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The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts

Many marriages fail not because couples don’t put in the effort, but because they are expressing their love in the “wrong” ways. When you learn to understand and speak your spouse’s love language, you will be able to effectively express your love and truly feel loved in return.


Different Love Languages

Like linguistics in communication, people speak different love languages. We have our native love languages that we speak and understand best in, and our secondary language(s) that we are comfortable but less fluent at.

It is possible for couples to love each other, but to feel unloved because they give and receive love differently, i.e. they don’t share the same primary emotional love language. After 30 years of marriage counselling, Chapman concluded that there are 5 key emotional love languages, though there are many “dialects” within these 5 languages.

Filling the Love Tank

All of us have an “emotional love tank”. When we receive love in our primary love language, our love tank is filled and we feel loved. When we don’t receive love expressed in our primary love language, our love tank gradually depletes and we feel unloved. When our love tank is empty, issues is the relationship arise.

Falling in LoveFive Love Languages_Falling in Love
When we fall in love, we feel euphoric. We have the illusion that our partners are perfect and that the romantic feelings in our relationship will last forever. During this in-love period, we feel altruistic toward each other. We give freely because we believe our lover feels the same about us, and are equally committed to meeting our needs.

Long-range studies show that the in-love phenomenon typically lasts about 2 years (or longer if it is a secret love affair). When the phase eventually passes, we start to assert ourselves, and we stop doing many of the altruistic things for our partners. Our differences start to surface, and our partners’ imperfections start to become irritating or annoying. As the love tanks start to deplete, relationship issues start to surface.

To have a lasting relationship, it is important to recognize that the emotional high of the in-love experience is only temporary in nature. After the phase has run its course, we need to make a conscious shift to “real love”. Unlike the “in-love” stage, “real love” involves :
• A conscious choice or an act of will to love the other person;
Effort and discipline to understand and give love to the other person (not merely driven by the euphoria of being “in love”); and
• A focus on growth and development of yourself and your partner (unlike the “in love” phase when we simply see the other party as perfect and hope they will stay that way).


We can choose to learn and speak our spouses’ primary love language. When their love tanks are full, they are in a better position to reciprocate your love, and are free to grow to their full potential.

Five Love Languages_banner

We’ll now take a brief look at each of the 5 love languages.  


Words of affirmation are words that build someone up. If this is your primary love language, it means the world to you when you receive unsolicited compliments, hear the words “I love you” and the reasons behind that love. Insults can break your heart and leave lasting scars.

Specifically, the book explains and shares examples of how you can express Love Language #1 through verbal compliments and encouraging words.


If this is your primary language, you deeply value doing things together and receiving full, undivided attention from your spouse, including sharing quality conversations and activities. Distractions, postponed dates, or failing to listen can be especially hurtful to you.

in the book, Dr Chapman elaborates on how to use quality conversations and quality activities to express Love Language #2.


If this is your primary language, you deeply treasure a gift or gesture that shows you are being thought of, cared for, and prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring you the gift. Gifts are visual symbols of love. You feel hurt by the absence of daily gestures, a missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty/ thoughtless gift.

Gifts can be purchased, found or made, and the value is often less important than the significance of the gift. If you are not intuitive at giving gifts but your spouse’s primary language is receiving gifts, you can start by making a list of all the gifts that your spouses has been excited about – this will give you an idea of what gifts he/she appreciates.  Gifts also go beyond just physical items, and can include the gift of self (or the gift of physical presence).


If this is your primary love language, you feel loved when your spouse says “let me do that for you”, and helps to ease your burdens or share your responsibilities e.g. cooking a meal, washing the car. Broken commitments, unwillingness to help, laziness/ sloppiness, or taking your spouse for granted, all send the message that your spouse doesn’t matter.

Even if you and your spouse share the same primary love language of Acts of Service, you make speak different “dialects” or value different types of support being rendered (e.g. she may prefer that you wash the dishes while you may prefer that she irons your clothes). Try asking your spouse to list down the tasks that he/she considers most important, and do them.

