I've never had any lofty goals for this blog. I just wanted to write interesting things that people enjoyed. I wanted to update my family and friends on our lives. I wanted to share things that were on my mind.
But today I want to get a little deeper. I have to share some things on my heart.
I've always struggled with giving. As a Christian, I knew that wasn't cool. I mean, giving is what Christ was all about. He talked about it constantly. So, I would give because I knew I was supposed to, but for most of my life, I did it with a little sigh, quietly sad that I couldn't keep it.
Then I read this book recommended to me by a friend. God spoke clearly to me about His desire to see me give generously, cheerfully, anonymously -- on a regular basis, not just once in awhile. I won't share here the specifics of what happened next, but I can't tell you how freeing and joyous it felt to obey Him and let go.
Quoting the author from the last chapter: "I wrote this book because much of our talk doesn't match our lives. We say things like, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and Trust the Lord with all your heart and then we live and plan like we don't belive God even exists. We try to set our lives up so everything will be fine even if God doesn't come through. But true faith means holding nothing back. It means putting every hope in God's fidelity to His promises."
And I loved this next paragraph, "A friend of mine said Christians are like manure: spread them out and they make everything grow better, but keep them in one big pile and they stink horribly. Which are you? The kind that reeks, around which people walk a wide swath? Or the kind that trusts God enough to let Him spread you out--whether that means going outside your normal group or Christian friends, increasing your material giving, or using your time to serve others?"
And I had to admit, I stunk. I'd become lukewarm and I hated it. I forget too often that my best life comes LATER. Not on this earth. Nothing matters here except for living and giving for HIM.
So I prayed a scary prayer. I prayed God would do whatever it took to "light a fire under me." I asked for hard things that would push me out of my cushy little American Christian life. And He started small, thankfully, but I'm excited about what He will do next.