Monday, November 22, 2010

The Heart of a Giver

Giving is always something that is on my heart and this time of year really seems to bring those emotions right to the surface. I know there are lots of people in desperate situations across our country and in the world. Economic times are hard and they can change the way we live, the way we are used to living, and bring us to our knees. People are losings jobs, losing homes, tightening budgets, and doing more entertainment at home instead of going out. Billy and I have been there. In fact, it was a lifestyle for many years and I want to share something with you that I HEAVILY  (I can't express this enough) contribute to coming out on the other side and living a life of passion, having financial stability and a happy heart.
It's simple.

Just one word.


You may feel like you don't have anything to give. But you do. Over the course of the years Billy and I have found ourselves jobless many times. So many times, in fact, that we started to get excited about each "lost" opportunity to get to the new one! God always increased us. A step at a time but each new job came with something we needed that we didn't have before. And God always sustained us during the down time. Most of the time the "down time" was about 4 mos...sometimes 6. The last time was a grueling 18 mos. At first we were confused and kind of felt sorry for ourselves. We wondered what went wrong? Why it happened? etc. etc. Looking back it never failed that during those times God would ask us to give and would create an opportunity for us to make it happen. The choice was still ours but the chance was there and
God wanted to know....
were we going to take it?

That answer...

We did.
Every time.

I don't say that to brag. Please, don't think that. I want to explain to you one of the simplest,
yet most effective,
 ways to have everything you need in your life.
 To come out of your darkness,
 your hard times,
 your lack,

you must give.

Giving from your heart. Giving out of your own need.
Especially when you feel you have nothing to give.

Here in America, even when you're down
you're not THAT down. You may not have worked in months,
you may not be living in the home you worked so hard to pay for, you may not be eating the same dinners you used to eat,maybe it's more mac and cheese with fish sticks instead of steak dinners and cocktails out. Your Christmas budget is probably slimmer...

but YOU have something to GIVE.

Personally, for me and Billy, our donations always required some kind of financial giving.
 It hit us where it hurt the most.
Giving should require sacrifice.
 Whether in the form of buying groceries
and donating to the food pantry,
 a simple cash donation to our church,
sponsoring someone for an outing that we would like to go on
ourselves but God said to give.

God says to give for one simple reason...
When we give it opens the door for Him to give to us.

Give, and it will be given to you.
A good measure, pressed down,
shaken together and running over,
will be poured into your lap.
For with the measure you use,
 it will be measured to you.”
Luke 6:38

Giving can be as simple as tossing some canned foods from your cabinet into a collection barrel at your local grocery store. Giving your old coats to a coat drive instead of selling them for the extra cash. Serving at a shelter. Buying all the ingredients for a Thanksgiving meal and showing up on a door step of someone who wouldn't have one if you didn't provide it. But very simply put,

Give. Give from your heart. Give of your own need.
Give till it hurts.

For the measure YOU use, it will be measured TO YOU.

This simplest, most effective way to have
 everything you need in your life.
 Not just during this time of year but as a lifestyle...
Adopt the heart of a giver.
You will always be fulfilled.
Now is the perfect time to start.
The opportunities are plenty,
the needs are great,
and you have a decision to make.

37 “Then the righteous will answer him,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you something to drink?
 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in,
or needing clothes and clothe you?
 39 When did we see you sick or in prison
and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply,
‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for
one of the least of these brothers
 and sisters of mine,
you did for me.’

Matthew 25:37-40

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