Monthly Archives: May 2008


How much are you giving?

If you give what you do not need, it isn’t giving.

Mother Teresa

Now that is something to ponder on.  How much are you giving?

I always find it interesting what some people donate to churches and ministries. So many times it is furniture and clothes that are worn out and of no value to the owner, and most other people. Then the person donating is wanting a receipt for a high dollar amount. The reality is they should be charged a fee for giving away their junk that needs to be a hauled to the dump.

I specifically remember a Christian giving me a torn coat for our ministry and said it would be a nice coat for one of the homeless people we were helping. The next time someone does this I am going to say would you give this coat to Jesus? If not, don’t give it to me to give to someone else. I am not your local dumpster. I know, it sounds too blunt. Yes, they may get offended. But I believe it is an offense to Jesus (I know Jesus does not get offended) to donate junk and think you are ‘giving to the kingdom’.

if there is no pain in our giving, I am wondering if we really are giving? How about giving of your time to someone when you have no time to give? How about giving of your last dollar, when you could use it yourself? How about taking someone to the store and waiting in line with them, when you rather be home watching TV?

If I am going to err, I pray that I will err in giving too much, instead of not giving enough.


Trials and Suffering

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.

Helen Keller

Helen Keller was deaf and blind, yet she became a prolific writer. It is an amazing story.

Romans 5:3-5 (NASB95)
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

The reason some Christians do not walk in godly character is because when they encounter trials, tribulations, and suffering they get bitter, angry, blame God, reject godly counsel, and do not learn what God was wanting to teach them. So, they just keep going around the mountain.

It is as if some Christians are blind an deaf to the workings of God in their life. So, they lose hope. They do not understand that in the midst of the trials that God loves them. Those who perservere are different. They come to understand God’s love and when they go through another trial they have hope that God will carry them through it.

As inspiring as the Helen Keller story is, the promise of God’s word is even more inspiring. As a Christian we can even go as far as to look forward to the trials God allows to come our way. It just means He is in the character building mode once again in our life.

James 1:2-4 (NASB95)
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.


Gratitude

Gratitude is born in hearts that take time to count up past mercies.

Charles E. Jefferson

 

Over the years I have worked with many people who have had addictions, mentally illness, and other issues. I have seen God deliver them from their bondages and their lives changed. I have also seen some be set free, but then go back into the ‘sin that so easily entangles them’.

It seems that most who go back into bondage do not have a heart of gratitude. Instead of focusing on how God and others have been merciful to them, they get pride and think that they ‘have arrived’, that they know more than those who are helping them to keep the victory and become ungrateful for the sacrifices others have done for them.

 

I am convinced that a heart of ongoing gratitude is one of the keys to walk in victory. If a person keeps uppermost in their mind the mercy of God and has a heart of gratitude, they will not want to walk in willful sin and rebellion to those who are there to help them keep the victory. The more we understand the love of God for us and are thankful for it, the more we will want to honor Him by living a righteous life.


Thomas Jefferson quote-watch out from the bait

Do not bite at the bait of pleasure until you know there is no hook beneath it.

 Thomas Jefferson

Great advice. Here is a reality, if you are going after wordly pleasure there is going to be a hook attached to the bait. And satan is the one holding onto the pole.

1 Peter says to be sober and alert. Here is the reality. When we are chasing after wordly pleasures we are more focused on the bait than being sober and alert. We are tricked by the smokes and mirrors of the devil.

 

The next time you see the glitter and the shimmering of the world, run from the bait. It is time to stop blaming the devil and take responsibility for our actions. Yes, he may be tempting us, but we have a choice if we are hanging around where he is fishing. Remember, no matter how good it looks, sin takes us further than we ever planned on going.