All the Produce of Your Seed


Has there ever been a more controversial word?

When the sermon is on tithing, people say, “All the church wants is my money.”

God doesn’t need your money. He wants to know the level of your commitment.

Giving 10% off the top of your income says:

  • God is my source.
  • God provides a job to support my family.
  • God provides a way to make wealth.
  • God is my boss, my employer is His manager.
  • God multiplies the balance when I give the first 10% to Him.

Another form of giving is offerings. It is money over and above the 10% you tithe. Offerings are for missions, charity, and special projects.

God promises to bless the seed in our barns, (savings, investments). Earlier this week I shared how God blessed our retirement fund.

Today’s verse smacked me upside the head.

Deuteronomy 14:22, “You must be certain to tithe all the produce of your seed, so that the field produces year by year.” Modern English Version

Wait, did we tithe the interest in our retirement account? (I will have to check with my bookkeeper husband.)

Could it be our investments don’t prosper because we keep all the increase? I want my seeds to keep producing, don’t you?




The most dangerous phrase in the world is – “just once.”

  • All addictions start by trying something “just once.”
  • Multitudes of children are conceived from having sex “just once.”
  • LIves are lost from trying dangerous activities “just once.”
  • Diseases are contracted from exposure “just once.”
  • Many are in prison for breaking the law “just once.”

Everything we do starts small. We decide to do something “just once” and soon it becomes a habit and then a lifestyle. We are shocked and perplexed when we start to experience the consequences of a behavior we had only planned to try “just once.” Whatever seeds we plant becomes our harvest many times over.

God is unchangeable. He is the God of always. He said His Name is “I Am.”

Deuteronomy 11:1, “You must love the Lord your God and keep His charge, His statutes, His ordinances, and His commandments always.” Modern English Version

The good news? The reverse is true. We build good habits by doing them “just once” today. Tomorrow we do it again and the next day the same. Before we know it, our lifestyle has changed.

We can do great things – difficult things – by starting small. But everything we build will crumble when we break God’s laws. We must keep them always.



God Gives the Ability to Get Wealth

In a sermon a few years ago, Pastor Monte Knudsen shared a conversation he had with another man.

The man asked, “Are you blessed?”


“Are you paying capital gains tax?”


“God wants to bless your storehouse (savings, investments) so much that you pay taxes on the increase,” the man said.

I silently prayed, “Lord, give us capital gains.” (I don’t even know how they work!)

I continued to daily pray Psalms 112:3, “Wealth and riches shall be in his house,…” (Modern English Version) over our finances.

Last night, we met with our advisor to review our retirement allocations. She pointed to our smallest fund, 9% of our portfolio, and said, “You have capital gains in this fund.”

I was surprised. My prayers were answered! It amazed me because for decades we were only able to put 3% into retirement. David’s former employer added 1-2% to it for several years, but as his business was failing, he stopped. We have never touched the money and just kept adding our small percentage.

I was so happy and proud! We all know what pride leads to – a fall. I was headed for discipline from God.

Deuteronomy 8:11, 17, 18, “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, and His judgments, and His statutes, which I am commanding you today….Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ But you must remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to get wealth, so that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is today.” Modern English Version

I repented.

“…Read your Bible and begin to claim God’s promises in every area of your life.” 11-28-17


Keep and Do Them

I like doing Bible Trivia quizzes. Today, I thought the answer to the question was wrong. It said, “the twelve tribes of Judah,” not “the twelve tribes of Israel.” I clicked the link to report the error. At the bottom of the page was a place to leave your URL if you wanted to write for them. I did.

I went back to the quiz, selected “the twelve tribes of Judah” and pushed the answer button. It was the wrong answer! I missed the question completely!

I usually get over 80% right and was totally shocked. But, God never called me to write for other publications. He called me to write a yearly Bible Reading Guide. My assignment is to read the chapters with you and share the verse that impressed me that day. This is a journal of my walk through the Bible – with a few laughs along the way!

God created me for this assignment. As long as I stick to the guidelines He gave me, this blog is easy. When I try to do more, it becomes stressful. The commandments are guidelines that will give you a fulfilled life.

