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QQC--Don't Come Empty-handed!

Quirks, Queries and Commentary—Exodus 23:14, 15

God gave his people three festivals to celebrate each year: Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Harvest and Feast of Ingathering.  Each festival was to be celebrated at the place where the tabernacle or temple was located.  For most of Isreal's history, that place was Jerusalem.  Each time, they were to bring an offering.  "No one is to appear before me empty-handed," God told them.  

I wonder why.  God certainly didn't need any of their gifts or offerings.  Later in the Bible he says that he desires mercy, not sacrifice, yet each time the people of God came to the place where he dwelt, they had to bring something with them.  Yes, some of what they brought was to help sustain the priests and Levites serving at the tabernacle/temple, but I think God had another purpose in mind as well.  Could it be that he was teaching his people to be a generous people?  To hold loosely in their hands the things God gave them and to remember that all things--their crops, herds and children--were gifts and blessings from God?  Certainly carrying out this instruction kept their focus on God.

What about today?  Are we to bring something to God each time we come before him?  

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About the Author

DEBBIE HAUGHLAND CHAN
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA

I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

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Reviews of Searching for Love

If you have read the book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. You may e-mail me at debbiehaughland@gmail.com or post them in the comments section below.

A Real Testimony
I finished your book. A real testimony to what God does for us.
Leona March 3, 2009
I Had Tears Coming

I sat down to read it about a week later and ended up finishing it the same night. At first I admit I was a little bored and thought that the whole book was about a battle all in your mind, but as I continued reading this creeping thought came over me of a different...struggle in my own life, that I would never in my right mind have shared with anyone accept maybe God. I've mentioned your book to a few people because it stirs up age-old controversies that I have myself argued and wondered about, namely about whether or not homosexuality can be cured or just managed like alcoholism--you just have to stay away from temptation. I noticed at the end of your book that your struggle story …