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January 2011
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April 2011

Manna, in continuation

My last e-letter was about the tension of having God provide "just enough."  That is hard for me! 

God provided just enough manna for the Israelites to eat each day.   He asks us to pray for God to provide "our daily bread."  And it is ALWAYS just enough!  Not more...not excess...but just enough.

I missions, I would like to accumulate enough to not think about raising support for Freedom Home for a the next five years.  I would like to have an account big enough to just tap immediately every time a church needs a new roof or windows.  I wish I had the money to buy the new youth campground we dream about.

But I don't.

Somehow we have to live with God's provision.  He is faithful, and somehow He always supplies enough. 

Planning DOES fit into the scheme.  When God provides rescources, we do need to plan.  We can budget, plan long-term, and work accordingly.  But we DO need to remember God IS the provider.  The tendency is to gradually move more into the human realm and start relying more on human workings.  Budgets tend to supercede trust.  Marketing efforts take more emphasis over prayer.

Missions--it is all about trust.  And I tend to find that trust is easier said that done.  But God keeps pushing me to trust EACH day.

 


Sensational II

I'd like to follow-up on an earlier post about Sensationalism.

It is obvious that sensationalism sells.  If not, people would not continue to use it.  Newsletters scream, using extreme words "Coldest Winter Ever..." or "Give Now So The Next Girl Won't Be Lost."  It gets results in the immediate.

And I think there IS a place for sensationalism!  Perhaps that is not the word I'd use though.  To me, sensationalism is defined as exploited a legitimate cause for the sake of self-benefit, with a leaning toward grandstanding.  It creates a cause rather than caring for the dignity of the individual. 

There is a concept that is legitimate.  Perhaps sense-appealing is more of the idea.  We need to engage the senses of people, jarring them out of their comfort zones.  Too often, people spend more time worrying about the price raise of their latte than on girls who are being sold into prostitution.  I want to jar the church out of apathy and into action.

But I must maintain integrity and dignity.

Integrity means that my newsletters stand the scrutiny of people close to the issue.  Trust me, I've seen plenty of exaggerations in the Christian world too, stories of needs and miracles that just were not the whole picture.

Dignity means protecting the individual.  Trafficking is just one arena that we see a lot of exploitation.  When people have a young girl stand in front of the audience while they tell her horrific story, that is exploitation.  Even if she shares it herself, I am very skeptical.  Honor the girl and give her dignity.

Can we speak to the senses while still maintaining integrity and human dignity?  Yes!  And we should hold each other to those kind of standards. 

What are your thoughts and comments?


Pride

Today I read about two contrasting situations of pride versus submission.  My Bible reading covered both stories, even though they were hundreds of pages and years apart.  And it is interesting that the Bible tells the same stories that still plague us today.

The first story was about Miriam and Aaron, Moses’ brother and sister.  The two of them had a complaint that Moses was getting all the credit, and that everyone should realize that God had spoken through them as well (Numbers 12).

“Look at me!  He’s not the only important one!”

Pride.  Ego.  Failure to submit.

Then I read John 1, the example of John the Baptist.  As a preacher, he was the tops of the time, with huge crowds coming around to hear him.  Yet as soon as Jesus showed up, he was more than willing to say “He’s the One.”  He knew he was second-fiddle, and was content with that.  He submitted to his role, happy to let God ordain whom He wanted.

Pride has always been a key sin, if not THE big sin.  From the fall of Lucifer to the fall of Adam and Eve, pride has played the key role.  We just can’t help wanting to be noticed, wanting the power and influence, and wanting the recognition that we are as good as someone else.

Thoughts like:

    “He just got lucky.  I could do a better job that him.”
    “I don’t have to listen to her.  I know better what is right for me.”
    “I don’t respect him so I don’t have to listen to him.”
    “She’s got faults herself.  Why should I submit to her authority.”

Yet learning to submit to God’s will is also learning to submit to imperfect leaders.  Not is a cultish manner, where anything the leader says must be obeyed, but with a recognition that God has placed leaders around us.  How can we respond with a godly heart, learning spirit, and submissive attitude?

How can we become more like John the Baptist?