Deuteronomy 5:1, “Then Moses called all Israel and said to them: ‘Hear, O Israel, the statutes and ordinances which I am speaking in your hearing today, so that you may learn them, and keep, and do them.’ ” Modern English Version

It’s not enough to know what to do – we have to do it! God’s guidelines come with promises:

  1. He will show mercy, 5:10.
  2. Our days will be prolonged, 5:16, 33; 6:2.
  3. It will go well with you, 5:16, 29, 33; 6:3, 18.
  4. God will speak with you, 5:24.
  5. It will be well with your children, 5:29.
  6. You will multiply greatly, 6:3.
  7. He will preserve us, 6:24.
  8. He will bless you, 7:13.
  9. He will heal you, 7:15.

When we do not follow His guidelines, things do not go well. We are headed for a fall – or at least a humbling event.



Who Defended the Families of the Tribes East of the Jordan River?

“Tobiah has been released from army service for a year.” Her eyes, with a wisp of humor, flicked to him. “In order to bring happiness to the woman he has married.”

Tobiah suddenly seemed to be more interested in the hills to the east than our conversation.

“He cannot fight?”

“Unless we are attacked in camp, then of course he is free to defend us, but no, he cannot go to war.”

“Wings of the Wind” by Connilyn Cossette

That’s who defended the families left in the cities east of Jordan. It was the men married less than a year, (see Deuteronomy 4:5). They arranged marriages when they were children. Those who marched on to fight, at some point, would return to marry and spend a year with his bride.

Men did not serve in the army forever. The priests retired from the heavy work, (they could assist), when they were 50, see Numbers 8:24-26. I’m sure the soldiers retired at the same age. The cities would have men over the age of 50 and young men on their year-long honeymoon to defend them.

Deuteronomy 3:22, “All you men of valor shall pass over armed before your brothers, the children of Israel. But your wives and your little ones…shall remain….” Modern English Version

They remained but were not defenseless.


As a Man Carries His Son

Yesterday, we read about the cities of refuge for someone who killed a person unintentionally. They went to the city of refuge and had a trial. If he was found guilty of murder they executed him. If it was proven an accident, he lived  – but could not leave the city of refuge until the death of the high priest. (That could be 50 years or more!)

If he left the city of refuge, a family member of the deceased could kill him. They would not be found guilty of murder because they were avenging the blood of their relative. The man-slayer was only safe in the city of refuge.

Today, when one is found guilty of manslaughter, they still may spend time in jail. Does that mean God has forgotten them?

“No! He goes with them!”

Deuteronomy 1:29-31, “Then I said to you, ‘Do not be terrified, or afraid of them. The Lord your God who goes before you, He shall fight for you, just as all that He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness, where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went, until you come to this place.’ ” Modern English Version

When the children of Israel went to fight the Canaanites, God went ahead of them. God goes before us; He fights for us, and He carries us all the way.


Refuge for the Manslayer

Some friends compiled a book with some history of their family. It started in the 1600’s when the family was in Switzerland and they immigrated to Germany. It traced the family as they immigrated to Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Oregon.

The saddest story in the book was about Otis, 30, who was accidentally shot while hunting with his brother-in-law. The newspaper account explained how the accident happened and Jehu was fully exonerated.

“Jehu…never married and was traumatized for life over what happened. When he died he left 1/2 of his farm…to each of his surviving nephews, Mervin and Elmer [sons of Otis].”

Jehu was a manslayer, not a murderer and paid for that accident for the rest of his life. God knew accidents would happen and he made places for refuge when they did.

Numbers 35:15, “For the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the foreign sojourner among them will be six cities. These will be for a refuge. Everyone that unintentionally kills any person may flee there.” Modern English Version



Moving at Thanksgiving

Each Thanksgiving marks another year in our home. We moved the night before Thanksgiving.

“I was 5 months pregnant!”

It was a hectic move! After work, we took one load over, cleaned up, and sang a special number at the community Thanksgiving service. We went back home and took another truckload over.

We hired professionals to move my piano but did the rest ourselves – with a lot of help from Melinda! She determined that I wouldn’t lift anything heavy and jeopardize her first niece or nephew. (We waited until he was born to find out.)

