Tithing: Answering a few questions

Its Friday! Did you get paid today?

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If so are you going to tithe any of it? Will you give any of it to charity? This makes me think of a conversation that I had with a friend of mine. She is getting close to making six figures so she asked me:

Do we really have to tithe 10% or is that just something made up at church?

This is a great question! I knew a little bit about this subject,but not a ton mainly from my pastor so I immediately started doing some research. The scripture that always comes to mind is this one from Malachi.

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

My pastor always uses this one but it makes sense, its the only scripture I know that God says to test me on this. Pouring out blessings?! Yes please!

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Why do we tithe?

Tithing is showing God we trust him with our money and finances. There are lots of scriptures to back this up. People always start making distinctions between Old Testament and New Testament when we start talking about tithing. From my research it doesn’t look like the New Testament gets into amounts as much as the Old Testament. It still talks about giving though.

Giving encourages a grateful and generous spirit and can help steer us away from being greedy or loving money too much.”-Dave Ramsey

Do we really have to give 10% or is that made up?

Did you know that tithe literally means 10th in Hebrew. I never knew that.

Does God care how much we tithe?

In reading the New Testament, it doesn’t seem like God cares how much you give. I think he cares more about your attitude while you are giving. God doesn’t technically need your money. Its already his anyway, he just wants to see you give back to him what was his in the first place. Don’t hold onto your money like Dave Chappelle in this gif.

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You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 2 Corinthians 9:7‭-‬8 NLT

Does it have to be 10% to the church or can I give to charity?

The internet seems to be split on this. Some sources said it should be the church because the “storehouse” that is referenced in Malachi is the church, while others say giving is giving, it doesn’t matter where you give it. Dave Ramsey says if you aren’t giving to the church its not tithing, but I can’t find enough research to support either one of those views.

Final thoughts:

I would say give to the church first that way you can see where your money is going.

Give what you can and feel comfortable with. God is always happy about small beginnings. The longer you give the more you are going to eventually want to do anyway


Resources

https://www.openbible.info/topics/giving_10_percent

https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/daves-advice-on-tithing-and-giving

Birthday reflections

Rainbows are a sign of Gods promises. He put up the first one after he flooded the Earth and saved Noah and his family.

on my drive to work

My birthday was Sunday and it also reminds me of Gods promises. I got pregnant around my birthday two years. On this day as I’m writing this (9/10) I was told I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant on my own. So every year since then it all comes back and reminds me that God is a promise keeper. He does what he says he will do. He doesn’t lie or change his mind. I know that in theory but its nice to have a reminder.

My birthday has always been a big deal to me even from when I was a little kid. Its at the tail end of summer so it could be blazing hot, last year it was 90 degrees! Or it could be cool and chilly. It has always signified new beginnings for me, even more so than the beginning of the year.

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I remember my 33 birthday that was supposed to be my Jesus year and that didn’t happen. Last year was just survival mode in learning how to be a new mom. 35 though…will this be my year?

I dont want to say so and it isn’t but this year feels different. I think the biggest change is consistency. I have been exercising 5 days a week consistently since August 3.

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I have been going to noon day bible study on Wednesday at church since May.

I’ve been doing the work to make lifestyle changes that I can sustain. Sustainability is key. I used to start off super hard but I couldn’t maintain that momentum.

I used to worry about what I could do to keep the momentum going. I was so worried about the something disturbing the joy I was feeling that I wasn’t enjoying it.

Not anymore. I am making sure to take each day one at a time and that has helped tremendously. I am learning how to stop my negative thoughts in its tracks. I am exploring new things and becoming open to new ideas and thought processes. I am learning how to be 100% me, 100% of the time.

I set that goal in December but I didn’t start working on it really until we were forced to stay in the house. The last six months have been a lot of work but I have definitely reaped the benefits.

Letter to my followers

Hello!

To my email followers especially, you are small but mighty force and since I know all of you in real life I just want to thank you for your support. I know you got an email saying a post was live yesterday, that post was not complete. WordPress is giving me the business! It won’t beat me nor will the devil. These words have to come out and they will. I appreciate your continued support. I wouldn’t have the courage to do this if wasn’t for you all.

Love you,

Dom

How to deal with suffering

It seems like people have really been going through in 2020. I completely understand, in some ways it feel like God set the world on fire.

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There is a lot in the bible about suffering. I have been through my fair share of suffering. When I search suffer on the blog 9 posts come up. I thought it might be time to do a recap since suffering is something we all at one point or another have to deal with.

