I read and support a family that is adopting from Africa. She recently posted an awesome blog that challenges and encourages me. I have a link for you to go check it out:

Oatsvall Team: On My Heart ...

I love how Gwen issues this little challenge:

So my challenge to us all (myself included) is to never feel entitled to free
time, extra curricular activities, birthday parties, or vacations ... Let's feel
honored to be able to do those things and lift all our thanks for our life to
the Father and to never forget those closest to His heart "the least of these"

This thought brings me around a circle and back to a point I have been pondering regarding the consumerism in our faith.

I am reading a book called "Death by Church" which I am not far enough into to say whether or not I endorse this book. However, I love how it puts this:

"Now the church must compete with other institutions and experiences for a place in the hearts and priorities of people. It no longer holds sway over most of our culture. It no longer has privileged status among ideas, experiences, or even religions.

The problem for the church in this situation is that it is now forces to compete
with all other ideologies and -isms in the marketplace of religions and products
for the allegiance of people, and it must do this in a way that mirrors the
dynamics of the marketplace--because that is precisely the basis of how people
make countless daily choices in their lives. In the modern and post-modern
situation, the church is forced into the role of being little more than a vendor
of religious goods and services.
We end up playing by the rules of the marketplace (and therefore reinforcing them) in order to compete with everything else. We usually justify this in the name of winning people to Christ. Because we are no longer in the center of culture, we have to earn our way into the hearts of people. And certainly there is some truth to this. But at what cost?"

Erre, Mike. Death by Church: Rescuing Jesus for His Followers,
Recapturing God's Hope for His People.
Oregon: Harvest House Publishers,

How do these two chunks of interest "connect" in the mind of a stay-at-home, work-at-home, wife, mother and friend... Well, if we would make it a priority to be the church and do the things that Jesus wants us to do in crazy, untypical ways maybe we would make a difference in our world and reclaim our place in culture.

I know it is happening, I read the blogs. I am so thankful for technology that is able to connect me to ministries, projects, and passions that are like me and some that are not so comfortable to me; to challenge me and spur me on. This family is selling, t-shirts, and necklaces to give orphans a family. Considering the least of these... I consider them, but I more greatly consider myself. I want to live sacrificially but, by-and-large in my circle of friends, in my family, with my own life this is not the case. and I want that to change.

I guess I am going to make the quote "Be The Change You Want to See" my motto for now.

Collecting items to send to children in Uganda, selling SUUBI necklaces, staying connected, encouraging by blog, buying stuff to bring orphans home, doing life with a little more consideration that's enough change for now. Or is it?


Andrea said...

Hi, Jen. I enjoyed reading your post. I have never heard of the book you mentioned, but it sounds very interesting, and I can relate to many of the points you mentioned.

Before church became so commercialized (hope I spelled that right), each congregation was more like a community of believers. They all took care of one another, and if properly done, sincerely studied the word of God, appreciated their pastors, and sang their hearts out to glorify God.

Please, do not get me wrong. There are many wonderful churches that still do the same things. Even many of the mega ministries love God and serve Him and lift up Jesus' name.

So, I don't want to speak disparaging words against any! God forbid! But I do so wish sometimes for the pure, community-feel we used to have.

God bless you as you labor with your heart! I so appreciate anyone who homeschools their children!

In Christ's Love,