Monday, October 20, 2008

Why argue with tithing?

I got to admit, my blood is boiling right now. I just deleted a comment from someone I don't know who had made it his mission in life to prove that tithing is not new covenant nor for Christians. He is a "theologian" and from what I gathered from his blog, looks like he has even written a book about it. From glancing at his blog (not gonna waste my time or pollute my mind by reading it in detail) it looks like one of his major proving points why tithing is not for Christians is that tithers have also been affected by the economic problems we are facing. What a load of crap!

For those of you who stumble upon this blog or perhaps don't know me well, I am not one to keep my opinions to myself, and if you are wrong, I have no problem telling you. THIS GUY IS WRONG!!

This is not the first person I have come across that shares this opionion. Amazingly, the first time I ever heard of someone not believing in tithing was right after I graduated from Bible College, and it was a fellow student. I was floored. I didn't even know that the issue was up for debate.

Since that time, I have talked about this issue in depth with fellow alumni, and I have also....get this, what a concept....studied the Bible and what it has to say about tithing. Many of my fellow alumni don't have the same attitude that this guy seemed to have. They are generous, giving people who genuinly love the Lord. Their motive is not to find a way out of giving, as it is with most who object to tithe, but rather . So I have listened to their standpoint. However, I still find too much in the Word that says otherwise.

The arguments are all pretty much the same. Tithing is not mentioned in the NT, and Jesus never says anything about it. Giving is talked about, but not tithing. Tithing was to take care of the priests in the OT. We are now all priests and kings, so why tithe? Tithing is law, and we are no longer under the law. Things like that....

Well, first and foremost, I would always rather err on the side of caution. When speaking with unbelivers who say, what if you are wrong about God, my typical answer is then I am not out anything. On the flip side, if you are wrong, well I hope you like hot weather....

I feel the same way about tithing. If I am wrong, than I am not out anything (except money, and who cares about that). If I am right, which I am, then I get to recieve of the blessings of God.

Tithing is not a mosaic law. First fruits and offerings are mentioned as early as Cain and Able. Giving of 10% is mentioned as early as Abraham.

Jesus came to fulfill the law, not do away with the law. For instanace, he says that not only are you not to commit adultry, but you are not to even lust after a woman, for in so doing you have committed adultry in your heart. Jesus takes the law and takes it one step further. The same holds true to tithing. We are not to stop at 10%, but we are to give generously.

Many that I have spoken to who do not believe in tithing, also believe that any of the OT that is not mentioned in the NT is not applicable to us today. What a load! God's Word is WHOLE, and it ALL applies to us! If you care to study it deeply, including all the "boring" laws, lineage, etc... you will glean something that is applicable to you today. As my mom says, the Word of God is finely woven together from start to finish with the same thread. It all ties together. OT and NT.

Well, I gotta run, it's time for family dinner, and Maudi just fell in the toilet (dont laugh, ok, you can laugh, it is pretty funny...). I know this is not the deepest most thorough exegesis on tithing, perhaps on another day.... but for now, if you find yourself questioning tithing, I say ask yourself two things, first why am I questioning this? what is my heart motive? Then, I ask that you go to the word and study it for yourself. And ask God to search your heart, and to reveal HIS WORD AND WILL on the matter to you, he will.

PS One more quick note....God never takes back His Word. He will always fulfill it. I have never seen a faithful tither that God did not bless, but I have certianly see those who don't go without....

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tithing, Giving

The issue of tithing and giving has been on my mind quite a bit lately. First, we want to thank each and every one of you for your generous giving to AFN. We are blessed and humbled.

For us 'seasoned' believers, we know that God's word is clear about tithes and offerings. He says to bring both to the storehouse. (See Malachi 3) Tithe is the first thing we give; our first 10% belongs to God. Anything that we give above that is an offering. These are basic principles most of us know and live by.

However, the question of where does tithe belong is sometimes not as clear. I, Jody, and the leadership of AFN believe that your tithe should be given to your local church. We believe that the storehouse is the local church. Your church, where you are equipped and where you minister, is your storehouse; your tithe should always go there. If it doesn't, your church will not function properly.

