Connecting with Community

Monday, September 16, 2013

Isaiah Challenge

Today was day two of sitting alongside amazing Lifechangers, people who are relentlessly battling this war on Poverty? Today is also day one of The Isaiah Challenge, in my life. Ok some of you may be asking whose Isaiah and what is he challenging? Well I’ll tell you, Isaiah was a prophet who saw the needs of his day and time. This challenge was taken out of the book of Isaiah and developed by my friend Angela Asbill. The scripture reads as so Isaiah 58: 6 "Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, For the next 60 days I will intentionally sacrifice in a way that will allow me to show love to others regardless of race, religion or gender. This challenge will challenge me to sacrifice something daily whether it is food, clothes, money, time etc. I will sacrifice with the purpose of truly living Mark 12:30-31 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Like Isaiah I want to take note of the need around me. Not just to acknowledge that there is need but I want to do something about it. Won’t you join me? Well day one is almost gone and I still have not sacrificed a thing. It’s Thursday so I decide to join my honey at a football game. Isn’t that a sacrifice? I am sitting at a football game and it doesn’t take long before hunger takes over. I decide to leave at half time and head to my local burger joint. To be honest at this point in my day, I have forgotten of The Isaiah Challenge. It isn’t long before I spot a burger joint and I pull in to look at the menu. I order and then proceed to go around to the window. I stop and wait on the smiling cashier. I hand my money to her and she grabs my hand as she reaches for my money. I am shocked at the feel of her freezing hand. Without thinking I reach to my backseat and grab my jacket. I hand it to her and tell her to keep warm. She says “oh no, I cannot accept it.” I reply with “oh yes you can”. I literally shove it in the window and I don’t take no for an answer. I move forward to the next window and grab my food. So did I sacrifice or did I give? Within these 60 days I want to learn to sacrifice not just to give. Not that there is anything wrong with giving. I just really want to grow to love people more and I know that for me that will have to be learned through sacrifice. On my drive home I begin to go over my actions and then I ask “show me how to sacrifice”. On the radio as I am driving this is what I hear. “It’s the hardest thing to give away and the last thing on your mind today. It always goes to those who don’t deserve. It’s the opposite of how you feel…Show me how to love the unlovable. Show me how to reach the unreachable. Help me now to do the impossible.” Matthew West With these words I am gently shoved. I decide to go home to count the jackets I have. I went to one of the three closets I use and I counted my jackets just in that closet. In one closet I counted 53 jackets. Yes 53! So what did it cost me to give my jacket? I have discovered that it is easy to give out of my surplus and yet I don’t do it often enough. Would I have given it if it was my only jacket? I love my job because I see it daily. I see families that have nothing, easily give almost everything they have so that others won’t go without. That is sacrifice. I pray to learn from them on this topic of sacrifice. Apparently I am not a quick learner so I’ll let you know how I do at the end of my challenge. Matthew 25:36 I needed clothes and you clothed me,

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