FROM THE DIRECTOR’S DESK ~ I will be the first one to admit that I really like the flavor of salt. It is a great enhancer to the flavor of certain foods. It is also used as a preservative. It helps prevent rot or decay of certain foods. The salt that we have today is a stable compound that does not lose its effectiveness. This was not the case with the salt found around the Dead Sea. It was contaminated with gypsum and other minerals causing it to lose its effectiveness as a flavor enhancer or preservative. It was thrown out onto the footpaths to kill vegetation.
Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “You are the salt of the earth...” (Matthew 5:13). We, as Christ-followers, are considered people who bring flavor and preservative factors to the world around us. We should change the flavor of society as we bring the savor of Christ to those we encounter. It is our responsibility to also bring a preserving force to our communities that struggle with spoil and decay. God’s Word working through us helps bring a thirst for God and a preventative to the corruption that is affecting our world.
As salt, we must be careful that we are not contaminated so that we lose our effectiveness for Christ. The world will always be a force to be reckoned with as it appeals to us in ways that will contaminate us. It will make every effort to divert our focus away from God and His will for our lives. It’s temptation of possessions, money, higher status, and recognition are nothing new since it was the same for Adam and Eve as well as for Jesus. James 4:4a says, “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?” Let us all stand in defense of being contaminated by the world. May we not lose our uniqueness as a preservative and savor that may affect our ability to make a lasting difference for God’s kingdom. ~ God’s blessings, protection, and favor to all.
FROM THE DIRECTOR’S DESK ~ As most of you may know, this ministry was founded over 23 years ago by Bro. Bob & Sister Peggy Evans. They were called to focus on feeding the elderly, the disabled, and single parents. Over the years that has grown to cover anyone who has a need of food. Veterans, the displaced, the working needy, the unemployed, and others are now welcome and are provided with provisions for them and their families. As this focus has transitioned, so has the number of individuals in need increased over time. 2022 was the largest year yet in the number as well as percentage of increase for those coming for food. Here are a couple of vital facts:
• The number of families increased by 50.9% over 2021
• The number of individuals increased by 67.1% over 2021
As we have seen this increase in demand, we have also seen an increase in our cost of keeping the ministry operational. But it is because of dedicated individuals like yourselves that we have been able to meet the growing need presented before us. We are thankful and humbled for your consistent prayers, your volunteering of your valuable time, and/or your sacrificial giving financially to see that the work continues. Please keep praying that we will have availability to ample food supplies, please keep volunteering as your time permits, and please continue to give financially as you are able so that we can remain faithful to our mission. The only way this can be accomplished is by allowing God to work through you and me. By Him working through us, He can work through Joseph’s Storehouse. It is only through us and His guidance that we will be able to finish the race that He has placed before us. His faithfulness through us and the ministry has literally helped feed thousands of families over the years. Psalm 9:1 says, “I will praise you Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.” ~ God’s blessings, protection, and favor to all.
FROM THE DIRECTOR’S DESK ~ A resolution has been defined as “a firm decision to DO or NOT DO something specific”. Resolutions are usually made in our culture during the New Year celebration. Some of the most common ones are to lose weight, spend less, get more organized, exercise more, etc. Unfortunately, somewhere before the end of January, most of us have either abandoned our efforts or have forgotten what our resolution was. Most New Year’s resolutions are broken because most see the benefits do not outweigh the cost. Lack of time, motivation, or loss of zeal after starting figure into the cost.
Christ-followers should be more focused on making a daily resolution. One that the benefits far exceed the cost of time, motivation, and zeal required. One that can have a greater chance of success because it is renewed daily. Jesus said, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). Jesus himself gives us a daily resolution: “Deny oneself and take up one’s cross.” A resolution that not only has immediate benefits but eternal rewards as well.
How can we deny ourselves and take up our crosses daily? One author has given us a few guidelines of how to do so: (1) By surrendering fully to the Lord daily. This means a life of absolute denial to self and the world. (2) By daily imitating Christ. If we live for Christ and daily imitate His lifestyle, we will exemplify His love, mercy, grace, kindness, gentleness, and compassion that will glorify our Heavenly Father. (3) By spending quality fellowship time with God in prayer and meditating on His word. Without prayer and the word of God active in our lives, we will find it almost impossible to deny ourselves. Our daily resolution and our greatest desire should be to deny ourselves and take up our crosses and follow Him. By doing so, we can truthfully say, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). ~ God’s blessings, protection, and favor to all.
The tradition of giving and receiving is certainly not new to us. It goes back almost to the beginning of the human race. This tradition has been a special part of all nations, cultures, and societies, making it something that all humans throughout history have taken part in. Days such as birthdays, weddings, births, anniversaries, and others have been viewed as gift giving days.
There is no greater time to experience this tradition than during the Christmas season. It is an integral part of the season for family and loved ones around the world. Most of us take the time to consider the wants and needs of others as we plan to purchase those special gifts. Our desire is that the gift given is received as an expression of our love, appreciation, care, honor, or respect of that individual. The normal response to receiving a gift is to reciprocate by the action of giving a gift in return. Thus, the tradition of giving and receiving continues.
Christ-followers have the honor to experience this tradition, not only during the Christmas season, but every day of our lives. You see, our Heavenly Father gave all of mankind the greatest Gift ever given at that first Christmas, His Son Jesus. Father God considered what we needed, a Savior, and what we wanted, a relationship with Him, and He gave it to us as a Gift in Jesus. It was an expression of His love for us and a desire to have fellowship with us. Now we have the opportunity to reciprocate by giving Him our lives as a gift. We have no greater gift to give Him than our very lives as an offering for His use and His glory. Let us celebrate this Christmas by continuing to accept God’s gift of His Son Jesus and the offering of our lives as a gift to Him.
May we all experience and know God’s blessings, protection, and favor during this Holiday season.
FROM THE DIRECTOR’S DESK ~ Thankfulness is foundational to the Christian life. Thankfulness is a conscious response that comes from looking beyond our blessings to the source from which they came. As Christians, we have been saved from death, forgiven, and adopted as God’s children. There could be no better reason to have a grateful heart!
In Luke 17 we read about the ten lepers that Jesus healed. They begged Him to extend to them His mercy. Jesus sent them to the priest and as they obeyed, they were healed. The lives of these men were ones of hopelessness and despair. They were forbidden to enter their hometowns, live in their own homes, or even touch their wives and children. Can we even come close to imaging what these men felt and experienced as they ran to tell their families what had happened? In their excitement, only one of the lepers took the time to return to Jesus and thank Him for what He had done. Jesus asked, “where are the others?” Ten had been healed. But only one considered the Source from which the blessing came and took the time to thank and worship the One who had given him back his life.
We must realize that we too have been healed, made whole, and restored by the Savior. He has graciously given us His abundant life freely for us to enjoy. We must not be like the nine lepers who rushed off and did not stop to give thanks for their incredible healing. Our everyday lives should be saturated with thanksgivings to God for what he has done and is doing for each one of us.
We at Joseph’s Storehouse give thanks to the Father for those who have and continue to pray, volunteer, and give financially to the ministry. We are thankful and grateful that you have made a decision to partner with us. ~ God’s blessings, protection, and favor to all.