Tonight we are having a family movie night complete with the air mattress, popcorn, and sprite. After the girls go to bed, Gene and I rented a movie that we are going to watch by ourselves.... I know, exciting stuff.
In my last entry I wrote about how important it is to pray for your children and I asked for people to share additional things that they pray for their children. I wanted to pass on a few of those to you...
- that my daughters will have an amazing bond of friendship that will last a lifetime
- that both girls will value their purity and protect it until marriage
- that I will have a close relationship with both girls....you know, moms and daughters tend to argue...I sure would love to have that "open door" relationship where the girls feel comfortable telling me anything
Those are some great additions to my prayer list.
As far as my personal quiet time, I have spent this last week studying James 1:26-2:13. As I conclude 4 weeks in this book, I can say with all honesty that James is really tough to study because it has made me question myself and my love for Christ based on "fruit" that is in my life....or maybe I should say lack of fruit.
See if these first two verses smack you in the face as they did me...
James 1:26-27 "If anyone THINKS himself to be religious and DOES NOT bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is WORTHLESS. PURE and UNDEFILED religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit ORPHANS and WIDOWS in their distress, and to keep oneself UNSTAINED by the world."
Useless religion...saying whatever I want with my unbridled tongue, doing nothing for orphans and widows, and remaining in a state of unconfessed sin
Pure religion...using self control with my bridled tongue, showing mercy and compassion for the orphans and the widows (those less fortunate), and confessing sin in my life
This verse describes the Christian life. How I am measuring up in light of Scripture? Not nearly as well as I could be.
God has been convicting both of us of this fact. We certainly have to take care of the needs of our own family, but God has supplied more than enough for us to do that while still meeting the needs of others. Too often though, we close our eyes to the needs of others and buy one more material thing for "us".
In January, we were throwing around the idea of getting a new car for me. When I say new, I mean used, but new to me. Both of our vehicles have well over 100,000 miles on them. Mine is 8 years old and Gene's truck is 10 years old. We haven't had a car payment in over 5 years. We realize that they aren't going to last forever. But, the more I thought about it, I just couldn't get a peace about it. My vehicle still gets me from A to B. It serves its purpose for today. Yes, we are extremely cramped into my little Escape when we head out for vacation, but that is only once a year. We could absolutely afford the payment because we have no other debt but our home, but something inside of me just didn't feel good about it. It just isn't time.
I think too many Christians tie up every single dollar in car payments, house payments, and just revolving debt and then say they cannot give to the poor. And they are right...in that state, they cannot give to the poor. Gene and I are trying to be more sensitive to the needs around us locally and abroad and we want to have the funds available when God prompts our hearts to help someone in need.
I don't think I will ever understand Christians who live in the biggest houses and drive the nicest cars. There is just too much need in the world for that. After studying James for the last three weeks, especially this past week, I know that I am going to have to give an account not only for my words and actions, but also for what I do with my money.
Just think what would happen if every American Christian would sponsor a child through Compassion International. Surely most could carve $38.00 out of their monthly budget. We would put a huge dent into world poverty and that is exactly what God expects us to do. Sadly, for most that $38.00 will be spent on one more dinner out.