities that will present themselves to us, or that we will create, or in using any format or platform that will be available to us.

One may say that they do not have any special skills, any special talent, and so on.  However, if we were to take the inventory of our inner self, or if we were to assess our potentials and the strength that we possess inside, we would have realized how rich and loaded we are, how much innate substance that we possess, how much intrinsic capability that we are equipped with, and subsequently, how many options that we have.

By Faith, the people in Biblical times did use their obedience, their skills, their innate ability to bring forth the results and the outcome that they envisioned, that they anticipated, and that they needed.  In our times, we are using our innate skills, our developed talents, our capabilities, our faith in God and in ourselves to resolve our issues, and to create the imperative solution to our problems.

This specific blog post is a prelude to greater things to come, and the precursor of my first-released products.  I would like to request, for the first time, that you invest in my firstly-released products to come, and that you purchase my upcoming and soon-to-be-released book.    It will include this current blog post, and it will represent the tool, the item that I have available in my hands, and that I am using diligently "by faith" towards an urgent solution.  It will enable me to stand firm and strong, and to remain confident while I am passing through an extremely-challenging and a very demanding phase in my life.  I "Thank You Very Much" in advance for your investment of money, for your reading time, and for your word of mouth to others.  I also "Thank You Very Much" in advance for your encouragement, for your mutual exchange, for spreading the news, and for your officially-requested support.

"By Faith we Create it.  By Faith you Embrace it".  Thank You Very Much.