Monday, June 5

Golden Keyboard

The question I asked Saturday was, "How do we know how much we are supposed to do in this world?" If you haven't gone back and read the comments on this one, you gotta do it, peeps! Outstanding stuff there. Thanks to each of you.

This week the Golden Keyboard Award is going to Avery. His comment challenged me...humbled me...inspired me. Thanks to him I gotta figure out how to tell the hubby that I think we need to either:

a.) sell the house and move to Africa to give medical care to orphans

- or

b.) win the lottery, add on a wing, hire a housekeeper, and adopt a bunch more kids.

Kidding. Kind of. But even though I'm (kind of) kidding, please don't tell me a million reasons I can't or shouldn't do these things. Because somebody has to do something, and we don't do it by focusing on 'can't'.

Seriously, did anyone see Songs For The Children on 'Nightline' tonight? We can't forget these people. (Now there's a good place for 'can't')

10 Comments:

At 6:20 AM, Blogger Cheerio's on my butt? said...

Had a lot of catching up to do on here! Great garden! Pretty house! Like the movie memory and wish we could do that! But I think it would be scary! Anyways, we did a "Peek into my house" Meme a couple weeks ago! It was fun! Kinda like this one!

 
At 8:12 AM, Blogger Avery said...

WOW, so when do I expect to receive my trophy? LOL

I want to follow up a bit, although my family will move to the African Horn (hopefully Ethiopia) in the next 5ish years, I don't feel that it's for everyone.

Mother Theresa did so much for the world, but it was only possible because some of the rich of the world made it possible. I will need people with a generous heart that still have a good job when I go.

Look at the good Bono has done, he could not have done what he has if he didn't have the resources he has.

I am at home, and at peace in Africa, America make me feel tired, and iratable. I do not like the American lifestyle. My heart is African. It is that which enables me to see that my home is there, not here. I am happy having to pump my water by hand, not having dependable electricity, having to fix my car myself, and walking most of the places I go. I love sitting and talking around coffee for hours, and love not having a time frame or a need for a watch. I can't stand the affect TV has on me, and the spicier the food, the happier I am.

Fried termites, barbecued dog, boiled maggots and rice, bloody milk, been there, done that, other than the milk it was all enjoyable TO ME.

I do not want to change their culture and bring America to them, as many missionaries have tried to do for years. I want to live there, be at home there, and be in a culture I enjoy.

Everyone isn't called to Africa, but everyone is called to give everything they have and live in one accord. If you look at everything you have as on loan from God, and not yours, you are the stewards of God's possesions and you need to check with Him for the allocation of His resources, it becomes a lot easier to see where you can make an impact on the world.

 
At 8:59 AM, Blogger Umm 'Skandar said...

Yes, I saw the Nightline piece last night. And I thought of this blog. Very moving. One dollar a day for anti-retroviral drugs. I thought to myself, I could do that. Today I goggled "Keep A Child Alive" and became a "Life donor" with a recurrent monthly donation of $30 for the next two years. Every little bit helps, one child kept alive or just as importantly, one parent kept alive to raise their children.

For those of us interested in Ethiopia, Keep A Child Alive, has made grants to the AHOPE orphanage in Addis.

 
At 10:15 AM, Blogger Brianna Heldt said...

I loved Avery's comment, as usual. Soooo true. I didn't have time to do one of my own for the contest, but I believe that as long as:

-people are starving
-children are without parents
-there is injustice in the world,

I will not be finished. I hope and pray I NEVER reach a point where I feel like I've "done enough," or that God is done using me. If I ever do reach that point I hope someone comes alongside me and shakes me out of my complacency.

People spend a lot of time hemming and hawing, "where does God want me to serve? What is God's will?" etc., etc. At the national prayer breakfast Bono (doesn't he just rock?) said something to the effect of, just find something God is already behind, something you know God thinks is a good thing (feeding the hungry, adoption, whatever), and do it, and He will bless. Much needed words for our time.

 
At 2:43 PM, Blogger Karmyn R said...

I went back and read Avery's comments....um, yeah, I feel pretty little right now - buying a homeless person lunch, giving my yearly donation to the local charities isn't enough....

 
At 3:41 PM, Blogger Grafted Branch said...

Thanks Avery! What a great comment (this one and the original).

I appreciate your exhortation. I would be challenged beyond what would be productive in such a situation, but would be blessed to be a contributor to the one God calls to be there.

Yours is the enviable Kingdom calling, in my estimation. Meanwhile, my husband and I struggle with the same question that many do, I suspect: who/what will take our money and use it for its intended purpose? How do we avoid the 6-figure administrative salary?

Any sure suggestions?

Owlhaven...hope this is o.k. with you..."messaging" on your blog and all? Thanks for hosting such a challenging dialog.

 
At 4:25 PM, Blogger Tennessee Mama said...

You know, I was thinking - GO FOR IT! I was going to tell you all the reasons that you CAN! Like - God is in control and He will provide all that you need to make a difference in His kingdom!

 
At 5:53 PM, Blogger Addie said...

Wow! Avery's post was AWESOME! Recently I became aware of an organization in Vietnam that loans money to people to help them start a business to feed their families. (I use the term loan loosely. Only to mean they help the people out and then those people pay back the money from their profits when they are able.) I was amazed at how $50 to buy some goats could then feed that family for the rest of their lives.

I'm not touting the organization, just I hadn't realized how little it takes to really help someone. And yet, I let myself get mucked up in "can't". Thanks, Mary, for the discussion. Thanks, Avery, for the thought provoking comment.

 
At 6:38 PM, Blogger Avery said...

My wife and I work more with the financially challenged, and not the financially blessed (we do budget workshops) so I don't really know how to answer that.

One of the most generous families I know is the CEO of a major furniture chain. It's his tithe check alone that probably keeps my small home church afloat, but he goes so far and above the basic tithe. They aren't the super wealthy, but they live very nicely, and they fell just at home in mour small house as they do rubbing elbows with the elite. I work for some of the richest people in NC, and their money stays in their dusty wallets, period.

There is a huge mental shift between being wealthy and working for wealth.

To whom much is given much is required.

If you e-mail me I'll continue this with you more in depth, I don't mind doing it here I just don't wan't to start a huge dialogue as a gust on Mary's blog.

For my wife and I we feel called to be the worker bees in the Kingdom, we need the financial backing of the hive though to do so. We are on a plan that God willing we will be debt free in the next 5 years and that alone will allow us the freedom to minister without obligation (school debt, a house and major hospital bill is all we have) I'm not worried about the house as when we travel we will sell whatever we live in and take the profits to Ethiopia with us to kickstart the mission. But we can't do what God has called us to and have the debt hanging over our head. God will provide when it's time, and we are taking steps to make it happen.

My advice with a huge salary is to find a comfortable living "style" to get debt free and then to take the surplus and advance the kingdom hardcore.

$25 a month sponsors a widow to adopt an orphan in Ethiopia

$40 sponsors a full time pastor to work in the persecuted underground church in Ethiopia

http://www.fiveloavestwosmallfish.org/

 
At 9:37 PM, Blogger Grafted Branch said...

Ha ha ha! No! No! NO! I wasn't saying WE have a huge salary as much as I was asking for a recommendation for Kingdom-minded orgs that will put our offerings to proper use (which to us DOESN'T include paying the top brass a 6-figure salary).

ROFLOL! Sorry if I was speaking from inside my own head and wasn't quite clear.

 

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