All posts tagged "Giving"

Divine Shelter Schools and John Waller!


Cross International has had the privilege of partnering with well-known Christian Recording Artist, John Waller (Fireproof Movie Soundtrack) to help raise support and awareness for the Divine Shelter Schools in Haiti. The schools provide educations and nutritious meals to devastatingly poor children. Check out some of the pictures from the trip! For more information on the Divine Shelter Schools, visit Cross International


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Live on half of what you make


From the Chronicle of Philanthropy: Richard Semmler, a mathematics professor at Northern Virginia Community College, in Annandale, works two additional jobs so he can earn enough money to give away half of his $100,000 income each year. In addition to his financial donations, Mr. Semmler volunteers with some of the charities he supports, including Central Union Mission, in Washington. In this video, he talks about his commitment to Central Union, which works with homeless people, and how giving at this level affects his way of life.


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Investing in people, not property


Rolling Hills Baptist in Fayetteville, Georgia, sold their building and property and moved their meetings into a local movie theater. Why? According to their website: …we’ve come to the conclusion that we want to invest more deeply in people rather than property. We’ve grown tired of investing more and more of our budget on mortgage, utilities, insurance, etc… at the expense of ministry and mission… In the first 300 years of Christianity there were very few brick and mortar churches. While “religious people” were building elaborate temples and houses of worship to celebrate their faith, Christians were spending their money supporting widows and orphans; meeting the benevolent needs of their community; and sponsoring the work of apostles and missionaries all over the known world. That’s the kind of church we want to be; a church of flesh and blood, not brick and mortar. Video below or here. Pastor Frank Mercer has a great post on his blog about what it means to be ‘missional’ which in part says: It’s not about how many people come to our church services – it’s about how many people our church serves. It’s not about our seating capacity – it’s about our sending capacity. It’s not about making decisions – it’s about being disciples. It’s not about building a monument – it’s about being a movement. It’s not about being an organization – it’s about being an organism. It’s not about keeping pace with the Joneses – it’s about keeping pace with Jesus. It’s not about competing for members – it’s about creating partnerships for mission and ministry. Your church doesn’t have to sell the building or property to be effective in service to others. What are you currently and purposefully doing to serve those outside the congregation? HT:  Catalyst


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Every day donors


From leaving a can of soup on the doorstep for collection by a local charity to logging on to the Internet and making a mini- or micro-gift, the small givers are drawing attention for their good works and their willingness to keep giving in a tough economy. …so says the New York Times.  Also: Americans have always been generous givers, and small donations have always played their part. After a tsunami devastated parts of southeast Asia in 2004, individuals in the United States donated $2.78 billion of the $6.2 billion raised for relief efforts — and the median gift was $50, the average gift $135. Yet multimillion gifts and lavish campaigns and events often commandeered the spotlight and the press coverage. “We are deluded by the attention paid to the large contributors in our country,” said Wendy Smith, author of “Give A Little: How Your Small Donations Can Transform the World.” “Small checks coming through the mail are the bread and butter for most organizations.” That certainly is the case here at Cross International. Thank you for praying and playing your part in caring for the poor.


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Two kinds of giving


Okay, just one more fine post from Dan Cruver & Together for Adoption. This is apropos for the Christmas season: At Christmas we should celebrate two kinds of gift giving, not just one. Christmas should be a feast of reciprocal giving in a circle of intimates, a provisional enactment of the advent of God’s future world. But it should also be a feast of giving to those outside the circle, a small contribution helping to align the world of sin and need with the coming world of love. The advent of the light into the darkness of the world is not the goal; it is part of the movement toward the goal. At Christmas we celebrate this movement. Gifts should therefore chiefly flow out to the needy; they shouldn’t largely circulate among friends. quoted from Miroslav Volf, Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace. How are you giving this Christmas?


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A solution to seasonal materialism


Struggling with the inherent materialism of the Christmas season? Here’s a simple solution:  Give an amount equal or greater than what you spend on yourself and family. In his farewell address to the Ephesian elders, the apostle Paul ended his address by saying, “And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”  And then he adds this: I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel.  You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” – Acts 20:33-35 Observe: 1.  Giving proves the authenticity of faith. Note Paul’s appeal here is not to his teaching but his deeds:  “I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel.  You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities…”  Essentially, Paul is saying, “Judge the validity of my life and ministry not just by what I’ve said, but also by what I’ve done.”  When we give without expectation to receive, our faith is verified as true to those observing. 2.  Hard work finds purpose when providing for the weak. Now this is not the only purpose of hard work, but it was certainly Paul’s intent here with his labor.  If we work simply to provide for ourselves, we are missing the blessing of giving (which is next). 3.  Giving blesses the giver more than the receiver. Paul quotes here a beatitude from the Lord Jesus not found in the Sermon on the Mount, but one with the same authority.  Matthew Henry says it well:  Giving “makes us more like God, who gives to all and receives from none.” If you want your Christmas: To authenticate your faith To provide greater purpose for your hard work To be blessed by God, Consider giving to ‘the least of these.’ Here’s an easy way to do so.


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Amy Grant, Matthew West & VeggieTales get it


This from USA Today: “What if December looked different this year? What if we all gave Christmas away?” That’s the refrain from the theme song of a new Christmas video from VeggieTales, the animated children’s stories that share gentle Gospel messages… VeggieTales teams up with Samaritan’s Purse for Operation Christmas Child this year: U.S. director Randy Riddle says that despite the recession, the ministry will deliver a record 8 million boxes worldwide, including 5.2 million from U.S. families, up from 4.9 million last year. Driving up the numbers, he says: singe Amy Grant crooning the theme song on radio and tie-ins with VeggieTales and the nation’s leading Christian retailer, Family Christian Stores. Singer/songwriter Matthew West was commissioned by VeggieTales to write the song “Give This Christmas Away.” Are you involved with Operation Christmas Child? What is your church doing this year to impact the poor ? Here’s an idea. Or how about a gift that glorifies? Photo cred:  Big Idea, Inc. View on YouTube below or here.


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Spending less, giving more this holiday


In the article titled “Spirit of this season: Be thankful, give more,” USA TODAY reports on the growing frugality and increasing gratitude of U-S consumers: “People will figure out a way to have a nice holiday with less,” predicts Karal Ann Marling, author of Merry Christmas! Celebrating America’s Greatest Holiday, a history of the holiday’s evolution. “It’s not so much a new austerity as a realization that we’ve been going overboard for a long time.” Would your church worship team would like to celebrate by helping a poor family overseas by simply presenting a song this holiday season? Click here for details to find out how.


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