What do you get for doing good? Nothing. Or Everything.

I was thinking this morning about why we call today Good Friday. Every time I think about what Jesus endured for us, I admittedly feel ashamed and sad. I’m very grateful and love Him for his sacrifice but it’s a little hard to think about how ugly we are and how brutal we can be to each other. It’s hard to think how that is good.

Christians know why it’s good. Because He saved us. He showed us mercy. He began a new day, a new covenant, and now we can have a direct relationship with God and hope for eternal peace and love. That’s not good, that is AWESOME!

After pondering that some, I began to move along in my day and saw this video online (see it below) about a guy who spends his day giving of himself, his time, and his money and doesn’t get any tangible rewards in return. What he does get is love and gratitude from those he helps. He also gets to see how his actions positively affect the world around him. I know it’s some kind of Thai insurance commercial but it was touching and it made me think about Philippians 4: 8-9.

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

It’s a great way to live and an attitude like that will help bring you peace and contentment. We can’t save the world the way Jesus did, but we can do a little bit each day to help those around us. All Jesus asked us to do was to love God and love each other.

May you all be blessed on this Good Friday and know the love of Jesus and accept the gift He gave us on that Easter Sunday so long ago.

Isaiah53: 5
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.  

In memory of Greg Crowe.

The Masterpiece Fund was created to honor Greg Crowe, wonderful father, son, brother, and friend, who passed away on March 12, 2012. The purpose of the Fund is to help people in dire need and spread the good news of the Kingdom. Please visit www.masterpiecefund.org for more information or to make a donation. Please also pray for the fund to succeed and to be used for God’s will. Finally, I ask you to “share” with all of your friends. Post the link on your accounts (facebook, twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, blogs, websites, etc.) and send emails to your friends so that others can be blessed by the resources offered. If you have suggestions for resources (books, websites, etc.) please share them with us.

Greg had a powerful impact on a lot of people. And he surrounded himself with some pretty awesome friends who have been incredibly kind to our family, especially his children. We are grateful for the men and women who are acting as Christ-like role models for the kids so that Greg’s lessons and dreams for them will remain at the forefront of their thoughts. It was very important to Greg that his children know the love and grace of God.

On this second anniversary of Greg’s homeward journey, the family composed their thoughts about Greg. If you have stories, or want to share something about Greg, please make a comment below so his memory will continue in our hearts.

Carol (Greg’s Mom)
Greg was always ready for adventure. From his childhood throughout his life, his adventurous spirit took him to places such as the wilderness of Wyoming with some high school friends on a National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) trip to the mountains of New York with his kids to missions near and far. He learned some serious survival skills that helped him when he lived in poor conditions during Campus Crusade missions in Communist-ruled Moldova, Romania, and Yugoslavia, where he helped people come to Christ and encouraged the Christians there.greg and H on the boat

I remember when Greg was just a young boy, we were climbing a skinny path to base of the Matterhorn in Switzerland, and he ran out to the end of a jetting escarpment overlooking a drop of a thousand feet or more. In my semi- terrorized state he says to me, “Hey mom, take my picture!” Later on, he dropped the camera full of pictures into the hole of a rustic privy high up on the mountain, then came out and said, “I think I can retrieve the camera, do you have a flashlight?” I remember hearing the bouncing camera fall down for quite awhile before thinking, “So much for those pictures.”

He loved playing sports with friends and with his kids, coaching their teams in soccer. He loved driving boats and pulling the kids on tubes and taking them to the sandbar in Walloon Lake, Michigan with the dog to play. And at night when he built a bonfire, it was always big and we feasted on s’mores.

His spirit showed in his humbleness and gentleness more often than not and his nature matured in his solid foundation of Christ abiding with him. His adventurous spirit lives on in his family and our memories.

Zenia (Greg’s daughter)
In movies, it seems like the dad is always telling the daughter to put something appropriate on. My dad did in fact tell Julia, Harmon, and Tyler to change on numerous occasions, like telling Harmon it was okay to wear different clothes after three days. Well my dad let me wear anything—sweat pants to church, flip flops in the winter—pretty much anything. Except the swishy coat. One time, when we went to a meeting and I had that coat on, you could tell it annoyed him. Before we went to the next meeting he looked me straight in the eye and said, “You need to change.” Sweat pants, okay. Ripped jeans, okay. Swishy coat, not okay. And then the only other time I happened to be wearing it, was when I went to his church. I had to get up in the middle of the service and while I was in the bathroom, he texted me and said I was never to wear that coat again. Those movie dads were lucky they didn’t have kids with loud swishy coats.

