Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Pajamas

Christmas 2007

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2008


Christmas 2009


Christmas 2014
The pictures are not in order. I wanted you to see the difference. It just so happens that each year we switched sides. I need to be more mindful next year and remember to stand to Amanda's left.

Saturday, December 20, 2014


I heard part of this song yesterday. But enough to know that I needed to hear the whole thing. Amanda looked it up last night and it is my new favorite Christmas song.

Tomorrow we light the fourth candle of Advent. We have been celebrating this season EVERY SINGLE DAY. That's huge for me because I am not consistent with anything I do. I usually have a good start with something for a few days, maybe even longer but then I fizzle.

We have stuck with the gym in case you were wondering. Our one year gym anniversary was in October. We were super lazy that month because Curtis and Amanda were working on the weekends a lot and EVERYONE seemed extra tired. But enough about that...

Advent... coming or to come.

It is celebrated with the four Sundays prior to Christmas. My childhood church did not celebrate this nor did anyone I know/knew growing up. Not every faith celebrates. Some Catholics do. Some don't. Some Baptists do. Some don't. So I am not sure about the specifics on that. My current church does celebrate Advent.

I might have said that I started last Christmas. And in my mind I did a pretty lame attempt at it. This season has been different. Better. More thoughtful. I believe this book is the reason.

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas  -     By: Ann Voskamp

I highly recommend it for next year. (Someone I know found it at Sam's Club!)

It is so colorful. The story is written as if you are to read it to a child. But it's not childish.

I have been reading her devotional first (during the day). Then I read the illustrated book to Amanda and Daniel.

The Greatest Gift: An Advent Devotional   -     By: Ann Voskamp

Then I ask Amanda and Daniel questions about the previous days while pointing at one of the pictures on the front. I believe the goal Ann had was to have the children re-tell the lineage of Jesus through the stories and pictures. Brilliant.

And Amanda and Daniel are not perfect. Daniel will say "that's the ram in the thicket." But doesn't always get the names correct when I ask him about another picture... "Tell me about this one. What were the names of the 2 women in the story?"

I always ask what the candles represent and they have to tell me the color and the correct order.

Our Advent lesson doesn't last more than 15 or 20 minutes each night. I have to say that in the last 19 days they have not grumbled about doing this.

(I am always ready in case they do, however. In my mind, this is my response....Oh you can play Xbox for 3 hours but you can't read with me for 15 minutes? You can watch make-up videos for 3 hours but you can't take 15 minutes out of your time to talk about Jesus?)

But I am blessed that they haven't pulled that on me so I haven't had to pull that on them!

Also, we have been giving out a "thought to ponder" each day to a different neighbor. I have three more neighbors left.

So how are you making this season different? Special? Without Christ there wouldn't be a holiday to celebrate. Is He part of yours?
Merry Christmas.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Advent Begins Today

Ann Voskamp's "The Grateful Christmas Project" has inspired me. Last night I was on Ann's blog and it occurred to me that tomorrow is Advent. I was so not prepared. Last year was my first attempt to celebrate Advent. I did not grow up with this concept. It was all new to me. This year I had hoped to do better. To at least be prepared, ha ha. No.
I was downloading all of the free stuff that I could. I didn't even have candles for my wreath. (The ones for last year melted in the attic, yikes!)
As I laid in bed last night I felt the tugging at my heart to connect with my neighbors. There are 17 families on HOPE road. I know them all (in passing). I know a few better than others. But I always have that 'want' to know them better.
So instead of just reading the "sticky notes" I decided to attach them to a sweet treat and hand them out.
I worked on this little project for several hours on and off. Then I read "December 1"

I am waiting for you, Lord
I will not let December become
about making a production -
when it's simply about
not missing You, Lord.
Miracles happen whenever I look
for shoots of Jesus' love everywhere -
because this grows deep roots
in Jesus' love for everyone.
Oh, we can't give that out tomorrow night. We have to give that out tonight so they can start their day with that little prayer. So Amanda picked a neighbor, who happened to be out putting up lights, and we walked to their house. I small talked for just a second. What is her name, I asked Amanda? She said, I don't know but their little boy is Nicholas. Oh well. I guess it doesn't really matter what her name is right now. I will ask another neighbor. (I am bad with names but good with faces).
I pray that these Sticky Notes for the Soul will encourage and inspire my neighbors. Make sure you check out Ann's blog for TONS of great ideas to keep your focus on Christ this season.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Duck Commander Devo

This was the devo that Amanda and I read this morning. Maybe this is why "they" don't teach the gospel in public school. Daniel's 7th grade History lesson on the rise of the Catholic Church has two sentences under the heading Christianity. The word Jesus appeared twice. TWO SENTENCES!


