Pat’s Chat (July 22)

I just want to praise the council and other administrators and workers in this town who keep it so beautiful, with such lovely flowers on our streets and on the corners of streets. I compliment the fact that there is a “Community Garden” where my daughter, Robin, and I can walk almost every day and watch the gardens grow. If I understand it correctly, each person or family has one boxed plot for themselves and another just the same size to provide fresh vegetables for Parish House to help them feed the folks who need a little help with necessities. I love this town and its people.

One thing that is missing in our town and in the world these days is, to a great extent, TRUST. We don’t trust phone calls from strange numbers; we don’t trust the news reporters to give us up-to-the-minute unbiased news; we don’t trust many workers to be honest with us about their services; and very few of us express trust in God to keep His promises to us. This is a sad state of affairs. It is no wonder that there is so much anxiety and depression. What can we do to learn to trust again? Especially, when in times like these, we need to believe and trust in our Creator.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5 & 6.

One Bible verse asks us to test Him on this “trust” thing. In the very last book of the Old Testament, Malachi tells us in chapter 3, verses 8 through 10, “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me!  But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings, You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now (or prove me now here with) in this,” says the Lord of hosts. “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.”

I have learned this in my own life. Before John Ridpath and I got married, neither of us were very careful about our bookkeeping, but we began in earnest keeping track of his income and mine. Tithe, for those who may not be familiar with this word or hear it mentioned, is a “tenth” of our earnings, it is to go as tithe which will be for “food in My house” as you see above. Tithe then, according to the Bible, is money to take care of the workers in the churches (or in the sanctuary that was set up for worship. These days it would be those who are the ministers and others who keep God’s work running smoothly.)

Offerings, freely given, are over and above tithe and used to care for the needy and other such things. A closer study into this explains this. One would never “rob” from God’s tithe to give to the needy. We never ran out of money since that time. I have heard of many miracles from people who took God at His Word and gave their very last pennies to return their tithe, and then miraculously were provided the necessities of life. God keeps His promises. I use the word “return” for when I give tithe. I am not PAYING tithe. It is God’s from the first. It is He that gives power to get any wealth. (See Deuteronomy 8:18). We simply RETURN His tithe rather than rob Him by using it for ourselves or any other need.

The Bible verses I used today are from the New King James Version.



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