Friday, December 30, 2011

A Challenge

"The people asked John, 'What should we do?'. John answered,'If you have two shirts, share with the person that doesn't have one. If you have food, share that too.'" Luke 3:10
This verse was highlighted in my daughter Olivia's devotions for today. The topic was sharing which is something we drill into our kids heads, but often stop talking about once they reach the teenage years. Oh we might clean out our closets and "share" our stuff with the poor people at the Salvation Army or we might upgrade and "share" our old castaways with someone less fortunate, but the concept of sharing our stuff...the stuff we still want is just not talked about. But think about it, what if for every item we bought ourselves or someone in our family, we also bought for someone else? What if we purchased a pair of shoes, and donated the same amount to an organization like Compassion International that feeds, clothes, and educates a child for the same or even less money! How would it change the lives around us if we told a neighbor in need that we were taking our kids clothes shopping and we wanted them to come along so we could buy things for their kids too? What would happen if someone dropped by our house, fell in love with something we own, and we wrapped it up and left it on their doorstep later on? What if we made a commitment, dollar for dollar to GIVE AWAY the same amount we spend on ourselves each year???? I'll tell you what would happen...things would change and we would finally make the impact Christ has called us to make. There has never been a time when it has been so EASY to give and find so many credible organizations to give through. WE HAVE NO EXCUSE to hide our heads in the sand and continue to build our barns here in the US. Our kids don't need more stuff...we don't need bigger houses...we don't have to have a vacation getaway every year. Friends, God has called us to so much more than living for ourselves 11 mos of the year and then giving a bit around Christmastime. The American church has been handed the opportunity to WAKE UP and reach a suffering world by a very small sacrifice...a small lifestyle change. Only you know what that means for your family, but please pray and accept the challenge to share not just your leftovers, but share so that it affects you. I promise that effect will turn out to be a blessing far greater than any item could ever turn out to be.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Born to Die

This is my favorite time of the year and I have been fully immersing myself (and poor husband)in every form of Christmas music. Old and new, cheesy and sacred, I'm singin it all! Lately though, a song written by Bebo Norman called Born to Die has been running over and over in my head. The concept of the song is the angels watching in awe, confusion, and probably even horror as the God of the universe was born as a baby...a baby born to die. Most of us that have celebrated Christ's birth for any length of time have become immune to this truth, but it really is amazing. Every religion requires a sacrifice, but Christianity is the only one where the Head is the One that performs that sacrifice. We as Christians are not required to give up our children, mutilate our bodies, or perform violent acts of martyrdom in order to appease a god. The penalty of death has already been paid and all that's required from us is simple, pure, greater gift. I think then the greatest gift we can give this amazing God this Christmas season is our worship...