God watches over the path of the godly…(Psalm 1:6).
You and I are blessed to watch God at work when we stay on His path. Priscilla and I spent the day with Lori recently. Her story is one of redemption and healing; a story how God uses different people in different settings at different times for the same purpose.
In her words…
I can remember watching my dad stick a needle in his neck and naked adults all around the house. I was 3. Through age 7, I was exposed to this life style and abused many times. I prayed to God for this to stop. The state took me away from my mom and placed me in foster care. Then at 13, my mom petitioned the court and gained custody of me. She lived in Brentwood at the time and was a successful businesswoman, but a drug addict, as well.
Beginning my first night home, mom prostituted me with a steady stream of men. This continued until I was kicked out of the house around age 17. For the next 13 years I was trafficked in the sex industry until a serious car accident made me no longer marketable. I turned to God who freed me from the chains of alcohol. I began cleaning houses for a living. This is where a lady from Brentwood Baptist prayed with me to receive Jesus into my life.
For the last 10 years, I have been healing, struggling and growing in my walk with Jesus. Just recently, a Brentwood Baptist member donated a vehicle to the church to be given to someone in need. A member of the benevolence team offered me the car. I cried. God blessed me with reliable transportation for me and my two kiddo’s. –Lori
Our small roll…
We were in the unique position of identifying a worthy recipient and facilitating the transfer of this vehicle to Lori. Every one of you is uniquely positioned to serve others in the name of Jesus. Priscilla and I thank you for the part you have in our ministry
Poverty, Money and Relationships…..
Poverty is the result of our broken relationship with God, self, others, and the rest of creation.
I think we all know people who are materially poor yet spiritually rich; and the opposite. We also know people who are materially rich and spiritually rich.
Sadly, we know people who are materially poor and spiritually bankrupt. Money and relationships go together.
It is this last group to which I spend a fair amount of time working along side, mentoring and encouraging them to make good choices; to work with what they have. I try to help them understand the value of God’s Word.
Guided by God’s Word
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:11 NLT)
All Scripture… is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. (2 Timothy 3:16)
A young man was broke and called and asked me to drive 30 miles in order to take him somewhere because he didn’t have money for the bus. Yet somehow he had resources to “enjoy” some spirited drinks and was proud of his activity as displayed on Facebook.
On another day I received a call from a middle-aged man who couldn’t afford $1.50 copay for a prescription. This same man called me two weeks later talking about his plans to purchase a pet. When I asked about the apparent discrepancy here, he said that he would have funds available in 3 months as soon as he finished paying off some rent to own items which he “had to have”.
These decisions are miss-placed priorities, to say the least. Mentoring is “telling”, “pushing” someone toward a desired goal. The goal is to walk in faith in Christ. Whenever the opportunity is available, I try to steer these and others in the right direction. Proverbs 1:30-31 (NLT) reminds us that we reap the results of our choices:
Here’s an admonition from God’s Word NOT TO SAY NO…The consequences for rejecting godly advise.
“They rejected my advice and paid no attention when I corrected them. Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way, choking on their own schemes.”
Saying Thanking You…..
I would like to highlight two donors. One has been a friend of many years who has faithfully given us $5.00 a month. Another has been faithful since we started. They have made a sacrificial gift nearly every month. We are grateful for every commitment made. Together we help build and strengthen the Kingdom of God. Strangers do not support our work. Friends do. All our relationships and all our dollars work together toward kingdom work.
Reflecting on a Personal Policy of Giving
I was recently challenged with thoughts shared by C. S. Lewis: in “Mere Christianity”, to think about how I make giving choices. He said, “I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusement, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our giving does not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say it is too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot because our commitment to giving excludes them.”
Something to ponder!