"Everything Is A Rental" by Keith Giles
In light of the recent fires we've experienced in Southern California I've been thinking about the right perspective of our life here on Earth.
I'm reminded that Peter called us "aliens and strangers in the world" and urged us to indulge in the good things of God rather than the sinful desires of this Earth and that Paul teaches that "...Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that." (1 Timothy 6:6-8)
What does it mean to be content in our society? It's a lost art, I'm afraid. All of our marketing and advertising encourages us, at all times, to be discontent with the things we own and to pursue the newest and best item on the market.
Who knew we all needed to have a pocket-sized device that would carry over 6,000 songs? How did our ancestors live without Blackberry phones and DVD players in the backseat of every car?
I think sometimes that I would love to move to Amish country with my family and leave behind our modern conveniences. Or at least the television and the cell phone.
Jesus had the right idea when he reminded us that our lives are not made up of what we own or what we wear or what we eat. God knows our needs before we ask. He wants us to focus on His Kingdom and on having a good relationship with Him (righteousness).
After one of the largest fires was contained here in Irvine, California, a local news crew interviewed a woman who stood in the smoldering ashes of her former home alongside her husband and children. They extended the microphone under her nose and asked her to describe the sense of loss she felt at seeing her house reduced to embers. The woman looked into the camera and said, "I can't really think about what I've lost when I start to think about what I've gained." The reporter wasn't expecting this so she asked, "What have you gained?" and the woman replied, "I've gained a greater faith in God, I've gained a greater sense of community with my neighbors here on this street, I've gained a greater appreciation for my children and a love for my husband. When I count all of that, what I've lost doesn't seem like so much."
I wanted to have that answer blown up in large letters and posted alongside every major freeway in our State. This is what the fires have taught us. This is the wisdom that God wants us to develop.
As Paul says, "…we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it". How often do we forget that obvious truth? How often do we live our lives as if our joy and our happiness depended on seeing the latest film or attending the coolest party or owning the hippest swag?
The Kingdom of this World is passing away. The Kingdoms of Pleasure and Entertainment and Fashion and Vanity are all soon to fade into Eternity. Jesus urges us to look up, to lift our heads and to realize that this blip of life here is soon to give way to an endless life in the presence of God Himself.
Start living for God's Kingdom today. Start investing in the values of His Kingdom where forgiveness and mercy and love and compassion are most important.
Everything you currently own is not really yours. Someone else will drive that car when you're gone. Someone else will wear your clothes when you're dead. Someone else will live in your house when you have left this life.
Everything is a rental.
Hold on loosely.
"NOT A CHRISTIAN" - The article is up on TheOoze.com on Nov.1st. Be sure to check it out and leave a comment.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! - In celebration of my birthday month (November) I will be giving the first 5 people who purchase one of my books online a free "Goodie Bag".
To qualify you must purchase at least one of my books online and email me your order confirmation # at the end of the order, along with your mailing address. I will send out a free goodie bag to say "Thank You" to those first five people.
What's in the bag?
1) A copy of "The Noise" Magazine. Now out of print, this magazine includes my interview with Jim Wallis as well as articles by David Ruis and Alex Field, plus my articles "De La Soul" and "Lupita's Surprise".
2) Sermon Cd of "The Gospel: For Here or To Go?" - Recorded three years before I sat down to write the book, this is one of the best sermon's I've given on the subject of missional life and it makes a great companion to the book.
3) Jeremy Riddle Cd- Great worship. No charge.
4) The Da Vinci Code Exposed (booklet) - A great response to the controversy by Nicky Gumbel, founder of Alpha Ministries.
5) More surprises to be discovered upon opening up your box.
The first five people to email me with their valid order confirmation number will receive the "Goodies" box.
Email me at "elysiansky" (at) "hotmail" (dot) "com"
Oh..you can purchase either book at http://stores.lulu.com/store.php?fAcctID=1073843
Because of unforseen scheduling conflicts, Jackie Pullinger will not be able to join us for the Non-Con in March. Because of this I have decided to cancel the Non-Con as we have come to know it.
Everyone who had planned to attend the event based only on Jackie's appearance will no doubt be very disappointed by this. I regret the change and I apologize for getting your hopes up. Jackie is a wonderful person and one of my personal heroes. Her absence will certainly be felt by all of us.
In a few weeks I will make an announcement regarding a revised agenda and other changes in store for this same weekend in March, which will also be called the "Non-Con" but now, it seems, with even more "Non" than ever before.
It will be smaller. More intense. More intentional. A conversation, not a conference.
Those who still have a desire to gather in a small group with like-minded followers of Jesus, engage in conversation about the poor, missional life and following Him, and who are willing to step outside their comfort zone and serve people in the community for a Saturday will be thrilled to hear what we have in store on March 15th.
This is only the beginning of something more unique and grass-roots. God is in this. It is a very, very good thing.
More details at
DEBATE: IS GOD THE PROBLEM?
If you've got the time you need to watch this debate between noted Atheist Christopher Hitchens ( author of "God Is Not Great") and Dinesh D'Souza ("What's So Great About Christianity?").
You need to know what the greatest (and loudest) voices in our world today are saying about Christianity and Faith in God.
Go. Watch: http://www.tkc.edu/debate/