I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
I made a $500 mistake in my checkbook. Not good. At Christmas. Really not good.
I have spent the morning trying to figure out what I did and unfortunately, I found it. I screwed up. Just didn’t write a couple of expenses down in my checkbook. Mistakes like this can put the screws to what is looking like a tight Christmas to begin with. I have to admit, my gut reaction is to panic. But then I remember- this is not the first time that God has gotten me out of a tight jam. This is definitely not my first rodeo, nor will it be my last.
I must tell you about a young couple I know. They are an inspiration to me. In the middle of this pandemic, he lost his job, and her hours were cut back. But they have a tremendous heart for generosity, and they view their giving as separate from their normal expenses. Said another way, their giving account is not intermingled with their living account. So, during this crazy time, they were able to give $4,500 towards a cause that the Lord laid on their heart to give to. Wow!! Continue reading “Be Generous in a Crisis”→
“People go through three conversions: the conversion of their head, their heart and their pocketbook. Unfortunately, not all at the same time.” -Martin Luther
In 1517, Martin Luther nailed his famed 95 Theses on the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. This act of protest would spark the Protestant Reformation. While the content of his concerns were salvific in nature, he went on to teach everything under the sun about living out the Christian life, including the need for us to have a conversion experience related to the way we think about our money. Continue reading “We Need a Reformation of the Pocketbook!”→
Our community is awash with spring fundraisers. It seems like the majority of the churches are having spring-break mission trips. All of the the nonprofits are targeting tax-return season. It can be overwhelming, and if you are not careful, you can become a bit jaded or bitter towards the requests or potential requests you are receiving. However, if you have a plan for your finances (specifically your giving dollars), this can be one of the greatest times of the year for you. Giving opportunities, when you have money set aside for giving, are some of the more encouraging uses of your finances. It’s like being a kid in a candy store with a little change!
I heard of a man recently say, “I wish all these kids would stop sending me letters about their mission trips.”
You may not realize it, but the Church’s primary strategy to get missionaries to the field is through personal support raising. Don’t believe us? Talk to your pastor this week. Tell him God has called you to be a missionary. After his jaw returns from the floor, he will be excited for you. Then ask him how much of your missionary budget the church would be willing to commit to your endeavor. The answer to that question will tell you if your church views its responsibility as the primary funder of its global workers or just one of the pieces to your financial puzzle. In missions circles, we call that centralized funding versus decentralized funding. Except for a few denominations, most churches practically believe the missionary is responsible for raising the needed funds from other believers and other churches in order to accomplish his or her mission. Let me illustrate. Continue reading “An Open Letter to the Body of Christ about Generosity to Missionaries”→
This is the year that I am going to clean out my garage. No, really I am! I say that every year and I piddle at it most of the time but this is the year that I am going to go for it. I am getting rid of the extra stuff in my house. I even have a box or two still unopened from when we moved in 13 years ago. I wonder what’s in there?
So, what do spring cleaning and generosity have to do with one another? What if you and I used our spring cleaning ritual to finally get rid of that extra stuff? What if we emptied our homes of the things that we don’t really need? What if instead of hoarding things, we gave them away? What if we gave some of our furniture away before it was completely dilapidated? Or did a hard sift in our burgeoning closets? In our community, there are countless families who would benefit greatly from extra clothes, decent furniture, kitchen appliances, and seldom used sporting equipment. Continue reading “Generosity while Spring Cleaning”→
Have you ever wondered if your faith is genuine? You may be able to recite all the creeds and your behavior is consistent with what you read in the Bible and the Christian subculture you associate with. But, you are looking for something deeper. Something that reassures your heart as well as your mind. I ran across a passage in 1 John 3 that is both convicting and comforting all at the same time.
17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him 18 little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. 19 We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him 20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.