Sunday, October 29, 2006

When Will You Listen?

As I've written before, I'm currently searching for a new church home. I'm really trying to listen and hear God's voice as I search. This is NOT easy! :-) I know what I want but I want what HE wants for me and my family.

I'm also praying that my husband's work situation will change so that he can be off on Sundays and not adversely affect our family financial situation. I know my God is big enough to make this happen.

So this 'new church' journey actually started over a year ago. At that time I had responsibilities at my current church that did not let me miss very often to 'try out' other churches. But one Sunday I did sneak away. I went to a church that I really like. The interesting thing was that I really liked the preacher and his sermon in spite of what he preached on. Can you guess what his topic was? That's right, tithing. I don't know about you but there are not many times that I know of where people have loved a church on the first visit when the pastor spoke on tithing.
Over the last year I have had the privilege of visiting that church about three other times. No other mention of tithing in those sermons.

I recently visited another church for the 1st time since they got a new pastor. Know what HE preached on? Yep! Giving. And I would gladly go back and hear him again.

This was starting to be a pattern at the various churches I was visiting. I know some people think all preachers talk about money all the time. That has not been my experience. Actually, I rarely hear preachers preach on tithing anymore. Hmmm....My experience is rarely but nearly every preacher is doing it now. Hmmm...

Then two weeks ago on Saturday night, I was deciding where to visit that Sunday. Normally my sister-in-law visits with me but that Sunday she was out of town. So researching on the Internet, I found a church that I was really interested in checking out. I felt sure that this was the church I was to visit. On their website, they had an announcement about the new sermon series the pastor was starting. Can you guess? The ABC's of Finance. This series was sure to include tithing!

So hmmm. I went anyway. I liked it! A lot! And of course that is where I met the women who encouraged me to action which is why this blog was started.

Perhaps I'm thick-headed. (Dad, if you are reading comments from the peanut gallery!) :-) Anyway, it took me a while but I finally thought "Maybe it's not that all preachers preach on giving, maybe, just maybe, God is trying to say something directly to ME! Maybe it takes many preachers preaching many sermons to get through this thick skull."

As I said, that last preacher was starting a SERIES on finance. This meant I could hear about money for like five weeks in a row. Well last Sunday I visited a different church. And no the topic was not giving. I guess God was 'giving' me a break. Then this Sunday I went back to the church where the series on finance is being preached. And today's sermon was fully, completely on tithing! And I had heard. Really heard. I wrote out an offering of an amount larger than we had been giving.

You know what? It felt good! It felt right. It felt like I had finally HEARD what I was listening to. Now I'm not a 'prosperity gospel' kind of girl. But I do believe that you can't out give God. I fully believed that, in His own way, He would 'bless the gift and the giver'. I gave having no idea if God would bless that act of obedience in a day, a week, a month, a year, or more.

Tonight my husband came home from work and said "I have something I want you to add to your prayer list and to really pray about." I said "OK. What?" He said "There is a lead position that MIGHT come open at work and I have my paperwork in for it. I'm not sure that it is what I want to do, that's why I need you to pray." I said "I can do that." Then knowing that everything in his company is seniority based, I asked "Where would you fall in the seniority order with the other leads?" He said "I'd be number 2 out of 4" So I asked "Do you know what days off you could hold?"

Do I really need to tell you the rest of the conversation?

He said "The guy that might be leaving has Saturday/Sunday off."

Now, dear readers, he does not have the position or the days off, yet. But is that clear indication that God does hear our prayers? Isn't that a beautiful illustration of Him taking care of the desires of our hearts when we simply obey Him? Keep my husband and all the decision makers regarding this position in your prayers. Thanks!

How many times
will God have to repeat himself to reach you? Are your ears open? When will you listen?
Psalm18:6 A hostile world! I call to God,
I cry to God to help me.
From his palace he hears my call;
my cry brings me right into his presence—
a private audience!

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