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'Grateful Giving'

Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.

- Matthew 10:8

So much comes to us without cost. We are taken care of as infants and children by our parents, educated by our society and given an array of opportunities for making our way in the world. And yet, it is not rare to hear, "I've worked hard for everything I have."

Yes, it takes work to master a trade or profession. The early years are often filled with scrimping and saving to meet basic needs. But think of being a refugee struggling to obtain water, food and shelter. Think of living in a war-torn land where such problems are multiplied by the risk of sudden death.

We live in a peace and prosperity that would astound previous generations. And yet gratitude is not a sign of our times. I think God would like us to be grateful and willingly share with those not as blessed. The first step, I think, is in recognizing what we have received without cost. Then, out of sheer gratitude, we will be moved to give.

- Aileen O'Donoghue
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Wonderful devotion Aileen! It touched a nerve.

Lord, I humble myself and thank you so very much for everything you have given me. I know that throughout my years you have taken care of me and provided me with many gifts in order to survive alone as a single woman. Please help me to continue recognize the many gifts you have given me "without cost" and to share them with the less fortunately. Amen
Tillie | Posted on: 2018-07-12 13:47:47
Thank you Lord God: for life, Catholic faith, USA, parents, sister, wife of 57 years, 5 children, 13 grandchildren, homes, jobs, pets, friends, vacations, clean water, food, clothing, warm house in winter, cool house in summer heat, church close by with sacraments, car, and on and on."good measure pressed down, flowing over will I pour into the fold of your garment"
it is ALL GIFT!
James Guinee | Posted on: 2018-07-12 11:19:46
"Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give." It touches my heart this morning reading His Word...how He has been there for the Israelites (me) and how they (I) have rejected Him and yet He continues to be there for them (me) even today!!!

Without cost, I received my children; without cost I am to give to my children! This is the one parent/child relationship I know most of us can relate to the verse above! We love our children unconditionally!!! No matter whether or how they reject me or my faith...

Now He is telling me to extend it to others He put on my path...it is not about doing or giving, it is about my heart, my gratitude and my listening to the Holy Spirit. Who have rejected me or abandoned me? Who do I have to forgive without cost to them?

I share with you what He has done in the past and continues to do today since you don't know me in person. I want to boast in the Lord! This is the experience I have with my God and my Lord:

* 15 years ago, a pre-school teacher of my girls. Her husband left her with her four children. My heart broke for her and her children. I gave her one thousand dollars in an sealed envelop and told her that it was paying forward so she didn't have to look for a second job in the summer.
* One Christmas season, a woman with a child was in front of me at Walmart. God nudged me to pay for their grocery, formula and diapers and I did.
* As I stoped at a Burger King and a man outside asked me for money, I went in and provided money for a meal at the counter. He said he wanted money and was not hungry. I said the food would be available when he would be hungry.
* At christian concerts, my family were moved to sponsor the children. We now have five sponsored children across three organizations.
* At McDonald drive through, God once again nudged me to pay for the car behind me.
* I signed up for a cancer support group when no one I knew had cancer. Then a new friend I met told me she had thyroid cancer. I was with her and supported her and we became very good friends.
* My sister had breast cancer 10 years ago and she wrote a lot of email updates - very inspirational as she totally depended on God during this dark and yet bright time. I asked her to put them in a booklet. I have been giving it out to anyone who has cancer or know someone who does.
* A sister-in-Christ in BSF lost her husband this past year because her husband did not want to be a financial burden any more, I asked another sister-in-Christ in BSF to give her a sealed envelop with one thousand dollars and not to reveal who provided the envelop.
* Seventeen years ago, I came to Christ when my husband filed for divorce and took my two young girls out of state for three months before I was able to see them again through court. God gave my family back without cost to me, and I am willing to give to my husband and my two girls without cost to them...ok, it may cost them frustrations and anger sometimes because I am a WIP (work in progress :-(
* Provided a loan of ten thousand dollars to a graduating student a year ago we just met, he is the 'boyfriend' my daughter just met even though we told her he is not the Mr. 'right now'!
* Everything else I don't remember or not aware of His working.......

