Giving back

Something that I struggle with, aside from anxiety, is tithing. A tithe is basically a tenth, but the idea is so much more than that.

God has done so much for me. I can’t even begin to tell you how much He’s done for me and in the end, He doesn’t ask for much in return. He gave us a free gift, but the choice to accept that gift and everything that comes with it lies with us.

Think of it like this: Someone offers you a free puppy. No strings attached. But you know that if you take that puppy home, you’re going to be responsible for it. God’s gift of salvation is a bit like that. You don’t have to accept it, but if you do, you’re going to be responsible for the care of that gift.

Part of the care of that gift is tithing. Tithing just means that you are giving back to God what is His to begin with. But He’s not asking for all of it, just a tenth. Ten percent. 1 dime for every dollar. Granted a dime doesn’t seem like much, but when you start getting up to $500, that’s $50 for a tithe. That’s a lot of money, especially when you’re not used to having that much.

So why should I tithe to God? It’s not like He’s going to Heaven’s mall to shop for new shoes or anything. So, again, why?

Well, there’s a couple reasons. Let’s set aside the fact that it is a command (it is) and look at a couple of other things. First of all, the tithe was supposed to be used for the care and upkeep of those that God called to preach. These days, I’ve noticed that most Christian preachers have side jobs other than preaching. Because let’s face it. Unless you’re a pastor of a mega-church, you aren’t making a lot being a pastor. The tithe was suppose to help that.

But even more than that, I believe that tithing is a true step of faith. Sure, you can keep your money in your pocket, or use it to buy that Cool New Thing (TM). Some people don’t tithe because they have bills to pay. But giving it to God? I know it leaves me feeling panicky because what if I need that money?

However, God calls on us to trust in Him. That’s another big, scary word. Trust. I trust very few people in my life. I mean fully, 100% trust. God knows what He’s doing. You may not, but He does. And He likes it when you can trust Him so completely that you’re willing to give your money over to Him. Funny how that works. I leave my life in His hands without blinking an eye, but money? Haha.

God wants us to trust Him and tithing is a pretty big way of saying exactly that.

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Posted by on February 13, 2012 in life, tithing


Stepping out in faith

Those who know me well know that I am very close to my friends and family. I have often commented that if I had to move to find work I would, but in truth, I knew that it would be extremely hard for me to do. I am not the sort of person who makes friends easily and I have always been around my family. I wanted to move out, but not move away.

I graduated college in the lowest part of the job recession. I spent months and months trying to find a good job that was within bus and/or biking distance. I don’t have a license or a car, so I was pretty limited on where I could go while still living at home.

After about six months of not finding employment, and my loans creeping ever closer to being due, a friend started talking about how I should move to Texas. I joked for a while about it, but never really gave serious thought to it.

But as I started looking ever harder into the job market, I began to wonder. Should I take her up on her offer to stay with her and look for work in Texas?

I prayed. I prayed for a long time. On November 1st, I got on a plane, with hardly any money in my pocket, and flew to Texas. I had no family here, and only the one friend, but I went because I prayed and this is where I felt that God was guiding me.

Three weeks later, I started working.

I have now been in Texas for three months, still working, and making enough to be able to support myself. I haven’t yet moved out of my friend’s apartment, but that is because I want to have some money saved up for emergencies, and I know that won’t happen if I rush into my own place.

Looking back, I realize that this has actually been good for me, in my relationship with God. I have literally stepped out in faith, knowing that I have to trust fully in God because there really is no one else who can bail me out. My friend, maybe, but she has her own life and concerns.

I feel like I’ve grown closer to God here, than I ever was back in California where I was surrounded by my friends and family. I trust in Him because in the end, God is the one who has my back.

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Posted by on February 12, 2012 in faith, life


A bit about me as a Christian

Wow, this blog has undergone some changes. It’s been adrift for a while now, but I’m taking it back. So what should you know about me and why is it important? Let’s answer the second question first.

I believe it’s important to know that a person is really Christian before you should take their words to heart. Are they speaking God’s truth or their own? Do they strive toward a Christian life daily, or are they all talk? These are a few reasons why I feel it may be important to understand a bit about who I am.

Of course, first and foremost is that I am a Christian. Now, that is a word that gets thrown around a lot, but here’s what I believe it to truly mean:

1) You have a personal relationship with Jesus.
2) You are constantly striving to follow Him and do as he commands.

Really, that’s oversimplifying it a bit, I think, but that’s all there is to it. Now for what it means to me personally.

I am a saved Christian. That means that I recognized I am a sinner and made a personal decision to follow Jesus. I asked him for forgiveness and mercy and I promised to follow and obey Him.

I am not perfect. No one is. I may be saved, but I still make mistakes. But that’s okay! Because God will still forgive my mistakes, if I say I’m sorry and I mean it. If you hear the word repent, that’s what it means, essentially. To turn away from sin or, in other words, to do everything you can not to do it again.

I believe that Jesus is exactly who He claimed to be. He is the son of God, He is God, and He is the only way to get to Heaven.

I may have never seen Jesus, or God, face to face. I may have never seen Heaven. But that’s why it’s called faith. Faith is to believe in something you can’t see.

And I want to share that faith with others. I believe that God loves us all and He doesn’t want to see any of us go to hell, but in the end, He is leaving that choice firmly in our hands. He won’t force us to choose one way or the other. He’s thrown us a rope. It’s up to us to take it.

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Posted by on February 11, 2012 in life