Tuesday, December 17, 2013


This conversation comes out of a dialogue between three friends of mine discussing ObamaCare and the redistribution of wealth. 

One of the parties was arguing that no one has the right to take another’s money and give it to someone else without permission; the other argued that it was our duty to give to those who do not have. 

All of that sparked me to write asking “Where is giving to God in this picture?”  Other than what is personal and confidential (specifics) regarding Sheryl and my giving, this is pretty much the entire conversation.  Enjoy!

The place to start with our money is to give God the tithe/10% (Malachi 3:10; Matthew 23:23).  Then give alms — that’s when our left hand knows not what the right hand does (Matthew 6:3).  After we’ve done that, we should strive to live a reverse tithe: we live on 10% and God get’s 90%.  How cool would that be?  Now, God doesn’t ask for a reverse tithe, ONLY the tithe (10%) and Offerings — gifts above the tithe.  

Here’s the truth of the matter, most people who are rich, sadly, are not generous in giving to the church or charitable institutions.  They want to come off as being generous, they give a million dollars — BIG DEAL! — they have given out of their abundance.  Remember the widow?  She gave all she had and it was two small copper coins.  

Oh! and when we give to our own … is that not giving to ourselves.  Sheryl and I have never counted what we do for family “giving,” even contributing to our grandchildren’s tuition to a Christian school.  Good cause?  Worthy cause?  Yes!  But NOT tithes and offerings.  However, so many do.  I hear it all the time, “I can’t give the tithe because I’m helping my daughter (who got pregnant out of wedlock and can’t pay the bills or some other similar scenario).  Sorry!  That’s God’s money and should be given ‘undesignated' without strings attached to God.  The tenth is HIS and only His; it belongs to no one else.  Putting strings on the tithe is like giving to yourself – it’s not trusting the Leadership who oversees the LORD’s work.  If for whatever the reason, the leadership of a Church is unfaithful with what has been entrusted to them, God will take care of them, believe me.

Sheryl and I aren’t at 90% and may never get there (unless one of my books makes it REALLY big), but we are working towards it.  Since our marriage in 1975, it has always been our goal to give to what counts for eternity — where no moth or rust can destroy.

As one wise man said, “If you want to see where a person’s priorities are, look at his/her check book registry.”  Profound!

This I have found to be true: No one can OUT GIVE God (Luke 6:38).

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


The Christmas season is upon us.  One of the many positives, the good things, of this season is that His name, Jesus the Christ, is heard EVERYWHERE … and not as a “curse” word (or phrase).  How cool is that?

The beauty of the Christmas season is so much more than gifts, fun, food, music and even family; the beauty of Christmas is the message of faith, hope and love demonstrated in humility. 

In a world where the wealthy rule – seldom do the personalities of the poor make headlines – it’s those of wealth and celebrity status.  Yet, God who has greater celebrity status and wealth than anyone chooses to reveal himself in complete humility both in status and wealth.  Why?  Because God’s ways are not man’s ways, and what man considers important is of little value to God.  The Bible says, “a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”  Again, “for those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."  And still again, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble." (Psalm 51:17; Luke 14:11; James 4:6) 

So God, in Jesus, brings to life in the flesh a living example of what He wrote and preached.  This Christmas season let’s keep in the forefront the real and true meaning of Christmas.  All that He is came to earth for the purpose of becoming all that we need – beginning with our GREATEST NEED – a Savior.  It’s humility in its highest form.  As the Latin Hymn (mid 1800s) beautifully puts it:

O come, Thou Wisdom, from on high,
and order all things far and nigh;
to us the path of knowledge show,
and teach us in her ways to go.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel,

shall come to thee O Israel!