Should Newlyweds Tithe?

Brian’s story:  “When we were newlyweds, the thought of getting a full-time job and supporting a wife was frightening.  I was a Christian, yet I was unsure about tithing 10% of our gross income.  My wife and I prayed about it and decided we would trust God and do it.

“After one year, I can honestly say that God was faithful.  We were able to pay all our expenses and still save a good amount.”

A close relative questioned, “Why are you tithing 10% of your gross income? You are just starting out in life. You need that money for yourself!”

Brian’s response,  “That money belongs to God.  It is not ours to spend.”

Seventeen years and six kids later they are no longer tithing 10% of their gross income.  Now they are up to 30% and their future goal is 50%.  Meanwhile they have a small house. Brian recently received a substantial raise.  They decided it was time to search for a larger house—and they found one.

Brian and his wife discussed the pros and cons of having a larger home. Then Brian said, “We can get this house, but if we do, we will no longer be able to bless as many people.”

They decided their small home is perfect.

  •  Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.   2 Corinthians 9:7-8 
  • GOD IS READY – Words and music by Kathleen; Robin Poem by Elizabeth Cheney, circa 1931:
  • [To leave comment:  Click on the title of this post and scroll down]
_______________________
[This life is temporary.  This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:    http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/  and  www.godlife.com
[Looking for SHARE buttons?  Wish to LEAVE A COMMENT?   Go to: www.kathleensfaithwalk.com   and scroll to the bottom of page.
Posted in DOCTRINE, Love & Romance, RAISING KIDS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Is Abortion Bad?

I was 13 when I first learned about abortion.  I asked my mother, “Is abortion bad?”

“Yes, it’s bad!  Abortion is the killing of an unborn baby!  It’s a terrible thing!”

That was it for me!  If my mother said it was a terrible thing, then it was.  Years later as a registered nurse,  I watched a video of an abortion. What affected me most were not the cries of pain from the unconscious mother.  It was the callous attitude of the abortionist.

He seemed unnecessarily rough as he jabbed at the mother’s insides.  I thought it was brutal.  He removed the baby’s body parts with a look of disgust. Did he know he was being filmed? If so, what must he be like without a camera on him?

I felt sickened and sad, not just for the baby and the young mother, but for the nurses and the doctor as well.  Everyone in that room would go home trying not to think about their day.

I wonder what happened in the earlier life of that doctor or the nurses?  What causes people to make baby killing their life work? What do they talk about on their coffee breaks?  What kind of people are they when they go home at night?   I wonder if they ever think about God.  Perhaps they try not to.

  •  You shall not murder.    Exodus 20:13
  •  Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.    Psalm 127:3
    _______________________
    [This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells; but our souls will continue to live forever!  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:    http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/  and  www.godlife.com
    [Looking for SHARE buttons?  Wish to LEAVE A COMMENT?   Go to: www.kathleensfaithwalk.com   and scroll to the bottom of page.

 

Posted in DOCTRINE, HERE & THERE, ILLNESS or HOSPITAL, PEOPLE | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Prisoner Prays for Guard

An inmate in my Bible study was transferred to a state prison.  Today he wrote the following:

“I was talking with one of the guards whom I have talked with many times. I sensed his oppressed spirit and asked, “Is everything okay?”

“That was all it took.  He shared that his daughter had just undergone brain surgery.  The next day his wife was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer!

“Astounded,  I calmed my spirit asking God to use and guide me.   I asked, ‘Do you believe in Jesus Christ and the healing transforming power of the Son of the living God?’  There was a pause and a tear rolled down his cheek. ‘I used to… but…’

“I let it sink in a moment longer before I asked if I could pray for him.  Everything around us faded away:  sights, sounds, distractions. It was just the two of us. There were no uniforms or distinctions of authority, no staff vs inmate.  We were two men connected by the bond of humanity and concern. I prayed for God’s peace to heal his heart, to nurture his belief and to comfort him.

“Afterward I asked if he would accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior. There was an emphatic nod of acceptance. We prayed for God to forgive his unbelief. We asked for a renewed spirit, asking Jesus to come into his life and heart. It was an emotional experience for both of us.  Afterward we shook hands with a nod of acknowledgment, parting ways.

“A few days later he returned with a sense of strength and hope.  He told me he’d attended church on Sunday and made a decision to change his life.”