We should remember that our perspectives and stereotypes of male and female roles in society/ the household may not be shared by our spouse. Hence, it is always better to make requests than demands. No spouse should ever feel compelled to do something for the other due to guilt or fear.


Physical touch can bring a sense of security and connection to any relationship. If this is your primary love language, you crave shows of care and love through is thoughtful touches, hugs, kisses, pats on the back, and/ or sexual intercourse. Neglect or abuse can cause serious damage and hurt to you emotionally.

Like other love languages, there are different dialects in physical touch, such as loving touches on the arm/ back/ shoulders, a back rub, sexual foreplay and intercourse, sitting closely on the couch, holding hands etc.  Even if you share the same love language of physical touch, don’t assume he/she speaks the same dialect as you.


To discover your primary love language, ask yourself:
• What makes you feel most loved by your spouse? What do you desire the most from your spouse?
• What does your spouse fail to do or say that hurts you deeply or brings you deepest pain?
• What do you do to express love to your spouse? [You tend to do what you wish he/ she would do for you]

“Tank Check Game”: If you wish to develop your understanding of and stimulate the love expressions in your relationship, this is a great game to try out with your spouse and watch your love deepen!

Turning Things Around: Even if you and your spouse have had an empty love tank for a long time, it is still possible to turn things around. Find out how you can restart your love engine with Dr Chapman’s suggested approach.

Five Love Languages and children: Find out how to identify your children’s love languages and how to develop a strong and loving relationship with them.

Love is a Choice

We all come down from the emotional high of the “in-love experience” at some point. Most marriages fail because people have not learnt or chosen to speak the primary love language of the other party. With the love tank empty for some time, people start to “fall in love” with someone else.

Love gives us the security, sense of significance & self-worth, and energy to develop our potential.  Making a conscious choice and a deliberate effort to speak your spouse’s primary love language may not come naturally for us. But it helps to keep his/ her love tank full, and chances are that he/ she will reciprocate and speak our language.


Chapman used many real-life examples from his own marriage, and of couples that he had counselled across the years, to illustrate the concepts in his book and how they can be applied to address different marriage/ relationship issues and circumstances. These are case studies help us to identify similarities and lessons for our own relationships.

*Readingraphics July 7, 2015

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A Letter to RLC, All

A Letter to RLC>>>



1. CHRISTMAS EVE EVE SERVICE. It’s that time of year again. Every year we meet on the 23rd day of December to celebrate the birth of our Savior. There will be worship, a Christmas message, communion, and a candlelight service. Make sure to arrive early for our annual Christmas Eve Eve service at 6:30pm.

2. NO CHRISTMAS DAY SERVICE. Once every seven years Christmas Day ends up on Sunday. During this time we have the special opportunity to spend time with our families. We will not be having our regular worship experiences. Our prayer is for you to have a great day enjoying one of the richest blessings God has given you, your family. We will resume our regular weekend services the following week.

3. NEW YEAR’S DAY SERVICE. Due to the fact there will be so many people out of town we will be having ONE WORSHIP EXPERIENCE at 11:00AM.

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All, LCL

Why Some People Get Depressed Around the Holidays (And what to do about it)

This is supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year”. What’s the big deal? Why are so many people acting like they just want to get it over with? Sure, there are some genuine scrooges out there but most people really do deal with a lot of negative emotion around this time of year. Most of the people I know really struggle because not only are they experiencing all these horrible feelings but then they feel guilty for feeling that way as well. So here’s the question: Why do some people get the blues this time of the year?

1. Unrealistic expectations.

Ever watched “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”? It’s a holiday classic with Clark Grisswald believing this is going to be the best Christmas ever because everyone is coming to his house. What he finds is something a little closer to reality. There are family fights, rouge squirrels, snotty dogs, mean neighbors, crazy shopping, crazy uncles, and more. Many times we build up Christmas to be something so huge and then when it turns out to not live up to our unrealistic expectations, we feel let down.

