Tag: book

Generosity 2 (excerpts from eBook)

20140623-212509-77109262.jpgNo strings attached…

The Lord inspired the psalmist to write: “They share freely and give generously to those in need.” Psalm 112:9 NLT

Freely and generously. The blessings of God are upon the doers of the word, not those who only dream about obeying him. And freely means no strings attached.

Gifts aren’t gifts if strings are attached.

What do I mean by “strings”? There are people who love to “give” to others, and along with the “gift”, are instructions on how to use the gift. “I’m giving you this money so you’ll take a vacation.” The phrase seems innocent enough, doesn’t it? But there’s something attached; “take a vacation.”

But what if the person has another, more pressing need at the time? Like, maybe their oven just gave up the ghost, their car needs new tires, or the baby needs new shoes. Vacation?

But they can’t use their “gift” because it is earmarked for something else.

And what about giving to the poor, or better yet, the homeless person who stands on the corner of a busy intersection with his sign, “Out of work veteran. Please help”, and his three-legged dog? Would it be giving if I gave him twenty dollars and told him to buy food for himself and his three-legged companion? No, it would be something different.

How about the vagrant who walks into the church office, asking for a hand-out? Their story is they haven’t eaten in four days. Would it be giving to take the person to the grocery store and buy him several bags of groceries? Yes.

If you don’t feel right about giving per the person’s request, don’t give. But if you’re going to give, remove your demands and trust God.

Generosity gives up its right to control…

Are you a control freak? Do you have a hard time with generosity?

Thanks for reading and commenting. To order the complete eBook “Generosity – the Life Giving Power of Doing Good to Others”, please click on link:

http://tinyurl.com/pktxz4z

Generosity (excerpt from eBook)

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Windows of Heaven/Doorway of Destruction

When I was a pastor, I always enjoyed saying to the congregation, “Please turn to Malachi, chapter three.” I’d hear little whispers, and once in a while, a groan or two.

What was exceptional fun was to then add, “And no, I’m not preaching about the tithe today.” A few chuckles, more whispers, and a sigh or two.

And I’m not going to emphasize the tithe here. Why? Because to me the tithe is only a number. It’s a good place to begin training yourself to be generous, but it isn’t the heart of the matter. The heart of the matter is the heart.

Here is the passage from Malachi that we’ll reference:

“For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. Yet from the days of your fathers you have gone away from my ordinances and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of hosts. “But you said, ‘In what way shall we return?’ “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed you?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and try me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.

“And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” says the Lord of hosts; and all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land,” says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 3:6-12 NKJV

Many have taught, and I have as well, that the Lord tells us to prove him, test him, by tithing. I don’t believe that any longer. And here’s the reason why.

The Lord told the Hebrew nation that they had departed from him. They replied, “What?!? What are you talking about? We worship you, attend services each Sabbath; what do you mean we’ve departed?”

He said, “By withholding your tithes.”

“Oh.”

Do you know many “tithers”? I’ve known a number of them through the years. In fact, I’m a tither. But did you realize people may tithe and still be far from God? Sad, but true.

The Hebrews could have been tithing, but still be running away from God.

Let’s say, just for teaching purposes, that God had given the Israelites this commandment: “You shall not walk on the grass.” For years, the Hebrew children stayed off the grass. But one day a rebel began walking barefoot in the grass. He enjoyed it so much, he started telling everyone he met about the joy of doing things their own way. He even started blogging, posting pictures of God’s people all over the world walking barefoot in the grass.

God, finally tired of all the rebellion and mockery, appoints the prophet Malachi to proclaim the word about returning to the Lord. Malachi said, “The Lord says you have left me by walking on the grass. Return to me.” “How?” “Stop walking on the grass!”

Tithing wouldn’t have brought them back to God in my example. Sacrifice of any kind never covers ongoing disobedience.

So in Malachi three, the tithe isn’t really God’s focal point. What is?

Obedience.

“You are cursed with a curse! Therefore, quit walking on the grass and see if I’ll not open for you the windows of heaven. Watch me pour out for you more blessing than you can handle.”

“And I’ll rebuke the devourer for your sake.”

It’s not about the tithe, it’s about obedience. And so is giving. So is generosity.

Allowing the Lord to direct every part of our lives (to include ALL of our finances) is where generosity and obedience connect. He leads, we follow. His leading includes every help Heaven has to offer. Disobedience has a way of slamming shut any heavenly windows. Instead, doors of destruction seem to open at the most inopportune times.

There is a God in Heaven who is so in love with you and I, the only way to describe it is by using such words as whip, cross, and empty tomb. Get the picture? He has a wonderful life in store for anyone who’ll simply trust him enough to follow his lead.

May our hearts be willing to do just that. Don’t let the word “tithe” trip you up. Instead, allow your heart to fall in love over and over with Jesus. A generous, prompt to obey spirit will develop.