Think of it as you would your own household. You get your food and rest at your home. You work to provide for your home. What if you began to give your earnings to another household? What would happen? The funds would dry up, and your household, your family, would go without. The same is true for the local church.

I want to take this even further now. Within each local church are multiple ministries or needs or departments---however you refer to them. These ministries are branches of the church body. Just like your own body, you feed the stomach, which then nourishes the rest of you---your arms, legs, hands, etc... Your tithe belongs to the the stomach of the church---the general fund as many call it. You cannot feed your body through your arm; it does not receive nourishment that way. If you give your tithe to a specific ministry within your church instead of to the general fund, a malnourishment occurs, and the church as a whole begins suffer and cannot function properly.

When you bring your tithes and offerings to the church your tithe belongs to the whole church body, or general fund. Your offerings belong to whatever ministry, need, person, etc... that God directs you to.

To all our supporters, we say thank you, however, we ask that you remain faithful first and foremost in your tithes to your local churches general fund. That is where it belongs. Any offerings or givings that you feel led to give to AFN, we humbly accept.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Just an update...

The time is going by so quickly!!! We are now only 82 days away from departure. We are all so excited. In the meantime, there is quite a bit going around here. When we moved into our new home, this past January, we were told that they would be building a house in the "lot" behind ours (aka, the back yard). In actuality, they are turning our home into a glorified duplex. They began construction this last monday. It hasn't been too bad. They start around 7 and are gone by 3. Sure has kept the kids entertained!!

However, because the back yard is completely gone, and our front is too close to the road, we had to make the hard decision to find our dog a new home. We had talked about this with the kids two weeks ago, and so they knew this was a possibility. They were sad, but they understood, and have had a really good attitude about it. To "make it up to them" we took them to the pet store to pick out a new pet. We are now the proud owners of "Elaina the Hamster." The kids are so excited about the hamster! The deal was that Son got to pick out the hamster and Daughter would name it. So, Son keeps saying "I did a good job! I picked a good one!" To which Daughter replied "And I did a good job naming her!"

Beginning Monday, I will start training my replacement at work. We have found the perfect person for the job, so that is great! I have put alot of time, sweat, and tears into this company. However, I know it is time to move on, and I am looking forward to being able to focus fully on the kids schooling, my family, and of course, Africa!!! :-)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Prayer Calendar

You can now sign up to pray for us while we are gone, as well as while we prepare to go. Click here to get more info and to sign up.

Free Clinic

Cecilia had been complaining about a pain in her side, which would happen most often after eating or going to the bathroom. I was pretty certian she had some sort of bladder or kidney infection. What do I do? I can't exactly just take her to the DR.

I checked out free clinics online. Almost all of them were related to WIC or to a school, both of which are inaccessable to someone not in their system. (so much for "free") Somehow, I stumbled upon a clinic called Good News Community Health Center. If you asked me to show you how I found it on the net right now, I couldn't tell you. I know it was God's leading.

I called at 12:30pm to see if she could come in, while I am on my way to pick her up from her hotel in Janzen Beach. The receptionist told me they only take 4 walk in patients a day and that you have to be there by 1pm. And as far as appointments....they are booked for months! Well, knowing that there was NO WAY I could make it by 1pm, I decided to take a chance.

We got there at 1:35pm. I explained the situation, and the DR decided to see her even though they already had their four for the day. What an amazing DR and what an amazing ministry. Everyone was so nice and helpful. They didn't hide the fact that their sole purpose was to love people and share the Good News. They reach out to those in our community who don't have another means of healthcare. They also do lots of classes and education on health and wellness.

I have passed this place (181st and Stark) hundreds of times and never thought twice about the name or what they do. I was really impressed with their ministry, and wanted to get the word out.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

worthy of a post all it's own....

I am going to be an Aunti to a niece!! Yep, Jenn is having a girl. Total shocker!! I thought it was a boy, and I have called every baby right since Taelynn! :-) But, girls are cool, too. :-) I believe they are going to name her Stephanie Jr. Pretty sure I heard that somewhere....

Daughter is so happy it's a girl. Son.....well......he is cool with it now, but not so in the beginning. When I told him, he just stared at me. Then he started to cry. He really wanted it to be a boy.
:-( Maybe next time.