  •  Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Deuteronomy 31:6
  • Only What’s Done for Christ Will Last  –  Click here to listen:
  • [This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:    http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/  and www.godlife.com
    [Looking for SHARE buttons?  Wish to LEAVE A COMMENT or PRAYER REQUEST?   Go to: www.kathleensfaithwalk.com   and scroll to the bottom of page.]
Posted in DOCTRINE, JAIL & COUNTY JUVENILE FACILITY | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Kids Painting Luggage

Our grandchildren enjoy art projects.  I brought out the acrylic paints and asked them to paint something colorful on our luggage. Why? It’s because our bags are just like most of the other bags on the airport conveyor belts—black!  I wanted to easily spot ours.

My instructions were simple:  Be creative.  I also wanted each piece to have a message of God’s love. Before the kids started I sealed the luggage with black spray paint.  This way their paint wouldn’t absorb and disappear.  It was effective and dried quickly.

So how does the luggage look now?

  • One piece has an underwater scene with smiling fish, underwater plants and a happy lobster crawling on the sandy bottom. On the side is the Christian fish sign: the Greek word for fish (Ichthus) which also forms the acronym “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior.”
  •  Another has a rocket ship taking off for the moon with a Bible verse:  John 3:16 
  •  One displays the American flag and July 4 fireworks representing American’s Independence Day.  Written across the top: God Bless the USA.
  • The last is a garden of colorful flowers: Thank You God for flowers, sunshine, etc. 

Now we can identify our fun and creative luggage from a distance. The children are pleased to see their artwork put to use.  The downside?  Sometimes I think when we’re pulling our luggage through an airport terminal we look like a couple of flower children leftover from the ’60’s.  But does that matter? I mean, it’s just luggage! Each piece is a conversation starter!  For some reason other travelers will ask if we have grandchildren! Who doesn’t enjoy talking about their grandkids?

  • Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.   Colossians 3:23   
  • 15 4 iphone kp (6)  
  • [This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:    http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/  and www.godlife.com
    [Looking for SHARE buttons?  Wish to LEAVE A COMMENT or PRAYER REQUEST?   Go to: www.kathleensfaithwalk.com   and scroll to the bottom of page.]
Posted in HERE & THERE, Holidays, PEOPLE, RAISING KIDS, TRAVELING | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Summer Servants for Teens

Years ago our church had a Summer Servant program.  The purpose was to train youth for Christian leadership. Each prospective student for the program was given forty Bible verses, which had to be recited from memory before they could participate.

A white water rafting trip was planned as an outreach kick-off and each student was to invite an unchurched friend.  I remember the youth pastor delaying the bus’s  departure to listen to several last minute students recite their verses.

I personally thought memorizing forty verses was a huge expectation. The pastor’s reasoning was that during the summer the students would build on those verses, by seven additional verses each week!

I was impressed that so many kids did it.  I was impressed that the youth pastor expected them to do it. I was impressed that for years afterward some teens kept their stack of cards with Bible verses next to their beds.  Why?  So they could review them and not forget the verses they’d learned.

Did it teach them leadership skills?  Absolutely!  A follower of Jesus who has God’s Word hidden in his heart will know how to model a godly life before others.  Moreover, when God’s Word is fixed within him, he will know how to live a life that is purposeful, joyful and pleasing to God.

  •  I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.    Psalm 119:11
  • How can a young man keep his way pure?                                                             Click here to listen: 
  • [This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:    http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/  and www.godlife.com
    [Looking for SHARE buttons?  Wish to LEAVE A COMMENT or PRAYER REQUEST?   Go to: www.kathleensfaithwalk.com   and scroll to the bottom of page.]
Posted in DOCTRINE, PEOPLE, RAISING KIDS | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

College Campus Ministry – Not My Gift!

It all started when a married couple began walking across the college campus handing out Christian pamphlets to students.

They soon gained permission to set up a table and began giving away Bibles with their literature.  When I first learned what they were doing, I thought, “How extraordinary!   It’s certainly not my gift—I’d be uncomfortable doing that!”  Then I was invited to join them!  I hesitated at first, but agreed to go once.  My plan was to sit quietly, watch, and pray.

I was hooked after the first hour!  The students were fun and easy to engage.  I soon discovered they enjoyed us as much as we did them.  They would hang out at our table between classes.  Some did not have good role models at home and we were becoming their mentors. One day the school psychologist stopped to thank us for being there. “We’re glad to see you every week, but we need you here every day!”

