(Re)Digging Wells

My passion in life is to pursue what is available of the Kingdom of God in this Age, even to pursue some things that shouldn’t be available in this Age. I want to be a ladder, a conduit for perpetual intercourse between Heaven to earth. I want to live in the land promised to us in the Scriptures.

I want to live out the commands of Jesus in their fullness. I want to feed the hungry, heal the sick, clothe the naked, raise the dead and set people free from demonic oppression. I want to see the exclusive claims of the Gospel confirmed by none other than God Himself. I want to participate in a move of God that will rock the very foundations of this world. I want to shake everything that can be shaken so that the Unshakable Kingdom remains. This is why I contend for healing and write about revival.

I’ve been asked several times recently, ‘how do you continue to have faith to pray for people to be healed when so many people haven’t gotten better, even died?’

My usual response is “I can’t NOT pray. It is who I am.” While that is the truth, it is only a partial truth. I do get discouraged. I question and I doubt. I get mad that my prayers seem to be little more than good intentions. But one story continues to give me hope. It is what I turn to and trust in when all seems lost and I just want to quit. It is the story of Isaac in Genesis 26.

Abraham has died and Isaac has assumed leadership of the family. A famine breaks out, but The Lord commands Isaac to stay in the land. Isaac’s faithfulness is rewarded and he becomes enormously wealthy, so wealthy that his neighbors become jealous. In an attempt to get Isaac to go away, the Philistines fill in the wells that Abraham had dug with dirt. The Philistines used this method to reclaim some land and force Isaac to move his herds to where there was water.

Isaac moves a short distance away and reopens the wells his father had dug. Then he goes on to dig new wells. He becomes so prosperous, so favored, that his enemies actually come to make peace with him.

I love that story. I love that Isaac chooses to stay in a famished land when everyone else wants to leave. I love that when the enemy dries up the wells that water his flock, Isaac (He Laughs) stays put and patiently digs out the wells again. Then, when the wells are once again nourishing the flocks, Isaac is able to dig more wells, become more established, so much so that his enemies can’t deny the hand of The Lord on his life.

Many times I feel as though I am re-digging the wells of my fathers, particularly with healing. I think to myself, “I know there is water here, but all I see is dirt!” So I keep shoveling, down and down through the dust and the dirt and the failure. I want much more than a healing anointing – I want a healing well. I want something that is going to nourish the Flock for generations.

Early on in my pastoral career The Lord told me I was called to exchange my reputation for credibility. I was called to be a forerunner of certain truths – healing, revival and the return of Jesus. Until those things happen, I’m going to sound like a nut to a lot of people. That is OK, because when those things happen I will be in the position to pastor those who previously saw me as an enemy.

So, this is how I encourage myself in The Lord, particularly in regards to healing. I revisit my prophetic history, I find my identity in the stories of Scripture, I focus on what God has done and is doing rather than what He isn’t and I continue to move dirt.

It is a humbling thing to dig a well of revival in a dry and barren land. It requires walking in faith and hope and not by sight or experience. And yet, when the healing water, the Living Water, begins to flow it will be so much fun to see the thirsty come and drink. That hope is what keeps me praying.

Ben, the Laugher

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What I Meant to Say: Pentecost and Jubilee

[Author’s Note: This is a vastly different sermon than I gave on Sunday – it is the sermon I wish I would have given, but I didn’t get the revelation of it until I was talking. Thanks for your patience with me as I develop as a messenger. Ben.]

At the start of Jesus’s ministry, he quotes the famous passage out of Isaiah 61: 1-2a

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor

What is fascinating is that Jesus intentionally cuts the quotation off mid sentance. Rather than reading on to the Day of Judgement, Jesus stops, indicating that his ministry was an extension of the Year of Jubilee.

Jubilee in the Old Testament is a glorious idea, though there is no indication it was ever actually practiced. The idea of Jubilee is this — after 7 sets of 7 years, the Jewish people would call a Jubilee. This meant that all debts were forgiven, all work was put on hold, all slaves were set free and all territory was given back to its rightful owners.

In Jewish law certain families had territorial claims for eternity. Their land belonged to them and their family as an inheritance forever. However, in hard times, it was possible for the family to sell the land for a certain price and it was under the custody of the buyer until the next Jubilee, whereupon the land would be restored to its rightful owner so that the next generation would have the means of providing for themselves and elevating their circumstances.

