A Treasure Hunt

I'm so sorry that I've been slacking in my blogging. I've been much too busy with my two new hobbies: washing dishes and looking for stuff. I guess I've been washing dishes for years, but I've had to step up the pace lately what with all this cooking real food business. Chicken pot pie used to be a two dish meal. Making it from scratch, I lost count after five dirty dishes. And it wasn't even really from scratch because I used a frozen pie crust that I already had. (And Maddie's comment regarding the meal? "That was good, Mama. The crust was my favorite part.")

When I'm not cooking and washing dishes, I'm playing treasure hunter. Only instead of valuable treasure, I'm looking for library books and toy cars. Today I mixed it up a little and looked for my sunglasses for a while. It seems like, at any given moment, there are at least 34 items missing in or around our house. There are some on the High Priority (aka, there's actually a chance they might still be found) List, but many have moved to the Learn to Live Without It List. I've almost given up hope on my hairbrush. It's been AWOL for a month, at least. I'm not sure how an item as large as a hair brush can go missing in a house that's not really all that large, but it has happened. It wouldn't be so bad if one of my worst qualities wasn't an obsessive desire to have everything accounted for and in its place at all times. I need help.

You're actually lucky to be getting anything from me tonight as I'm suffering greatly from my chicken broth injury I incurred this morning while making soup for Bible study. You better watch out when pulling that little tab on the top of the chicken broth carton. Those things should come with a warning label. Despite the fact that my finger hurts to the point where I've considered taking ibuprofen, I'm toughing it out and tapping away at the keyboard. Dedication. That's what you call this.

In other exciting news, I've come to a place where my mind isn't so messed with. (It's still very messed up, I assure you, just not so messed with.) You might remember (or you might not, because I highly doubt you actually remember unimportant details from my life) that I was reading Irresistible Revolution and it was really throwing me for a loop. Every once in a while, the Lord likes to ruffle my feathers, I think, just to keep me on my toes. (How do you like those two fun phrases packed into one sentence?)

From time to time, I'll get to a place with the Lord where I am forced to examine my life to see how it's measuring up to God's Word and His calling. I begin to look for the treasure that's been hidden from me. He has brought me to a point where I do not want to be a complacent, lukewarm, pew-sitting Christian. I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, and I want more where that came from. In Isaiah 58, the Lord tells us that He isn't interested in our empty displays of religion for our own selfish reasons. He wants obedience. Obedience in what way? By showing love to those in need: the poor, the hungry, the oppressed. There's only one problem. Living a middle class American lifestyle, I don't rub shoulders with many truly poor people. A good friend and I decided that we're the poorest people we really know!

I mean, there's always the option of running downtown for 90 minutes on a Saturday morning and handing out food to homeless people. I'm not knocking that, but somehow I think it's more effective when we're actually able to build some sort of relationship with people. Likewise, I don't want to just donate some money to a reputable Christian charity, pat myself on the back, and go to bed. Again, there is nothing inherently wrong with that, and the support must come from somewhere for these needed ministries to operate. However, I think far too often we do easy things that make us feel good about ourselves and don't really make our whole lives about being Jesus to the world.

In seeking the Lord on this whole thing, I found myself weighing my options. Do we need to move right smack in the middle of "poor" people so we can minister to them? Do we need to sell all our earthly belongings and give the money to those in dire need? God, I don't want to miss the boat, so please tell me where the port is and what time the ship leaves! I really feel like, many times, we've been so busy being comfortable and complacent that we've missed the boat big time. It's halfway to Australia and we're still standing on the shore. It's so important to ask the hard questions and not just assume our lives match up with God's Word just because they match up with most "Christians" around us.

You can probably guess how all of this turned out. The Lord reminded me how so many times in His Word (especially in the Old Testament), He uses a physical, literal thing to point to something much deeper on a spiritual level. I want to be in a place of total surrender and sensitivity that if the Lord asks us to geographically go somewhere different and hard, I would obey. But this time He reminded me (mostly by putting them right in my face) of all the people who are poor in spirit all around me. While physical poverty is a very real need, and one I am not to ignore, spiritual poverty is of even greater concern. Physical poverty will end with this world, but spiritual bankruptcy will last for eternity if not remedied here and now.

As I look all around at the great needs, though, it's easy to become overwhelmed. How can I possibly invest in those around me on a regular basis while my time is so limited?Well, just like we invest in the physically needy when our bank account doesn't look like it's overflowing. By faith. We speak of giving monetarily by faith when it seems we don't have enough, but we sometimes don't think of our time in the same terms. I'm not suggesting overcommiting to things on your own agenda. I'm suggesting using your time wisely while surrendering it all to God, with your priorities matching His. He can multiply our time just as He does our dollars.

So, I am seeking to serve the Lord's purposes right here in middle class America for the time being. I am seeking to give my time to Him and to love others deeply, from the heart. (1 Peter 1) When asked what loving others deeply from the heart really means, a friend answered, "Sacrifice." That's how Jesus loved me deeply, so why should I expect to love anyone any other way?

Is the Lord telling you to look outside of yourself to see the needy around you? Maybe someone needs a meal, maybe they need some money, maybe they need a warm blanket. Or maybe they need you. Your time. Your encouragement. Don't find yourself caught in empty religion, because it will never please the Lord or bring you the fulfillment you desire. But, if you do happen to find a library book called The Diggingest Dog, please send it my way.


  1. Thank you so much for encouraging me the other day ...I hate that you had to see me on my lowest days but am still so thankful for it! I hope you find your book :)

  2. Oh my goodness! I totally got a shout out on Amy's blog-YES! It counts. Okay, we could have a joint yard sale and sell everything we owned, but we wouldn't be likely to get very much. I've come to the conclusion that the particular things we own, can be better used to serve The Lord if we keep them and use them. For example...our vehicles wouldn't sell for much, but taking the neighbor kids to church in them could be a priceless investment. Plus, Jonathan's car is probably worth less than my bike. My clothes already came from a yard sale or I've owned them so long that no one would want them anyway. We can keep the "lovely" decor in our homes too as long as we are always inviting people over, right? Sounds good. I loved this one too!


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