[anzac] #4 - The FIGHT AGAINST MAMMON

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From: "REVIVAL List" <revival_list@...>
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2006 14:03:33 -0500
PART 4 - "The FIGHT AGAINST MAMMON"
-by Marc White.

Kristie Hogan was trying valiantly to explain again to Seth, her 12 year old
unsaved son, just why her husband, Jordan, had a For Sale sign in the
front window of his almost new Toyota Sequoia SUV. They were
returning from Saturday soccer practice and had just passed her husband
Jordan's newly waxed vehicle which was parked conspicuously just
outside the entry guardhouse of their gated community. As her kids
spoke to the neighbor kids about Jordan's decisions, she knew her rich
neighbors, many of them professing Christians from numerous
denominations, were wondering just what in the world was going on
inside the Hogan family house.

She could tell Seth was not only embarrassed but also curious about his
Dad's recent actions concerning his faith. Seth was a strong willed
adolescent who was beginning to dabble in the offerings of the world.
Unbeknownst to both Kristie and Jordan, Seth had been experimenting
physically with a similar age girl in the youth group, slipping away into 
one
of the back rooms of the church building during the meetings. Why not,
he thought, since his whole family watches such movies and TV shows
that openly promote sexual activity. Also, there were forays into internet
porn, and demonic gaming all fueled by the basic unrestricted use of the
cable TV in his room, and with his peers in the youth group. In all this, he
was thrilled by the adventure of secret sin, even as he was becoming
more bold by the day by his rising testosterone.

But he still wasn't satisfied deep down.

Meanwhile, Kristie's frustration with the whole situation at home came
through loud and clear in her voice. She said that Dad was probably
going through a phase and would get over it in a while. Seth asked
when they were going to visit his sister Ashley's new black friend,
Quisha, in the apartment project on the wrong side of the tracks. Kristie
replied that Dad had already been there with Ashley but she had been
"too busy" to go with. Basically, she avoided answering her son. Maybe
we can just pay their rent, avoid the eviction, and get this whole thing
over and back to normal, she secretly hoped.

But even in young Seth's embarrassment about his Dad's bizarre behavior
recently, he was curious why Jordan would talk zealously about selling his
prized possessions to help, of all things, POOR BLACK PEOPLE. He was
drawn to the new fire in his Dad's heart that gushed out of Jordan when
he vividly described the "normal Christian life" and acting "just like 
Jesus."
The words his Dad was using were stirring to Seth, a young man looking
for something to die for: words like war, conquering, battles, victories,
overcoming, subduing the earth, and suffering for those in real need.

The traditional Christianity he saw at church, Sunday School, youth group,
and his parent's home group left him bewildered and angry. He actually
hated many so-called Christians for their spiritual laziness. And his 
parents
to date had been boring. He was hungry for more. Much more. He had
heard a few times messages from radical believers exhorting the youth to
dive in head first into the war Jesus had declared on Satan's world. But
when he looked for evidence in his world, he saw none of what the
messages described.

But these messages he had heard now lined up with what his Dad was
saying. Even sister Ashley's new conversion had made a huge difference in
the home, and with Seth himself. Yet Pastor Wood had preached that
"the poor we have with us always" and "Jesus was just really saying things
for that time." It's not commanded, he proclaimed, to give your
possessions away. That was just for the rich, young ruler. Or was it???
Seth was deeply troubled by all the religious spirit he saw around him.

Kristie parked her van in the drive way, as both she and Seth exited and
began to walk toward the house. Seth took a glance at the 2 jet skis in the
garage. He though he'd miss them if his Dad ever followed through on his
idea to sell them to raise money for orphans in Pakistan, or something like 
that.

Just at that moment behind them, they heard a vehicle drive up. It was
Jordan. Kristie's mouth dropped open as he turned the very used Ford
Expedition he said he'd buy into the driveway just outside their 3 car
garage. It needed a paint job and it was everything his new SUV wasn't.
Jordan jumped out, smiling, and proceeded to tell both her and Seth
that it was going in on Monday for a cheap MAACO paint job. Got a really
good deal for only $600, he beamed.

Kristie just turned and walked away toward the house. Seth stayed
behind with his Dad.

Just then, her cell phone rang. It was Pastor Wood. He asked if she and
Jordan would come in for a conference early next week. He was
"concerned" about what he was hearing from his flock about Jordan and
Ashley's plans. She said she'd talk with Jordan and get back to him. Oh,
brother, now the church knows.

What next, she mused. Kristie was emotionally tired. She wondered why
Jordan was so vibrant and energetic. Why is Seth drawn to all this stuff,
she questioned under her breath. What was she missing? Is this what
Jesus really had in mind when he said to NOT store up treasures on earth?
She began to doubt if Jesus loved her at all with all that was going on to
shake up her life here in domesticated suburbia.

The Holy Spirit asked her to meet Him in the family room to pray and
praise the Father for this new fruit of His. She thought better of it, went
inside and poured a glass of iced tea, put on a praise CD, and sat down
under the pool lanai watching the beautiful fountain in the corner of the
screened deck.

She decided maybe she'd just close her eyes and sleep for a while. But,
images of Quisha the poor black girl and the Pakistan orphans flooded her
mind as she tried to sleep.