Pentecost was a Jewish holiday that occurred 50 days after Passover. It celebrates the Israelites being freed from slavery and entering into covenant with God. After the Israelites were established in the Promised Land, Pentecost also became a festival that indicated the harvest was in full swing. It was a day of celebration, rest and remembrance for the Israelites.

In the New Testament, God does a tremendous re-writing of spiritual history. Whereas 3,000 people died on Pentecost in the old covenant, 3,000 people are saved in the new. The blood of the Passover Lamb set the church free from God’s judgment (God’s wrath would now pass over them rendering them unpunishable) and God established a new covenant — a covenant of life, grace and reconciliation and sealed the deal by pouring out His Holy Spirit. This outpouring signaled the start of a new epoch in Church history — “the Great and Glorious Day of The Lord.”

We are living in the Last Days, but not the last of the Last Days. We are living in the Great and Glorious Day preparing for the Great and Terrible Day which will be followed by Judgement Day (this is a totally different teaching that I won’t develop here). In the Day in which we are living, everyone who calls upon the Name of The Lord (Jesus) will be saved — the sign of this great truth is that the Holy Spirit should be in and upon every beleiver.

I the books of Acts, we see the disciples continuing the ministry of Jesus, even building upon it and doing things Jesus never did. They continued it because the disciples were able to heal all who came to them — and this wasn’t limited to the Apostles. Stephen the Deacon as well as Phillip the Evangelist also operated in signs and wonders. The disciples built upon this spiritual inheritance and found their sphere of influence increased, the manifest grace of God literally dripped off of them. The story’s I am referencing are Peter’s shadow healing people as he walked down the street (Acts 5) and Paul’s dirty handkerchiefs being used to heal the sick (Acts 19).

Church history indicates that signs and wonders were commonplace in Christianity up until the time of the Roman emperor Constantine (306 AD) and then curtailed abruptly at the time of emperor Theodosius (379 AD). Why the correlation with those two events? Constantine made Christianity a legal religion within the Roman Empire (previously it was illegal and there was great persecution of Christians) and Theodosius took things one step further and made Christianity the ONLY legal religion in the Roman Empire, resulting in a dramatic change of events where Christians were now the ones persecuting people.

All that to say this: I believe the Church sold its inheritance as God’s designated authority on the earth for temporal authority in the form of human government. We exchanged the Kingdom of God for the kingdom of man because we thought we could establish the Kingdom of God on the Earth in its entirety before Jesus’s return. Christianity was never meant to be a ruling religion naturally speaking, we aren’t equipped for it.

Take two of Jesus’s commands to the Church as found in the Sermon on the Mount/Plain — turn the other cheek (Matt. 5) and give to everyone who asks of you (Luke 6). It is hard to have a national guard or sustainable economy as a government with those two commands. I am all for discipling nations and transforming culture, but we have to use the strategy Jesus gave us (salt, light, leaven).

I believe the Western Church sold its inheritance (spiritual territory) to the world and has continued to do so ever since. There are seasons where our inheritance has been restored, but we’ve never kept hold of it long enough to build it back to where was.

I believe that is changing.

I believe that people are starting to get desperate within the Church. They are reading the Scriptures and thinking ‘This was never supposed to stop!’ They are passionate about fulfilling Jesus’s prayer “May Your Kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” They are willing to fight for, retain and build upon the spiritual inheritance of the Church.

And here is the correlation I see between Pentecost and Jubilee. Just as Jesus was a living extension of the year of Jubilee, so is the Church. We enter into the ministry of Jesus to set captives free, reconcile them with their Heavenly Father and restore them to their proper place as sons and daughters. But that lifestyle and ministry of Jubilee can only be accomplished if “the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me.”

Pentecost made Jubilee accessible to the world in the first century and Pentecost will make Jubilee accessible to the world in the twenty-first century. As we pull out from worldly ways of doing things, embrace our subversive and apocalyptic assignment as yeast and take back our identity as the children of God we will find our inheritance being restored. God wants to confirm the Gospel with signs and wonders again. He wants us to dwell in the land He has assigned to us. He says it is righteous to build on what we’ve received and leave a greater inheritance for our children. And we start by being faithful in small things. We prove we can manage dimes and we’ll get dollars.

