Friday, June 8, 2007



Friday...pay day.

What will the pastor say about cash? Nothing I want to hear probably. Obviously I should skip this blog entry.

Hmmmm

Why?

There are 2 indicator lights on the dashboard of our souls. And both of these tell us if we are in trouble or not.

1. Is the meter of how we spend our time
2. Is the gauge of how we spend our money

What does your cash guage say?

  1. Debt
  2. Mortgage
  3. Credit cards
  4. Stuff on e-bay I deeply covet
  5. Magazines and catalogues that promise to redecorate our flagging self-esteem
  6. Madison avenue executives who live as predatory stalkers trying to weasel you out of your cash by any means imaginable

Jesus number 1 topic was cash. Why? Because he viewed it as the number one competition for our trust and faith. Reading him talk about it in our consumeristic, materialistic, free-enterprise nation can be stout. But Jesus isn't afraid of us...in fact he wants to liberate us...of our cash.

So he tells the story of a widow giving what little she has in an unasuming sort of way.

He tells that God loves a joyful giver.

To show us something about trust and love. Cash = faith...love...trust? Ya, in many ways it does.

Secondly is the truth of stewardship. God owns everything and gives us responsibility to manage those things. In such a place we can either have religious fear or we can view ourselves as something else. Something spectacular.

Let me give you some cash stories from Mosaic, the church I planted.

  1. A guy who had never been to our church was with one of the elders of our church and talked about being a bike-courier downtown. It was a casual conversation WAY outside of church. He casually mentioned his bike was stolen the other day which threatened his job. So the elder came back and he prayed and our church bought a bike for a total stranger we had never met. That is the kingdom...some guy riding a miracle downtown.
  2. A girl in our church heard about the need for water-wells in Africa. They cost a couple thousand dollars to build. We didn't have all that cash so we had some art auctions and other stuff and built a well in Africa for a village we will never go to.

What's your vision for your cash? If it is all for you, then you will never become a happy investor in the kingdom.

Some good books:

  • A theology of material possessions by Gene Getz
  • The treasure principle by Randy Alcorn
  • The blessed life

When God says we will all be accountable for what we do here he doesn't have a scrooge metaphor in mind. He wants to look down and say...see that guy / girl...they built a well in Africa; they bought a bike for a guy who didn't know me; they took care of my servants; they invested in...

Only when the vision of God's posessions dominates our perspective are we really set free to trust him. Obligation, guilt, etc. these things never really capture our hearts and thus never dig very deep into our wallets.

This is one of the reasons I loved being a Baptist for a season. They really tithe. And because they tithe I got to go to Seminary for 1/2 price, land is purchased for new church plants in areas decades before people get there, and missionaries go on the field without having to beg for support. Thus 20 years later my giving has been tens of thousands of dollars. And candidly, I wish I had more to give.

because it's fun. Becaue it's part of a vision. Because it is the means God uses to change lives. And because it helps me make sure I am on page with God in terms of trust.

oh...does the pastor think about getting paid at 5 stones? You bet, but ultimately I am more interested in you being free and generous and joyful. God has always taken care of us and to be honest with you even if he didn't we would still get by. My family did a poverty simulation for a week in a city and begged for food and slept in boxes...it really wasn't that bad. In fact it was liberating to be free of our stuff for a while.

Proof that this is a big deal:

  1. This entry won't be read much
  2. This entry won't be finished much
  3. This entry will have spiritual warfare and defensiveness rise up in some people
  4. It probably won't get any comments, except from those that have the gift of giving or are mature in thier giving [and those people are almost always so humble they don't talk about it]

God's kingdom on earth is built out of a lot of things. Thoughts; attitudes; efforts; ideas...and believe it or not cash. And cash is often the last stronghold to fall in a life dedicated to God. And I am praying for that wall to fall in you...so that God can use those bricks to build the kingdom in other peoples lives.

And when you see your life help build anothers life...you will have all the motivation you will ever need.

And when you see Jesus spilling his blood willingly [for the joy set before him...YOUR salvation] you will know what to do.

Final story...true story. When we were homeless we met another homeless guy on the streets one day. He asked us how it was going, and he knew we were doing a 'simulation' through a ministry in the area. I told him 'not to good we haven't eaten today.' He smiled and said 'wait here.' He walked over to the KFC across the street and came back with a ton of food for us. I laughed and asked him 'so what was your line, man...it must have been a good one.' Then he said this.

and this is BURNED into my heart forever...because he knew we didn't really NEED the food

he said:

"I didn't use a line. I got up this morning and
walked to the hospital [8 miles across town] to sell my plasma for the month. So I had some cash. And I figure...if Jesus was willing to spill his blood for me I ought to be willing to spill some of mine for his children."

honest to God...that is what he said. I cry still thinking about it. I hope someday to be as mature with my possessions as that homeless person. He was BEAMING with joy that day.

God let that heart be in us. Amen

3 comments:

Nate said...

There was, I thought, a good video along these lines on the "work of the people" link you gave us titled "Eight Dollar Hot Dog."

I've enjoyed checking out some of the resources you use. Thanks!

danamydannyaaronanna said...

well dave--you did elevate my blood pressure a little. but not to worry...it was in that convcting/confirming sorta' way.

i remeber so crystal clear...I was 15, sitting in "confirmation" class----i used to practice catholisism----- adn we asked the newer and younger preist fresh out of seminary about sinning and doing bad things that catholic kid do (i say this becaue he didnt look that much older than us adn perhaps he could still relate). He said sinning feel good becaue it's the easy, flesh satisying choice. Obeying the Lord takes disipline adn real effort with our time, our money, and will

I think back that day many times and wonder how often i sin about not offering my monetary resources as freely as i should, especially to the church. I taped some scripture on my closet about bring all your grain (or something) adn not holding back adn something and something-----(i dont memorize the word, but rather the concept)----- the bottom line is that God will provide, even if it mean you dont get to choose the low hanging fruit adn have survive like a scavenger

I decided to test Him in this...... after quite some time now, it's first check i write after i make the entry in my register for the deposit. and guess what---I have not been let down. I know you can't tell creidtors "I cant pay you this month b/c God said i need to bring my harvest to Him, adn therefore i dont have enought for you, or you, or you either", but I feel so much better about growing in this discipline AND my other finacial obligations are getting handled (or at least we're trying to get there)

It's just not an option for me anymore. I cant beleive i was so afraid of the what-if's...... It's was like i was calling God a liar......"you can's take care of us, i cant afford to miss $5 or $50 or God-forbid $500 towards a bill, another selfish need, or even a luxury".....

It's becoming so much more evident to me that the Lord will out give, out do, out ANYTHING i do.

it's kinda like that song on the GAP khaki commericial "anything you can do, i can do better".......

from rainy Ashland, where my windows are all open adn i cant get home to close them....peace out

danamydannyaaronanna said...
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