I want others to remember my dad by the fact that he often put others first.greg-and-kids-beach

Tyler (Greg’s son)
Tyler’s favorite memory of papa was driving with him to Michigan and the beach because he always made boring things fun. Tyler says, “Papa was not a selfish man and always put others first.”

Julia (Greg’s’ daughter)
Julia’s favorite memory of papa was when he would do funny imitations of mom and Tyler at the dinner table. “Papa cared more about his kids than himself,” she says.

Author’s note: As a side note to Tyler’s and Julia’s comments, I can agree that those trips in the car and dinner conversations were super fun. There was a lot of laughing and singing and quoting of movie lines. 

Dawn (Greg’s sister)
For many years I followed my big brother in everything he did. Why, I don’t know. He used to wrestle me to the ground and pick on me and leave me to catch the heat for “all the noise that was going on.” When Greg moved away to college I was thrilled to have the house to myself and even semi-moved into his room and enjoyed sleeping on his water bed. Yes, Greg had one of those cool, 80’s water beds. My peaceful domain was shattered when he returned for the holidays and ate all the food in the house, making me count the minutes until his departure. Years later I regret wasting those moments.

But God gave us some wonderful years together as adults. Time to become close friends and time for me to see the light in Greg shine through. His character was such that he accepted and loved others regardless of their relationship with God. I saw that kindness and how much he loved his family and loved playing with his kids and I knew I wanted that, too. So I followed him again. This time becoming a fan and follower of Jesus. One of the things I miss about Greg is his giggle. It’s contagious. I’ve embeded two videos Greg took of Julia and Zenia as kids and at the end you can hear Greg’s giggle. Glad to have that forever to listen to until we meet again in heaven.


John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

Random acts of kindness from our youth.

It seems to be a season of giving. My church recently did a series on giving and I’ve been seeing a lot of examples of generosity lately. As my niece puts it—you tend to become more aware of certain things happening around you when you are thinking about those things. I would agree. And maybe…just maybe…when you notice acts of kindness, you’ll be inspired to act that way toward others.

Sometimes those lessons in humility or bravery or kindness come from unexpected sources. Last week I heard of two examples of young college students committing random acts of kindness. Normally in our society, college students tend to be “poor.” So their acts reminded me of what Jesus said in Luke 21: 3-4, “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” I  think we could learn a lot from these two young people.

Hungry Woman Barred Entry

A friend of mine told me a story about her dauther who is a college student. It goes something like this.

“As I was waiting for my daughter to come out of this building from her appointment, I noticed she stopped to talk to a woman in ragged clothes sitting outside a restaurant. I was worried at first, then noticed my daughter going in to the restaurant. She came out with a bag of food and handed the woman some money.”

My friend asked her daughter what happened and she replied, “The lady had money to buy lunch but was not allowed in. So I went in to buy her lunch but just paid for it myself.”

The next day my friend checked her daughter’s bank account to discover a balance of $11. And she just spent $7 of it on a poor woman she didn’t even know.

Reese’s Pieces vs. Starbucks

My niece told me the other day she encountered a homeless man who asked her for some money. She told him she didn’t have any but she could use her bank card to buy him lunch at Starbucks across the street. He declined showing her a lack of teeth and inability to eat real food.

He then asked her to go to the CVS to buy some Reese’s Pieces. You are probably thinking what I thought at this point—the man is failing in the mental health department. Yes, he was ill, but that didn’t stop my niece from going out of her way to find some cash for him. She returned to the man and handed him some money for lunch. After pulling a secret agent spy-like maneuver, he left.

Wow, what can I say? Both these young women don’t have much financially but they gave of themselves. They gave time and respect to two human beings who needed love and support from those of us who are blessed with so much. I think most of us would have hurried on to what we thought was more important and rationalized not helping them. But the truth is, these two human beings were much more important than getting home faster or to an appointment on time.

Do you have any stories of generosity? Share them and help us inspire good deeds everywhere. And if you want some creative ways to share your blessings during this time of lent, check out 40 acts. We love creativity and sharing and this is right up our alley!

Proverbs 19:17
Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.

generosity

Photo source: http://ryanpeterwrites.com/2013/06/matthew-and-money-generosity-is-always-right/