Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Faith in Jesus (Hebrews 9:11-15)

So what's changed with faith in Jesus, is our hearts.  The more I read the Bible and seek the Lord; the more I don't want to get into trouble.  The Holy Spirit works in my heart to help me not to desire bad things.  I still lose my temper and have bad days.  It's nothing like the anger and rage I used to have.  I have joy and peace.  Actually at 53, I find walking to be a great way to handle stress.  Something about putting one foot in front of the other helps me put my thoughts in order...  Too much wine and I fall asleep.  I prefer the joy of the Lord over the stuff in our world.  Walking with my camera and enjoying God's beautiful creation is a good day for me, painting and singing too.

One of my favorite disciples is Peter.  He put his foot in his mouth, quite often.  I can relate to that.  After Jesus was taken captive, Peter denied knowing Him 3 times.  He was always first to speak and fell into the water instead of walking on it.  But after Peter received the Holy Spirit he became awesome!  When you read the book of Acts, Peter is out leading people to Christ all over Israel.  The difference is the Holy Spirit.  Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit into the disciples after His body died on the cross.

I was trying to figure out how to move forward in this section of Hebrews without being too repetitive.  This is what I came up with.  The verses below describe the change that happened to Peter.
38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."
(Acts 2:38-39 NKJV)
He is confident in his faith.  He knows the Holy Spirit is present within him.  There's no shame here.  No wonder Jesus called him the rock, He would build His Church on.  He did.  Then to top it all off, Peter is a descendant of Jonah.  You remember Jonah right?  The one who tried to run away from God's calling.  Jesus called Peter, "Simon Bar-Jonah."  "Bar-Jonah" means son of Jonah. It's kind of cool that things would take this turn in this family. I like this part because it encourages us to remember, with Christ all things are possible.  In Him our history or ancestry does not define who we are.  We are His and that's what matters most.  Each day is a new beginning when we repent and confess our sins. A chance to start over.
13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”
14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 He said to them, “ But who do you say that I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar- Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
(Matthew 16:13-19 NKJV)
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 
Hebrews 8:10
11 But when the Messiah arrived, high priest of the superior things of this new covenant, he bypassed the old tent and its trappings in this created world and went straight into heaven's "tent" ––the true Holy Place––once and for all. 12 He also bypassed the sacrifices consisting of goat and calf blood, instead using his own blood as the price to set us free once and for all. 13 If that animal blood and the other rituals of purification were effective in cleaning up certain matters of our religion and behavior, 14 think how much more the blood of Christ cleans up our whole lives, inside and out. 15 Through the Spirit, Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing us from all those dead–end efforts to make ourselves respectable, so that we can live all out for God.
(Hebrews 9:11-15 Message) 

One thing to say, "Hallelujah!  What a Savior!"

Here's a song-
Oceans (where feet may fail), Hillsong United (link)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Covenant vs. Commandment (Hebrews 8:7-13)

"We've all sinned"
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

We got snow!  We got 15 inches.  Instead of exercising on the stationary bike, I went out and shoveled the snow.  It was fluffy snow, so not too hard to clean up.   Now the roads from New Jersey to New York City are icy.  We don't do so good out here in icy.  When there's no traffic jam it means "floor it," or "free at last!" Oy!  It would be good to say a prayer for our people and our Governor (I wrote one at the end of this post).

I want to make a snowman with the kids next door, but it's powder.  We'll get more snow tonight.  I've always loved surprises so I like to scoop out the neighbors snow too.  Guess I'm still a kid at 53.

This passage is challenging, I had to break out a dictionary of all things!  In order to understand this passage I looked up some word meanings:
Covenant: a formal, solemn, and binding agreement.
Commandment:  the act or power of commanding, something that is commanded.
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary

I did some more research on how Jesus' covenant is different from the original commandments.  It turns out God's original covenant with man required sacrifice for sin.  This was usually lambs.  Sin is anything that is out of the will of God.  In some cases breaking one of the 10 Commandments resulted in death.  We know Mary who bore Jesus could've been stoned to death because she was pregnant and not married.  But God sent her and Joseph to Bethlehem to pay taxes.

So, when Jesus was crucified the last sacrifice was made.  I read that historically, 40 years after Jesus was crucified the whole temple building was destroyed by Romans.  There was no place for sacrifices to be made so they were stopped.  Some destruction took place in the temple when Jesus' body died on the cross, like the curtain that separated the Holy of Holies was torn in two.

So, God's first covenant with man was if we broke the 10 Commandments, we had to make a sacrifice.  Or be punished by death. It's interesting, sacrifices were made on regular, scheduled times.  This implies that people have been sinning since the beginning. It became expected that animal sacrifices had to made.  What caused it was Eve's decision to know the difference between good and evil by eating the apple.  And then Adam gave it a try too.