2. Focusing on the bad memories.

Many people feel down at Christmas because Christmas is a great magnifier. If you are alone throughout the year, you feel very alone at Christmas. People tend remember who’s not there and what is not happening rather than focusing on all the good moments.

3. Trying to do too much.

This one is close to the unrealistic expectations. You try to make plans to see everyone because it is the holidays and you are suppose to, right? You don’t want to upset anyone but end up making everyone unhappy because you have little time to spend at any one place. In between buying presents for everyone, attending all the parties and Christmas programs, serving at the church and with the local Salvation army, mailing Christmas cards, and… you are exhausted.

4. Their highlight reels vs. your everyday boredom.

This is a big one. You see your friend was just gifted a trip to the Bahama’s for Christmas. You then go home and see the only present for you under the tree looks suspiciously like a bowling ball or a new vacuum cleaner.  What we don’t realize is that friend may have received nothing for Christmas the past five years and is overdue for a little holiday cheer. We tend to see other people’s big moments and think we are lacking because those moments are not happening to us. There’s usually always a story to go with their success which places things into much better perspective. However, we usually do not get to hear that.

5. Slacking on self-care.

With everything we mentioned above, slacking on self-care is usually inevitable.  We do not exercise the way we should, get adequate sleep, and there’s usually nothing healthy to eat at those Christmas parties. We end up feeling heavy, tired, and out of energy.

6. Experiencing symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

If you tend to start feeling down when winter approaches each year, and those negative feelings don’t go away after the holidays are over, you may have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). According to Sichel, many people who think they are suffering from a case of holiday blues may actually be suffering from SAD, a form of depression that’s brought on by the change of seasons. But SAD shouldn’t be dismissed as mere “winter blues” — talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing symptoms of the disorder to find a treatment that works for you.

So, what do we do about it? First of all, we must realize we should never give up hope. Here are a few Bible verses about hope:

God encourages us to “call upon [Him] in the day of trouble; I will deliver you” (Psalm 50:15).

The grace of God in Jesus Christ is the sum of all hope (Colossians 1:5-6, 23, 27; 1 Timothy 1:1).

God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).

“We have placed our hope in Him that He will deliver us again” (2 Corinthians 1:10b).

I recently read an article by Sam Williams from LifeWay about dealing with Depression around the holidays. Thought I’d share Sam’s great insight:

8 Strategies for Dealing with Depression

Here are some practical strategies for helping others who are facing depression. However, never assume there are no medical issues that need attention.

  1. Describe the experience. Ask people to describe their experience of depression in vivid detail. People are different, so depression comes in many shapes and sizes.
  2. Identify the causes. Depression often is not just something we have, it is something we do. Invite people to examine their own hearts with this question: If your depression could speak, what would it say? What does it say about you? To others? To God? Depression is an active experience and can result from many sources other than the physiological: guilt due to unconfessed sin, false guilt, misplaced shame, ungodly fears, suppressed bitterness or hatred, hopeless grieving, and unbiblical expectations.
  3. Read and observe Scripture. Ask people with whom you work to study Psalms 42-43. How does the psalmist address God? What does he preach to himself?
  4. Act on the truth. Those who seek help first must accept the challenge of faithful obedience, even though they do not feel like it and are skeptical that anything will make a difference, it’s important to have faith. Also, explain to them that progress out of the pit is step-by-step, bit-by-bit. Small, practical, consistent faith-based change occurs in the details.
  5. Look at lifestyle. Evaluate and provide recommendations for lifestyle problems, such as overworking, lack of exercise, sleep difficulties, procrastination, unresolved stressors, absence of spiritual disciplines.
  6. Resolve conflicts. Deal with troubled relationships, past or present.
  7. Get to work. Assign active loving tasks performed for the benefit of others. Helping others can provide a new perspective on life.
  8. See a doctor. Refer depressed persons to a Christian physician to rule out physical causes if a physician has not been contacted already. Persons who are already taking multiple medications may need a physician’s care to avoid further complications.

