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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Tithing Part 2 The First and the Best



Last time we spoke about the tithe.  This time, we will continue with this discussion.  We once heard a Christian say that she was going to send part of her tithe to help a particular animal.  Whereas this is a very worthwhile cause, this is wrong-minded.


Our tithe goes to the storehouse. That is the local church, period.  There are so many worthwhile organizations out there that we could never support them all.


Countless books on personal budgeting speak of working towards being able to give.  If by giving they mean giving above and beyond the tithe, they are spot on.  However, if they mean we do all these other things they list before we pay the tithe, they are simply wrong.


It is not just important that we tithe. It is also important that we tithe with a happy heart.  When Abel gave his offering to God, he gave with a happy heart.  He gave of the very best he had.  In ancient times, the fat of an animal was considered to be one of the very best parts.


Let’s face it, fat tastes good.  That is why we love it.  It is too bad it is bad for us.  But when the fat of an animal is mentioned along with tithes, offering, sacrifices, etc., it is meant to signify that the really best part is given.


The Bible does not spell out why God liked Abel’s gift but was not happy with Cain’s gift.  However, it is most likely that since the Bible points out that Abel gave of the firstlings and the fat thereof, Abel gave the first and the best.  It appears that Cain really did not try to give the best or the first.  He made a half-hearted effort at giving.  Most likely Cain was giving just enough to get by.  His heart was not in the giving.

And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.
And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
Genesis 4:3-7 KJV
This is David speaking now; years ago I felt God’s conviction to give.  However, since we have been under a tight budget most of our married life, it was very scary to give the first tenth knowing there was not enough money to pay all the bills, even if we didn’t give the tithe.

I would give it and then worry about how we were going to get by.  And, most of the time, we did not.  Finally, Suzanne and I discussed this and prayed about it and we decided that it wasn’t that God was not holding up His end of the bargain, it was that we, (really me, David) was giving and not really leaving it up to God.

When we give and let God handle the details, somehow He works it out for us.  Somehow, there is an unexpected check.  Maybe the power bill is lower for some reason.  Maybe we get a rebate we did not even know we had coming. 

We discovered that God truly is in control.  He is very rarely early, but NEVER late. We must give with the understanding that God is very much like Uncle Milton from the story we shared with you.  He does not need our money to do His work.  But, it is ALL His money.  We only take care of it for Him.



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Please be advised that all the information in this course is provided to educate, enlighten, and broaden your views in life.  The information provided is not a substitute for medical, legal, dietary, financial/accounting, or religious professionals.

Always consult a professional before you act on any of the information you find in this course.  


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The opinions or advice listed in this blog or website should be used as a place to start only. It is not a substitute for the use of a professional.

Please be sure to consult your attorney, accountant, and/or other professionals with any specific questions.

There is no one right answer to any business question that will cover all circumstances.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tuesdays with Gindy. Dinner with the Preacher

Happy Valentine's Day!

Disclaimer: Many of the stories are completely fictional.  Other stories are fictional accounts of true stories.  Other stories are completely true.  Sometimes the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Let me start out by saying that this story is completely made up.  So many of our visitors have asked that I tell them when a story is true or made up that I feel I should make that clear from the beginning.

The character Freddie Saidso is based very loosely on my very good friend Eddie Bledsoe.

Eddie Bledsoe was the youth director at Flat Rock Baptist Church.  For our stories, I have renamed it Flint Stone Baptist Church for our stories.

My very good friend Tim Harris had asked me to come visit his church, Flat Rock, but I kept putting him off.  I had a home church that I attended most Sundays. I was raised Southern Baptist.

One night, Tim Harris and his twin brother, Steve, along with our friend Phil
Brown were coming home from a movie and Tim saw Eddie in his car heading in the opposite direction from the way we were headed.  We were both stopped at a red light.

I performed what I called my “Patented I Turn” on the spot. This was sort of a modified U-turn.  In my mind, it was like turning on a dime.  In reality, it probably was just a U-turn.

Anyway, to make a short story long, as I am wont to do, we followed Eddie to Stewarts Restaurant, which had formerly been a Waffle House. It was so much like a Waffle House that most of us still referred to it as Waffle House.

I was introduced to Eddie and we went inside to eat.  I have a very strange sense of humor that most people tend to ignore because many of my deadpan jokes are not funny.  However, Eddie laughed at practically everything I said.  I told Tim that Eddie was drunk, high, or crazy.  I went on to say he could be a combination of all three.

Later, my family and I visited Flat Rock Baptist Church and joined that same day.  I will share more about Eddie and Tim in later stories but for now, without further eloquence, is our story, Dinner with the Preacher. Remember this is ALL made up.

Freddie Saidso was the preacher at Flint Stone Baptist Church. He was not married, so each Sunday one family or the other would treat Freddie to Sunday dinner. Sometimes they would take him out to eat.  Other times they would invite him over for a home-cooked meal.  Either way, Freddie was happy he was eating a meal he did not have to cook.

The church members had secretly set up a schedule of families so that they were sure Freddie got invited to dinner.  It seems that on the Sundays that Freddie had a dinner invitation, the congregation would be out the door by five minutes to twelve.  On the rare occasion that Freddie did not have an invitation to dinner, the sermon was good for about two hours.

Freddie had a way to make his voice sound something like fingernails on a chalkboard on the Sundays there was no dinner invitation.

It was the Bird family’s turn to feed the preacher.  Mrs. Bird made great
fried chicken and biscuits.  Freddie could taste the chicken as he preached.  This particular Sunday, church goers got the Reader’s Digest Condensed version because Freddie’s ever-growing tummy was sending him signals to wrap up the sermon.

Freddie went home with the Birds and they sat down to the table.  Mrs. Bird had fried up three chickens and made a whole passel of biscuits, along with collard greens, black eyed peas, potato salad, deviled eggs, and big old glasses of Southern sweet tea.

Mrs. Bird, like any good Southern lady, made her tea with so much sugar that you could stand a spoon up in it and it would not touch the sides.  The sugar would hold up the spoon.

As they were eating, a storm blew in.  There was all manner of thunder and lightning.  The rain was coming down in buckets.  Pa Bird noticed there was only one piece of chicken left and offered it to Freddie.

Freddie really wanted the piece of chicken but knew it would not be polite to take the last piece and so he declined the offer with a polite, “No, thank you.”

Well, the last piece was offered to each member of the Bird family and each member, in turn, politely declined it because that was the proper thing to do.

About the time the last member of the family politely declined the offer of the last piece of chicken, a large clap of lightning hit nearby and the lights went off.  Shortly after the lights went off, there was a loud scream and then the lights came back on.

There was Freddie with his hand holding the last piece of chicken with eight forks stuck deep into the back of his hand.

Don’t get between a Southern Baptist and fried chicken.  The results are not pretty.

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Please be advised that all the information in this course is provided to educate, enlighten, and broaden your views in life.  The information provided is not a substitute for medical, legal, dietary, financial/accounting, or religious professionals.

Always consult a professional before you act on any of the information you find in this course.  

Do you have a frugal recipe?  Please e-mail it to me.


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Disclaimer

The opinions or advice listed in this blog or website should be used as a place to start only. It is not a substitute for the use of a professional.

Please be sure to consult your attorney, accountant, and/or other professionals with any specific questions.

There is no one right answer to any business question that will cover all circumstances.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Bring the Tithes into the Storehouse

Uncle Milton has attempted to give us an example of how tithing works. According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary on line, "tithe" means to pay or give a tenth portion especially for the support of the church.

It is sad that in many churches tithing is rarely mentioned.  We are instructed in the Bible to bring all of our tithes into the storehouse.

 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 there will not be room enough to store it.
Malachi 3:10 NIV


The storehouse is your local church.  You may give money to many worthwhile organizations and that is to be commended. However, your tithe, the very first part of your GROSS income, is to go to your local church. 

I have heard people say, "I give to hospice or to the rescue squad."  This is a very good thing.  But, it is not your tithe.  You may wish to consider these gifts or freewill offerings, but they are not the tithe.

