Friday, March 9, 2012

My Guest Blog Post at

Head on over to Jeremy Myers' blog Till He Comes to check out my Guest Blog Post, entitled "Is the Command to Give SO Old Testament?"  Therein, I address the question of whether or not the command to give tithes and offerings is relevant for the New Testament Church.

Jeremy Myers is a prison chaplain who write and blogs about Biblical and Theological topics in a way that brings their relevance and meaning to the modern-day body of Christ.

According to his blog bio:

"My Blog posts contain a journey of me trying to fill in the holes, connect the dots, and put into words what I’m thinking and feeling about where I’m at.  Also, Bible study is still a huge part of my life, and while I post some of my informal studies here on this blog, most of my formal studies will be posted over at my other website: Grace Commentary."

Follow him on Twitter:  @jeremyers1
Subscribe to his blog:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Where is YOUR tithe going?

The tithe is one of those concepts that gets people all hot under the collar.  Common rebuttals against the tithe include:

1.  "Tithing is a part of Old Testament Law, and I'm under the New Testament covenant, so I don't need to tithe."

2.  "God isn't concerned about percentages as long as I give something."

3.  "The Bible says God loves a cheerful giver.  I cannot give cheerfully, so it's best that I don't give."

Well, let me address these one at at time.

1.  It is true that tithing has its foundations in the Old Testament, but that's doesn't necessarily mean that it is no longer relevant.  Jesus admonished the Pharisees to attend to matters of justice and mercy, while NOT neglecting the tithe.  The Macedonian believers gave even beyond what their means would allow, in the face of extreme poverty.  And yet, we are squabbling about giving our ten percent?  Do we really want to look Jesus in the face on Judgment Day, the One who gave up everything for you, and tell Him that His purposes and His Will were not worth ten percent of our income?

2.  I believe it is true that God isn't some cosmic accountant, making sure that everyone gives their 10.000% when it comes time to write the tithe check.  But once again, I point to the New Testament.  Like I said before, the Macedonian believers were giving more than Paul thought they  should, and they had to plead with him to take their money to help support the saints in Jerusalem.  In addition, the early church members in Acts Chapter 2 were selling all they had to distribute to those who had need in their fellowship.  Do these passages give an indication of percentages given?  No, but "all they had" would be 100% in my opinion.  And if the Macedonian church was giving more than Paul believed was rational, it would certainly lead me to believe they were giving more than ten percent of what they had.

3.  God is absolutely interested in those who give cheerfully, without regret and without grumbling.  But if you are grumbling about the tithe, the best question to ask is:  Why?  And this leads me to the key point for this post.

If you are looking at your monthly budget, and at the bottom is a big fat ZERO, and you don't have room for a ten percent tithe, that means your tithe is going somewhere else, doesn't it?  Where is your tithe going?  Is it going to pay for the car you can barely afford to make payments on?  Is it going to your local cable company so you can maintain your 750 channels of mostly unwatchable programming?  Is it going to Starbucks (no offense, I do still love you Starbucks, but you aren't more important than God).  Is it going to your twice weekly McDonald's habit?

My proposition is this.  Can't afford to tithe?  If you earnestly desire to starting giving to God as a faithful steward, figure out where your tithe is going, reign it back in and start giving as soon as possible.

Learning to Give in a Getting World, by Marc Farnell and Jesse Greever, is available as both a paperback and eBook at the following locations:

CreateSpace (paperback, $13.99) (paperback, $13.99; eBook, $8.99)

It is also available to Amazon Prime members as a free eBook download as a part of the Kindle Lending Library.  Pastors and church administrators can contact me directly at to find out about discounts available for churches that wish to use this for teaching and small group curriculum.

You can also become a fan of the book at

Follow me on Twitter:!/JesseSGreever

Tuesday, March 6, 2012



Just the mention of the word is enough to cause many people to tune out.  It is oftentimes brushed aside as a "churchy" word with a nebulous meaning that no one really understands.  I know that whenever I truly need to understand something, an example is always helpful and encouraging.  For that reason, I now present you another excerpt from Learning to Give in a Getting World, the book I co-authored with Marc Farnell on the spiritual discipline of giving and the blessings that come along with responsible Christian stewardship.


