Monday, April 21, 2008

This is Jessica, one of my team members from the recent Mexico trip.

I wanted to update our schedule for you. By the way, Deanna did an incredible job, thank you for lifting her up!

April 22nd Ft Hays State University, Hays, Kansas
April 23rd "the One" rally, Sapulpa, Oklahoma (youth from many area churches worship together)
April 25-27th My nephew Derek's wedding, Houston, Texas.
May 8th WGRC Raido, "The Matter at Hand" interview by Larry Wiedman (heard in 14 countries)
May 17th Ridgefield Christian School Graduation address, Jonesboro, Arkansas
May 18th Central Baptist Church, Jonesboro, Arkansas
May 28th Tuscola Christian Church, Tuscola, Illinois
May 30th WXIN FOX 59 Live Television Interview, Indianapolis, Indiana
June 1st Northside Baptist Church, Indianapolis, Indiana
June 2nd Cincinnati, Ohio, venue tba
June 16th to July 25th Summer trips to Chile, North Africa, Panama, Peru, and South Asia (I will be in Peru)

I had the privilege of meeting with a number of business men on Friday. Some in publishing, some in print media, some in media/cinema, some business owners.

They had recently returned from a Caribbean cruise on a tall ship, where they had taken their wives to get away, and discuss the things of the Lord, and the work He is laying on their hearts.

It was hard as I listened, not to wish I had been invited along. I like to talk about Jesus in difficult places. I saw some of their pictures...they did not suffer too much.

One of the men told me about a property owner he met on one of the resort islands. This man lived in a shack. The land he owned was significant. It had been handed down through the generations, and was precious to him.

He was a man of little means, and he was enduring a falling out with his family. He worked his land hard, but his family thought he was a fool.

You see, he had been offered $15,000,000 for his land by a developer that wanted to put up a resort. His family was very anxious for him to sell. They wanted to reap the benefit of the good life that they saw others live, but had never tasted.

They pushed him hard to sell. They resented living in the shack, and watching him go out each day with his machete to work the land. They saw this opportunity as one that could not be refused. The patriarch did not see it this way.

He had worked hard in life and was thankful for what he had. He was very proud of the land that he owned as it represented his culture and heritage. He was not interested in having great sums of money as he saw what it was doing to his family.

He knew they were anxious for him to die, so that they could sell off the meaningless land. They saw no value in hard work, when huge financial reward was theirs to be had.

This story is a hard one for us to hear. We can each see how we could benefit from having such gain. Perhaps most of us would sell quickly.

How many of us would stop to count the cost? Do we find value in the right places?

Many, many people today believe that much is owed to them. Our affluent society contributes to that idea. People believe they are suffering, and that quick gains could be made if they could just do things their own way.

Many believe that mom and dad owe them. Others believe society owes them. Many are sitting back with expectation that things will come their way because they deserve it.

There is no doubt that I could do a lot of good with that sum of money. But, would I? To have that kind of money brings with it brand new responsibility that few know how to handle. Each and every family would have to decide on their own, whether or not it meant more to have the land, or the money.

In the cultures I have been lived in for brief periods, they do not view life in the "throw away" way that we do. Land of their forefathers is highly prized and literally handed down for many generations. To get rid of it brings a form of dishonor to them. They have to weigh the loss against the potential gain.

This sum of money makes it all seem foolish to consider that there might be a down side. There is. There always is.

Most would say that the downside of fifteen million dollars is worth dealing with. It is hard to argue, I know. However, money coming to the hands of those who do not know how to use it can destroy their lives. It becomes a god to them. There is always something more to spend it on...something more they deserve as they have done without compared to the rest of the world.

I see this attitude frequently. I struggle with it, too. It is so easy to believe that life has dealt us strife and discouragement, and that we are owed much.

Few rest in the heritage, the promise they have in Christ. Few believe that Jesus plus nothing is everything. Many would say they believe it, but their lives demonstrate something else. So do their actions and attitudes.

We can all reason that that kind of money could be put to good use. No doubt it could. There are some who would actually use it responsibly. There are many more who would not.

What would be the cost be in gaining the whole world, and losing your life?

We must choose who we will serve. God is God alone. We cannot afford to allow money in any form of pursuit, to become even a temporary god in our lives.

My point is not to condemn those who would sell. Only to make us think about what our priorities are/would be.



At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, what a blessing to read your blog today! The American way of I WANT IT NOW has been the very downfall of our country -- DEBT and repossessions, credit and fraud --- all for the love of money and our immediate wants being met. People hoard their belongings and stuff and money. What will it take for us to realize the NEEDS of others and not the WANTS of our own?? The ANSWER: Having a heart for Christ and being willing to live by the very Spirit that is dwelling within us, if we are truly Christians. BJ put it best by saying "get our feet dirty". Let's GO - REALLY!
Vicky Ward

At 11:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful picture, and convicting blog...


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