Food for Thought -
- Of those retiring, 62% retire with less than $10,000 . . .
- Average Consumer Debt = $38,000
- Debt-free Christians are four times more likely to tithe.
- You cannot be spiritually healthy unless you are financially healthy. We are all called to be good stewards of God's stuff.
The Power of Giving
I Want to Give… But How Can I When Money is Tight?
As told to a support-raising "missionary" -
Since I pledged to be a financial supporter of your endeavors with Fellowship Bible Church, I've noticed a change in my financial situation. I will admit that, at the time of my first payment, I was not in a financially advantageous position. That is, in the finance industry, we call this "strapped for cash". In a word, I should not have been giving.
But it was the right thing to do. My heart told me so and so it must be. Since then, I've been flushed with extra cash and opportunities and I can't figure out why. It's coming from nowhere. I have a degree in finance and impeccable budgeting skills and I can't trace this money? I can tell you exactly where an international corporation's stock price is going but my own paycheck is a mystery to me. I don't understand why I got an unexpected raise at Sherwin-Williams as a part-time employee. I don't understand why every job opportunity has doubled my entry level salary expectations. I don't understand why I have an extra stock of cash in the bank. I clearly didn't earn it and I received no bonus nor a parental hand-out. I don't get it and I am content with never knowing.
Suffice it to say, I will continue this giving. It's the greatest investment vehicle ever conceived.
What would God have us do?
And from a Pastor at a church in Naples, FL -
The Naples Vineyard is a church of approximately 75 people and is roughly five years old. It's actually a restart/relaunch and Pastor Ed was just hitting his stride when he discovered he had cancer earlier this year. Doctors thought it was treatable, but his body did not respond to the treatments -- in fact, the cancer spread more aggressively.
As I was jogging recently, and thinking about Ed and Donna and their church and praying for them, I heard God speak to me and tell me to give them the entire weekend offering. We were currently in a series on generosity that we were calling "Living Large". I told our church about God speaking to me and what we were going to do the next weekend. I told them to bring their regular tithe (give the entire 10% -- not just a tip) and they did. We combined the offerings of our five services together and made a road trip.
I invited all of our folks to come on the trip with us, but with the trip being a two hour trip each way and it being Thanksgiving weekend, I didn't know how many would come. But as you can see from the video, they came out "in force". We walked into a night of prayer and worship event they were having with three other Vineyards (Cape Coral, Ft. Myers and Doral) and surprised them with that check.
Earlier that week, we were unsure if we were going to be able to make the delivery because Ed had gone into hospice care and they said there was no way he was going to be able to make it for the service. We believe God did a supernatural work in allowing him a 15-minute window to be there and to SEE this offering this side of heaven. Who knew he would go to be with Jesus five days later?!?
After we gave away the offering, Ed's son told me through tears that his Dad had everything in place for his departure except the financial piece and then you guys come and give us this check. He could not believe what was happening at that moment. It was surreal.
This was a night that God had on His agenda book a long time ago and we simple were His hands and feet. There's never been a truer statement that there is more happiness in giving then in receiving.
Thankful to Give!
From a Fellowship Family -
On the evening of Thanksgiving, my wife, daughter and I gave out meal trays to the homeless in downtown Atlanta. We did not know where we were going or where we were at. We asked the Lord to lead us and we got on the interstate. We ended up in a place called the Old Fourth Ward. It was a blessing to be able to do something in the name of the Lord and to give back. God has been so graceful and merciful to my family and I, that He put it in our hearts to want to help others. But something inspiring to me happened. After giving out the trays, we back tracked to find the interstate. As I was driving, I couldn't help but notice a guy sitting by a building with just a T-shirt on. The Lord had me immediately pulled to the side and take my jacket off. I knew my heart was in the right place as my wife was already encouraging me to give the jacket up. My wife got out and wrapped the jacket around him and said some uplifting words to him. I remember saying I hope he can fit the jacket, and I looked in the mirror and I could see him putting his arms in. All I can say is thank you JESUS!
The Lord uses us in many ways. We are blessed to be a blessing to someone else, I ask the Lord to continue using me and my family.