For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. Romans 1:16

"THERE IS POWER in the message of Christ. Never doubt it. It not only changes your life, but it changes the lives of the people around you. When they know where you came from and the change the gospel has made in you, they have to realize it took divine intervention to do something like that. That's what gives  you the ability to not be ashamed of the gospel!"


Father, help us to proclaim You and what You did for us. Help us to be humble and to realize it's not about us but You. In your precious name, Amen.

I can't wait to see this guy next month on the K-Love Christmas Tour.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Growing Up

Amanda and I try to do a quick devotion before she runs out the door each morning. She gets up at 4:45 am and leaves at 6:30 am. Ideally, I would like her to be in the kitchen at 6 am for breakfast and devotions. Sometimes it's more like 6:15. The girl is ALWAYS LATE. She was born three weeks early and has NEVER been early since. Her famous line is "Hold On". It will be time to go somewhere, we open the front door and she says, Hold On! Then disappears upstairs for a hairbrush, lippy or some something.

Anyway...we either read from Jesus Today by Sarah Young or The Duck Commander Devo. Today this is what we read from Sarah Young:

        My place is a soft, soothing pillow for your weary head. Pry your mind away from plans and problems so you can rest in My healing Presence. Whisper, "I trust You, Jesus," while you relax - body, mind, and soul - in My protective Presence. If anxious thoughts try to intrude, give them over to Me with thanksgiving. Be grateful that I understand everything about you and your circumstances; also, I love you eternally and take care of you continually. Instead of pondering your problems, let these precious truths renew your mind. They will set you free.
         As you refresh yourself in My peaceful Presence - trusting and thanking Me - I go to work on your behalf. While  you stay in communication with Me, I show you the way forward. I may open up a way that previously seemed blocked, or I may take you along a new path altogether.
After I finished reading the bolded words, Amanda said Uh Oh! Amanda tried out for her first musical on Tuesday. This morning call-backs were being posted. Amanda was nervous. I was confident.
         Remember that you are never alone in your struggles. You have a Helper who is infinitely powerful, tenderly loving, and wise beyond all understanding. So rejoice!

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:4-7

At 8:15 I received this text:

No callback be home at normal time

I had tears in my eyes. By 8:40 I was bawling. I had Proverbs 3:4-5 going through my mind over and over:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths".

However, I didn't feel any better. I text a few of my girls. You know those girls. The ones that always know just what to say when you need to hear the right words.

Amanda didn't get a callback for the musical which means she didn't get a leading part. I am destroyed!

The wisdom from my one friend was absolutely perfect:

"People will forget what part  you played in the musical, but NOT the part you played in their life."

Awww yes. He knows our name and this is all His stage. Do you know that song? Amanda and I listen to it if she makes it down stairs by 6 am. Then we have worship AND devotions.

Love THIS song so much!

My other sweet sister asked me why I was destroyed. I explained that I was once again on the edge of my pit called Disappointment. It took my heart about twenty minutes to catch up with my brain and seriously process what was going on in my heart. Our negative emotions can be traced back to something. Once I soften, I confessed that the disappointment really was rooted in pride. I felt that she deserved something that was not necessarily God's thought.

Once I confessed my pride, I was able to really believe the scripture, Proverbs 3:5-6, and know that God has something else in mind for Amanda.

When Amanda got home at 2:45 pm, I asked her how she was. She said fine. She understood that her singing was right on but she doesn't have the acting experience needed. I asked her if she was upset and she said no, why? I told her I cried. She said "awww". Ha ha.

I do a lot of things wrong. I react in an explosive manner often but today, I recognized that for me to call myself a mature Christian I needed to act like that and give it to God.

Let me close with the words from another current favorite, Jeremy Camp, He Knows.



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Things that make me crazy!!!

I have mentioned the shoes in the middle of the floor already but...

THE SOCKS! I finally kicked them to this out of the way spot.
These were in the bathroom. I kicked them in to the hallway.

You do not lose brain cells when you have to change this!

And of course, Amanda's room!

