Sharing My Bread at the Dollar General


Yesterday I wrote here about sharing our ” bread”, our resources, with those who are poor or experiencing a crisis. The idea was based on King Solomon’s advice in Ecclesiastes 11:1-2. I encouraged the reader to share with those they meet during their daily activities here in their communities,  or even far from home.

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This morning before I left for work, I paused and prayed for a few minutes. It was a short, sincere prayer. I prayed that God would use me today for whatever His plans were for me. I would like to tell you that is a regular prayer of mine, but it isn’t.  Before my hand hit the doorknob to leave, I felt a strong sense come over me that I was going to cross paths with a homeless person and God may use me in that capacity. To be clear, I did not hear a voice, just a very strong thought.  I had not shared any “bread” with such a person in almost a year. It was this time last year, when I shared some citrus fruit  at the local grocery store on Main Street. The one that stopped giving out free coffee to its’ customers because the homeless people decided to get in on the deal too, and well, you know, that just doesn’t look good for their business. It may lose the reputation of “where shopping is a  pleasure”, because someone may ask them for spare change as they enter or exit.

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So, on my forty minute drive in to work,  I pondered about where I might see a homeless person. I decided to go to the same store down on Main Street, because I had to get my lunch, and I might  see one there, because there were a few who sat outside the store, on the sidewalk. But as I entered and exited, I did not see such person, so I went on to work.  I’d like to tell you that I went searching for the homeless during lunch,  but not once did such  person enter my mind for the rest of the day.

As I left work, the thought came to go visit the local Dollar General to purchase Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box items.  After making the purchase, I went out the door and saw a man with a back pack standing near the building by his bicycle. He said to me “do you have any spare change?” I replied back, “sorry I do not have any”. So he said to me, “ok, God bless you”.  I walked about 20 feet to my car and it hit me like a ton of bricks, the thought came so clearly:  “turn around, there is the homeless person, that you thought about earlier this morning after you prayed to me”.  I headed back into the store and found a store gift card. I went back out and said to the guy, “I have something better than change, I’m giving you a gift card. But first, I have to tell you a story.”

I started to tell him about what I had prayed before I left home this morning, and about going to the store on Main Street, and not finding anyone in need. By the time I finished I had chill bumps on my arms and I was crying!  Those who know me, would agree that I am not Emotional Emma as I rarely cry in public. He gave me a hug and told me that when he was in the military he made a decision to be a God follower. He had been in Desert Storm during the war. When he came back to get settled in, he couldn’t find a church he felt comfortable in because they were either like a “social club”, or they had “classes of people he didn’t fit into”.  He then told me he prayed but wasn’t reading his Bible regularly but that he knew he was supposed to love God and love others.  I suggested a local church for him to visit, and he said others had also recommended him go to this church.   I shared with him that I had never experienced anything like this before where I asked God to use me, he directed my thoughts to folks like him, and then I met him the same day. He seemed very touched by the experience as well. Again, I’d like to tell you that I asked if I could pray for him before I left, but I didn’t.

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I’m sharing this here because I prayed a simple, sincere prayer today, and I had my plans of finding the person on Main Street. When I didn’t, I no longer thought God had a plan to place that person in my path, I had completely forgotten about the prayer!  And when He did plant the person  in my path, I almost missed a blessing and would have jumped in my Honda and left, had I not had the thought to turn around and go back.

I’m now waiting eagerly for the next opportunity, which may be a totally different way to serve up bread.  This God-sized  experience has stirred me today. We have a Sovereign God who has the time to break into my life and allow me to be His hands today to minister to a military veteran, who put his life on the line for our country. I promise you I will not miss my bread.  The man simply asked for spare change, and I’m the one who walked  away changed.  Feel free to leave a comment of how you have shared your bread. 14CBpray-with-homeless-sox-man-sm

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I’m Sharing My Bread This Christmas


As the Christmas Season is fast approaching,  I’m adding a new item on my Gift List: Bread. The idea came to me as I was reading the words of the richest and wisest man of his time, King Solomon.  “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, or even to eight, for you know not what disaster may happen on the earth.” Ecclesiastes 11:1-2

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After I read the verse, a childhood memory came flashing back . It’s one of my favorite places, my grandmother’s house on Skinner’s Lake. My grandmother had loaves of day old bread she purchased at the bread store for “her fish”.  She would say to me, “go feed the fish’.  I went to her refrigerator, reached my hand in the bread bag and pulled out a couple of slices. I headed out the door, and down her long dock.  Next, I started breaking the slices into smaller pieces, and tossed them into the water. Within seconds, the bread would start to move, then disappear as the hungry fish devoured the bread!  This small act of feeding the fish brought  joy and excitement to me.

