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Love and Marriage Pt 1 God’s Definition

Trash the dress photoI recently have taken on the position of online Chaplin for a Facebook group of christian women trying to encourage each other in their love lives and marriages. This has lead to so many questions about God’s guidelines in marriage and how to fix a broken or damaged marriage that I have decided to do a series of blogs based on the Pre-Marital counseling I used to require before conducting a wedding. I hope that in doing so both Husband’s and Wives can learn a bit about how to have a loving and godly marriage that is fulfilling to both partners.

Let’s start with this question: What is Marriage?  The definition now considered obsolete that I found in an older Websters dictionary is this: “the formal declaration or contract by which act a man and a woman join in wedlock.” a more modern definition is:”the legal or religious ceremony that formalizes the decision of two people to live as a married couple, including the accompanying social festivities” What I find funny is that both of these definitions are more a definition of a wedding not of marriage. A marriage isn’t the ceremony or the contract connecting a husband and wife together. A marriage is the living and relating to each other day to day after the ceremony is done and the license is signed. God defined it this way in Genesis 2:18-25Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”19 So the LORD God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one.20 He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him.21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening.22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.23At last!’ the man exclaimed. ‘This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called woman, because she was taken from man.’24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.25 Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.”

In these  verses we find out several things about marriage according to God. I want us to look at them carefully because if we don’t we will miss what God says marriage is and that leads, in today’s world, to a lot of the marital problems that Christians end up dealing with.

  1. Marriage is the end of a persons close committed relationship with their parents and the start of their close committed relationship with the person God has created to help them through life.

Do you see that scripture tells us that a man leaves his parents and is joined to his wife. In other words his (and her) relationship with parents changes. As children our parents are supposed to be the most important relationship we have with people. They are the ones who help us learn to be adults, to be godly people. They help protect us and nurture us. They love us with Christ like love and model what the love of God is supposed to look like. (I know that not all parents do so but that is a topic for a different day.) Then we find the person God created just for us. The one who fulfills #2 for us and we have a wedding. After that wedding we are to cut the emotional ties that make our parents the most important humans in our lives and transfer that emotion to our spouses.

This is where a lot of Marriages encounter problems. One spouse of the other doesn’t put their marriage ahead of their parents. It leads to parents that meddle in the marriage and children who instead of turning to their spouse for love, comfort, protection and nurturing turn to the people they’ve always turned to. We even say that we won’t do that in the marriage vows  but I’m not sure we even realize that is what is meant by “forsaking all others”. Oh we realize that it means no other partners but it means no other person is to meet those needs in our life.  When one spouse or both allow their parents to remain the most important human relationship in their life they are breaking God’s plan for marriage.  Often I’ve had to show these verses and other we will look at later to a couple or one side of a couple and say “you need to cut the close ties with your parents and start living life cleaved or joined emotionally, spiritually and physically to your spouse.” We have to be intentional about this. We must guard the marital relationship as the most important one of our lives at the expense of all other relationships.  Are you doing that in your own marriage? IF not who is your most important human relationship with and how can you change that to God’s plan?

2. Marriage is finding the person God created to walk with you and help you through life.

This whole passage starts with God saying it isn’t good for the man to be alone. He states he will create a Help-meet or Helper for the man. A companion who will walk and work alongside of man. The word literally translated is a helper who supports. God realized that man need to not be alone in the world that he needed someone like himself but vastly different to walk and live with him and support him. This is still what God wants for each of us. Just like with Adam he has created for you the perfect helper, the perfect companion. While not scripture what always comes to my mind when I think of this passage is the line from the movie Jerry McGuire “You complete me!” That’s what marriage is supposed to be finding the one who completes you. The person who is strong where you are weak and weak where you are strong. Then you cleave to them as KJV says. You join your life with theirs and together you become what neither one of you can be separately.

