Friday, October 25, 2013

Kingdom Principle: Give and It Shall Be Given Unto You

Sometimes I over share, and tonight as a miracle happened in our home, I initially blamed myself for my open mouth problem.  Where to begin...?  
Humble Thank You!
In my over-sharing even now, I don't want to give the impression that we are without met needs.  There are just times when we over-spend and have several lines of credit that have payments that eat up a bigger portion of our budget than is comfortable.  Rather than neglect our obligations, we cut out luxuries.  We don't eat out.  We reuse leftover food and make creative second meals.  We buy flour, sugar, eggs and oil to make homemade junk food.  We don't go bowling or on joy rides in the car.  We drive the car rather than the newer and nicer pickup for fuel economy... Basic budget cuts.  We are not going to even be without heat or food, we just simplify our lives.  Actually, it's good for us.
Now in the past few weeks I tried to sell a few things to make a little extra cash, but it worked out that it was a very little amount of $5.  I knew in my heart that I was supposed to give some money for something that I could have asked someone else to cover easily.  Today was the day and I showed my husband ... It wasn't very much, and he said, "You're the one who knows how much money we have." I replied that I really wasn't sure what we have, but it's the right thing to do.
I shared with a group of friends a little about Kingdom finance tonight and that He takes care of things in a way we don't understand.  In that I shared that we don't have extra money to seed into a project right now and that we ate deer stew and it told my kids it was part of our lessons for school about early colonies.  This is true, but I had other food to eat too in the freezer and shelves.  I'm just being conscious of wasting as little as possible right now.  
Our meeting is over, my husband gave the money and got home first to find an envelope on our door with money in it... Anonymous.  He called me to tell me and immediately I felt guilty.  I told him that I should not have said what I said.  We have everything we need.  Then he reminded me that I gave and said, "it's the right thing to do."  What I gave wasn't much at all and what I received was more.  Yes, I'm overwhelmed by the goodness of God right now.  Am I so proud as to believe that my rambling speech moved someone more than God could?  Anonymous also means it could have been from someone who had no idea that I said those words, no idea I was talking about Kingdom finance tonight among other things.  
Is it important to know who and why?  No!  I just need to trust that for whatever reason, God showed me a tangible sign that what I spoke was Truth.  I am an ambassador of Christ, and the finances for an ambassador come from the Kingdom that sent him or her.  It doesn't have to make sense.  I am thankful to my God and to whoever was so stirred as to obey Him.  This proves to me and hopefully others that He cares about the tiniest details of our lives.  He also takes notice of our tiny acts of obedience.  While I give God the credit for this testimony, I did ask Him to bless the giver with 10 times as much as they gave.  If the giver is reading this and receives that blessing, they will have a great testimony as well!

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Battle Between Good and Evil.

I found this in my blog history from 2013 and I never published it.  I'm not sure why I didn't then, so I'm going out on a limb and publishing it today.  

It seems another victory is on the horizon from the opposing team if we don't step up and take action. The opposing team darkness, the home team, Light.  The occasion is Halloween, All Hallows' Eve, beggars night.  The winning strategy... Division in the Church.
Halloween has never been celebrated in my home since my marriage.  It was really no big deal to just quietly bow out of festivities.  We've helped out with fall festivals and alternatives, but our family conviction has deepened over nearly 18 years of marriage.  The past 10 years with children were the first to draw questions as we never dressed up our babies.  For the most part, people are very gracious when I give the simple answer that we don't participate.  When people offer things to my children, we accept the treats and make a decision on what to do with the items, usually candy.
Enough about what I do.  That isn't why I feel compelled to write.  Anyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ is a target of this particular attack from the enemy of our souls.  It does not matter how you spend October 31 and the surrounding days.  It is our attitude toward other Christians regarding their choice that has become a foothold for Satan.  
Since the beginning of the Christian church, there have been arguments about how Christians should worship or act.  This is where denominations come from.  In the beginning of America, groups of people were fleeing from European countries in hopes to have freedom in worship.  Some sought gold and some adventure, but Quakers, separatists, pilgrims, saints came here seeking this freedom.  Now we have it, and we live and move and have our being in Him.
I know how I feel and am drawn to blogs and articles and posts on Facebook to support my point of view.  I also read a blog recently that is not my stance, but I saw her point ... at people like me as wrong and disobeying the Bible.  I confess I felt a little offense rise up in me.  It wasn't her choice that got me, but her statements about people who disagree with her.  Something my dad said on Facebook reminded me of her statements and I was becoming angry at a lot of things.  I won't share all of that right now.  
With encouragement of a friend, I began to seek The Lord for His wisdom.  Every thread about Halloween on Facebook pages of Christians is full of comments from every angle.  Evangelizing, having nothing to do with it, just having fun, safe alternatives, breaking the darkness, and other views are not just shared, but are turning into fiery debates.  Many sides of the argument giving scripture to support.
One Christian might say that because their church didn't have an alternative event, they are going somewhere else.  Another would say that because their church allowed costumes, they're going somewhere else.  Here goes the church hop which is a sign of division and all over what?  Halloween.  The holiday where the majority of Christians on all sides of the argument end the argument with, "What's the big deal about it?"  One writer says that apparently it's a bigger deal than you think if it gets you riled up enough to take sides.  Although I don't remember the topic of discussion in which that statement was made, I suggest it applies here.
We as Christians judge other Christians.  You may say, "Not me!"  I say, "Yes, you!"  If not about Halloween, about Christmas, if not about Christmas, about worship style, if not about that about how they spend money and the list goes on and on and on...  The Bible tells us to,"judge not."  Amazingly, that is a Bible phrase almost every Christian can spout out in times of need.  I'm finding that I use it most when I am offended.  I would dare to say that we Christians are more understanding of non-Christians, than we are of other Christians who don't act they way we do.
I offer a challenge for Christians regarding Halloween today and whatever offends you about other Christians tomorrow.  We know what we believe, let us take it to The Lord as a matter of prayer.  Holy Spirit will give your heart peace or convict you and guide you.  Search the scriptures for yourself and let God speak to you through them.  Challenge your friends to do the same.  Then TRUST that your friends have done the same even if they come to a different understanding than you.  If you can have healthy discussions with friends, then do that.  Each of you may discover something you didn't consider.  Know why you made your choices.
What my family does this year is not going to look a lot different than previous years, BUT I understand that God doesn't call everyone to look the same.  A public minister that I've followed for years had teachings that lined up with my beliefs about Halloween and they made a dramatic change this year.  I don't agree with it completely and, yes, I became offended.  This minister prays faithfully and this change is what God spoke to them.  I have to trust that the change was made in obedience and I need to show this person love, not contempt. 
There are plenty of battles that to fight, so please don't fight your own team, your family, the body of Christ.  Let's listen to the Holy Spirit, know the real enemy and fight together!