You cannot out give God

Many years ago a pastor friend of mine delivered a sermon titled, “You can’t out give God.” I never forgot it and it’s animated my life ever since. There are many scriptural references around the theme of giving but this one from Malachi 3:10 has stayed with me.

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 

Just got an email from Alice Miller Nation who is the Director of the Warming House which is the oldest student run soup kitchen in the United States. In 2019 The Warming House served 5922 meals for the entire year. This year to date The Warming House has served 5378 in 7 months. That’s an average of 897 meals per month. At that rate The Warming House will serve nearly 11,000 meals this year. You can help put this bread on the table of Olean Area residents by sending a donation to:

The Warming House
Franciscan Center for Social Concern
St. Bonaventure University
3621 West State Road
St. Bonaventure, NY 14778

Feeding yourself while feeding others

Jesus Freak: Feeding Healing Raising the DeadJesus Freak: Feeding Healing Raising the Dead by Sara Miles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Couldn’t put it down. It’s an incredibly well written book. I read her first book and was familiar with her. I also volunteer in a soup kitchen and a food pantry and have lived some of the same journey that she shared. I too see Jesus in the people we serve. Like Sara both the pantry and the soup kitchen are like church. They are definitely a community and they are a huge part of my life. I like Sara too because she is unorthodox and she brings a welcome freshness to holiness and what it means to be holy while remaining wholly human.

Angels in our midst

This morning I was volunteering as I often do at the Catholic Charities Food Pantry in our village. People who come here for food and clothing are often very needy. Many of our clients are reluctant to come because they’re very proud individuals who really are trying to make ends meet. Besides helping people in need, volunteering here has helped me to continue to be active in the  community. I believe that it is better to give than to receive. I marvel at the the wonderful donations that members of the community bring to the pantry. Fresh Market, a grocery store in the village keeps the pantry regularly supplied with bread, cookies and vegetables. We also get garden fresh vegetables from local farmers. Venison comes from hunters with a heart for others. Some items come from the Western New York food bank too.

This morning a large shipment came from the employees of the West Valley Demonstration Project. These generous folks donated 2 and 1/2 pallets of groceries which included peanut butter, canned goods, macaroni and cheese and 50 turkeys. You may not be fortunate enough to live near a food pantry or a soup kitchen, but I’ve had the pleasure of volunteering at a couple of them in the past two years. It’s really marvelous to see how generous most of our citizens are. They are truly their brother’s and sister’s keeper. They are angels in our midst.

There are lots of great people in the world – We don’t hear about them enough!

I just got home from spending a few hours volunteering at the Catholic Charities Food Pantry in Franklinville, New York. Earlier this week, Paul Goodhand, local director of the pantry called and asked if I could volunteer today. I got to the pantry about 9:15 am and was greeted by many other volunteers all of whom come from our community and the surrounding towns. At 9:30 am the doors of the pantry opened and the clients who had signed up for a turkey and a box of groceries which included squash, apples, and other vegetables and canned good began to arrive. My job was to help carry these items to their cars or their apartments for those who lived nearby. I was very moved as we filled these orders and helped to bring a bright spot to the lives of those less fortunate.

We distributed fifty turkeys today and also some large roasting chickens along with boxes of fresh vegetables and canned pumpkin and more. One of the staff told me that the West Valley Demonstration Project had donated a total of three-hundred-sixty turkeys and nine tons of groceries that made this possible to the Catholic Charities of Western New York. The money to provide this wonderul gift came from a fund raiser at their work-site. This is a great story of compassion and empathy for the poor and less fortunate.