This is crucial in today’s world. Your focus is should be on helping your spouse be the best version of themselves that they can be. How different is that thought than what we are taught in the world today, even in the church. It seems like now days we have decided that the partnership should be a 50/50 split of everything. I’ll meet you in the middle thing. But that isn’t God’s plan. He created for Adam a partner who came 100% to fill the holes in Adam’s life. In return Adam was to go 100% to fill the holes in Eve’s life. Together they would be stronger, better, more themselves. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that any one spouse should lose who they are to support and help the other spouse. But if both parties of a marriage are living and acting as God created us to act in marriage we are both doing everything in our power to make our spouse better.  Are you strong in areas where your spouse is weak? Have the two of you talked about how you can assist each other and become the help God designed you to be for each other?  What one thing can you do to show your spouse that you want to be the companion God created for them?

3. Sex is a key component in becoming connected to each other.

The passage ends with “the two are united into one. Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.” Like me, you were probably taught that the last part of this goes to show that without sin in the world Adam and Eve didn’t know they needed to be ashamed. But if we look at this verse in context it is actually about the intimacy that the couple had with each other. They were “joined” together and because they had joined their bodies physically they had no need to hide anything from each other. They were not ashamed to be seen by their spouse because they were truly as the KJV says “become one flesh.” Sex in a marriage is not just for procreation something else I was taught in my early years. No, in fact, sex in a marriage is to help the couple become closer than they have ever been with any other person. Closer than any other relationship. It is a key way that the severing of ties to other relationships emotionally and spiritually happen.

Isn’t it an amazing thing when God knows exactly what we need to not just live but thrive and become our best us? God uses sex to help us connect at a deeper level to another human. This connection is also called a soul tie. It is the reason for God to say that sex outside of marriage isn’t good. Now having said that I don’t want you to feel guilty if you have had more sexual partners than you spouse. There is a way to cut all other soul ties. It’s simple just ask God to remove them. Ask for forgiveness for not living according to his plan and then ask him to remove any and all soul ties not part of your marital relationship. Then connect with your spouse and create or strengthen the soul tie you already have. Does it surprise you that sex inside of marriage has more than a baby making function? Discuss with your partner what you’ve learned in this section and see what more you can do to become “one flesh”.

That’s it for this first part of this series on Love and Marriage. Next week we will begin to look at the individual roles in marriage as God defines them. I hope that you learned something today and will come back next week as we look at the husbands role in marriage.  If you read this alone share it with your spouse and then have a conversation with them about what you both have read.  If you need clarity or have a question you can leave them in the comments below or you can email me at pastor.george.mcvey@gmail.com

Till next week.

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Redeeming Reputation

Chapter One

“Nobody move! This is a hold up!”

Those words woke David Nathaniel Ryder the Third from a deep sleep. As he opened his eyes, he saw two men with bandanas covering the lower parts of their faces. Each had a sixgun pointed at one side or the other of the train car Nathan and his fellow travelers occupied. 

“Now this will all be over in a minute if no one tries to play hero. I want you to take any weapons you have on you and put them in the bag my partner is coming around with. Then take everything of value that you have and place it in this bag. Just do as you’re told and we’ll all get out of this without a problem.” 

The shorter of the two began to walk up the aisle collecting weapons from the men in the passenger car. When he got to Nathan he stopped.

“Come on, gambler, I know you have a gun somewhere. It’s either in an arm holster or a hidey on your arm.” Nathan held up his Bible, “I believe you are mistaken, sir. I am not a gambler. I am a Minister of the Gospel on my way to the New Mexico Territory to work on a circuit.”

“If you’re one of those Bible thumpin’ preachers, why are you dressed all fancy like a gambler? I weren’t born yesterday, mister. I may not be a church goer, but I seen a few preachers and they dress plain and simple. Who you tryin’ to fool? Now hand over your piece.”

The outlaw thrust the gunnysack at Nathan.  “I assure you I am indeed a preacher. These are the clothes I left New York in. I have not yet had a chance to change my attire into something more western.”

“You assure me, do you? You talk like one of those rich businessmen from New York. Maybe you’re carrying a lot of money.” 