So, what do you do when you feel the Winter Blues? Tell me about it.

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All, Books, LCL

How to Make Next Year’s Reading List

It’s no secret that I love to read. People have heard I read an average of 150 books a year and have one of two reactions. They either don’t believe me or immediately decide they could never do that. Well, would it change your mind if I told you I did not start out that way? How about if I told you I have a very specific plan in place that I have acquired through massive trial and error experiences. The first year I began trying to purposefully read through books, I read about 12. Then, that number grew as I learned what did and did not work for me. Now, reading has become a major part of my life and has become more than a joy but has even caused me to want to become a writer some day.

Whether or not that happens to you, it is so important to be a life long reader. The book really is better than the movie and there is so much to be learned from the great books that are out there.

If you are planning to tackle those reading goals this year, here are a few things I think about when planning my reading schedule for the upcoming year.

1. How many am I going to read this coming year?

For the first few years, my goals were very simple and straightforward. I would try to read one book a month. Many of us have started more than 12 books in a year but few of us actually finish them. Think of a number you think you read in a month then start there. Thinking about the whole year might be a little too daunting. Start small. It will grow overtime. There’s nothing wrong with planning low then having to increase that number through the year.

2. What am I going to read?

When I first started reading, I thought I was going to read every ‘self-help’ book I could get my hands on, which made for a very hard list. Leadership books and the like are great books but can be hard to get through after you have already read three or four others. I have started a process of alternating  fiction and non-fiction books. Fiction could be just about anything from a mystery to historical fiction. Then, I will read non-fiction which could range from a leadership book to a spiritual book to a biography of a great person in history. This keeps me ready and excited for the next book.

When it comes to specifically naming which books you will read, you do not have to go far to find great opportunities. Books already on your shelves, friends recommendations, and favorite authors are already good places to start building your list. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Non-fiction: Anything by Mark Batterson, biographies on Abraham Lincoln, books about famous moments in history, anything by John Maxwell, anything by Andy Stanley

Fiction: The ‘Killing Series’ by Bill O’Reilly (historical fiction), The Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings, Treasure Island, Don Quixote

3. When am I going to read?

We’ve all heard the old phrase, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” One of the greatest things I did was to plan a time to read. For me, reading right before bed worked out really well. It helped me slowly calm my mind down and focus. It is also a good idea to plan how many pages you are going to read. I usually shoot for one chapter per sitting and that tends to work well. It’s worth saying that I have noticed there is a lot of noticed time during the day to read. You can read while waiting in line, in the elevator, etc. Using a mobile device app like Kindle or iBooks creates a lot of options.

4. Where am I going to acquire my books?

Check your own book shelf first.

Ask friends to borrow their favorite book.

Overdrive app.

Kindle app.

iBooks app.

Nook app. (Audiobooks) (website to find book suggestions)

5. Make a detailed list.

When I first starting ‘reading on purpose’ I noticed two things begin to happen often. The first was if I really liked a book, I would search out and read all I could find by that author or in tha genre. The result was not really getting a lot of diversity. Soon, I would be tired of the genre or run out of books by that author. The second thing would be if I did not like the book. I would get out of the habit to read and not be very excited about what was coming next. The way I found to be balanced was to plan out my books in advance. I plan at least 10 books in advance. That way I know what is coming but it is not so far that I have to wait a long time to add a new book.

This is what my schedule looks like. What about yours? Is there a book you are looking forward to reading this coming year? Is there a book you read every year? Let me know.

