June 29, 2008

More on Tithing

My sons devotions made me aware of something I haven't thought about before.

We all think of 10% of our increase/income when we hear the word tithe. A set amount we give out of love and duty. But realistically doesn't God deserved at least 10% of our time?! I read of a widow who agreed to tithe a part of her life to just the Lord. Not looking for a mate or dating for 10 yrs. (her family members often lived to 100). Now that is a long time and a huge vow to keep!

But back to my sons' devotion book, there are 168 hours in a week. So a tithe would be 16.8 hours or basically 17 hours. Wow! Now an average would be 2.4 hours to the Lord a day! It sounds like a lot of time to give God. But if we sleep 7 hours that's 49 hours of sleep a week. This got my attention. I was sure I fell short of 17hrs a week and set out to add up the time I really did give to God. And wow, do I have a different perspective on how I spend my time now. I have been trying to teach my boys about tithing and they love to give 10% of their increase (aka kidz pay) Now I have the challenge and joy of teaching them to tithe their time. So I challenge you to add up your time you give to the Lord: church services, personal devotions, discipleship classes, bible reading with family, prayer times, visitation, etc. And see how you measure up. Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

June 23, 2008

Power of Prayer

Have you ever felt yourself being blanketed by peace and comfort, the heavy burdens of your heart being lightened and later learn of others praying for you? If you have never experienced this, I challenge you to share with others your burdens. Let your pride drop like muddy boots and let the prayers of others warm you.
Today was a tough day. And even the revelation of the post below this one didn't keep my head above today's grief wave. It hit hard and fast. I ran to my Heavenly Father and poured out my hurts and frustrations and disappointments in myself. Most often I feel His strength surrounding me and comforting me once I have wept like Hannah. But today that was not to be. I remained weary, weepy, and functioned on auto pilot. Experience has taught me that at times like these I need to call for reinforcements. I have several trusted prayer warriors who I turn to. And I did. As the day went on, I could feel the prayers surrounding me like a huge warm towel after a dunk in the frigid ocean. I felt the heaviness within gently be lifted. Towards evening, the Lord prompted a friend to call before she even got my message. That by itself touched my aching heart let alone the words of understanding and encouragement. A little later another friend called to set up a time for my boys to have Guy Time with her husband. She knew nothing of my difficult day or my conversation with the Lord about spending time just sitting at His feet. Now later this week the boys get a testosterone tune-up and I get a date with God. And I also had a contact from another about beginning a correspondence with a godly woman on this same journey. As I was able to look back on replies to my call for needing prayer, it was neat to look at the time various people responded. And how that corresponded with the hours I felt my heavy burden being lifted and lifted yet again. Just one of these would have been a reminder prayer is powerful. But all of them together just makes me stand amazed. So folks, don't let your pride hinder you from asking for prayer. Then prepare to be amazed. And on the flip side, know that your own prayers make a huge difference.

For Such a Time As This

You ever had one of those moments that you realize that the Lord has been weaving various elements into your life for the very purpose of the thing in front of you? I am a stong believer in Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." And I can see how many things, including my husband's death and joining a church in another town, have shaped me to be exactly who I am today, where I am today, to be the tool in my Sovereign Lord's hand for the task at hand. And as strangely as it sounds, I even whispered a thank you for the death of my beloved so I could reach out in complete understand to another whose heart is bleed so for their loved one. And I can just see my honey smiling and singing, "Viewing here the works of God I sink in contemplation, Hearing now His blessed voice I see the way He planned"

A Shelter in the Time of Storm

June has been such a whirlwind month, and now it soon will be over. But not without a couple testimonies of God's touch on our lives. We had very bad weather much too often this month. And the path of it seemed to always go over our home. The first time we received calls from family and friends who know we are not TV watchers, and alerted us to the approaching severe weather. So we camped out in the basement and read Charlotte's Web. The next time we were away from home and felt we should stop at my in-law's to check the weather before heading home. Praise the Lord because if I had just gone home I would have had tornado producing clouds over our heads. Later that night we debated whether we should head home, but ended up staying with family. Once again, glad we did! Flash flooding had occurred and I wouldn't had seen all that I needed to see. Less than a week later, after a visit with my folks, I felt we were to head into town instead of home. I got a phone call shortly there after from my sister-in-law that another severe cell with rotation was headed toward the roads I would have been on if I was going home. I knew before that God protects. But now I know that I know that I KNOW GOD protects. And I am thankful I listened to His promptings. And I wonder how many "storms" I could have avoided if I had listened better in the past.