The taller outlaw noticed the commotion. “What’s the holdup, Shorty?”

“This here fella claims to have no weapon. He dresses like a gambler or fancy businessman, but says he’s a preacher headed for the territory. I think he’s a lying, Slim.”

The taller outlaw, called Slim, stepped closer and looked Nathan up and down. 

“Well, Shorty, I agree he don’t much look like a preacher. What’s your name, Preacher?”

“David Nathaniel Ryder the Third.”

“That name sounds familiar to me. I think I heard about a rich preacher in New York named Ryder.”

Now it was Nathan’s turn to sigh. He had hoped not to have to admit to being the son of the most prominent preacher in New York. “That would be my father.”

“Shorty, he really is a preacher. He don’t have a weapon on him, but I bet he is loaded with cash. How about it, Preacher? Don’t your Bible say something about giving to the poor? I think you should hand over your money to us poor men right now.”

Slim held out his gunny sack while pointing his gun straight at Nathan’s face. Nathan reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a money pouch filled with gold double eagles. He opened the pouch and showed the contents to the outlaws.

“This is all the money I have in my pockets. I will give it to you under one condition. You take it and leave all these other people alone. After all, this is more money than you will probably get from all of them combined”.

Slim looked Nathan in the eye and laughed. “I don’t think you understand the situation here, Preacher. I’m in charge, not you. Now put that money bag in my sack and sit down before I put a bullet in your noggin.”

Nathan thought about it for a minute. He knew with the training his grandfather had given him, he could defeat these two. However, he wasn’t sure he could do it without causing one of the other passengers to get hurt. He slowly put his money bag in Slim’s sack and sat back down.  Slim turned away from him and took in the other passengers.

“Well, the good preacher has made his contribution to our poor box today. Now it’s time for the rest of you to do so. I want all jewelry, cash and anything else of value put in this sack as I come to you.”

With Shorty standing by the door just behind Nathan, Slim approached each passenger. They slowly dropped their valuables into the sack. Everything was going perfectly until Slim got to a pretty, dark haired mother and her young son. As he was collecting her money, he noticed a gold cross necklace she was trying to hide inside her dress. 

“Lady, I said all your valuables. Now give me that necklace.” Slim reached out to yank it off her neck and as he did so, her son, seeing the masked man reaching for his mother, reacted.

“Leave my Mama alone!”

He grabbed Slim’s arm and bit him on the hand as hard as he could. Slim reacted without thinking and slammed his sixgun up against the side of the child’s head. The blow sent the boy flying, to land two seats down the aisle. Blood began pooling under the child’s head.  Shorty stepped towards the action, his pistol moving back and fourth, looking for any reactions from the passengers. Nathan watched in anger as the mother gave up her necklace and rushed to her son. He knew he had to do something.

Just as he was about to rush Shorty, one of his Grandfather Nate’s stories came to his mind. It was a story about using Indian stealth and cunning to outwit several outlaws who wanted his gold.  He stood slowly and walked towards Slim.

“You do not listen too well, do you, hooligan?”

Slim spun toward him, thrusting his gun at Nathan. “Whatcha talking about, Preacher?”

“I told you that was all the money I had on me. I never said it was all the money I had. I am escorting an offering to the New Mexico Territory from my father’s church for a mission project to the Mexican people. 

“Why don’t you and your companion come with me, collect that strong box and leave these people alone?”

Nathan motioned towards the baggage car behind him.  Slim, greed shining in his eyes, motioned to Shorty.

“Well, Shorty, since the eastern preacher is so willing to part with his cash, why don’t you just take him to the baggage car and empty that strong box of its contents?”

Shorty motioned for Nathan to proceed to the baggage car. Neither outlaw saw the smile that played across Nathan’s face as he walked calmly out of the passenger car. No sooner had he entered the baggage car than Nathan dropped down on all fours and swept Shorty’s legs out from under him. As Shorty fell Nathan stood and used his right hand to knock the outlaw’s gun from his fingers. With a powerful left uppercut, Nathan knocked Shorty unconscious. Nathan dragged him farther into the baggage car, grabbed some of the rope netting that secured the passengers’ bags, and tied the outlaw up. 

