my adventures in ministry along Aurora Avenue North.

$5 In Faith

Hi.  I don’t know if anyone actually reads this blog, but I am writing anyway, I guess.  Here are my thoughts for the New Year…

There are two kinds of pain in life: The pain of never changing, or the pain of changing.

This Sunday morning, Keith put a $5 bill in each of our journals, and ask that we pray over this $5 bill, and ask God what He might have us each do with it.  This was a faith opportunity for each individual involved, as well as our church body as a whole.  I know that $5 isn’t alot of money – we all know that – but this sort of faith challenge creates an opportunity for God to do the miraculous, uncanny, unexpected things that He so often wants to do through us.

I pulled the money out of my journal – half of me cynical about being a church that gives out money to its members, the other half of me wondering where this crinkled $5 bill would lead me.

Keith shared about a specific moment we all come to many times in life – he called it our ‘moment of impossibility’ – the moment in which nothing in our human capability can conquer a situation without God’s help.  Keith shared about how we never stay at idle in this life; we are always moving forward or backward.  In this moment of impossibility, we either move forward in faith, or backward in fear.  I have seen this backward/forward tension in many situations this past year, 2009.

Coming into a New Year, God has put it on my heart to be done living moving backwards.  It has become very clear to me where so many of my fears have been rooted, and I actually spent the time with a friend deliberately pointing those out and getting rid of them.  The process I have been taken through even in the last several weeks is amazing to me.  I don’t even know how God is doing it, but He is working.

He is saying very clearly, “Shelli, please believe that my opinion of you is the only thing that matters – and I believe in You.”  I have found that He has seen me at my best and worst and views me the very same exact way in both situations- that He loves me the way I should love myself, and others around me.  It’s like they say, ‘if we don’t love who we are, we will be incapable of loving others,’ and that’s a problem.

So back to my $5 bill story.  I gave it away that same day.  I was getting out of my car going into my apartment, and there were three thug boys standing by the door – I knew right away that I was supposed to give it to the tall one with the hat.  I approached them and told them that my pastor had done this crazy thing, giving everyone at my church a $5 bill to use wherever we felt God was leading us to give it.  There was a girl standing with them who said, “like the movie, Pay It Forward?”, and I said, “Yes, something like that.”

When I handed over the bill to him, I told him that this was his opportunity to do something better than what I’ve done with this $5 bill – to do something great with it.

I don’t know what happened with him, and I’m hoping maybe I will get to find out in the next few weeks.  Regardless, I am starting 2010 moving forward in faith and that is a beautiful thing!


3 responses

  1. Kristi

    Love it, love you!

    January 5, 2010 at 7:46 am

  2. Hi Shelli! It’s been a loooong time. But I want to let you know I read your blog every once in a while. I find your writing inspirational.

    Hope you’re well.

    January 5, 2010 at 11:49 pm

  3. keithcarpenter

    That’s pretty sweet Shelli. I love it how you allow God to speak to you and then you actually act on what he says. Shows a lot of maturity in your faith. Maybe there will be a day that we get to read or see the rest of the story from this guy who received a five spot on the first Sunday of the year. It’s going to be an amazing 2010!

    January 6, 2010 at 2:35 am

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