Sunday, November 06, 2005


I'm starting this off with a big *SIGH*. This past week at church Pastor Dave was teaching from the book of Joshua. More specifically, Joshua chapter 7, where Achan has taken the devoted things or "first fruits" of Israel's successful battle against Jericho. God then removes his blessing from the people of Israel until Achan (after a long, drawn-out ordeal that he puts his whole family through) admits that he took them and gives back the devoted things of God. The things were God's in the first place; God handed them to Israel. This poses the question: Would you rather have 90% of your money that is blessed or 100% that is cursed? It was an excellent question that I've been pondering all week. But this in and of itself wasn't the deal for me....

It was the part in Joshua 7:21 where Achan tries to justify his crimes by using words like "beautiful robe, silver, gold, etc. " In other words, (in my words that is), these things were so exquisite and tempting that anyone would have taken them... like seeing the keys in a shiny red Ferrari parked precariously in the dealer lot, with a sign that says.... this can be yours Vogel for ONLY blah blah blah (debt and chains). It was Achan's flesh, his sinful nature, his "me syndrome" or as Pastor Dave put it, his SINdrome, that led him to take the devoted things. It's the flesh that desires to have new, shiny, exquisite things, regardless of the cost.

In my case, those things are a new leather sofa, loveseat, chair, ottoman, coffee tables, end tables, hallway tables, paintings, etc. You get the picture. Oh, I can smell that buttery leather now! It would feel wonderful on me flesh!

We have no intention of going into debt for these things though. And as a family, we have vowed to never do that again. A combination of the Holy Spirit, Dave Ramsey, and years of paying "stupid tax" have attested to it. Thing truth is though, that we're still paying off that 'stupid tax' and debt (student loans, car, house).

God has been so gracious to us and as the years go by we are more and more abundantly blessed. We could, next pay check, go and buy the new furniture that I've been dreaming of. And of course I can justify it by saying things like "we need places for people to sit and sleep when they come for Thanksgiving." or "I really really need that new dining room suite with buffet hutch to serve the turkey on." Here comes the *SIGH* But, wouldn't it be so much more rewarding to work at paying the debt and stupid tax? Wouldn't God be happier with us if we work on getting out of debt instead of having new fleshy furniture? Well, duh, of course!

The Lord says in Romans 13:8a - Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another.... The NLT says it like this: Pay all your debts, except the debt of love for others. So, I guess what I'm trying to say here is that instead of buying the new furniture (that we already have picked out), we'll put the money toward our debts, after we give our first fruits and offerings, that is.

We have faith that the Lord will bless us abundantly in many ways. A queen sized air mattress will probably be more comfortable than that lumpy sofa mattress anyway. Our family loves us and will be happy with the stuff that we have. And a folding table with loving family faces around it will be even more beautiful. Thank you Lord for all the blessings you've given us and the wisdom to know what to do with them.

1 comment:

David and Shannon said...

Kirsten and John (and the kiddo's too) - we're proud of you - it is tough to avoid the 'but I really need it' rationalization at times.

We're emerging from a week of stomach flu (everybody but D and E got it!) and hoping for a better week this week.

The current debate raging in our study tonight is whether to buy "7 Candles for Kwanza" or "Everybody Poops" - real choices from the Scholastic Book Cult, I mean Club. (Shannon says, "but there's no shipping or tax" and David thinks, "yeah, the same can be said for the stuff I want to order from ...")

Random fact -- Elizabeth was 30 weeks old this week.

Hope y'all are doing well.
Take Care
-D & S