|Photo shoot at a nearby estate this spring|
So when Casey told me his new boss was paying for us to attend this conference I wasn't really quite sure what to expect. Though I know this man is passionate in his love for the Lord, and such a generous and giving man as well.......but still didn't quite know what this whole weekend would be like.
So after arriving in Colorado Springs.....my first trip to Colorado ever! I was very much encouraged, convicted, blessed to be with my husband for 3 days and attend this very unique conference. We heard speakers, worshiped, and heard personal story after story of God's people sharing how the Lord had lead them to give abundantly and sacrificially to His people and for His kingdom out of a generous and humble heart for all the Lord had done for them! I was seriously in awe to realize I never seriously thought about money and the luxuries of the life we all live here in America! We are wealthy and live very well. We indulge our children, we tend to think 90% is ours and the 10% in tithe is the Lord's, we get a salary increase and think that means we increase our standard of living---buying new and bigger cars, houses, vacation homes, designer this or that! And when we truly look at what God's word says about how we are to view money---we come to realize that this American dream we all get so easily swept away with is not at all biblical! For all of what we have--all 100% of it belongs to the Lord!! Mark 10 tells us "how hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!" One pastor put it that as we increase and feed this deadly desire for possessions/this materialism......well, it's like drinking sea water. The more we drink of the sea water (which is salty as we all know) the more thirsty we become!
I loved hearing the stories too of how parents were beginning this journey of giving together and working to teaching their children the joy one receives by giving and not the getting. A 15-year-old girl stood up and shared how after a mission trip to Haiti with her parents at age 11, she was so impacted by what she saw and wanted to help the poor and impoverished there in Haiti. So over the past several years (and of course after the earthquake in Haiti) she has since written a song called "Heart for Haiti" and raised $80,000 which is funding the building of 4 orphanages in Haiti!!!! Truly and utterly amazing! And there were many other stories such as money gifts given to children at Christmas to be used to give to others in need---then come to the family Christmas ready to share the story of how your money helped someone else in need.
|Easter morning outside our church|
It is interesting coming out of a life of full-time ministry. We all too well know what it is like to be the ones asking those to give, depending on and trusting that somehow God would raise our support and provide for our family. How refreshing for all those in missions and ministry to know those who they were seeking support from had a heart shift of truly desiring to give (and give abundantly) to grow the kingdom! My husband has a big heart to give and always has......but I think this conference was so good for me for my heart to grow in this area as well. One I really just didn't give much thought too except for just following his lead. As Jim Elliott said "He is no fool who gives what he can't keep and keeps what he can't loose." May our family desire to ultimately be satisfied by the one true treasure that is eternal, and grow as we learn to live the generous life!