Nathan retrieved Shorty’s sixgun, then slipped his coat and shoes off. Running quietly to the far end of the baggage car, Nathan exited and climbed up on top of the car. He cautiously proceeded back to the far end of the passenger car. He dropped as stealthy as an Indian back down to the entrance to the passenger section.  He silently opened the door and rushed Slim but the padding of stockinged feet must have reached the outlaw. Slim turned straight into the flying fist of the young preacher. His feet flew off of the floor and he landed hard on his back. The sixgun in his hand discharged harmlessly into the ceiling. Before he could bring it back to bear on his attacker, Nathan wrenched it from his grasp and smashed the grip down between Slim’s eyes, rendering him senseless. 

Nathan handed the gun to the conductor and informed him of the other outlaw tied up in the baggage car. He proceeded toward the place where the mother held her child’s head in her lap. Another male passenger turned to him and whispered,

“Preacher, I’m a doctor. I’ve done all I can, but that little boy isn’t going to make it.” 

Nathan dropped to his knees beside the child and did the only thing he knew to do. He placed a hand on the child’s forehead. 

“Oh, God, we cry out for mercy and healing for this child!” 

As the astonished passengers’ watched, the bleeding stopped and the knot on the side of the boy’s head slowly shrank. The child’s breathing became less labored. Nathan thanked God aloud for his healing touch and smiled at the mother. She just nodded her head and continued to love on her child.  Nathan stood and announced to the doctor,

“Sometimes, Doctor, you just have to appeal to the Greatest Physician to do what only he can.”

He turned to help the conductor drag the stunned outlaw to where his companion was tied up. Returning to his seat, he settled in to await the next stop and a lawman.

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

A Plea for Readers and Reviewers

As you all know (because you follow me) I’m an Author as well as an Avid reader and reviewer. Well since my last post things have changed One of the people I consider a writing mentor asked me to help run her network for Christian writers and authors. In that role I have met a ton of Independent writers, I do an internet show now where I interview those authors and in doing so I read a lot of books and a lot of posted Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes and Noble reviews. Which is what brings me to my current topic.

HONESTY

Why this topic? Because lately I’ve had to tell several people “Your book isn’t the quality we want to promote.” Their response “You don’t know what you’re talking about. My family and friends love it and I have (blank) numbers of great reviews.”  How do you tell the fragile ego that is the new Author “Sorry but this is the reality of the situation”? They don’t believe me or the other professionals who speak the truth to them because their “friends” who would NEVER LIE TO ME did just that.

I get that we don’t want to tell people “yes that dress makes you look fat”, or “your baby looks like something the incredible Hulk and the Thing had together.” However the reader/reviewer does no one a favor by lying to the writer in the review. If you tell the writer it’s great when it sucks that creates problems.  I want to list them so you will understand. From here on out I’m going to talk as a writer.

1. If my book is confusing don’t tell me it makes perfect sense. As an independent Author I count on my readers and friends to be honest with me. You see I want to put out the best product I can. If my book makes no sense and you don’t tell me how can I fix the problem? Or problems.

2. If you tell me my book is bad it will hurt my feelings but I’m a grown up. Yes I may be upset at first but if you don’t just say something harsh like “This is the worst crap I’ve ever read” without telling me why. What I mean is if you don’t like it and think it needs work. Then tell me so, but in a constructive way. Constructive criticism gives me specific things I focus on fixing, to make my manuscript better.

3. Please don’t leave me glowing reviews if the book isn’t great. You may think your doing me a favor but think again. If my book needs work and you give me a five star review because you’re my friend and don’t want to hurt my feelings what happens when an honest complete stranger destroys my manuscript with a one star review. Let me tell you as a writing mentor, and reviewer what I’ve seen happen. The writer doesn’t believe it. I have actually received emails like these.  “I have this many 4&5 star reviews. I know my book is good, my friends told me it is. You must be jealous or vindictive or trying to destroy my career.” All because mom, dad, uncle Bob, Aunt Edna and my best friends Buffy, Brenda and CoChee all told me how great it was.