This is her clothes couch. Yes, there is a couch underneath.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Coupons Don't Work For Me

I know people who are "coupons-ers". They spend over $100 and only pay $20 for it. I have attempted to use coupons but they just don't work for me.

I am not super organized. That is a necessity.

I do not have the room to store a "stock pile" of items. That too is a necessity.

I primarily shop the perimeter of the market. Boxed and canned items are a necessity.

We get all of our pork and meat from Rohrbach Farm. This is a my good friend's family. The don't use any hormones. They are grass fed. The pig (Hamlet) is a 4H project of one of the grandchildren. The pig has been massaged! We know where our stuff is coming from. It might be pricey to some but it is peace of mind to us!

OK, I inventoried my cabinet. That's another thing that many will gasp at. I only keep what I use. We don't live an hour away from a grocery store. I don't NEED to keep a stocked anything...frig, cabinet, pantry.

I currently have:

  • Half a box of lasagna noodles
  • A jar of store brand spaghetti sauce (no sugar in the store brand). It is also $1.00
  • Four cans of assorted beans
  • One can of corn
  • Two boxes of spaghetti
  • Two packs of tortillas (no sugar added)
  • A box of soft and hard taco shells
  • One box of Kraft Mac & Cheese
  • Two cans of Beef-a-roni

Uh, yeah that's it.

Here is my meal plan for the week:

  1. Burgers
  2. Chicken Quesadillas
  3. Pasta with meatballs
  4. Pork (not sure what yet. Maybe a roast in the crock.)

I plan only four meals because if there are left overs then it's Fend For Yourself night.

I like to have pizza on Fridays. There is always some left over because Daniel isn't a big pizza lover.

I want everyone to eat breakfast. I would love if they would have a bowl of boxed cereal. I grew up on Fruit Loops, Frosted Flakes and Cookie Crisp. The children have never been in to it. They might eat boxed cereal twice a month. I have frozen chocolate chip waffles in the freezer. They have been in there for weeks. Yogurt. On occasion. It's hit or miss. Sometimes Daniel will want a sausage & bacon sandwich on a mini-bagel. Sometimes. I can get Amanda to eat scrambled eggs. Curtis likes to eat "the healthy" stuff (ha ha, it's all filled with sugar) like Basic 4. I will buy it occasionally. I like Kashi Cereal. The ones I eat do not have added sugar but they do have "cane syrup". Kashi has coupons also!

I eat scrambled eggs, steel cut oats or a smoothie for breakfast.

Here is my grocery list:

Bananas (for spinach smoothies. We have plain Greek yogurt and fresh spinach already in the frig.)
Bread (Nature's Own has sugar but doesn't have the High Fructose Corn Syrup)
Cheese Sauce for Amanda. (Hoping to find a coupon for this).
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Shredded Taco Cheese
Creamer (for Curtis. I don't use flavored creamer PLUS it has trans fat in it). Coupon item.
Dryer Sheets (coupon item).
Dish Liquid (coupon item).
Eggs (Not sure if I can get a coupon for these babies).
Snack bags (coupon maybe?)
Limited snacks

Snacks. Let's talk about snacks. My children have no self control. If I have them they will eat them. I hide them and they find them. I have resorted to hiding food in my bedroom. I am totally and completely serious. The only way to stop them from eating themselves in to oblivion...

the state of being unaware or unconscious of what is happening

 ...is to NOT have it in the house.

They both are allowed to pick one salty and one sweet. That is four snacks.

Daniel has said that he wants TWO salty snacks. He will pick Doritos (MSG, eww gross but so good), Funions (I won't even dignify my opinion on that), Chex Mix, Pringles/Chips and Pretzels.

Amanda wants crackers and cookies.

Last week the snacks were Chewy Chocolate Chip, Pretzel Sticks, Club Crackers and Doritos.

I think I can find coupons for most of the snacks they like.

I used the snack bags to divide out the lunch portions and then what is left goes on the snack "spinner". If they decide to eat everything on Monday then "oh well".

I won't buy ice-cream if it is more than $2.50 a carton. Redners has been having a wacky sale of something like $2.34, so we stocked up. Everyone gets their own flavor. And again, if you want to eat it all on Monday then "OH WELL".

I will never have big savings because I never have big orders. My goal is $50 a week. That's just a goal. I never make it but it's something to shoot for.

