Four weeks ago I penned "Count Your Blessings" on this site shortly after reading The Ten Dollar Blessing and being issued a ten dollar blessing challenge by another writer on the High Calling Blogs network.
I believe the doxology goes something like this: "Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him all creatures here below; Praise Him above ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen"
That's what I have to report today - praises to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost - for the little Ten Dollar Blessing that became so much more in our little community.
Billy Coffey told the story of a parent and child in a diner and how another patron was so blessed by observing this parent and child that he dropped a $10 bill on their table and told them how blessed he was to have dined in their presence. It was a moving story.
The challenge was then issued to find our own "$10 blessing" opportunity and to report back.
In "Count Your Blessings" I told the story of a young family in our community with five small children. The mother had quit her job a while back to stay home and raise these kids, and the father just lost his job. On top of all of that, the father of these kids is still dealing with the loss of his brother in the war in Iraq some 18 months ago and told me that he still has this gaping wound or hole in his heart.
I am counting my blessings again this morning in several ways, four weeks to the day of writing "Count Your Blessings." My life has been blessed, but more importantly, many families who have little to nothing have been blessed as a result of what God has done with this challenge - working through His people.
Blessing #1: I have been blessed by the individual on the other side of the country who read the original post, emailed me for the address of the people written about, and then put his money where his mouth is and dropped a $10 blessing in the mail to them. "Praise God from whom all blessings flow..."
Blessing #2: After writing Count Your Blessings and being convicted of how much so many of us have and how little others have, I went to my Thursday morning Bible study with the challenge - explaining to them the situation of the family in our community (some were aware, others were not) and how people from across the country were now chipping in to bless them, and that I wanted to challenge the other six or seven guys in our Bible study to a little $10 blessing challenge.
Our challenge looked like this. We set out a hat the following Thursday morning, and guys could come and put whatever God had laid on their hearts to give - the idea being that we would pool our $10 bills and get them a grocery gift card or something like that - something people with no income can really use.
The challenge yielded $305 and three families in desperate need have been blessed as a result. "Praise God from whom all blessings flow..."
Blessing #3: Sunday marked the day of a little Christmas party for the families of The Lighthouse, the second campus ministry of our church, which my family and I are a part. The Lighthouse is a place where the lost, hurting and disenfranchised of the church can come and feel welcome, see and hear the love of Jesus, and enjoy community.
Many of those being served by The Lighthouse are in need: emotionally, spiritually, financially and communally. The Ten Dollar Blessing also touched the lives of The Lighthouse, as the idea was presented to the group who initiated the ministry to throw a little Christmas party and provide gifts to the children who are regular attendees.
After worship on Sunday we played games together, enjoyed a time of fellowship and more food, and then called kids forward to receive their gifts - which came from the hearts of the people of The Lighthouse.
The collective "whoooaaaa - coooool" which was heard in unison was one of the greatest gifts I received this Christmas. "Praise God from whom all blessings flow..."
I pray that 2009 is full of blessings in each of your lives, that we continue to be a people who look to bless others and in return are blessed beyond anything we could ever ask or imagine...and when that happens, I pray you will praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Grace and peace,