20140623-213303-77583750.jpgTo order the complete eBook “Generosity – the Life Giving Power of Doing Good to Others”, please click on link:

http://tinyurl.com/pktxz4z

A Good Beginning

Breaking the Spirit of PovertyA Good Beginning (Introduction to new eBook – Breaking the Spirit of Poverty)

Before anything, good or bad, there was God. He was before all things, and in him all things stay together. People debate it, trash it, ignore it, and say it isn’t true; but one thing is certain: they can’t change it.

For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. (Colossians 1:16 – 1:17 NKJV)

 

In the beginning, God…

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 NKJV) 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. (John 1:1 – 1:2 NKJV)

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7 NKJV)

…These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God. (Revelation 3:14 NKJV)

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. (Revelation 22:13 NKJV)

 

Anything good starts with God. I don’t know how else to say it. Whatever the subject, if it’s good it began with God. If it’s going to stay good, then God must be involved throughout the process. And you can just bet that God knows how to end something in a good way.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (James 1:17 NKJV)

 

Every principle and every law God established in the earth is good. Every gift he has ever given is good. However, there is the flip side to good. Or maybe a better way of saying it would be: man has found a bad way to use something God created as good. Of course man has had just a little bit of encouragement along the way.

Evil has lied to the world about this good God. It has used good things in a bad way, trying to bring dishonor to and contempt for the One known as Good. The good God, creator of man and woman, also created such things as words, sex, government, and money. All for good, yet each have been hijacked by evil and used to corrupt mankind rather than serve him.

But just because something has been used in a bad way doesn’t change its original purpose.

This book is about a good God, with a good plan. He created a good earth, with good (and plentiful) resources. And he created it for good, not evil. It’s about reclaiming the good thing, and using it in a good way; as intended by the good God.

And it’s about money. Created as good, used as bad. Created to serve, used to rule. Idolized, it blinds our eyes. Pursued, it runs us into the ground. Wasted, many opportunities go unfulfilled. Pinched, fields of dreams lie as fallow ground. But used wisely, as was intended, it is a tremendous blessing and a dependable servant.

Money, a little or a lot, can make or break the strongest saint. It can break the bonds of the world’s most loving couple. It can turn the head of an honest politician. But it can also provide food and clothing for many starving, naked children.

It’s just money. It has no soul, no heart, no conscience. It doesn’t take sides, won’t give an opinion, and doesn’t care if it buys lottery tickets or loaves of bread.

It’s just money. All it was ever created to do was serve mankind. And that’s what this book is about. Money is money, until it becomes our focus, our passion, our god. Then it becomes a curse, a spirit, and the outcome, the fruit, is poverty.

This book is also about recognizing the spirit of poverty and breaking free from that spirit. And throughout these pages we’ll discover that God wants to restore the gift of finances to its original intent; serve his people for good.

His people, rightfully handling the word of truth, can be trusted to rightfully handle the gift of gold, for good.

A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. (Genesis 2:10 – 2:12 ESV)

 

To order your eBook from Amazon, please go to http://tinyurl.com/kf32b4b  cost is $2.99

Thank you.

Lustful Lies

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Is sexual lust REALLY a problem?

It doesn’t take a high level of intelligence to understand why and how the enemy enjoys using this weapon. He’s taken out a good many men and women with it, and in spite of the fact his tactics rarely change with this weapon, it’s still just as highly effective in our day as it was 6000 years ago.

People who are seduced and controlled by sexual lust have bought a lie; actually, several lies…

Boot Camp

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My book, Boot Camp, is in the final stages of production. Here is a sneak preview, the preface to Boot Camp, Basic Training For The Believer.

“Your basic combat training is designed to accomplish two purposes: familiarize you with the fundamental requirements of military life, and teach you how to fight and defeat an enemy.” (Department of the Army Pamphlet, PAM 350-43, The Soldier’s Basic Combat Training Handbook, March 1973, pg.7)

I had my Basic Combat Training (BCT) at Fort Knox, Kentucky. As soon as I got off the bus I knew I wasn’t a civilian any longer. Sure, I still looked like one but the Drill Instructors (DIs) wasted no time in making their objective clear. They were to receive us as recruits, tear us down to practically nothing, and rebuild us into disciplined, motivated, highly trained, well indoctrinated fighting machines.

I hadn’t been at the reception station more than five minutes before the DI’s were telling me where and how to stand. Imagine. I had been standing for more than 20 years and now someone saw the need to teach me the correct way. Later that day, I would be sent to the barber shop along with the rest of my platoon. Afterward, it would be real hard to tell each other apart. The DIs would have us standing, walking, talking, thinking, looking, and acting alike; as one unit, combat ready. I guess that’s why we had to have name tags on our uniforms and dog tags around our necks.

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