An American Express survey about Christmas gifts found that fruitcake was chosen most often (31%) from a list of “worst” holiday gifts. It even finished ahead of “no gift at all.” When asked how to dispose of a bad gift, 30% of those surveyed said they would hide it in the closet, 21% would return it, and 19% would give it away.
After World War II, two families were waiting in line after a church service to greet the pastor. The church was preparing to build a building at that time.
The first family in line said, “Pastor, as you know, our son was killed in the war—we would like to give $200.00 as a memorial gift.”
The second family said, “Pastor we were going to give $200.00, but our son came home—we’ll give $500.00.”
The story is told that a man died and went to Heaven. He was met at the pearly gates by the apostle Peter who led him down the golden streets. They went past mansions after beautiful mansions until they came to the end of the street where they stopped in front of a shack.
The man asked Peter why he got a hut when there were so many mansions he could live in.
Peter replied, “I did the best I could with the money you sent us.”
W.A. Criswell told about an ambitious young man who told his pastor he’d promised God a tithe of his income. They prayed for God to bless his career. At that time he was making $40.00 per week and tithing $4.00. In a few years his income increased, and he was tithing $500.00 per week. He called on the pastor to see if he could be released from his tithing promise for it was too costly now. The pastor replied, “I don’t see how you can be released from your promise, but we can ask God to reduce your income to $40.00 a week, then you’d have no problem tithing $4.00.”
Brother Kuykendal was a pastor in Texas when H. Z. Duke, founder of Duke and Ayers Nickel Stores, asked him if he believed in tithing to which he replied that he did. Mr. Duke then asked him if he practiced tithing. He answered, “No, I do not. I believe in tithing, but I cannot practice it. You see, I have thirteen children at home. Every meal fifteen of us sit down at the table. I receive only $125 a month, $1500 a year, as salary. I have to maintain my own horse and buggy for constant traveling.
Two men were marooned on an island. One man
paced back and forth like he thought it was the last day of his life, while the
other man relaxed and appeared unconcerned. The first man said to the
second man, “Aren’t you afraid? We are about to die.”
“No,” said the second man, “I made a $100,000.00 commitment to our church building fund. My pastor will find me.”
“I have heard people say that they will not sign any pledge—not even to give a certain amount of money—because they might not be able to fulfill it. May I say to you, if you buy a house, or anything on which you are to make payments, they are certainly going to make you sign on the dotted line. I don’t know why people can sign up for everything else in life, but they are afraid to sign up with God. My friend, if you mean it, sign up with Him. Oh, how many folk have failed Him, but He is gracious. If we mean business with Him, He means business with us.”—J. Vernon McGee
Many people believe that they would be more generous if they had more money. According to Forbes there were 946 billionaires in 2007 and they gave an average of 1.2% of their income to charitable causes. Be generous with whatever amount of money God has entrusted to you.
Source: Leadership Magazine, Fall 2007
The disease cirrhosis of the giver was discovered in A.D. 34 by the husband-wife team of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11). It is an acute condition that renders the patient’s hands immobile when he is called on to move them in the direction of his wallet or her purse, and from thence to the offering plate. This strange malady is clinically unobservable in such surroundings as the golf club, supermarket, clothing store, or restaurants. Some try to use a fake remedy, pointing out to other patients that income tax deductions can be claimed for giving.
Blake Seybolt delivered pizzas to help with his college expenses. Once a seven-year-old boy came to the door to pay for the pizzas carrying a check in one hand and two one-dollar bills in the other. The boy pocketed the bills and presented the check to Blake which was in the exact amount of the bill. Blake asked, “Could that have been the tip?”
The boy responded, “Yep, not bad for just a walk from the living room and back.”
Sometimes Christians act that way with the money that God wants them to give to others.
Henry Crowell contracted Tuberculosis as a boy. After Hearing D. L. Moody preach, he prayed, “I can’t be a preacher, but I can be a good business man. God, if You will let me make money, I will use it in Your service.” He later started the Quaker Oats company and consistently gave 60-70% of his income to the Lord’s work.
Source: The One Year Book of Devotions for Men on the Go, Stephen Arterburn, Pam and Bill Farrel
On the Sunday that a church was supposed to make their giving commitments, the organist fell sick so a substitute was brought in. The pastor gave her a schedule of the service and asked her to think of something to play during the commitment time. At the scheduled time in the service, the pastor said, “I want anyone who is committing $1,000 to the building fund to stand up.” The organist immediately began playing the “Star Spangled Banner.” And that is how the substitute organist became the regular organist.