Don't think I'm going to offer up this portion of the book without asking a little something in return.  I know that the testimony that appears in our book will bless you immensely, no matter where you find yourself with respect to giving.  Perhaps you are toying with the idea of tithing.  Perhaps you tithe, but are feeling prompted to give more.  Perhaps you are giving over and above the tithe.  The one simple thing I ask you to do is this:  once you are finished reading this testimony of God's grace poured out, head on over to  If you want to encourage others in the same way that Scott Pearson's testimony below will most assuredly bless you, consider posting a brief testimony on the FaceBook page about how giving has changed your life, and how God has blessed you as a result.  You never know how your words might encourage someone else!

Without further ado, and I know there was a lot of ado, here goes Encouragement Testimony #1 from Learning to Give in a Getting World.

The following email was sent to CrossRidge Church on June 11, 2010 from Scott Pearson, a member of the church and a faithful servant on the Praise Team.
Hello Pastor Marc,
Over the past two years, I have struggled so hard to make a living for my family.  I went from having a great job to losing my job and receiving over $6,000 in bounced payroll checks.  I started a new job, but it barely paid my bills and at the end of each month, I literally had nothing left.  I had to do odd jobs or sell my personal belongings to make up the difference for our basic needs.  After six months of getting caught up, I was just about to be even and be able to start saving when I was called into my office and once again left it without a job.  I was devastated and as soon as I hit the door, I collapsed with fear and anguish I had never felt before.  I thought about my family and what I was going to do.
Again, I was left with no job, no income and no way to pay for our basic needs like food, mortgage and gasoline.   You know the feeling you get when you stub your toe?  The eye-squinting pain and how it consumes your entire body?  That feeling became a daily feeling that I felt each time I woke up.  I was praying, searching and crying out to God.  I heard no response mostly because my human self was drowning out His voice.
It is June now and I am still without a job.  I came to church [on June 6] in a sour mood and all I heard was “give, give, give”.  I was so angry, hurt and confused.  I was sick of hearing about giving and I thought to myself, “I get it, go to another subject”.  I came home frustrated, ready to give up and ready to quit.  I even told my family I was done with this church.  I had lost everything I had worked for.  My daughter was in tears and looked me in the eye and said, “Dad, you’re the reason I accepted Jesus, and you’re the reason we are together and you’re giving up on God?”.  She reflected about the night she accepted Jesus as her savior and how I told her I could not save her, and that she had to call out to God.  He was the only One that could save her.  I was shaken back to reality.
Monday morning [June 7], I surrendered and was quiet in my mind as I began to pray.  I asked God what He wanted me to do.  In my spirit, I heard “Give!”.  Instantly, I was angry again.  I cried out to God, “Give You what?  I have nothing!  I have no money and no income and you dare to tell me, not ask me, to give?”.  A parting gift, if you can call it that, from my last job was a brand new laptop with all the fixings.  I had posted it to sell it.  It would keep me afloat one more month as I frantically searched for a job.  The system was valued at $1,200 and it equaled a house payment and a little money for food.  “I can do it”, I told myself.  The key word here was “I”, not “He”.  Again, I heard “Give!”.  I fought God.  I said, “No, this thing can sustain me for another month.”  Again, I heard “Give!” and then I heard “Trust me!”.  My fear was gone.  So, I packed up the laptop, drove to the church and I handed it to you, Pastor Marc.
No, I do not have money at this time, but what I do have I gave.  I want to be a faithful servant and that is what I will be.  I will give everything I have and all I have because my God gave it all for me to save me.  As I write this, I see in my mind thousands of hurting kids searching desperately for hope and love and finding nothing.  Families are being torn apart searching for a light in the darkness of this world.  If I can be one glimmer of light, I will give everything I have.  I will give my time, talents and treasures.  It all belongs to Him and I have to surrender it as He surrendered everything to save me and to give me hope. 
Pastor, I stand tall now ready to work for God and to give Him everything.  Not just with what I have, but all of me, everything I am.  I refused to let Satan devour me or my family.  And when I say family, I mean my church family as well.  We have to stand together, lock our arms and stop Satan in his tracks.  In the name of Jesus I claim victory!  I claim victory!!!  I CLAIM VICTORY!!!

