giving and receiving gifts

Our plan for a small retreat house for the poor here was based on the image of "a feast for the poor," from Luke 14 (you may need to click on the image for full size). It follows the desire to offer gifts to the poor, a concern I mentioned yesterday. For quite some time I've been trying to follow Jesus into a life in which all my work and all that I receive are gifts. Now I'm trying to more intentionally direct gifts to the poor.

As I said yesterday, I'd like to encourage that here, too. But I understand that transition will be slow, and may not go as far as I would like. So I've been trying to see how God might have me participate in the work of the community here, while still living Jesus' model of gift giving and receiving.

This desire may fit with the work needs here. Both the farm and bakery struggle financially, and usually cannot afford to pay hourly wages (so the bakery work has been mostly done by volunteers, and the main farm workers all agreed to take need-based shares of the farm income, as well as lots of fresh vegetables!). That's fine with me, because I'm not interested in working for wages. I could just help out as needed, and ask that the farm and bakery make donations to the retreat ministry as they want to and can afford. Outside donations (hopefully!) will also support the retreat ministry, which will be a ministry of Plow Creek church.

Heather and I will then go to the church for our needs, which can be provided from the various donations. God willing.

From what I've seen so far, he is.