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All, LCL

How to Survive the Holidays

If you are not already feeling it, it’s coming. What am I talking about? The Christmas rush. For this time of year many people’s lives become overly stuffed with parties, presents, schedules, and more. For many, it can become too much even to the point of dreading the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. How do we not get into the holiday blues and just wish it were over? Here are seven ideas to help you cope and overcome the holiday rush:

1. Plan quiet time with God.

Psalm 46:10 “Cease striving and know that I am God…”

My family lives in Alabama. Before we leave we have to make sure the gas tank in our car is full so we do not run out halfway there. Your mind and spirit are no different. The longer and more demanding your day the more you need to practice this one. Spend time with God by reading your daily devotion, prayer, and worshiping to a worship cd. It will fill you up so you do not run out of emotional steam when you are only halfway to the end of the day.

2. Remember, hurting people hurt people.

Matthew 5:7 ESV “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

We’ve all meant “that person” in the shopping line. They are upset and they want you to know it. This person could be the person behind the cash register, the person taking your order, the person driving their car aggressively down the road, etc. Before telling them how rude they are stop and think about this very true fact, “Hurting people hurt people.” Most likely their bad attitude has nothing to do with you. Chances are they are feeling rushed, devalued, aggravated, or hurt themselves and it is manifesting itself as aggressiveness toward you. Make an effort to show them a little extra grace. You probably need it too.

3. Appreciate the little things.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Make a decision every day to find joy in the little things of life instead of feeling rushed by what has not been done yet. Not only is it a better way to live but you will find there is a lot more to be thankful for than you realize.

4. Embrace the moments.

Matthew 6:31-34 ESV “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.

Every moment that passes are moments we will not get back. My family is having our first Christmas this year without a precious loved one. There will be an empty seat at the dinner table, presents will go unopened, and there will be silence in place of their laughter. When I look back at it, our greatest regrets are not what we did not receive last Christmas but the time we did not spend with that loved one. I do not even remember what I received for Christmas but I do remember who will be missing. Take every moment and cherish it. You never get it back.

  • Take your kids to see the Christmas lights in the neighborhood.
  • Walk around the mall and enjoy the buzz of the holiday.
  • Say yes when you are invited to one more game before leaving the party.
  • Ask someone, “How are you today?” instead of “Are you through yet?” Embrace the moments. They never return.

5. Make plans for family and plans for rest.

Proverbs 15:22 ESV Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.

We have all done this. We try to put everything into just a day or two and find ourselves rushing from place to another quickly forgetting why we are even there. Make plans as early as possible and, if possible, plan a little rest in between stops. You might be saying, “It doesn’t work like that in my family. We meet at certain times each year and they are back to back to back.” I use to think that too. One year we began asking if we could do it a little differently and everyone was fine with it. Many times the only reason they meet when they do is because there has never been a reason to do otherwise. Give it a try.

6. Try to multi-task less.

Proverbs 16:3 ESV Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.

We all love to do it. However, multi-tasking is a double edged sword. On one side you get more done but on the other side it creates more stress than we can sometimes handle. In a season already full of enough stress, plan your day in the morning then stick with it. Do not try to pack on as much as possible. I like to front load my week as much as possible so that as the week progresses I have less and less of urgent things to do. As much as possible, give it a try.

7. Less tech, more face to face.

Psalm 133:1 “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”

One of the biggest stressors we deal with this time of the year has to do with our technology. Social media is a great addition to our generation but we are getting away from face to face relationships. Here are some ideas to try help you feel more connected during the holidays. If you like to text all the time, try to call people more. If you like to call people, try to meet people more. Just give it a try and see how it works out.

These are some of the ideas I use to make it through this busy time of the year. What do you do?

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A Letter to RLC, All

A Letter to RLC>>>

It was another great Sunday at RLC. Here are few things going on this coming week and until the end of the year>>>

1. SERIES FINALE. This Sunday is the series finale for our Christmas Series: Fear Not. During this series, we’ve been talking about the Christmas story when, three different times, an angel said to someone, “Fear Not.” Here are a few highlights:

>>> We do not have to understand completely to obey immediately.