It is an exciting time to be the Church! I think God is preparing us to ride a great wave of revival — a time where hundreds of thousands are saved, we see more healings in a day than we did in a decade and Western Culture is radically impacted by the Gospel of the Coming King. I’m thankful that God chose us to live in such a time as this.

Thanks for reading friends.

When People Aren’t Healed

As our community continues to come to terms with Beverly’s death, there are inevitable questions that arise around the topics of sickness, healing and death. This post is my attempt to steer our culture and community into dealing with these questions vulnerably, honestly and scripturally. By no means are my answers the final say on the matter – they simply represent what I believe to be true about God’s character and the topic of healing at this present time. For the purpose of clearly communicating to our community, I will address Beverly by name. If you are reading this and aren’t a part of our congregation, please insert the name of your loved one.

Was it God’s will that Beverly should die?

No, I don’t believe so. There are many issues surrounding death that we don’t understand, but here are what the Scriptures say:

“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be,” Psalm 139:16.

“Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him,” Hebrews 9:27-28.

The Scriptures say that our days are ordained, written out before time began. The Scriptures say that every person is appointed to die once in their life. The Scriptures do not say that a certain sickness or disease is your appointed end.

2 Kings 20 tells the story of King Hezekiah who became ill and was at the point of death. A prophet (!) of The Lord came and told him to get his house in order because he was soon going to die. Hezekiah wept bitterly and prayed, asking God for more time. God heard Hezekiah’s prayer and extended his life another 15 years.

Was this illness Hezekiah’s appointed end? Apparently not, even though a prophet of The Lord prophesied that it was — oops! Same with Lazarus in John 11. Lazarus’s sickness didn’t end in death (permanently), he apparently had more life to live to God’s glory.

Does God know when we are going to die? Yes, absolutely. But He doesn’t cause it and we don’t know if a certain illness is someone’s appointed end — not even super prophetic people! So we contend in prayer for healing, asking God to extend life to our loved ones and heal them from every disease.

We prayed so long and so hard for Beverly – we even fasted! Didn’t God hear us?

Yes, God hears our prayers (1 Kings 8:28; 2 Kings 20:5; Psalm 66:19; Acts 10:31) and I believe they were particularly pleasing to Him. You see, praying in faith for someone’s healing is a declaration of faith in God’s character — that He is Good, gracious, kind and merciful. Praying for healing means we believe God is a healer, redeemer and savior. It means we believe He is more powerful than sin, sickness, disease or even death itself.

Fasting and prayer is not a formula. God isn’t a vending machine where we put in a certain quantity of time praying or fasting and out pops a healing. Formulas and recipes would be magic, reducing God to some impersonal force to be manipulated through our efforts. God is a Person who works through relationship and mystery. I don’t know how healing works, but I believe it is God’s desire to see His people come to Him in their distress because they believe He can help.

Additionally, God isn’t holding out on us. It isn’t as though He is holding healing or Holy Spirit up in Heaven and stingily dispensing Grace to those who grovel most effectively. I believe God wants people to be healed more than we do. I believe He is a lavish Lover who love to give exceedingly extravagant gifts to those He loves (which is everyone).

So, if God wanted to see Beverly healed even more than we did, why wasn’t she healed?

I don’t know.

I don’t know, I don’t think anyone does, but I’m not going to say stupid things or create false doctrines to try and bridge the gap between my expectation and my experience. God has enough “roses in His garden”, enough “angels in the choir”, He didn’t need to take someone we love for that purpose. I know we try to take comfort in those kinds of statements, but they betray a twisted understanding of God’s character, please don’t use them with those grieving the loss of a loved one.

Jesus healed everyone who came to him. So did the apostles in the book of Acts, except for Paul, who was a slacker. (Kidding, just checking if you’re still paying attention.) I believe Jesus lived an intentionally average life in the Spirit, just par for the course; he expected us to surpass him in every way — number of miracles, quality of miracles, number of people able to perform miracles, etc. Obviously, we aren’t there, we lost something along the way — is anyone else outraged by that? I know I am.