For God is pleased when, conscious of his will, you patiently endure unjust treatment. Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. 1 Peter 2:19‭-‬20 NLT

What is suffering? Suffering isn’t just something you don’t like, or a thing that bothers you. I believe suffering is the prolonged experience of physical pain or mental anguish.

Why do we suffer? We suffer for lots of reasons.

  • Sin. The choices we make, consequences for things we do or don’t do.
  • God wants to get the glory out of the situation.
  • God wants to test us and see that we put into practice everything we’ve been learning.
  • He wants to teach us patience and endurance because it produces Godly character.
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What should we do while we suffer? Two posts I did a few years ago would help. How to wait well and Pray for your enemies. You also can ask God to help you deal with it better. You can’t change anyone’s behavior but you can change how you respond to it. I know that seems impossible to pray for God to work something out in your favor but he can do anything. Not asking him is insulting to the power of God. He can do anything. He tells us to pray about everything so its not going to hurt to ask.

Remember. We are blessed that our suffering only lasts a little while, according to God. His little while and our little while may look different but its a good reminder that it is temporary and not meant to last forever. Sometimes knowing something is only temporary can help us endure just a little longer.

What happens after suffering is over? Double for your trouble. God never does anything without purpose. He can blesses us beyond what we can think or imagine. We typically get a blessing from God. Its not always the outcome that’s obvious on the outside but you have changed on the inside. That’s a huge gain. Change on the inside is something that lasts forever. Its something you can use when suffering happens again, because unfortunately it will.

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Prayer. Father God, I ask for patience, endurance, and peace until this time is over. God what do you want us to learn in this season? Are we re-doing something that you taught us before? Lord help me use my suffering for someone else’s good. I know we don’t just go through things for us, but for other people as well. Lord, I know you don’t waste a hurt, please continue to walk with my during this difficult time. Help me so that when suffering comes around again, that I remember that you are here to help me. I thank you that suffering does not last forever. In Jesus name, Amen.


Resources

https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/five-truths-about-christian-suffering

https://www.christianity.com/wiki/christian-life/what-does-the-bible-say-about-suffering.html

https://bible.org/article/why-there-suffering

How to live a blessed life

I just finished a study on Psalm 119. Every week I will give you a lesson on what I learned from this psalm. King David wrote Psalm 119 over a long period of his life. I like King David because God once called him a man after his own heart. I want God to describe me in that way. I also like King David because he wasn’t perfect. We see him make some pretty big mistakes in his life but God still blessed him and his children. It sounds like a good example to follow to me.

God wants to bless us, not only with material blessings, but with peace and love and strength.

Psalm 119:1-16

Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
    who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are those who keep his statutes
    and seek him with all their heart—
they do no wrong
    but follow his ways.
You have laid down precepts
    that are to be fully obeyed.
Oh, that my ways were steadfast
    in obeying your decrees!
Then I would not be put to shame
    when I consider all your commands.
I will praise you with an upright heart
    as I learn your righteous laws.
I will obey your decrees;
    do not utterly forsake me.How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
    By living according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart;
    do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
    that I might not sin against you.
12 Praise be to you, Lord;
    teach me your decrees.
13 With my lips I recount
    all the laws that come from your mouth.
14 I rejoice in following your statutes
    as one rejoices in great riches.
15 I meditate on your precepts
    and consider your ways.
16 I delight in your decrees;
    I will not neglect your word

What is a blessed life?

A happy, fulfilled, contented life. As you can see a blessed life doesn’t have anything to do with possessions, or job or where you live.

Characteristics of a blessed life

Maturing in my Christian walk

Knowing I can trust God

Remembering that everything happens for our good

God is always with me

I win, no matter what!

How to live a blessed life

Blameless, walk in the law

seek him with your whole heart

learn his righteous rules

praise with whole heart

Study his word

When we compare what is a blessed life vs what it takes to get a blessed life, it certainly seems more challenging. We should use this list to strive towards these things, its like our shoot for the starts, land on the moon scenario. If we are doing the best we can, we will achieve a blessed life. In our day to day pursuit of a blessed life, we are pointed towards God. We don’t have to do anything on our own, God is going to walk with us every step of the way.

You see living a blessed life doesn’t have as much to do with being a “good person” and more about your relationship with God. Reading this post could potentially lead to more questions. Don’t worry I got you.

You could be saying: Why do I have to praise him with my whole heart? How do I even do that? Come back. I will let you know.



