Sunday, November 16, 2008

Generous Giving (Part 5)

Goal #3: Give above and beyond the tithe (first 10%), through offerings and other fun ways to give of our time and materials. Luke 16:11 says, “Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?”

:: With the savings from our groceries we’re now able to bless others! The rest we’ve put towards paying down my husband’s student loan & our mortgage. Those extra payments really add up!

:: Many hygiene products (toothpaste, toothbrushes, lip gloss) I get for free so we have Christmas boxes that we’re making to send to Mexico on November 15th. Christmas boxes are a great way to get the kids involved in the real meaning of Christmas. It is a fun family exercise on giving and it doesn’t have to cost you a lot. These Christmas boxes we’re sending cost around 5.00 each, some of the items like the toothbrushes, soap, and toothpaste were free! I think the shipping will cost more than what we paid for the contents.

:: With some of your grocery savings adopt a child through Compassion International or World Vision. It is only 30.00 a month, it is fun to find a child that has your child’s birth date or is in the same grade or has the same first name. The children can write notes and letters and its really special when your child remembers to pray for your “adopted” child.

:: Put some of the savings away as an offering to whomever God desires. I remember a lady in the grocery store not being able to pay for her groceries. I wish I had responded properly and purchased her groceries, but I didn't. Intentionally setting aside money to bless others makes obeying God's call to be generous even easier.

:: How many times are you driving the car and a homeless person is there asking for food? That verse, “Give to anyone who asks” pops into your head, but you justify it by saying, “they’ll just go buy drugs or beer with the money.” So, you drive on by? Worst of all, your kids are in the back seat asking why we didn’t help, or they say nothing, but internally are confused because we weren’t generous when another was in need. We’ve all been there! Our family struggled with this for a long time, we prayed and asked God what a good solution would be. His answer: 5.00 McDonald’s gift cards! There are McDonald’s everywhere and 5.00 won’t kill the budget once in a while. Best of all your teaching your children through modeling that God’s word is to be obeyed and there is joy in that obedience. We’ve even thought of putting the gift cards into envelopes with a Bible track and the 1-800-NEEDHIM phone #, and maybe a special message from us and the kids. Maybe your kids would enjoy putting some art of their own on the card, then you can all pray that God would send a needy person for you to bless!

:: One fun thing we're doing this year is making a Christmas book, the book has pictures of the things we "did or purchased" for Jesus at Christmas. I plan on laminating the book, wrapping it and putting it under the tree. Then the very first gift we open will be for Jesus, I hope it will be a new tradition. We'll see how year 1 goes, I'm praying it helps the boys see that Christmas is about giving and serving for Christ, not just about receiving presents.

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