The other day, a dear friend shared with me her financial situation. I tried to encourage her to have faith in God, knowing that He will make a way.
She said, “I know God will make a way, but I don’t see how.”
As I spoke with her, I remembered all the times when my own faith was a little weak and I had to ask God to increase it. I explained that often when we are going through our trials, we don’t always see God working things out for us.
“But it’s not for us to ‘see’ how He will work things out for us,” I said. “It is for us to believe that He will. I don’t have to know how the Lord is going to work in my life. ... I just need to have the faith to believe that he will.”
She agreed and I continued, “I’m trying to encourage you, but at the same time, I am encouraging myself. We all come up a little short of faith from time to time, no matter how many times the Lord brings us through a situation.” I told her I had a few errands to run and we said goodbye and hung up.
Later, as I drove to the grocery store, I thought more about our conversation and prayed for the Lord to make a way for her — and for me, too.
Inside the store, I picked up the items I needed and headed for the check-out. I asked the cashier if I could use my debit card as a credit card. She said I could. But the system wouldn’t take it as a credit card and asked for my PIN, which I had forgotten. I decided to write a check. Meanwhile, I apologized to the people in line behind me for taking so long to check out.
“That’s OK, dear,” said a kind lady behind me. Then, the gentleman behind her asked the cashier how much I owed. I was so surprised — my mouth dropped open. I thanked the young man and asked for his address to repay him, adding that he had a blessing coming from the Lord for his kind gesture.
“I’m already blessed,” he said. “When God woke me up this morning, it was a blessing.”
By now, the other people on line were nodding, what could have been, silent amens. Seems like we were having a little church right there in the grocery store!
I was so touched and asked again for his name. This time he told me, “Rudy Hutchins,” and again told me I didn’t owe him anything.
“Well, Rudy,” I thought, “you just added to your daily blessings.”
There are many people in the world like Rudy, who believe it is more blessed to give than to receive. I am one of them. I can think of many times when I literally had given my last dollar to a worthy cause: a young woman or man on the street or an extra offering in the church collection plate. And the blessed thing about such a gesture, is when you give from your heart, you don’t miss your giving. Besides, it makes you feel so good to have given to help someone else.
As I loaded my purchases into my car, I thanked the Lord. I could hardly wait to call my friend to tell her about my blessing. “Remember when we were talking earlier this morning about faith?” I asked her.
“Yes,” she said.
“Well, I couldn’t wait to get home to let you know how God blessed me in the grocery store.” And I repeated the story to her. “That’s how God works.”
She laughed. I could tell the story did a lot to increase her faith, to let her know that God knows her needs and that He hadn’t forgotten her.
Back home, I thought of a book I recently finished. It’s called “The Generosity Factor” and was a gift to me from my friend Charlie Morgan Jr. It’s about the joy you receive when giving of your time, talent and treasure.
It seems that faith and generosity go hand in hand, and I am reminded of a song we sometimes sing in church:
“Faith, faith, faith, just a little bit of faith. ... You don’t need a whole lot, just use what you got. ... Faith, faith , faith, just a little bit of faith.”
The Rev. Juan del Hierro of Unity on the Bay wants the community to know that their annual backpack drive continues through Sunday.
Called the “Angels Everywhere Backpack Drive,” this is the 11th year the church coordinated the drive. If you donate, the backpacks should be filled with the following items: spiral notebooks, non-toxic glue, rulers, pens, pencils, child safety scissors, crayons and composition books.
Bring your filled backpacks to the foyer of Unity on the Bay at 411 NE 21st St.
The back packs will be distributed to over 25 organizations in South Florida, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The organizations helping distribute the backpacks directly to children in need include Chapman Partnership for the Homeless, Communities in School, Touching Miami with Love, Miami Dade Public Schools, and Big Brothers Big Sisters, to name a few.
Better Living classes
The Universal Truth Center for Better Living invites the community to take part in a variety of Better Living classes being offered by the church’s Adult Education Ministry, and led by Dr. Barbara Cobb.
According to information from the church, the classes are open to those who are looking to discover God, their role in the Universe, or how to live a life that works.
Classes will be held Aug. 14 through Sept. 17 at the center, 21310 NW 37th Ave. in Miami Gardens. Registration is $15 per person. Call Cobb at 305-324-4991 for more information.
Lemon City celebrates Miami’s birthday
Lemon City, an early settling place for many pioneer Miamians, will host the 121th birthday celebration for the city of Miami at noon Friday in Eaton Park, 490 NE 61st St.
The celebration will be led by Miami Mayor Thomas Regalado and the public is invited. The event will include the unveiling of six new historical markers featuring prominent sites of Lemon City. There will be free light refreshments.
Lemon City dates back to 1850, along with Buena Vista and Coconut Grove, then the primary shipping and agricultural communities built along Biscayne Bay.
The designated historical markers are:
▪ The Lemon City Train Station, once located between Northeast 60th and 61st streets.
▪ The Lemon City Post Office, opened Oct. 1, 1889, and once located in Moffat’s General Store. During its 36 years of operation as an independent post office, it moved nine times and had 12 postmasters, including three women.
▪ The Lemon City Port, the first port on Biscayne Bay and along with the railroad, it was Lemon City’s primary link to the outside world.
▪ Lemon City Drug Store in Dr. John Gordon DuPuis’ office building. DuPuis moved to Lemon City in 1898 after graduating from the University of Kentucky medical school. The building, which also housed DuPuis’ office, was one of the first drugstores in South Florida.
▪ Lemon City Library, started in the 1890s under the leadership of teacher Ada Merritt. During her tenure, the library amassed a collection of 400 books. In 1902, the local village association started raising funds for the construction of a new library building, which was completed in 1904.
▪ Historic Lemon Avenue (Northeast 61st Street) served as the community’s main street stretching from the port at Biscayne Bay to the DuPuis Pharmacy at Rock Road (Northeast Second Avenue).
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