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Healing through Serving

My Mom died and went to spend eternity with Jesus in September of 2014. It was a very hard time for me but God was with me. I don’t say that flippantly—I saw Him working in my life before, during and after to help me get through this season. His presence was tangible.

Leading up to this time, God had me working with Generous Giving to bring more Journey of Generosity’s (JOGs) to the Bay Area. A JOG is a 24 hour retreat where Christians gather to discuss, in a safe environment, generosity. I attended my first JOG in August of 2014 and then two weeks later, JOG facilitator training to be in a position to share this magnificent experience with others.

Five days before my Mom died, I met a new friend while serving at City Impact’s Adopt a Building program. Jojo was going through a painful divorce and needed someone to talk to. I felt honored to be able to minister to him.

Around the same time, my friend Nelson asked me to help him in a program to teach teenagers in the Bayview area about finances.

I could have opted out of all of these quite easily, but I felt led by God to serve. I began to sense a correlation between serving and healing. Could it be God’s plan that we help others while going through a painful season in our lives?

When we look at the last hours of Jesus life what do we see?

  1. Him feeding and then washing the feet of his closest friends. Matthew 26:26-29
  2. Asking God to forgive those who were crucifying Him. Luke 23:34
  3. Sharing salvation with the criminals on the cross so they could have eternal life with Him. Luke 23:43
  4. Making sure His Mom was taken care of by his closest friend John. John 19:26-27

I have no theological backing for this next statement but I believe it was God’s purpose for Jesus to continue ministering to others right up to the end in order to endure his darkest time on earth. In essence, to take the focus off of Himself and place it onto others.

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).

We know we are to be like Jesus. We may often think of this from a point of view of holiness, but we can follow his example when it comes to healing too.

I believe Jesus shows us how to deal with the great pain that comes into our life so we may finish the race God created us for, like Jesus did, like Paul did, like I pray you and I do.

What stories of serving through pain do you have?

Friday Inspiration

Lifestyle generosity doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it’s more of a growth process: the more you give, the better you feel-and the more joyful and contented you are, the more you want to give.

Ron Blue, Generous Living

 

 

tithing

Financial Freedom

I’ve had a lifetime challenge with money. When I was young, I wanted some, then when I got some, I wanted more.

Always more. More money. Give me more. I need more. I want more. I deserve more.

More. More. More!

I got more and it made me angry because I still wanted more.

One of my early steps towards financial freedom was memorizing this verse: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

Hmm. ALL. Really? This was a different formula. I read it over and over again, and I realized the verses preceding it were all about money and stuff. (Matthew 6:19-32)

Yes I was storing up a lot on earth, isn’t that the point to making a lot of money? This is what I thought I was supposed to do. This is what most everyone teaches and practices.

Then I made Jesus the CEO over my life. Slowly. It was hard, and still is. I’m really, really hard headed.

We hired a Certified Kingdom Advisor and a budget coach. They started praying for us and working with us. Things started changing, slowly. Real change does not happen quickly. We started realizing that God had given us so much financially, not to mention His grace and mercy when we were young Christians but not following His ways.

We got our financial life in order. It took saying no to a lot of things, both on the calendar, to make time to fix this mess, and of course in the cash area of our lives.

We started tithing and now we have given thousands of dollars, with no significant increase in income, to Kingdom causes and have become more and more joyful. We love giving. We love having financial order in our lives. We have no regrets about any of the giving. We are now tracking toward financial freedom and it’s a great feeling.

For me the following was and is true:

Financial Independence (tracking towards it) = Anger, fear, entitlement, discontentment (never had enough) and arrogance.

Financial Freedom = Joy, peace, confidence, happiness, gratitude, humility, generosity.

Friday Inspiration

To be joyful and generous,  you have to see things as God sees them. When your beliefs, your vision, and your actions align with his perspective, the results will be nothing short of incredible.

Ron Blue, Generous Living