Posted by: Ed | February 16, 2010

THE SECRET OF THE 10% and the WEEKEND that WAS

The weekend at Journey had great Kairos moments. I have the unspeakable privilege of seeing God work. The fun part is seeing Him use things, often that were unplanned or accidental. God always uses us way beyond what one could reasonably expect giving what you did. It’s cool.

Our series God-O-Nomics hit part 2 this weekend. The series is basically about how we go through something like “the worst economy in a generation” as followers of Christ. There is simply no way to do a series like this without talking about “THE SECRET OF THE 10%. The message took shape in my head in discussions with people about “tithing” and whether it’s relevant for us or if it’s akin to prohibitions on beard trimming, shellfish eating or tattooing. Basically we tried to follow this “thread of the tenth” through the Scripture.

We always have great worship / music but this weekend was one of those instant traction times.

It was also great to hear from our peeps in Haiti, Marko & Ian. We read an email from Marko & Ian sent us some footage in time for the 10:45 service.

OC MOM VISIT: It was great to have all the girls go up to the OC with me to see my mom. Other than gnarly traffic, it was a pretty good time.

SELAH – It’s always feels a little risky heading to Selah. We honestly don’t know what exactly is going to happen. We are there to worship, to pray and to see what God might want to do. We deliberately have a minimal agenda. We also want to make space to respond to the Lord’s movement. There were several stories of God at work. Here’s one: We were in the midst of a prayer times. There was a line of people waiting to receive prayer with our prayer team. So as I’m just enjoying the worship, out of nowhere, my lower back starts hurting. I didn’t think a thing of it, but then the thought came to me, “is this God speaking to me.” It seemed as if it just might be, so I said in the mic, “if you have lower back issues, I think there’s grace for you.” Sunday night I got this on Facebook:

Hey – I ALREADY have a testimony from tonight – The past 2 Sun’s at church I have literally been sick to my stomach (not you REALLY!!! :) ) no seriously tho but because of the pain in my lower back sitting for that amount of time and actually over the past 2 weeks or so have LITERALLY been sick to my stomach because of lower back pain. I went up for prayer tonight after going up the first time to pray with two prayer team memebers for the young single mother and baby and felt IMMEDIATE relief – whil slight still felt IMMEDIATE relief. Talked to a few peolpe and left. Got in my car – sat down and twisted – my back cracked in such a way that i could move and SOOOOO much stress just evaporated out of my body and what did “J” say about just being calm in the midst of God WOW!!! What a night – I just thank EVERYONE that was ther tonight PULLING on God so that I and so many others might be healed and have HOPE!!!! LOVE YA! :) :) :).“.

Cool. The word of the night seemed to be “God is on the move”.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. A quote I have over my computer: “Jesus said you can’t serve God and money. He could have said “you can’t serve God and the devil.” But he chose to say money. That tells me that money is the number one competitor for our hearts. One of the best ways to extinguish the fire that money can burn in our hearts is to choose a lifestyle that is consistent with what God would have us live.”
    I can’t remember where I got the quote, but it has been good for me to see everyday – keeps me focused. Thanks for the amazing sermon last Sunday.

  2. Those who honor God and order their lives in accordance with His Will will have a deep reverance for Him. That can even be interpreted as ‘those who fear the Lord.” I find some of the OT passages on tithing very interesting… For instance, Deut 14:22-29 What I find the most interesting in old testament tithing is bringing your tithe to the temple and consuming it together in the Presence of the Lord! That the tithe was meant to care for the Levites, foreigners, fatherless and widows. Those most vulnerable in their society. There’s a sense of community and caring represented here that we do not enjoy even though NT tithing states that God loves a cheerful giver. Maybe it’s the way we give that is so important. How are we caring for the most vulnerable at Journey? How are we all sharing and consuming together in this fellowship which is the tithe? How are we inviting the most vulnerable in our society to enjoy at the same level without placing the same demands on them? We are obeying the scriptures but are we representing the character of God in our communities and to the least of these? Just my thoughts (no condemnation in Christ Jesus)… Thanks for challenging us, Ed, to look at tithing in a different light!!!

  3. Really appreciate the new series about God’s persepective on money, contentment, giving. I’ve included a short article I wrote a while back after God convicted me of my greed factor. Even though “we can’t take it with us”, it sure is easy to accumulate stuff!

