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Christian Blog hospitality

Paying it Forward with Pancakes

It was the winter of 1991, and everything I owned was packed into my little car for the drive to Fort Worth, Texas. My seminary tuition was covered and I had a place to live, but that was it.

I soon found a part time job that paid $425 per month. However, my car payment was $144, my share of the rent was $118, and the cost of mandatory health insurance was $80 per month. That left $83 for everything else.

I lived on campus, so gassing up the car wasn’t a burden. But finding enough money for food was a challenge! I quickly learned to get creative with the meal budget. A bread store up the street sold off-date pastries for a steep discount. Breakfast covered. My mom agreed to put $50 a month into my account at the seminary cafeteria. Lunch covered. But what about supper?

A guy from the dormitory told me about this hole-in-the-wall barbeque place a few streets over. “Go to Carl’s,” he said. “Ask for the all-you-can-eat pancakes for $1.50.”

One Friday afternoon, near the end of the month, my rumbling stomach made me take my friend’s advice. I walked into the little restaurant with my head down. The air was thick with the smell of slow-smoked meat. “Pancakes at a barbeque joint? It’s gotta be a joke,” I thought.

But Carl’s son, who manned the grill, could spot a poor graduate student a mile away. “Hey preacher boy, want some pancakes?” I’m smiling now, head up, “Yes sir!”.

Kind reader, I had to stop typing for a moment–to wipe away the tears. I thank God for Carl Wilson, who served many a hungry seminarian all the pancakes they could eat– for $1.50.

I’ve tried to “pay it forward” ever since.

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️ prayers and love.

Photo by Desativado on Pexels.com

Categories
Christian Blog Giving

The Blessing Box

From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another.

John 1:16

In my little hometown, there’s a Blessing Box. It’s an old soda cooler repurposed by a kind family and filled with non-perishable food. People take what they need and leave what they can. The box has only been active for a few months, but it looks like items are both coming and going.

Whoever came up with this idea is an angel! A barrier to giving and receiving has been broken down, because those using the box can remain relatively anonymous–its, quite simply, take it and/or leave it.

A friend from South Korea once remarked that people in the West find it easier to show kindness than to receive it. Do you agree?

Frankly, I see her point, it’s harder for me to receive than to give. However, the early Christians in the book of Acts were comfortable with both.

All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone who had need.

Act 2:44-45

The passage above doesn’t mention in detail how the receivers responded to the gifts, but it appears both give AND take were welcomed.

Interdependent generosity still exists among Christians today.

My brother and sister-in-law live on eleven acres at the edge of a local city. Full Quiver Farms (they have seven children) is always abuzz with back and forth blessings.

The Boy Scouts need a place to store a massive trailer filled with canoes? Not a problem. “Park it in the back,” says my older brother. A friend’s mom was flooded out by a hurricane for the second time? “She can stay with us as long as she likes,” says my sister-in-law.

But the gate also swings the other way. When my brother’s family needs something (maybe a pickup truck and trailer) they reach out to their ‘blessing buddies’ and borrow it. Back and forth it goes, and it’s been happening for years!

Christians can be Blessing Boxes with skin on!



Take what you need. Leave what you can. But, above all, be blessed.

By yourself you’re unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 (MSG)

https://davidsdailydose.org/2020/07/11/the-blessing-box/