Hebrews 8:7-13
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 Because finding fault with them, He says:“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. 
God changed the covenant/contract with us.  His commandments were never removed.

10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord, ’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
We have access to the Bible in almost all languages now : )  I believe this is describing both here on earth and in the new kingdom that God is going to provide.  It will be a new Heaven and earth.  His commandments will be in our hearts, and our minds.  I have found memorizing verses really helps me out when I get down.

Today we have this promise:
23 ...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation (gain or regain favor) by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
(Romans 3:23-26 NKJV)

Since we have such an awesome God: who became the sacrifice for our sin, we can seek and find forgiveness, a new beginning in our lives.  So let's all lift up our heads and give Him praise!
Lift up your head, by Jars of Clay (link) 

Here's my prayer for the Winter Olympics and stuff:

Dear Heavenly Father,
I lift up this event to you.  I pray You will protect all who are there and expose the deeds of the terrorists before they are accomplished.  Point them out to the security people.  I pray for Governor Christie.  Thank you for providing a leader who actually cried when he saw the devestation in New Jersey after the hurricane.  We are grateful for him.  Please protect him from selfish politicians.  Guide our country to have compassion and care for each other once again.  I pray for those in Congress that You will give them courage to be noble and seek what's right for our people and the world.  We need You now more than ever.  Thank You for our wonderful country.  And help our NJ drivers drive wisely in the ice, grant them peace instead of anxiety.
 In Jesus Name, Amen.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

10 Commandments still valid (Hebrews 8:1-6)

" Moses came down the mountain with 10 commandments to find a golden calf... Oy!"
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

You do realize Moses stuttered don't you?  He must've been so frustrated! The Ten Commandments are still good and actually quite wise to follow : ) What changed with Jesus' sacrifice, is that obeying each command (perfection) isn't a requirement for salvation.  We do still need to strive to obey the commandments.  In fact a lot of America's laws are based on them (you shall not murder, for example). 

Many of us will never forget the story of Moses climbing up the mountain to receive the commandments from God.  God used lightening to engrave His laws onto them.  It took a long time, and the rest of the Hebrews got bored.  So when Moses came down from the mountain he found people worshipping a gold calf.  Moses got so mad he threw down the tablets and broke them...  So there ya have it.  They broke the 2nd commandment before it was even published, "2 You shall not make for yourself a carved image."

Remember the commandment, "9 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor?"  What would the world be like if politicians, news reporters and all of us took this to heart and became honest?  Would we want to hear the truth?  Sometimes no and sometimes absolutely!  My Governor is dealing with a crazy situation.  Someone from the Democrats accused him of causing a traffic jam to get even with someone else. Oh the shame! It blocked traffic for 5 days.  Ok from New Jersey through New York City it's a traffic jam everyday, every hour. There's no need to create one. I'm thinking it's been this way since horse and buggy days.  So far no one has topped the president's insurance blunder, sorry guys.  Honestly, I don't want to hear that Gov. Christie is guilty.  I'm proud of him.  He told us we're stronger than the storm after the hurricane, and we are.  It's his turn to remember that now.

While Jesus was ministering, the Pharisees and Saducees kept following Him asking questions.  They were very nervous, believing He came to remove the law.  To both of these groups, the law was their life.  Their whole existance revolved around finding "sinners."  Actually there's still a few rogue churches that do this.  But, God is the judge, the beginning and the end (alpha and omega).  Remember how Jesus healed a man who was sick and the man picked up his mat and danced around?  In the background the pharisees and saducees were plotting against Jesus because He healed on the sabbath. 

Hebrews 8:1-6
1 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying:  We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.
3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. 4 For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” 6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

Jesus said, 17 “ Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:17-20 NKJV)
It's interesting I was talking to a Jewish friend and she told me that they have added so many laws to the original Old Testament, it's hard to recognize the original.  These words of Jesus are still relevant today and we can understand why it was important to Him.  The  Bibles we use have passed many tests for authorship, consistency and truth. 
1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load (Galatians 6:1-5 NKJV)
Jesus taught that our love is most important, compassion for others, patience (such a challenge)!
8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well; 9 but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 2:8-13 NKJV)
Yup the ten commandments are still important for us.  They are so logical too.  One of the things Jesus did to fulfill the law was to explain how our thoughts that break the 10 commandments are also bad.  Which is why we needed Jesus' sacrifice to save us.
We should remember to pray for peace in Israel.  They are in a precarious position. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

10 Commandments, One final sacrifice (Hebrews 7:11-28, Exodus 20:3-17)

"No more sheep as a sacrifice.  Poor little guys."
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.
I would've made a terrible Hebrew.  I love animals : )  But what Jesus did is so amazing.

