Monday, March 19, 2012

Seeking Jesus' Version of Rich, Blessed, and Generous?

One of my great finds this year has been an English Standard Version online Bible.  It has a wonderful feature where this gentleman reads the passage of scripture aloud to me - and he is an excellent reader.  Oftentimes, I am rather put off by the read-aloud style of others.  As a Mom who has always loved reading aloud to my children, I truly appreciate the skill it takes to do this job well. When God speaks in scripture, this fellow brings a proper inflection and weight to His voice; villains such as Satan or Pharaoh aren't overdone, but you get a definitive waft of evil intent.  This online bible also has a generous side bar for my note-taking, and offers a variety of ways I can mark up this online bible with various colors of highlighting, underlining, emboldening, or italicizing, etc.

Among this morning's scripture readings was James 5.  Sipping on my rich and creamy cup of coffee, I listened as my gentleman friend read verses one through six.  I paused the sound and read it to myself, sitting with it for a few moments.  I had him read it to me again as I considered the words. These are hard words for me.  My notes:

As I read this, I glance over it for myself.  I move on to easy targets, like -----, and wonder if he were to read this how would it strike him?  My mind flits back to myself; after all, I am always telling the children how rich we are by comparison to much of the rest of the world.  We do live in luxury.  We are rather self-indulgent.  
But as I read through this, it doesn't sound like me, like us.  Does it?  Search my heart, oh God, and reveal to me any wickedness to which I am blind.
This area of wealth, personal responsibility, being my brother's keeper, not having a Savior complex while understanding that I am His servant - this is just one area in which I long for resolution while at the same time feeling I might never truly arrive in this lifetime.  I continue with my readings, jotting notes, praying.  This issue links strongly with yesterday's calling-out sermon Pastor Howard breathed over us.  Showering, the mulling continues.  I'd prefer to abandon this and escape to comfort, but I can't; inwardly, I know I shouldn't.

Hours later, in dealing with other more immediate responsibilities, I go looking through old emails for notes I've gotten regarding standardized testing options.  As often happens, you put in a word like "testing" and among the mail which hits the particular nail on the head of what you are looking for, there are a number of others that for some reason or other happen to have a different sort of connection to your word choice.  So it was that I opened a particular email that I'd passed on reading last month.  Money-Saving-Mom had done a book review on this book:
      7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

Bam! Right between the eyes.  7: an experimental mutiny against excess.  I've got to get this book. I'm assured it's non-judgmental, humorous, honest, and challenging, sounds like a lot of hand-holding as we walk in the right direction. I asked the Lord to touch my blindness. Looks like He went straight to the spit-mud paste application.

My heart is beating fast at what I will see.

Shared with Titus 2sday, Works For Me Wednesday, and Simple Lives Thursday

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