Sometimes all you can do is pray. (BUT…THAT is a lot!)

praying.png

 

I think we all know people that go through hard times. I deal with a lot of people: family, friends, patients and others. It seems I have always been one that people feel comfortable talking to about a lot of things that they wouldn’t talk to a lot of people about. People I barely know would tell me a lot of personal things. Usually it seemed they were sort of either just needing to talk to allow them to think through things themselves but other times they were looking for advice. I am not really fond of giving advice because if it doesn’t work as well as they like, I end up being blamed and even if not blamed, I don’t like thinking I did something that caused them hardships of some sort. But, as it goes, I do hear things that sometimes I don’t really have a way to help them….well, other than pray for them. And, as I see it, that is way better than giving advice or helping other ways. Prayer is a powerful thing. Oh, I will share some scripture if I can, but sometimes, whether I tell them or not, I pray for them. I always hope they will pray for themselves too.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  Philippians 4:6

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  Romans 8:26

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.  Matthew 6:6

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.  Hebrews 4:16

 

Pray without ceasing.  1 Thessalonians 5:17

 

There are so many verses that talk about praying. Whether for financial, physical, emotional or any other hardship, prayer and earnestly seeking God will help. God will help.

 

Lord, I worship You and thank You that we can come to You in good times and bad. Praising You in good times and thanking You for the blessings, grace and mercy You give us. I praise You for being a God that helps in time of need also. Lord, I know there are so many people out there that are hurting: physically, emotionally, financially and in ways I cannot even imagine. But, You know their needs before they even speak of them. I know many people with so many different things that need Your hand in their lives. I know there are far more needs than I know about too. I pray in the name of Jesus that You reach those people and help them through the hard times they face. That You give them the peace of mind in knowing that You will help them. Help them find the strength they need to face the hardships and the strength and courage as You lead them through their hard times, showing them the way but not only the way out of the difficult times and situations but the way to salvation and the true richness of redemption and the blessings that are in store for them if they follow You and take the steps that You show them to take. Show them all the way to forgiveness, through the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross and paid for with His blood. Draw us all to You as You help us through life. Teach us how to pray as we should and how to be the people that You want us to be for Your Glory.

Amen

Well, I thank everyone who visits and I hope that something I say blesses you. Please, try to be a blessing to someone else as well.

Advertisements

Desperation.

I was thinking about my life and reflected on times that money was tight. Living paycheck to paycheck and not keeping up with bills. I have at times worked extra jobs to try to make enough money to pay bills and it was a struggle. Get up early and go to work, get off one job and go to the second job and when I got done there head home and sleep a few hours before starting all over again, barely getting by and doing without a lot of things I could have used in order to provide for the family. It was tough but due to circumstances I was desperate and willing to do whatever I needed to do in order to make ends meet.

As I thought about how I was struggling then and needed the money I think about some jobs I took out of desperation; working places and doing jobs that I never would have thought I would have considered likely that I do. I found myself taking a variety of part time jobs in addition to my full time job. I did work that was terrible to even consider. Literally digging ditches, working in or around hog houses, other jobs dealing with people that were not the type with whom I would associate, alcoholics, drug abusers and other well, unsavory types. Right or wrong I thought I was better than the type of person that would do such things but there I was, doing exactly what I thought I would never do with people whom I held in low regard, at times I had mocked those people and here I was working with them. But, I was desperate……or at least thought I was desperate with a wife and child I had to get money for expenses. I did not know anything about food stamps or other government assistance so I did things I thought beneath me to get myself into a better situation. I struggled, I worried, as I said, I compromised myself and associated with people that were not the type I would associate with, all due to desperation.

As I thought about that, how much I wanted to try to make things better, how I was willing to be around people that I would never have associated with at all, just to try to make a better life because I needed more money for bills and such, I realized I had compromised myself to try to make things better. That caused me to wonder how many people compromise themselves to try to get by, earn money or get what they think may be a better life. Some suffer right along and never compromise themselves as they struggle, others repeatedly compromise. But, one thing I should know is that He did provide and I was able to find some extra work to help pay bills.