Looking back to Solomon’s advice, his intention was not for us to ” go feed the fish.”  This verse can be interpreted several ways, with one being sharing our possessions with the poor.  Solomon also wrote in Proverbs 19:17, “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed.    We all like to give and receive at Christmas.  When we share our “bread” or possessions with  the poor, we are giving it to the Lord, and He gives the best gifts back in return!  We will “find our bread after many days”, as Ecclesiastes 11:1 states. We will have kindness shown back to us through other ways.

The “Bread of Life”,  who came to earth the first Christmas, instructs His followers with the following command:

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This Christmas, as I celebrate the birth of My Savior,  I want to be more intentional with giving my bread to the poor. Really, it’s not my bread. It is God’s bread.  Every blessing I have comes from His hand alone. Today, there are many people, near and far, who are drowning in the troubled waters on life’s sea. We see their faces in our neighborhoods, marketplaces, schools, work, church, and even across the ocean.  We have the “bread”  in our hand to toss out to them. The question is, are we going to hold on tightly to the bread God has blessed us with,  and ignore Christ’s instruction to us, or are we going to have an open, gracious handful of bread to share?   I encourage you to add Bread to your Christmas List this year, and share with someone who cannot give you anything in return. And while you are doing it, introduce them to the Bread of Life.whocanilove

Open Your Mouth Wide


This past week I came across a verse from Psalm 81: 10  “I  am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, that I may fill it. ”  I immediately thought of the children at the center in Guatemala that our team had the blessing of serving every day  at lunch time on our recent visit there .  Several of the toddlers would come to the table and cry, and for whatever reason, decided they didn’t want to eat at that time, while most chowed down the delicious food on the green plate in front of them! The babies fully depended on our team to feed them, as they waited patiently for the spoon- to- mouth experience, with mouths wide open.

This verse also reminds me of an example we see in nature.  I envision a mama bird feeding her young, and the provision she brings to her nest filled with tiny feathered creatures. They feel the bounce of the nest or see the shadow of the mama bird, before their eyes are fully working, and automatically pop open their tiny mouths wide to receive the food. This may happen up to 100 times per day in the early days of the young birds. Our Heavenly Father wants us to anticipate His blessings that He has for us in our daily lives.  But in order to receive those,  we need to stay close to “the nest” and wait for Him. We need to be  daily ” in the shadow of His wings” ( Psalm 91:1-4)

The verse preceding the promise of  Psalm 81:10 is very important: ” There shall be no strange gods among you: you shall not bow down to a foreign god.”  He cannot give us our daily provisions or the blessings, if our hearts are with idols that we have chosen to  put before Him.  Last Sunday night I heard a sermon from Deuteronomy 12:28-32,  by Bro. Brandon Denmark, as he discussed three types of idols in our lives:  Idol of Comfort. Idol of Significance. Idol of Control.  God cannot “fill our mouths” with spiritual or material blessings, if our hearts are chasing after the idols of comfort, significance, or control  instead of pursuing Him. We must worship Him alone.  He wants to fill our mouths, but He, alone, must be the object of our worship as we wait, anticipate, and have faith that He will answer our prayers.

These two verses have  convicted me of idols in my life and the many times I have failed to seek His presence daily, being still and waiting for Him, and worshipping Him alone. I need to be thankful of the many blessings He brings into my life, whether spiritual or material, and realize I am a helpless young bird needing to be fed only from Jehovah Jireh, my Great Provider.

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Jesus gives us an example of birds in Matthew 6: 25-26 ” Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap or gather into barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

I’m on a Mission: I’m Asking you to Donate Your Lunch Money


When we return to Guatemala on July 11, with Orphan’s Heart, our team’s goal is to distribute 75 food baskets to the families of the children at the Malnutrition Center. The families are able to visit their children once a week until they are healthy enough to return home. Fifty dollars is needed to fill each family basket. That’s less than the cost of one meal when my family eats at our favorite restaurant, but this basket has food staples in it that will last approximately three months!

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As I was contemplating on the basket project, the story of Jesus Feeding the 5,000  came to memory. In Mark 6, we find  Jesus teaching a very large crowd out in a rural setting, away from the towns, As he looked out on the crowd, the Bible says he had compassion on the people. As it was getting late the disciples ordered Jesus to send them away so that they could go back into the towns and buy food for themselves. But Jesus replied “ you give them something to eat“.  They replied that they didn’t have the money to feed the 5,000 men plus women and children.   A boy was there that had 5 loaves of bread and two fish, and he gave his lunch to Jesus, and the rest is history.   After it reached the hands of Jesus, He offered thanks, the disciples passed the food out, and there were 12 baskets of extra food collected after they had all finished eating!

