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a tough question.

So a couple weeks ago at small group, we talked about how to treat each other, even when they annoy us, or hurt us, or screw us over. And I confess I haven’t been doing a good job of it lately. Not that I’ve been insulting people to their face or viciously spreading rumors behind anyone’s backs. We all can stand to improve in this area, right?

The tough question I have is what about when you’re being wronged and treated horribly and there is financial stake in it? What do you do? What if standing up for yourself and what is right is deemed selfish and you’re the enemy?

Should I let myself be walked all over for the sake of Christ? It seems like the answer should be yes without a doubt when it’s phrased that way. And I know it’s always easier said than done, but in this occasion, I know that I’m being taken advantage of. Do I not stand up for myself, lose a lot of money, and be unselfish? Or do I stand my ground, have people get very angry at me, and be accused of being un-Christian?

I don’t know what to do.

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Categories: Life Tags: , ,

the greatest gift is to give?

December 14, 2009 Leave a comment

My friend Shelby has the opportunity to go overseas to Asia for the next five months. It’s been an exciting ride watching her put such faith in God’s plans for her. She had to quit her job at school, forgo her last semester of school, etc. all for an unsure plan. But now it’s all coming together, and God has allowed me to have a small part in it.

Shelby called and told me of some troubles she was having fundraising for the trip, and that the trip was in jeopardy. We brainstormed some ideas, and I helped her set up an online donation system. But I decided I should help a little, especially since it was the end of the year and me being okay with money and all (which doesn’t happen often). So I sat down, and wrote a check for a number God told me. I thought it was too much, but I had a peace about it. (I am a tightwad at heart.) I wanted to surprise her, so I didn’t tell her. Over the next few days, God really amazed both of us with the money that was raised. Shelby called me on Sunday and told me how much she still needed for the minimum amount for the trip to happen. I couldn’t hold it in any longer:

That was the amount I had sent her.

So I thought I would share. It really blessed me to be a part of this story.
Shelby still needs help. Please click on the link above and pray about donating.

Categories: Ministry Tags: , , , ,

No longer with my ‘Elijah’.

Oswald Chambers is one smart man. This is what I read yesterday morning:

It is not wrong for you to depend on your “Elijah” for as long as God gives him to you. But remember that the time will come when he must leave and will no longer be your guide and your leader, because God does not intend for him to stay…

Alone at Your “Jordan” The Jordan River represents the type of separation where you have no fellowship with anyone else, and where no one else can take your responsibility from you. You have been to the Jordan over and over again with Elijah, but now you are facing it alone. There is no use in saying that you cannot go— the experience is here, and you must go. If you truly want to know whether or not God is the God your faith believes Him to be, then go through your “Jordan” alone.

Alone at Your “Bethel” At your “Bethel” you will find yourself at your wits’ end but at the beginning of God’s wisdom. When you come to your wits’ end and feel inclined to panic— don’t! Stand true to God and He will bring out His truth in a way that will make your life an expression of worship. Put into practice what you learned while with your “Elijah”— use his mantle and pray. Make a determination to trust in God, and do not even look for Elijah anymore.

(My Utmost for His Highest, August 11)

My Elijah was my planned future. You know: high school to college, college to camp, camp back to Lexington. But now there is nothing. My “Elijah” has left, as God has willed it. No more parental financial support, no fall back of “being a college student”. And now that I’ve been back in Lexington for a week, my faith is being pushed. Will I fall back into my same habits? My same friends? My same struggles?

God has called me somewhere not here. And I’m starting to make concrete plans to make it happen. But I don’t have the support of those I need most. They have given me questions: “How are you going to make enough money to live?” “You don’t know anyone, how will you deal with being alone?” “Why would you want to leave the great job and life you have in Lexington?” And now these questions have become my questions, when in the beginning, they weren’t.

And this is the question I’ve finally come to: Where is the balance between being realistic and stepping out in faith? Because realistically, you have to factor in money, finding a job, the logistics of a situation. And I have a lot of that to consider. But also, don’t I have to just step out first and then let God catch me? I’ve been listening to stories of my friend Kyle and Chris that took an insane cross country road trip without plans, but trusting God would take care of them. And He did. Is my situation any different? I no longer have a plan, should I go ahead and keep moving forward? I know God will take care of it all, but I don’t want a comfortable life. No Christian should settle for that. And I feel like Lexington would be doing that. I’m comfortable here. It’s easy here.