We discovered that every college or university we visited had different rules about people coming on campus to give away free literature. We had no problem for years until the rules changed at our local community college. We would have to become students ourselves,  if we were to continue.

That was easy!  We each registered for a class.  I enjoyed art, fitness, editing, even French, taking one class per semester.  We organized a college Christian fellowship and held Bible studies in a room by the cafeteria.  I started an email ministry. Students would sign up to receive my weekly email of Scripture and encouragement.  They would often write back with questions and prayer requests.

The best part was watching their lives change as they grew closer to God. I continue to hear from some of these students at Christmas. Most have since graduated from universities, married and are raising families. What a precious privilege to mentor them, to watch them mature in the Lord and become productive members of society.

  • We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true.  And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.    1 John 5:20
_______________________
[This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:    http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/  and  www.godlife.com
[Looking for SHARE buttons?  Wish to LEAVE A COMMENT?   Go to: www.kathleensfaithwalk.com   and scroll to the bottom of page.

 

Posted in COLLEGE CAMPUS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Unmarried & Pregnant

A young couple who faithfully attended our college campus Bible study came to me privately: She was pregnant.

I had mentored Jaime for two years. Her love for God and His Word were strong. I was disappointed with the news, yet I loved them both. They said they loved each other and wanted to marry.  I was invited to attend the wedding in three days!

Three days later I was there with both of the immediate families and the best man.  I then discovered that I was to be her matron of honor!  The sweet ceremony was followed by a luncheon in a small banquet room of a nearby restaurant.

Just as the father of the bride was about to give a toast,  the groom spoke up. “I need to say something:  What we did was wrong and it was my fault. I want to apologize and ask forgiveness from each of you and from God.  I know I’ve disappointed everyone here.  But even though we did not start our marriage right, it is our desire to honor God with our lives.  I love Jaime and I will cherish her for as long as I live.”

As one can imagine, there was not a dry eye in the room.

Jaime and Joe recently celebrated ten years of marriage. They are active in their church and are raising their children to love the Lord Jesus.

  •  husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.     Ephesians 5:28-32
  •  SONG: Dear Lord of Lords – By Kathleen:
    [This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:    http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/ ]
    [Looking for SHARE buttons?  Wish to LEAVE A COMMENT?   Go to: www.kathleensfaithwalk.com   and scroll to the bottom of page.
Posted in COLLEGE CAMPUS, Love & Romance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Preschoolers Quarreling

My preschoolers would sometimes get into quarrels and spats.

Typically, I’d say, “Okay! I think we need to talk with Jesus about this.”  I’d gather them together and go to prayer.

Afterward, I’d require the guilty person do two things:
1.  Apologize to the person he/she hurt.
2.  Ask forgiveness from the person he/she hurt.
The offended person needed to learn to say, “I forgive you.”
I did the same thing whether they were playing alone or had friends over.

I believe this in important in training children. Most people today will apologize, but will not ask for forgiveness. It has become unfamiliar in our culture. Yet I wanted my children to be comfortable doing this because God wants us to be a forgiving people. He wants us to learn to seek forgiveness. It’s the healthy thing to do.

I had been working on memorizing 2 Corinthians 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Whatever the problem, I wanted to focus on bringing my thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. I wanted my children to learn to do the same.

  • Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.    Proverbs 22:6

______________

[This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:    http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/ and  www.godlife.com ]
[Looking for SHARE buttons?  Wish to LEAVE A COMMENT or PRAYER REQUEST?   Go to: www.kathleensfaithwalk.com   and scroll to the bottom of page.]
Posted in DOCTRINE, PRAYER WORKS, RAISING KIDS | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Tell me: Is This Sin?

Alabama, a 15-year-old girl in an African country wrote via http://www.globalmediaoutreach.com/.  “Dear Kathleen, ‘Please tell me: Is this sin?’

“There is this white guy in my class. I admire him so much that each time I look at him,  I wish he felt the same way about me. I wonder if we are made for each other. I even had a dream about him. Is it wrong in front of God to feel something real for him? I keep asking myself if liking him so much is wrong. Please help me with an answer for this.”

“Dear Alabama, You are attracted to a guy. This is normal. These temptations will likely occur your entire life.  As long as there are good-looking, desirable guys around, there will be temptation. Yet as Christians, we have boundaries. We also have the Holy Spirit who provides us with wisdom and self-control.

