Practicing the King’s Economy

Practicing the King's Economy: Honoring Jesus in How We Work, Earn, Spend, Save, and GivePracticing the King’s Economy: Honoring Jesus in How We Work, Earn, Spend, Save, and Give by Michael Rhodes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of the book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Practicing the King’s Economy is a book that explores the Biblical concepts of economy through “keys”from Scripture. Each key is assigned a chapter to explain it (using Scripture) and then a follow up chapter with real world application for self, church, and business.

The keys are worship, community, work, equity, creation care, and rest.

This book took a couple weeks to wade through. I recommend no more than one key a day because reading and processing will keep your mind on the chapter beyond the time you finish reading. The authors are humble in their suggestions knowing that how these keys are applied may look different for everyone. The book is encouraging and convicting. You won’t look at life in the western world the same way after finishing it, unless you’ve already gone through a self-examination of how God intended for us to live as a society. If you have, the examples and creative applications are still worth the read.

The authorship of the book (there are three authors) is not confusing – each chapter/key is written by only one, though the keys and stories intertwine.

I was surprised by the depth of the book and by how truly thought provoking it was. I highly recommend it to church and ministry leaders. I know it will inform my own ministry a great deal in the future.

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Heaven in Brunswick

How to make welcome new friends:

Greet them as they walk in your back door. (let them use your back door)

Include them in what you are doing, whatever it is.

Be yourself. Really.

Then those new friends will feel at home and included and at ease in falling right in love with you.

I found a little piece of heaven in Brunswick, MD this weekend at the First Baptist Church.

They greeted us as we came in the back door. (it was what their website said to do)

They brought us right into their morning. They made a spot on the couch for us. Literally.

And then they showed us their heart for Jesus.

I fell right in love.

Pastor Phil shared a message I suspect the Holy Spirit had been saving just for me. I’m probably not the only person that feels that way though. The message brought to mind this quote I can’t help sharing.

“We draw people to Christ not by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it.”

First Baptist Church – your light is so lovely I have no doubt people will want to the know the source of it with all their hearts. Keep shining, my brilliant (new) friends.

 

There is beauty in the bacon

In my walk as a follower of Jesus Christ, I am inhabited, overcome by, the Holy Spirit.

I’ve come to understand this to be a larger vision of “God with us” than a God who is always watchful. Instead, He is a God who is always present. This means to me that every conversation that I have, every thought that fleetingly exists in my manic mind, is shared with Him. It means that although I believe it is important to make time for God where we are altogether dedicated to Him, that every moment of my day (and night) already belongs to Him and is already sacred to His purpose.

He doesn’t mind that I spend time in the mundane. He knows those chores are dedicated to His Glory as I serve faithfully in my role as wife and mother. He knows that I see Him in the beauty around me. I hear a bit of music, read a sentence in a book, look at a sunset, watch a television show, and I see the work of His hands through the millions of people on the Earth who show God to me.

And in the hard times, I know that the yoke He asks me to carry feels heavy, but He is carrying the bulk, and is training me to endure, to persevere. He is developing a character in me that is worth ten times the yoke I have borne. He asks me to carry nothing He does not carry Himself. His burden truly is light.

My great pleasure is found when the Holy Spirit in me is most awakened. The bridge in “Just Be Held” by Casting Crowns, reading the introduction to “Mere Christianity”, the returned smile of a tired stranger. These have all awakened that Spirit in me this week.

My great passion is in finding ways to awaken that Spirit in others. For me it might be cooking bacon for my husband’s breakfast, or writing a blog, or teaching my Bible study. Whatever it is, I know God is there with me, in the middle of it all.

 

Why attacking Planned Parenthood is a waste of time – and what we should do instead

I want to suggest something radical and I imagine at first, unpopular. I want to suggest that defunding Planned Parenthood is a waste of time. It won’t stop abortion. I want to suggest that there is no crime heinous enough to prevent a significant portion of the population from supporting the services provided by Planned Parenthood and other similar organizations.

When I first realized this, hope swelled. That means a different approach is necessary. A Christ-like approach. What Christ did was love people. Unborn people. Horrible people. Broken people. Poor people. Christian people and Catholic people and Muslim people and so on.