Coupons just don't work for me for food items.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

First Day of School

Seventh Grade & Eleventh Grade

Daniel's traditional grumpy face


Awww, nice one.

Goofing around.

Sixteen already!

Close up

Boldly speaking the Gospel



It's always about the shoes.

I have 12 photos of Amanda.

Twelve years old!

This is a must have pose.

I have 8 photos of Daniel.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Last Day of Summer

Sky Zone, Chick-fil-a and Heartland re-runs. It was a great day!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Marital Wisdom from Lysa TerKeurst

Psalm 37:23-24 New International Version (NIV)
23 The Lord makes firm the steps
    of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall,
    for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
From Chapter 15 - Does Victoria's Secret Make Flannel PJ's?
Lysa did an assessment of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 first. Then had this to say about marriage:
Make no mistake, Satan does not want your marriage to succeed. He wants you to fail. He wants your marriage to be another statistic. He wants to keep you from treating each other with kindness and love. He wants to get between you any way he can. Why? Because he knows if he can break up families, he will hinder the kingdom of God. The family was God's building block for all of earth. he began with one man and one woman. He placed them together to accomplish His purposes.
All marriages are bound to face trouble at some point. Chances are, your marriage has already faced trouble, or will face trouble in the future. You may have read this chapter with deep sadness in your heart. You might be thinking, My marriage is too far gone for that. Please don't give up. Turn to the God of hope with the future of your marriage.
We faced trouble in 2001.
And 2002.
And 2008.
And it almost ended in 2010.
Romans 15:13New International Version (NIV)
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit
Remember you are not fighting the battle for your marriage alone. God wants you to succeed. He wants to give you the victory. You need only to join Him. Here are some verses to inspire you.
Exodus 14:14   "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
1 Samuel 17:47    All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
2 Chronicles 32:7-8 
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.

There will be times when you feel like giving up. You will not want to work on your marriage and will despair of ever reaching a place of confidence. When that happens, let these verses encourage you to work at your marriage and to stand firm in your convictions:

1 Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Colossians 3:23 

 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters

God loves you. He loves your husband. He brought the two of you together for such a time as this. You can chose to press forward with God's help or give up and give Satan the victory.


My prayer is that you will choose to stand - and someday have an amazing testimony of God's faithfulness.

And I do!

He can work a miracle in your marriage.

We are proof of that!

In the meantime, I want to challenge you to pray for your marriage. Pray that you would be able to see your husband as God sees him. Pray that he will be able to do the same for you. Pray that you both will be able to see beyond your selves. pray that you will be able to humbly submit to God's will for your marriage. Write down a prayer for your marriage today. Use any Scriptures God lays on your heart. Commit to pray daily for your marriage, and wait expectantly for God's blessings when you do!

My verse is 1 Peter 3:1 but I like all of chapter 3 in first Peter.

Click Here and to listen to Love is not a Fight by Warren Barfield.

Monday, July 28, 2014

On-Line Bible Study

Lysa TerKeurst says in “Am I Messing Up My Kids?”… “Maybe you’ve felt a little frustrated with the shoes scattered about your home. But the next time you pick them up, instead of letting frustrations whisk you away, listen carefully to the story they tell. Listen carefully and thank God for each and every evidence of life.”

I can relate.

Amanda got the speech today. "Do I have to remind you to do every single chore each day and then stand by while you complete them? Write it down. Write it down."

Yes, I said it twice.

It would be wonderful if my two children and one husband would use the designated shoe basket by the front door.

But they don't.

I get frustrated. Often. Dirty socks also accumulate in the living area. I guess they want to live too.

Here is a picture of the three pair of shoes that didn't quite make it to their home.


Daniel had on sneakers to ride his bike

He wore these today when he went to the beach.
Then I took a picture of the shoe basket (near the door mind you) and the shoes in it. I picked them up with a happy heart tonight.
"The chores and tasks seem endless. Here is my choice: Will I complain and worry? Can I find joy in this? These are gifts, sweet mamas. Jump up and down and sing praises to God. Because all this MESS is evidence of beautiful life in your home!" Kristy Aiken

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Week Six - Saving & Giving

We only have one more class. I use Mint which tracks all of my spending (except cash of course). At the top of the credit card page there is a notification that says:


This number is from January 2012. I saw that and immediately became angry. I have paid the credit card company almost $500. For what? For letting them let me use/borrow money. I was outraged and immediately paid the card off.

