Saturday, August 26, 2006

Tales from the desert

Originally, I had planned a huge elaborate report of my current dwelling in the wilderness.

That ain't happening anymore.

I'm tired of whining and complaining.

My wilderness experience mostly involves my financial realm - or lack of funds. It also dabbles a bit with the question "what is my faith group/ekklesia (ie: church)?". But that's getting more obvious to me daily. Thank you CEO.

But the financial all time faith hero George Muller (Uncle George) absolutely refused to tell others his needs. He fully believed the CEO would provide as promised.

And so do I.

If I whine and complain and write about my needs on this blog, then what faith is there? I would be manipulating readers to have sympathy and therefore, possibly donate something to my family (assuming readers knew how to find me).

No more.

I want my faith to be real. I want to sacrifice. Like the young woman who commented on the last post with her sacrifice story. Basically, she chose to come to the CEO on her own. Yet to do so, she had to leave her boyfriend of 6+ years. He paid the bills and he was the daddy of her two kids. To follow jesus, she had to sacrifice security, comfort, stable kids, then embrace immediate loneliness.

That's faith. That's sacrifice.

I'm going to live that way.


Mark said...

Way to be man! You inspire the rest of us. Screw security...screw the system! Since when did we start praying for our Lord to give us our "daily bread...and while your at it, tomorrow's bread, and the next day's and the next's...and let's set up a whole-wheat-401k plan, and store away for our breading retirement..."

Simply living today, for today's sake. I've got a lot in the way of living for the faith he gives me for just today. Pathetic, I know; but I figure the longer I wait to start shedding my self-sustainability, the harder it will be. I'm gonna need help.

Mike Exum said...

I'll challange that.

I, to beat a dead horse, see meeting your needs as a group responsibility. If the hand is in pain, the rest of the body must react and proact appropriately. That happens when the rest of the body gets the message that the hand is in trouble. Otherwise the body will lose the hand, and that is detrimental to image bearing.

I say look at the greek widows of Acts 6. They bring a complaint to the church: they are being overlooked in the distribution of food. There is no condemnation of this complaint. Their faith is not questioned in the slightest. Complaining is not a sign of faithlessness!

Isreal grumbled in the wilderness, true, but they were belittling the help God was giving -they actually wished to go back into slavery. But do not forget that God had heard their cry originally, which was a complaint. Also, read the Psalms. There are more Psalms of complaint than of praise. Read Ps 88 to see what unresolved complaint looks like. The psalmist apparently dies seemingly neglected in God's silence. The help does not come before the crying voice goes limp and dies.

Jesus quotes from a scene in David's life, Mk 2:25 ref 1 Sam 21:1+, where David was in need and he actually lied to get what he needed: bread unlawful for him to eat to begin with. That is not a complaint, but it is manipulative and Jesus sites the case as a defense of His disciples in the grain field.

I do not mean to discount asking God and waiting on Him in the slightest, but sharing your needs and conserns is never a lack of faith.

I recognize that often the church fails to respond as a body would to a hand in trouble. And that is the other side of the coin. It is where the issue must be pressed. Pressing it is a prophetic type agenda.

On the other hand, I recongize that the story JF shared was powerful and shed new perspective on yours and mine. However, a prideful reaction is not the answer. And suggesting that you want your faith to be real, as if it has not been up to this point is clouding the issue.

Agent B, you have an incredible faith already. You do not need to compare yours to JF's. Rather, she needs the church to respond to her needs in new and powerful ways. Her story is uncommon, and yet there are others like her, or at least potentially like her. If the body of Christ is to really be the body of Christ, it needs to take care of her, and you, and me, or else it is a sham. But, if memory serves me, she portrayed the congregation she has joined as a real help and guiding force in her life. I hope they continue to be.

And remember, she answered your post with the same category of complaint that you are now not willing to offer yourself. I do not believe she was faithless in that. And I think that those of us who read it now have an opportunity to pray for her and help her. If we all clam up instead, where will she be?

Many blessings...

Agent B said...

X -

Point well taken.

I tried to avoid coming across prideful, or even "heroic". Maybe that didn't work.

Your biblical examples are excellent ones.

Yet my needs are financial ones. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just routine monthly bills that I have no money for which are coming due in the next week to 10 days.

And I think we currently have about $25 to our name. No big deal. The CEO has delivered at times like this many times over. With the exception of July, there's been a 22 month track record of the CEO's to go by. So...July 2006 confuses me.

Despite the blatent reasons and faith examples of Muller, I avoid writing details here because...I know you're gona hate hearing people look at me and say "so why don't you get a job?".

And I don't know how to answer them anymore.

I actually apply for work at various places (probably not hard enough). So far, nothing has panned out.

The other day Agent Wife & I were contemplating this for the thousandth time (why we don't get/have employment). It occurred to us how many people and situations the CEO has put before us where we happen to be "available". Obi-Wan is one of many friendships due to this availability. totally sucks not having money. I cannot remember the last time I just went to a store to BUY something because I wanted it. It's been at least 3 years or more.

But so what. I've lessened my desires and I'm just trying to feed and house my family on faith. And I'm praying diligently for opportunities to do so, even if that requires employment.

We did receive that car from my late grandfather over a month ago. I have to repay money on it and could easily sell it for way more than what's owed on it, thus providing some cash to get by with for 2-3 months. But I can't do anything without the car's title, which is at the fate of an uncle who moves as slow as molases.

...but then once sold, our transportation needs will be back to square one. Much to pray and contemplate I guess.

really...I'm just rambling here.

I always desired this blog to be a testimony of the CEO's work, power, and goodness. Not a billboard for my lack of finances.

...and there are many testimonies in regards to our finances: In our 22 months without income we have had perfect health, 2 perfect pregnancies, my house has stood (no expensive plumbing disasters, etc), neighbors give us food and invite us for dinner all the time (and vice versa).

In many ways...we have not gone "without".

big rambling...

Mike Exum said...

I feel ya, B. And I don't criticize any of your lifestyle, really. I only challenged the assertion about faith or lack thereof based on complaint or asking etc. And your point about church people is well taken.

I try to imagine interviewing you for a perspective job... "So mister B. It says you spent the last 5 years as a secret agent for God. Umm... okay, care to explain that?"

"Uhhh Yeah, Secret Agent. You know a prophet of God caring for the poor, living by faith, you know... don't you read your Bible?"

"Are you getting cute with me?"

"No, I am answering your questions honestly..."

"Do you take me for a jerk?"

"Well, yeah, but that's beside the point..."

"Get out of my office! You'll never work in this town Agent man!"

"Thank you... May God bless you and yours more than you have blessed me... you &^#$@*+)!"

Hey, I am praying. Keep up the good work. Keep up the faith. And ask when you need to. I'll help when and where I can. I bet other readers here would too.

Many blessings...

JesusFreak said...

Here I was thinking that I wish I could have faith like yours. I think I am being such a wimp because I am still crying over my trivial stuff. I try to remind myself of how it could be so much worse. I could be fighting over in the middle east, I could have been born over there, I could have been killed over there....I could be forced to watch "Barney Celebrates Spring!" one more time (that tape disappeared mysteriously).

Jason & Nicole said...

Does watching "Barney Celebrates Spring!" count for a wilderness experience in its own right?

JesusFreak said...

I think that the Chinese uses that particular tape as one of their torture methods actually.