Friday, December 28, 2007

Health and beauty magazines are pushing chocolate as “good for you”. Over the last month I’ve faithfully tried this “delicious cure” and discovered two things: it is not good for my belly or my skin. No more chocolate. The end.

Money matters claimed my attention this morning, as I organized my savings and checking/debit files, caught up my spending log and planned out a budget for next year. Admittedly my past attempts at budgeting have been something along the lines of allowing myself five dollars a month for spending and disposing of the rest more “wisely”. Up until the move I supported an international missionary. Now I have several purchases I’d like to make and I’m sorely tempted to cut back my giving. Once upon a time, the Lord laid it heavily upon my heart to empty myself of stinginess by emptying myself of the hoarded treasure, and I found joy in giving liberally. I face a dilemma: continue to give nearly everything to the Lord, trusting that He will supply for my dream of a digital SLR or cut back my giving and save for the camera, believing that God is providing for my desire in a predictable manner. It sounds obvious on paper, but is it really so clear? He provides for our needs and desires as often through regular means as through mysterious and miraculous. But one thing I know for sure: she who gives to the poor is lending to the Lord and He will pay her back.

Nick arrived safely “home” at Scottsburrow last night, under Zach’s careful guardianship. The quiet days are over and I do not regret it in the least. Over supper preparations of chopping, chopping, chopping onions, peppers, olives and chicken, I asked Nick who his heroes were. He paused for a moment, then answered, unhesitatingly, “Nathaniel.” He went on to share with me his testimony, and how the Lord had used Nathaniel to convict him of his need to repent during his first stay with us, two years ago over Christmas break. Since arriving on Arkansas soil, Nathaniel’s name has dropped multiple times and always, always it is with a tone of respect and honor, and I can think of at least three growing believers who thank him for the call to repentance which brought them to their knees. Four years ago the Lord transplanted Nathaniel here to use him and the testimonies I have heard are the proof of a life surrendered to the Master. Unpretentious, unassuming, Nathaniel sought the Lord and found His lost sheep. Now he is gone and we are here—continuing what he began. He planted, we water, but God causes the growth.

Lord, a simple tool is all I ask
That I might aid Thee with Thy task
Of harvesting a ripened world
And see Thy perfect plan unfurled.

I understand that when I choose
To be a tool that Thou can use
I’ve chosen to wait patient, still
And empty, so that Thou might fill.

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