Oh, my, but it’s been too long since I’ve written my “more or less” weekly column! My last one went out some six weeks ago. Where does the time go?
Since we’re still at the front end of 2018, I was wondering about what encouragement I could share. Then this thought came to mind: Let’s make 2018 the Year of Living Generously!
Honestly, I don’t think that will be much of a stretch for most of you. I was so very encouraged by your faithful financial stewardship throughout 2017. This past year proved to be one of, if not the, best year for financial giving since I have been your pastor. We ended the year over $13,000. in giving over budget! Let’s keep that going as we step up to meet the mission and ministry increases we approved in our 2018 budget.
You also gave generously and sacrificially to all our many mission appeals that occur around the end of each year. Whether it was the Christmas Card Fund, Covenant Kids Congo, or Crafty Angels, your generosity was exemplary. Thank you.
Several days ago, I was chatting with Erik T. (who I like to call simply “E”) and he mentioned to me how he felt our church had really good “generosity radar” (my way of describing what Erik had observed). “E’s” (Erik ‘s) take was that whenever a need was made known in our congregation (or even among just a few in our church), it would always be addressed – with timeliness, graciousness, creativity, humility and generosity. Erik’s right.
Erik’s comments also reminded me that generosity shows itself in so many other ways than giving money. It also includes giving genuine concern. Taking the time to listen really well. Lending a helping hand. Bowing in prayer with a brother or sister in need and then texting or calling them later in the week to see how they’re doing. Sending a “I’ve been praying for you” note.
All these things and more contribute to a generous lifestyle. And a generous lifestyle is a joyous life.
So though it may not be much of a stretch, let’s make 2018 the Year of Living Generously! And when you see someone being generous, give them a good word by saying “Way to be G!” (Generous, of course!)