4. Friend or not if you think my book needs work don’t leave that one or two star review. Instead contact me and tell me what you think needs fixed.  This gives me a chance to fix your issues and make my book better. Afterwards I and most professional Authors would be willing to send you the updated manuscript to reread and give you the opportunity to leave a better review. Low reviews do effect my sales. I don’t want to put out an inferior product but I don’t want to have to overcome terrible reviews with things I can easily fix. This last one actually happened to me. I still don’t know how but one of my books, an early draft, got published on a site. The reviewer contacted me and said “You have a lot of grammar and spelling issues.” I went to the site and realized what had happened. I had the chance to fix  the problem and send the reviewer the updated version. What would have been a well deserved one star review, became a four star.

Final thoughts on this PLEASE DON”T LIE to the authors in your life. We deserve the truth so we can make the best product we can. You want to help your friends and family member be the best Author they can be then be honest with them. Because when you aren’t you leave it up to me to break their heart and maybe destroy their dream. Especially if they won’t listen to a stranger because their loved ones told them how great their tale is. reader-writers

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

A Plee to Readers and Reviewers.

writers As you all know (because you follow me) I’m and Author as well as an Avid reader and reviewer. Well since my last post things have changed One of the people I consider a writing mentor asked me to help run her network for Christian writers and authors. In that role I have met a ton of Independent writers, I do an internet show now where I interview those authors and in doing so I read a lot of books and a lot of posted Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes and Noble reviews. Which is what brings me to my current topic.

HONESTY

Why this topic? Because lately I’ve had to tell several people “Your book isn’t the quality we want to promote.” Their response “You don’t know what you’re talking about. My family and friends love it and I have (blank) numbers of great reviews.”  How do you tell the fragile ego that is the new Author “Sorry but this is the reality of the situation”? They don’t believe me or the other professionals who speak the truth to them because their “friends” who would NEVER LIE TO ME did just that.

I get that we don’t want to tell people “yes that dress makes you look fat”, or “your baby looks like something the incredible Hulk and the Thing had together.” However the reader/reviewer does no one a favor by lying to the writer in the review. If you tell the writer their book is great when it sucks that creates a bunch of problem.  I want to list them so you will understand. From here on out I’m going to talk as a writer.

1. If my book is confusing don’t tell me it makes perfect sense. As an independent Author I count on my readers and friends to be honest with me. You see I want to put out the best product I can. If my book makes no sense and you don’t tell me how can I fix the problem? Or problems.

2. If you tell me my book is bad it will hurt my feelings but I’m a grown up. Yes I may be upset at first but if you don’t just say something harsh like “This is the worst crap I’ve ever read” without telling me why. What I mean is if you don’t like it and think it needs work. Then tell me so, but in a constructive way. Constructive criticism gives me specific things I focus on fixing, to make my manuscript better.

3. Please don’t leave me glowing reviews if the book isn’t great. You may think your doing me a favor but think again. If my book needs work and you give me a five star review because you’re my friend and don’t want to hurt my feelings what happens when an honest complete stranger destroys my manuscript with a one star review. Let me tell you as a writing mentor, and reviewer what I’ve seen happen. The writer doesn’t believe it. I have acctually recieved emails like these.  “I have this many 4&5 star reviews. I know my book is good, my friends told me they are. You must be jealous or vindictive or trying to destroy my career.” All because mom, dad, uncle Bob, Aunt Ednea and my best freinds Buffy, Brenda and CoChee all told me how great it was.

