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8/16/2006                                                                                       View Comments

Family finds new ways to save, give

By Lorena

I found this in a newsletter around my house, and I couldn't resist the temptation to share it. It makes me wonder if I was ever brainwashed enough to buy into this sort of stuff.

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John’s family had committed $7,500 to their church’s capital stewardship program, but after private prayer and study, John came to believe that God wanted them to double that amount. He knew this challenge would not go over well with the rest of the family, as they had already made significant adjustments to commit to the $7,500 mark. Yet in obedience to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, he gathered them all together and revealed his heart’s desire.

His proposal was that each family member would pray during the week to ask God to reveal to them how and where current expenditures could be freed up to increase giving. Then, on following Sundays, they would again meet to discuss each person’s ideas. As a family, they would then assign a dollar amount to each suggestion and decide whether or not to pursue it. If God showed them nothing, the family would be free of the projected commitment of $15,000.

Four weeks later, John’s five-member family had come up with a surprising number of wide-ranging cost-saving strategies. The major saving concerned the family’s routine of dining out four times a week, a luxury on which they were spending more than $100 a week. They adopted his suggestion of reducing this habit to twice weekly, and donating the saving of $50 a week to the church’s project. In the same spirit, they reevaluated their auto and home insurance premiums, cablevision, and magazine subscriptions, food purchases, and auto usage.

Even the younger members of the family found creative ways to make their own contributions. Henry, the middle school son, began taking his lunch to school rather than buying it, thereby saving eight dollars a week. He also suggested having his weekly ten-dollar allowance cut in half. His elder sister Bessie, a high school student, volunteered to cut back on her weekly social outings with friends, which released another $30 monthly toward the effort.

When totaled, the personal sacrifices of each family member amounted to a figure of just over $100 per week--$15,600 over the course of three years! Greatly encouraged, John discovered they could more than triple their original commitment of $7,500—to $23,000!

“I never dreamed we could do it, but we are thrilled God could use our family to help grow our church this way,” John said. “And the extra blessing is that we’re a stronger and better family for it.”

Not surprisingly, the suggestions were easier to come up with than they were to practice and maintain. Golda, John’s wife, admitted there was an initial period of adjustment for each member of the family, but added that things soon became easier.

“We came to discover that what we had thought of as necessities were not, after all,” she said. “Though it did take three months for us t o come to that realization.”

Struggle is part of the nature of sacrifice, but this family’s story illustrates what one family, firmly committed to its faith in God, can achieve through sacrificial giving to advance the cause of Christ.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have found if I give up donating to the church, I can have an additional $20,000 for fun!

Anonymous said...

And that should cover about half the pastor's clothing budget.

Nvrgoingbk said...

When I attended the Church Without Walls in Tampa which is pastored by Randy and Paula White, I would get naseous everytime they asked for money (which was usually about three times a service). The prosperity gospel is BIG there. Randy and Paula lived (they may still) in General Swartzkof's old mansion! I don't know what they drive now, but he has had a Hummer and she a Mercedes. They would always talk about there humble beginnings (barf)! In that church, if you were poor, it was because you just weren't giving enough to the LAWD! Every week there was some seed we needed to sow in hopes of seeing some financial, spiritual, or physical need met in our life. There were services where they danced on money and wore lampshades on their heads! They always had the most popular "annoited" "prophets" come and speak who delivered feel good messages about how the church was going to PROSPER in the year to come! THe most popular speakers and evangelists frequented the joint as well. This church is ROLLING IN MILLIONS OF DOLLARS and yet my best friend (who is no longer a Christian! Yeah!) who worked for their homeless ministry became homeless herself, because they wouldn't pay her and she lost EVERYTHING! She had to sleep in her car until my roomate and I found out and had her stay with us. She tried to never speak ill of that church and it's leaders until much later. You know, we aren't supposed to speak against the LAWDS ANNOINTED! Another one of their staff members who was a pastor and ran the marriage counseling ministry also left the church disillusioned and taken advantage of. He then started his own church. It was some eight years ago that I attended that church. Since then, they have accumulated more wealth and more victims. When is going to stop?!?

Deamond said...

Even if I was still a believer, I'd STILL rather keep the money.

Fuck the church, I'm gett'n me some DVDs!

I mean, seems to me, an omnipotent being would be able to CREATE as much money as he wanted IF he had need for money at all.

xrayman said...

