James 1:27

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the
Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let
the world corrupt you.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Giving up TV for a cause! (long but worth the read!)

 This is a picture from many years ago with a boy that we all fondly named "Junior". His mom had died and his dad was an alcoholic, so he was basically an orphan. He had THE biggest and most captivating smile I think I have ever seen. We have not seen Junior in years, we have no idea where he is in life now. Remembering all these old stories and thinking of these precious children and orphans has really been changing our lives.

So, after much prayer and struggle (honestly) we have decided to cancel cable (including local channels). To some, this is no big deal. To us, this is HARD. Eddie LOVES (cannot stress that word enough) watching sports of all kinds. I LOVE watching shows. I love just relaxing and not thinking and watching a good tv show. Honestly, it brings comfort and relief and something to look forward to after a long day.

A week or so ago my friend Carrie called to tell me that they were cancelling cable and donating the money that they would have spent on cable to a cause. I am going to copy and paste part of her post because it is ultimately what challenged us and brought us to this decision. I have to say, when Carrie first told me I was thinking "oh that's nice for you, but heck no!", and I said to her jokingly "you will still be my friend if we have cable right?:)". I had NO intention of doing this. Here is part of her blog below. I would encourage you to look at the website. You can view pictures and videos, including a mom scooping poop out of the water and then giving the "clean" water to her children to drink. Dirty water kills around 5,000 children a day (according to some of my research).

"So there it is, we are going to turn off our cable and use the money that would normally go to pay the bill to help build a well. Our friends the Pickers (another precious adoptive family that we have met along our journey) has started raising money to build a well in Africa. We are going to take 6 months of cable bills, for us that totals $312 dollars, and are adding it to their fund to build a well through Charity Water. But it doesn't end there...

We are issuing a challenge to you: WILL YOU JOIN US??? WILL YOU COMMIT TO GIVING UP YOUR TV FOR 6 MONTHS AND GIVE THAT MONEY TO BUILDING A WELL? Maybe you don't have cable or for whatever reason you need it, you can still join us, is there something in your life that is a regular monthly expense that you are willing to sacrifice for 6 months? Maybe you get your nails done, or get coffee every morning, or maybe you do net flicks, or have a hobby you could let go of for 6 months for someone to have clean drinking water for the next 20 years.

If God lays it on your hearts to join us, we rejoice! We know that this is truly the Gospel. But I also want to throw in a little disclaimer in here before I close this post, that we don't think there is anything inherently evil or wrong about any of these things. It is just as simple as reordering our priorities so that we can put God's work in the forefront of our minds, lives, and hearts. To really be His hands and feet, to literally offer a cup of water in His name.

SO WHO'S WITH US? WHO WILL JOIN US ON THIS JOURNEY AND WHAT WILL YOU BE GIVING UP ALONG THE WAY? If you are with us please leave a comment on this post (or email me) a comment and let us know.

The next step is to decide what service you are going to go without, total up what the six moths will be, and then go to the Charity Water fund-raising Site that the Pickers have set up to build this well and donate your money. You can find out more about there work and see AMAZING videos of there well projects here. I encourage you to go to there site and look through the videos and pictures, it make this little 6 month challenge so much more real, at least it did for us.

My prayer is that God has already been moving among you and there are lots (or at least some) of us who will be willing to step out there and sacrifice something for God's people. There are a lot of great causes out there, and lots of Christian ones as well, but how neat to actually give life giving water to a whole community for 20 years by something as simple as not watching the tv?

For now I leave you with this simple verse...

On the last day, Jesus will say to those on His right hand, “Come, enter the Kingdom. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was sick and you visited me.” Then Jesus will turn to those on His left hand and say, “Depart from me because I was hungry and you did not feed me, I was thirsty and you did not give me to drink, I was sick and you did not visit me.” These will ask Him, “When did we see You hungry, or thirsty or sick and did not come to Your help?” And Jesus will answer them, “Whatever you neglected to do unto one of these least of these, you neglected to do unto Me!”
Mathew 25:31-46"

 I just think it is funny how God works. He stirred in both Eddie and I's hearts, and would not let us get away with NOT doing this. I know He calls each of us to different things. But the point is that we must be obedient to whatever He is calling us to. First, because we love Him and He is our Lord; but also because we don't want to miss out on what He has for us when we do obey. We are excited to do this. God has been working in our hearts and lives in numerous ways. The adoption is the beginning of this journey, but we are seeking to truly be His hands and His feet. Not in a big one time thing, but in daily acts of self sacrifice and love. It will be hard, but I know the blessings that will overflow from this will be so much greater than the momentary relief of watching TV. And we love to do these things as a family and be this example to Leah. We want to raise her with a heart for all of God's people. I have seen true poverty. I want my life to reflect the words that come out of my mouth.

I know this is long. Thanks for reading. If any of you feel challenged to do something similar that would be awesome! If you do, please leave a post so we can join together in prayer and in service!

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