    My Shopping Fast – Learning the difference between “need” and “greed”

    The “joy of shopping” has been a part of my life experience as long as I can remember.
    New shoes, tops, jeans, belts and accessories are a fun part of every woman’s life, right?
    My mom’s to blame – she’s the one who introduced me to the miracle of the mall more than five decades ago. At eighty, she’s still going strong. And now, my grown daughters seem to have inherited this dominant tendency toward accumulating more garments than a closet can accommodate. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not completely addicted to shopping. It’s not like the mall is calling my name. But, I’ve noticed in the last few years with all the clothes catalogs coming right to my mailbox, I seem to want more. I rarely buy expensive clothes in stores like Nordstrom. Instead, I justify my purchases because I find fabulous “deals” at some of the terrific discount stores. Or, I just happen to hit Macy’s to pick up some makeup and notice a terrific blouse on sale – and I’ve just gotta have it!

    A couple years ago, I went to Africa with World Vision. I’ve never seen more thankful and joyful people than the men, women and children we encountered in Lesotho. Their clothes are often threadbare. But if their stomachs are full – they are content. It reminds me of the Apostle Paul’s words in 1Timothy 6: 6-8 which says:

    But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

    When Paul speaks of clothing, I don’t think he means a closet full of blouses, skirts, pants and dresses which we rarely wear because we have so many. This verse became highly convicting to me – especially as we began to pack all our worldly possessions to move across the world to Lugano, Switzerland a few years ago. I gave away, sold and donated lots of clothes before we left. But, still I had way too many to fit in the tiny closets of our European house. So, each time I took a trip home to California, I’d drag a big suitcase full of things to give away. That was almost three years ago.

    The closet purge
    In January 2009, I took a long, hard look at my clothes, shoes and accessories, and sorted out everything that was not on my favorite list. If I did not I wear them many times within their season, they went in the “give away” pile. Even with all the previous year’s purging, I still had twice as much as I needed – or even wanted. So, I found someone who had lost about 80 pounds and was now my size (to include shoes) and asked her if she’d like my old stuff. She was thrilled and blessed. I was blessed even more. The day she said yes, I realized that I needed to be more thankful for what I have and take a break from adding even one thing to my closet. I told the Lord of my intention to stop purchasing things for myself for a season and then told my husband and one of my best friends for encouragement and accountability.

    At month four, I was pretty proud of myself for being faithful to my commitment. Then, I realized that my dog had eaten half my workout socks and wondered if my son’s would fit me. Fortunately, that’s what he promised to give me for Mother’s Day! Then, we scheduled a trip to visit our friends in Europe this summer and realized I really don’t have walking sandals and told my two daughters that’s what I want for my birthday – just days before we left. How convenient. In the past when my husband wants to buy me a gift for Christmas or our anniversary, I always say, “Babe, I don’t need or want anything.” I realize I said this because I was always buying things for myself. Now, it is fun to think hard about my need and wants because I cannot buy anything for myself. Do I want a new pair of workout shoes (will they make a few more months) or a fun little summer dress for Europe? Which shall I choose?

    One day, I dug through my drawers and the back of my closet to find something I had not worn for a while and actually felt like I’d made a new purchase. I’ve discovered some fun combinations that create new outfits and had a few items altered to fit me better. I’ve also borrowed some cute jackets from my 32 year old daughter and a special dress from a “same-sized” friend. I love it and they like helping me stick to my fast! So, what size are YOU?

    One little purchase
    In mid-March, I needed to take a trip to Toronto and planned to take a couple skirts that required black tights. I went digging through my stocking drawer and the only pair I could find was damaged. So, I thought long and hard and decided that I would allow myself to make the $8 purchase since I could not wear these skirts without them. As I approached the counter, I felt disappointed in my little “indulgence” that blemished my perfect fast. However, those tights came in really handy when I hit the thirty degree winds of Toronto!

    Sunday is Mother’s Day. I’m excited – excited to give my mom the two beautiful blouses I bought her – excited to give my newly married daughter, Jill her presents because she just found out she’s pregnant and that makes this Mother’s Day really special. I’m also super excited to get my much anticipated new sweat socks. Halleluiah.

    Stay tuned…I’ll let you know how I survive summer. My bathing suit is looking a little sad. “Hey, Honey…don’t we celebrate Memorial Day with presents?”

    After eight long months, I broke my fast, with a minor binge, last September. I learned some important things:
    • There are three basic uses for money:
    o To consume – I learned that well at an early age – no practice needed
    o To invest – For emergencies, for the kid’s college, for retirement
    o To give – this is where I need more practice

    It became very clear that if I learn the secret of contentment that the Apostle Paul speaks of in Philippians, I can live without all the things I think I want. I learned that I cannot buy the most important things in life – friendship, laughter and enjoying God’s creation. And now, I enjoy all those things even more – when I’m unencumbered by too much stuff. I have learned that I have a lot more to give when I buy less for myself and that the cost of my$3 latte at Starbucks each morning could change the life of three starving children – the very ones who really “need”.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: