Malachi 3:10-11 :: Tithing and Miracles

Bring ye all the atithes into the storehouse, that there may be bmeat in mine house, and cprove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not dopen you the ewindows of heaven, and pour you out a fblessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will arebuke the bdevourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

Malachi 3:10-11

I was called to speak on tithing last Sunday. Tithing is one of those principles (along with the Word of Wisdom) that is emphasized continually in the Vietnamese Branch, so I wanted to take a different spin on the topic. No harping at the members for not paying their tithing (many do), but maybe give several practical examples of the blessings of tithing. While I was preparing, I shared with my wife what angle I was trying to take on it and she said, "Yeah, tell them that when you pay tithing first, you have to budget your money, therefore you don't spend it all on little things, therefore you have enough to make ends meet, even though you have less money than if you didn't pay tithing." My initial reaction (I'm not too proud of this one) was to say, "No, no, no, don't play down the miracle, don't explain away the blessing and attribute it to budgeting." Then I stopped. She had a point. The Lord is not impractical; in fact, he intentionally uses "small means" to confound the wise (Alma 37:7). I am one who frequently falls into the trap of expecting the "magic" instead of the "miracle." We are recipients of the blessings of tithing and I know that those who keep this law will receive the same blessings, but that doesn't mean that money falls from the sky or grows on the shrubs on our back porch. Sometimes, when we really need it, the money will appear in our hands. But in the daily grind, the mundane blessings and miracles come as... well, wise budgeting. Same with healings. Back in the old days, healings were one of the most sought-after miracles, so why don't we see the apostles traveling the world and healing large multitudes of people? Has the miracle of healing ended? No, but it is now a common miracle that we face on a daily basis, in the form of medicine and technology, hospitals and treatment centers offering services for all kinds of diseases. The miracle lies in the vast armies of volunteers traveling to poor country and administering medical aid to the less fortunate of the earth.

So I hope, with the help of my wife, I can start seeing the miracles that surround me everyday. If not, then...

Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by asmall means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were bslothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey; (Alma 37:41)

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travel log
  • 02.13.08 - to the temple with Luan and his mom, good to be back
  • 02.14.08 - Mẫu's alive! and staying for the weekend
  • 02.15.08 - floor hockey and Thái food makes for some strange dreams
  • 02.17.08 - frisbee and swamp monster at the park: fun but I'm pooped!
  • 02.19.08 - just read Triết's response to my last post - game on!
  • 02.20.08 - raining and expected to continue through Sunday - thank goodness!
  • 02.21.08 - 3-hour nap is a bad idea right before bed
  • 02.23.08 - to the beach to watch kites, a baptism @ 5pm, and homemade bulgogi - what a day!
  • 02.25.08 - just gave myself a haircut - woo, cold head!
  • 02.26.08 - 75° and spring cleaning - couldn't feel better
  • 02.27.08 - fed the elders bún đậu tonight - think it's their first time
  • 03.01.08 - working on new background...
  • 03.02.08 - finalized javascript to change background without muffing up my other scripts
  • 03.03.08 - fhe: "In his strength I can do all things" (Alma 26:12)
  • 03.07.08 - some decisions are harder than others, but some are downright excruciating
  • 03.08.08 - there is life after work... i almost forgot
  • 03.11.08 - the distance between good and bad is much shorter than between better and best
  • 03.12.08 - conversion is sometimes a gradual process, so much so that we don't even notice
  • 03.14.08 - for some reason everything was a little harder today, looking forward for bed!
  • 03.15.08 - last night after blog reading, I missed OnlyBlue, today I find she's back
  • 03.16.08 - best day of my life!
  • 03.19.08 - "Pray for the answer that they've been looking for"
release notes v1.0 - FINALLY DONE!
  • 12.07 - first thought of starting a new blog
  • 01.08 - busy with election stuff but blog design still on back burner
  • 01.13.08 - first idea to imitate jk rowling with the "desk" theme
  • 01.28.08 - start sketching current design, breaking down development into phases
  • 02.02.08 - election only days away but still drafting final plans
  • 02.04.08 - v0.6 LAUNCH
    • main components (blog body, sidebar, header, etc) designed and implemented
    • styling for font, links, drop caps, etc. finished
  • 02.07.08 - v0.8 LAUNCH
    • image style to imitate polariod
    • moveability - post-it notes and static clings can be repositioned by drag and drop
    • release notes styled and written
  • 02.16.08 - travel log (beta) added in hopes of catching the mundane
  • 02.22.08 - lightbox 2.03 reinstalled and working fine (hopefully - let me know otherwise)
  • 02.26.08 - v0.9 LAUNCH
    • travel log seems to be working, so I'll keep it
    • lightbox also seems to have passed the test, so it's a keeper
    • some credits/info added to bottom (will expand)
    • keeping old Viet terms in archive for future viewing
  • 03.18.08 - v1.0 LAUNCH
    • installation and testing of time-sensitive background completed (for now)