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Everything Changes

The more messed up this world gets, the more God makes sense.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007
It's Valentines Day in Canada. And I've been thinking about the word charity for a couple of days.

1. generous actions or donations to aid the poor, ill, or helpless
2. something given to a person or persons in need; alms
3. a charitable act or work
4. a charitable fund, foundation, or institution
5. benevolent feeling, esp. toward those in need or in disfavor
6. leniency in judging others; forbearance
7. Christian love; agape
In the Vulgate (the Latin version of the Bible, prepared chiefly by Saint Jerome at the end of the 4th century a.d., and used as the authorized version of the Roman Catholic Church) charity (from the Latin word caritas) was used as translation of the Greek word agape (love) to avoid the sexual suggestion of the Latin word amor. The Vulgate also sometimes translated agape by the Latin word dilectio, "to esteem highly, to love."

1. the love of God or Christ for humankind
2. selfless love of one person for another without sexual implications (especially love that is spiritual in nature)
3. a religious meal shared ("love feast" - held in connection with the Lord's Supper) as a sign of love and fellowship
When agape is translated by charity it means either (1) a disposition in man which may qualify his own character (1 Cor 8:1) and be ready to go forth to God (1 Cor 8:3) or to men; or (2) an active and actual relation with other men, generally within the church (Col 3:14; 1 Thess 3:6; 2 Thess 1:3; 1 Tim 1:5; 4:12; 1 Pet 4:8; 5:14), but also absolutely and universally (1 Cor 13). In the earlier epistles it stands first and unique as the supreme principle of the Christian life (1 Cor 13), but in the later writings, it is enumerated as one among the Christian virtues (1 Tim 2:15; 2 Tim 2:22; 3:10; Tit 2:2; 2 Pet 1:7; Rev 2:19).


Two days ago I wired money to my friend David in Uganda, as an act of charity. As I was coming out of the bank a woman was "begging" for money - money, she said, she needed to buy food for her eight year old son. I recognized this lady. I've seen her begging elsewhere, and even bought her a bagel and a bottle of water once outside a Tim Hortons. I asked her a couple of questions about her son and then told her I'd buy him (and her) a slice of pizza if she was interested. She said that would be fine but she'd have to keep it with her for a bit.

Three doors down from my bank is a grocery store. I told the woman to wait and I'd be back in a few minutes. I went into the grocery store and purchased two $10 food vouchers. When I came out the woman was waiting for me. I handed her one of the vouchers and asked her to make sure her son had food to eat. I went to my car and put the second voucher in the visor - for next time.

And then I had a thought. I said to myself, "It's only money!" And we all know that money comes, and money goes. And money is not really that important in the big scheme of things.

But charity, now that's important.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

[1 Corinthians 13:1-3, 13 | King James Version]

Email Request

Monday, February 12, 2007
Dear friend,

If you're receiving this email then you are most likely someone who has supported me prayerfully and/or financially over the last 5 - 10 years. Some of you may remember me talking about David from Uganda. Recently his apartment was lost to a fire and his landlord has blamed David for this loss. His landlord is threatening to have David jailed for six months if he doesn't pay the renovation costs ($400USD).

I've known David for 14 years and I'm in contact with him on a regular basis. Prior to this situation David has only once asked me to help him financially and that was to attend a youth camp that cost $25. David has not asked me to send him money regarding this apartment fire, but I have made direct contact with his landlord and told him that I would transfer the money to David's account this week to resolve this matter.

I am sending the money either way, but I am asking you to pray about helping me do so. $400USD plus the bank fees will cost me about $525CAD. Anything you can do to help would be appreciated. If you are unable to help financially please pray that this situation would be resolved quickly and that David would remain safe and be able to find a new place to live.

Thank you for being a blessing in my life!