Good evening, my friends. Tonight I start off with a shameless plug. If you roll down the side of this blog, eventually you will see on your right a button that says, "The Simple Dude." If you click on that, you will enter the funny and provocative world of The Simple Dude, AKA "Simple Dude In A Complex World". Many of you already know and love our fearless leader; those who don't, you should check him out. He has many things going for him, not the least of which is he likes the Great Sixties Countdown, every Saturday on this fine station. In addition, he is a talented blogger who really has helped me treble my following without even trying. A lot of the people that come and go here I met through meeting and greeting on his blog. And he has accomplished his great feats of Dude-hood, including an e-book you can find out about on his blog and purchase on Amazon on how to be a better blogger, in the course of ONE SHORT YEAR! Man, I had about 6 followers my first year, and he has like 6,000! In addition to cravenly seeking approbation, I have another, more mercenary purpose here. In honor of his blogaversary, he's giving away a $50 gift card to some lucky shmook who links to him (whether here, on Facebook, or on Twitter) and says, "Happy anniversary, Simple Dude! I am a proud Simpleton!" Since I have decided that I am content to remain a single-media blogger, I shall be getting just the one entry into the contest- but it's a lucky one, I'm sure. Okay, now that the crass commercialism is done, happy birthday, Dude! I really don't think much of this was gilding the lily- he is the top of the game.
Moving on, Sunday's post about God digging the spurs into me about tithing brought yet another bumper crop of great comments from great commenters, and I'd like to address them now. Bouncin' Barb gave me the Gunga Din treatment- "You're a better man than I..." Notwithstanding that I am a man and she most definitely ain't (I saw the mini-skirt contest!), I have to protest. These Sunday sermonettes and stories come from one source. If you are walking down the road with someone right behind you, and you suddenly find that because of inattention to the path you've stepped in a big stinky road apple, you turn around and let the next guy know there are road apples ahead. 95% of the time, I'm just bringing up something that I've had to look in the mirror at. I'm a better man than no one- I'm just the one with doo on his shoe.
Jo-Anne Rambling brings up that she does what she can- "I may not donate a lot of money but I do give something." Y'know, the widow gave a couple of half-pennies, and it was worth more to Jesus than all the ill-gotten gold the pharisee dumped in. It's all about what you can give, where you are at on the subject with God, and the heart with which you do it. I wouldn't have brought up the amount in question Sunday if not to demonstrate that the 'coincidence" of what God asked and what was do on Oscar was no coincidence at all. Wasn't my idea, my provision, or my ability- it was all His.
Bob G. (as always) made a couple of great observations. First : "I believe that God has made allowances for certain specific financial pitfalls, lest we fall into debt (owe no man)...so He tends to let some of it "slide"...
Just don't make a habit of it, is what I like to follow, though. For God is NOT mocked." Actually two points here- God will deal mercifully with each individual and their circumstance; and don't abuse that mercy. I felt that my anxiety and need to "control" the situation had me abusing His mercy, and He not so subtly reminded me of that. The other thing is, don't think that it's only POSSESSIONS - or ONLY possessions- that He expects. That second part is why I share my shortcomings, and His way of dealing with them, on this blog.
Finally, Leslie mentioned how sometime the dealing with other fallen human beings in the church setting can have an impact on how you deal with this (and other) issues. I know from where we speak, as a host of such events- with myself shouldering all too much of the blame- is why we are currently "unchurched". In the end though, we all end up saying, as she did, "Oh sweet conviction how I love to hate you!"
And I bring this all up because I want to thank you- every outside perception helps me see myself a little clearer, and I appreciate that. If It's okay with God, I'd like Him to consider your comments your tithe- or down payment thereof- for this week. Because the tithe is something we sacrifice for a) the Glory of God and b) the sustenance of our family in Christ, and I think you've all managed that quite well.
Okay, now let me let SD know I pimped him so I get my entry!