Resources

WordPress Help 2.0

I’m sorry I don’t have a post with fresh new content. WordPress updated its editing on how you post and I don’t know how to use it. I usually use WordPress on my phone, until the day of posting. I write the posts on my phone in my notes app and then I just share them to WordPress. I do the editing on my computer, adding the pictures, gifs, any final thoughts etc.

Think of how I was surprised I was to trying to edit a post this morning, like what is going on. I don’t even know how to add pictures anymore. (Update: I figured this out.)

I was going to try to push through, because you know…perfectionism. I’m not though.

I am going to admit, I don’t know how to do this and hopefully some of my fellow bloggers reading this will offer me some assistance.

I just figured out how to do this fancy quote thing. Definitely will be using ALL.OF.THE.TIME.

I still don’t know how to add links, but I’m figuring it out. I don’t have the time right now to play around with this but by next week, I will be back with fresh new content.

I appreciate your grace,

Dominique

PS- So after playing around with it more, I actually do like it, its just a lot and its going to take me some time to get used to all of it.


August wrap up

Here are the top 10+ posts in August. The great thing about this, all these posts were not written in August, a few are oldies but goodies.

Interesting fact is that my number one viewership is from the United States, but my second highest viewers are from China. HELLO CHINA!

Impostor syndrome

Silencing the inner critic

Accountability partners

*Holding on

Do you feel like God left you on read? 10 reasons he might not be answering…

How are you using your time?

Waking up

I thought I had a better plan

10 ways to have peace in turbulent times

*How do you respond to anger? (9)

*Faith vs being realistic

 

*these are a few years old. Check them out when you get a chance.

I’m looking forward to giving you a little more next month. September is one of my favorite months, because my birthday is coming! September always signifies new beginnings for me.

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See you soon,

Dominique

Do you feel like God left you on read? 10 reasons he might not be answering…

Do you feel like you have been praying and not getting an answer? Do you feel like your prayers are hitting the ceiling?

There may be a few reasons why God isn’t answering.

1. Did he already answer and you just don’t like what he said? I’ve done that. So I just kept asking waiting. I felt like he was ignoring me but really he had already told me the answer. I just didn’t like it.

2. Do you have unrepentant sin? Have you been doing things you know God doesn’t want you to do? If you are ignoring the Holy Spirit about your actions that can be a problem. God wants you to clean that up. Remember God sees all sin the same, no matter what you are doing, or how you rationalize it.

3. Are you being disobedient? Is God telling you to do something and you aren’t doing it? Are you ignoring what he is asking you to do?  Do you think you have a better plan than God? He might be waiting on you to take the first step to show yourself faithful. Then he will give you more instruction.

4. Are you holding any grudges? God doesn’t hold grudges against us, so he doesn’t want us to hold grudges against others. Let it go. 

5. Are you giving him time to answer? Just because it feels like a long time, unfortunately in God time it isn’t. 2 Peter 3:8-9

6. Are you spending time with him? Is it quality time? Or are you just asking your questions and leaving? You are giving God your prayer requests but don’t actually wait to hear what he he has to say. Sometimes he doesn’t answer because he wants to get your attention.

7. Are your motives wrong? James 4:3. What you might be asking for may not be in Gods will. He could be waiting for you to check your motives before he answers you. You always want to make sure your desires match up to his.

8. You aren’t ready for the answer. There is a season for everything. God’s timing is always perfect. You may need to do some healing or growing or waiting before he answers you.

9. Are you asking God then asking a bunch of other people? If you ask God then ask other people you could be honoring other peoples opinions more than God’s. He of course won’t like that. He wants you to trust that he knows what is best for you.

10. Do you really believe he is going to do it? Are you asking but still have a lot of doubt? God doesn’t mind you having doubts but he wants you to ask him for help. He wants you to say, Lord I just don’t know if this will actually happen. Help me in my unbelief. Mark 9:24. I prayed that prayer a lot when I was trying to get pregnant. Its one of my favorite scriptures.

I hope this helps you get the answers you need from God. He is not ignoring you, he wants to help, he wants you to feel good on this side of heaven. Remember as you wait for him to respond that everything he does is for your good, even not responding, because he has great plans for you. Romans 8:28

 May the Lord answer all your prayers. Psalms 20:5 


Resources

https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/women/5-reasons-why-god-isn-t-answering-your-prayers.html

7 Bible Verses About God’s Perfect Timing

Is it Okay to Hold Grudges?

I thought I had a better plan

By nature I am a planner. However when I get an idea in my head I jump.

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I immediately get into planner and execution mode. I pray but I don’t always wait for God to answer. I look for signs of what I want to do not necessarily what God wants me to do.

