The Day After…a couple of thoughts on 2 Dollar Day.

So, you survived 2 Dollar Day yesterday?  Congratulations!

We would love to capture your stories and your experiences.  Whether it was a story of thrilling victory as you stretched your $2 for your family of 10 or one of the agony of defeat as you broke down and bought out the snack machine at 2:15 pm.

I know that right now you may be looking for something to do with your experience…it touched you in a deep way and you wonder what to do next.  There will be more posts in the coming days for ways to respond to what God did in your heart and mind, but for today let’s choose a different starting place to help make this a marathon rather than a short sprint to the finish.

It is in story sharing that we learn more about this journey that God has us on.  This journey is one in which He calls you and I to grow in empathy for those in need and to reposition ourselves as craving Him rather than power, food and stuff.   The forces we are up against are strong, so we are going to need each other to cross the finish line.  We will need to hold each other up and encourage each other to stay focused so that the greatest impact can be made in partnering with God in what He has been doing, is doing and will continue to do.   Together we get to keep calling each other to what is truly important at the core and share in the great privilege of being co-laborers with Jesus.

And, this starts with sharing our stories, our experiences, our successes and our failures.  This all starts with us sharing about the work that God is doing in us as He calls us out to Remember The Poor.

Maybe it seems like I am exaggerating with all of this talk about forces and power and the need to resist language.   I’m not.   There are subtle forces that compete for our attention and draw us away from The Master and His Message.

Consider these examples:

Remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:33, which echo the extremeness of the Call – “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  His call is to prioritize God’s Kingdom and  His Righteousness, which in context is not simply a call to “Moral” living, but rather is a call to make all things right (redemption) that are presently broken in this world around us.  The focal point is not on me, but rather it is on Him and the way He is redeeming all things.

Consider Paul’s example to us in Philippians 4:12-13, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”  The verse (v 13) that is quoted more often than not for a renewed sense of willpower to achieve my goal is actually a verse that in context further explains what it means to have contentment.  Paul learned to be content whatever his circumstances.  You and I can, too.  Contentment is an under-represented word in our culture of plenty.  There are forces that draw us away from experiencing it, whispering in our ears that we are missing out if we don’t grab everything we can.  That voice over time damages our souls…yet contentment has the power to heal….us and those in need.

Or consider James’ words in 1:27.   “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”   It is a call to not only serve the forgotten, voiceless and powerless (here widows and orphans) but also to keep ourselves from being polluted by forces of the world, which in my opinion includes materialism, consumerism, greed, false humility,  ingratitude and other me-isms that draw our attention off of seeking First His Kingdom and instead leads us to engage in building our own.

There are forces that will try to draw us one way or another as we move forward.  Some will draw us to seek our own kingdoms.  Others will try to draw us to build their kingdoms.  Some will call us to seek a kingdom of the poor or the kingdom of some other cause.  Our call is to partner with God in seeking His Kingdom in fullness, only.

We need each other in this fight.  There is no room for competition or one-up-manship.  There is no room for lying or stealing or pride.  There is no room for taking advantage of the poor or deepening their plight even by ignorance.

Let’s get each others’ backs, share and seek His Kingdom first, together.

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