Who me, rich?

Jesus once said something that I always believed referred to someone other than me. He said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to make it to heaven. I was safe because I am not rich. I’m comfortable, but not rich. The same is true of you, right? Then it hit me like a knife in the heart.

Who are the rich people in the world? If you make more than a dollar a day you live better than 20% of the world’s population. Everyone in the top 20% of the wealthiest earns at least a whopping $1,800 a year! Let that hit home. If you earn more than $1,800 a year, you’re in the top 20%. If you earn over $25,000 a year, you re in the top 10 percent of the world’s wealthiest. Get this, if you earn over $47,000, then you’re wealthier than 99 percent of all humanity; you’re among the top 1 percent of the wealthiest people on the planet! Let that sink in for a minute.

Now, if it’s true, say it: “I’m one of the wealthiest people on the planet.” That’s reality. For most of us reading this, God has given you and me more wealth and ability to change things than 90 percent of humanity. This just rocks me to the core of my being. And then there’s this thing Jesus said that I’ve never really liked; “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48). Does that say anything to you?

But something is so terribly wrong. Though most Americans are in the top 10% of the world’s wealthiest, we’ve believed lies that we aren’t wealthy! Gallup Survey reports that only 2% of Americans think they are wealthy, 98% feel they don’t have enough yet. Think of how evil and deceptive that lie is.

The Bible says, Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. 1Tim 6:17-19

God richly provides everything for our enjoyment— it’s not wrong to enjoy all that he’s richly provided. But he blesses us to be a blessing. He wants us to willingly, generously use it to do good.

(Adapted from Soul Revolution, by John Burke)

Audrey celebrates birthday #2

Forgive me if I bore you again by talking about our first grandchild, Audrey, born September 13, 2007. According to the predictions of doctors and specialists, she was not supposed to live but has defied all odds and continues to do so daily.

34If you would like to read the original blog entry on her it is from October 1, 2007 entitled “Only God Could Do It.” I featured Audrey again on February 1 of 2008 in an entry called “Picture of a choice not to abort.”

Last Sunday, September 13 was Audrey’s second birthday. We were not able to attend the second one like we did the first one but we continue to rejoice over our miracle grandchild that God has touched our family with. 31

Audrey has been such a miracle blessing to so many people. Her physical therapist has released her. She is walking and talking and is one of the most loveable kids you have ever seen. All our grandkids are tremendous (In case any of our kids are reading this.)

Her eyesight is still a challenge and we do not know how much she will be able to overcome from her original brain surgery. She sees and responds to everything happening in the room around her but the full extent of her vision is not yet known. That is a continual prayer need.

I just happened to have a few “more” pictures.PICT0049PICT0099PICT0106

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Why are you still alive?

Why is your heart still beating? Why doesn’t God take you to heaven the moment you become a Christian? Why does God leave you here on earth? Well, there’s only two things you cannot do in heaven. Ready? You can sing in heaven, pray in heaven, fellowship in heaven, serve God in heaven, lots — rest in heaven. There are only two things you can’t do in heaven. One of them is sin and the other is tell people who don’t know it, the Good News about God’s love. Anyone who makes it to heaven will already have heard and accepted it. Now, which of those two reasons do you think you’re still alive for?

It is the reason your heart is still beating. The reason your heart is still beating after you come to Christ (“Beam me up Scotty.”) is because God wants you to share the good news and offer hope to people who haven’t heard. If somebody hadn’t shared it with you, you’d be without hope. So God wants you to pass it on.

Look at this verse from the Bible, 2 Peter 3:9, “God doesn’t want anyone to be lost, but He wants all people to change their hearts and lives!” God is not willing that any should perish. And as long as there’s one person on earth who is living without hope and doesn’t know the Good News, God says we’ve got to keep reaching out.

Jesus said to His followers in Acts 1:8, “You will be my witnesses.” I want you to notice what He does not say — he doesn’t say you will be my defense attorney, my prosecutor, my salesman. You don’t have to defend God or be a salesman for God. All God wants you to do is to be a witness. What is a witness? A witness is somebody who just tells what they have seen. And a witness tells what happened to them. You see, you are the expert on your life. Nobody can be a better witness of what God has done in your life than you, because you are the authority on your life. So God says I just want you to tell other people what’s happened in your life.

It is the reason you are still alive. How do you feel about that?

10,000 visits

It may not seem like much to you when compared to some other blogs, but I just passed the 10,000 mark on visits to my blog this week. It is somewhat astonishing that 10,000 people would be interested in what I had to say, or that a large number of them would come back a second and third and fourth time. For that I am humbled and grateful.

My first post was on August 1, 2007 about “learning from atheists.” I still think we can learn some valuable lessons from atheists about how to do church and how to live out our love for Christ in a post-Christian society. Agree or disagree?

Since that time I have discussed everything from service to sex, freedom to facebook, confession to childlikeness, debt to disrespect, growth to grandchildren, school churches to summer study breaks, legacy to listening to God, mediocrity to marriage (hope they aren’t one in the same), markers to mission, porn to pancakes, strangers to service, purpose to parenting, submission to critical spirits, creator to criticism, wonder to worry, faith to fantasy football, moms to miracles, world changers to will of God. Not to mention Gnosticism, yard sales, jobs, homelessness, health, and donkeys. Oh, did I mention grandchildren?

By far though, the post that has recorded the most visits is one I posted in relation to a teaching series I did on marriage from June 25, 2008. I just wanted to have some fun. It is “100 Reasons Why Not to get Married”. If you Google it, it is the #1 item that appears.

So thanks for visiting my blog. There are better ones out there, by far. You could choose to access them instead, but as long as you come my way I will promise to continue to discuss “God issues from a fresh perspective.”