4. Friend or not if you think my book needs work don’t leave that one or two star review. Instead contact me and tell me what you think needs fixed.  This gives me a chance to fix your issues and make my book better. Afterwards I and most professional Authors would be willing to send you the updated manuscript to reread and give you the opportunity to leave a better review. Low reviews do effect my sales. I don’t want to put out an inferior product but I don’t want to have to overcome terrible reviews with things I can easily fix. This last one actually happened to me. I still don’t know how but one of my books, an early draft, got published on a site. The reviewer contacted me and said “You have a lot of grammar and spelling issues.” I went to the site and realized what had happened. I had the chance to fix  the problem and send the reviewer the updated version. What would have been a well deserved one star review, became a four star.

Final thoughts on this PLEASE DON”T LIE to the authors in your life. We deserve the truth so we can make the best product we can. You want to help your friends and family member be the best Author they can be then be honest with them. Because when you aren’t you leave it up to me to break their heart and maybe destroy their dream. Especially if they won’t listen to a stranger because their loved ones told them how great their tale is. reader-writers

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Ghost’s Salvation and Generational Curses

wishing-well-curse-coverI sat down with author Lynn Donovan the other day and had a discussion of her new novel “The Wishing Well Curse” in it she has several scenes that some may find controversial in nature. During our course of discussion we talked about those things. So today I want to share her spiritual side of the conversation. As well as give my opinion on the topics. Let’s  start with ghosts Mrs. Donovan has two characters that are for lack of a better term ghosts.  There are those who say ghost don’t exist but that is not what Scripture says at least once that we know of an actual ghost is mentioned in scripture In 1 Samuel 28 this is the story of Saul and the Witch of Endor. Now I know there are those that would say that this was a special circumstance but I take it and Jesus own words. When the diciples saw him walking on water they thought he was a ghost. Jesus never told them there were no such things as ghosts only that he wasn’t one.  Again I know this is controversial but let me let Mrs. Donovan give her take on this topic.

Lynn what do you say to those who would say that the use of ghosts and talking with them is controversial in Christian fiction?

My response is simple, really. This story is fiction. Not non-fiction. I did not experience this stuff and now am writing to tell the world what happened to me. It’s a made-up story about a made-up guy who encounters made-up characters who happen to be ghosts. Because I think Ghost stories are fun! So IF a ghost existed, why not offer them salvation before you try to help them cross over? It just didn’t seem fair to me to cross the poor guy over so that he could go straight to hell.

The bible tells us not to seek the dead. I get that. But this was not a séance it was a ghost story. Zeke wasn’t seeking dead spirits, they happened upon each other. Again, it’s fiction. I made the story up. To be entertaining. Hopefully, I accomplished that.

How do you address the topic of Generational Curses and the use of the Jabez tell to break the curse?

I do believe in generational curses because the bible speaks of such to the fourth generation. Yes, it’s under the old covenant, but it’s still there and that was my guide for designing this curse. And, that is why I set up this story for Zeke to be the fourth generation who is able to break the curse.

For the past four years I have been reading the bible from year-long reading plans. One day, about two years ago, I was reading 1 Chronicles and was (sorry God) bored with the tedious details. I’m not a bean counter. I’m so glad God is, because I know these things are important. But I’m not. Anyway, reading along, bored with the listings, I stumbled on 1 Chronicles 4:10. WOW! What a nugget for my soul. I have issues with my childhood and I realized this passage was my freedom from those issues. I took the enlightenment to my pastors and they surprised me further with the knowledge that others have gone before me and have written about the power of the Jabez’s prayer. Who knew?

So, when I was plotting out The Wishing Well Curse, I automatically turned to this curse breaking passage and realized it fit perfectly with this story. So I wove it into the plot. It helped immensely moving the plot through to the resolution. I think.

I have to step back and tell you that I don’t really think this was my doing. I’m not this smart. God planted these ideas in my head and this story is all for His glory.

Your hero struggles with accepting that he has a God chosen destiny is that something that you yourself have struggled with? What would you want to say to a reader who may be struggling with this issue?

Good question!  Yes. I have known all my life that Jesus died for my sins. I knew God loved me and I belonged to Him. I accepted Jesus as my savior when I was 13. Dude, I gave away my tickets to a David Cassidy concert to go to a lay-witness youth meeting because I knew they were going to give us an opportunity to come forward and ask to be saved. That was a big deal when I was thirteen years old!

