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12 posts from March 2009

March 03, 2009

One of the Most Incredible Stories about Faith and Giving I've Heard

I am so inspired by this story, I don't know what to say. Read it, I know you're faith will be ignited! And remember, it's not the amount that matters, it's the gift from the heart. $5 or $10 means just as much to God. 

Consider what this man says about the widow's mite:

"In the past week I read three books: Red Letters  and Fields of the Fatherless by Tom Davis as well as Crazy Love  by Francis Chan.  They all hit me like a ton of bricks because I realized that I haven't been aggressive enough with seeking out people to help.  While I have done things to assist people who happen along my path, I have waited for opportunities instead of searching for them.  One thing I really like that I pulled away from those books is "do something that scares you everyday."

With that in mind,  I have a confession to make about the amount that was on my heart to give.  It was much more than the $2,000 for the Ethiopia and Swaziland food drive.  I felt like I should pay the whole amount, $13,125.  When Tom sent out the notice about orphans needing food in Africa I sensed the urgency and also realized that I have the funds to cover it.  However, I figured $2,000 made more sense because it would leave some in our bank account (and 2K happened to be the amount that we last sowed - it was to help friends with adoption costs).  When I mentioned to you that my wife said two thousand also, she did, but the conversation went like this....

(I told her about Tom's blog post)

Me: How much to you feel in your heart that we should give?

Her:  How much do we have in the bank? (we pay our credit cards off every month so we don't pay interest)

Me:  Around 14 thousand or so

Her:  I don't know...all of it?......two thousand?

When I heard the two thousand I jumped on that because that's what I considered "safe."  The funds in the bank are actually in our business account, and as I mentioned on the phone, Jan 30th was the last day of my latest project so I am not currently bringing in any revenue (looking for the next thing God has for me, which isn't necessarily technology).  I don't know when my next project will start, so the "safe" thing to do would be to leave some money to cover us for 3 or 4 months.

I couldn't shake the fact that I just feel in my heart that we should have given more.  Before the kids were awake this morning I had a long talk with my wife.  I asked her if she was okay with giving the entire amount and she emphatically said YES.  As busy as she is, she read Red Letters  and Fields of the Fatherless  this past week as well, and her heart breaks for those who so often are forgotten.  We both have missions on our hearts.  The "long talk" was not due to trying to decide whether to give that amount, but rather it was all the things we WANT to do to help.  We talked about how the widow put the mite in the offering plate and it was all she had.  We talked about how the boy who shared his lunch didn't share some of it, he shared all of it.  Interestingly, I've heard it taught that when he released that, there were 12 baskets leftover so that each disciple could carry one back to the boy's parents, who could sell the food in the market.  In other words, God provided for him and his family because he gave with reckless abandon.

So, even though I know there is only $5,120 to go (From Tom's Day 2 Update ), we want to pay an additional 11,125.  Just use the additional funds wherever they are most needed.

Don't even think for a moment that there are any strings attached to our donation(s). If we called or emailed Tom or anyone else from CHC and never heard back, that's okay.  We will still give, pray, and get the word out about all you are doing.  We know GOD doesn't just repay, He MULTIPLIES. We actually did not give to CHC, we gave to God, so don't think for a moment that we expect ANYTHING back."

March 02, 2009

Article in Relevant Magazine

Relevant magazine just published an article I wrote some time back. Here's a short sample. Please Click Here to read the entire article and express your thoughts in the comment section. Already lively interactions going on.

The devil is roaring throughout Africa. His kill is certain. Why? Perhaps because we are not standing between the lion and its prey. To quote Mother Teresa: “When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.”

The devil mocks the Church ... roaring over the 50 million people he is devouring by way of AIDS. He gloats over the 143 million orphans and stands atop a mountain of 33,000 children each day who will die from preventable issues like malaria and malnutrition.

Satan knows that if the Church took poverty as seriously as we take abortion, we could wipe it out in a generation. The issue isn’t whether or not we can do it, but rather if we have the will to act. 

I urge you to consider three key realities:

There is no neutral ground.
You might think what is happening to Africa is somehow part of God’s will. I submit to you that this viewpoint is complete heresy. C.S. Lewis wrote, “There is no neutral ground in the universe; every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God and counter-claimed by Satan.” What God claims, He claims for good and love. What Satan counter-claims comes with lying, death, suffering and apathy. AIDS is Satan’s most clever tool of destruction. He unleashes a disease that is spread mostly through drug use and sexual contact in a place where millions will die, while the Church argues whether or not AIDS is a lifestyle issue. 

There is no Plan B.
God decided that the agents of His “claiming” the universe would be His followers. He doesn’t have a Plan B. Through the ministry of Jesus, we are taught that what really matters is the degree of love and compassion we share with the world. God did not call us as judges. Instead, He called us as reconcilers and healers. We must practice a radical and redemptive love for the least of these.