Thursday, October 29, 2009

Poor People Cheese...

(Matthew 6:25-29) "Therefore I tell you, don not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? and can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these."

Note: I tried to copy and paste this scripture. Computer would not allow me to do so. I typed it out insdead, you know the old fashioned way before I learned how to copy and paste! Maybe our Father is trying to get this into my head too today!

Poor People Cheese. At least that is what we called it. Here in NY, in the late '70's, we got our first view of "Poor people cheese" and I think it was from my friend Michele's grandmother, known to us only as "Rosie." I am pretty sure my great-aunt Molly got PPC as well. They were senior citizens and evidently someone, from some government office, somewhere, decided that they needed cheese. Of course what widow needed an entire block of cheese? We use to laugh about it. We also hated it. Being PPC, it was not sliced. It was just a hunk of cheese. I think we would get about 3/4 of one from Aunt Molly.
There were times my folks were a bit cash poor, or broke as my dad use to say. But certainly, not poor. Unless we are going by our American standards of today. Than I guess you could say that yes, we were poor and still are. LOL!
I think my mom was rather put off by the PPC in general. She grew up in the later part of the depression, very unlike my dad, it really never affected her. Mom's dad owned his own bar that was across the street from Yonkers' General Hospital and St. Joe's church. He got business from every funeral and every birth. They were what you would consider well off. To my dad, Mom had money. After all she lived "Upstate". He was the kid from Brooklyn so Yonkers (it borders NYC) was upstate to him!
You could say my Mom was rather affected. Now don't get me wrong. She was a darn hard worker and what she didn't bring in the way of a paycheck, she made up for with her time. But Mom had class. She was well read, and had impeccable taste.
She believed that you feed the hungry, clothed the naked, housed the homeless. She believed these things because Jesus said them. She believed in helping out a family to pay tuition for their child's school, because they needed the help. She taught CCD for over a decade because she knew that she didn't have to go to "Outer Mongolia" to spread the Gospel and she did that because Jesus said to do that too. She believed that in the greatest country in the world, we could afford to give it whom we feel the Spirit has lead us to give it to.

This past week we got news of a couple that is here from a communist country and are here as literal refugees. They came with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They found their way to the office of a friend of ours who just happens to speak their language, who just happens to be a strong man of God and this couple just happened to have been missionaries in their old country.
Before they left their country for ours, they gave away their house to missions who work with prisoners. They arrived in our great country believing in Providence.
Our friend has put out the call to the body of Christ to help. Who has volunteered a kitchen set, pots and pans, curtains and pot holders! The couple are not peasants with out skills. They are professionals as well as missionaries. They are looking for work, in the land of opportunity.

How could they do this? Today, when we are all so fearful that we may wind up with nothing in the pantry but PPC? We have all watched in horror as our 401K's have tanked, our property values have plummeted and our taxes have risen.
They can do this because they still believe in Providence, just as our founding fathers did. Just as our Jesus told us to. We are still the land of the free and the home of the brave, because we are still a Christian nation filled with believers. Not because of the Constitution, although it is all in there too. We are free because the Son has set us free and who He sets free is free indeed.

How about you?
Are there times you worry about eating nothing but PPC? Are you wondering how you will put gas in the car to take Dad/Mom to the doctors much less the kids to football practice? Are you hoping that Walmart will cover that prescription and you won't have to pay full price? Are you starting to cry out "But what will we eat? What will we wear?"

Let's pray:
Father in the name of Jesus, we call on Your name. Our nation was founded on the fact that we are free in the eyes of our creator. We know that freedom because we rest in You. When the worries of the day start to add up, we know, we know that You will provide a way out. There is no wall we can't get over, no pack we can't stand against. You will provide all of our needs and be our comfort in all our desperate times. We know that all things work together for the good and that means all things not just the pleasant. Show us how to get from point A to point B with our check books as we try to meet our parents needs as well. Before we check our morning balance call to us with such a loud, still, small voice, that we can't help but come to you first. I pray that You would move us all the more deeply to give You our first fruits. You alone know our cares and the desires of our hearts. I pray we would trust You first and our credit cards last. In Your name, Amen.

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