If you missed it the first installment can be found at The discovery that changed my life part 1I appreciate everyone that has read my thoughts and commented on them. I hope everyone understands I went through this very carefully over a great deal of time. This study isn’t one I entered into overnight and I have done my best to be faithful to the scriptures.
“Is it worth it?” It was asked, and I would like to answer yes, God’s truth is always worth it, even if it doesn’t go my way. I am the kid who was pissed when I found out I had been lied to about Santa, I want the truth.
Secondly Chris mentions Abraham, well most people consider this the first example of tithing in the Bible so I looked at it very carefully.
Many people have been asking me to expound on my understanding of the tithe. So I will attempt to do that here. I have a huge paper in the works but I hurried the last of it and I don’t like it so I am going to do smaller version here a little at a time. I am going to include the intro from my original here to get things started:
From the time I became a Christian I knew that I was to give monetarily to the LORD and when I arrived at Bible College I learned exactly how much I was expected to give. When our pastor asked “What is the tithe?” we responded in unison and in military fashion, “Ten percent of the sanctified gross income.” This was not something to be questioned and apparently there were dire consequences for those who refused God his share. For the past nine years I have been a faithful tither, meaning I gave ten percent off the top to the local church, without fail. I can not say for the most part that I was not living what most would call a blessed lifestyle but I did have my ups and downs.
For those of you not in the know; Voldemort is the main antagonist from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series. One of the most notable things about him is that almost no one speaks his name, referring to him only has “He who shall not be named.”
I love Christmas, it is the celebration of the second greatest event in man’s history, second only to Easter. I love the feeling in the air, I love knowing that those things I buy will bring joy to my loved ones, and I love to hear the songs of the season assuming they don’t start before the Friday after Thanksgiving. But as I listen I am hearing less and less Jesus. This morning on the radio I heard a list of the top five Christmas songs of the millennium and none of them were songs about Jesus. Heck our church hasn’t even sung a carol yet, so what can I expect from the rest of the world.
My wife calls me a Scrooge because I don’t get into all of the secular ideas of Christmas, I want to put my foot through the TV every time I hear “The true meaning of Christmas” and it doesn’t point to Jesus. How dare you attempt to undermine the foundation of this holy day? What if we all started to celebrate Ramadan simply for the fast and said the true meaning was simply to be aware of your blessings. The true meaning of Ramadan is to celebrate all that you have, there is no spiritual context; I think there would be issues.
Don’t get me wrong I want to create traditions with my daughter but I want her and the rest of the world to know what Christmas is really all about. I am struggling to learn how to make sure Jesus is the crux of the matter at Christmas because he never was in my house growing up. I have heard a lot of different ideas from wise parents through the years and I think I will even take a few as my own, but I pray that God grants me the wisdom on how to deal with this issue. Because I do not want to be viewed as a Scrooge but I do not want some watered down, crappy feel good Christmas that doesn’t have Christ.
When the democrats loose an election they complain the people weren’t smart enough to understand them. I guess they just got smarter because I don’t hear that from republicans.
How far are we willing to push entertainment in our church services under the guise of bringing people into the church hopefully one day to have a relationship with Jesus, before we feel like we are cheapening the Gospel?
Why do people feel the need to make the Bible say things it doesn’t say? Isn’t this a kin to saying “I don’t trust God to know what he is doing?”
Why do we make running and playing against the rules in school and then complain that our kids are fat?
How come I have never heard a sermon on “Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.” (Proverbs 31:6-7)
How can people say it was only grape juice?
What happened to the days when Cracker Jack’s had good prizes?
How in the world did I ever survive child hood without the nanny state? My parents never made me wear a helmet (and I Have the scars to prove it), they never ‘baby proofed’ the house, and I played things like tag.
Is there really such a biblical concept as sacrificial giving?
OK, so it turns out that God knew what he was doing all along. (who would have guessed?) Alora didn’t have another ear infection, it was just a cold, which she has so graciously passed on to Heather and myself as proof. So she isn’t one of those luck three percent after all.
We found out today that our daughter is one of the 3% of kids who still get ear infection after they have tubes but in their ears. It is a terribly frustrating experience. Please continue to pray with us as we try to figure out what to do. We can at least use ear drops to clean out the infection now instead of filling her with antibiotics but she HATES them so it has been a bit of a struggle.
As I move through life I slowly discover that I don’t know as much as I though I did. Today was one of those moments
I thought I new a lot about God before I was a father. But like many things in life the older I get the more I realize I didnt know crap about crap if you will forgive the expression. This morning my daughter, Alora, had to have tubes in put into her ears, a very common surgery to prevent her from having more than her current seven ear infections in six months.
We woke her early this morning to be at the surgeons office at 6:30, she was amazingly cheerful, her normal disposition. We left our daughter with the nurses while I ran next door to grab us breakfast. The surgery was done by the time I got back but when we went back to see Alora we could hear her first. They had warned us she may be inconsolable but nothing really prepares you for that experience. As I sat there holding my crying daughter, wishing there was a way I would take her pain upon myself, I began to understand more the heart of God our Father. After being a Christian for some time the idea of Jesus sacrifice is in danger of becoming cliché. I have only one time in my life come close to understanding why God would go through the agony he endured, that was the night my daughter was born.
I would have done anything to take the pain my daughter was enduring on myself. I would have taken her pain, or anything else needed if it would have made her stop her inconsolable weeping. It was breaking my heart to see her in pain but I could only imagine this was a small piece of what God felt as he looked upon the earth and saw us all, he was willing to do anything to save us all from our eternal pain.
I thought I new God until I was a father then I realized I didnt know anything.