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I want you to take a moment to ask yourself two questions. The first question is : “When was the last time that I or my children lacked for food?” According to USaid.gov, the average US citizen spends one-tenth of their family income on food, while the poorest of the world spend over fifty percent of their income on food. Inside the Malnutrition Center. Almost half of all rural Guatemalan children, under the age of 5, are malnourished. That is a staggering number!  I’ve seen first-hand the effects of malnutrition. There were several babies who had recently arrived that our team cared for.   There was also a “before and after” photo album in the lunch room, to show testimony of how these kids entered their care, some in the back of a rural Guatemalan ambulance, a small pickup truck, with ribs you could easily count, and rashes and thinning hair, to leaving in a “picture of health”. No one needed to convince me further that there was a real problem in this rural countryside in Guatemala, and that we were there to make a difference in these children’s lives, and to continue to make a difference after we left, through monthly  sponsoring one child.

Arriving at the Malnutrition Center

Arriving at the Malnutrition Center

Leaving the Malnutrition Center

Leaving the Malnutrition Center

Now, the second question I ask you to ask yourself:  “Can I give, and I am I willing to give the cost of my lunch to help a family in Guatemala?”  Going back to the story of Jesus Feeding the 5,000 men plus women and children. First we see Jesus had compassion on the crowds. He looked out and had compassion.  What the disciples thought was a good reason to send them away, “they need to eat”, Jesus commanded them to take the responsibility to feed them, even when there was no way possible for them to take on that big responsibility. But a way was made, through one boy’s lunch, to feed the masses. God used one unnamed boy who was willing to give all that he had and place it in the Hands of Jesus and watch a miracle take place! Jesus could have asked the crowd to come to a buffet line to get the food themselves, but he gave the bread and fish His disciples, for them to take to the crowd. God provides, but we are the hands and feet of Jesus. He asks us to personally carry the food to the hungry.

Next month I’m traveling back to  Guatemala to be the hands and feet of Jesus and I’m asking you, my friends and family, to share your lunch, just like the boy did, in order fill the baskets with whatever you wish to give. One of my favorite verses on giving is Proverbs 19:7 “ Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed.”   You can go to Orphans Heart to donate. After you have selected the amount please indicate in the last step, under Gift Details, that the donation is for Guatemala Food Baskets.  Thanks for participating in this important mission, whether you give one lunch or ten,  as you will be blessed!

Touch the life of a Child in Guatemala

Touch the life of a Child in Guatemala

I’m Going Back to Guatemala


I am eagerly anticipating my return to Guatemala on July 11 as  I am blessed to be returning to the country that Sarah and I first visited with Orphan’s Heart in December 2013. My co-worker and friend, Kelsey, and I are flying out of Miami and landing in Guatemala City, Guatemala where we will join 30 other team members.  From there we will travel about 45 minutes to Antigua, Guatemala.  Antigua is a beautiful small tourist town with a picturesque canvas of mountains that greet you, in the distance, every morning outside your hotel room.

                                                              Guatemala Mountains

I will serve again at the  Malnutrition Center (Colonia Infantil  CERN) in San Juan Sacatepéquez, Guatemala.  On our first trip Sarah and I were assigned to the Canary Room to care for the infants and  young toddlers. Even though some were toddlers, some had not sat up on their own, crawled, or taken their first steps, due to growth delays caused by lack of proper nutrition.  On the third day there of having the duty of changing several kids’ diapers after a long night, I was proud of myself for no longer gagging. This Guatemala diaper changing ministry tops any church nursery worker experience I’ve ever took part of, and there were about  ” 19 kids and counting” with not enough hands at times, although we thoroughly enjoyed it!   We also helped with bath time, rocking them, playing with and hugging them.  And of course, we fed them twice a day while patiently watching their tiny mouths opening to receive the food. What a delight! The first day or two, we encountered many of our children who were quiet and reserved, except at diaper changing time, because total strangers had invaded their home and they had not yet decided to fully trust us yet. But by the third day, their faces started smiling and they reached for us, arms outstretched,  as we greeted them each morning.   There were about 50 of us who ministered to the children, 7 hours a day, with a 30 minute lunch break. The Center averages about 80-100 children , newborn through age nine.   Their families are unable to care for these precious children, some at death’s door, so they entrust them to the dedicated staff to nurture them back to health. The Center provides weekly visits for the parents and children until they are healthy enough to go back home.  When we tearfully said our goodbyes to the children and staff, Duane and I committed to sponsoring a tiny, one year old girl I cared for, who shares my mom’s middle name. I’m so excited to return to see her soon!   Thanks for taking the time to read, and please stay tuned, because I will be sharing more posts before we leave.

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