Press Release: “Tithing For Today”

August 22, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Christian Living, Giving, Old Testament 

Promotional Price of $0.99
Till 15 September 2014

It’s been a long wait but Tithing For Today: Why Tithing Is Good For Everyone In Every Era is finally live on Amazon, in Kindle format, and at $0.99 is priced to sell.

You’ll be glad to know the book doesn’t take a demanding tone but instead is sufficiently exegetical, pointedly philosophical and, though not a how-to book on managing finances, encourages the use of copious amounts of practical wisdom in the discipline of handling money. The book also takes a decidedly more patient tack toward those learning to incorporate this practice in their regular budget.

Get a FREE Kindle Reading App for any device (PC, Mac, Smartphones, Tablets) here

Because “Tithing” enjoys a long history in Scripture – Genesis to Hebrews – it deserves serious consideration by every thoughtful individual and Tithing For Today provides the rationale to answer such questions as:

  • Did Jesus (and Paul) eliminate tithing or reinforce it philosophically?
  • Did Jesus eliminate the “Law” or just the curse?
  • Does corruption countermand tithing?
  • Should our giving be by budget or whim?
  • If we tithe on net income which “net” are we talking about?

And more. The author’s hope is the book will give you plenty to think about.

Notable Quotes from “To The Wall” by Mark van Straaten

August 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Book Reviews, Christian Living, Old Testament 

To The Wall: A Journey In Missional Prayer by Mark van Straaten

A Well Said Point
Is Worth A Thousand Words

Pure prose, even when well written, can easily become long winded which in turn stifles rather than stimulates the thought processes. We’ve all been there.

That may be the reason poetry became so popular. It says a lot in very few words and very graphically. It’s hard not to like. But, theology doesn’t fit too well in poetic rhyme. It needs definition and explanation.

In recent times, however, the art of taking long drawn out, slow building concepts and encapsulating them in a few carefully chosen words has become popular. It is one way to reduce a big idea to one easy to remember sentence or phrase. That’s the idea behind headings also.

Mark does this often in “To The Wall” and I thought I would mention a few to give you a glimpse of what you can expect. Read more

3 “Last Supper” Truths We Never Mention

April 23, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Christian Living, Church, Personal Development 

Meal time was Facebook for most of human history.

The Lord’s Supper
Nourishes Relationships Too

The Lord’s Supper is usually mentioned and often observed during the Easter season and there is good reason for that. It forms a significant part of the resurrection story. It makes sense. It was the last moment of sanity before the arrest of Jesus when everything fell apart.

Our church always observes the Lord’s Supper during Easter but not the stripped down version. We try to create a meal-like atmosphere. Not a full blown meal but as close as we can get.

It was during a meal that Jesus instituted the symbolism of wine-to-blood and bread-to-body so there is nothing in a meal that diminishes that truth. In fact, the history of meal-time adds richness to the idea.

Unfortunately, the sense of “meal” is no longer the foundation for this memorial and the names we give it don’t help much either – communion, holy communion, Eucharist, sacrament, ordinance – but there are at least three good reasons to rethink our approach. Read more

Money Is Inseparably Both Mundane And Spiritual

November 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Christian Living, Making Money 

A job is either an opportunity or a dungeon

Making And Managing Money
Is Spiritual

 

Everything is spiritual all the time, even very earthy things, and nothing illustrates that truth as clearly as money, otherwise known as filthy lucre. Let me explain.

When I was a kid my mother always made me wash my hands after handling money. “You never know where it has been” she would say, and over time I learned what she meant. Money is passed from one person to another (clean hands or not), kept in unhygienic places, even falls on the ground and stays in circulation anywhere from 18 months to several years. During that time it never gets washed. I never really understood how filthy money could be, however, till I moved to South Africa and discovered all the places people hid the stuff to keep it away from thieves. I won’t elaborate. You can imagine.

It isn’t difficult to make a spiritual connection here since cleanliness is next to godliness. Right?

But I also learned from an early age that money can be enticing. Read more

What Does “Holy” Really Mean

October 25, 2013 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Christian Living, Religion 

Solemn doesn't make anything holy

Marriage Is Holy
Ceremony Or Not

I don’t like the word “holy.” Just hearing it gives me the creeps but don’t read too much into that.

I know the word is in the Bible, and I really do appreciate that, but the way it is used doesn’t always agree with how it is represented in the Bible. The application is very narrow. It doesn’t fit with everyday life. Let me explain.

The word “holy” is associated with synonyms like sacred, hallowed, revered, sanctified and consecrated. Another word distantly related is “solemn.” These are not commonly used words. They are religious terms and not just normal everyday religious terms. They are “inner sanctum” words. Institutional religion didn’t coin these words but it definitely owns them.

And the ominous nature of “holy” is compounded by the way it is used. When any ceremony – I don’t like that word either – is referred to as holy or sacred you get the idea that smiling or relaxing or enjoying the occasion is not allowed. These words are spoken only in a serious tone of voice and accompanied only by actions that are performed rigidly, well arranged, in a scripted manner. Robotic might apply.

The following wedding video illustrates the point. Scroll to the 53rd second if you’re in a hurry: Read more

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