This is God's own personal story in Hosea 11:1-4, 8e, "Thus says the LORD: When Israel was a child I loved him, out of Egypt I called my son. The more I called them, the farther they went from me, sacrificing to the Baals and burning incense to idols. Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, who took them in my arms; I drew them with human cords, with bands of love; I fostered them like one who raises an infant to his cheeks; Yet, though I stooped to feed my child, they did not know that I was their healer...My heart is overwhelmed, my pity is stirred."

Read that passage again! This is what God is saying to me, "Salina, do you see yourself as the receiver in that story? Now, go do likewise as the giver! You won't be able to do the same on your own strength, but I will be there to help you and and nudge you every step of the way!"

Once again, O LORD of hosts, look down from heaven, and see: Take care of this vine,
and protect what Your right hand has planted, the son of man whom You Yourself made strong. Let me see your face, Lord, and I shall be saved. I am in awe of Your long-suffering, Your unconditional love and unwavering faithfulness, my God and my Lord! Amen!
Salina | Posted on: 2018-07-12 10:16:09
"So that your giving may be in secret. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
humility | Posted on:: 2018-07-12 11:13:30
Simple and instructive, if this devotion truly moved your heart this morning do "something" about it! We all have great intentions of helping people after we read a wonderful devotion like this. What seems to be missing in my humbled opinion is the active component required to create real change in peoples lives and society that reflects the desire for transformation that comes from God. In our hearts we wish to help the people we know are suffering yet feel overwhelmed and do not even know where to start. I say just start! look within that impulse to help you feel is God giving you and us all the gift we must gratefully give to others. Unite that with Hope and Faith then Charity in action is sure to follow.
Peace be with you all!
Daniel | Posted on: 2018-07-12 08:51:46
Amen Daniel I so agree! Let us all pray for the Wisdom to know Gods will and our willingness to follow it. God Blessings to all!
Mary | Posted on:: 2018-07-12 08:56:54
Well said. Even if its small. Saint Teresa of Calcutta used to emphasize small, simple giving is where it starts.
Mark | Posted on:: 2018-07-12 15:15:24
At this tender age of 67...it's like a light has come on!
Aileen, thank YOU for your reflection today.
My world continues to get brighter!
God Bless Us And All Who We Love!
Pam | Posted on: 2018-07-12 08:39:02
It is always better to give than to receive, because sharing is caring. Let us all help someone who is in need of help.
B.T. | Posted on: 2018-07-12 08:36:36
Amen. :)
freeter | Posted on: 2018-07-12 08:25:14
Amen, Amen, Amen.

Music to my ears this morning. Everyday I thank God for the many blessings and his grace he has bestow towards me.

We all need to share our good fortune with others and not pile up treasures here on earth and share with those less fortune as we are only good stewards of God's gifts to us.

Be good stewards, share the good news and your gifts.

Thank you.
Tim | Posted on: 2018-07-12 08:00:23
Lord, Help me to recognize what I have received without cost and for my own family to open their eyes and heart and to recognize what they have received! Amen
Lia | Posted on: 2018-07-12 07:57:56
Lord, Help me to recognize what I have received without cost and for my own family to open their eyes and heart and to recognize what they have received! Amen
Lia | Posted on: 2018-07-12 07:57:56
Amen. Lord, bless me to bless others today,
EM | Posted on: 2018-07-12 07:23:05
Amen. Lord, bless me to bless others today,
EM | Posted on: 2018-07-12 07:22:52
Aileen, you struck a nerve! So many people do not realize, and take for granted, all they are given freely! And too many people boast about their accomplishments. There are so many "unaccomplished" people who work tirelessly for humankind. Those who are "accomplished" and do not serve should be embarrassed by those who far outshine them with their service.

I pray that I will always appreciate the things I have received without cost and free will, which is a gift from God.
Linda | Posted on: 2018-07-12 07:22:46
So basic, so obvious...and yet so forgotten. Thank you Aileen - this is the truth everyone needs to hear. Thank you, Lord!
Chris | Posted on: 2018-07-12 07:07:28
Our human nature gives way to our selfishness.
I have truly come to believe that the more I share what I have, the more blessings the Lord Jesus returns to me.
Rick Salinas | Posted on: 2018-07-12 06:42:04
Rick, this is so true and Is what I teach my children, now young adults.
Tim | Posted on:: 2018-07-12 07:57:08
The Lord God has Blessed us with much fruits, let us recognize and reach out to those unfortunate. God thank you for our Blessings
CW | Posted on:: 2018-07-12 10:34:29
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