Saturday, May 19, 2012

Buy 1 Give 1

 Its summer time and there are many sales on with  attractive offers of "buy I get 1 free" and so on. This can be a huge temptation to buy up a lot stuff , often stuff we might not  necessarily need.Long ago, a friend introduced us to a valuable life principle which I will call “Buy 1 give 1

How does it work? I have often gone to homes where  I have seen cupboards and shelves overflowing with clothes, kitchen ware, artifacts,  and nick knacks that no one has use for either because it was an impulse buy,or the older stuff is still lying in the deep recesses of cupboards and shelves causing them to burst at its seams .

Our friend introduced us to this principle that is tucked away in a little book, Ruth which can be found in the Bible. The principle is called “gleaning”, not a term we are familiar with. Gleaning was an old Jewish custom where during harvest the harvesters would be instructed by the owner of the field not to pick every stalk of grain but to leave some behind for the poor would come by at the end of the day and pick up what was left behind. This would help provide a little grain for the poor families.

It is a wonderful principle of being mindful of the poor and caring for them where if everybody practices this the poor would be taken care of by the whole community.

We don’t have fields today but we have a lot that we can share, lot of stuff lying in our cupboards that could clothe many families. Jesus came down pretty hard on the hoarding rich man who wanted to build bigger barns to hoard his wealth – he died in his sleep!!

In the New Testament I see the same principle being put into action by the early church where “all the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.”( Acts 2:44-45). Wow what a radical lifestyle!!

So how can I put this into practice today? Here are some tips and things we have put into practice over the years.
  • ·        When we buy a new item of clothing we give one away – that way your cupboard stays trim and does not overflow.
  • ·        Give it away while it still looks good and has a lot of “wear” left in it. People don’t want your  patched, scruffy rags.
  • ·        If it has been lying in your cupboard for more than a year ask yourself the question “do I really need this or am I hoarding this?”It’s amazing how much we can give away and start a ripple effect of blessing.
  • ·        We have gone beyond clothes – we give away book, toys, furniture, electrical appliances, upholstery, etc etc to so many people who could do with a little help when they are just starting out in life.

There is much joy for the giver and the receiver. Rather than trade in something to get a tiny discount we prefer to give stuff away to friends.

We know that a man’s worth is not in the abundance of his possessions – this helps us to handle our possessions lightly and not place a value on it more than it deserves.

Besides possessions we can give a little bit of our time to help someone, share our skill or talent with the less fortunate. Over the years I have used the musical gift to train up many young people in music. It is a joy to see some of them, use that talent to the glory of God. Others invested in me and I have chosen to pass on the blessing.

So can I encourage you to join me on this journey of living out Buy1 give 1 and make a difference to someone out there?
Let’s go and clean out those cluttered closets!!

Navaz D Cruz
May 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012


Over the years  I have been blessed to have some very good and faithful friends. Many a midnight oil has been burnt long into the night over deep conversations peppered with so much laughter, so much fun, so many truthful words said in love, so many hearts bared, tears shed – that’s what friends are for! Then we go our separate ways only to reconnect some other time as time permits in a busy, busy, world though never snuffing out  the friendship but leaving it to be rekindled when our paths cross again.

I have had the joy of knowing friends such as these who have made my life rich. These friends have trusted and believed in us. They have been honest friends who have bared heart and soul knowing they will not be judged or rejected or sold out! They have been friends who have wanted and hoped for our best with no hidden agendas and who have been willing to help you on that road with no strings attached. They have genuinely looked out for our good. They have been friends that have encouraged, inspired faith and confidence pointing to Him who has begun the good work in us and that he will bring it to completion. Boy! Is it good to have friends such as these?

It’s good to have friends who help you see when the way is not clear, when clouds of doubt and discouragement hide the shore line as you swimming hard, with strength that is failing; and they urge you on telling you “land is in sight”. Its good have friends who come along side you and help you fan into flame the God given gifts, the dreams, the desires, and the prophecies over your life- they are like that flint stone on which your life is sharpened.

It’s good to have a friend who is courageous enough to tell you when you seem to be losing your way and sit down with you and have a heart to heart face to face chat rather than stab you in the back! I am reminded of the proverb that says “many a man claims to have unfailing love but a faithful friend who can find!” Truly they are rare to find! – But, when you do, don’t let them go, value them more than silver and gold. Appreciate the role they have played in your life – for they have made you rich beyond anything else.

Having reflected on the value and riches of true friendships in my life I think to myself – have I been such a friend? I know my failings and shortcomings and endeavor to set them right.

In today’s consumerist world of use, abuse and throw away where everything is so temporary, it’s hard to find “stick ability” – hanging in when the going gets tough, it’s hard to find those who are not “fair weather friends”. True friends are out there- you just need to look hard , you will find them. They are not bargains but a find , a treasure that you happen upon.

 My random reflections of this morning  makes me resolve to be a good friend at all times – through thick and thin. I have been tempted to give up sometimes – but then I think of the friend who made my life rich, who has stuck with me through thick and thin, who has only wanted my best, who has encouraged me through the lows, who has helped me keep dreaming and doing, who has been faithful, who has spoken the truth in love to me, not just that – this friends gave His life for me. His name is Jesus. He left me a great example to follow. Follow I will – so help me God!

I end this morning’s reflections with a few of quotes:

"Sometimes in life, you find a special friend. Someone who changes your life just by being a part of it. Someone who makes you laugh until you can't stop. Someone who makes you believe that there really is good in the world. Someone who convinces you that there really is an unlocked door just waiting for you to open it. This is forever friendship. When you're down and the world seems dark and empty, your forever friend lifts you up in spirit and makes that dark and empty world suddenly seem bright and full. Your forever friend gets you through the hard times, the sad times and the confused times. If you turn and walk away, your forever friend follows. If you lose your way, your forever friend guides you and cheers you on. Your forever friend holds your hand and tells you that everything is going to be okay. And if you find such a friend, you feel happy and complete because you need not worry. You have a forever friend, and forever has no end." 

It is only the great hearted who can be true friends. The mean and cowardly, Can never know what true friendship means.
Charles Kingsley

"Be true to your work, your word, and your friend. "
~ Henry David Thoreau

Navaz DCruz
May 2012