Sat and talked to Ken W for a bit this morning and got some great wisdom. He explained the difference between a tithe and an offering, something many (including myself until this conversation) don’t seem to grasp. When God commands us to tithe, it’s not just our money, but our time and talents. Additionally, the tithe is the ten percent, but the offering is what goes beyond that.
Malachi 3:9-12 You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the Lord Almighty. 12 "Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land," says the Lord Almighty.
He also told me his old mentor had him recite Psalms 23:6 every morning for six months until he knew it cold, and understood it fully.
Psalms 23:6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
I think there’s far too much in the bible I’ve read a time or three, but fail to fully grasp. The more I meditate on this one, the more I realize that.
Another point he brought up all week, but fully explained this morning was to be “Born again, again.” Too many people find God, but then decide being born again means sitting in church for an hour a week, serving for an hour or so and reading their bible every once in awhile. Where would we be if Paul had done that? Or Peter? Or Jesus himself? What a wake-up call!
Naomi and I went with Sharon and Ken this morning instead of to the job site with the rest of our team. We stopped by the other job site for a few minutes and saw all the hard work the other team had put into that house.
Then we went with Ken and Sharon to move some supplies from one of their volunteer houses into another one. Ken then gave us a quick tour of downtown Biloxi before we went back to the other job site and helped the other team finish up, clean up, pack up and head back to our job site. The other team presented a member of the homeowners family with her prayer shawl and it really seemed to warm his heart.
Back at our job site, we presented the shawls to Sheila and Tiffany, both of whom were very moved. I was encouraged to hear Tiffany say that she had prayed God would send some help and we were the answer to that prayer. Not much compares to being used by God to answer the prayers of another.
We went back for lunch, then out on a tour of Biloxi. Ken took us to meet a man named Mike who pulled 21 people out of the flood, saving their lives. The wildest part of his story was a Virgin Mary statue that landed on his porch during the flood. Everything on his porch and in his downstairs was sucked out when the waters receded, but during that time the Virgin Mary statue landed on his porch. Five years later, he still has no idea where the statue came from, and it’s still on his porch.
We drove through several neighborhoods where 90% of the homes were gone, leaving nothing but empty concrete slabs. It was eerie, to say the least.
Later on we stopped by the beach and helped pull a guy in a Dodge out of the sand. Too much horsepower and bad tires don’t work well in the sand.
We headed back to camp for dinner, then a fellow named Doug DeSilvey came to speak to us. Doug lost his wife, daughter and in-laws to the storm and was the one to find their bodies. His faith in God was all that kept him going, which is incredibly inspiring. I can’t even imagine going through what Doug endured. God bless him.
Well, the week is basically over now and we’re heading north first thing tomorrow morning. Can’t wait to get home to kiss my beautiful wife and hold my awesome son.