Back to the point, we can’t create false doctrines out of our experiences that misrepresent the heart of God. Jesus healed all who came to him. He never taught the Disciples a theology of unanswered prayer; that challenges me! [begin rant] I can’t bring the Word of God down to my experience, I have to press into the lifestyle it says I should have. How much are we willing to fight for? The enemy has taken territory that rightfully belongs to the children of God and it is time to take it back! Healing, miracles, signs and wonders – these are our birthright and we’ve been content to trade it away for the soup of a middle class lifestyle! [/end rant]

The truth is, Beverly is healed. Beverly is in glory, exactly where she wants to be. She is no longer struggling with sickness or pain. There is only a resurrected body and eternal reward in her future. Her faith has become sight and that is an amazing Reality.

Could we have done more?

This is a losing question, there is no fruit at the end of this road. The truth is, we could always do more, but no one was intentionally slacking because they wished Beverly ill. We acted as best with could with the understanding we had.

And the Gospel isn’t about how hard we work anyway. It is about living by faith, acting in accordance with the heart of God and being obedient to what He asks us to do. The Gospel is the Good News of God’s actions on our behalf, not the other way around. Don’t torture yourself rehearing what you could have said or done differently. It won’t produce anything worth while. You did good church, you did good.

Tips for caring for those who have lost someone dear

1) Don’t say stupid things. 🙂 Sometimes it is best to not say anything at all. Nothing you can say is going to make it feel better, but a compassionate presence is always welcome.

2) Listen. Grief brings up all sorts of memories, be there to listen.

3) Take thoughtful initiative. “Call me if you need anything” is a platitude that is never acted upon. They aren’t thinking of what they need and people hate to be a burden, so think for them. Lawns need to be mowed, dishes need to be washed, laundry needs to get folded. Politely, lovingly and firmly insert yourself into their business.

4) Be sensitive to their needs. Losing a loved one is overwhelming. Not only are people struggling with the emotions of loss, they are making tons of decisions and talking with outrageous amounts of people. They might not want to answer another “How ya doin'” question. They might not want company. They might just want some quiet and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

5) Use technology to help you remember. Everyone else goes back to normal after the funeral and the family is left with the difficult task of creating a new normal. It is human nature to forget the things that don’t directly impact your life, but remember anyway. Put a reminder in your phone to give the family a call or to invite them over for game night. Send them a card on some random Tuesday just to let them know you’re thinking of them.

There isn’t a “right” or “perfect” way to care for someone in their loss, so don’t worry about it. Concern yourself with loving them well, praying for them and being thoughtful on their behalf. Trust that they will be able to communicate with you when they need something other than what you are offering.

Love, but don’t smother. Care, but don’t pity.

Thanks for reading this beast of a post. I hope this helps answer some questions and gives you some concrete actions steps to care for those in mourning. If you have any additional questions, comments or viewpoints, please comment below or shoot me an email at vineyardcommunitychurch319@gmail.com

Thanks again for reading!

Joy, Part Two

Joy = Happiness + Perspective

I know it is possible to be happy and not have joy. I don’t think it is possible to be joyful and not happy. If someone wants to argue the point, I’ll let them, but I can’t envision someone who is overflowing with joy and grumpy at the same time.

Perspective is what sets joy apart. Anyone can be happy when things are working in our favor. But joy is what allows us to sparkle in the dark.

Perspective changes everything. Having an eternal perspective stemming from the truths of Scripture allows us to rejoice in the worst of circumstances. Realizing that we are, right now, seated in Heavenly places is a profound perspective shift that radically changes how we pray. Perspective is what allows us to set facts aside and focus on Reality.

Joy is the canary for my soul. When joy drops dead I know I need to resurface and find the Light. Joy isn’t a fragile thing by any means, but it is always the first to leave when we stop walking in step with the Spirit. Joy and the Kingdom of God go hand in hand.

I used to think that depression and melancholy were the hallmarks of the Christian life. As an intercessor, mystic and someone desirous of a deep relationship with God I assumed melancholy was par for the course. I was under the false impression that depression led to spiritual maturity. There can be profound spirituality that arises in the midst of suffering, I don’t want to discount that. I simply want to say that there is an equally deep, possibly more profound spirituality to be found in joy.

