Matthew 2:11 Gift Exchange

My name is Brian Fuder and I was awoken late the other night by a thought that would not let me sleep. We are in the giving season and my idea is based on giving, so please read and consider.Nowhining Banner

MATTHEW 2:11 GIFT EXCHANGE

Matthew 2:11 KJV

“And when they (the wise men) were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

 

Can one person really make a difference? Can one person positively affect the lives of others? I believe the answer is yes. If the power of one is mighty, what power would a group of likeminded individuals be capable of?

I challenge you to participate in the Matthew 2:11 gift exchange. Just as the wise men gave gifts to our infant savior, let us give also.

The premise is simple,

Step  1. Take three envelopes and label separately, one “Gold”, one  “Frankincense”, and the last one “Myrrh”.

Step  2. Inside each of the envelopes place a dollar or two, or even one hundred, depending on what your heart leads you to do,

Step  3.  Add a note telling the recipient to post a message to Facebook Community ” Matthew 2:11 Gifts” telling how the gift made a difference in your life.

Step  4. Give    those    envelopes    away.

Give one to a friend in need, one to a local charity, one to your local library. Be original, give the gift of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to whomever you feel will benefit the most from it. It can be the local Salvation Army kettle, your local church or Sunday school, even to a complete stranger, the choice is yours. Who will be the recipient of your gift of gold, frankincense and myrrh?

We never know the path that others are traveling, their path may be smooth and scenic, or their path may be rough and dusty. Some paths are lonely, some congested, and some are dark and frightening. Some paths are new, some are soon ending. Only the traveler and God knows the path they are on. A simple gift may be all that is needed, or maybe it is just the thought that will brighten the traveler’s day.

What do you do if you are presented with or you discover a gift of gold, frankincense, or myrrh?

Step 1. Thank the giver and/or thank God for the blessing.

Step 2.  Decide

Yes, or No. Do I need a gift in my life right now?

Yes, accept it gracefully and put it to good use, the gift is yours.

No, I have plenty in my life right now, give it away just like you did with the others.

The Choice is yours, no questions asked.

 

I have set up a Facebook page called Matthew 2:11 Gifts, please share your experiences and thoughts as we go through the process and then starting Christmas Eve through Christmas Day, share the changes that these gifts brought you in both giving and receiving and we will see what a bug difference just one person can really make.

Merry Christmas and God Bless

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It’s Easy, I’ve Done It A Thousand Times

Great American Smoke Out is November 19th and I hope that this story helps just one person free themselves from the strangle hold smoking has on them.

No Whining

I quit smoking in 1999, I had done it a thousand times, in fact I quit every time I put one out and it was not easy. It probably was one of the most, if not the most difficult things I have ever done. I had been a smoker for about 15 years at that time and I was smoking about three packs a day. I don’t believe that in today’s society with all the no smoking laws that a person with a job could possibly smoke that much. My first and last breath of each day usually contained a puff of smoke. In fact, just about every breath I took during the day had smoke in it. I had tried many times earlier to quit, I had a few times when I went for a couple of days, a few weeks, a month or two, and once I even…

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The Winning Team

Nowhining BannerIt is playoff season for football and as we watch our favorite teams complete, fighting to continue their hunt for a prized trophy, some of our teams win, and some of our teams lose. Does a win make a team better than the team that lost? Can the losing team still be a winner? Remember, “Winning or losing doesn’t matter, it’s how you play the game that matters.” We have all heard that previous saying, but what about “If winning or losing doesn’t matter, then why do we keep score?” why do we keep score? What is our obsession with winning? In the long run does it really matter? We all know exactly how the game of life will end. We all get the same trophy, a marble or granite stone with two numbers on it, and they are not our win-lose record.

“I’d rather be on a losing team of winners than a winning team of losers.” Why do we accept saying like this as being true? I get to pick who I allow on my team and who I don’t, so why then would I pick a loser to be on my team. It’s been stated that you are a reflection of your five closest friends. So if you your five closest friends are fools, what does that make you? Surround yourself with good, strong, healthy, and inspiring people, and you will become the reflection of that team. About a month ago I attended a speakers symposium where I was bombarded with motivational speeches from twenty of the most inspiring people I have ever seen. After the event I rode the wave of that high for days, in fact I still get a chill when I think of how awesome that felt. I was surrounded by an infectious positive energy, inspiring motivation, and happy people, it would have been impossible to shield myself from that kind of electricity. Now that is the team I want to be on!

On our trophy of marble or granite, the two numbers I mentioned above are not our win-lose record they indicate the time we were given to play the game. For some, the game is short, for others the game goes into overtime, we never know how long we get to play. Make the most of the time between the numbers, spend that time with a team of winners. Learn, teach, love, inspire, lead, be gentle, be kind, and forgive. Don’t worry about the numbers, we have no control over what the are or what they will be, the only thing we can control is how we choose to spend the space between them. GO TEAM!!!

