TONIGHT our Prayer Team invites you to join them for an hour of Intercessory Prayer.
We will be meeting at 6pm at St Stephen in the Fields to share in prayer and listening to God. Feel free to join us to learn more what Intercessory Prayer is all about and to share in God’s Word for our Community here at FreeChurch.
Learn more about this evening through the event listing: http://freechurch.ca/?ha_events=intercessory-prayer-evening
Ladies, we’re hosting a CLOTHING SWAP this evening!
THE QUICK DETAILS
WHEN: Tonight! 7-9pm
WHERE: St Stephen in the Fields, 103 Bellevue Ave (Enter from Bellevue Ave side of the building)
WHAT: A clothing swap! Bring those lightly worn clothes that you just don’t feel like having in your closet anymore and switch them out for new, fun pieces that someone else has brought along. Drink some tea. Eat a treat. Mix and mingle with some other delightful people!
WHY: It’s a great excuse to gather all the great women in our community! And we get the added bonus of freshening up our wardrobes for summer!
Live Below the Line is one of those things that sounds crazy. Live for 5 days on a food budget of $1.75/day. My Starbucks coffee costs more than that! But after 3 years of living below the line (that’s 5 days each year, not every day for 3 years!), my experience has taught me few things.
This challenge isn’t exactly crazy. It is only because of my limited perspective that it seems that way. When I realize that 1.2 billion people live on this amount for not just food but everything, I realize not only how blessed I am but how little I should complain. It is a privilege to self identify with the poor, a privilege that reminds me that I already have more than I deserve, and it challenges me to be generous.
I used to dread this week because it was so hard. But this year it has become less of a privilege and more of a discipline. I set time aside to cook and prep from scratch. I was reminded that food actually grows somewhere and that we have commoditized it to be fast and easy but it was not always this way. Bread takes 18 hours to rise. Stock needs time to boil for hours. Both of these items could be bought off the shelf, but there was a time when it took effort and intention to produce them for yourself. This year, my challenge was to take the things God has given us and respect them in a new way, maybe an ancient way, and grow.
Living below the line not only allows a time for self-reflection. It forces me to talk about significant things with my neighbours. Whether they are new friends in this community or actual neighbors, talking through my experiences and sharing the fun moments is a blessing. I share my Living Below the Line mishaps like the time I had two days of awful pancakes because I was short ingredients. I share my successes like the time I transformed those same ingredients to make fantastic savory Asian pancakes. These conversations usually lead to questions about what I am doing and why. They lead me to talk about the significant work my charity, Raising the Village, is involved with instead of the regular stuff. And you know what, it’s fantastic talk. People want to know and I want to tell them.
Challenging ourselves to Live Below the Line is one of the ways in which we can lead questionable lives. After three years, it’s become a familiar truth, the kind that guides and protects me, and points me back to Jesus. May I point others to him, too.
Alan Liu is a husband, father, and the Canadian Operations Director of Raising the Village. Alan joined FreeChurch in 2015.