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:19

As I reflected further, I realized that I was also sort of reaping my own reward for belittling or mocking those people, whether literally or possibly only in my mind. I was being judgmental and I needed to learn some humility. Boy, does God know how to teach us humility.

[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  Philippians 2:3

Then, I thought more about times I was doing fine, but desperately wanted something, so I would spend more than I should have to get it or do it. I wanted to go fishing or hunting so I would ignore things that were more important, chores at home and such. When I was in high school I would desperately want to do something and would leave homework undone. I ignored responsibilities because I desperately wanted to do something “fun.” I talked in one post previously about blowing off a friend I was supposed to meet so I could run around with other guys that were part of the “cool crowd” and I desperately wanted to be considered one of the cool guys.

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14

This doesn’t necessarily mean people that don’t believe in Christ, but also people who may believe that He is the Son of God, died and was resurrected, but still intentionally live in a way that is not pleasing to God.

Sometimes desperation isn’t due to hardships, suffering or otherwise actually needing something, but can be related to a person’s wants. To be honest, many times things I thought I NEEDED were only things I wanted. I have seen people that, like I mentioned in the post about black Friday, behave horribly and do anything to others to get that one thing they “desperately need” for Christmas. Back stabbing, talking terribly about people. It is sad.

But, real or perceived, desperation causes people to do a lot of things that they normally would not do: treat others in ways that they would never have treated them otherwise, tolerate far more from some to obtain what they “Desperately” want, take risks they shouldn’t take, ignore responsibilities and any number of what would otherwise be considered bad judgement.

Another thought is that the tough times happen and if we let Him, He will use those times to strengthen us. He also gave me opportunities to learn to trust Him more, opportunities for better jobs and the desire to get my education so I could have an even better life in the future. He helped me get through that all no matter how bad I thought times were, no matter how desperate I became, HE DID NOT FAIL ME and Christ carried me through and is leading me to where He wants me in life. I may have done things that did not please Him, I may have strayed from the path He had planned for me, but He still was with me.

Know ye that the LORD he [is] God: [it is] he [that] hath made us, and not we ourselves; [we are] his people, and the sheep of his pasture.   Psalms 100:3

 

Lord, I praise Your Holy name and thank You for seeing more in me than I saw myself and for helping me through so many difficulties in life, many I created for myself, but Your love and presence saw me through. I thank You for the difficulties that helped shape me into the person You desire me to be and that brought me to the place You want me to be for Your glory. I ask in the name of Jesus that You continue to help me improve my Christian walk. I pray for those who feel the desperation as I did at times, due to finances, marital problems, job issues, poor health or any other areas of concern for them that they lean on Christ to help them through and give them the strength and assistance they need to get through the hard times they feel they are facing and show them how to know You and Your will for them in dealing with their hardships. Please draw my family and loved ones to You and help them come to know You and Your plan for their lives. I thank You for my salvation that Christ paid for through His suffering and death, through His defeat of death when He was resurrected.

Amen

 

Thank you all for your time. Please have a blessed day and try to be a blessing to others.

 

 

 

 

He WILL Help!

Isaiah_41-13.jpg

Some days are a struggle. Everyone has such days, struggling with jobs, lack of jobs, lack of money, decisions, marriages, family issues, problems with cars and houses. Something is always going to happen that causes stress, worry, fear, indecision, health, loss of loved ones. The list is endless. Today was one of those days for me. A couple things going on, one is trying to make the final decision about the job offer I have mentioned previously. Its a great job for a lot of reasons, but there are reasons to consider not taking it. I will have to say that I have struggled a lot with the decision. I have spent a lot of time in prayer and seeking God’s guidance. The decision will have to be made soon and every time I think I know what I should do, something makes me question whichever choice I am thinking I should take. I was at a convenience store and overheard a lady talking about her Grammy being in hospice and not sure how long she would last and what all was going on with that. Well, for one thing, that is what I called my grandmother and I thought about her. Then, I thought about my parents, sitting with them as their lives were slipping away. It sort of opened old wounds. I needed a word from God to remind me that He would help me through all the things with which I am dealing. So, I looked at King James Bible online and this was the verse of the day. And, it was just what I needed to hear. Regardless of the hardships, sorrows and pains of life He will help me. So many amazing promises, promises that He KEEPS! What a glorious God we serve.

