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Monday, November 21, 2011

"I will...if you will"

Thanksgiving is a great time of the year to express your gratitude by sharing your time, talents and energy for others that are less fortunate. 

This year, myself and 3 others from Northminster joined the team of volunteers at the City Rescue Mission in their efforts to put on the food drive. 

Getting ready for the food drive is a major undertaking as we started out the day with hundreds of Banana boxes filled with all kinds of non-perishable food.  After separating the food, we spent the next days packing "baskets" according to the number of people in each person's family.  

At the end of the first day, I remember thinking to myself, "Anthony, you are getting old" because my back and knees were killing me! 

(Anthony Kladitis volunteering for the City Rescue Mission's Thanksgiving food drive at the Sankey Center)
But those thoughts soon dissipated this past Tuesday morning as car after car pulled up to receive their gifts.  Even though it was cold and rainy most of the day and a ton of work was required to complete the project, seeing all the families lined up ready to receive the gift of food made it all worth it!

As a Christian, a pastor and a leader, I firmly believe that "faith without works is dead" (James 2:26).  For this reason I am always on the lookout for ways to put my faith to work.  I do this to keep my head out of the clouds and my feet on the ground right where they belong...making a difference in the lives of others.

(Left to right:  Phil Behr, Anthony Kladitis, Matthew Pruitt)

Just recently I read a short story that made an impact on me because of the volunteer work that I have recently been involved in.  It goes as follows:

  A pastor saw a beggar amidst the crowd at a Christian conference he was attending. He felt compassion for him and prayed to God, “Lord, please touch him!” Immediately he felt the Lord speak to his heart,
                                                                             "I will, if you will.”

It dawned on me that many of us are like that pastor.  We easily recognize the need(s) of others, have a desire to help, but simply offer up a prayer instead of actually putting our faith in action and helping. 


So as this holiday season approaches, you just might see someone in need of help and decide that God needs to touch them-
Remember that He will.
--As long as you will first-

5 comments:

David Leonhardt said...

I love this quote...

A pastor saw a beggar amidst the crowd at a Christian conference he was attending. He felt compassion for him and prayed to God, “Lord, please touch him!” Immediately he felt the Lord speak to his heart,
"I will, if you will.”

It is sort of the natural extension of "The Lord helps those who help themselves."

Nobody knows how directly God intervenes in the affairs of man, but thousands of years of experience tells us that if we really want our prayers answered, it sure helps to get out of bed in the morning.

Anthony K said...

Great point!

There is an African Proverb that goes, "Pray. But when you pray. Move your feet."

So powerful and so true!

Cerebrations.biz said...

When my kids were little, we all went to the local shelter and offered our services on Thanksgiving and Christmas (unless it was the Sabbath), so the regular staff could get a day off. Cooking, cleaning, and serving- helps those who use the shelter- and those that need a day (their holidays, not mine) to share with their families.
(We also volunteered 1 day a month with the local foodbank- collecting and sorting...)
That's how you teach the young.

Adeline said...

Up until this point, I've never really understood the meaning of Thanksgiving (since I was born and raised here in the Philippines). Reading your post really opened my eyes that there is more to Thanksgiving than just turkey dinners with the trimmings. It's a day when we can be thankful for all the blessings that we have received and continue to receive. Wouldn't the world be a whole lot better place if we would remain being thankful and willing to share our blessings with others in other days of the years.

Anthony K said...

Adeline,

I cannnot express how much your words mean to me. I am so glad that I can help be a part of helping you understand the spirit of Thanksgiving...