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Monday, January 23, 2006

What Most Subjects Revolve Around...Money

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
-Psalms 19:14
I have a confession to make. Maybe I should just go fast and pray for a couple of days. No, I have a feeling I'd end up right back here, telling you the same thing that I'm about to tell you now. Hmmmm....how much information do I give you, or do I just spill it all out. I can already hear a few of you saying SPILL IT! Yeah...but if I do spill it, then I might end up sounding like I'm begging or even worse misleading you for my gain and that's not what it's about at all. Okay, okay, I'll spill it, but it's gonna be a long one...just remember you asked for it.
Now...how long do I go back to begin this story. Well, lets just go back to when the subject of it became an issue with me. Money. It hadn't really been an issue with me for over a year. My bills were paid, we were comfortable and there was plenty of it. Not enough to go crazy, but enough to were I could finally breathe for once in my life. Then a bomb was dropped on me and overnight my business went from barely surviving with a promise that any day it was going to turn around for the good to it's over with. You've got enough money to survive for maybe a month if you scrimp by, what are you going to do?
First of all, you quit eating out, you quit buying the brand name toilet paper and you learn to eat cabbage, beans and cornbread at least twice a week and like it. Second, you start learning to quit buying cokes and learn to eat peanut butter sandwiches and raman noodles at least twice a week. Somewhere in between the first and the second, I started the Hope, Love & Good News newsletter (soon to be called zine) and made a committment to tithe 10% of my income. The night I made that committment, I didn't have a dime in my pocket nor was I expecting any money. Everything fell in place for me and I had the right attitude about it. The pastor even preached about it at church! Hush...it's been years since I've been in church. I didn't think they still did that. I even talked to my mom about it and remember our conversation ending with you just do what you think is right.
Actually, I might as well have given it because I probably wouldn't have it now anyway. It would have been spent on something and I'd still be sitting in the same situation. Honestly, if I hadn't made that committment, who knows for sure if I would have received what I did so that I was able to give. I was warned that I would have this feeling of wanting to hold out on God. I've been shown the verses in the Bible that tells us we're supposed to tithe 10% of our income. Now I'm being told that I'm robbing God if I'm holding out on Him and if I've held out on Him for the past 15 years that my family may be cursed, but there's a remedy.
Then I started reading for myself where it talks about tithing. I don't regret what I gave and I probably will continue to give, but I will have a little bit of a different perception of it. When the Bible talks about tithing, it's in giving produce, animals, wine and oil. Also, they distribute the abundance of the tithe to fellow priests and to all males down to three years old who would later perform some kind of duty in the temple and EVERYONE in their community. You can read this for yourself in Deuteronomy 14 and 2 Chronicles 31. Another verse that is commonly referred to about tithing is the poor widow who gave everything she had into the treasury (Mark 12). Now I could be wrong on this, but I seriously doubt the rich people that were throwing in large amounts were doing it because they were told they had to give 10% of what they had. When we feel rich it's easy to throw in more than we normally would.
This could all be a lesson in attitude for me, I don't know, but I do know that it is more important to listen to the Holy Spirit than it is to a man. So, here's my confession. I spent my tithe on printing out the newsletters. The $2 that was left, that was what was left from everything combined...tithe and money that my tithe came out of. None of it was money that I'd received to go towards the newsletter. You might ask...what about that money? Well, my answer is...what money?
I have been concerned for a while now about where the money was going to come from to support my family and run this ministry that I've felt God has called me to do. What I've failed to do is trust that God will provide. I guess most of what it is, is that I want this so bad I feel like I have to worry about it. God showed me that He has been faithful to provide, but I haven't been faithful doing my part. From the bottom of my heart, I apologize and ask for your forgiveness for not being as faithful as I should have been in sharing with you everyday. Some of you might say that you don't expect me to post everyday and I shouldn't be this upset over not doing it. This is part of my ministry and if I'm not posting everyday, I'm not doing my job as well as I could.
My last renter posted wanting to know what his readers would want written on their tombstone. I hope I don't ever have one of those, but in the event that I do...I'd like mine to say "Here's to a job well done." When they put me in the ground, ya'll have your wine glasses ready, you can fill 'em up with wine or grapejuice, I don't care which one. After you leave I want you all to go out and do your job to the best of your ability like I did. Oh, forget putting it off! Start doing it today. I'd much rather make that toast and break bread with you while there is still breath left in me!
Daniel mourned for three full weeks before he got out of the slump he was in. Maybe this is my week. This week God is going to take care of it.

2 Comments:

Blogger Mrs. G said...

Annette,

God allows us all to go through a period of testing. I think you are right about this being a attitude issue for you. God wants us to be CHEERFUL givers. If you ever get the chance read the book "The 33 Lawa os Stewardship" By Dave Sutherland and Kirk Nowery.

God has allowed us to have ALL that we have! We are Stewards of HIS things. God is the TRUE OWNER of all we have. We are to take care of it. Check out that book if you can't find it let me know I have 3 and I'll ship you one.

I think it will help you understand and have a right attitude about giving with a greatful heart!

Gidgit

Monday, January 23, 2006 5:55:00 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

funny thing how this works- when you tithe, the money you have left goes further. And if you don't tithe- you bounce 3 checks and pay huge overdraft fees. I'm only half joking because it's true. And hey, don't worry about the blog battle. Just a little good natured competition and I look at it this way- 15 people looked at both of our blogs, who knows what they might have read at either one of them that ministered to them in some way. THAT is the important thing. Congratulations on your win!

Monday, January 23, 2006 2:56:00 PM  

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