As long as there are stupid asses in this world who are willing to give big bucks to church's there will be fucking asshole preachers willing to take full advantage. I remember when my family and I attended a local church several years ago(our family church life lasted about a month by the way), and I thought my wife was being just a we bit too generous with her offerings. There was no way any where near 10% of my hard earned money was going to that place. After a month of attending Sunday services I told my wife I was done. I told her my Sundays were for sleeping in. End of story. Even know I kind of believed in some kind of God for a while, I never bought into organized religion. I tried it. I didn't like it. As much as she seemed disappointed in me, she never went back to church again either.
I carpool with a guy who believes in God and Jesus and the whole nine yards, but he will not part with a dime of his hard earned money to any church large or small. He says God should not cost a penny, and that is true. Even I told him I don't feel it is wrong to give to your small local church, but he said to me, "Bullshit my friend, those local preachers are all driving Cadillacs."
Why oh why do people continue to support the lifestyles of wealthy preachers? Why?

Lorena said...

Admittedly, this church does not have wealthy preachers. They are paid a salary by the church board.

But even though I know that they will only use the money for "the lord's service," I wouldn't give them a penny. I would not contribute my money for such a useless cause.

What bothers me is the techniques they use. They write a little fiction story to tell the brainwashed people exactly what to do. It looks innocent, but in reality they are puting their nose in the intimate lives of these well-meaning individuals. To go as far as to suggest that kids give up their allowances is nothing short of ridiculous.

Mary said...

I don't know why God needs money, he doesn't have to buy anything. I mean he is "God" after all, why would he need anything so "earthly" as money? If God is so great he could just show himself to everyone and there would be no need for preachers, churches, missionaries, etc.

R. Shelby said...

If a Christian insists on giving money to a church, and that money is spent on hookers and cocaine, I see no problem. If the money is funneled to a political organization or campaign, I become nervous. In most cases the money ends up in Europe where the finest clothes, furniture and cars are made.

Chris said...

I think there are many churches that actually DO use the money for good causes; i.e. charities that build wells in africa or house homeless people in urban areas. Whereas I've rejected Christianity, I still believe in caring for the poor, and if jesus is the main motivation for that, great.

Lorena said...

I am sorry to disagree with you, Chris. But if your main purpose is to help the poor, then give money to organizations which help the poor without an agenda. Don't give it to the church which, while occasionally helping, will mostly use the funds to gain new converts—or spread their poison.

JeffXL said...

I strongly second Lorena's comments.

Give all resources that would otherwise be wasted on altars, organs, ritual toys, ad nauseum to people who need it!

It's disgusting that churches use charity only bring in new converts.

Anonymous said...

My friends, just feel proud that we opened our eyes and stop believing in ghost and a book that probably was intended to be something like the Odyssey by Homer but some nuts decided to make it a reason to kill, hate and disrespect other`s peoples choices and opinions. It`s funny though, I mean we should enjoy this kind of stupidity, it`s like watching a real life American Dad.

Nvrgoingbk said...

Actually Anonymous, The Bible was a plot by the Roman Govt. meant to scare the bejeebies out of people thereby controlling the masses. That's why over 80 other gospel writings about the life of Jesus didn't make it into the canonized Bible. Because they didn't claim Jesus to be God. The virgin birth, man-god shit was all borrowed from Mithras and other savior gods of old. The Romans were masters of disguise!

Regardless, they wanted control of the masses. Tell them they'll burn in Hell for not bowing down to their pagan man-god and they won't try to over throw the government and they'll pay for "indulgences". Burn anyone who disagrees with you and call them heretics or apostates and make an example out of them so that the other poor iliterate folk will be too afraid of the church and Jeebus to stand up. Make the "heretics" look like the liars, like their disobedient, and that you need to purge the church of such filth! That will keep the simple folks mouths shut in the future and it will keep the money rolling in.

The Protestant churches pride themselves in breaking away from Rome, but they haven't really. They still celebrate the pagan holidays, traditions, sabbath, etc. and they still warn people of the fires of Hell for non-conformity! That keeps people attending church every week and dropping money in the collection plate. That keeps pastors, ministers and priests from having to work like the rest of us.

Piprus said...

"...cause of christ" my ass!

How much more good would such a stewardship do if it were funnelled into programs that really helped people in the community. (This is a fictional scenario, right? Just meant to arouse guilt in parishioners who might feel they aren't "giving" enough?)

Knightley1 said...

That's lame, and why waste your time doing anything for the "cause of christ." Even as a xian, I never wanted to do that.