Joy requires us to put to death the part of us that wants to be repectable. Joy requires us to embrace child-likeness. Joy encourages us to play again. Dr. Seuss sums it up well when he says, “Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them!” Obsolete children… no longer good for laughing or playing or getting caught in the rain.

Do you ever wonder what Jesus meant when he said, “Unless you become like children you will never enter the Kingdom of God”? I do. And my son Emory is helping me learn what it is to be a child.

Emory is totally dependant. He relies on Mom and Dad to get him where he wants to go, change his dirty dipers, decide when its time to rest, and feed him. Emory can do very little for himself – but he is totally happy. He has absolute trust that his parents will provide him with what he needs. Dani and I think about him all the time, we are attuned to his schedule and needs and will only do what we believe to be the best and most beneficial things for him. Emory doesn’t always like what we believe is best, but he accepts it the best he can and very quickly returns to the place of joy. I’m learning a lot from watching him.

Thanks again for reading friends,

Ben

Joy, Part One

Seriousness is not a fruit of the Spirit. I’ve looked. For the record, neither is respectability. But what I am finding over and over again as I search out the Kingdom is joy.

“It is for the joy set before him (Jesus) that he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and is seated at the right hand of God…” Hebrews 12:2

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and self control…” Galatians 5:22

“For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating or drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit…” Romans 14:17

Rejoice in The Lord always, again I will say – rejoice!” Philippians 4:4

And there are literally hundreds of verses more.

The point of listing out these Scriptures is not to brow beat you into behavior management. The point is to hopefully point out how integral joy is to the lives of those who follow Jesus. Joy in every circumstance. Joy in trouble and tribulation. Joy in restoration and reconciliation. Joy in mourning and joy in rejoicing.

And joy is so much more than happiness. Joy is happiness plus perspective. ( Joy = Happiness + Perspective for you mathematical types. :D)

Some folks try to tell me that happiness is based on circumstances. I don’t believe them. I have joy and joy is eternal – it trumps circumstance every time.

I can honestly say I couldn’t find anything to be sad about Easter morning. It was cold and rainy, I’d just lost a friend not 12 hours before, I knew of three families struggling with the recent loss of loved ones, I had a sore big toe. But there was nothing that was going to stop me from celebrating, shouting, dancing, or laughing because I had something to rejoice in.

I have a Daddy who loves me unconditionally. I have a King who is pure and righteous and Good. I have a personal Counselor who is an expert Comforter. I have friends who have entered into Glory and no longer walk by faith. I have friends and family who are relentlessly hopeful lovers of God. I have the sure knowledge that we will make it through, that the Light will overcome the dark no matter what storm rages on.

Joy. Joy is what makes us steadier than our circumstances. Joy is what empowers us to live differently than the people around us. Joy is what sets us apart.

Joy is what cost David his wife’s respect. Joy is what shook the foundation of the prison where Paul and Silas were singing, setting the prisoners free. Joy is what allowed Peter and John to preach even after being beaten by the Sanhedrin. Joy is the reward that steadied Jesus through the most painful hour of darkness imaginable.

I don’t think we’ve begun to comprehend how valuable joy is in God’s economy. I don’t think we’ve scratched the surface of how powerfully joy can impact a culture. In rejecting demonstrative joy we’ve cut ourselves off from a vital source of strength and contented ourselves with the broken cisterns of respectable religion. We’ve drunk of those defiled long enough in my opinion. It is time for Living Water.

A Sacrifice of Praise

Losing someone you love and admire 12 hours before you preach an Easter sermon isn’t an experience I’d wish on anyone, but it has produced some profound revelations for me.

The main revelation is that in the midst of grief and suffering and pain, God is still worthy to be praised. No circumstance, no matter how devastating, changes the Good News of Jesus’s resurrection and ascension. Death died on Friday – Jesus lives on.

“Precious in the sight of The Lord is the death of his saints… I will offer a sacrifice of praise,” says David in Psalm 116. A sacrifice is a sacrifice because it costs you something. Choosing joyful worship in the midst of grief is a costly sacrifice. Confessing God’s Goodness when everything in life seems contrary to that requires faith. The enemy wants to crush our spirits – he can’t stand the Light of Life and Hope in the human soul; so we weather his storm and shine all the brighter for the darkness.