I am vowing to not pay any more fees. Please hold me to this statement.

I said to Amanda, "Today marks the 5 millionth time we have paid off the credit card".

It's sickening!


The first part is taught by Brenda:

Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps

  • $1000 to start and emergency fund.
This is to pay down debt before you actually have the Emergency Fund.

  • Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball (explained in Week Five)

  • Then 3-6 months of living expenses.
           a. liquid assets (money market or savings account)
           b. this is for emergencies only
           c. once used pay it back as soon as possible

  • Invest 15% income into Roth IRA & pre tax retirement
          a. Max IRA contribution is $5,500
          b. Max 401K is $17,500
  • College funding for children
We started saving in 1997 when we found out we were expecting. I think we are one of the very few.

Parents, you may have mixed emotions about funding this for your child/children. But this is NOT OUR responsibility.

  • Pay off the house.

We have four more years on our 1997 mortgage.

  • Build wealth and GIVE.

How to Protect What God Has Blessed You With

  1. Life Insurance
          a. If there are people that depend on you, you should have it.

I insisted upon it after my father died. We didn't have it until 2011. It's $134 a month for the two of us. Definitely affordable.

         b.  Base amount is 10-20x annual salary.

     2. Health Insurance

          a. This is one of the biggest causes of bankruptcy.

          b. If you can't afford a traditional policy, consider a catastrophic one.

    3. Home

         a. Renters insurance is super cheap

         b. Home owners: make sure you are covered for replacement value.

That is something I will have to check on tomorrow.

    4. Car Insurance

    5. Remember our trust is NOT in insurance but in GOD.

        a. He is ultimately in control.
        b. We are called to be faithful stewards (with His money).
        c. God CAN and WILL provide.

NO HOMEWORK! Next class is on mortgages, retirement and investing.


The second part is taught by Pastor Joe

Biblical Giving and Combating Greed
1. The challenge is how to build wealth without getting greedy.
Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Luke 12:15
a. The purpose of "wealth" is:
  • to meet needs (food and clothing)
  • to bless
You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God." 2 Corinthians 9:11
b. The snare of wealth is the more it increase our wants start to be defined as needs.
2. The antidote to greed is generosity.
Yes, there is a difference between giving and being generous.
What keeps us from giving? Unbelief, insecurity, pride, idolatry, control, power, jealousy, etc.
"Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." 1 Timothy 6:9-10
3. Developing habits that foster generous living:
    a. Learn and practice contentment.
"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it." 1 Timothy 6:6-7
"Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share." 1 Timothy 6:16-17
     b. (Re) define what being successful is.
"Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions. And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’" Luke 12:15-17
      c. You don't have to be rich to give!
As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:1-4
Ask yourself:
How much is enough?
Who is successful?
"Generosity" has little to do with how much you give and more to do with:
  • why you do/do not give
  • how much you kept back to yourself.
       d. Often will have the element of sacrifice:
"And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you[a]—see that you also excel in this grace of giving." 2 Corinthians 8:1-7
        e. Look for opportunities (greedy people find reasons not to give).
        f. Every act of giving is to GOD FIRST. (100% of our money belongs to Him anyway).
       g. Knows the difference between a hotel and home.
We don't rent a hotel and buy a big screen TV and new furniture to decorate our temporary home. This world, too, is our temporary home. Are we storing up riches?
"All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth." Hebrews 11:13
 "Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them." Hebrews 11:16
"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ" Philippians 3:20
4. "Tithes and Offerings" when I am working through my debts?!?"
  • Old Testament "tithes" was not 10%. It was 23 1/3% + offerings.
  • Is there a difference between Old Testament and New Testament? Yes.
  • Is New Testament giving more or less than Old Testament? Yes
Jesus has filled all OT laws. But He has elevated them.
"But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises." Hebrews 8:6
"Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem." 1 Corinthians 16:1-3
"The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea." Acts 11:29
"Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:7
In Context:
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
    their righteousness endures forever.”[a]
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!" 2 Corinthians 9:6-15

Questions and Recommendations

  • When it comes to tithes/offerings, is your question more about how to give the minimum and get away. Or are you looking for ways to give more?
  • Do you know to live in grace (versus guilt, shame, fear, etc.)
I am learning! Thank you, Brenda and Joe!!!

  • Give first to God.                                            It's between you and God
  • Give in faith.
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver". 2 Corinthians 9:6-7