Your brother in Christ,
Scott Pearson
*               *                       *
Then, on June 17, a follow-up email was received from Scott Pearson, with the subject line “What a mighty God we serve!!!”.
Pastor Marc,
I wanted to let you know that I started a new job yesterday.  I am here to say that it works.  God is faithful.  All I had to do was trust Him.  By giving everything I had, He has now provided me with a  job that will take care of my family.  I loved it on my first day.  This is a good job and I am so excited to tell you about it.
I’m with a stable company and I feel so blessed.  The true miracle here is this is a job I had to turn down previously because of the pay.  I added everything up and it would not sustain our basic needs because of the distance and if I had taken it, I would not have had enough to pay our bills, let alone give to the church.
After I gave you the laptop last Monday, I got a call.  It was the job I had turned down.  I was told they were willing to offer me double the original offer.  I was stunned because when I had told them about the situation, I was sure they didn’t want to have anything to do with me anymore.  During the call I was told that my skill set was amazing and that the company desperately wanted me to join them.  Trying to contain myself, I said “Yes!” and accepted the offer.
I hung up the phone and began a dance of joy, freaking out my kids.  My wife kept saying “What?”.  I broke down in tears and told them what had just happened.  My daughter, with a huge smile on her face, looked at me and said, “I told you so.  Only God can save us and He has and always will if we stick to His Word.”  I was so proud of her.
Pastor, it is time to shine!  It’s time to dust ourselves off and draw the line.  I proclaim the name of Jesus and yell at the top of my voice.  I have victory because I trust in my God to provide for all my needs.  Not my wants, but my needs.  He is good, faithful and I will never again doubt His blessings.
Yes, I looked for the job.  Yes, I interviewed for the position.  Some may say I did all the work.  I say I just did my part.  God met me once I surrendered everything I am to Him, but I had to walk to Him broken, calling out for Him to save me.  A humble, servant’s heart is what I will daily strive for.  I will give everything I have down to the last thing and penny to help my church shine the light of Jesus Christ.
I refuse to let Satan get a foot hold in this church, my town, my state, my country and my world.  I will store my treasures in Heaven, not in this world.  My family is in total agreement with me when I say we will give it all to help bring the lost, hurt, lonely, shattered, abused and scarred people to the throne of God so He can mend them all.
We must, as a church family, surrender it all, take a step of faith and be willing to lay it all down at His feet.  If we, as a church family, surrender, God will use us all in our own way to a point we cannot fathom.  Even if we only save one person from the grips of Satan, it is worth it all.  If we are faithful to our God, nothing, and I mean nothing, will ever stop us.  STAND TALL, CHURCH, AND BE FAITHFUL! WATCH WHAT HAPPENS!  LISTEN TO HIS CALL AND REJOICE THAT YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE A PART OF IT ALL!

Learning to Give in a Getting World, by Marc Farnell and Jesse Greever, is available as both a paperback and eBook at the following locations:

CreateSpace (paperback, $13.99) (paperback, $13.99; eBook, $8.99)
It is also available to Amazon Prime members as a free eBook download as a part of the Kindle Lending Library.  Pastors and church administrators can contact me directly at to find out about discounts available for churches that wish to use this for teaching and small group curriculum.
You can also become a fan of the book at
Follow me on Twitter:!/JesseSGreever

Scott Pearson and his family are the founders of To Him Alone ministries.  Check them out!

Excerpt from Learning to GIVE in a GETTING World

It occurs to me that perhaps the best way to get these ideas into everyone's heads, especially regarding a book that deals with the virtues of the spiritual act of giving, is to give something away.