>>> Obedience is our responsibility. Outcome is God’s responsibility.

>>> Becoming obsessed with what people think about you is the quickest way to forget what God thinks about you.

>>> Becoming obsessed with what God think about you is the quickest, the healthiest, and perhaps only way to forget what people think about you.

>>> You have no idea what you might set into motion with one small act of obedience.

2. CHRISTMAS EVE EVE SERVICE. It’s that time of year again. Every year we meet on the 23rd day of December to celebrate the birth of our Savior. There will be worship, a Christmas message, communion, and a candlelight service. Make sure to arrive early for our annual Christmas Eve Eve service at 6:30pm.

3. NO CHRISTMAS DAY SERVICE. Once every seven years Christmas Day ends up on Sunday. During this time we have the special opportunity to spend time with our families. We will not be having our regular worship experiences. Our prayer is for you to have a great day enjoying one of the richest blessings God has given you, your family. We will resume our regular weekend services the following week.

4. NEW YEAR’S DAY SERVICE. Due to the fact there will be so many people out of town we will be having ONE WORSHIP EXPERIENCE at 11:00AM.

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It’s never too late to become the person you were created to be.

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Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

Harriet Tubman

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A Letter to RLC, All

This Week at RLC>>>

The hope for each week’s “This Week at RLC” is intended to keep you up to date on all things RLC. Beginning next week we will start posting. Thanks

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A Letter to RLC, All, Leadership

Is Tithing New Testament?

Recently, I was reading an article in which I hear all too often, “Is tithing a New Testament thing?” I believe it is. Here is a great article about this very interesting topic:

Question: One area that I am researching is the Tithe and offering. I know very well what Malachi 3:7-12 teaches that according to the Law if a believer falls short then they have robbed God and fall under a curse. Paul wrote to the Galatians in Galatians. 3:13 telling them they had been redeemed from the cruse of the Law.

The main point of Malachi 3 is often overlooked. The prophet was telling the Jews to turn their hearts to God and give with love so the ministries would be fully supplied. I know that God wants us to give—and I believe in the law of reciprocity—and I know we need to support our local church, orphans, widows, etc. Here’s my question shouldn’t support and giving be from the heart and not because we are under a mandatory legal system? What are your views on Tithes, offerings and giving? —Brother Keith

Bible Answer: You asked a great question. I get this question all the time.

Tithing began before the law was introduced. The Law simply regulated the tithe. Abraham tithed to Melchizedek, 400 years before the time of Moses and the Law, and according to Romans 4:12 we are to walk in the footsteps of the faith of Abraham. If tithing was good for him, it should be good for us, too.

We give tithes like Abraham gave them—not by the Law but by faith. And beside that, if the people of God paid 10 percent before the Law, and 10 percent under the Law, shouldn’t we, who live by grace, be doing any less when we have a better covenant (Heb. 7:22)?

There is a passage in Hebrews, which deals with this issue directly. It is Hebrews 7:8:

In the one case, the tenth is collected by men who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living.

Melchizedek received Abraham’s tithe. The Hebrew writer shows that Melchizedek is a prefigure of Christ. We can conclude that just as Abraham gave a tithe to Melchizedek, we give a tithe to Christ who is declared to be living.

Some people think this is a new issue. It is as old as the second century when more and more Gentiles were being converted. The early Jewish believers had no problem with tithing since they had done it under the Law and gave it to the priests. They simply gave their tithe to the elders of the church and did by love. However, as the church became less Jewish this issue came up to the church fathers. They answered the question of tithing with Matt. 23:23: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”

Notice Jesus said, “You should have practiced the latter (justice, mercy and faithfulness), without neglecting the former (tithing).” The fathers argued, and rightful so, that Jesus word ends the discussion. Since Jesus said not to neglect the former—being tithing—then no believer should neglect tithing. I wholeheartedly agree!