Lord, I praise You and thank You for giving me the words I needed to hear. I am constantly in awe of all You are and how you work in my life. I thank You for the sacrifice of Your Son so my sins would be forgiven. I ask in the name of Jesus that You help me make the right choice, about the job, about everything and that You help me keep Christ first in my life. I pray for this woman and her family as they deal with a difficult circumstance, please be with them and give them comfort. I also pray that You continue to draw me and my loved ones to You that we all know the salvation You hold out for us. Show us all the true paths in our lives You have planned for us and any that are on the wrong path help them find the true path and show them the way to Your light.

Amen

 

I truly appreciate those who read my blog and I hope that I manage to help someone get a blessing. Please, be sure to try to be a blessing to someone else today.

 

 

 

Who Loves ya baby?

telly-savalas-who-loves-ya-baby

No, I don’t think he does, but with the catch line that was used on that show, I thought maybe it would be a “clever” start. Although, what I think is clever often leaves others (my daughters for some) shaking their heads or rolling their eyes at my dad jokes and attempts at humor. BUT, as at many other times, I digress.

 

I suspect that many, if not all of us have asked ourselves, Who loves me? When dating, does the boyfriend or girlfriend love me? When engaged, does the fiancé? When married, does our spouse? My children? My pets? My parents and grandparents?

And, the list could go on and on, depending on the amount and type of love to which one refers. But, does anyone ever truly love another unconditionally? How much will someone sacrifice out of love? Some will and have sacrificed everything while others may sacrifice time or money. But, just because one sacrifices money does that mean they love you? Because they buy gifts does that mean they really care? If you do buy gifts for another, do they love you only because of what you have given them and not because they love you? Does having sex with someone mean love? Are any or all of those things done out of devotion and love or are they done because one or both involved wants something and they will show love as long as they are given what they want, be that attention (physical or otherwise,) gifts, money, or any other possible “reward” for showing love, or a semblance of love.

All those questions are difficult to answer and I could come up with many more about how humans show love. But, how many times do humans pretend to show emotions. Sometimes those emotions are genuine, sometimes they are not. How can one tell? Well, I really don’t know the answer to that. I have been in circumstances where I thought someone loved me, but then realized later, no they did not really. Love requires sacrifice and humans, regardless of what they say or do otherwise, are inherently selfish and greedy and have personal motivation for almost everything they do. I am not saying that there are not some genuine people, but that even the most genuine has some sort of personal agenda. I am not criticizing human nature, just recognizing a fact. We do things for those we love, partially out of love, but also because we receive something in return. Whether that be joy in seeing a loved one happy or if it is because they give us something in return. But, the underlying truth is that human love always contains an element of self service. We show love to receive. And, there are many who show love but not true love because they receive something in return that is more beneficial and valuable to them than what they show. Buying gifts does not mean one person loves another. Not buying gifts doesn’t mean one doesn’t love another. I will be honest, trying to understand the human heart, including my own, is a confusing matter. The more one tries to understand, the more confusing it becomes.

As one tries to understand human love, particularly the one writing this, one begins to realize that yes, the scripture is correct about the human heart. But, I do know someone that loved me, loves me, and will always love me. Not because of what I do, but IN SPITE of what I do for I will, we all will, eventually do some sort of wrong. Not intentionally, but we do. We all fall short, we all slip, we all sin in one manner or another. But, despite any sins, failures or shortcomings. Someone loves me. He loves me so much that He sacrificed His only Son for me. God sent His Son to die for me. Christ loved me so much that He suffered pain and torture and was executed so I could be forgiven of my sins and have life eternal with God. I suppose one could argue that God loves us in order that we can worship Him, so He gives love to get love. If that is true, I still receive rewards for worshipping and praising and loving God. The joy and comfort He provides as part of His love is amazing. Regardless of why God loves us, He does and has done more for us out of love than we could even begin to repay.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

John 3: 16-17

 

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.  Deuteronomy 6:5

 

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  Matthew 22:37

 

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  John 15:13

 

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

 

The last two verses especially say a lot to me. I have seen soldiers die for their friends and brothers in arms. I have seen examples of one person dying while struggling to try to rescue another. Those are noble examples of love. But, the most loving, noble, gracious thing I know of is how Christ suffered and died for me. I am so unworthy of His love and sacrifice and the gift of life eternal with Him. But, He loves me so much that He did so.