I don’t want a comfortable life. That would be like staying with Elijah.

Soul:1, Flesh:0

Our flesh has a crappy way of keeping score. I mean, I’m sitting here watching the Colbert Report, with Eric Reiner saying he has finally figured out that money doesn’t buy happiness. Well, gee, give him the Nobel Prize for that.

I’m tired of the way we keep score, but I’m also tired of hearing people tell us that we aren’t “poor college kids.” It’s all relative, ya know?! Sure, in comparison to kids my age in Africa, I’m freakin’ Steve Jobs, but when I look around me sitting in, say, choir class, I feel like the bottom rung of the ladder.

You want to know how I want to keep score? In love. But not how much love I receive. I want to keep score by how much love I give. When my roommates leave a sink of dirty dishes, show love. When I feel like gossipping about the next potential break-up, show love. When I want to snap at someone for being late, show love.

Want to know my score? If not, stop reading then, ’cause I’m going to tell you:
I have an amazing parents who never failed to teach me love, even the hard way sometimes.
I have a few people here at UK who always have a hug or a smack on the head, which ever is needed. They don’t put up with my crap, and they trust me with theirs.
I have a leadership position that allows me to learn more than I could ever teach.
I have a passion for my future career, and the talent to help me enjoy it.
I have my past, which propels me forward so as not to experience it again.
I have a relationship with the Creator of the Universe, and my mind cannot fathom His Greatness.

I’m freakin’ rich.

Categories: Life Tags: , ,

Not your typical end-of-the-year reflective post.

December 14, 2007 Leave a comment

I pray that I can keep captive your attention long enough for me to share everything I have on my heart. I am about to be very transparent.

I finished with Finals on Monday, so I’ve been hanging around and working all week. Monday evening I got a phone call telling me the mission trip I was going on the next week was canceled. I was immensely disappointed but went on enjoying my night with friends. Later that night, a thought came into my head about the trip to the Dominican Republic in March. I pushed it away because I’ve never been anywhere really, much less even contemplated going out of the country.

But the thought wouldn’t go away. Tuesday afternoon I told Daniel I wanted to go. He gave me the fund raising letters, and all of a sudden I got real nervous. There is a $1,000 deposit due at the beginning of January, and I hadn’t even thought about telling my parents.

Wednesday I ran out of money and had to swallow my pride in order to pay my utilities, and I’m not working over Christmas break. I got desperate and frantic. My money has run out and there is no $10/hour at Chick-Fil-A to look forward to like most Christmas breaks, and with my dad on Social Security and both parents without jobs, the money will continue to be run out.

Why should I go to the DR anyway? It’s way out of my comfort zone. I don’t deal well outside my comfort zone. It’s way too expensive, and it seems very stupid to try this right now. So why won’t the thought go away? I so wish it would…

So today (Thursday) I was driving home, half way “praying” God would pull a loaves and fish miracle with my gas tank to get me home, ’cause I couldn’t afford to fill up, and a song came on that I hadn’t heard in a very long time. It was a song I first heard last year at this time, and this song has some very strong and extremely bittersweet memories attached to it. It was TobyMac’s “Made to Love.” Here’s what caught my ear and kept me from turning the channel:

Whatever happened to a passion I could live for?
What became of the flame that made me feel more?
And when did I forget that…
I was made to love You
I was made to find You
I was made just for You, made to adore You
I was made to love, and be loved by You
You were here before me
You were waiting on me
And you said You’d keep me, never would You leave me
I was made to love, and be loved by You.

I cried. It finally clicked. I knew it would happen, but I wasn’t expecting it like this, or at this time. I haven’t been myself lately, and I might be on my way back. But please pray that I will be able to make sacrifices with my finances (or lack thereof) and that I will find confirmation on this Dominican Republic thing soon, ’cause I don’t have anywhere near $1000, that’s for sure.