Earlier in quarantine I was feeling promptings from God but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it is. I thought I should start a podcast. So I immediately found a co-host.

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A girl at church that I know from leadership classes who is funny and smart, young but most definitely a bible scholar. We discussed names, themes, etc.  I even did research  on how to start a podcast but I wasn’t feeling quite right about but I didn’t know why.

In bible study we were studying Jonah and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought I knew better than God. If you are doing what God wants, there will be peace. God is not a God of confusion. 1 Corinthians 14:33   Jonah thought he knew better than God, that’s why he didn’t want to go Tarshish like God wanted him to. Jonah 1-2

Just like Saul in 1 Samuel 15. God told Saul to go kill everyone, leave nothing behind.  Saul thought he knew better and decided to save the king and all the best animals. He said he was going to give the best animals to God as a sacrifice. Sounds good, but that wasn’t his instruction from God.

I like this girl from church but I don’t know her that well. I didn’t know if we would vibe hosting a podcast.

Hip Hop Vibe GIF by FanmioDance Dancing GIF

I should have probably asked her to teach a Sunday school class with me first to see how we play off each other on a consistent basis. I should have done a lot of things differently but I wanted to start things right away. Its that microwave growth syndrome. I was supposed to call her a week later to discuss our research but I forgot, which isn’t like me at all. Forgetting to call her was a clear sign that I needed to rethink some things. It wasn’t meant to be right now. I know that because even though a podcast is a great idea and I am not opposed to doing one later, that isn’t what God told me to do. 

I know I you’re probably thinking that this isn’t that serious. What’s the big deal with starting a podcast? The big deal isn’t about the podcast. Its about not doing what God told me to do. Its thinking I knew more than God

Tv Land I Know Everything GIF by YoungerTV

I was really avoiding getting back into my blog. I can’t even say I had a good reason I was just scared. I was worried again about what people would think of me. I was worried that they would reject me the messenger because things I’ve done or things I have said. I am definitely not a holy roller. I felt having a co-host would take some of the heat off of me and my shortcomings.

I didn’t start the podcast instead I prayed. I asked God to give me strength and help me overcome my fear of what people think. Its always better to pray, first and move later.

all gifs from giphy.com

Resources

Jonah 1-2

1 Samuel 15

Impostor syndrome

 Imposter syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. ‘Imposters’ suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence. They seem unable to internalize their accomplishments, however successful they are in their field. High achieving, highly successful people often suffer, so imposter syndrome doesn’t equate with low self-esteem or a lack of self-confidence. In fact, some researchers have linked it with perfectionism, especially in women and among academics. (Hbr.org)

imposter syndrome

My impostor type is the perfectionist. I have talked before about trying to work on my perfectionism. I didn’t realize that this was a part of impostor syndrome. Honestly, I see myself in quite a few of these examples. 

I came across this verse while I have been studying my identity in Christ. I have been learning who God says I am to combat a lot of things that I have been dealing with in my life. More on that in later posts, but my research and studying has been super helpful.

When I saw this verse, I read it in a few different translations, the best version being in The Message version. Check it out.

We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. 

2 Corinthians 3:4‭-5 NLT 

We couldn’t be more sure of ourselves in this—that you, written by Christ himself for God, are our letter of recommendation. We wouldn’t think of writing this kind of letter about ourselves. Only God can write such a letter. His letter authorizes us to help carry out this new plan of action. The plan wasn’t written out with ink on paper, with pages and pages of legal footnotes, killing your spirit. It’s written with Spirit on spirit, his life on our lives!

2 Corinthians 3:4-6 MSG

 The Lord wrote my letter of recommendation.

Who can best that? Who better knows your skills, abilities, strengths than God? Often times people get positions because of who they know. I have hired people just on the strength of the recommender. How much better is it when God is our recommender? I know it can be scary and we might not feel like we are ready but you are. The Holy Spirit takes us beyond our natural ability. Remember your natural ability is already the bomb. That’s how you got into the room. God is just going to take you to the next level. God feels in the gaps for you. What you don’t have He will supply. You just have to take the first step.

You don’t have to bend over backwards to prove yourself if God is your recommender. Your work speaks for it self. You aren’t an impostor. You earned this!

 Don’t let anyone, not even yourself, talk you out of what God said you could already do. 


Resources

https://www.themuse.com/advice/5-different-types-of-imposter-syndrome-and-5-ways-to-battle-each-one

https://hbr.org/2008/05/overcoming-imposter-syndrome

Watch this video about impostor syndrome. Its only 4 minutes long. 

Progress over perfection

Is fear of failure selfish?