 

No, a guy with a lollipop does not represent love to me. Saying the words does not prove anything. Money or gifts don’t either. Only truly giving of oneself proves love.

THIS represents love to me!

 

holy-cross-on-calvary_ey0rhaxz__F0000

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You for all You have done for me. For Your unconditional love and the unimaginable sacrifice Your Son Jesus gave. I stand in awe of such great love for one as unworthy as I. I pray in Jesus’ Name that You work on me, work in my heart to help me become that which You desire of me, that I follow You as I should, that I be an example of Your love. Help me know the path You plan for me, Show me what You wish me to do and teach my how to see and feel towards others as Christ does. Please draw me and my loved ones, as well as others, to You so that we may enjoy the blessings You give and that we are able to stand in Your presence to worship and praise You.

Amen

 

Well, I hope that all have a blessed day. Thank you for your time and I do hope that all have a chance to be a blessing to others.

 

 

 

The Pauper

Children_in_the_1800s

Have you ever been poor? I have. Not out on the street without a home or food, but definitely pay check to pay check, cheap food, balancing bills, which to pay, which can wait because you can’t pay them all and have money for food. At times, I worked two jobs and my wife worked, because better jobs without specific training or education were hard to find. We got by, the kids may have worn hand me downs or garage sale clothes, the cars we owned were older but ran. We weren’t homeless. In those regards, we were better off than some. But it was a struggle. Finally were doing a little better, I got some training and a job where I made a little better money, she had a better job too. Oh, it was still tough, but manageable compared to before. Then, I went to college and medical school. Student loans at first, but thank God for medical school I obtained a military scholarship that not only paid tuition and such, but I got a small stipend to help with expenses. I had to be what is called a geographic bachelor for the first two years, off to school for a week, home on weekends as school and home were a few hours apart and it would have been worse on the kids trying to move them to where I was in school and my wife had a pretty good job. Well, I shared an apartment with a classmate, cheap, but at least clean. Sometimes, my food for the day was a slice of bread and a can of vegetables or maybe some ramen noodles. I survived, and for the most part, I have not been one that lives to eat, but rather eats to live, so as long as something I was okay. But, in order to help avoid worse hardships on the kids, I did without a lot. Its what parents do. Well, finally done with med school, internship and residency. Income, but had student loans from college. But, at least could get a little in savings for emergencies. Still struggled the first few years but not as bad as previously. Finally, got to the point where income increased, student loans paid off and minimal other debt. Cars were always used (never been one to want to buy new cars and suffer the depreciation) but, had a house payment and utilities and such. Life was at least comfortable and did not have to do without. Gradually, we were able to build up some in savings. Now, still have house payment, utilities, groceries and such, but no massive credit card, car loans, or other debts. I thank God for that. I am not wealthy, but at least I don’t have to worry about how a bill is going to be paid, which I can put off a month or two an which have to be paid or the lights will be turned off and such. I can buy food without wondering if it will result in my having to do without something else that is also needed.

After having been poor and now decent pay, I did not want to be in the position of no money in bank for emergencies. So, I saved money. Not tons, my wife has been very good about making sure not too much gets saved but I guess that is how some are about money. If it is there, she would rather spend it on stuff. I would rather have the money for things I will need, not just things because the store had it and there was money with which to pay. A lot of the different attitudes that she and I, as well as many others have, about money is due to how people are raised. Her dad made good money, but he always had to have new cars or pick ups, expensive suits, her mom had to have expensive dresses. If they bought something, it had to be the good stuff. But, when it came to things like food they always tried to find the bargains. My dad described such people as penny wise and dollar wild. They worry about saving small amounts but throw big bucks away on luxury items. My parents were more conservative with money, bought used vehicles for the most part, not the most expensive clothing, maybe garage sales for some clothes and such. But, we weren’t poor, always had food, clothes, house, bills always paid. Never did without essentials and usually had some niceties. My folks, especially my dad, were fairly frugal. So, I learned to be more frugal, my wife learned from her folks to be the way towards money that they were and that caused issues when we were poor. But, at least when poor, she couldn’t waste it on expensive clothes and luxury items.

