october is missions month at our church. a couple weeks ago we had an amazing multilingual service and shared the Lord's supper with Christian believers of other cultures in the area. we've been learning about some of the conditions around the world, and some of the financial statistics are eye-opening. for example, if you sold everything you owned and could come up with $2,200, you would be in the wealthiest 50% of the world. if you did the same and could come up with $61,000, you are in the wealthiest 10% of the world. (for most of us young people, it will only be a matter of time before we can achieve the latter.)
by nature, i enjoy things- clothes, going out to eat, taking trips, other luxuries. i pray that i won't be materialistic or ever love these things more than i love the Lord. lately God has been showing me that i have SO MUCH and have been blessed in so many ways. i am so thankful for this fresh perspective and feel content with what i have, knowing that it is really more than i need. a year ago, i was impatiently wondering, "when will we ever pay off my student loans so we can buy a house?" now that we are debt-free, i feel God challenging me to ask, "how can i use what i have to be a blessing to others? how can i glorify Him?"
i am touched by recent reports from some of our friends. a couple we know left this month to be full-time missionaries in a middle-eastern country, trusting God to compel other believers to give enough monthly to fund their efforts. our dear college ministers from GT, jamey and mary, are continuing to minister to college students in louisiana but more recently have been taking steps to adopt a child from uganda to be a little brother to their three sons. (check out their adoption blog.) they are stepping out in faith, knowing that God will provide for that which He ordains. this is God's love in action, and i want to be a part of it! i'm not exactly sure how God is calling us to respond, but i want to be prepared to say YES!
today in the mail, we got a christmas gift catalog from samaritan's purse, a ministry founded by billy graham's son whose mission (quoted from their website) is to "follow Christ's command [in Luke 10:30-37] by going to the aid of the world's poor, sick, and suffering." please check out the catalog here. i love the format, as it reminds me of a department store catalog. i couldn't help but cry as i read what different amounts will buy for those around the world- such as $75 to rescue a child from exploitation or $9 to feed a hungry baby for a week. not your typical christmas presents!
our praise band sang a worship song sunday that vocalizes what i'm feeling:
You said, Ask and you will receive
Whatever you need
You said, Pray and I'll hear from heaven
And I'll heal your land
You said Your glory will fill the earth
Like water the sea
You said, Lift up your eyes
The harvest is here, the kingdom is near
You said, Ask and I'll give the nations to you
O Lord, that's the cry of my heart
Distant shores and the islands will see
Your light, as it rises on us
O Lord, I ask for the nations (repeat)
[music from hillsong]
About that personal branding conversation
3 days ago