When you love God (and Disney)…

I’m a minimalist. We budget. Save. Look over Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps at least once a year.

I’m married to a “giver.” We’re committed to the Summit, Compassion, and church planters around the world.

But I’m also a Disney fan. And that’s not cheap.

So in this perfect triangle of crazy, my life joins together.

Give to the Kingdom. Save for the future. Make memories at Disney.

I’m not sure how it all happened. How it all works. But it does.

I’m often inclined toward guilt. We shouldn’t spend that. People are suffering.

Sweet gifts from God can feel like burdens while they’re actually intended to cause rejoicing.

It’s a balance we seek. Long for. Try to teach our kids.

God loves us like a Father. And Fathers give their children good things to enjoy.

What kind of God would our kids grow up knowing if we never point out the good? If we always talk about what He’s wanting from us and not giving to us? Why would anyone serve someone like that?

Please hear me in total, not pieces. The Gospel is worth sacrificing for. It’s worth moving across the world for. It’s worth, well, everything.

But I won’t let myself believe the lie that to sacrifice means never to enjoy. That it means not to embrace the grace that God has planned for us.

So friends, we’re gonna take Disney trips over here. We’re gonna be a family and laugh and eat and be thankful for God’s goodness to us.

And we’re also gonna take missions trips. And serve and love and be thankful for how God is moving around the world.

Because our hope isn’t based on our savings account. It’s not based on our budget. It’s solely based on the love of our Father, “who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.”

“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.” (I Timothy 6:17)

 

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When you can’t even change yourself…

The thing is you don’t see life change. It’s gradual. But we all change. Through circumstances. Through life experience. Through others.

I’d prefer to see it. Watch it unfold like a good movie. But in grace He works silently. Maybe slowly.

Could today be any more beautiful? White beaches, clear water, our boys throwing ball with Compassion kids. The hurting collide with the hurting and there enters grace.

Yes, let’s take away the poverty. Let’s take away the filth. Let’s take away all this pain. What if the world didn’t have hungry children who were counting on our measly $38 a month? What if they were all well fed, well clothed, well housed? What if every child was safe?

But they aren’t. And we can’t fix it all. Is that an excuse not to try?

I’ve been wrestling with the fact that our personal giving affected our ability to pay for our trip. It made me come to you. To ask the body for help.

Could it be that our giving opened up a chance for more giving? For more reliance on our part? For the body to become more of the body?

I can’t change the world. I can’t even change myself.

But God forbid we use the too big excuse not to try. Not to open our hands and say, Okay, God.

I’ve got no answers. Only a confidence that Christ came to love and serve. How can I call myself a Christian-a “little Christ” if I’m not doing the same?

Make me more and more and more willing, Father!

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Luke 12:32-34)

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(Post written in the Dominican)

An Offering of Spices

My thoughts yesterday morning…

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.” -Matthew 23:23

Jesus rebuked the scribes and Pharisees for their tithing. They were giving convenient things, cheap things, like herbs and spices. They were neglecting things that cost them something–justice, mercy, and faithfulness.

Am I only giving what’s easy for me? What am I holding back?

These are the categories I wrote in my journal (yes, another journal picture)…

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Offering of spices:

Offering of faithfulness, mercy, justice:

You see how far I’ve come in thinking about this? Nada.

Show me, Lord, where I’m too comfortable. Where I’m offering You only spices. Move in my heart and make me aware of the weightier matters of giving. What am I holding back? All I have is Yours.