Thursday, January 29, 2009

wartime mind-set

How different would your life be if we were a country at war? I did not ask "would you live differently?" because you just WOULD, there is no question about it.

What would be different in your everyday life ? what would you find yourself able to sacrifice for the greater cause of your country? what would you mourn the loss of as you minimized your standard of living to match the recession/depression's effect on your income? How would you help those around you in need?

We may not be presently at war, and our government may not be requesting our spare bobby pins for the cause, and our grocery stores may still stock the shelves with 100's of goods.... but (as Piper states) there is a battle between "truth and falsehood, Christ and Satan, belief and unbelief" every day of our lives, and i usually sleep through it!

So... what are we to do? My dear friends and i discussed some of this at biblestudy and i will quote some verses and ideas from our discussion... as well as the swirls of thoughts that came (and went..those ones are missing from the page) since then!!

Hmmm... psalm 144 says , "Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle".

"Only too soon this life will pass, only what's done for Christ will last"

1 corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do to the Glory of God"

--- If we are a community of Believers at war (spiritually) we need to "be alert" (acts 20:31, ephesians 6:18) and ready to share, live out, and rejoice in the Gospel - Christ on the cross, Christ risen from the grave, Christ our Saviour, repentance, living for His Glory forever, etc. Our weapons are the "gospel, prayer and self-sacrificing love" (2 corin. 10:3-5 & Piper - Don't waste your life)

So what can this practically look like? I need practical theology or it is just something my head knows and my heart aches to understand and live out!!

Here are some of my thoughts (dave and i talked over some of this weeks ago...) as to how we can practically live in our recession-bound country with the "wartime mindset" that uses the gospel, prayer and self-sacrificing love to fight the good fight. (So that we can hopefully say along with Paul: -2 tim 4:7- I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith)

1) trim the grocery budget so that there is more grocery money to buy food for those in need.
2) develop healthy inexpensive meals so that more can be made and given away.
3) make a habit of asking people what they need prayer for.
4) leave paper and pens all over to write down prayer requests and pray for them every time you see them.
5) be a disciplined giver. choose a variety of organizations, etc to support
6) send letters to any not-for-profit organization that has you on their 'please donate to us' mailing list, and ask them to take you off the list to save them the huge administrative costs that amount from mass mailings. (if you do this you MUST do number 5!!!!) (took this idea from Joel Belz, writer for World magazine, the numbers were staggering.)
7) become a disciplined reader of the Bible.
8) Open our eyes to the fact that every breath we take is a gift from God; and exult in the Cross of Christ for every sun rise, warm bowl of soup, letter from a friend, hug from family, or night of sleep (or even sleeplessness!).
9) Find ways to partner with the community in aiding those in need. (do this locally and globally)
10) Read scripture to each other, challenge each other to memorize and share scripture with others!

So... i suppose that could be called my New Years Resolution list. but since 80% of new years' resolutions get tossed after a month or so, i'm hoping it will be more of a long term life goal list...
Anyone want to help me out and keep me accountable to living a life of giving Glory to God??
Does anyone have more practical ideas to add to the list? or ones on my list that seem to be off course?

(man... i had all these fabulous thoughts and paragraphs pouring out of my head as i drove home from biblestudy on thursday, but ... i had a sick baby all afternoon and was unable to record them... but that is okay, i took care of a screaming baby and that is important! ) :)


At 3:50 PM, Blogger Nikk said...

Such wonderful, encouraging thoughts friend! And good, practical challenges! You need to share your practical ideas at study next week.

At 3:59 PM, Blogger Kari said...

Those are awesome, Sue. Another thing we like to do is regarding donations to charitable organizations - payments done by credit card cost the organization a certain percentage (or flat amount) for the transaction, so giving in another way actually gets more money directly into the hands of the charity.

We've also been talking about ways that we can help others out more, and I was telling Eric how much you encourage and inspire me in this area! I love you friend!!

At 4:09 PM, Blogger Sue said...

oooh thanks girls! keep the ideas coming! i think we can really benefit from the coming recession if we realize how much we can do for the Glory of God! :)

At 7:20 PM, Blogger Christa said...

Sue, you have always been an inspiration to me in the way you live your Christianity so sincerely and practically. Thanks for the great ideas.


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