Giving Good Gifts

Out of the mouths of babes…

As one of my classes filed out of my room this week, a sweet student said, “I hope you get something nice for Valentine’s Day, Mrs. Price!”

Another student stopped right in his tracks in my doorway and said, “Dude! Don’t say that! She’s a widow. They don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.”

Y’all. You can laugh…it was funny!

It did cause me to ponder a bit about Valentine’s Day. Truthfully, Joe and I didn’t really make a big deal of it. The day falls smack dab between his birthday and mine. Sometimes I would make him a homemade gift because I tend to be a little bit “extra”.

A few letters are missing…we plucked them off to use on a science project! 🤣

But we were typically both content with cards. He always gave me two of them–one sweet and one funny–he could be a tiny bit extra, too. 🙂

This week, Joe writes about a gift we are given that represents more love than any Valentine’s Day card could ever hold: The Word of God.

He Writes:

Are We Using Our Gifts?

I’m a little bit “anti-technology”.

I keep our weekly payroll by hand. I grumble about people always being on their phones-rubbing, rubbing all the time. I came across an article recently about a person from the 1950’s appearing before us today. What would be the most difficult aspect of modern life for them? The answer was smart phones.

Speaking of smart phones…I possess a device in my pocket that is capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. All that information at my fingertips, and I use it to look at other people’s pictures or get into arguments over politics. I mostly use that device to read the news or watch videos—pretty trivial tasks for a machine capable of accessing all of the world’s knowledge!

My question for you this morning is this: Are we wasting God’s Word the same way we waste what is available to us through our smart phones?

1 Peter 1:25 states: “But the word of the Lord endures forever, and this is the word by which the Gospel is preached to you!”

Here in my hand is the Bible—a book that recounts the days when the immortal, eternal Lord of all that was and ever will be walked here on the earth as a man and lived among us. How do we use the gift of His story? We might have used God’s Word to suit our own purposes, or maybe we have just ignored His word completely. People have used the Bible to justify their politics, or to tell people from checkered backgrounds that they are not good enough for God. It has been used to justify why we don’t need to help the broken and the needy…and the list goes on and on.

Aside from Christ, I believe that the Bible is the most valuable gift that the Lord gives to the world. We should never take it lightly, use it frivolously or bend it to suit our own purposes. We should go to it even more often than we go to our phones for the answers to our questions.

So, the next time you sit down for a time of devotion or just to look up a verse, take a minute to consider what you hold in your hands. You have much more than printed paper. What you have is a record of God’s love for you, His desire to be part of your life, and most importantly, a set of instructions to guide you through every step you take during your time on this earth.

As we go out into the world this week, let’s try to see the Word of God for the gift that it really is, and do our best to apply it to our lives each day.

-JMP

Joe was a thoughtful gift giver.He worked mighty hard to give me everything I needed, and found joy in giving me much of what I wanted. Early in our relationship, Joe found a “bucket list” of things I wanted to do or see during my lifetime, and he worked hard to cross as many things off that list as possible. He planned a train trip to NYC, where we stayed at the Waldorf and sat front and center for the Broadway production of Wicked (the train was for him, but the rest was 100% for me). I came across that list a few weeks after Joe passed away…there are only two things that we didn’t mark off during our time together!

I moved into a new house before we were married. My first day there, I looked out the window, and admired an old oak tree in the front yard. I said to Joe, “All it needs is a wooden swing, like the one in To Kill a Mockingbird.” I arrived at home the next afternoon to find a beautiful homemade wooden swing blowing in the breeze. I often refer to him as “my sweet Joe”. He knocked the sweetness out of the park with that one! 🙂

I haven’t lived there for many years, but I drove past that house this week just to see…and the swing is still there! ❤️

My most cherished gift, though,came after his death…the black leather notebook…The Book of Joe. I think that somehow, in his sweet and practical way, Joe found a way to leave me with a set of instructions that would guide me through the days when I would no longer see his face or hear his voice.

My friend…read that last part again…didn’t Jesus do the same?

Maybe your book isn’t black leather (or maybe it is). Maybe yours is not read, but rubbed as Joe said, on your smart phone. It doesn’t matter. What matters is, when you hold a Bible in your hand, you are holding the answer to every question you’ll ever ask.

Jesus knew there would come a day when He would no longer walk this earth with us. And so, he left us a book…

As much as I cherish The Book of Joe, it is the Book of Jesus that holds the very promises I cling to with all my heart and soul. Promises to bind up my wounds, give me hope for the future, make something beautiful from these ashes, and the sweet assurance of a great reunion in Heaven.

If you and I were together right now, I’d take your face in my hands and look straight into your eyes, because if you remember nothing else, I want it to be this next part:

God isn’t standing at the Pearly Gates handing out copies of his best selling book, The Holy Bible. He left it HERE. He left it for me and He left it for you. There is not a sin so great, a heart so hurt or a question so big that it cannot be answered within the pages of that book.

My heart is shattered. It just is. But deep inside, bit by bit,the edges are mending…and they are being glued together by the promises found in God’s Word. I’ve tried to fix my heart with every salve this earth has to offer.. NOTHING but His Truth will do. All God wants is to lead me to the place where I will look into His eyes and He will take my heart and make it whole again. All God wants is do that very thing for you.

He even gave us the instruction manual. That, my friend, is the greatest gift of all.

-Words of wisdom from The Book of Joe

2 thoughts on “Giving Good Gifts

  1. I really enjoy reading The Book of Joe. I feel he was preparing you for what was ahead. Just like God prepares us through his word. .This is a gift and a legacy that Joe left you. God has blessed you in sharing it with others. Thank you Ronda and God bless you always. Love you 🙏❤

    Liked by 1 person

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