All posts tagged: time

Have You Limited Your Generosity?

I remember the first time I saw him put a check in the offering plate. I was sitting next to him in the choir. He didn’t make a big deal about it; just quietly took the check out of his pocket and dropped it in the plate. I have no idea what the amount was. But I wanted so badly to be able to do it, too. I was only 15 at the time; not old enough to work a regular job like he did. I cut grass for $1.20 per yard. In my mind, my twelve cents didn’t match up to a hand-written check. To me, the amount was more important than the spirit behind it. I turned 16, got a job, and opened a checking account. Each week I wrote a check and dropped it in the offering plate on Sunday morning. I can’t say I tithed every week, but I was pretty consistent. After all, we are to be good stewards. Right? Right. But tithing was about the extent of my idea …

Stewardship Is More Than Money. It’s Everything.

Stewardship. What does this word make you think of? For me, my mind always goes right to church and managing money. Yes, we do say it in church and yes, we do steward money, but there is more to it. Stewardship is simply the conducting, supervising, or managing of something. While managing or stewarding money is a big part of our lives, there’s a lot more to manage than just money. My boys, Liam and Levi, are now 5 and 4 years old. They constantly keep Kelli and I on our toes. Sometimes managing the two of them seems impossible. But we seem to manage. (See what I did there?) We signed them up for fall baseball back at the end of summer, moving Levi up an age bracket as wanted them on the same team so we were together as a family on game days. The Rec Department needed more coaches so I volunteered to help. I was excited. This marked my 3rd time coaching, but my first time head coaching, both my boys …

Today is the Perfect Day to Change

The past few Sundays, we’ve talked about how nothing we have is really ours and because it’s all God’s, we should be willing to give to the Lord.  This truth is the why of managing well what we’ve been given.  So, what does the how look like?  I think that starts with Today. Here is the great thing about today: you can only live in it.  You can never live in yesterday again.  It’s gone.  You will never live in tomorrow because today is always here.  It never goes away.  Today you will go to bed, fall asleep, wake up again, and it will be… you guessed it… today.  We live in today.  This is the reality of life.  When it comes to finances, and really everything we manage, are we living in today or are we trying to live in yesterday? Are we living in today or are we trying to live in tomorrow?  Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring. – Proverbs 27:1 It’s really kind of foolish to try to …

Why do you give what you give?

In the Old Testament, there were actually many different tithes required under the law. A tithe is 10% of something.  There was a tithe to the Levites, a tithe for the use of the temple and the feasts, and one for the poor of the land. After Jesus’ death and fulfillment of the law, Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 16:2 that monetary gifts should be collected at the first of the week.  Nowhere in the New Testament does it specifically state how much we are to give. But time and time again it does imply that we are to give: individually, regularly, methodically, and proportionally to our income. The biggest problem most people have is that we want someone to tell us exactly how much God wants us to give, when to give it, and how it’s supposed to be given. I want to do exactly what I’m supposed to: no more, no less. I want to know what it takes to keep God happy and prevent Him from smiting me. But God doesn’t really work that …

Are You Working Willingly as if For God?

What is your favorite scripture passage in all of the Bible? Maybe you think of the famous verse, John 3:16, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” Or maybe you learned Proverbs 3:5 growing up, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” Of the 31,102 verses found in the Bible, I would have to say one of my favorites is found in Colossians 3:23, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” We are not living for this world and we need to be prepared for opportunities to serve God through serving others. We must pray and live intentionally with our focus on living for God. Let’s break down Colossians 3:23 to help us grow in our walk with the Lord. Work willingly: Our work, or whatever we commit our time and energy towards, needs to …

Challenge: Look for Opportunities to Lavishly Love the Lonely

Jesus is known to be one of the most influential leaders the world has ever seen, yet He took the time to lavishly love the lonely. He spent time with sinners, ate with tax collectors, and spoke with those who were overlooked by society. Jesus was often criticized by the religious leaders for attending parties, talking with beggars, and was known to be friends with immoral people. Do you find yourself looking like Jesus or more like the Pharisees who questioned Jesus for hanging out with sinners? Here are 5 practical steps to help you look for opportunities to lavishly love the lonely. 1. Start your day prepared.  Zig Ziglar eloquently said, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” As you start your day, ask God to direct your steps. Request Him to put you in contact with folks who need to experience His grace. Petition Him to give you eyes to see the opportunities He places before you and ask Him to give you the words that the people need to hear. 2. Get …

Giving is Much More Than Money

–written by Jean Daniel Many years ago upon getting her weekly allowance, a little girl asked her father, “Daddy, how do you tithe a nickel?” She had been taught to tithe her money, but later learned it also meant giving of her time, money and personality. How does that apply to you? Personality: Does your Christian spirit come across through your smile, your words, your actions to your family or to strangers?  When my children were young, I accidentally recorded our conversation while preparing dinner. Later when playing it back, I was appalled at the manner in which I spoke to my kids. What would God’s recording of your comments and behavior toward others reveal? Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Colossians 4:5, NIV Money: You know that you are supposed to tithe your money, but is it given with a tight fist or an open heart? Teach your children while they are young to tithe their money and they will give with eagerness and serve as an …

The “G” Word

My dad worked for a home building company that moved their management frequently. Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Georgia. I lived in all these states before I was twelve. Five different elementary schools and two different high schools when it was all said and done. It was that last move as a family though that made a huge difference in my life. As we were unloading the moving truck a neighbor boy came up to me and asked “What’s your name?” “Help me unload this truck and I will tell you,” I said. So Donnie jumped right in and helped. Donnie and I became good friends. One day his mom asked if my three other siblings and I would like to to go to church with them. My folks said yes and off we went. And the next Sunday and the next and then Wednesday nights. Soon my folks started taking us and then going with us. Then one Easter Sunday, my whole family was baptized into Christ! All because Donnie and his mother were personally generous with their time and passion for …

Wonder FULL

A few weeks ago, I came across this quote… “Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.” E.B. White I knew I had to share it. It reminded me of one of the main reasons I chose to make a career out of working with children. Children are FULL of wonder. They notice everything and ask questions about anything. Have you ever spent time with a two-year-old? You’ll be asked “Why?” approximately 937 times. And it’s not because they’re trying to be difficult, they truly want a definitive answer. “Because I said so” will not be an adequate response. Trust me. Children remind me to slow down, to notice, and to wonder. Wonder is defined as “a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.” I have that feeling when I hold a baby in the nursery. Their curious eyes are full of wonder at the new world around them. I have that feeling when I take the time to play with a toddler. Their little minds are amazed by watching the same …

Efficient vs. Effective

“Do you focus on doing things right or doing the right things?” This was the question my mentor, Brother Jim, asked me when we were discussing the difference between being efficient and effective. At first, I failed to see a difference between the two and wondered if he was asking a trick question. It soon hit me that this concept could shape not just how I spend my time, but why I do what I do in the first place. Last week I wanted a glass of water. As I opened the cabinet to get a cup, I noticed that we had few clean cups left. Knowing we only had a few minutes before we left the house, I quickly and methodically loaded the few dishes from the sink into the dishwasher. The dishwasher was full but I was able to cram everything into the machine. As I was closing the door I noticed something- the dishes near the front were spotless. I had just packed dirty dishes into a clean machine.  Yes, I was efficient in loading the …