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Minikin's Journal

Routine Ramblings of an Occasionally Interesting Housewife

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Imagine 2
Mine mine mine mine all His
For the last four weeks at Quest, we've been examining important issues surrounding the core purpose of our church: Transforming unconvinced people into wholehearted followers of Christ. It happened in Acts 2, and it's happening now.

The series is called Imagine²: The Power of Everybody, and so far we've looked at the power of everybody to: Dream a Bigger Dream, Bridge the Gap, Hold Out Hope, and Challenge a Culture.

Our dream is not merely to reach to people of Lexington, or even the tri-city area: we are reaching out to the world via internet ministries and partnerships with churches in Africa and a broadcast ministry in India.

We desire to reach out to all people, and were challenged to find the lines in our hearts that define those who we just wouldn't associate with (even those confused people who don't know that the Cowboys are America's team, to quote Pete), and erase those lines. In discussing this with Tigger, I found a line in my own heart: mean people.

We learned about the church's mission and role, holding out hope in a messed up world.

And last week, we discussed challenging a culture of success, of ladder-climbing, of materialism.

The dream includes an extension to our existing building, and yes, there's a building campaign. The goal is impossible - to raise $8.625 million in three years - and our verse is Matthew 19:26: Jesus looked at them intently and said, "Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God, everything is possible."

At the end of last week's sermon, Pete announced how much money the 101 families of leaders in the church are stepping out and committing to give: $6.923 million, planning to sell houses, turn over retirement funds, college funds, and make deep lifestyle sacrifices to be able to give money instead to the church.

So this week, it's our turn to pledge our numbers. I've been talking this over with Flar, who is now convinced that all our leaders have "drunk the Kool-Aid." But we've found places in our budgets, where I can make sacrifices and stick to a tighter budget, and where he is willing for me to give the savings to the church.

I'm giving up my Diet Dr. Pepper habit. It sounds trivial, but I'm saving $11/week, which adds up to $1716 for the three year campaign. I'm rediscovering ice water.

I'm giving up my acrylic nails and salon hairstyling. Last year, I spent $1576.48, which adds up to $4729 for the three years. I have fingertips again.

Last night, I talked over with Flar which parts of our budget he thought we could move to a cash-basis. We agreed on a cash allowance for my clothing purchases, dining out, fast food, DVDs and going out to the movies. The savings compared to last year will add another $87/month, which adds up to $3132.

We've agreed on how much of my (extremely variable) income should be part of our budget, and the rest is available for giving. Anything I sell in garage sales, or save by using grocery coupons can be given.

So now I'm mulling over my own number. I have a basis. I have a variable source for more. I'm praying about what number to step out in faith, and trust that God will provide.

And, I get to be part of a miracle at Quest.

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you go girl, it's amazing how fast it adds up... If I gave up my Starbux addiction I could feed a small country for a year, I realize this.

good for you guys!

best line ever,
*they drunk the Kool-Aid*

That's my Flar, always the witty comment on the tip of his tongue. :)

One of the hardest parts of this exercise was staring in the face of all the money we spend on trivial things. And the knowledge of how difficult it really is to control spending.

But, all things are possible in God. :)

While I can certainly agree with giving up acrylic nails and salon hairstyling (although not haircuts, because we totally need professional haircuts at least 3-4 times a year, albeit not necessarily at "salon" prices) the fact that some people are giving up COLLEGE funds worries me - what about the kids whose college funds they're giving up?? That doesn't seem right to me - education is important to the future of our nation.

It may be that they will attend state colleges. It may be that they will excel in school and earn scholarships. This is a step of faith, and relying on God to provide a way to go to college doesn't preclude the education.

What about the people who need hope in the world, that might turn away from other churches, feeling they aren't welcomed? We need to make room for them.

It's a matter of eternities.

I am proud of you for giving up the little things! And the DDP, I know that was hard. Did Pete focus any on cleansing oneself in the process? I know it's a bit catholic, but still, stripping down naked with no food or water and going out into the jungle and trying to survive for 40 days has it's benefits...or the rest of one's life. By downsizing, your physical life, you are doing this for your spiritual life, as well.

Also, I heard on something somewhere, when I was half asleep that someone idid a study that people who declutter lose weight or something. I lost weight when I decluttered. It was kinda cool. Maybe it is the ACT of decluttering that causes one to burn calories, though...;)

Love you!

I will be eating less commercially prepared food in this process, and I know that will be healthier for me. I'm drinking a lot more water (and discovering where NOT to drink the water - the ice at work tastes nasty) already.

I'm more active already. I've heard various studies about how caffeine makes you tired. I can believe it!

All of this helps to turn my focus on God, and not me, which is all good.

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