We've already made Learning to Give in a Getting World available for free to Amazon Prime members, but let's go a bit deeper than that.  Without further ado, here is Chapter Twelve, entitled "There is No Point of No Return" from Learning to Give in a Getting World.  I hope it blesses and encourages you.


In 50 B.C., Julius Caesar was a provincial governor of certain parts of the Roman Empire that included the modern day country of France.  As a regional governor, he had a reasonably large army at his disposal, granted to him as a part of his position.  During his time as a governor, the “powers that be” in Rome were constantly and not-so-secretly plotting against him out of fear that he would return to Rome and seek a leadership role as the sole consul of the Roman Empire.  Two years prior, the Senate requested that Caesar disband his army, and then rallied behind a political rival, Pompey, as their selection as the sole consul.
In the latter part of 50 B.C., Caesar sent a letter to the Senate agreeing to their demand if, and only if, Pompey would do the same.  This missive infuriated the Senate, and immediately, they demanded that Caesar relinquish command of his army, or face extremely dire consequences.  Defying the authority of the Roman Senate, Julius Caesar banded together with his allies Mark Antony and Quintus Cassius Longinus.
On January 10, 49 B.C., Julius Caesar made a fateful decision while commanding one legion of his army.  In an act of complete opposition to his enemies in the Senate, he and his legion crossed the Rubicon River.  The Rubicon was an important geo-political boundary that formed the border line between Italy and the province of Gaul.  It was widely understood, as dictated by the Senate, that anyone who marched an army across the Rubicon was, in effect, staging a military action against the Roman Empire.  As a result, Julius Caesar’s actions ignited a civil war, and even though he certainly could not have defeated the entire Roman army with his single legion of troops, his widespread popularity among the people of Rome as a military hero all but guaranteed his success against the forces that conspired against him.
It was at this momentous crossing of the Rubicon River that Caesar was purported to have said “Alea iacta est”, or “The die is cast”.  In essence, Caesar was declaring that he had made an irreversible move that would label him a traitor to the empire, and that this single action would immutably alter the course of his life.  He had acted in such a way that he was committed to a long journey that would eventually end five years later with his installation as the dictator of the Roman Empire.  Julius Caesar had traveled beyond the point of no return.
While this story serves as an interesting historical backdrop, with respect to our relationship with Christ, it is completely imprecise.  Aside from dying without a saving knowledge of Jesus, there is never a point of no return.  Even as believers, redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb of God, we are always under attack from the enemy to act in opposition and disobedience to the will of God.  And, so many times, Satan is able to overcome our desire to be faithful and the result is a sinful action on our part.  Even Paul struggled with this.  “For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing” (Romans 7:19, NIV).  Clearly if one of the greatest missionaries in the history of Christianity is susceptible to sinful behavior, it is not unreasonable to believe that we too are vulnerable to such spiritual attacks of temptation.
Over the entire span of humankind, there have been countless examples of individuals who have made stunning errors of judgment that have resulted in hideous sin.  However, God’s Word is full of stories of restoration that illustrate just how ready and willing God is to provide forgiveness and reconciliation.  In the Old Testament, the story of David and Bathsheba quickly comes to mind.  We read that, during the spring of the year, when David’s armies were at war, he remained in Jerusalem.  One evening when he was walking around on the rooftop of the palace, he noticed Bathsheba bathing.  And though she was married to one of David’s military men, Uriah, he committed adultery with her, and as a result, she became pregnant.  To make matters worse, David then sent Uriah into battle in the front lines, and just when the fighting became most violent, he ordered all the men around Uriah to withdraw.  As a result, Uriah was killed in battle (2 Samuel 11:1-17).
This was certainly not one of King David’s finer moments.  In a very short span of time, he indulged in the sin of adultery, and afterwards, murderously sent one of his faithful soldiers to his death.  But, because God is the God of second chances, He did not just toss David onto the scrap pile.  He had bigger plans for David.  The Lord sent Nathan to rebuke David, and upon realizing the tragic depths to which he had sunk, he repented of his sins to the Lord in front of Nathan.  God Almighty still punished David for the evil he had committed by taking his firstborn son, but because of David’s contrite heart and desire to be restored to the Lord, God granted Him a second chance, and also gave him another son, Solomon (2 Samuel 12:1-25).
In addition to David, probably no one appreciated another chance more than Peter.  In one of the darkest hours of the history of history, after Jesus Christ had been betrayed and arrested, Peter was identified three times in a crowd of people.  And each time someone recognized him as a disciple of Christ, in the strongest possible terms, he denied that he had any relationship with Jesus.  Surely, he must have been devastated and shocked by his own weakness, even though Jesus had predicted those very events (John 18:16-27).
But, just like David, Peter was granted a chance to have his relationship with his Master reconciled.  In one of the most beautiful portraits of forgiveness and grace, Jesus questions Peter three times about his love and devotion towards Him.  After Peter’s repeated affirmations of his love for Jesus, all his denials were forgiven and his relationship with Jesus was completely restored (John 21:15-19).
Even the thief on the cross next to Jesus, in his final hours on the planet, was given a chance to be redeemed.  In the presence of the sinless Son of God, he recognized his moral depravity and professed his belief that Jesus did not deserve the punishment he was receiving.  In a show of incredible humility, he asked Jesus to remember him, and Jesus, in the throes of incredible agony, poured out His love for the man.  “Jesus answered him, ‘I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise’” (Luke 23:43, NIV).

