Friday, September 28, 2012

Freedom Friday: Sold

I read Sold by Patricia McCormick this weekend. And it literally took me maybe 3 hours.... I think it's written for teens. But it's so good! Here's a journal entry I wrote after I finished it:

I've always seen rescuing victims of sex trafficking as a dauntless, impossible task. Millions, millions of slaves, how could we ever, I ever, make a dent? But it's not about making a dent in those millions. It's about each one of them. One girl. One boy. One soul. That would be worth it. To that one person, rescue would be the world to them. Their life would never be the same. It would be a worthy cause. One soul.
So my recommendation: READ IT. It is a quick read, but one that will change you.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Giving: When It's From Daddy

So a few months back I wrote a post about giving. I made the observation that I felt that God had really been revealing a lot to me about giving leading up to my EDGE Corps experience and in the first few weeks of raising support. And He never stopped teaching me things. I know that this summer I learned so much about having a giving heart, learning both from my donors, as well as through the Word. But somewhere between the middle of August and now, I started to forget some of these things.

I started to believe that what I had was mine, and I didn't want to share. I started to see my possessions  money, and time as things that I had worked hard for, so why should someone else benefit from them?

Yes. I know. Even after a summer of seeing God provide BIG time. Even after so many people sacrificing and generously giving to me. Even after living with some of the most giving people I know. I sure can be daft sometimes.

Orrrr, I'm just human. And it takes me more than once to learn a lesson. So let's just say that this last week at church really struck me hard. The sermon's topic: Greed. Ohhh boy. Just to give you a tidbit, one line that has stuck with me is this: "Being stingy can just be a cover-up for greed." Yikes. But the real lesson I took away from it was this:
That which I feel my father has provided for me, I can give freely. That which I feel I have provided for myself, I will have a tight grip on.
Let me break it down for you:

My pastor told how he had bought his daughter an MP3 player when she was younger and filled it with  a bunch of Christian music. After a few days he noticed that he hadn't seen the MP3 player in awhile and asked his daughter about it. She explained that she had met a girl on the bus who didn't have an MP3 player, or even any Christian music for that matter, so she gave it to the girl. Similar scenarios happened a few times after this, where the dad would buy her a new MP3 player and she would inevitably end up giving it to someone less fortunate than herself. Finally, when the daughter was old enough to pay for her own MP3 player, she kept it, and still has it to this day. Once she spent her hard-earned money on it, she wasn't as generous with it.

This is how it so often is with us [well, with me anyway]! If I see what I have- possessions, money, time, as coming from my daddy- God, I can live open-handedly with it. I can give freely. It is only when I start believing that I have provided and worked for what I have, when I forget that all I have is a gift from God, that greed starts to creep in. And I know that's not the way I want to live. I want to live generously. I want to live with open hands and an open heart. I want to live like Jesus lived.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Weight of Glory

Part of our job in EDGE Corps includes going through a curriculum, and one of the first things we were assigned was to read "The Weight of Glory" by C.S. Lewis. This guy pretty much blows my mind anytime I read anything by him, but with a title like that I knew this one was going to be extra explosive to my brain. 

And it was. But the part that really grabbed me, that wouldn't let go of its firm grasp, wasn't actually the main point. It was a small section a couple pages in, that spoke of nostalgia.

Lewis rips wide the secret that each of us has a deep desire for our own far-off country... "the secret which hurts so much that you take your revenge on it by calling it names like Nostalgia and Romanticism and Adolescence." This secret yearning, it is so intense, that we "betray ourselves like lovers at the mention of a name" when any mention of this desire arises.

But Lewis goes on to explain that we have never actually experienced this in our reality, and that when we get "nostalgic" about certain moments in our past, we would not find the actual thing itself, but rather only the reminder of it:
"The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust in them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things-- the beauty, the memory of our own past-- are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers."
This "thing itself," ultimately, is the desire for heaven in each of us, the desire for our proper place, our home. And when we get a glimpse, a tiny sliver of a reflection of this place, we become shy and awkward and desirous and worshippers. Our minds can barely wrap around it, so we belittle it to a memory. A moment. A smell. A tune. But it isn't really any of these that we long for, it is heaven. Eternity placed in our heart.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 
- Ecclesiastes 3:11
Sometimes I feel like God must have placed an extra scoop of eternity into my heart, the desire for it is so strong. I always used to consider myself as one of the most nostalgic people I know. Now I know that I'm just longing for my true home, and trying to label it something else, trying to make sense of it with my human mind. No more will I turn these nostalgic memories into "dumb idols" that will just break my heart. I will go to God with them, and acknowledge that I am longing for Him, and that He alone can satisfy my deep yearnings.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...