We are instructed to give of the first and the best.  We cannot do anything about those pesky payroll deductions, but when we do get our pay, we are to pay our tithe first.  Our government and our employer may deduct from our pay.  However, when we do get our pay, the very first payment we should make is our tithe.

This may mean going to the bank and taking out an amount that would be equal to ten percent of our GROSS income and placing the cash for that amount into a tithing envelope to be given to your local church.  This might mean making sure the very first check written is one to your local church.

Remember, God wants our first and our best.

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Please be advised that all the information in this course is provided to educate, enlighten, and broaden your views in life.  The information provided is not a substitute for medical, legal, dietary, financial/accounting, or religious professionals.  Always consult a professional before you act on any of the information you find in this course.  

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tuesdays with Gindy. Derrick Family Firefighters

Disclaimer: Many of the stories are completely fictional.  Other stories are fictional accounts of true stories.  Other stories are completely true.  Sometimes the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Not many people remember this, but years ago in the town of Iva, South Carolina, the Iva School Board voted to join with the school in Starr, South Carolina, and form School District 3.

The plan was to build a new high school and continue using the schools in the two towns as elementary schools.  The all-black school, New Deal, would become the Middle School.

While they were building the new high school, a fire broke out in the old Iva School which was soon to be Iva Elementary School.  The town all gathered around the old school watching it burn.

The Iva Volunteer Fire Department bravely fought the fire.  The Starr Volunteer Fire Department was on the way to give a hand. Still, the on lookers thought there was little hope to save the school.

Way off in the distance the crowd could hear a loud horn honk and Papa
Derrick yelling “Git out de way”.  The whole Derrick family had climbed on the old farm truck and was a comin’ fast and furious.

The truck turned the corner onto the street where the school was burning.  U. J. was blowin’ the horn and yelling at people as they drove by.
Papa Derrick was standing up in the front seat waving his arms and yelling at everyone to, “Git out de way.”

The crowd parted and the whole town watched in horror as U. J. Derrick drove the family truck right up into the open front doors of the burning school.

The crowd was amazed when Mama Derrick jumped off the truck and started stomping out the flames.  Papa Derrick jumped out from the front seat and started stompin’ flames on his side of the truck.

The crowd could hear Mama Derrick holler at her son, “There’s one over thur, U. J. Git it out.”  And to her daughter, “Anne, thurs one right behind you; git it.”

Derricks were stompin' everywhere.  Finally, after a great deal of serous stompin’, the Derrick family managed to stomp the fire completely out.  The family saved most of the school.  All that was lost was the principal’s office and the library.

No significant loss since the library only had two books and both of them had already had all the pages colored in. The principal was never in his office anyway.

Mayor Hewell took up a collection among the bystanders to thank the Derrick Family.  The mayor presented the $200 that the crowd managed to put together.  A reporter from the Iva Journal asked Papa Derrick what his family was going to do with all that money.

Papa Derrick smiled and said, “Thur’s a lot we kin do with that heap of
money.  However, I think the first thing we should do is git the brakes fixed on the truck.”

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I respond to all approved comments on this blog, ideally within 24 hours.  Please check back here for a response to your comment.  Thank you!

Please be advised that all the information in this course is provided to educate, enlighten, and broaden your views in life.  The information provided is not a substitute for medical, legal, dietary, financial/accounting, or religious professionals.

Always consult a professional before you act on any of the information you find in this course.  

Do you have a frugal recipe?  Please e-mail it to me.


Help us reach 1,000 YouTube subscribers. Please watch some of our videos. If you like them, please subscribe. Also, please share our YouTube information with your friends.  We thank you so much for all your help. 

Disclaimer

The opinions or advice listed in this blog or website should be used as a place to start only. It is not a substitute for the use of a professional.

Please be sure to consult your attorney, accountant, and/or other professionals with any specific questions.

There is no one right answer to any business question that will cover all circumstances.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Friendly Fill-Ins 3 February 2017

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1. My middle name is Eric
I don’t know where my mom got my name.

2. I try to avoid surprises.

Even a good surprise could be problematic.  Like if someone you love comes into town unexpectedly.  Had you known, you could have rearranged your schedule in advance. Since you did not know, you might not be able to spend the time you would like with your loved one.