“If this guy does feel the same way toward you as you do toward him, it could lead to trouble at your young age.  As a follower of Jesus, you will want to wait until marriage before having any sexual contact with a guy.  This is difficult, especially today when it seems everyone is having sex outside marriage; it’s even talked about on TV!   Yes, many people today believe premarital sex is okay.  It is not.

“Read Revelation 21: 8 and you can see what the Bible says about sexual immorality. The Bible has not changed. God has not changed. Someday after you marry, you may still see other guys you are attracted to.  What will you do then?

“You will choose NOT to spend any more time with them than necessary. The more time you spend with someone you are attracted to, the more difficult it will be not to sin.

“My suggestion for you is to give thanks to God that He has created you normally. Thank God that you can trust Him to put a godly man into your life someday, someone whom you will marry and together will serve God.”

Then I wrote out this prayer for Alabama: “Lord God, I lift up my friend Alabama before Your throne of grace. You know her heart yearns to do right. She wants to please You with her life. Please give her great wisdom. Give her Your self-control to do the right thing. Give her Your patience to wait for the right godly young man to marry someday. Meanwhile, help her draw closer to You. Help her get involved in a Christian youth group or small group Bible study where young people can pray together and be accountable to one another. I thank You, in advance, for what You are going to do in Alabama’s life. I pray in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.”

“Alabama, I have a two websites you might find helpful: http://www.everystudent.com  and  http://www.412teens.org  Check them out and let me know what you think.                  ~ Kathleen”

Alabama wrote back:  “OK, I understand. I will pray to God to help me overcome this temptation and do the right thing.  I like the websites you sent.  They are cool.”

  • But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur.  This is the second death.     Revelation 21:8

_________________________

[This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:    http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/ and  www.godlife.com
[Looking for SHARE buttons?  Wish to LEAVE A COMMENT or PRAYER REQUEST?   Go to: www.kathleensfaithwalk.com   and scroll to the bottom of page.]
Posted in GLOBAL MEDIA OUTREACH, Love & Romance, RAISING KIDS | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Muslim Goes to Mecca

While traveling in Southeast Asia I was seated on the plane next to Miriam, a woman dressed in full Muslim apparel. Only her face and hands were exposed. She told me she was on her way to Mecca in Saudi Arabia!

I was curious to learn more. She explained that every Muslim must make a pilgrimage to Mecca one time during their life if they are financially able.  She told me she had saved and sacrificed for years to make this momentous trip. Her clothes and her bags were new. She was traveling with 100 happy and excited Muslims. They expected to be gone 40 days during which they would walk around the “Holy Kaaba” seven times and visit many holy places.

Then she asked me an interesting question. “You are from the United States.  Are you a Christian or a Catholic?”

I said, “I was raised Roman Catholic but at age 27 I began studying the Bible for the first time. I then surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. I am no longer Catholic. However, Catholics do consider themselves Christian because their faith is centered on Jesus Christ.”

She said, “Please, can you explain to me the difference?”

I said, “Bible believing Christians have their faith based on the Bible alone.
The Roman Catholic Church has a three-fold foundation for their faith:  The Bible, the authority of the Pope and bishops and the sacred traditions of the church.*

I explained how Christ changed my life after I had surrendered my life to Him.  I knew all my sins were forgiven. I knew I was now going to heaven. I knew God’s Holy Spirit was now indwelling me because I immediately began experiencing the fruit of the Holy Spirit: the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (as promised in Galatians 5:22-23).  My life was so changed that even my husband and friends noticed a difference.  That was many years ago and the peace and joy have remained even until now.

She continued to ask questions until our plane landed. I told her I had a booklet I’d like to give her.  “It will explain the Christian life in your native language!”  She was eager to receive it!  I felt we had bonded during that trip. When we said goodbye we hugged and she let me take a photo of her.  What a precious experience!

“Lord God, guide and lead dear Miriam into Your truth. She is seeking Your ways. Please open her eyes and draw her to Jesus. I pray in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.”

  •  Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”      John 6:68
  • Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.     John 14:6

[* from Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1995, page 34]

  • “My Friend”  – Lyrics by D.J. Higgins; music by  Kathleen:

    [This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:    http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/   and   www.godlife.com
    [Looking for SHARE buttons?  Wish to LEAVE A COMMENT?   Go to: www.kathleensfaithwalk.com   and scroll to the bottom of page.
Posted in DOCTRINE, HERE & THERE, Other Religions, PEOPLE, TRAVELING | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments