I wanted to share with you a lesson God taught me this week as I hope it challenges you, too. This past year I put a great portion of my paycheck into different Ministries, and so got a huge tax return.
So, I said, "Heck, I'm spending something on myself! I'm gonna sell my 190K toyota and get a Hybrid like I've always wanted!" Since I miss taking risks like I did in Africa, I said, "I'm gonna buy one on Ebay-- fun!" So, I did. From Brooklyn (of all places...). Got the car 4 days ago and the whole thing was shady.... (Need I say more?)
So, in prayer the next morning, God gently corrected me...Here's the lessons learned:
1. God said, "I understand your desire to risk-- that's ok, just next time, invite me into that risking-- you think I don't want to have some fun, but I do!"
2. Don't buy a car until I release you to (which He didn't cuz I didn't ask!)
3. Even though you may give 99% of your income to the Kingdom, if you KEEP 1% to 'do what you want with' without my overseeing it, then you are like Sapphira and Ananias (Acts 5) and you know what happened to them. If you even put 1% of something before putting ME first, you may get affects by a spirit of pride, ambition and love of money/spirit of coveting over you and that will affect our intimacy and the degree of grace I can pour out on you to others. Is it worth it?
So, He is teaching me that 100% of my income is Kingdom money-- I can't just spend it so carelessly on going out, buying things, etc. without checking with God. This is the challenge of the New Testament example...not 10% tithe, but 100% generosity.
So... I'm going back to my 1999 faithful Toyota and a friend generously is buying my Hybrid (once I get it started--the battery is dead!) Thus, the last lesson:
4. DON'T buy a car unless you have seen and driven it!!!!
On a very uplifting note, check out a video that our local town produced about a city wide Day of Repentance and Dedication of our city back to the Lord that God is leading us to do: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/29488727 on May 5th in Steubenville!
Thanks so much for everyone's prayers. There is so much good happening in Steubenville! I need more hands on deck to walk out the many opportunities being created to bring God's love, healing and Presence to our city...
Please keep the following events in prayer and if you'd like to be a part of it, let me know!
1. Steubenville Kid Mayor Movement... (see my other blog for details: mamanitascoffeehouse.blogspot.com
2. Appalachian Dawn Movie viewing... (watch the trailer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBnWG4njkXM&list=FLP-Glw--hCGs49N9LCOJ7IA
As we have been praying for our city regularly the first and third Monday mornings along with our weekly Monday night prayer meetings, we have sensed the Lord's passion to heal our city. We believe God is wanting us to have a day of Repentance and Commitment of our city back to the Lord--crying out to God to heal us and ground us in His Ways, Truths and Life. We sense that day is supposed to be May 5th of this year.
Please pray with us to see all the churches and concerned people of our city get on board with what God is doing in this movement back to a restoration of relationship with God and one another.
And so, we are trying to get every church, particularly the Pastors, so watch the movie and ask their people to also view it and PRAY...
3. The Cross Project
A door to door project to ask every home if they will place a cross in their yard that we supply, during Easter Week.
4. Mentoring Project
We have had the opportunity to walk with a few people at Mama Nita's to encourage them in life and in their walk with God. Pray for 28 year old "Mark" ... and that he passes his GED...and that he stays clear of giving into past temptations. He is precious. We love him.
Please keep me in prayer... and our ministry. We are hoping the Lord sends us a few generous people who will serve the Lord in this city wholeheartedly for a year or so. Please pray for that with me.
There is so much more to write about... God is so good.
I appreciate your prayers and support. We really need it...