In each of these situations, we can see that God is always willing to give anyone a fresh start.  Even in light of some of the most heinous sin, with the right attitude of repentance and humility, we can always request another chance from Jesus, and without fail, He will grant that request.  Of course, this is not to say that we will somehow be relieved of suffering the consequences of our sin, but we can be assured that our relationship with Christ will be firmly intact.  King David still had to suffer the consequences of his adultery and murder through the loss of his son that he had with Bathsheba, but David’s relationship with the Most High God was ultimately reinstated.  The thief on the cross still had to suffer the punishment of death for his crimes, but his contrite heart and humble attitude insured that he would receive salvation from his sins.
Likewise, we can also receive another chance to follow God’s commands with respect to our finances.  He is a God that longs for us to depend completely and solely upon Him to supply our needs and all He asks is that we regard Him as worthy of our tithes and offerings.  None of us have progressed beyond the point of no return.  There is no point of no return.  In terms of our stewardship with the resources God has graciously granted us, there is no Rubicon River to cross.
We can return to faithfulness to God with our finances.  All that is required of us is this:  start now!

There are many Christians today who have been living in disobedience to God’s guidelines for giving.  In order for these believers to avoid God’s further discipline, some very basic steps must be taken.  The steps towards obedience are simple, but not necessarily easy.
First, we must accept and freely admit that we have been living in sinful disobedience.  This may sound extremely straightforward, but hidden inside is a critical component that can actually be quite painful.  As a part of this admission of guilt, we must also understand that in this area of obedience, we have been pushing God off of the throne of our lives and installing “self” as the King of our finances.  Remember, God will not share His throne.  Either we are or are not obedient to the Lord in the area of giving; there is no in-between.  We cannot be “partly obedient”, “somewhat obedient”, “mostly obedient” or “almost completely obedient”.
Second, we must repent of our rebellious lack of good stewardship.  “Repent” is an active verb, full of very rich meaning.  For a person to repent, two things must happen.  Initially, there must be a turning away from the sinful behavior.  We must decide that we are no longer going to be disobedient with our finances.  However, there is more to repentance.  Following the turning away, we must turn towards obedience.  It isn’t just enough to say “I’ve done wrong”.  We must then resolve to do what is right in the eyes of God.
Finally, we must act.  Admission of guilt and repentance are not the complete story.  Following repentance, we must immediately begin to align our behaviors with God’s commands for giving.  This may involve many things.  It may include decreasing our spending in various non-necessary areas to free up some additional funds to increase our giving.  It may include sitting down with our family members to discuss ways in which sacrifices can be made to bring our giving up to God’s expectations of us.  It may even include determining methods of generating more income so that we can have additional money to give at least a tithe to the Lord.
These steps are critical to our success in giving graciously, generously and cheerfully to the Lord.  Admission of guilt begins in the mind.  Repentance is an act that involves the heart.  Combine these two things, and action becomes inevitable.

