Tuesday, July 15, 2014

10%?

I'm about to talk about something that makes people really uncomfortable.

Money. 

Are you starting to wiggle in your seat???  Look, here's the deal... I know that money can be a very controversial topic, but stick with me for just a few minutes and I hope I can convince you that it's definitely not a conversation to be afraid of. 

When Nathan and I got married he surprised me by announcing on day one that we would be tithing 10% of our income. It wasn't that I disagreed, I just didn't know that it would be such a priority to him. Amazingly, tithe was not a topic that we had addressed in our six week pre-marital counseling class that we did THROUGH OUR CHURCH. Why not???  It seems like that should have been one of the prime topics, after all isn't money one of the most common sources of strife in a marriage?

So needless to say I was grateful that we were on the same page and agreed to make tithing a priority. And in the nearly fourteen years of our marriage it has always been that way. In times of want and in times of plenty... our first fruits have gone to the Lord. And can I tell you that we have never once found ourselves in a desperate situation where the Lord has not provided, mostly in very unique ways that prove that they could only be by His hand. 

Like the time that we had recently moved from an apartment to a condo in a better neighborhood so that Beau could have neighbors to play with, and in doing so had increased our rent by $900 a month.  We were a couple of months away from making our last preschool and car payments which would make it all work, but for those few months things were TIGHT.  Super tight.  Then one day I got a check in the mail from a surgery center where I had had surgery TWO YEARS EARLIER because our insurance had apparently paid more than they had expected.  The check was just enough to get us through.

Or like the time that we were drowning in credit card debt, most due to fertility bills, and after years of playing the 0% game {transferring balances from one credit card to the next to avoid interest} the economy had tanked and the offers that had once come daily were no longer available.  Our monthly payments were increasing to the point of insanity and I was losing sleep worrying about how we were going to make ends meet.  And then my father-in-law {who is not a believer but was nevertheless used by the Lord}, who had no idea what was happening other that that we had "some" debt, offered to loan us the money to pay it all off, which cut our monthly payments in half and allowed us to actually pay off the debt.

Or like the time that we were matched with Penelope on a Thursday and told that they were inducing her birthmom on Friday and we had four days to come up with $24,000.  And we had just closed escrow on our house and maxed ourselves out.  And then in one five-minute phone call to our bank on a Saturday morning we were approved for a $24,000 loan and told that we could have access to our funds on Monday morning.

Every time the Lord does something like this for us I am reminded that when we are faithful with our money, He will always provide.  It is like Lysa TerKeurst said, "What you put in the hands of Jesus you never lose."


I tell you all of this not to brag or pat ourselves on the back, but to encourage you that the Lord will provide for you too.

I was talking with my friend Robyn the other day and she was telling me that she heard a pastor say once that if you haven't been tithing, don't get hung up on 10%.  The Lord is more interested in the condition of our heart than our math skills.  He wants us to be generous givers, and that doesn't have to mean 10%.  For some people it's more, for some people it needs to start out as less.  Robyn said her pastor suggested to start with 1%.  1% isn't daunting.  Then the next year make it 2%.  Then 3%.  Once you are in the habit of giving and are seeing the Lord's provision... suddenly 10% isn't scary.

Is 10% too impossible for you???  JUST GIVE GENEROUSLY.

Do you have to give all 10% to your church?  JUST GIVE GENEROUSLY.

Is it 10% of your gross income or your net income???  JUST GIVE GENEROUSLY.

Recently I was introduced to the ministry of Ekubo.  Ekubo is run by my IG friend Christie Magera and her husband George.  They live in Uganda in pretty dire conditions by my standards, caring for their 14 children {2 bios, 12 adopted} and 21 foster children, running a school, a clinic, and a children's home.  They are stretched thin and live off of money that Christie spends everyday fundraising.  A few months ago they had an immediate need arise and Nathan and I felt called to help.  Before doing so we researched their ministry a bit to make sure we agreed with what they were doing.  And you know what we discovered??? They are doing the work of the Lord.  They are literally being the hands and feet of Jesus and ministering to the least of these.  Quite frankly, they are doing the work that this high-maintenance gal is grateful that I have not been called to do.  It's dirty.  It's scary.  It's hard.  And they are doing it with almost no monthly support.

Ekubo Children's Home is currently operating on monthly support of 6% of their monthly need.  And yet the Lord continues to meet their needs.  But friends... Christie is wearing thin.  She needs to focus on the great needs at hand, and not spend all her time fundraising. 

Nathan and I feel called to this ministry.  We believe in what they are doing.  We care about orphans and so do they.  So we have decided to support them monthly.

Maybe you feel a burden towards Africa and orphans and this ministry as well and you would like to help.  Christie did not ask me to do this, she didn't know I was doing it until I had to ask her for the code to her PayPal button, but I have been burdened for this ministry and I want to help.  So I am holding a good old-fashioned pledge drive right here on my little blog.

Ekubo Children's Home needs $5,000 a month to function otherwise they will have to start turning children away, or worse yet, close the home. Can you help me meet this need?

Is the Lord calling you to be generous with your giving???  Even just $5 a month would make a difference.

But maybe you could afford $10 a month???

$25?

Maybe the Lord is calling you to make a sacrifice and give $100 a month, and Ekubo ministers to your heart also?

Please pray about helping me meet this need.  If you are married, talk to your spouse about it.  Pray together.  Read Ekubo's website and follow their IG feed to get a better understanding of this amazing ministry.  And if you decide that this is a place that you would like to stretch your giving and test the Lord {because this is the one place that He tells us to test Him}, please click on the link below and then check the box that says "Make this Recurring (Monthly)" and commit to supporting this ministry in an ongoing way.{PLEASE NOTE: You will need to do it from a computer to get the monthly option.}

I will have Christie update me on the pledges and I will post a button in my sidebar updating the giving.  I would love to get their $5,000 monthly need met!  Wouldn't that be awesome to rally for the Lord and fill this need as a community???

Click here to pledge your support!
Support Ekubo Children's Home






I believe strongly that we all have burdens that the Lord places on our heart for specific purposes.  And we aren't all called to the same purposes, otherwise there would be no balance in our world.  So if African orphans are not the passion of your heart, then find a different place to give. Do not feel guilty if this is not the ministry you feel called to.  There are so many wonderful ministries out there and they all need supporters like you and me.  Find one that ministers the passion of your heart and give there. 

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