“My daughter was smarter.”

She moved last night but asked for help from family and friends. She even enlisted the help of Santa Claus! Our friend Mike, who plays Santa Clause for our family at Christmas, brought a 24′ trailer and they packed all her furniture in it last night.

“I was still a helpless bystander.”

Her dog lives in the house and it was not prudent for me to help. Instead, I made 18 ham and cheese sandwiches and sent them with David. I appreciated those who helped when I couldn’t. Even her cousin’s kids helped! (Grandma Melinda should be proud!) I guess Cameron put her clothes and shoes in her closet. They worked until she sent them home. Everyone did what they could.

* * * * * * *

The Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh were just as committed to their extended family. They chose the land on the east side of the Jordan river but promised to fight alongside their relatives until everyone moved into their new homes.

Numbers 32:23, “But if you will not do so, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out.” Modern English Version

What sin was Moses talking about?

  1. Turning away from following God, 32:15.
  2. Abandoning livestock, 32:16.
  3. Abandoning children, 32:16.
  4. Not keeping their commitments to extended family, 32:17.
  5. Going home before the work was done, 32:18.

“Did they?”

Joshua 22:2, “He said to them, ‘You have done everything that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you and have obeyed me in everything that I have commanded you.’ ” Modern English Version

This Thanksgiving as we gather with our extended families, we can follow their example:

  1. Keep God first.
  2. Feed the dog.
  3. Watch out for the children.
  4. Keep your commitment.
  5. Stay until the work is done.

“Happy Thanksgiving!”



Ordinary Work

I have 1 more day to prepare for Thanksgiving. My son called and they are bringing “Green Bean Casserole” and rolls. That took one project off my list!

I replaced, “Make Rolls” with “Bake Pies.” I baked 4 pies yesterday using pumpkin I froze. I promised a pumpkin pie to Ethan, our guitar player, and took 2 to church for the fellowship time after the Thanksgiving service.

David asked, “How can I tell which pies are yours?”

“They’re lumpy,” I replied.

(Odd, neither one of us found a piece on the table. They did have over 300 pieces.)

I was talking to Betty L. about my lumpy pies. She told me to mix the filling in the blender.  I am going to try it on my last pumpkin pie. (I ran the pumpkin through my food processor before I froze it.)

I still need to make a cherry pie – David’s favorite. I mentally added “Make tea” to my list of chores today. I want to do as much as possible in advance.

Numbers 29:1, “…You will do no ordinary work….” Modern English Version

This was an instruction for celebrating the “Feast of Tabernacles.” I added “laundry” to my list – no time tomorrow to throw in a load! Thanksgiving is a day of celebrating, gratefulness, and music.

Numbers 29:1. “…It is a day of blowing the trumpets for you.” Modern English Version



Large Inheritance for a Large Tribe

I am expecting 12 for Thanksgiving this year. They will not all fit around my table but I know of three that would prefer to eat in front of the football game using TV trays!

That’s how my Grandma W. did it. Her home was small and her table only had room for adults. There wasn’t room for a kid’s table. She had enough TV trays for us. We filled our plates and ate in the front room.

Grandma W. had 6 children, and they all had 2 – 4 of their own! It was a packed house. Grandma C. had 13 children and they had 1 – 7 children each.

You don’t see many large families anymore. It saddened me when I read a post from a young blogger who was debating whether to have children at all! She thought they were too expensive.

I’ll never forget what my former boss told me, “If you wait to have children until you can afford it, you will never have children.” We decided to start our family after he said that.

God took care of us. We never missed a meal, and before our baby’s first birthday, we bought our house!

When the children of Israel reached the Promised Land, God instructed Moses to number the people. Why? To give more land to the larger tribes.

Numbers 26:54, “To a large tribe you shall give a large inheritance, and to a small tribe you shall give a small inheritance. To each one his inheritance will be given according to those who were numbered of him.” Modern English Version

Shout out to Brandin and Sarah who are expecting their 8th baby! They prove there are still large families who are happy and healthy! They will receive a large inheritance!