If you can identify yourself as someone who has fallen out of sync with God’s commands for His people with respect to stewardship and giving, and you have an earnest desire to return to faithfulness with your finances, then the section ahead is for you!  In the following chapters, we will outline the “nuts and bolts” of the Ninety Day Challenge that was instituted at CrossRidge Church during the summer of 2010.
In light of the turmoil facing the church in the beginning half of 2010, it became clear that a call to an admission of disobedience, sincere repentance and immediate action was absolutely necessary.  Throughout the thirteen weeks of the Challenge, drastic changes occurred in the corporate giving at CrossRidge Church.   Members who had never given before began to give.  Those who had been giving just the tithe began giving offerings in addition.  And throughout the entire process, God came through in incredible ways, showering blessings on those who participated, and on the church as a whole.
There future is always uncertain, but one thing is not:  the guarantee that God will bless those who are faithful with their giving.  If you are ready to face the future and act in obedience, and you are ready to be blessed, just turn the page and begin the journey.  God's story for His glory will be told in and through your life, as you pour your time, talents and treasures out for His kingdom.

 Learning to Give in a Getting World, by Marc Farnell and Jesse Greever, is available as both a paperback and eBook at the following locations:

CreateSpace (paperback, $13.99) (paperback, $13.99; eBook, $8.99)

It is also available to Amazon Prime members as a free eBook download as a part of the Kindle Lending Library.  Pastors and church administrators can contact me directly at to find out about discounts available for churches that wish to use this for teaching and small group curriculum.

You can also become a fan of the book at

Follow me on Twitter:!/JesseSGreever

Thursday, March 1, 2012 mean it's already 2012???

Well, a good two full months into the year, and I look back on all the plans I had for this blog in 2011, and I look back at all the things I'm proud of:

1.  F. Paul Wilson interview:  a four-part transcript of an in-person interview with FPW at the World Horror Convention in April 2011.  Classy guy and willing to talk openly about his work and his process.

2.  Jeff Strand interview:  Met him while with FPW at the convention.  Led to an interview a few months later.  Another class act.  Extremely witty as well.

3.  Phase One of my Inspiration to Publication series:  Inspiration.  Did a number of interview with talented authors at Untreed Reads.  Great stuff.  Very proud of these interviews.

4.  Phase Two of my Inspiration to Publication series:  Writing Process.  Did another great round of interviews with other authors regarding the writing process itself.  Very insightful.  Also extremely proud of these interviews.

Then, it all fell apart.  No real Phase Three (Editing) or Phase Four (Publication and Marketing) in my series.  I literally fell of the face of the planet for a while.  There was some purpose behind this, as I was consumed with writing my first full-length book, Learning to Give in a Getting World, co-authored with Marc Farnell, Senior Pastor of CrossRidge Church in Little Elm, TX (which also happens to be the church I attend).  It is a great book that has sold extremely poorly (so far), but I shall never give up on it.  It is overflowing with God's truth, and I believe it will bless and challenge all who read it.

But I digress...

Here we are on the first day of the third month of the year 2012.  Guess what?  Rather than focus on the failures of 2011 in keeping up with my plans for The Accidental Author blog, I'm just going to say "Well, that's the way it goes."  And then, I'm going to move on.

Stay tuned, faithful follower(s)...there are great things to come this year.

But first, if you haven't already, go over to Amazon and pick up my latest short story Rumspringa, Untreed Reads' bestselling title at Amazon for the month of February.  Not a bad way to start the year.

PS  You might want to start following my twitter feed at @JesseSGreever.  News and updates will be coming soon about projects that I'm working on.