Psalm 125: 1
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
Psalm 125: 1
I received this interesting blog idea in my inbox this morning, and thought I'd share another's thoughts with you all today, instead of my own. I happen to agree with Bob and I think you might after you read this blog today.
Blessings always, our friends and supporters;
"Only 22 days ‘til the Ides of April. Are you ready?
The big question, for many: file, or extension? The longer you live - and, the more complicated your financial affairs - the task of preparing for April 15thbecomes more ponderous. No one is excused from the turmoil: whether you prepare your own returns, or have to retrieve and organize your records to give to a pro, the exercise is a once-a-year discipline without options.
Two things will be on your mind as you go through this process: 1) How much will you be able to deduct (from your gross income)? And, 2) How much will you be compelled to pay? The answer to #1 will have a direct affect on #2.
For many Americans who itemize, their largest deduction is for mortgage interest. On the typical tax return, the mortgage interest is twice the size of their charitable contributions. This profile reflects the norm for both religious and non-religious taxpayers...
What right does the government have to the earnings of its citizens? What right does a church have to the earnings of its members?
“After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, ‘Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?’ ‘Yes, he does,’ he replied.When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak.
“ ‘What do you think, Simon?’ he asked. ‘From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes - from their own children or from others?’ ‘From others,’ Peter answered. ‘Then the children are exempt,’ Jesus said to him. ‘But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.’ ” (Matthew 17:24-27).
That little story has generated cartloads of commentary by Bible teachers seeking to explain the floating factoid of the Temple Tax. Tied in history to a one-time assessment dating to Exodus, some stretch to make the case for the notion that a tax - any tax - once instigated gains eternal life, and never goes away. Others propose that the Roman government saw an opportunity to exploit the religious routines of their Jewish captives and charge them for their worship activities.
Whatever the backstory, what’s clear is compelling: if anyone could make a case for passing on the payout, it was the Son of the God worshipped at the Temple. But Jesus didn’t come to major on the minors; his message was already causing offenses that he welcomed; he wasn’t about to cause offense by coming off as an opponent to the tax system.
The intriguing provision in the picture: Jesus sent Peter to work - they were in Capernaum, Peter’s home town, and his fishing business was based on the Sea of Galilee, which was 100 yards away - to catch a fish. In short order, he brought in a pile of fish; the first of the catch had cash in its cheeks sufficient to cover Peter’s tax obligation as well as Jesus’ share.
Not much has changed, then to now: a commitment to not cause offense, but to sustain the responsibilities of citizenship is the commitment given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ. If we accept that assignment, what will he do for us?
Go to work; examine your results. From the top-line revenue, settle the tax burden while giving an appropriate portion to Jesus. For Peter, that was just an even split: half went to his tax bill, the rest was Jesus’ portion...
Would that be a good way to calculate Jesus’ share of your income, in the future?"
- Bob Shank
You may laugh, or bring a jaundiced eye to the proceedings, but I am believing for $10MM and I am asking you to do the same. You don't need to know why or how, although you're free to ask. You just need to believe like I do and that it's serving an incredibly valuable purpose for an entire region.
I'm basically copying and pasting this blog I got in my inbox just now. If you don't subscribe to Steve, and you like the posts I attribute to him, give it a shot. Good stuff.
Because I'm in the process of moving out of our house of 11 years, and into the unknown of 2015 and the near future move to Japan, this article/blog spoke to me at this late hour. I'm taking a break from boxing stuff up. Can't wait until tomorrow is over, simply because moving takes it out of you.
God bless and stay in touch.
Here's what I got in the email today:
We live in a world that is, at times, a frightening place. We live in a world that is, at times, a discouraging place. We live in a world where life-changing losses can be so painful and so profound that it seems we will never recover. But, with God's help, and with the help of encouraging family members and friends, we can recover.
During the darker days of life, we are wise to remember the words of Jesus, who reassured His disciples, saying, "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid" (Matthew 14:27 NIV). Then, with God's comfort and His love in our hearts, we can offer encouragement to others. By helping them face their fears, we can, in turn, tackle our own problems with courage, determination, and faith.
"God knows that the strength that comes from wrestling with our fear will give us wings to fly." ~ Paula Rinehart
"His hand on me is a father's hand, gently guiding and encouraging. His hand lets me know He is with me, so I am not afraid." ~ Mary Morrison Suggs
"Adversity is always unexpected and unwelcome. It is an intruder and a thief, and yet in the hands of God, adversity becomes the means through which His supernatural power is demonstrated." ~ Charles Stanley
"Facing our deepest fears means making peace with our seen self and with our unseen self." ~ Sheila Walsh
Father, even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil because You are with me. Thank You, Lord, for Your perfect love, a love that casts out fear and gives me strength and courage to meet the challenges of this world.
"Do you have this childhood winter memory? You know the one where you're playing outside in the snow? Your clothes get all wet and frozen. Your ankles and wrists are numb from the snow that snuck inside your snowsuit. You run inside, and your mom peels off your frozen layers, wraps you in a cozy blanket, and places you next to a fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate. Now that's comfort!
The word comfort means 'to give strength or staying power,' or 'to soothe in time of affliction or distress.' Who in your world needs strength or staying power? Do you need comfort? God can be your comfort in the cold and biting weather of life. God's love, sent through the promises of his Word, is a blanket of hope. Much like a warm quilt, there's a piece of God's Word to wrap your heart in when today's winds blow cold."
- Steve Arterburn
"A lovely thing about Christmas is that it's compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together."
- Garrison Keillor
Do not try to pacify your longings with lesser gods, people, possessions or power. Find completion in God only.
"Problems are a part of life. They are inescapable: woven in the very fabric of this fallen world. You tend to go into problem solving mode all too readily, acting as if you have the capacity to fix everything. This is a habitual response, so automatic that it bypasses your conscious thinking. Not only does this habit frustrate you, it also distances you from God.
Do not let fixing things be your top priority. You are ever so limited in your capacity to correct all that is wrong in the world around you. Don't weigh yourself down with responsibilities that are not your own. Instead, make your relationship with God your primary concern. Talk with God about whatever is on your mind, seeking His perspective on the situation. Rather than trying to fix everything that comes to your attention, ask God to show you what is truly important. Remember that you are en route to Heaven, and let your problems fade in the Light of Eternity."
- Sarah Young
Just busy serving the community. Nothing fancy to see here.