About this author:

Vance Browning

Vance Browning

Vance Browning is a longstanding member of New Covenant. He serves on the worship team (and is the only one who understands the sound system). He and his wife Gabby have a tropical paradise growing in their backyard.

How to Receive a Gift

December 18th, 2021 by Vance Browning

Decades ago a Jamaican work colleague gave me a gift. I don’t remember if it was something wrapped with a bow or simply a compliment.

I responded by saying, “No, you shouldn’t have,” or something to the effect of saying that I really didn’t need it or deserve it.

What I remember distinctly is his reply. He said, “You Americans, you don’t know how to receive a gift!” 

I had insulted him. It was just a cultural difference, but it got me thinking. I intended to convey humility, but to him, it was arrogance and rejection.

How to Give and Receive

July 21st, 2021 by Vance Browning

When Gabby and I were a bit younger we were part of a homegroup that met at a house in a small town called Oviedo that was then, way out in the boonies. 

At one meeting we had a discussion about faith and then had refreshments.  On the topic of faith, I mentioned to a woman I met for the first time, that I had been without work for quite a long time, but that we knew that God was providing for us.  I would have preferred that God’s provision would come as a good-paying job, but I didn’t want to tell Him how to do His job! 

To drive the point home as, hopefully, an inspiration to her faith, I cheerfully told her that the only money we had was the change in my pocket. (Yes, people used to carry coins in their pockets back then.)  I pulled out the two quarters and showed them to her.

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