"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Friday, February 4, 2011

Holy Spirit or Madison Avenue? (5th of 6)

     What effect has the loss of our contract had on the boys we care for? We have noticed much greater spiritual progress with them. Many find Christ as their savior while even more find Him as their daily source of help.
     We are free now to set our own rules, making attendance at church, devotions, and Sunday School part of the program, rather than the option it had to be under state regulations. We can require chores and thus teach work skills. And we can determine our own discipline, rather than let it be established by a social worker.
     Best of all, we have been able to minister to the parents as well as to the boys. They are now enthusiastically involved with us in helping their children.
     In all of this, we have seen the abundant, faithful provision of the Lord. Not one payment was ever late or in default although we never knew day to day how God would supply next. As of this writing, there is not one unpaid bill.
     We have been cast on the Lord in a new way. We pray for each other's needs individually and it is thrilling to watch every need be met.

     One day a bank president called me to ask what he and his friends could do for us.
     "Can you get 50 people to pray for a certain family here?
     "Certainly, Is that all?"
     "If you can get the 50, then ask them to pray for open ears so God can tell them anything more He wants of them."
     We did not need to tell these prayer partners our needs. We could safely continue to tell our needs to God and let Him move people to have a part in His ministry here.
     Unfortunately, when some saints hear the word "pray," they interpret this to mean, "Give $5." If they hear, "really pray," they think "$25" and if they hear something in an "urgent prayer request," they tend to think in terms of $100 or more. This is a confusing of prayer with giving and the confusion is compounded by the appeals of some Christian ministries.
     But giving can never be a substitute for prayer. James 5:16 says "Tremendous power is made available by a good man's earnest prayer" (Phillips translation). Money is never spoken of as being powerful in the spiritual sense. Although money and those who give it are essential, it is only prayer which is priceless and which has everlasting results.

Today I am thankful for salvaged and redeemed lives.

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