3. The Super Bowl is overrated.

This year the Super Bowl will be right here in Houston, Texas.  They tell me that ticket prices are at a historic low.  You can gobble up the upper deck cheap seats for a mere $2,700 each.  That is more than what we get in two months.

No way would I pay that much to sit in the rain (it is supposed to rain this weekend) with thousands of drunk, screaming fans.   Then, we would have to pay outrageous prices for food and drinks.  To top all of that off, we would have to wait in line to pee. 

The halftime shows are full of naked people. Who wants to see that?


4. My favorite sport is sleeping.

I don’t enjoy playing any sport.  I like to swim, but have not done so in many years.  The only sport I like to watch is college football if South Carolina, Clemson, or Georgia are playing.  Baseball is like watching paint dry.  We did enjoy watching the University of South Carolina in the college world series a few years ago.


Well, that’s a wrap.  Suzanne and I have been very busy helping a friend with a project.  If all goes well, we will be done on the 23rd.  It has been hectic so far.  At least we have a little more help than we thought we would have.

Keep us in your prayers.

If you would like for me to pray for you, please drop me an e-mail by clicking prayer.


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Other posts you will love:

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I respond to all approved comments on this blog, ideally within 24 hours.  Please check back here for a response to your comment.  Thank you!

Please be advised that all the information in this course is provided to educate, enlighten, and broaden your views in life.  The information provided is not a substitute for medical, legal, dietary, financial/accounting, or religious professionals.

Always consult a professional before you act on any of the information you find in this course.  

Do you have a frugal recipe?  Please e-mail it to me.


Help us reach 1,000 YouTube subscribers. Please watch some of our videos. If you like them, please subscribe. Also, please share our YouTube information with your friends.  We thank you so much for all your help. 

Disclaimer

The opinions or advice listed in this blog or website should be used as a place to start only. It is not a substitute for the use of a professional.

Please be sure to consult your attorney, accountant, and/or other professionals with any specific questions.

There is no one right answer to any business question that will cover all circumstances.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Anecdote Uncle Milton

We are going to call one of the main characters from this story Uncle Milton.  We chose that name because the image we are using is the one my beautiful child-bride Suzanne drew to represent Milton Friedman in our Redneck MBA videos.

Milton Friedman was a leading economist in the United States of America and won a Nobel Prize in economics. His theories were used throughout much of the last half of the twentieth century and have influenced our economy today.

Let’s pretend that Uncle Milton is your favorite uncle.  You love him with all your heart and you trust him completely.  To the best of your knowledge, he has never lied to you.  Uncle Milton has more money than you could begin to imagine and, as far as you know, is always right.

One day, Uncle Milton calls you and asks you to stop by his house. When you arrive, his
butler escorts you to Uncle Milton’s private office in the house.  There, Uncle Milton sits surrounded by computer monitors and telephones.  He is making constant investment decisions.  He is an economic whiz.  You are hoping he is going to give you a stock tip.  What he does give you is worth so much more.

When you arrive, Uncle Milton is on the phone with a senator discussing economics.  He motions for you to take a seat near his desk and finishes his phone call. As he hangs up, he says to you, “I suppose you are wondering why I called you here.”

You agree that you are curious.  Then, he tells you.  He hands you a cashier’s check made payable to you for fifty dollars ($50).  He tells you that it is yours to spend any way you choose.  He then says he would like for you to cash the check at his bank and get ten five dollar bills.  He then tells you that before you spend any of the money you are to bring him the first five dollar bill out of it.

You think this is odd, but you know that Uncle Milton has a reason for what he does.  He does not do things just to pull your strings and you know he has your best interest in mind. 

You go straight to the bank and do exactly like he said.  You ask the teller to make sure he gives you one very new, very crisp, very clean five-dollar bill.  He looks through his till and finds you the cleanest, newest, crispest five dollar bill in his till and counts that one out to you first.

You take that bill and put it in a separate envelope and hot foot it back to Uncle Milton’s house.  You go into his office and he smiles at you and puts the envelope in his desk drawer.