In this section of Hebrews it tells why the 10 Commandments weren't enough for our salvation.  Basically, we all messed it up.  Jesus came to the rescue! The 10 Commandments would've been great if we could've obeyed.  If we all worshipped one God, there would be no religious wars and we could still be in Eden.  If we never created images like gold calves and TV sets to worship, we'd be more peaceful (ok and unaware).  If we all respected and valued God's name, we'd be conscious of how we speak to each other.  If we always take a break on Sunday, we'd find rest.  If kids honored their parents, there wouldn't be teenage pregnancies or drug abuse.  If no one murdered, we'd be safe.  If people worked things out in marriage instead of adultery, there would be no more lost children with divided families.  If no one stole things, there would be no need for locks.  If no one lied, life would be safe and fair.  And if no one coveted other people's stuff, they could enjoy their own stuff.  But... that's not us.  And God still loved us anyway.  Here's how He worked it out. : )

Hebrews 7:11-28

11 If the priesthood of Levi and Aaron, which provided the framework for the giving of the law, could really make people perfect, there wouldn't have been need for a new priesthood like that of Melchizedek. 12 But since it didn't get the job done, there was a change of priesthood, which brought with it a radical new kind of law. 13 There is no way of understanding this in terms of the old Levitical priesthood, 14 which is why there is nothing in Jesus 'family tree connecting him with that priestly line.

Jesus' family tree would've been through David. His real Father is God. And they are one.
The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17)

3 1 You shall have no other gods before Me.
4  2 You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;
5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
7 “3 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
8 “4 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work:you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
12 “5 Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
13 “6 You shall not murder.
14 “7 You shall not commit adultery.
15 “8 You shall not steal.
16 “9 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
17 “10 You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's
So the Melchizedek story is an illustration describing what Jesus did for us.

15 But the Melchizedek story provides a perfect analogy:  Jesus, a priest like Melchizedek, 16 not by genealogical descent but by the sheer force of resurrection life––he lives! –– 17 "priest forever in the royal order of Melchizedek." 18 The former way of doing things, a system of commandments that never worked out the way it was supposed to, was set aside; 19 the law brought nothing to maturity. Another way––Jesus! ––a way that does work, that brings us right into the presence of God, is put in its place.

I believe that God went this route with us as humans because He wanted us to learn.  If there had been no fall in the Garden of Eden, man would've never considered disobedience as a bad thing.  If there was no flood, we would never have known God's power and love for us His creation.  When I started writing code to create web sites I made mistakes but then I figured out how to fix them.  By giving us a Savior, God has provided the grace we needed to become His servants on earth.  We'll be perfected in Heaven.  Not sure what that means exactly, no more sin, crazy governments, poverty, yeah it sounds pretty good! 

This is a great explanation of what God did:

20 The old priesthood of Aaron perpetuated itself automatically, father to son, without explicit confirmation by God. 21 But then God intervened and called this new, permanent priesthood into being with an added promise:
God gave his word;
he won't take it back:
"You're the permanent priest."
22 This makes Jesus the guarantee of a far better way between us and God––one that really works! A new covenant.
23 Earlier there were a lot of priests, for they died and had to be replaced. 24 But Jesus' priesthood is permanent. He's there from now to eternity 25 to save everyone who comes to God through him, always on the job to speak up for them.
26 So now we have a high priest who perfectly fits our needs:completely holy, uncompromised by sin, with authority extending as high as God's presence in heaven itself. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he doesn't have to offer sacrifices for his own sins every day before he can get around to us and our sins. He's done it, once and for all:offered up himself as the sacrifice. 28 The law appoints as high priests men who are never able to get the job done right. But this intervening command of God, which came later, appoints the Son, who is absolutely, eternally perfect.
(Hebrews 7:11-28 Message)

Hallelujah! So glad we don't have to sacrifice lambs to be forgiven.  Jesus is the ultimate High Priest for us.  

This song really fits.  Watch the Lamb, Don Francisco (link) 

Feel free to share your thoughts as well.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

For the love of money (Hebrews 7:1-7, Matt 17:25-27, Matt. 22:15-22, Mark 12:41-44, Hebrews 11:4)

Greetings from New Jersey!  It's a balmy 7 degrees out today : )  So I'm trying to stay inside.

