What is it about this season that causes people to become generous-hearted? 

It is more than just the season … I know this for sure, given the number of stressed shop staff that I have spoken to that have mentioned the unpleasant treatment they have been receiving from stressed and busy people racing through the shops to get “the shopping done” …

There is that, the unpleasantness, but then there is something else, an atmosphere, or an attitude which can be caught, which can be spread, which can be given away and which can change atmospheres … we can release it as we go, and in doing so it has the potential to change districts, cities and even nations … Christians and non-Christians alike can “catch” the breeze on this one, and regardless of belief systems an attitude of generosity can be caught, can infect people …

A blogger visited my site, and in turn I visited his.  His blog appears to generally be more political in nature … but there, in the midst of political comment, is a piece about the generosity of people toward strangers … a story that has impacted others in such a tremendous way that those others have then gone on and done the same … a story that in turn has inspired more acts of generosity, which in turn have caused more acts of generosity and so on … the potential is endless … His loving kindness is infectious …

I encourage you to read this simple story and marvel at how a basic anonymous act of kindness can impact others … and how in turn such an act can then resonate through a community … it is a story of how “a secret santa pays for other people’s lay-buys for Christmas” … please take the time to read … it warms the heart!

Reading this story reminded me  of my own such experience, posted over a year ago which I recount now:

We decided to go out for dinner where the river meets the bay.  It was a beautiful night.  We were all tired, but it was fun to go and as a family we headed out to enjoy a balmy Friday evening together.

The children enjoyed watching the boats, gobbled their dinner and we had a lovely evening.  I sat and finished my drink and A went to pay for our meal.

When A came back with a receipt he said “look at how much the bill was?”  Expecting a big bill, I looked and was surprised at how small it was … I thought “there were no problems with the meal, we had made no complaints, what was going on?”

I looked at A and he said “Santa paid for our meal”.

Incredulous I looked at him and said “what?”

A complete stranger had picked up our entire food bill and wished to remain anonymous – the waitress said that she was instructed to say “Santa had paid”.

We were amazed, a bit shocked … in fact rather incredulous … and felt so very blessed …

My daughter and I prayed for whoever they were and released a 100 fold, a 1000 fold return, blessing them where we sat …

I wrote a short note of thanks … “Dear Santa …” and handed it to the waitress who was beaming as she watched the Goodness of God unfold in our lives … as she watched God’s love unfold in our lives – what a witness … to us and her!

God’s goodness, His loving kindness is remarkable … a complete stranger released it upon us … we did taste and see that God is good … and as I write this testimony I am still amazed at how loved I feel by a complete stranger and by a gloriously good God!

God is Good!

Bill Johnson tell’s a story of how one person from his church in Redding California paid for a person’s coffee at Star Bucks and in doing so started a chain reaction where each person that came after them “paid it forward” … they paid for the next one, who paid for the next one … and so on and so on … the “chain” of generosity remained unbroken for some hours … something had shifted in the atmosphere … the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand and had been released …

Could you be a “Secret Santa” and bless someone?  You could even be an “out there” Christian and pay for a stranger’s groceries, or bread (click here for related story) … they in turn may pay it forward … 

Go ahead, be a secret Santa, but please, also, make a decision not to be a secret Christian.  Let God out of the box, take Jesus out of the Church and onto the streets, out of your Sunday and into your every day … let God out of you … let the river of life flow from within … if you do He will impact nations through you … it only takes one … with God … to alter the course of history … so imagine what an army of us could do if we just let Him out, if we would stop and pray for the one and believe what He says we are capable of in the Bible … it would be miraculous, it would be magnificent … all “the Earth would be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of God” (Hab 2:14) … his goodness, His loving kindness, because …

God is Good!

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