Next week, he calls you and you go through the same exact thing again.  This goes on for the better part of the year.  Uncle Milton gives you a certified check for fifty dollars and you bring him back five of it and you get to keep $45 of it to spend however you choose.

After six months, he calls you and this time he hands you a check for $500.  He tells you to get it cashed in fifty dollar bills ($50) and that you are to bring him the first fifty dollars back. 

You go to the bank and go to the same teller you have been using for all these transactions.  He looks at the check and smiles.  He asks you if you know why Uncle Milton doesn’t just go ahead and get his part of the money when he comes in to get the cashier’s check.

You have to admit this is odd, but you figure that a smart man like Uncle Milton has his reasons.  You ask the clerk for all the money in fifty-dollar bills and ask him to make sure that at least one of them is crisp, clean, and new.

You head back to Uncle Milton’s house and go to his office.  Again, he takes the envelope with the $50 bill in it and puts it in the drawer where he has put all the envelopes you have brought him in the past.

It never crosses your mind to not bring the money back to Uncle Milton.  After all, it is ALL his money in the first place.  He has plenty of money of his own and would not miss any of it.  But you know that Uncle Milton has something in mind and you obey his instructions implicitly.

Time goes by.  Each week Uncle Milton calls you and each time he gives you a cashier’s check for an ever-growing amount and each time you are instructed to bring back the first ten percent in the form of the crispest, newest bill or bills you can find.

It soon reaches the stage where he hands you a cashier’s check for five hundred thousand dollars. You think to yourself, “Wow that is a lot of money”.  All while you are driving to the bank, you think, “I really can’t afford to give Uncle Milton back fifty thousand dollars.  Maybe he won’t miss it if I don’t give him all the money.  He just sticks it in his drawer without counting it anyway.  You decide the right thing to do is to give him the ten percent he asks for back to him.  After all, it is ALL his money anyway.  The money you get to keep is a gift.

Every week he calls and every week you bring him back his ten percent.  One day when you go in, Uncle Milton tells you he wants to show you something.  He takes you to the back of his house and the two of you climb on a golf cart.

 He drives you across his vast estate that has orchards, vineyards, fields of fruits and vegetables of all types.  He turns down a road on his estate that has mansion after mansion.  Some are completely built and some are under construction.

In some places there are vacant lots. There are stakes marking their boundaries but nothing else.

Some are huge and ornate and some are nice and large but not as ornate or large as the others.
He pulls up to a beautiful mansion and reaches in his pocket and pulls out a key.  He tells you that this key is the key to your new mansion.  You notice that some of the houses on your block are still under construction and look like construction has just stopped or has slowed to a crawl.

He tells you that those mansions are for some of your cousins.  He has been doing the same thing with them each week.  Each week, he gives them a cashier's check.  Each week, they bring back some of the money. 
Some bring back more than the ten percent he asked for.  The houses that are larger and more ornate belong to them.

The vacant lots are where the houses of the cousins who did not bring back any of the money would have been built but, since they did not bring back any of the money, nothing was built.

He explains that those houses that are not complete belong to the cousins who only brought back part of the money they were supposed to.

He says, “You see, I didn’t need the money I gave you to do what I intended to do.  It was all a test.  Each week when you brought back the ten percent, I had the builders add a little more to your mansion. For those who gave more than their ten percent, I added more to the mansion.  For those who brought back less, I only built a little more to their house."

"It was about more than building houses.  It was about building the person I wanted you to be.  I never needed that money to do my work.  I needed that money to help you to grow."

And that is how it is with God.  HE does not need our money to do His work. He uses the money we bring to the storehouse, our local church, to help us to grow spiritually

When we tithe our full ten percent, we are showing the stewardship that God is trying to build in us. 

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Please be advised that all the information in this course is provided to educate, enlighten, and broaden your views in life.  The information provided is not a substitute for medical, legal, dietary, financial/accounting, or religious professionals.  Always consult a professional before you act on any of the information you find in this course.  

Do you have a frugal recipe?  Please e-mail it to me.

Help us reach 1,000 YouTube subscribers. Please watch some of our videos. If you like them, please subscribe. Also, please share our YouTube information with your friends. We thank you so much for all your help.