Some argue that Jesus words are not applicable to us today, because Jesus was under the Law and spoke to those under the Law. Their theory goes something like this: Jesus was giving an instruction to the Jews, so His words are not binding to us.

The problem with this interpretation is that these teachers are bringing Christ down to the level of a Jewish prophet or Teacher of the Law. Jesus is the Word of God made flesh, so this means every word that comes out of His mouth is eternal. He cannot say anything without it being “spiritual law” and everlasting. Jesus emphasizes this point by saying, “Heaven and earth may pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matt. 24:35).

These supposed Bible teachers are making the words of Jesus pass away—obsolete and out of date. Besides, these same teachers pick and choose which teachings of Christ in the gospels they believe are applicable to us. I notice that even these teachers agree that most of Christ’s teachings are for us; however, because they are predisposed against tithing, they have had to come up with an excuse for not obeying the clear word of Christ in Mat. 23:23.

As a believer, you have to show who your Lord is! Is it the teachers who tell you tithing is not New Testament and who tell you that Jesus word on the subject is out of date; or is it Jesus who clearly told us not to neglect tithing? No modern teacher has the right to tell you to disobey Jesus instruction on tithing. Period!

Even if the only passages in the New Testament was Jesus’ word, then that would be sufficient, however, I want to present other New Testament passages on the subject. Let’s look at Paul’s teaching on giving.

Paul also uses the pattern of tithing under the law in 1 Corinthians 9:13-14 and says, “Don’t you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.”

Paul argues that just as the priests got their food from the tithes of the people, so the preachers should live the same way. This passage clearly shows the mentality of the apostle and his understanding of carrying over the concept of tithing into the church. The passage often used to contradict this is 2 Cor. 9:7: “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

The argument goes something like this: “Each believer has a right to decide for himself what to give and should not be told what percentage he should contribute.”

The problem with this argument is that the above passage is not dealing with giving to support the church, but rather giving to the poor. Under the Law, giving to the poor was a freewill offering. The Law commanded freewill offerings as well as tithes: “But you are to seek the place the LORD your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go; there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks” (Deut. 12:5-6).

It is quite inconsistent for people to appeal to freewill offerings yet claim that tithing has been abolished. Both tithing and freewill offerings were incorporated in the Law as the above passage shows, but they preceded the Law, thus they both should be practiced. The burden of proof is placed on those who teach that tithing has been abolished. If so, where in the New Testament does it clearly say that tithing has been abolished?

One last thing, notice the resemblance of the language Paul uses in the first passage in Galatians and compare it with the Old Testament passage about tithing:

“Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor” (Gal. 6:6).

“And you and the Levites and the aliens among you shall rejoice in all the good things the LORD your God has given to you and your household. When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied” (Deut. 26:11-12).

Galatians 6 is dealing with giving to the teacher of the gospel and he uses the same language about the Levites receiving the tithe of the people and he calls it “all good things.” This is pretty good internal evidence that the early church tithed to the ministers of the gospel, although, I admit it is not explicit evidence.

Tom Brown is the founder and pastor of Word of Life Church in El Paso, Texas. He and his wife, Sonia, host a weekly television program, The Bondage Broker, available online.

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All, Books, Leadership

Cracking Your Church’s Culture Code: By Sam Chand (Chapter One Review)

At RLC, our staff is currently reviewing the book “Cracking Your Church’s Culture Code” by Sam Chand. It is important to step back from working in something to work on it from time to time. Here are some of the statements which stuck out to me in the first chapter.


Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes . . . but no plans.  —Peter Drucker

Culture—not vision or strategy—is the most powerful factor in any organization. It determines the receptivity of staff and volunteers to new ideas, unleashes or dampens creativity, builds or erodes enthusiasm, and creates a sense of pride or deep discouragement about working or being involved there. Ultimately, the culture of an organization—particularly in churches and nonprofit organizations, but also in any organization—shapes individual morale, teamwork, effectiveness, and outcomes.

The fact is, culture eats strategy for lunch.

