serenity…

Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions…

Savings and investments go hand in hand. One facilitates the other and in other occasions one is an alternate to the other. The discipline is made easier when motivations are clear. It is difficult sometimes to define our intentions and so asking the question “what you’d do with a $1,000,000 inheritance” 😊 can help a great deal. In fact, this is what I’d do…

Security – I shudder at the thought of not being able to support myself. Not being able to meet my obligations. Becoming a nightmarish burden to others. I’d save the money in places that would come through in the forthcoming days or rather years…

Serenity – I have dreams of living in a place with growing gardens and inviting interiors. A place where kids can happily play and their papa can find absolute rest. So we’d rush to get that ridiculously priced and awesomely beautiful house we thought we’d never own…

Surety – this word has 2 definitions. The first is being sure about the immediate future. More or less like what’s mentioned up there under security. The other is being legally responsible for debt or obligation another. With the pocket change 😊 I’d quickly set up a printing / publishing outfit in the hope that it would also profit the loads and loads of people employed…

Catch my drift? 😊 So then is it all about amassing wealth and living the good life? Luke 12 offers some sobering perspective…

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.

16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

21 This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.

Back to my $1,000,000 loot 😊 story… I don’t think my desires above are greedy but I can tell you there’s stuff my heart conjures every so often that is pure greed. The greater challenge is being rich toward God. Not allowing money – or anything else for that matter – to take the place of God. My prayer “So help me God! So help me God…”

FIRMEnough

7 years…

The plan seemed good…

A couple of years ago, a friend asked me to share God’s word at her graduation. Intimidated but also intrigued by the invitation, I chose to speak about Joseph. Yes the one who got sold off by his brothers for his ‘annoying‘ dream. “Do you intend to reign over us?” They challenged. What his brothers did not know is that dreams and interpretation of the dreams would eventually place Joseph at the helm of Egypt. I could go on and on but allow me to focus on a dream recorded in Genesis 41 that led to Joseph’s installation as Pharaoh’s deputy. Hint: it gives insight to why saving is important 🙂

28 “It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29 Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, 30 but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land. 31 The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe. 32 The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon.

33 “And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. 35 They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. 36 This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.”

37 The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials.

*   *   *

56 When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt. 57 And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.

🍎Verse 36 makes good food for thought especially the end of it …so that the country may not be ruined by famine…

FIRMEnough

tithe…

A covenant that continues to break the hold money…

You cannot begin to imagine the horror I felt when I saw a post that read “Tithe is a subscription that followers pay to a religion.” If the guy was close by I’d give him a real good fix. Just kidding 🙂 The truth is, however, this matter has never failed to attract controversy. No, I do not intend to add to the debate. Mine is to share what tithe means to me. Here goes…

Back then – when I joined the Church – I didn’t hear too much of it spoken about (money) but I heard a little enough to make me search the scriptures and understand what was being taught. Our Pastors always encouraged us to confirm the word for ourselves. I would spend a lot of time searching the scriptures to understand – for myself. And when I understood, I made a covenant with God that tithing would for me be a spiritual act of worship.

Has the journey been easy? Not always. Some season are rough. Some seasons are tough. Some seasons the money just isn’t enough but I have a covenant. A covenant of worship. A covenant that continues to break the hold money has over me.

Has it been rewarding? Absolutely! In seasons of bleak, I have seen God’s miraculous provision not just financially but mentally. You need a mental hardness that only God can give in times of lack. Seasons of bloom are harder for the reason that it is easy to forget that God has been at the centre of all. Tithing brings me back.

So is it just about checking lists? James of the Bible 🙂 says that true religion means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt us. Jesus, himself, warns against such a checklist. See excerpt below…

23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” ~ Matt.23:23

 

a prayer…

Give me only my daily bread…

In my last post, I mentioned Proverbs 30. Here goes…

“Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.”

This portion of scripture has for a long time been my prayer when it comes to money. 2017 is here and I want to reflect on it a little different…

Falsehood and Lies – I have always had the pressure to be perfect. I am melancholic. A beautiful soul to interpret the phenomenon further 🙂 And though perfection has been elusive, I continue to live the lie that it is possible. 2017 will see a more authentic me and like Agur, my prayer remains “Keep falsehood and lies far from me…”

Daily Bread – I confess my shallow interpretation of the LORD’s prayer. 2016 taught me, however, that daily bread is about having an abundant physical, spiritual and emotional life. Yes money is great but it can never surpass the power of being alive to self and life in itself! To ask for daily bread only is quite humbling but the truth is it’s more than enough!

Who is the LORD? – I never ever thought I’d ever question faith but life threw me a tough blow. I begun a desperate search for answers. When the words of Joel came ‘I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten’, it never crossed my mind that God was speaking. My heart is a whole less sore. My faith is a whole lot more. “Who is the LORD?” you ask. “He is my God!