Posts tagged ‘giving’

April 10, 2012

Most Precious

by pastortimfowler

www.flickr.com/photos/tonivc/2283676770

Today I was having lunch with my favorite wife and a friend from church and the friend asked me to blog about a subject that her husband’s Bible study was discussing the other day. The lesson was about giving from what is most precious to you. Then she asked me what was most precious to me. We were eating at Taco Bell and I was trying to enjoy my taco but they kept wanting to know my most precious possession. I was in a no win situation because my wife was there. If I had said that she was my favorite possession then someone would get mad and say that I don’t own her, if I had said something else, she would have got mad. So I ate my taco.
The lesson that she was talking about was trying to get the point across that we need to give from our hearts and not from things that don’t mean anything to us. God gave us Jesus, His most precious possession, and He did it because of His great love for us. Most of what we see given in churches are what we happen to find in our pockets as the offering plate is passed around, unless we look and see that it is more than a couple of dollars then we tell God that we will owe Him.
My wife gives from her heart all the time. She loves children. In an earlier blog I told you that she is an addict when it comes to little kids. She gives them her very best all the time. It makes me jealous from time to time. I see the kids getting anything that they ask for and when I ask for something she tells me I don’t need it. Everybody needs cake. She gives to the church all the time. There is not much that happens there that she is not involved in. Not only does she love kids, but she loves regular people too and gives to them. She gives to her work. Professionalism in the dictionary has her picture as the definition. And yes, she gives to me, but I don’t want to go into details about how or what. My wife is so giving that she tried to give the people who take out the trash at Taco Bell her van. She tossed her keys in there as she was leaving.
I like the way Taco Bell gives. With a regular combo you get a large drink. Not like you need it, but then you get free refills. They give away the taco sauce in is the little packets too. I don’t use them, but I see people loading their hands with them. I think they take them home and make soup out of them. My favorite is the peppermints that they give away. Its like desert after a taco meal.
Giving from what is precious to us is hard to do. We like to hold things more closely if they are important to us. So to answer the question of what is most precious to me…I don’t really know. I don’t like to hold on to stuff. I get told that I don’t care about money. I like to give it away and I like to spend it. I don’t care about clothes. Jeans and a t-shirt are fine with me and if you need mine, you can have them. God has given me a great life and a great family, but I know that they really belong to Him, so I let God decide where they are given.
If I had to say what I hold most precious, I guess it would have to be my time. I realize that I only have a certain amount and after that, I get no more. I don’t own my time, but I own what I do with it. I find it most difficult to give the time that I have chosen to do something for me to someone else who needs my help. But, I get the greatest reward from knowing that when I do give it away, someone else’s time on earth is made better.
With the time I have, God allows me to fill it with a beautiful wife, wonderful children and grandchildren, and a church family that is most incredible. He allows me to preach and teach the Bible as my vocation and I don’t have to punch a time clock. I never get tired of working for Him. My only struggle is when I want my time to be mine and it gets interrupted. That is why I think that it is my most precious possession. So I try to give it away despite what I feel, and I never get disappointed in the results.

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December 21, 2011

Christmas Giving

by pastortimfowler

Christmas is a strange time of year. It is the time when most people are the most joyful, and at the same time it can be a time when they are at their lowest. It is a time of giving and receiving and spending time with family and friends. This is the time when we celebrate the birth of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. I would like to share what I get to be a part of every year at my church and I will try to remain as humble as possible, but at the same time I am running over with pride.
We are a medium-sized church of about 150 people and this number changes, lately it has been increasing. We reach a unique group of people, mostly young families and people who do not fit the typical “churchy” crowd. Like their pastor, many of these have been turned off by religion at one time or another and even hurt by the politics that often ruins what church should be. But for whatever reason, God has seen fit to bring us together under the roof of a building and in a church family called The Body, A Church for Anybody.
With the economy being as bad as it is, we find ourselves in fellowship with several families that are struggling to make ends meet and because these are families with kids, it is a difficult time to celebrate Christmas when some may not be able to give gifts to their kids. Giving gifts is a custom of the season that allows us to escape the reality of hard times and focus on putting a smile on the face of children, but when you lose a job or income gets cut, it can be difficult to make this happen on your own. Without a second thought, the people in our church have taken to the spirit of giving and made sure that these kids smile on Christmas morning. There are 5 families that will be blessed by receiving, but probably 20 more that will be blessed by Christmas giving.
One family told me today that they sacrificed giving their adult children gifts, with those adult children’s blessings, in order to provide for another family with children who still live at home. They took the $100 that they would normally spend for those gifts and bought for someone else. Today I was told that they received an unexpected bonus from work that doubled that amount. You just can’t help but think that God was showing how much He likes Christmas giving too.
On Christmas day, we will gather for a morning worship and after church several of us are going out to a restaurant that is open to sing a Christmas Carol and give a gift to those who are working. As grateful as they must be to have a job, it has to be tough to work on Christmas day. So we have been collecting “tips” for about two months now for the purpose of giving to those who are waiting tables and serving others on Christmas day a bit of Christmas cheer that will hopefully make their Christmas sacrifice well worth it. We have chosen a restaurant that only has 5 or 6 people who are working that day and because of the generosity of the people in my church, each person who is working will receive a Christmas card with over $100 in it.
Again, it is hard to be humble when you talk about something that you are involved in, but I am blown away by the love of the people who I serve at this church and it does truly humble me to know them. They love others and show it through their actions and the biggest action this time of year is in their Christmas giving. I love it!!!
Merry Christmas!