The kind of Christian testimony that I used to roll my eyes over…

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Yesterday afternoon, I was heading out to meet my wife and son for lunch after I had gotten our car an oil change. We were meeting for lunch right next to a Target, where I planned to find a birthday present for my Dad.

As I was stopped at a red light at the off-ramp, I saw a destitute-looking woman with hard lines on her face, some three cars ahead of me, on the side of the road. She was holding a sign that read “Please help. Homeless.”

I did the sizing-up thing in my head that we folks (even if good-intentioned) do when we see people in this predicament. Things like: “If I give her money, she’s just going to use it to get her next fix.” Or, “do I have to give her booze money?” Or, “she’s probably not even homeless.”

And, as these things were running through my head, I felt God calling on me to give her money. So, I widdled in my wallet, and I saw a dollar bill. Then, five dollar bills. And, I started to sort the five dollar bills, when I heard in my head “give her a $20.”

I thought: “What? This could go to lunch!”

“Give her the $20.”

“But…”

“Give her the $20.”

So, I did. I gave her the $20, looked at her in the eyes, and I said “God bless you.” As she noticed the amount, I heard her shout “Thank God!” And, I felt good about myself. Yes, all about me, right?

Nope.

Shortly after, I entered the Target, and I was feeling so good about myself that I said to God “if someone in here needs help, I’m ready, Lord.”

I headed to the electronics/music section looking for something “Beatles,” but I couldn’t find anything… so, I looked at a FLIP HD camera, and I saw one that was decent for $149.99.

I had to ask the cashier to unlock the door to get a camera for me, so I said: “I’d like the FLIP camera.”

“The one for $149.99?” he asked.

“Yes.”

So, he unlocked the cabinet, got the camera, and we headed to the cash register to pay.

And, it was right here where God gave me a strong message… it wasn’t me that needed to help anybody. It was God needing to show me some of His awesomeness.

“Oh,” said the cashier, looking surprised. “Looks like this item is now $20 off.”

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it., Malachi 3:10

Apparently, *I* was the one who needed some biblical help, and God – in His infinite mercy – provided.

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4 Comments

  1. December 21, 2009    

    For an entirely different viewpoint about tithing see http://www.tithing-russkelly.com/id86.html

    • robreedesq robreedesq
      December 21, 2009    

      Actually, I’m not sure this event differs from your viewpoint. We should both agree that the tithing is for God… to God.

      And, this “tithe” never went to the temple.

  2. Sheree Sheree
    December 21, 2009    

    Rob,
    I’m not rolling my eyes, Rob. I had a similar experience with a young run-away. God told me to give a $20, and to sit down next to him in the forgotten corner of a mini-mall. We actually talked. He shared his story reticently, we prayed, and I pointed him to Jesus. He’d gone to church as a kid, but walked away.
    Another time, I bought a piece of art from a homeless, lost young man in Santa Barbara. The Holy Spirit totally took over and we connected in an awesome way. He he was set-up in a location under the shadow of a Church of Satan, and he told me he was about to put his life in the hands of a Shaman! I cautioned him not to trust any man, but the Man-god Jesus, and he let me pray with him right there on the street as crowds passed by. He was receptive, but we would have never talked if I hadn’t noticed his powerful artwork. How many have I walked past? I believe God alerts us to the ones he knows we can help. The pressure is off when we agree to be open like you were, and willing to take that precious moment to do His good work.

    Praise God!

    • robreedesq robreedesq
      December 22, 2009    

      Thank you for this, Sheree! Great lessons here… we must teach ourselves to keep our eyes open for God-given opportunities to show His love wherever we go… and keep our ears open! 🙂

      Merry Christmas!

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In May, 2005, Rob was a secular, Jewish, thirty-something, Los Angeles, personal injury attorney whose idea of getting up early on a Sunday was getting up for the third quarter of the first televised, NFL games.

Thirsting on the idea of playing in a band for the first time in a decade, Rob finally accepted his neighbor's request to get up at seven-in-the-morning on Sundays in order to participate.

Eleven months later, his world was turned upside down by Jesus. Instantly, he began leading songs on the worship team and, today, he now leads that same LIFEhouse worship team in which he was initially invited to join as a non-believer.

God is cool like that.