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Posts Tagged ‘tithing’

In the fourth installment of our study on areas that block us from experiencing God the way He desires for us to, we are tackling one of the biggest challenges.

Few things overwhelm, distract and control us like the drive to control the perceived needs in our lives. It can bring bondage, fear and stress. When we can’t pay the bills, are looking for a relationship to complete us, or things just seem to be falling apart, it can be overwhelming.

Join us as we explore the promises of God and His instructions on how we can have freedom in the area of provision!

“When we look to God as provider, we are surrendering our independence and trusting someone else to meet our needs, over which we have no control. Letting go of our ‘dependence on independence’ and letting someone else take control goes against natural human instinct. We need to fight the urge to take over and just let God be God, because He can provide for us better than we can.”

― Corallie Buchanan, Watch Out! Godly Women on the Loose

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pastorsappr

Well, it is pastor’s appreciation month again when all pastor’s secretly hope their congregation will remember them in some way to encourage them. My church has always done a pretty good job at remembering this month and it’s always appreciated. Last year, some gift cards and a surprise moment of honor was heart felt and went a long way. If you do not do a little something for you pastor at your church, I recommend you change that. It goes a long way.

At the same time, I felt led to post some things beyond gift cards that would help your pastor all year long. On top of that, they are Biblical and honor God too! This will make a HUGE difference if you really want to be an encourager and faithful.
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One of the biggest struggles people have is how they handle their money. I hear about it all the time and it causes huge challenges in people’s lives.

I believe the biggest contributing factor to this avoidable stress is consumerism. In a Walmart era, we have moved into buying what we want, for as cheap as possible, and to live with a desire to hoard our money. I understand we are in a recession but I’m convinced some of that is our own fault.
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I just got home and on the TV is a short press conference by President Obama on his newly released birth certificate. He is sharing his frustration that this has been such an issue for such a long time distracting the country from real issues.

At first glance, I agree with him. He had released a Certificate of Live Birth and taken other steps to address the issue. Other issues including the budget, economy, two wars, and others seem to be more pressing and more deserving of media attention. This is not to mention the need of food, health care, and clothing for those in need or high gas prices causing hardship for so many.

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To understand today’s miracle, you have to understand the time line of several events.

At the beginning of this month, I left for a two-day sabbatical to seek God on the vision for our church. There is much I could tell you about that trip but for now, I came home impressed on my heart that we were “To be a real community that fulfills the Great Commission by being people of faith, displaying hope, and acting in love.” I know that at first pass that might not sound so profound but if you stop and think of the ramifications that such a goal would be, it’s pretty mind-blowing and calls for great submission.

We have been spending this month at the church going through a series I’m calling “Come Together”, in part to talk about our roles within this vision. There are many areas we covered but the one that affects this miracle was our stewardship with our money and resources.

Two weeks ago, I talked about this while discussing Malachi 3: 6-18. The short version is God is robbed when we don’t bring into the storehouse our tithes and offerings. He invites us to (get this) “test me in this” that if we bring Him our tithes He will “open the floodgates of heaven” and “pour out so much blessing that you will not have room for all of it”. Now, I’m not a big “Follow God = You will get a big house, big car, and lots of cash guy” However, I do believe if I am financially faithful, He will take care of our needs to say the least.

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We talked about money yesterday at church. How fun! Everyone loves when the pastor breaks that one out. To be honest, I have never been too crazy about preaching about money but this time, it was different.

As some of you know, at the church, we are in a season called Re:boot. We are looking at what God would have us to be as a church versus what we are. Then we are finding areas to celebrate and areas to submit and let go of or change. (I talked about this a little here) As part of this, we have been having Re:boot messages where we as individuals are doing the same thing in the major areas of our lives. So far we have talked about relationships and work. In the future, we will talk about taking care of the poor and worship. As part of this series, we talked about money yesterday and for the first time I was excited to talk to our church family about it. I got caught up talking about freedom in an area that is the most challenging. I also got pumped to share with my friends how to not just live in financial faithfulness but how to get out of a crisis situation and move more and more into freedom. (If you want to know more on this, you can listen to the on-line podcasts. As of the time of this post, the money sermon was not up yet but will be soon.)

I thought it interesting that the next day, a staff member at our store, not knowing anything about the talk at church, asked me what my thoughts on tithing were. I started to realize that many people struggle with this topic and their church is probably too nervous to talk about it or very dogmatic about their approach to raise funds for the new building wing. So, I thought I’d babble about it some here. So, here we go….

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