Food and Clothing Provided by God

Food and Clothing Provided by God


Food and Clothing – Provided by God Hello Friends, Are you still living a life of quiet desperation
seeking after money and dreams that won’t
come true? Would you like to learn a better way? You’ll still
work, but not for the food that spoils, but for
that which is eternal, that which will never perish. Our Father is calling you to a more abundant
life of joy and peace where He provides for your
every need. The people of the world believe they must sell
their labor to buy food and clothing. And they waste most of their daylight hours
chasing after money for these essentials. They assume that if they don’t work for money
to buy these things, they won’t have them. Citizens of Heaven know that the King himself
feeds His children the way He feeds the birds. That frees us to work in His Kingdom. Having
food and clothing, let us be content. Once we have food and clothing, the way is
clear to work for God without anxiety. “So don’t worry about these things, saying,
‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These
things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all
your needs.” Matthew 6:31-32 For Joe and myself, we have found ways that
God provides food without money.
If we obey Jesus and sell what we have and
start over, He is faithful to take care of us as we focus on ministering to those who are
suffering.
When we were in the secular world, our
mindset was that we needed to labor for a
certain number of hours in order to obtain money to buy life’s essentials.
It’s not so in the Kingdom. Here, there is a spiritual network, unseen by the
world, that is attuned to God’s endless bounty. Our needs are supplied without making money
our focus. Many times through the years, we have had a need and one of God’s people
supplies it, without our even expressing that need to
anyone but God. Sometimes the item itself is supplied, other
times funds are provided to make the purchase. Our Cars and Motorhomes Were Donated. One day a man called us and said he had four
cars he wanted to donate to the ministry. “Just come and pick them up,” he said.
Similarly, we’ve had motorhomes, nice ones,
too, and buses and vans donated by people who
say, “God told us to give this to you.” When we were ejected off the Church property
years ago, these donated motorhomes and
buses were a godsend. Suddenly we became homeless and these RV’s
became our full-time dwellings and offices. He supplies all our needs, according to the
riches of His mercy. How were we to know how
important these RV’s would be? God knew we would need them – even before
we did. It’s all part of God’s Kingdom, a commerce of
love. It works for those who truly put their hope and
trust in Him.
He supplies all our needs so we don’t have to
worry about obtaining them. That leaves us free to focus on our calling to
preach the gospel, feed the hungry, clothe the
naked, and heal the sick, as in Matthew 25. The Greater the Need, the Greater the Supply. When we were holding Church retreats in the
woods, we invited Kingdom seekers from around the country to come and camp
with us. We averaged about 50 campers per
retreat. No fees were charged. No one was asked to
bring any food. How did we feed them all? We didn’t worry about it. We let God supply the
food. Oh, I tried to worry, but Joe wouldn’t let me. He said, “It will be
taken care of, just watch and see.” One year someone came from Arizona bringing
a whole truckload of organic produce. Another year a local farmer heard about our
retreat and donated tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini
and corn. All the days of the retreat, our daughters would
wake up early each morning and grind flour
from the wheat berries that were also donated, and make homemade sourdough bread. Sometimes funds came in the mail to buy basic
foods in bulk. And when it was time for the retreat, we always
had plenty of fresh, seasonal food, just when
we needed it. Does Living by Faith Ever Fail? Does this life of faith ever fail? Yes it can, when
someone thinks they can just believe and God
will provide. But they must also act. This life of faith is a
covenant with God. Our part is to go about doing good as He
directs. His part – take care of our needs. Fashionable Clothes Donated For years, we paid little attention to our clothes.
But when our daughters grew into young adults, they became more clothes conscious. Mom’s
hand-me-down blouses were dowdy and
unbecoming. It seems our heavenly Father is sensitive to
those special needs of a young woman
beginning to bloom. One day our friend Dan drove up with a packed
carload of beautiful clothes from a boutique that
had just gone out of business. Our daughters were delighted to choose
fashionable clothes from this huge selection. Another time a friend’s daughter headed for
college and left her wardrobe behind. All these