But I never knew what to do from there. I struggled all my adult life trying to “do it myself.” And I failed miserable. Finally, in my fiftieth year of life, I watched a series at church by John Bevere, Driven to Eternity. It all clicked and revelation began to manifest in my head. My pastors and church leaders guided me, gave me books, prayed for me. I became anointed in the Holy Spirit and have grown in the Lord. I’m by no means where we all should be, but I strive to be like Christ and I ask for forgiveness when I fall short.

I am aware of His presence in so many things in my life and I give Him thanks for it all. I no longer believe in coincidence. I know He’s at work in my life and his purpose for me is what I strive to fulfill.

Thus, my interest in building characters who discover their destiny.

My advice to others who are struggling with this: talk to you pastors. Schedule a weekly appointment to sit down with them and talk about this. Ask them to pray for you, over you, with you. Use the church library and read or watch CDs about the subject. I highly recommend ANY of John Bevere’s publications. But there are many others. Open your heart and your mind to what God will deposit into you through these resources. The bible tells us that if we seek Him, He will be there. Because he’s always there. We just have to move toward Him, instead of away from Him. He will never force Himself upon us. We have to invite Him into our lives.

Well Lynn thanks for sharing with me. I pray you have much success with “The Wishing Well Curse” For my readers if you want to get a copy of Lynn’s book which is a great entertaining read you can get it here.

You can also read the rest of this interview at my writers blog here.

 

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tithing Pastors and the Applebee’s Tip

The other day, while I was on a popular social network, I was asked this question. Do Pastors tithe? The reason for this question was the recent news incident of the pastor who tried to stiff a waitress at an Applebee’s grill. Not only did he try to stiff the server, he wrote a note on the receipt that said: “I give God 10% so why do you get 18%?” Then he signed it Pastor “so and so”.receiptgrab

My friend, who asked this question, doesn’t attend church; nor to my knowledge does he profess to a personal relationship with Christ. His question made that obvious. This was his question “Do pastors actually tithe?” Then of course, this led to a whole bunch of follow up questions. Today I want to tackle the topic of ‘Do pastors tithe?’ Also some discussion about tithes and offerings in general.

Tithing is a biblical directive given by God to Moses for the children of Israel. You can find the command and rules in Leviticus 27, Numbers 18, Deuteronomy 12 and 14. The one that has the most to do with our question is found in Numbers 18:26 Speak thus to the Levites, and say to them: ‘When you take from the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them as your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave offering of it to the Lord, a tenth of the tithe.”

Within this passage is the answer to the questions do pastors tithe. The original reason for the tithe was so that the Levites, who were the tribe where all of Israel’s priests came from were not to own land or work in the fields. They were to be priests of God to the children of Israel. The other tribes were commanded to bring a tithe of ten percent of the increase of their produce and animals to the church to support God’s work and his workers, the Levites. So some pastors who say since I am paid by the tithe of my congregation I don’t actually need to tithe because my whole salary comes from the tithe. I know of other pastors who work both at the church and outside the church who will tithe on what they make secularly but not on their church salary.

However, if you read Numbers 18:26 you see that even the Levites were commanded to offer up an offering of a tenth of the tithe that they received. In other words, they offered a tithe of the tithe. So looking at this I believe pastors should tithe on any salary they receive. This leads to one of the follow up questions about tithing I am often asked. Should I tithe on my gross pay or my net pay? Again, I know people who do it either way. I know and have people in church who tithe right off the top of their gross salary before taxes and deductions. I also have people who tithe off their net or take home pay. However, I personally don’t think either of those are scriptural. Scripture tells us in Deuteronomy 14:22 “You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year.”

