Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Money is Dirt : Giving Radically

Eric Metaxas tells the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer traveling with his students on a short trip and then- to their surprise- buying their return train tickets for them.  One of the students protested modestly, offering to repay the teacher for his ticket.  Bonhoeffer told him simply, "Money is dirt."
Who says that? 
Only a man who lives gloriously freed from the snare,  a man who doesn't love it.  (And that's a crucial mark for a man of God because if down deep he’s (or... I’m) really clammering for the stuff.... if the stuff of the world is really my heart's aim, well then, it’s been said plainly enough:  I'm an enemy of God.)

But really, dirt?  Money is Dirt?   Of course it's about that precious where we live all well fed, air conditioned, pampered, and fashionable.  And I love Dietrich Bonhoeffer and I light up with joy at these words of his.  But this freeing truth isn’t all, always true.  The problem is that most of the world needs that dirt for food and water and a roof and education and medical attention just to live.  
Once again sweet Ann has posted some outstanding exhortation on giving and living radically.  Here are the points that speak the clearest, loudest to me... (my notes in parentheses) 
1. Pray.
This is doing something — the first thing.
Prayer isn’t a substitute for action — prayer is the source of action. Pick a country to pray for, a person, a people group — make it a habit of your day to wear compassion and justice and prayer.

2. Make it your goal to tithe 10% (And what a joy to get to give 20%, 30%, even more of our income as He enables?!)  

3. Give Wisely (I’ve adjusted some of the links from Ann’s original post)
When giving, Tim Keller says, the most effective way to make to give, to support is:
Straight Relief = immediate aid  (put food on a plate of a hungry child, give medical caregive water to a neighborhood whose been death beaten simply by dirty water) 
Societal Development= micro enterprise loans, educational and  infrastructure development.
Soul Reform = evangelism and discipleship
There is no better way for Christians to lay a foundation for evangelism than doing justice,” write Keller. “On paper we may ask, ‘Should Christians do evangelism or social justice?’ But in real life, these things go together,” offers Keller.
I can't help but add one more point too....  4.  Buy Less (much less).   Such joy and freedom to not have to hunt for stuff, pour money out on it, maintain it, clean it, organize it, store it, repair it, resell it....   So few things are actually needful in the first place!   It has been such a glad, freeing gift for me to not have any place to go shopping in the town we live in.  I have so much time without wasting it there and more money to give.  Yes, I hope to be something of a Proverbs 31 woman who provides well for my family's needs, but... needs.  We don't need every pretty thing.   Buying less makes rare buys (wants) all the more special and gratefully enjoyed.  We've found this little tip to be all around gladness.  

Let's give, friends!  Invest in eternal joy!

We've got a great group of links that we love, organizations that we delight to give to or groups that our friends work with or have commended to us.   I can't post the list of links here but I can email it to you if you're interested or you can find it on my first pinboard.    Please take a look.... such beautiful org.s to give to!  Such joy to be had in giving to His glory!

There are several groups that are quite sensitive to mention but this is one group we can shout out.  
Abba Fund   is just one of many agencies that give grants to families to help cover the costs of adopting a new baby into their family.  We recently had the joy of meeting this family as they came to our town to bring their new baby girl into their family.  I don't know if they received grants, and if they did- I don't know which ones, but they did say that the cost of their adoption was largely supplemented with donations.

What an Awesome Joy to see....  No more orphanage for you, Mattie Grace.  You have a hope and future.  You are forever loved and you will grow up knowing it, hearing it, seeing it... the Gospel of Jesus.  We are so sooo glad for you, darling girl!

And ohhhh.... for the millions more orphans waiting.  What is the heart of God for them but that his people love and care for these little ones!?  Oh move us to action for Your name, Jesus, and for these little ones!

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