Tuesday, November 29, 2005

God Owns Everything

This may seem like a simple reminder, but I believe it is something that we as Christians need to hear from time to time. God truly does own everything. He created everything, and has full ownership rights to everything.

In Psalm 24:1-2, David writes, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.” Everything belongs to God. Everything we have, we have because God provided.

What is included in everything?

The answer should be obvious. There is nothing that does not fit in this category. All of your money, all of your possessions, all of your skills and all your businesses, ALL belong to God.

As such, we should leave everything in God's hands and work to steward them with the best of our abilities.

Danny Gamache

Monday, November 21, 2005

Is All Economic Progress Good?

The following quotes are from the book "Bible and Mission" by Richard Bauckham.

"Christians must not be seduced by the enticing notion that economic growth as such is self-evidently a prim good for humanity. We must probe the facts behind this glib assumption and ask questions about who and what is benefit or damaged by the actual economic growth that we are considering. About economic growth we should be asking at least three very testing questions (a) Does it benefit the poorest people? (b) Does it destroy the environment? (c) Does it destroy other (traditional) values which are at least as important as economic prosperity?......... Economic globalization as it has recently occurred and is currently occurring is surely blatently guilty of impovershing and vandalizing God's world." - P. 96

I look forward to hearing your comments on this quote. It is unfortunate how economic growth has recently missed the target. The poor keep getting poorer, the environment is being damaged and value systems are going by the wayside. Somehow, we need to focus on economic growth that avoids these "spillover" effects.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Witness to a Miracle

Our God is a healer.

Over the past two and a half weeks I have had the amazing opportunity to witness a miracle. Three weeks ago one of my co-workers, Shantelle, was diagnosed with cancer. She had a tumor on her spine. Three days later she had two new tumors in her brain. Very dangerous. The cancer she has is obviously a very very agressive cancer. In fact by Wednesday night (two and a half weeks ago, only five days after initial diagnosis) the doctors were suggesting she likely would not make it through the night. The doctors had Shantelle and her family sign a Do Not Resusitate order, basically telling her there is no hope.

This is where I had the privilige of coming in. One of the VP's at our school came around late the Wednesday afternoon. He gathered a team to go into the hospital. Our goal was to pray, but primarily to be there for Shantelle's husband Joe. Upon arriving at the hospital you could tell that the mood was very grim. A number of people from their church, and the team from our school gathered around each other to pray. We prayed and we prayed. After about 5 hours of being there with the family - both visiting and praying, everything changed. I belive this was the start of the miracles that God has done in Shantelle's life. In this case God used a doctor. The doctor called in and asked for the the DNR order to be removed. The doctor had been communicating online with other doctors and had came up with an idea.

From there hope started to return. The saints returned to their prayers with renewed energy. Shantelle needed to fight hard to make it through the next couple of nights. It took the doctors another five days before they were ready, but Shantelle held on and eventually they were able to perform surgery on the tumors in her brain. Shantelle could not have held on for so long without God. God gave her continued strength to fight for those five days.

The surgery was another miracle. God allowed for a very successful surgery, and for a recovery from surgery that astounded all of the medical professionals. Shantelle has gotten stronger and stronger each day, and a week and a half after after surgery Shantelle was released from the hospital. Yesterday she even came back to work for a visit. Shantelle still has the cancer on her spine and also a tumor on her shoulder. She is waiting for treatment to start on this, but she will be starting with signficant strength, both physically and spiritually.

So yesterday I was priviliged to be with a group that had lunch with Shantelle. Two weeks and two days from when she was supposed to die. WOW! God is so good. The doctors said she would not make it through the night but through God's power we were able to celebrate. There is still much to pray for. Shantelle still has a fight ahead. We still need to pray. If you want to read more about this miracle from Shantelle's own words, feel free to visit her blog: http://spaces.msn.com/members/prairierascal/

Prasie to God!

Monday, November 14, 2005


One of the things that gives me the most satisfaction in my home business is watching people grow and develop. I love it when someone I have been training starts to step out on their own and sees success. This happened today.

I am teaming up with a great lady who is working hard to build her business. I have helped her enroll a couple of customer, and trained her on how to do her own presentation. She has also started to focus on building a business through a cold market. She is calling people that she doesn't know and who don't know her. I have trained her to do presentations over the phone to people thousands of miles a year. Well today she enrolled someone all on her own. It was someone she never knew, and a presentation by phone (which is much more difficult than in person).

I'm very happy for her, and it makes me feel very good about my activity. Helping someone build a business, allows them to gain skills they can use for years to come, and earn a residual income that will pay them for years to come. I guess this is a reminder of how great it is to work hard in helping people to build their own home business. It is very worth it.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

A Christian Economic System

What does a Christian Economic System look like?

This is something I have been wondering about for some time now. There are few things I am certain of, and much that I am uncertain of. A Christian economic system is not a system of capitalism. Capitalist's foundations are not Biblical. They are based on 'rational self interest'. This statement doesn't sound bad, but rational self-interest is manifested in greed. It is seen as people want more and more and are never satisfied. Capitalism is based on "unlimited economic wants and limited resources." Unlimited wants are not following the Jesus-model where he calls a rich young ruler to "sell your possessions and give to the poor (Matthew 19:21)". A Christian economic system would not have unlimited economic wants. They would be limited, and equal amongst all groups of people.

I'm not even sure if "limited resources" would adequately reflect a Christian understanding. After all Jesus is able to turn water into wine, and feed thousands with only a few fish and a few loaves of bread. God is able to do all things and provide for all of our needs.

I am also certain that A Christian economic system is not socialism. Socialism does sound Biblical. It sounds, in theory, very much like Acts 2:44-45: "All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need." In practice however socialism is very different. Corruption becomes quickly prevalent as the leaders are able to grab hold of significant power. Further, amongst the people laziness takes over. People know their needs will be provided for, and as such they don't put in the effort they need. Innovation and growth are slowed and everyone falls further and further behind together. This kind of idleness is warned against in the Bible. Paul writes, "we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according the the teaching you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we should not be a burden to anyone of you." (2 Thessalonians 3:6-8)

So a Christian economic system is something different. I don't fully know what this looks like yet, but I know it is radical. It involves limiting our wants, a deep caring for others, and sharing what we have with others. It also involves work. God created work. Work honors God. Another purpose for work is giving to the needy: "He who has been stealing, must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need." (Ephesians 4:28)

A Christian economic system also removes the concept of status. God made it a habit of choosing the least over the most to illustrate the need to break down these status barriers: "But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one may boast in the presence of God." (1 Corinthians 1:27-29) In his book, "Bible and Mission", Richard Bauckham talks of this, saying, "The God who chose the first Corinthian converts is the God who chose the least significant of all the peoples (Israel) for his own (Deuteronomy 7:7)...... This is the God who chose the youngest of Jesse's sons, David, the one no one had even thought to summon (1 Samuel 16:6-13). This is the God who habitually overturns status, not in order to make the non-elite a new elite, but in order to abolish status, to establish his kingdom in which none can claim privilege over others and all gladly surrender privilege for the good of others.

So, while I do not have the answers to all of the questions about what makes an Christian economic system, we have a start. It is up to us to start living our lives in ways in which give examples to these factors. We are to live our lives in ways which demonstrate limiting our wants, giving to the poor, sharing with others, and rejecting the arbitrary differences that come from status.

Lets keep thinking about this topic!