clothes were also given to our daughters. Alternative to Thrift Stores Now our granddaughters are coming of age and
we’ve discovered another source of donated
clothing. Here’s how it works. Several local moms were
frustrated with the high price of used clothes at
thrift stores. They decided to just bypass Goodwill and start
their own clothing swap, with no money
exchanging hands. Once they purposed in their heart to do it,
resources poured in. A non-profit donated
space for the “store.” They acquired shelves and circular clothing
racks from a local retail store that went out of
business. A student artist painted a lovely mural on the
wall.
How Does it Work? Clothing is acquired through donation bins that
are set up around town to collect clothes that
are no longer needed. Each week volunteers wash and sort the
donated clothes, regularly sending some of
them to the homeless. Two days a week the clothing exchange is
open. A large selection of clean, used clothes,
sorted by size, on racks, is available for the entire family – and all without
money. Some limits are imposed to prevent
abuse. Using this clothing exchange has been a
tremendous blessing to many families, including
ours. And no funds are exchanged. If you don’t have
one locally, you might consider starting one. This week our local clothing exchange is
swamped with literally tons of clothes, shoes,
and bedding from a nearby university. Students donate their clothes at the end of the
school year, rather than paying to have them
shipped home. The clothing exchange applied for and
received a portion of these donated items and will make them available without charge in
their “store.” Gathering Food As for food supplies, besides growing a garden,
food is available if you look around. Food you don’t have to pay for. We know churches that feed the hungry by
collecting food that otherwise would be going to
waste. They go around to supermarkets and food
manufacturers asking for donations of their food
that has expiration or pull dates. Also gathered are bags of fruit and vegetables
that might have one spoiled item, but the rest of
the bag is fine. These church-run food pantries offer basic
staples like dried beans, rice, pasta, and
canned goods, as well as fresh and frozen fruits and
vegetables and day-old bread. After acquiring food at a food pantry, it’s a fun
challenge to go home and make meals from the
food we have gathered. By the way, when you visit a food pantry, you
don’t need to answer all their identifying
questions. We provide a first name and how many are in
the household – and that’s all. In the summer, local farmers and gardeners
provide an extra bounty of delicious local food. After the harvest, farmers sometimes allow
gleaners to come in and reap the food that was
left behind. We’ve gathered berries, cherries, apples,
pears, green beans, zucchini, tomatoes and
corn – all free for the picking. It is helpful to know how
to can or freeze the extra produce. In our area, there are harvest programs that
offer food without charge. After a crop is picked for commercial purposes,
local farmers open up their fields, orchards and
vineyards to gleaners who pick what is left behind. Volunteers sign up online to harvest what
remains and agree that half of what they pick
goes to local food share programs (like church food pantries) and the other half
they take home. Again, no money is exchanged. And food that
would otherwise be wasted is rescued and given to the hungry. This week they are harvesting cherries. Next
week they begin harvesting blueberries. Children are welcome to come and help with
the picking. We make a picnic lunch and
consider it a fun outing. The younger children probably eat more than
they harvest, but they learn where their food
comes from and create some lasting memories. When we return home, we freeze or can our
bounty. Those who are unable to pick will probably see
these donated fruits and vegetables at their
local food pantry. Check for programs like these in your local
area.
Don’t Fear Living By Faith So, don’t be afraid of the unknown. There’s a
beautiful world out there that runs on love, not
money. Most of our food and clothing is provided
without charge by those who work in God’s
commerce, not for money. Obey Jesus. Sell what you have. Get out of
debt. Soar into the heavenly places. Live as a freeman under the tender care of our
loving Father. Let Him guide your way. Give Him the
opportunity to supply your every need. He takes care of the birds and you are worth far
more than many birds. There is a life of love, peace and joy, with
persecution, that you cannot see until you start
shedding your material attachments. For a man’s life consists not in the abundance
of the things which he possesses. Luke 12:15 The life is more than food, and the body is
more than clothing. Luke 12:23 Christ’s peace and joy be with you. Wake up and repent. The Kingdom of Heaven
is at hand.

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