It became clear that something extreme must happen to make a difference. First, we must show love to the women and families and children who become pregnant and need care. Next, we must fund the centers that provide care. Care, defined by Google as the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something.

Care must include a respect for the sanctity of all life. Care must allow that while a right to choose exists, there are eternal consequences for that choice. Care must provide choices that respect the most fundamental freedom of all—freedom to live.

This is the revolutionary part. I believe that we are capable of funding our crisis pregnancy care clinics beyond the level that our government funds Planned Parenthood. I believe we can raise $360 million to provide care. I believe we can find a way to help people—all people—live the lives they’ve been endowed with by their Creator.

This post is a statement of intent. I plan to actively pursue my funding goal by helping people who feel angry and hopeless do more than share on social media. I plan to raise 360 million dollars for crisis pregnancy care that does not include abortions.

Help me—help me organize and track our progress. Help me connect our community centers and our community resources. Share this post with every single person you know. I am not attacking Planned Parenthood, not shaming women who make and have made hard choices. I am asking for the opportunity to love and care for every human life, and I can’t imagine a better call to action.

With great hope and much prayer,

Jennifer

“If anyone then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” James 4:17 NIV

Wearing the yoga pants which reveal all imperfection (metaphorically speaking)

If you read “two simple things” and thought, “perhaps not so simple” – this post is a first suggestion on extravagant love.

I recently presented a women’s armor of God analogy to my Bible study ladies – in addition to the breastplate of righteousness and the sword of the Spirit and such (which are critical and worthy of due study) – I suggested, tongue in cheek, that we don the yoga pants which reveal our imperfections.


It’s no secret that wearing a form fitting pair of jersey knit pants may not be forgiving of our bottom half. I know they don’t flatter my stretched and sometimes bulging mother-and-proud body; some Christians believe they are immodest. I won’t settle that debate here, I know. But I do know that as humans generally and Christians specifically, we tend to try to cover up our flaws. Not I, you say? Well, run through this checklist and tell me you’ve never:

– stuffed clutter away when a guest unexpectedly comes to your home

– said “fine” when you feel not so

– posted a social media update that was cropped or exaggerated

There’s no shame in these things. There are a million little ways we posture to friends and strangers alike. When you find and become a true friend, that posturing can become a barrier to extravagant love.

Want to show that love to someone? Let them know it’s ok that their house/car/child isn’t tidy. Because sometimes, neither is yours.

Answer a question asked with sincerity. If you don’t feel fine, say so. Doing so invites your friend to respond in kind.

Post the truth. Reveal the honest afflictions of life. Let others see your light shine brightly, while seeing that perfection is neither expected nor attained in your life.

Be honest, be real.

As Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.

And be the friend, the mother, the sister, the teacher, the wife, the girlfriend, the very person you want to know and be loved by.

Two simple things

Paul is a wonderfully encouraging correspondent. In his first letter to the Thessalonians, he pens these words:

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 1 Thessalonians 3:12 NIV

This little verse crept into my brain this week, while the Holy Spirit worked in my heart. Trying to nap with my tiny ones, I couldn’t rest as my mind wrestled with this concept. Paul says we should let our love increase and overflow. And he doesn’t say until when. This then, I told my dear friends, is what it looks like to me.

First:

2015-04-09 20.28.50

And then:2015-04-09 20.30.59What a terrific challenge. Find new ways to show effervescent, extravagant love to your beloveds. Seek extraordinary ways to show Jesus to your community. And then go out and love on strangers like they too belong to you, as they belong to the Father.

My very first freebie!

I am constantly creating. Most of the time what I create is for meeting a specific purpose and this printable is no exception. My ladies group has been requesting an updated prayer calendar and after some time pondering how best to go about making one, I came up with this “perpetual prayer calendar“. I took it a little farther for my girls, but I think this lavender delight will be a great way to plan out your prayer time with God.

There is a block for all 31 days – you simply start over at day 1 every month. Our ladies have it set so that every one is praying for someone different each day – and everyone is being prayed for each day. It’s a huge encouragement and it keeps us close throughout the week.

I’d love if you “like” my facebook page or “follow” my blog – but I hope no matter what that this content encourages you in the faith.

Here’s the link: Perpetual Prayer Calendar download

Thanks for reading!