I picked up a book at Hobby Lobby last time I was there, written by the founder and CEO David Green. If you live in the United States you probably know that Hobby Lobby is a crafts and arts store, the most fun store somebody with creative juices can walk in to.
I was introduced to Hobby Lobby in 1994, when my late daughter Eva-Marie and I visited Joan, our friend from Peru. Joan was very excited about some crafts she needed for decorations and she took us to “Jabi-Labi.” I am in no way trying to make fun of Joan’s accent, but I thought it was so cute the way she pronounced Hobby Lobby, and from that time on I just loved “Jabi-Labi.” That visit was in Colorado Springs, and it had such an impact on us (not Hobby Lobby but the visit and the climate) that we moved there, but that’s another story.
You have heard of my Princess Room, I am sure. The walls are decorated with cute things I have found at Hobby Lobby. The purpose of the room is to pamper a “Princess” God would send me, only for a weekend, for someone who just needs a little break. I even had journals with Princess, Daughter of the King written all over it. I wonder who is going to be my next guest. Of course, I have my granddaughters that spend time there every time they visit me. I have furnished and decorated it for Him, for his Princesses.
I started reading the book early this morning and couldn’t put it down. It impressed me, especially the part of Hobby Lobby being “A Company owned by God.” The Green family are what we all should be in our different areas–stewards, caretakers. All that we have is the Lord’s.
Read 1 Chronicles 29 about the offering David and the people prepared for the temple Solomon would build. David had in his heart to build a temple for the Lord, but God said he was not allowed to do it because he had been a warrior and shed too much blood. So, he prepared the materials for the great task his son Solomon would undertake. Here are a few words that show David’s perspective:
“But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding. O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own.” 1 Chronicles 29:14-16 ESV
The book I just read is called “Giving it all away… and getting it all back again, The Way of Living Generously,” by David Green with Bill High. Published by Zondervan. I highly recommend it!
In the book you can read about the lawsuit they won against the United States Government. Because of their Christian faith they could not pay for drugs that might cause abortions. The whole issue was because they could not cover the morning after pill or the week after pill. At the time the book was written, more than 57,000,000 abortions had occurred in the United States. This is heart-breaking! The book tells the miracle of how they won the lawsuit. But that is not what impressed me the most.
What I appreciate most from my reading is about leaving a legacy. Hobby Lobby started as a little business in the garage of the Greens, with the whole family working together doing picture frames. God has blessed them immensely and they are now a company in the billions. How do they manage the resources God has entrusted to them? They give them away to ministries that enhance the Kingdom. David Green is not storing up riches for his grandchildren here on earth but rather he is storing up riches in heaven, by giving to worthy causes, not randomly but by meeting monthly with his children to decide where the distribution should go for that month.
I think a lot about legacy. Why did I move to Fort Gibson? I wanted to be closer to my grandchildren to leave them a legacy of my time and influence. When I had the cancer almost ten years ago, my prayer was to God that he would let me live so that I could declare his wonders to the next generation.
The “next generation” for me includes:
- My grandchildren
- All the children I reach through my on-line ministry of story-telling
Many times there is a conflict because of these both interests, like the other day:
Sarah: Why are you always working?
I: Teachers and children are waiting for the stories.
Sarah: Why cant’s you retire?
David: She is retired.
Sarah: Then why is she working?
Brianna: She likes what she is doing!
I: You didn’t tell me you were coming. If I know when you will come I can rearrange my schedule to spend time with you.
It hurt me that I couldn’t give Sarah my undivided attention at that moment. I was finishing off my story for the week to send to my assistant so she could do her part.
All of us face conflicts in one or another way. Let’s keep our priorities straight and do our best. “We need a sense of urgency about God’s priorities for the resources we’ve been given,” says David Green. God has entrusted him with billions of dollars. That is a great responsibility. If we have been entrusted with 10, 100, 1,000 or 10,000 dollars, we have the same kind of responsibility, to be faithful and use what has been given us as best we know how, to forwards God’s Kingdom.
Here are some verses I’ve read many, many times:
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Luke 6:37,38 ESV
Not until today did I stop to mediate strongly on the last part: “For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Let me repeat it:
“For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Meditate on what it means in your life. It can be in finances, in generosity, in forgiveness, in kindness… Let the Holy Spirit speak to your heart. What does He want to teach you in this area. What does He want to teach me?
Have a blessed week!
“Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over…”
If possible, get the book!