By Barbara Macczak
The end of the year is quickly approaching. To date, we have been blessed with more than $155,000 in Pledges. As Allen Moyer has presented, we must examine our hearts to determine what soil we are most like. We should ask: What is my heart like? Where will my heart lead me as I consider how best to use my money and my talents, essentially my gifts from God?
Please read these thoughts from Kim-Marie Coon. When I read this, I was reminded of Matthew 13:16-17. “But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
When I Said I Wanted to Start Tithing
by Kim-Marie Coon
When I said that I wanted to start tithing, someone asked me if I was tithing on my gross or on my net income. Well, net… I don’t actually get the other part; the government gets it. Then they asked me if I wanted to be blessed on the gross or on the net. Dang.
That is a surprisingly hard question. Of course I want to be blessed on the gross, but I don’t want to have to give up any more than I have to. It’s mine. I need it. Then just as I was fretting that answer, a check came in the mail. It was a refund from the IRS six months after tax day. It seems my accountant dropped a zero on my withholding. The difference in what I owed and what I paid was substantial.
Now the question became more pressing. Do I want to take money from a God who blesses me, or do I want to send it out and bless others with it? Do I want to take the grace God has shown me and show it to others, or do I want to hoard it for myself?
To me, this is what the parable of the sower is saying when it talks about the seed thrown on the bad soil not sprouting into grain. We’re the soil, God’s grace is the seed.
Some people don’t even notice God’s grace when it’s been given – those people are the hard path, the grace gets carried away without ever making an impact.
Some people notice, but don’t acknowledge that it’s from God: “Well, that was a lucky break!” Those people are the rocky ground. Something sprouts, but not enough to take root in their lives.
Some people receive God’s grace, but don’t reflect it out into the world. “I deserved it, you don’t.” Those are the sprouts that get choked out by the weeds of the world. God says I should know better, but the world says I earned it, it was for me and me alone.
Then there are those who receive the grace of God and feel every tiny seed of that blessing. God has given me a good life. I love my life and I love my God. God would want me to share some of my blessings with others as he shared those blessings with me. Those are the people who bless the world “one hundred, sixty or thirty times as much.”
God looks out for me. I feel every tiny seed and I want to be the fertile soil in which it grows. Pledging isn’t as hard as it seems. I have mine set up automatically so I don’t even notice that it’s gone. I don’t have to write a check. I don’t have to think. I don’t have be tempted to take it back because it’s mine. It’s not mine. Everything I have been blessed with was a gift from God. All I have to do is give a little of it back.