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”
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 believe this, but missionaries are not assuming that you are going to give to their ministry. They hope you might. But honestly, they have no idea where God is going to send the money from. All they can do is meet with folks, share their vision, and wait to see what happens. They don’t think less of you or judge you. They just want you to consider their cause. Earlier I wrote an article entitled “Why Would I Say “No” To a Missionary?”where we addressed the great opportunity to be involved as a financial and prayer partner with ministries around the world. However, the reality is that the Lord will not lead us to support every cause we are exposed to. He knows, and we know, that we have limited resources and must be strategic with the money we are stewarding. Continue reading “What Should I do if I don’t Feel Led to Give to a Missionary?”
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.
Warren Buffett is known for his one-liners and one of his most memorable ones is about financial mismanagement. He says, “You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out!” By that I think he means that if you are not managing your finances well, then when you encounter a tough time your vulnerability will be obvious to all. That is why we are so insistent that every family needs a financial spending plan. As we discussed in our previous post two out of three families are just winging it when it comes to their finances. And as Mr. Buffett says time will reveal what we are wearing under the water. Continue reading “Signs of a Healthy Financial System: Generosity”
We all grow up dreaming of a Wonderful Life. Family and friends who love us. Good job. Nice house. Plenty of food. Enough money to take care of our needs and even some of our wants. When I got married one of my friends was asked to give us marriage advice. His advice was classic. “Tim, give Terri everything she wants.” “Terri, only want what you need.” I can still remember his wife catcalling from the background about his bad advice. But, behind his playful banter was a principle. And the principle is this; for a family to be successful the family has to be on the same page and have a plan. Particularly in the area of money. Nothing will challenge a marriage more than how to manage the family resources. Continue reading “Signs of a Healthy Financial System: Do You Have a Good Plan?”