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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.

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Categories
Christian Blog kindness

Making Ripples

Imagine a still lake-smooth as glass. Someone throws a pebble into the water and then someone else does. Soon, the ripples get mixed up together.

What happens when our ripples intersect? We make little waves, that’s what–hopefully for the good.

Kindness and compassion always have a ripple effect.

Jo-The Quiet Roarer, from Quietly Roaring

In the movies, people who go back in time are often worried about making a small change that will impact the future. But they never seem to realize making a small change in the present can do the same thing.

The generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

Proverbs 11:25 (NIV)

This isn’t a new idea, of course. Paying it forward has been around for awhile. We just need more of it.

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️ prayers and love.


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Categories
Christian Blog encouragement

Helping Others Find Their Wings

One mid-week, the airport terminal was almost empty. Yet there he stood: an older gentleman staring at the TSA check point like a deer in the headlights. Hoping to encourage, without embarrassing him, I said to my wife, “This way, sweetheart?”as I started through the roped off maze. The man followed.

So far so good. But then I overheard him, on the other side, asking an airport employee, “Which one of these is Alliance Airlines?” She brushed him off with a polite, “Gee, I don’t know.” So he shuffled over to a service corridor, head down, fixated on his boarding pass.

It was time to come along side. “Sir, I don’t work here, but may I help you?” “Sure!” he exclaimed, handing me the crumpled up paper. I couldn’t make sense of it either. “Let’s check an overhead monitor,” I offered, as we walked together across the concourse. He quickly found Phoenix under “Departures.” “It’s gate H4,” he said, almost gleefully.

We went with him—just to make sure. “Yep, this is it,” I confirmed. “Someone will be here at the counter soon.” The man thanked us as we parted ways.

Walking down to gate H12, in the opposite direction, God reminded me how far from my comfort zone I’d felt during our trip. A family emergency had called us several states away at moment’s notice. Yet at every twist and turn the Lord used others to help us along the way. Now I was helping someone else. It was like God said, “Ok David, it’s your turn.”

Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the merciful Father, the God from whom all help comes! He helps us in all our troubles, so that we are able to help others who have all kinds of troubles, using the same help that we ourselves have received from God.

2 Corinthians 1:2-4 (GNT)

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️ prayers and love.

PS. This post began as a comment on Matt’s blog, Jesusluvsall, where he shared about helping a young Afghan refugee. He then asked his readers to share a similar experience. Thanks for bringing this one out of me, brother! “Iron sharpens iron.”

Read Matt’s post here