The Good Life

Last post Mike explained a little behind the “DIY” portion of the title we chose for this blog.  Today, I will share why “The Good Life.”  Partly, we stole it from the vision statement of the super hipster church we call home, Dwell:

We believe – God is Good. Life with God is the good life. He has promised to restore relationship so that life with him is once again possible. God sent Jesus as a fulfillment of that promise. We seek to be a community that rests in the truth of this promise completed. When we rest in this truth, God’s good life in us is revealed. We believe that when the Spirit leads us to see, seek and help each other reveal the good life in us, God is honored and shown to be GOOD! 

Mostly, however, we wish to acknowledge 1) the good life directly results from obedience to God {Deuteronomy 6, especially verse 24} and 2) the good life refers to abundance, both abundance of provision and abundance of adventure, meaningful relationships, challenges, victories and all those experiences in between {again Deuteronomy 6 and also chapter 8, verses 1-15; John 10:10}.  Deuteronomy discusses how the Israelites can expect to enjoy an abundance of crops in the promised land if they obey God’s instructions.  John reveals that by dwelling among us, Jesus sought to bring us abundant life, full life.

Now, I understand that these statements could be misconstrued.  Let me be clear.  I am not saying that if a person does not have a shelter, food or clothing, then that person must not be obeying God.  What I am saying is that I have seen in my own life that when I obey God, I experience an abundance of freedom, joy, and peace.  I also am able to stop, look around, and notice all the physical provision that I do have, rather than focus on those items that I think I need but don’t yet have.  Let us not confuse abundance with excess.  Abundance refers to having enough of the physical necessities and more than enough of the spiritual necessities, such as courage, love, peace, freedom, and joy.  Excess refers to consuming so many tangible items that our spirits become clogged, and spiritual currency, such as courage, love, peace, freedom, and joy cannot flow freely.  When I come to God and ask Him, “What about those who do not have their basic needs met, not enough food, no coats for the winter, no homes to protect against the rain?  Where is their provision?”  Over and over, the answer I get is, “You.”  You are your own answer to where their provision lies.

Which brings me back to Thailand.  Wait, we weren’t talking about Thailand?  Except that DIYtheGoodLife is about our journey to the good life we hope to find following God’s call to Thailand.  Here is the latest blog post from the Charis Project (the non-profit that we plan to partner with in Thailand).  This post reminds me of my first love.  As a teenager, I got to travel to Mexico and visit those who live in the dump, searching for items to recycle for money.  We brought simple sack lunches to share.  The people stood ankle deep in mud and pouring rain to receive what we had to give.  Yet they smiled at us and thanked us.  Such a simple, short-term solution to a much larger problem, yet for the moment they were thankful.  I believe that each of us, teenagers though we were, felt the holiness of that moment, as we all spontaneously broke out in song.  Since that moment, I have been longing to return to that first love.  To experience the breath of life that comes from witnessing those who did not have their basic necessities receive some sort of blessing, some sort of abundance.  Yet Charis takes that longing one step further.  Rather than just meet the children’s needs for a day, they have developed a means for providing for them for the year and beyond.  This is work that is worth taking three kids across an ocean.  For them, for my children, I want to follow God’s calling and demonstrate for them how we can be His hands and feet, giving and receiving His abundant life.  I want to teach them to lay aside every weight and all that entangles us in order to run to take hold of the good life that God has for us.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Aaron says:

    Even better than that Shannon, one more step further: we are working to bring these children to the place where they become the ones breaking into song, awed at the holiness of giving good gifts and their participation in grace toward their fellow children of our Father. That is what you are signing on for here and we look forward to your arrival!


  2. Darla Pare says:

    Wow that’s amazing! I’m going on a mission trip with my Sister and 50 others to bring CHRISTmas to the Tijuana garbage dump on Dec.24th! We are bringing a feast for them, and have already brought a playground for the children that live there.

    Liked by 1 person

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