I’m glad I didn’t get what I wanted

Jesus said that even in abundance our life does not consist in what we have.  I just updated my Linked In account to reflect my new job.  For my job description I put that I serve the mentally ill of which I am one.  At one time I wanted to be a CEO or president or anything that at that time I thought commanded respect.  I despised my mental illness and the stigma and “shame” that came with it.  Now I thank God for the experience of mental illness though I would not want to go back to having no meds.  I get to meet some of the neatest people through my job.  And what used to hold me back now I use to join with others in moving forward.  Jesus’ kingdom truly is upside-down when compared with how this world thinks.  If God would have granted me a healthy brain and given me my desire to “be important”, I would be lonely, frustrated, and friendless.  Instead He gave me defective brain chemistry, pain and sorrow, and a new life that values other people instead of what I think other people think of me.

What do you value?  Are you happy?  The Bible says that Jesus, took the form of a servant, and for the joy set before Him, endured the cross to pay for our sins.  What did He value?  You and me, and His Father.  He was never elected to public office, never wrote a book, and didn’t travel the world.  He did however, humble himself and obey His Father.  And He is happy.  If you want to follow in His footsteps you can.  Just confess your sins to Him.  Tell Him you’re sorry for them and that you are turning from them with His help.  Tell Him you believe He died for your sins and rose to give you new life.  And then tell someone about the forgiveness and new life God has given you.  Read the Bible and pray.  And love and obey Him.  You will experience His peace, love and joy.

Satan’s work exposed

2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV84

 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

I suffer from lack of confidence sometimes, especially in new situations.  Satan knows this and regularly attacks me there.  Satan’s fiery darts, those destructive thoughts and feelings, are hitting me most recently in my new job.  I am praying that Jesus will take care of my thought life and me personally and my company and their customers.  I am praying that Jesus will expose the lies of satan (that I believe) to the light of God’s truth.  The truth will disarm the lies and make them powerless against me.  How does this work?

When satan tells me a lie it is usually aimed at a shame and insecurity I feel.  He threatens to expose my weakness and I fear telling anyone because I feel ashamed.  And the lie grows hidden in the dark.  But if I have the courage and insight to realize what the lie is and expose it, or I talk to someone who helps me to do this, I can compare satan’s lie to the truth found in the Bible.  Then I realize that Jesus loves me just as I am, that He has already paid for whatever I’m ashamed of, that I am complete in Him, and that satan cannot harm me.

Writing about this is easier than dealing with it and so though I know what’s going on I still have to fight the battle.  Praying and reading the Bible, talking with Christian friends who understand, and even writing a blog post about it, helps expose and destroy satan’s work in my life.

Thanks for reading this and feel free to comment about anything you would like.

My youngest son decided that tithing once is enough!

My youngest son was buying a video game today that cost $20 with the money he earned this week, also $20.  I told him he needed to wait and save his money because $2 of the $20 belonged to God.  He told me he already tithed once and that he really wanted to spend the money on the video game.  I told him that his mom and I tithe every week.  He said that tithing once is enough.  I said “ok”.  And I wondered if I had misrepresented tithing to him… and to you.

God does indeed tell us to test Him in this area of finance.  So, did God fail my son?  We don’t know yet.  But I think it is important to know why God wants us to tithe.  He provides an extra 10% when he gives us money (whether through our work, investments, social security, etc.) so that we can return it to Him through our local church.  God uses our/His money to pay for people and programs that lead people world-wide into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.  Now, God doesn’t need our money.  All the money we have comes from Him and He could finance everything through miracles if He want to do so.  But God wants us to know the joy of giving like He does, to  know the joy of being a part of His work to unconditionally love people, and to show a watching world His reality and true nature through our loving actions.

I neglected to tell my son all this and I wonder if that might have influenced his decision concerning tithing.  After all, my son might not be able to appreciate these blessings if he doesn’t know about them.  My son is asleep right now, but tomorrow I hope to be able to talk to him.  I want to ask him about why he tithed, did God bless him more than he could receive, and what would have to happen for him to decide to tithe again.

And, I apologize to you if I made tithing sound like a guaranteed money making investment.  God has always blessed me for tithing.  If it wasn’t for Him I would not have avoided many traffic accidents, I would not have met my beautiful wife, I would not have been able to adopt my two wonderful sons, and I wouldn’t have a job that I like and I think suits me well.  These blessings can’t be seen as easily as the four tickets to a kids’ movie that his brother received when his brother tithed, but they are no less real.

I will talk to my son in the morning.  I believe God has, or will, bless my son with more than he can receive because of his one week tithe.  And, he and I will watch for it.


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