Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Spice Up Your Marriage - being the hands and feet of Christ!

I was eagerly looking forward to listening to Susie Larson's "Live the Promise" show today. Little did I know I would hear an idea that would spark a new adventurous spirit and idea!

Today's show was Faith Radio Net :: The Great Giveaway! Susie asked her listening audience, "what is the best thing you can do with ten dollars?" I was blown away by the answers she received. So many people being the hands and feet of Christ, being obedient, but gladly, not with burden or "I-have-to"s.

I'll give you an example that brought me to tears and touched my heart. Susie received an email from a man who said that he and his wife made a Christmas pinata and invited children of families they knew over to their house. Not just any children, however. These children all had special needs of one form or another and they provided pizza and fun for these kids as well as time for the busy and weary parents to do as they wish: go out on a long-needed date, take a nap, go Christmas shopping, pray.

Working with adults with disabilities, I see how taxing it is on caretakers who care for those with special needs. The blessings are enormous and definitely need to be acknowledged, but it is such a hard job. I don't consider my job hard...I consider the job of the person who lives with the person to be challenging...the family of the differently-abled person who loves him or her so much and supports him or her in everything they do...

That is a job full of rewards and frustrations all its own.

I listened to person after person call in to "Live the Promise" and tell what they did with their money. Whether it was $5 or $10 or $2,000 (yes, in one case it was that much), they were such a blessing to others. It is so obvious that when you give (and believe that you are not losing but gaining) that you will receive in return. Receive what? Well, sometimes that amount of money the person gave away will "mysteriously" and miraculously return in some form the next day or week. Or maybe the receiving is simply in feeling the Holy Spirit overcome you and wanting to burst from the sheer joy of it all.

"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
~ Luke 6:38

So what does this have to do with spicing up your marriage? Well, Susie revealed what she did with her $10. She and her husband were at a grocery store and felt called to pay for the groceries of the woman in front of them. Susie tapped the woman on the shoulder and asked if she could pay for her. The woman's eyes filled with tears and said something like, "you don't know what that would mean." As it turns out, Susie and her husband had "stumbled upon" a woman who was a single mother barely getting by. She was in desperate need and there Susie and her husband were, offering Jesus' love and grace.

Susie felt so inspired by this act that she and her husband decided they were going to go on a "missionary date" once a month. They'd pray to God to put people in their path who were in need and they would go out and bless someone with God's love.

Well, hearing that put my mind and heart's gears in motion. Husband and I are in need of some spicing up with all the responsibility we shoulder from being sudden-full-time parents to the three kids (whom we love and are so grateful for) - but face it - we sometimes need a break! We do try to go to the nearby town and go on a date once in a while, but you can only go out to a restaurant and movie so many times. We need some adventure.

What better adventure is there than to do God's work in this world? What better thrill is there than to show strangers (whether they know God or not) that God loves them and wishes to bless them with a random act of kindness?

"You have blessed us all so
We bless all"

~ "All Is Grace" by Shaun Groves

So I wish to extend that challenge to you as well. It is Susie Larson's challenge as well as mine as well as Jesus'!

What can you do with $5? Can you pay for the person behind you in the drive-thru?
What can you do with $10? Go to a gift catalog like ELCA or Samaritan's Purse and see how far that money can go!

Will you join me with your spouse and be a missionary dater, too? We can go on "missionary double dates!"

Tell me all about it when you do so!

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, 
you did for me.'"
Matthew 25:40

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