"If you don't see the real me, you won't see what love has won..." Vota

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Luke 12:48

I sat in class this morning feeling so overwhelmed with sorrow for us all. You know we sit there and discuss the question which we began with, "How do we turn non-Christians from their idols. How do we prove their irrelevance?" Then it moves quickly to pointing the finger at ourselves as Christians-- very quickly. Of this, there is no doubt we need to do some serious soul searching.

But is soul searching our own idols enough? You know is taking inventory of what consumes us enough? OK, so I take inventory and delete the inappropriate consumptions from my life and go on, thinking I have done some radical thing. You know, maybe I give up my daily Starbucks and switch to Pilot. Maybe I realize I need to spend more time with my family, so I take them somewhere special or turn my phone off at dinner. What are our idols? Money, technology, football... Whatever, it is no longer a concern. But here is my question, beyond this simplistic version of being radical. What about the idols we can't see? What about those we are blinded by?

Do you know that we all-- especially if you have the equipment to read this blog, have more money than 97% of the rest of the world. We go on with our daily grind after ridding ourselves of our idols thinking we have made it and are headed in the right direction, but are we really. I feel we suffer from an idol called complacency or indifference. We sit sheltered (in every capacity), hovered under cover because it is 3 degrees outside. It never occurs to us that there are people out there in much colder temps living on the streets. Sadly enough even these people in America have more money than most people in the world. The infrequent handout of a $20 would surpass the 20% of Russians who live on less than $35 a month.

So what do we do with the fact that we are not just blessed, WE ARE FILTHY RICH folks! The blinders are off. No longer can we think that because we are in the lower to middle class America we have the right to complain every now and then because others are much better off than ourselves. We have to do something. We have to do something with our blessings. Read this scripture with the knowledge that you are the rich man Jesus talks about so often! Luke 12:48 ... From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Now read it again. Have you been given much (do you know your standing in the world?)-- for sure we have (and I just told you your standing in the world)! So how much is demanded from us? It is all about stewardship. So what, we give 10% of our income to the church and then some? Is that really what Christ asks us to do. I have often heard and used to be in accord with the believers that thought that the demand for a tithe was simply not talking about us-- this was about the Jews and their law. We are not under the law so this does not exactly apply to me. Then when I swapped sides of the fence I realized that in not giving God what He requires (a sacrifice with total reliance on Him) I was cheating God. So what about when we give our sacrifice? Is it enough. Is it enough knowing what we know about the... Well, just do this. Count to 20? 4 children just died of starvation. About 15,996 more will die in the next 24 hours. What can we do? Well there are many, many things we can do with just our money--Compassion International, World Vision, Kids Against Hunger, Local church missionaries... You know what, you could even take part in going into the world and spreading the gospel to all nations.  We can not, CAN NOT just sit in luxury (yes we ALL live very luxuriously) and think when we put our check in the plate or donate to United Way (which I do not support) or whatever charity calls our name that we are sacrificing. It may take a small sacrifice to do this for some, but hey is that what you want to give to God? A small sacrifice? I am pointing the finger at myself as well as preaching here. How can we sit around with a group of Christians and talk about our idols and then go home and do NOTHING about them? How can we hold our heads up?

Most if not all missions through churches would be able to direct you in this. Ernie is about to leave for Haiti, as I blogged the other day, with a group from church. They are going to work at an orphanage we support near Port Au Prince. We plan to take the entire family there this year. (Don't freak out mom or dad-- Do not nay say or spread negativity!!) We will be sacrificing all we can to save this money (about $4,000). The girls are all for it. Olivia has started drinking water instead of juice to save in this capacity-- her idea! Talk about a sweet child's sacrifice. She also has offered up her money ($5.00 and change) in effort to help. The girls can not stop talking about it.

My young cousin is about to go to Cambodia for 3 months. She suddenly changed her major as she realized these statistics. She is now in Mission studies at Lee University. She is an inspiration as a beautiful, young lady in her 20's giving up luxury and heading overseas. I know my cousin-- she is the stiletto queen! Now she is trading in those stilettos for I would guess, snake safe boots???

My dear friend and her husband are about to sell their house and buy a smaller house half the cost of their current home and getting rid of a mortgage, after realizing how wealthy they were in comparison to the rest of the world. Now instead of funneling money into a mortgage they can give it away.

I will be blogging most likely from church or the library (well writing at home and saving to jump drive and taking post to Internet capable computer) about the ways we simplify and the effect it makes. You see, I am in the process of taking inventory of my life. What can I give up? Some things will be easier than others. I have this glaring conviction to give up my home Internet service. This alone would save about $1,000 per year. This sacrifice will be painful, like cutting off a limb. I am a little nervous about disconnecting the net. It is like ripping off the band aid. Gotta do it fast without thinking; just do it. The longer I think about it the harder it will be. I am excited about what else we can give up for God and His people.

(Oh yeah, I haven't hit Ernie with my idea of giving up the Internet yet... He is on his way home now...)


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