I’m reminded that we live in the unshakable Kingdom of God. Everything that can be shaken will be shaken in our lives, so that everything that is not of God will fall away. What remains standing when the dust settles is a priceless treasure – a Kingdom, full of faith, hope and love, inhabited by saints who love their Lover more than life itself. The world isn’t worthy of such beauty.

I’m so proud of how we’ve handled Beverly’s sickness and death. I’m glad we fasted, prayed and believed for her healing. I’m glad we arranged meals and help for the family. And I’m amazed that we were able to worship together this morning with arms lifted high. Well done church.

Pain Will Not Define Us

We’re 22 hours into our 24 hour prayer watch for Bev. I’m sitting at church listening to Rend Collective Experiment’s “The Art of Celebration.” One phrase in particular stuck out to me in the first song – “pain will not define us”.

Pain will not define us. No matter what happens to Beverly, pain will not discolor our view of life or of God. Pain is not the final word.

We are a people of joy, a people of prayer. We are a people with Resurrection Fire burning in our hearts. We are the Light standing in defiance to the darkness of despair. We are more than conquerors through the Risen Son of God. We will not bow to the inferior power of death.

“Take heart, I have overcome the world,” Jesus says. “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in me will live, even though they die.”

Though we mourn at death, we don’t mourn as those who have no hope. Death is never the end for the people of God. Death is our final rebirth into the Kingdom.

I am still believing for a miracle for Bev. And I’ll continue to believe and hope and fight and pray until The Lord tells me otherwise.

I’m thankful for you, church. I’m thankful that all through the night the Saints were praying. I’m thankful that we are a people of prayer, a people that contend for those we love, a people that believe God still works miracles. Well done friends.

“The Richest Man in Babylon”

A few months back, my dad gave me a huge crate of books that he had cleaned out of the house in preparation for reitrement. Sitting on top of that crate was the book “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason. He said, “I want you to read this book. I read it when I was your age and it changed my life.” I’d heard about the book from various places and it sounded interesting – now was my chance to check it out.

I didn’t realize that the book was a compilation of stories/parables that G. S. Clason had made up. Initially, the cheesy old english dialogue was distracting, now I find it endearing. Anyhow, the book the amazing. I read through it quickly when I first got it and am now rereading it more slowly, trying to digest its truths. While the book is primarily about personal finance (it was the original ‘Dave Ramsey’ course), there are a lot of life lessons too.

As I was reading last night, there was a passage that struck me. I want to recount it here.

The story is about a man named Dabasir who bought too much on credit and found himself with debts he was unable to pay. His wife left him and he was forced to flee the city of Babylon in shame. He tried to make a living as a bandit, but eventually found himself captured and sold into slavery.

Dabasir ends up telling his story to one of his master’s wives, Sira. Dabasir protests his life as a slave, proclaiming that he was born a free man. Sira’s response is amazing. “How can you call yourself a free man when your weakness has brought you to this? If a man has in himself the soul of a slave, will he not become one no matter what his birth, even as water seeks its level? If a man has within him the soul of a free man, will he not become respected and honored in his own city in spite of his misfortune?”

I don’t know George Clason’s religious beliefs, but that is truth right there.

I find myself wondering ‘Do I have the soul, the interior bent, of a slave or a free man?’ If I evaluate my actions fairly, what do they reveal about my character? Do I find myself enslaved to my circumstances, feeling powerless to change them and raging against the world or do I embrace my lot, realizing I have the power to shape my inner (and therefore outer) world? Will I press on through hardship and misfortune to pursue freedom and virtue? Or will I cave to the sensuality and pressures of the moment?

Those were questions I wasn’t expecting to wrestle with while doing some light reading before bed, but they are questions I need to ask and answer. If you’ve never read “The Richest Man in Babylon,” I highly recommend it – especially if you are someone who learns through stories.

P.S.
“The Richest Man in Babylon” is primarily a book about personal finance and building wealth. For the record, I think those are noble pursuits. I want to be someone who helps to finance the expansion of the Kingdom of God and that requires money. Money is helpful as a tool and a means to an end, but a terrible tyrant if it is made an end in and of itself. Be wise, keep the first things first, and start building that fat purse!