Meanwhile back in the driveway, Jordan went on to say to Seth he
had made a deal with his boss's partner, Kevin, to sell the jet skis. The
$5,000 would be given to pay off both the back rent for Quisha and her
grandmother Stephanie, as well as Ms. Lisa and her 4 kids who lived near
Quisha. Anther homeless tragedy was averted! Jordan had also prepaid
another 2 months rent for both families. Seth was really intrigued with all
this, and his Dad's new passion. It was contagious.

Kristie was unaware at this point of other sacrificial service Jordan was
doing for people. He was afraid to tell her for she had driven him
underground with her "communication." She had sent the signal to her
husband that it was really her way or the highway.

But Jordan felt the Spirit's call. He must obey God rather than man. He
had placed an ad in the Vintage Car News to sell his prized '66 Mustang
convertible. No sale yet, but a lot on interest. His Ping Exec golf clubs 
sold quickly.

He was really worried about the contention he'd face when Kristie found
out he had canceled the club membership beginning in a mere 45 days.
But that $3,000 extra he had already sent to a mercy ministry in faith to
buy back a coupe of Pakistan boys that has been stolen from their
parents by radical Islam terrorists. He was also convicted to give anther
large sum for other boys still waiting for ransom. The Holy Spirit told him
the amount should be at least $10,000. He began to weep when he
remembered the video reunion he and the family watched over the web.
If it was Ashley or Seth in that circumstance, what would he and Kristie
do to get them back?

He also had talked and visited 2 different dentists to deal with the huge
work needed for both these black families that now were in their life.
The total bill might be about $7-8,000. What if they were his kids, he
thought? Wouldn't he want other rich Christians to help Ashley and Seth
and his wife? Of course, he would. And 2 of Ms. Lisa's kids had buck teeth
so bad they couldn't close their mouths. When he peered over at Seth
with his perfect alignment delivered by a local orthodontist, how could he
bear the sight of these poor young kids going through life with such a
handicap that his own kids didn't even have to consider. That was another
$10,000 or so.

And furthermore, he was praying about all the extraneous furniture and
multitudes of stuff they had accumulated. What about the big house?
Wouldn't it be better to sell it, and buy 3 smaller houses? One for Quisha
and Stephanie, one for Ms. Lisa and her kids, and one for them? Each
one would be a $200,000 investment. But we could do it for cash if we
liquidated the home equity and just a bit of our retirement investments.
But oh, he'd have to pray, along with Ashley, before he began to discuss
this with Kristie.

His heart was full of love for all as he remembered the Master's words
"It's better to give than receive." He recalled the Savior's command that
if you loved Him, you'd obey His commands. It was a conditional love,
certainly. Grace from His Lord was flowing at unprecedented rates these
days to be even more obedient. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
Be a doer of the Word.

God love a hilarious giver. He had an exhilaration in his soul he hadn't
felt in years, if ever.

Unable to sleep, Kristie had craned her neck around the side of the pool
screen to watch the drama in her driveway. She was deeply worried what
the new week would bring. Jordan was off to the side excitedly talking
with Seth and the curious unsaved next door neighbor, Adam, that
happened to wander up to take a look at his "new" SUV.

Not a minute later, she heard another vehicle pull up in the driveway. As
she gingerly peered around the side of the pool, she saw it was little
Quisha and Ashley bounding out of the car and running to Jordan to give
him a hug and kiss. Slowly out of the driver's side came Stephanie,
Quisha's grandmother who was raising her. She needed the assistance of
an old wooden cane, for she was crippled with arthritis. But oh what a
smile was on her face!

The vehicle in the driveway, though, was not the old beater Jordan
had described. It was a late model mini-van, maybe a 2004 model.
Stephanie, who was at least 65 years old, shuffled up to Jordan and
gave him a big hug. Laughing all around, Kristie heard Jordan tell his
unsaved neighbor, Adam, that these were his new brethren in Christ.
Adam was repelled by these poor black faces in is neighborhood, and it
showed as he treated them like they had last stage AIDS.

From the pool, Kristie could hear Stephanie praise God very loudly, as
black brethren uninhibitedly do, for the new van that she said cost
Jordan $20,000. Both Adam and Kristie where speechless. Young Ashley
praised her Dad for his sacrifice as Jordan thanked Ashley for her $50
contribution from her doll collection sale.

Kristie looked at Jordan, her stomach queasy. She felt like she might
throw up. Jordan's boss, Russ, had run into Kristie at the country club
this past week. They all attended church together. He told her he
thought Jordan was spending a little too much time on the phone on
personal matters and gone from the office on "strange" outings. In their
latest proposal to their largest customer, Jordan had done a god job, but
when the customer's Senior VP had called to ask a question, Jordan was
gone. Russ marked it up to Jordan's personal missions, but his voice
indicated perhaps, just perhaps, Jordan's job might be in jeopardy if he
didn't stop all this foolishness.

She felt like screaming, and why didn't Jordan consult her before he
moved out with their money. She reminded herself that they had agreed
years ago to be united on all major decisions before stepping out to
execute them. In her mind flashed an unwelcome thought: how might
she be contributing to this problem in ways she couldn't see? Should she
make it safe for him to tell her everything on his heart?

How much longer is this charade going to go on, Lord, she pleaded. She
thought of calling her Dad, the wealthy businessman who was head of
the AOG mega church elder board. Maybe she'd just go and visit them for
a while at their oceanfront estate in Florida and get away from all this.

Instantly, the Holy Spirit spoke to her heart in deep, abiding love, "Why
do you call me Lord, Lord, and not do what I say?"

[~SOURCE:  Walk Worthy - http://walkworthy.injesus.com ]

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