You are to tithe of the increase or the fruit of your labor. Any farmer knows that it takes seed to grow crops in other words there are expenses to making money. Scripturally you are to tithe off the increase or the fruit of your labor. In other words, after your expenses. Most people don’t keep a detailed budget of how much it costs them to work where they do, but the truth is, as the old saying goes, “ it takes money to make money”. Scripturally you are commanded to tithe off the money you make after your expenses. This can be complicated to figure out, so I generally tell people to talk to God, listen, and he will tell them how they should tithe off their gross salary, their net salary, or after expenses are accounted for.

Finally, I want to address the note this pastor gave to the waitress. He said “I give God ten percent why should you get eighteen?” There are two things I would say to this pastor. The first is this; If all you give God is your tithe of ten percent then you aren’t actually obeying God. He tells us to “bring your tithe and OFFERINGS into the store house. So there will be meat in My house.” We’re commanded to give a tithe of 10% plus offerings above that. Therefore, if you only give God his 10 percent then you, sir, are shortchanging God.

Second, if you had ever worked in the service industry then you would know that, according to labor laws, servers are only paid half of minimum wage. The other half of their wage is supposed to come from their tips. Why did she get 18 percent? Because it was Applebee’s company policy; and because it accounts for half of her actual salary. As my absolute last word on this topic, let me further state, Scripture also commands us to “Love our Neighbor as our self” and to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” So next time you eat out, preacher, why not write a different note. One that says: “Just wanted to tell you God loves you and so do I. Here’s an extra 10% for a total of 20% just to show you a token of that love.

Until the next question
PG.

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

What does it cost to be a Spiritual Warrior?

What does it cost to be a Spiritual Warrior?

An online and writing acquaintance of mine has a blog that I follow regularly and today she had a political post that sparked something spiritual in me. So instead of answering a question today, I want to spend some time talking about the cost of Spiritual Warfare. If you need a question to be answered I guess it would be this- If I get involved in the Spiritual Battle to bring revival to America again, what will it cost me?

My friend posted that during the ancient battle for Thermopylae the Persian king Xerxes called for the Spartan King Leonidas and his army to surrender their weapons. Leonidas replied, “Molon Laba” which means “Come and take them.” During the Battle for the Alamo in Texas history Santa Anna called for the surrender of the fort the response of Colonel Travis and company was similar to the Spartan’s: “Come and take it.” My friend mentions that in both cases the result was a complete loss of life. I was reading that post when I felt God whisper into my heart that to each of those groups the cost was worth it.

God is looking for people to stand in the gap for America and fight in the Spiritual Realm for a new spiritual revival in our great nation. But God never wants his people to enter the fight without considering the cost. Look at Jesus’ own words on this subject, they are found in Luke 14:25-33 Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it–lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’  Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?  Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace.  So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”(NKJV)

Jesus makes it plain here that we need to consider the cost of following him and furthering his mission. That is of course what disciples do. He even tells us what it will cost us–all that we have. In my role of Evangelist and End Time Revivalist I hear lots of people proclaim that they want a move of God in their community, church, state, and nation. Yet, when the enemy attacks, they run away in fear or talk about how it cost too much or is too hard to handle.

Yes it is hard to stand against an overwhelming attack, but that didn’t stop the 300 Spartan warriors or the brave freedom fighters at the Alamo. In both of these physical cases they stood till the last man lost his life. It may have seemed like they lost the war but the truth is both loses became the rallying point for greater victory. We might not know the Texan call of “Come and take it”, but we have all heard the phrase issued by Sam Huston, “Remember the Alamo,” which became the Rally Cry that brought Santa Anna defeat and Texas freedom.

Maybe you will chose to stand up and be part of the spiritual army fighting for an awakening of spiritual righteousness in America, and maybe it will cost you everything. But if your payment leads to what you want to see isn’t it worth that cost? I don’t know about those of you reading this, but for me the answer is this: I would give everything up to and including my life to see America become “One nation under God” again. That’s right; to see America return to being known as a “Christian Nation” I am willing to lay down my life. I like the Spartans of old scream in the face of the evil one. “Satan you want me to surrender my weapons and my country to you? Well all I have to say is COME AND TAKE ‘EM”

PG

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2012 in Uncategorized