Ok I have a confession.  I opened my Bible to Hebrews 7 and saw the name, "Melchizedek" again.  Then my mind went, "dooooooo."  I thought I already read about Melchizedek.  So if you ever open the Bible, and your mind goes blank, no worries!  It happens to us all at times : )  It's true, we looked at him in Hebrews 5.  Jesus is a priest according to the order of Melchizedek (Heb. 5:6).
17 Then after his (Abraham's) return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley). 18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. 19 And he blessed him and said, "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand." And he gave him a tenth of all.
(Genesis 14:17-20 NASB)
Since we've been reading about Melchizedek, I thought it would be nice to pull up a different Bible version.  It helps me gain new understanding.  So here's the passage in The Message.  It's written in plain English.

Hebrews 7
1 Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of the Highest God. He met Abraham, who was returning from "the royal massacre," and gave him his blessing. 2 Abraham in turn gave him a tenth of the spoils. "Melchizedek" means "King of Righteousness." "Salem" means "Peace." So, he is also "King of Peace." 3 Melchizedek towers out of the past––without record of family ties, no account of beginning or end. In this way he is like the Son of God, one huge priestly presence dominating the landscape always.

In one of the books I was reading, it said that "Salem" signifies Jerusalem.  Jesus is the King of Jerusalem.  And again Jesus was in the beginning of creation so, "Melchizedek" could actually be Jesus.  A big Bible mystery for sure.

4 You realize just how great Melchizedek is when you see that Father Abraham gave him a tenth of the captured treasure. 5 Priests descended from Levi are commanded by law to collect tithes from the people, even though they are all more or less equals, priests and people, having a common father in Abraham. 6 But this man, a complete outsider, collected tithes from Abraham and blessed him, the one to whom the promises had been given. 7 In acts of blessing, the lesser is blessed by the greater.

Actually, Jesus never collected tithes or offerings.  As the Messiah, He is concerned with people's souls and hearts more.  He never stopped the offerings in fact He supported it.  He did help Peter get their offerings from the mouth of a fish while Peter was fishing : )  I believe He has an excellent sense of humor!  Do what you do best and God will bless it.

Here's how Jesus felt about money, as He spoke to Peter.
24 After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two- drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”
25 “Yes, he does,” he replied.
When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes —from their own children or from others?”
26 “From others,” Peter answered.
“Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. 27 “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four- drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours."
(Matthew 17:24-27 NIV)
His explanation to the Pharisees.  Some of their words remind me of a slithering snake trying to confuse Jesus.  It didn't bother Him, He actually turned it back on the Pharisees.
15 That's when the Pharisees plotted a way to trap him into saying something damaging. 16 They sent their disciples, with a few of Herod's followers mixed in, to ask, "Teacher, we know you have integrity, teach the way of God accurately, are indifferent to popular opinion, and don't pander to your students. 17 So tell us honestly:Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"
18 Jesus knew they were up to no good. He said, "Why are you playing these games with me? Why are you trying to trap me? 19 Do you have a coin? Let me see it." They handed him a silver piece.
20 "This engraving––who does it look like? And whose name is on it?"
21 They said, "Caesar."
"Then give Caesar what is his, and give God what is his."
22 The Pharisees were speechless. They went off shaking their heads
(Matthew 22:15-22 Message)
Jesus was most pleased with a poor widow full of faith.
41 Sitting across from the offering box, he was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions. 42 One poor widow came up and put in two small coins––a measly two cents. 43 Jesus called his disciples over and said, "The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. 44 All the others gave what they'll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn't afford––she gave her all."
(Mark 12:41-44 Message)
The first offering/sacrifice brought to God was through Cain and Abel.
4 By an act of faith, Abel brought a better sacrifice to God than Cain. It was what he believed, not what he brought, that made the difference. That's what God noticed and approved as righteous. After all these centuries, that belief continues to catch our notice.
(Hebrews 11:4 Message)
It's sad that Cain became jealous and killed his brother.  We always seem to want to be best in things don't we?  Always a competition.

Levi was the priest designated to collect tithes and offerings of the twelve tribes of Judah.
Or look at it this way: We pay our tithes to priests who die, but Abraham paid tithes to a priest who, the Scripture says, "lives." 9 Ultimately you could even say that since Levi descended from Abraham, who paid tithes to Melchizedek, 10 when we pay tithes to the priestly tribe of Levi they end up with Melchizedek.
(Hebrews 7:8-10 Message)

When I read these passages I get a sense that God sees money as man made not Heavenly.  He promises to meet our needs and wants us to help each other out.  But His main interest and love is for His creation, us.  It must break His heart when we worship money. I also notice from the widow, that He likes to see us give in faith and not just what we don't need. 

It's a challenge for us all.  Especially with all the financial troubles in the world right now. I believe it's good to save money, but maybe I should consider helping others more.  Really don't want to let money control my life.  There's so many things I can give too.  More than money, time.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.  1 Timothy 6:10