Be Nicer Part II (With a Challenge)

Nowhining BannerEarlier I wrote a post called “Be Nicer” and I spent some time making observations on how we should be nicer to those around us and I particularly chose people not so near and dear to my heart to be nicer to. Well, I want to take a little time and redirect “Be Nicer” to focus more on our family and loved ones.

I for one, and I am finding that I am not alone in this feeling, give total strangers the best of what I have to offer everyday and bring home the gristly remains to nurture our families with. I have wondered why do we do this, why don’t I direct my feelings appropriately to those who are, oh so deserving of them, instead of my kind and loving family. I was brought up just like many of you to “always be friendly and kind to strangers”, to “be a good neighbor”, “never speak unkind words to anyone”, to “treat others the way I want them to treat me”. So it seems I have mastered that, now I need to add into the mix, “always be friendly and kind to my wife and family”, “be a good husband and father”, “never speak unkind words to my family”, and treat my loved ones the way I want them to treat me”.

Who means more to us, who is going to be there when we need them, who is going to comfort us when we are hurting? I would not place my bets on the strangers that we have so graciously been nice to, I would bet it all on our families, who we have not been so wonderful to all these years. We need to come around to a better way of thinking. We don’t have to stop being friendly to strangers we just need to be a lot more friendly and loving to our spouses and families, give them the same courtesies.

How do we do that? Well, I have heard that it take 21 days to learn a new habit, and if my calendar reading ability is right we have about 21 days until Thanksgiving. Maybe we can make a difference and truly give our families something to be thankful for, and definitely we will be more thankful also.

Here is my challenge. Most of us spend time on social media, Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, etc. how about each day from now on we post something that we are thankful for about our spouses and family. Or if you would rather, here are some other options we could try. Each day, before you leave for work, leave a love note in a surprising place. During lunch, send a text saying we love them and are grateful for them in our lives. Each day before we walk in the front door, we say a prayer and thank God for the family we have and for him to give us the patience and guidance to be our best for them. Share some quiet and reflective time with them. Treat them the same way or better than we treat strangers. What have got to loose?

Now, we won’t stop once Thanksgiving has come and gone, why would we? After 21 days of having a better attitude at home and enjoying our family the way God intended us to enjoy them, why would we go back. Let it be known that we want to make a positive, lasting change in our lives and theirs.

I will be looking for the noticeable warmth that will undoubtedly come from this exercise and look forward to hearing how it affected your home and family. Keep me posted!

Who Gets to See Me at My Best?

Nowhining BannerI find it interesting when I introduce my wife Rochelle to people that I know, how they usually say something like “you must be lucky to have such a great guy”, “he is always so nice”, “he is so funny”, “he must be a joy to live with”. My wife suddenly gets this terribly confused look on her face and I am sure she is wondering “who the hell are you talking about?”. but she just smiles and nods, never one to blow my cover. Now, I am not going to deny that I am a bit of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by that I mean, what my family sees normally is not what the public sees. Why do I give total strangers my best and my family my worse? Are they just targets of opportunity or are they casualties of friendly fire?

I seem to have this sense of obligation to those who really should not be a priority in my life, to always put on a smile and a friendly facade, to make sure that they find me likable, only to remove that mask when I get home to reveal an ogre. I have only, on extremely rare occasions directed my disappointment, frustration, or anger appropriately to those who should be the target of my assault. Instead, I bring it home to my family and loved ones and unload on them. No wonder Rochelle gets a funny look on her face when people talk about how nice I am. Not only do I unload on her, I seem to allow it to intensify and fester and then she gets twice what the original offender deserved. If I blew up at work the way I do at home I would probably be unemployed but yet I am still married. I am not sure how my loving wife puts up with it or why, but I know that she must be a saint and I thank God daily for her understanding, patience and unending love.

I have read a lot of material on ways of handling stress and achieving peace within but have yet to find a cure for my predicament. How do I channel my feelings appropriately, and how do I deal positively with the frustrations that haunt my self being? How do I stop the relentless bombardment of my negativity towards my family when they are the least deserving of it? How? Maybe by being open with everyone about my feelings, maybe by taking a chance at offending someone who really wont care that I did offend them. Maybe, by writing out and discussing the ways that I should act I can start to practice what I preach. Saying one thing and doing another might at first make me look like a hypocrite, with time I can learn new ways of behavior by keeping the positive thoughts and appropriate actions fresh in my mind. It will take time to learn new habits and it won’t be easy, and I may have more than a fair amount of set backs and failures, but my family is worth any effort I put into making a positive change no matter how much the cost to me. Everyone deserves to see me at my best but maybe the public can tolerate being given a little less than my best so that my loved ones get a lot less of my worst.

Love you Rochelle!!

p.s. I am always looking for some good ideas, post em if you got em.