The Isaiah Challenge!
Last week I was at a meeting for the United Methodist Women. I heard about an outreach called Navigators designed to meet the needs of those in poverty and help provide people in harsh circumstances with a chance to change things. The outreach meets the immediate need AND has a program designed to educate people living in poverty with seminars and one on one mentoring in order to help them "climb out" of harsh circumstances.
Example 1: A mother of four needs help with a home deposit. She lives in an old trailer with no heat and broken windows. Her husband has abandoned her and she works full time at a fast food restaurant to try and keep her children fed. She needs help with a deposit to get the family into an apartment.
Example 2: Family of four has been struggling with rent for the past 8 months, due to lack of income. Everything is back on track now except for rent. They are in need of $450 to get them caught up.
In our early marriage my husband worked three jobs so that I could stay home and raise our children. I remember MANY times of having to "pray in" the bills. It was a stressful and scary time in life. Perhaps that is why this outreach touches my heart so much! What does all of this have to do with a New Years Challenge? Well, here are my thoughts. . . I am going to ask you to participate in the Isaiah Challenge!
Isaiah 58: 5 Is it a fast that I have chosen, A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, And to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast, And an acceptable day to the Lord? 6 "Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
When the New Year rolls around, most people make the proverbial New Year’s resolution. Some of the most popular are health related. Here are four of last year’s top ten.
#1- Lose Weight
#2- Stop Smoking
#3- Quit Drinking
#4- Help Others
What if I offered you a way to obtain success in all four categories? Most resolutions are dropped between the first and fourth week of January. How can you beat the odds and achieve life change, and at anytime during the year (not just New Years!). I am teaming up with the Cal Farley’s Neighborhood Navigator Program to present the ISAIAH CHALLENGE. For ninety days I challenge you to “fast” all the extra junk. You will take the money you save and place it into your ISAIAH FUND. For example: if your goal is weight loss then instead of purchasing a soda at Sonic, take the $0.99 and put it into your ISAIAH FUND. Instead of taking a family of four out to dinner ($20 for fast food, $40 for restaurants), I want you to eat at home and put the money you saved in your ISAIAH FUND. Leave the ice-cream and potato chip's off of your grocery list and put it in your. . .well you get the idea! The same thing applies if you want to quit smoking or drinking. Each time you don’t purchase that pack of cigarettes or bottle of alcohol, you place the money in your ISAIAH FUND.
When God spoke through the prophet Isaiah, He made it clear that He didn't just want a time of not eating. He wanted them to reach out to the hungry, poor, down cast, etc. So if you are blessed with the abundance to spend money on soda, fast food, candy and such; instead of going on another diet to ride your middle of its "abundance", why not offer it as a fast unto the Lord? When you have that nicotine craving, deny yourself and use your abundance to help those in need. If you are willing to take this challenge you can log onto my web-site at angelaasbill.com for more information on how to sign up. Please count the cost before you make the commitment! God takes our words very seriously; be sure you are willing to see this through before you sign on! It's not just another resolution, it's unto the Lord! At the end of the 90 days you will send in your ISAIAH FUND as an offering to the Lord. When you send in that offering, I want you to truly thank and praise God for all of His abundance! The 90 days is not meant to end your journey, it’s meant to begin it! Can you change your community by changing yourself? Keep your eye out for more information. The Challenge will be kicking off in the Panhandle area soon. Watch local media sources for how your business, church, school, outreach can participate!
P.S If this has struck a chord with you. . .please spread the challenge on to your friends, family, churches, etc!