Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Blessings List: Giving = Receiving

One of the most powerful and basic principles of life regards that of giving. When you give with a heart to help, you receive! This is a principle that effects not only God's people but all who practice it. However, giving should not be done with a view towards receiving but with a view towards blessing the recipient.
Acts 20:35
I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
This is especially true when giving unto the household since we're to do good to all men, but especially to the household of faith (Gal. 6:10.) Recently myself and several other people from our bible fellowship were given the opportunity to help a woman in our fellowship move to another apartment. As we rode up the elevator at her new complex, she mentioned how she should do something for all of us to thank us for helping. My response was that our reward lied in heaven, and she was quick to remind me that we would not only be rewarded for our diligence in the life to come, but in this life as well.

That night I received a phone call from a man who wanted to hire me to fix an application his company was developing that had run awry. The project would only last a few days, paid well, and since they were overdue on the project I could start working on it the very next day. I eagerly jumped on board and had a wonderful time working for the company. Now, they want to meet with me to discuss other projects I can help them with.

When I finished that project, I received an email from a woman I had previously contacted who needed a website developed. When I originally contacted her she had already found someone to develop the site, but now her developer wasn't working out so she wanted to meet with me at a local Starbucks the next day to discuss her site.

That night at fellowship the woman that we had helped move gave my wife and I a gift card for helping her move. It was for Starbucks. Needless to say, the meeting went great and I'll begin working on the website next week.

I hope my story will be an example to you of God's blessings and encourage you to seek out new opportunities to give - Especially to God's people.


Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Year's Irish Lore

Proposing marriage takes a leap of faith, but back in the early centuries of Irish lore, it required a leap of time. In those days, a woman was allowed to break with tradition and propose to her beau on a leap day in a leap year. The man could not refuse her hand unless he countered with a substantial consolation prize (silk or cash would do the trick). What was it about this elusive date that encouraged such a twist in the standard? The answer is in the calendar. The day was askew, the year awry. With the natural order topsy-turvy, what difference could a mere proposal make?
- 1-Click Answers

Friday, February 08, 2008

Blessings List: Out of the Hole

I had one of those experiences recently that is really hard to refute that it was God working in my life. I said to my friend Chandler, "You know, I should start keeping a log of all of these things to remind me of God's deliverance when I'm feeling down." He suggested I blog on it so that you guys can be blessed by it too. Enjoy!

I've been in a bit of a rut lately. Essentially I hadn't received a new project since December. There were multiple projects that would have been huge and looked like they were going to happen, but fell through at the last minute.

To top all of this off, I was already behind. In October I injured my neck at Jujitsu training and for about a month couldn't sit for more than a few minutes at a time - Which is a big problem when you're a programmer. Just prior to that my wife decided to come work for me from home, which was a huge blessing to our lives but meant we didn't have that second income anymore. This was all during the holidays, so we were in Florida visiting family for a week (for whom we bought presents) and then had some friends of ours visit us for a week (who we also bought presents for.)

All of this added up and we were hurting bad financially. I kept working hard to find new clients, checking Craig's List every day. For the first time in a long time I had made the decision that I would trust in God no matter what, and it seemed our Adversary was pissed about that. My mind was in the right place, but for some reason things just kept getting worse and worse.

Finally, I decided to talk to my leadership at my church about all of this. I attend a local bible fellowship. I talked to the gentleman that runs it and he told me that he and his wife had recently redone their budget. He suggested I come over and they'd take a look at what we had and see if there were some places where we could better steward our finances.

Well, my wife works in accounting and we had done this many many times ourselves during this whole fiasco. The two of us were skeptical that they'd find anything, but we met with them and remembered that it's God that gives the increase for us taking action - even if there's no "5-senses" reason for things to get better.

As we expected, there wasn't much that they could see for us to improve upon. They did tell us that my wife should start looking for work again and let us borrow some taped bible teachings they had on financial prosperity. We went home expecting the best.

The next day my wife went and applied at our local Starbucks as a Barista, a job she had done before. During lunch we watched one of the tapes and I continued looking for new work, as I was doing before. Craig's List was slim-pickin's that day, but we didn't let ourselves get discouraged. We knew we had obeyed a representative of God and that God would honor that.

That night I received a call from a friend that I used to work with before we were married. I hadn't talked to this guy for almost four years and he had to call my dad's office to get his number to call my dad to get mine. There was a job a client of his had requested that he complete several months ago but he had been so busy that he didn't have time to do it. Because they had waited so long, they needed it done right away and I was who came to his mind to call to complete the project.

The job is relatively small, which is a good thing because I can finish it quickly and get paid for it quickly. However, it's big enough for it to pay all our bills for the next month and they're paying a retainer up-front that will cover our needs until the project is complete. It is exactly what we needed.

The next day (yesterday) I started on the project and faithfully pursued some new Craig's List postings. However, this time I got a response from two of them, one of which I'm going to have an interview with next week! The issue was resolved immediately when we took the appropriate action. It was fixed in a manner we would have never expected, and better than we could have ever hoped. I guess you could say it was abundantly above all that we ask or think! (Eph. 3:20)

So why is it that talking to my bible fellowship coordinator fixed this issue? And why did I have this problem in the first place?

Proverbs 11:14 says, "Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety." Up until that point I hadn't sought help on the issue. Although my stand was strong, I was embarrassed by my lack and inability to solve the problem on my own. I let that hold me back from doing everything I could to pursue a resolution to my problem. God takes care of us when we do His Word, but it's up to us to do it!

There were lots of reasons why I got into this mess in the first place - both financially and spiritually, but it took a multitude of counsellors to get me out of it. To me, these circumstances are something I can look back on and see, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that it was God that caused me to prevail. I mean, that would be one hell of a coincidence otherwise! Hopefully this is something that you can look at as well: To learn from my mistake and also to help strengthen your believing that God can cause your hand to prosper as you walk out on His Word.


Monday, December 03, 2007

Almost Sold for a Quarter

Someone sent this little story to me in an email today. I thought it was rather clever and should be shared.

Several years ago, a preacher from out-of-state accepted a call to a church in Houston, Texas.

Some weeks after he arrived, he had an occasion to ride the bus from his home to the downtown area. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a quarter too much change. As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, "You'd better give the quarter back. It would be wrong to keep it."
Then he thought, "Oh, forget it, it's only a quarter. Who would worry about this little amount? Anyway, the bus company gets too much fare; they will never miss it. Accept it as a 'gift from God' and keep quiet."

When his stop came, he paused momentarily at the door, and then he handed the quarter to the driver and said, "Here, you gave me too much change."

The driver, with a smile, replied, "Aren't you the new preacher in town? I have been thinking a lot lately about going somewhere to worship. I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change. I'll see you at church on Sunday."

When the preacher stepped off of the bus, he literally grabbed the nearest light pole, held on, and said, "Oh God, I almost sold your Son for a quarter."

Our lives are the only Bible some people will ever read. This is a really scary example of how much people watch us as Christians and will put us to the test! Always be on guard -- and remember -- You carry the name of Christ on your shoulders when you call yourself "Christian."

Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.