Well, seeing as I try to be frugal as well, not nearly like my folks, but more than a lot. I guess one would say I am conservative with money. I don’t love money, but I need it to survive, as I look to the future to plan for retirement and try to get my retirement savings taken care of for that time. Since I was poor I had been unable to save for retirement then, so trying to play catch up on that. However, due to my frugality, concern about future I have been told all I worry about is money, that I love money. No, I don’t love money, in fact, I have simple needs personally and could live in a card board box and be as ok as if I lived in a palace. I need money to pay bills, I don’t love it though.

Oh, there are those that love money, no doubt. Sometimes its the wealthy that love their money. I know some rich people, sometimes they are stingy, they don’t want to lose or use what money they have unless necessary, except when it comes time to try and show off and then will have fancy cars, fancy house, huge parties. All to show off for people what they can do with all their money. Others I have known that were wealthy were not in love with money. Oh, they had a lot in the bank, or lots of assets, real estate and such, but they weren’t misers. Funny thing is, a lot of poor people are more in love with money, more obsessed with money than those that have it. Not just the wealthy, but even middle class that are at least making enough they can pay all their bills if they are moderate with their spending. Houses not huge, no fancy cars, etc. The poor that are in love with money will rush to buy the luxuries as fast as they can, as quickly as they have the money in hand. Not worrying about the essentials like rent and utilities so they struggled till the next payday. Some poor people have learned how to survive fine with limited funds. They buy what they have to and not extras. Money is needed, but they don’t love money.

A couple weeks ago the pastor preached on money. He talked about some of the things I mentioned and that sometimes people, often those that don’t have much money but secretly love it, or some that make good money, but spend it as quick as they can but don’t have money for emergencies, will criticize the frugal. Kinda quoting scripture saying, “money is the root of all evil.” EXCEPT, that is not what the scripture says. They misquote the scripture, maybe because they want it to say what they want it to say, maybe because they never read that particular verse closely.

10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

1 Timothy 6:10-11

 

It isn’t the money that is the root of evil, it is the love of it. The pastor preached that loving money was essentially making an idol out of it. Guess what, GOD DOES NOT LIKE IDOLS! I have to admit, I was one that did not read all of that verse, I had read it, but not really, maybe skimmed that part, or because I had always heard the phrase that money is the root of all evil, I didn’t pay close attention to what was written.

This can apply to material things that people want to buy, but don’t have the money saved and will use credit cards to purchase. Now, credit cards used properly are great tools, but if not used properly, can cause huge problems. Many years ago, my wife got some credit cards, used them, made the minimum payments, after a while, she used them more, still made only minimal payments, with the interests rates and such, we were paying almost $100 a month in credit cards and the balances were unchanged. Well, we had to get aggressive about paying those off, and it took several months to do so, but finally did, after doing without some things for a while. But finally avoided paying so much money for ridiculous interest rates on things we actually could have done without. I know people who use credit cards to pay as the month goes along, then when bill due, pay it off. They do it for convenience. Sometimes, they are needful, and paying them off as quickly as possible over a few months is great as well. But, there are some that I know that have multiple credit cards and all are maxed, or near so, and they will make the minimum payments on each. Never getting any paid off. Sometimes, getting new cards because they are literally cannot put more on the cards they have already. Now, compounding their debts and problems. They buy things they don’t need, maybe to try to impress themselves or others. But, here again, revolves around the love of money, the desire to have what they think it can buy. However, money doesn’t buy happiness, it buys items, and those that try to use money to buy happiness are unhappy people. They need God, not more stuff, not more debt. They put themselves in situations where they have to focus on paying credit card bills and lose focus on other things, the credit cards (and money they represent) become their idols.

 

Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3

 

Any idol is an abomination to God. Money, houses, cars, clothes, jewelry, real estate, food, whatever the case may be is vile in His eyes if anything else is the focus of one’s attention and not God, we have made idols of that thing. But, one thing the pastor mentioned, is that it isn’t just the money that can be an idol. HOW it is used can be as well. I mentioned the man I worked for after High School. He would make some big donations to the church, but, when he did, he expected some sort of recognition. Maybe not in the form of a plaque. But he wanted people to know that he donated, and how much. His donation was not based on the needs of the church, they weren’t from a pure heart wanting to help, the donations were to get attention for himself. The attention was his idol. And, in this case, he loved the money, because of the attention he derived from it. So, definitely fits that the love of money is the root of all evil.

Just had a conversation with a friend last night about retirement and such. He asked if I was saving for it and all. I said, yes, but need more, because I hope to live a long time and don’t want to suffer when I am much older. He made the comment about money being the root of evil. Well, I corrected him, but just seemed like an appropriate post.

Whatever your financial status, how much money and material objects you have, you cannot buy happiness or salvation. That comes from God, through Christ.

Lord, I thank You for my salvation and praise Your Holy Name. I thank You for seeing me through times of financial hardship and blessing me some now. You meet my needs and I do not live in fear of loss of utilities which is a huge blessing. I pray You continue to help me and to remind me to help others, to give to church as I should, and to be mindful not to love the money, or what it might do, so that it does not interfere with my relationship with Christ. I ask You to help those having difficult times financially. To provide for their needs so they do not have worries for food and essentials. I pray that you speak to those that need to know to make YOU the focus, not the money, or what it does, but that we all focus on Christ. Help as all better serve You. I pray You work on my heart so that my desire to seek You grows. That I do all I can to find Christ, find His will and way in my life. That I not allow other things to interfere with serving Him.

Please, draw my family and loved ones to You.

Amen

 

Thanks for stopping by, as I said, came up in a conversation, made me think about the sermon, and had my experiences to add. I hope it helps someone. Don’t forget to seek opportunities to be blessings to others today.

 

Can you buy a blessing?

cashier.jpg

 

If so, let me know, I sure need a few, then again, I know we all do but, it’s not possible no matter how some try to do so. But, a few things lately made me think about how some people try to buy blessings of one sort or another.

I live in the country and a couple weeks ago, as I was piddling around the farm I saw a guy hanging around on the creek bridge which is not a normal thing around here so I went to check it out. I found that it was a neighbor that I had never really talked with and he had his 6 year old son with him. This guy is mid 60’s and about 7 years ago, got married for about the third or fourth time. Well, I found out that his wife is not from the US, but I didn’t really know much about her. He and I talked while his boy threw rocks in the creek and while talking, he decided to tell me about his wife. She was from Central America, a mail order bride, about half his age. He told me that his first wife divorced him 25 years or so ago, then since then he had been engaged a few times, and married a couple, but all, within a year of engagement or marriage decided they did not want to be married to him and then he told me he was kind of hard to live with so they decided it wasn’t worth the effort for them to stay around. Then, he explained that he just wanted someone around to help keep house, cook for him and so he wasn’t alone and since no one around here that he had dated or married were willing to stay with him he figured a mail order bride would be worth trying. He said he paid some company that helped arrange it, he went down, met the woman, they decided they could probably tolerate each other so the final arrangements were made and then he had additional payments to the company as well as some sort of payment to her and her family and the marriage took place. I wasn’t sure what my response should be so I just said, “That’s interesting. How is it working out?” He said, “Well, sort of okay. I didn’t want more kids but she wanted a child so we have him. He’s a good kid and I love my son but really didn’t want to be a dad again at my age. She is a pretty good cook and does well keeping house and since she owes me I know she will stick around, at least until I die. Then, it won’t matter to me.” I told him I was glad he was happy with things and he said he wasn’t really happy, but he at least had company and help in the house. But then admitted that neither really loved the other and that it was a business arrangement and not a real marriage. I didn’t have a response to that statement other than to tell him it seemed to be working ok. He said it kind of was. But looked sad.  When I left, I just thought it is kind of sad that someone had to pay to get someone to marry him, pay someone to even stay around. He bought a blessing, but it was not a marriage, and I could tell he felt a little ashamed that he had to pay to get her to even acknowledge him. He couldn’t make relationships work so he had to pay, he bought a wife.

