It was 1973. Rev was out making calls with an elder of our church as part of his seminary assignments. They were driving between visits when this older friend and mentor turned to my dear man and asked, “Do you tithe?”
Now, you have to know our income was very small even for the time. We were doing everything we could to pinch pennies and make ends meet. Things like getting 36 meals out of a canned ham or two meals out of a 99 cent frozen pizza. It wasn’t a problem though, we were newlyweds, happy, and we knew what we were signing up for when we accepted the call to ministry.
But when Harry asked his forthright question, Rev awkwardly answered, “We plan on it someday, as soon as we are able.”
Harry’s response, “No you won’t! You will never tithe if you wait to have ‘enough’ money. Tithing is not a matter of the wallet it’s a matter of the heart. You just do it and trust God will provide.”
As you might imagine, Rev was less than happy with their exchange at the moment but it stuck and by the next day we prayerfully made the decision to start tithing—setting aside our offering first rather than giving from what was left.
And it changed both our attitude and our lives.
First, it changed our attitude from “have to” to “get to” and that is huge! Giving has become one of our greatest joys in life.
Second, that short conversation and change in thinking started a passion for stewardship in our lives that added an element to Rev’s ministry career we never saw coming. You see, besides serving in congregations over the years, His primary ministry focus was helping Christian organizations connect with donors to have the funding they needed to spread the Gospel message.
Although Rev retired this year, we will continue to have a passion for stewardship and giving. Which is why I wanted to tell you about some of the things we’re doing for GIVING TUESDAY!
Why the Joy of Giving is the Blessing You Need
Oh, there’s one more family story I want to tell you…
In the Spring of 2011, I woke up to an email that said … “World Vision is looking for a blogger from our 5 Minutes for Faith Bloggers to go to Bolivia with the Bolivia Bloggers Team and write about the work they are doing there.”
Now, I am NOT an adventurer! But somehow I knew that email was God calling me to see the bigger picture … to look beyond my little world in Midwest America.
It’s so easy for you and me to get so caught up in what’s right under our noses that we fail to remember the huge world out there full of people with huge needs that we can’t even imagine until we see them with our eyes and feel them in our hearts.
I won’t share all the details here, but if you’d like to know more about the trip that gave our family the passion and joy we have in giving to our favorite global ministries, click here.
Our Favorite Ministries – Joy of Giving Tuesday and How You Can Help
We love both World Vision and Compassion International – in fact, we sponsor three children through the two ministries. And we love it because through child sponsorship your actually develop a relationship. There is great joy in actually connecting and seeing the way our small effort is making a difference in not only that child’s life but in ways that bless their family and their community. Click on the links my sidebar to sponsor a child today.
If you don’t feel you can commit to a monthly sponsorship, both ministries offer countless opportunities for one-time gifts.
Our personal favorites are:
Our favorites are:
And – Samaritan’s Purse
Our favorite – Operation Christmas Child
Collection week has passed,
but it’s not to late to build a shoebox online:
Did you ever stop to think about what it takes to get all of those shoeboxes to their destinations? Well, it takes an average of $9 per box to transport a gift to it’s intended child. And the journeys are amazing.
You can adopt one or more shoeboxes and help them reach a waiting child – here.
One of the best parts of OCC is that for many children getting a shoebox is the first time they have ever received a gift. I’ve heard so many stories of how children will break down and cry because their gift contained something they have needed or wanted for a very long time. God’s personal appointment from one side of the world to another.
These are just a few ideas of ways you can enjoy the blessing of making a difference in someone’s life.
One more thing we’re doing this year is asking our children to choose a charity – and we’re making a donation in their honor. Whatever the age of your children this is a great way to include them and help them find the blessed joy of giving.
You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. 2 Corinthians 9:8–9,11 (NLT)
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and even take a few minutes to pray over the list left by our friends.
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