You can have a good strategy in place, but if you don’t have the culture and the enabling systems, the [negative] culture of the organization will defeat the strategy.

Seven keys of  GOOD CULTURE:

  1. Control
  2. Understanding
  3. Leadership
  4. Trust
  5. Unafraid
  6. Responsive
  7. Execution

Many leaders confuse culture with vision and strategy, but they are very different. Vision and strategy usually focus on products, services, and outcomes, but culture is about the people—the most valuable asset in the organization.

To see a few snapshots of a church’s culture, we might ask these questions:

  • Who are the heroes? What makes them heroes? Who determines who the heroes are?
  • When someone inquires, “Tell me about your church or nonprofit,” what stories are told?
  • How much does the average staff member feel he or she has input into the direction and strategy of the church or nonprofit?
  • Who has the ear of the top leaders? How did these people win a hearing with the leaders?
  • What are the meaningful rituals? What message do they convey to those in the organization and those outside it?
  • Who is rewarded, and for what accomplishments?
  • What is the level of loyalty up and down the organizational chart? What factors build loyalty?
  • What is the level of creativity and enthusiasm throughout the organization?
  • When an objective observer spends an hour watching people interact in the offices, what mood does he or she pick up?
  • How are decisions made, deferred, or delayed?
  • Who are the non-positional power brokers, the people who have authority based on the respect they’ve earned but who don’t have authoritative titles?
  • Where are control problems and power struggles most evident?
  • How is “ turf ” defi ned and protected?

The shape of an organization’s culture begins at the top levels.

Culture Is the Most Powerful Factor in Any Organization

Culture Is Usually Unnoticed, Unspoken, and Unexamined

Culture Determines How People Respond to Vision and Leadership

Culture Most Often Surfaces and Is Addressed in Negative Experiences

Culture Is Hard to Change, but Change Results in Multiplied Benefits

Culture problems, by their nature, are never solved quickly.

The intangibles of respect and trust transform a church culture into a beehive of thinking, creating, and working together to accomplish grand goals. When staff members feel valued, they far more readily embrace a leader’s vision. Even if they disagree or don’t understand, they are more willing to give the benefit of the doubt and pitch in.

A positive culture will act as an accelerant for your vision.

Changing your organization’s culture will be one of the most challenging processes you’ve ever implemented, but I guarantee you, you’ll be glad you did.

Think About It . . .

  1. Do you agree or disagree with the premise of this chapter that culture trumps vision? Explain your answer.
  2. Describe the most inspiring organizational culture you have experienced as a staff member or ministry leader. How did the senior leaders treat people? How did they impart vision and strategy? How did people respond?
  3. Why did you pick up this book? What do you hope to get out of reading this book and implementing the steps of change?
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A Letter to RLC, All, Leadership

Feeling Afraid, Worried, or Unsure?

Feeling afraid, worried, or unsure? God’s Word has a little something to say about it…

33 Verses to Remind Us – We Do Not Have to Fear

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

“Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” John 14:27

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18

“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” Psalm 94:19

“But now, this is what the Lord says…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1

“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” Proverbs 12:25

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34

“Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time. Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7

“Tell everyone who is discouraged, Be strong and don’t be afraid! God is coming to your rescue…” Isaiah 35:4

“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” Luke 12:22-26

“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1

“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” Psalm 55:22

“Immediately he spoke to them and said, ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’” Mark 6:50

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

“’For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, for I myself will help you,’ declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 41:13-14

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper.” Psalm 118:6-7

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Proverbs 29:25

“He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Mark 4:39-40

“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” Psalm 34:7

“But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats.” 1 Peter 3:14

“I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4

“Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.” Deuteronomy 3:22

“Then he placed his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.’” Revelation 1:17

“Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’” Mark 5:36

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” Romans 8:38-39

“The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” Zephaniah 3:17

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”…He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you…For he will command his angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways…“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him…” from Psalm 91:1-16

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