As I thought about paying things that one doesn’t have the ability to obtain otherwise I thought about a coworker and when I went to a get together at a his house some time back and in his living room, over the fireplace was a really nice mounted deer head. I asked him about it, did he get it in the area or someplace else. He said, “Oh, that deer was taken about an  hour north of here.” I asked if it was a place he went to a lot, and a few other questions. He was really vague with his responses, in fact, seemed to try to direct the conversation away from the topic. Then, his wife said, “Just tell them how you really got it.” And, he said he bought it from a taxidermist when the man that actually got it refused to pay for it and heThe thought it would look good over the fireplace. He was right about that, but I thought it was interesting that he had bought something he didn’t really earn.

Thinking about people buying things they didn’t earn made me think about the people that buy military uniforms and award ribbons and medals they didn’t earn and then proceed to wear them out in public. Maybe go to a nice restaurant for a meal. Some of these people do so looking for attention and thinking maybe someone will pay for their meal for them. They buy the uniforms and awards without having served, or did not serve in a way to actually earn the awards. Paying for what he could not or would not earn on his own.

Thinking about these, leads me to thoughts of how some people send money to tele-evangelists or in response to requests they received in the mail for different religious (or supposed) organizations. Often those requests come with promises of a blessing, telling the people if they send a donation they will receive a blessing. The people that send money often need it themselves but send it thinking that God will multiply what they send, because that may have been what the letter or tele-evangelist promised. Maybe they were told they would get a healing or any other type of blessing the person is hoping for at the time. Many of these people are not really Christians, not living a Christian life but think they can bribe God and get a blessing. Guess what…..GOD DOES NOT TAKE VISA! You can’t bribe God to give you a blessing with money. You can send money to this cause or that group, but no matter what, you don’t buy a blessing.

All the people I mentioned take false pride in their purchases and regardless of how the put on shows of that false pride they know that what they expect to be a blessing is an empty promise because their intent was to deceive others and themselves with insincere self serving acts.

I am not saying one should not donate to various organizations. We are supposed to do that, but one must be cautious to whom they donate as not all of these organizations are what they seem. We should tithe, support various ministries, help the needy, but those that promise a blessing from God for doing so are promising something that they personally cannot deliver, blessings from God come at His choice and aren’t based on the amount of money one gives. You cannot buy blessings that He does not plan for you. An semblance of a blessing will be shallow with no substance, like the house built on sand there will be no true foundation and will be swept away. Even more than that is the fact that those supposed blessings that were purchased will have a bitterness that pales in comparison to the true sweetness of genuine blessings.

Those that promise to sell blessings are deceiving themselves if they truly believe they have the power to sell a blessing and the person they promise a blessing to if they know the truth that blessings aren’t a commodity to be bought and sold.

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Malachi 3:8

Offerings given under false, self serving pretense aren’t good  in the eyes of God. He wants  those given from the heart with genuine intent. Think about the widow and her small offering, it was minimal compared to others but it was a large sacrifice to her because she had so little and it was more pleasing to God due to the sincerity of her heart when she gave her offering.

And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. Matthew 8:4

34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 35 And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. Acts 4:34-37

 

Yes, He tells us to tithe, we need to support the ministries and send them assistance.

A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment. Proverbs 17:23

 

6 And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment.
7 Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts. 2 Chronicles 19:7

 

Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous. Deuteronomy 16:19

 

But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Acts 8:20

 

While there is need to support various ministries, trying to give gifts falsely motivated, seeking to gain blessings or gain favor is against God’s will. We should only offer gifts from a pure heart and not for self gain. Any gain from false gifts is not blessed of God and will not be long enjoyed.

 

Lord, I praise Your Holy Name. I thank You for the many blessings, the wisdom you are giving me. I ask You to help me discern not only what ministries should receive gifts and donations, but help me keep my heart and intent pure. That I do not give the gifts for self gain. I ask that You continue to work in my heart, give me Your guidance for my life, my words. Help me be a better servant of Christ. I ask You to work in the hearts and minds of loved ones to show them Your way for their lives and draw them nearer to You. I thank You for my many blessings and wait with eager anticipation for those to come.

Amen

 

Thanks for taking time out of your day to visit my blog and read the postings. I appreciate it. I hope it was a blessing to someone else or tells them what they need to hear.

Remember, be a blessing to someone today.