Got stuff?

I often wonder whether my whole life is a complete fraud.

Reading the REAL world news — not the stuff on tv or in newspapers — you have to go looking for it — and spending some time overseas probably has something to do with it…

I have these thoughts that seem so inconsistent my culture and even with my fellow believers that I don’t really know how to process them.

For example, right now, I’m sitting in my house. It’s nothing extravagant or wonderful compared to my friends or family… in America. But think about this: my monthly house payment is enough to sponsor 40 (FOURTY!) kids!

In college, in economics, they teach the concept of ‘opportunity cost’: A red sucker costs 10 cents. A blue sucker costs 5 cents. So a red sucker costs 2 blue suckers.

My home costs the care of 40 children who might die of poverty.

Think about that for a minute…

Now, let me put it in perspective: my house payment actually doesn’t cost me anything, because we carefully, prayerfully invested in it, and with God’s blessing, we’ll be able to sell it at a profit some day on our way overseas (if the Lord wills). But if Stephanie and I aren’t very careful and prayerful, we’ll fill it up with stuff, have a couple of kids, get deeper into debt, and a day will come when we don’t sell it and we don’t go anywhere and all this money will have been WASTED.

And we face similar choices day by day. I drive past a sign every day, twice a day, in front of the Durham Rescue Mission. It says, “$1.79 buys a meal and hope.” The ‘American’ thing to do is to say “Well, I pay my taxes and the government needs to do a better job of providing for our poor.” The ‘Christian’ thing to do is to say, “Well, we give to the Rescue Mission when we get some extra money.” But can I really, truly claim that when I stop into Starbucks 10 minutes later and spend 2 bucks on coffee that I can get for free at work?

In the past several weeks, I have been asking readers of this blog to consider helping my sister and her husband and their six kids (read about it here and here). My stat counter says that SEVERAL HUNDRED people have viewed those posts, yet only TWO have responded….   Why?

I could go on and on, but all this started — at least today — with a post over at ‘Vitamin Z’.

There’s some great discussion going on, so engage this topic with us!