Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My Economic Plan

I'm pretty sure homemakers can and will change the world. But if not, at least they can change the world of those in their home.

I'm not a political kind of person. Not because I don't think it is important. I will cast an informed ballot, but I don't intend on losing sleep over the outcome.

I am labeled as a Pro-Life Republican, but I strongly believe that if you are going to vote that way, you can't be ignorant about the reality of a very troubled economy and society. People are hurting. And if I am going to vote for less government and more babies, I personally need to get involved in helping the hurting.

Imagine.....okay, I'm not so sure about your ideal, John Lennon. However, imagine if all of Jesus's followers actually did follow his example. 1) Did not have other gods before Him (money) and 2) Loved the Lord with all soul, heart, and mind and all their neighbors 3)Trusted that God would do as He says- "how much more will He take care of you?" 4) Laid down their lives, picked up their cross, and followed Him.  Just for starters.

There is also a verse in there about feeding the hungry and clothing the naked.....caring for widows and orphans....

Would there even be debate within the government on social issues? I just wonder.

Now, I realize that I am jumping on a bandwagon that took off long before it hit me, and I am no where near where I need to be. Thousands of people are sold out to the idea of living to love others. I wish their stories were told more. But this is actually really good news for me because I can improve my economic situation simply by being obedient. No new skills are necessary.

But it takes a little shifting of the mind.

First, I need to spend time- time that I could be spending worrying about my day- just meditating on how big God is, how much He loves me and everyone in the world, and how He desires to pour out His blessings on us. God is good. Better than I've ever imagined. I wonder how big I can imagine.

If then God clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith? And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things  the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.  -Luke 12:28-30

After I have forgotten my worries and remembered my blessings, I can take on the world. I can encourage my husband who does have good work. I can bring up children that will have values to give to the world and not take.

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy- meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.- Philippians 4:4-9
I can be picky about where I spend money. Some businesses are doing great things for others.

I can pack up gently used clothes and pass them along. I can double my lasagna recipe and give one half away. I can recognize my excess and eliminate it. I can be resourceful in order to save, and in turn, give more.

Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. -Luke 12:32-34

I can encourage a healthy family, needing less medical intervention. I can make my food from scratch, saving money and improving health. I can make cleaning supplies, too! I can involve my whole family to instill these values.

I can teach them to volunteer and give. These things are good for the soul and body, and it has been proven that those who give and volunteer are healthier all around. If giving people are healthy, then they are not taking. And they can give more.

But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace about toward you, that you , always having all sufficiency in all things, may have abundance for every good work......

I can love, I can advocate, I can serve.
But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. -Matthew 23:11
For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man to gain the whole world, and loses his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?- Matthew 16: 25,26 

I can care for other children in need, maybe even to the point of adoption. This breaks a cycle of destruction and brings new hope for a child and possibly his or her children, also creating a better future for everyone.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
-Matthew 5:3,4
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. Be he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doers of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion is this: to visit the orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. -James1:22-27

These things are acts of faith in the greatness of God, which erase the fears and doubts. Acting in faith gets us out of the way and allows God to do mighty acts. And he can give me more resources that I could earn on my own in any economy.

But many who are the first will be last, and the last first. -Mark 10:31

Several months ago, I shared our decision to sponsor Rebka, a 10 year old girl in Ethiopia. This experience has been God ordained and full of joy. It's not just writing a check, but writing letters and providing needs. I almost feel as though she belongs as a part of our family, even though I've never met her face to face.

Sook and I fell in love with her in this picture:

And my dear friend hand delivered our first letter to her.

Then, another friend felt the call to head up a huge challenge to make dresses and send clothes to all the children of the Kechene Care Point, and God blessed her efforts above expectations! You can read her story here.

I am so excited to see people rise up for a group of children waiting to see how God loves them! And the thing that amazes me the most is that what they need is actually so little to us. It is do-able.

But now, more children are in need of school uniforms and shoes. The shoes these children wear would have been thrown out long ago by the average child in the U.S.  One pair of shoes or one uniform is less than most of us would spend on clothes, yet means so much to a child. One pair is affordable to us. But many are needed. Would you give to these children too? If you would like to donate money for a uniform, click here and for shoes, click here.


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