I {LOVE} Palm Sunday::to declare...

They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks,
and he sat on them.
Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road,
and others cut branches from the trees
and spread them on the road.
And the crowds that went before him
and that followed him were shouting,
Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest!

And when he entered Jerusalem,
the whole city was stirred up, saying,
“Who is this?”
And the crowds said,
“This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”
Matthew 21:7-11
With the Sunday Community at Lisha's #GiveMeGrace


Still Saturday::a purpose for all of life...

Oh give thanks to the Lordcall upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!

Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!

 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!

Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually!

Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
his miracles and the judgments he uttered,

O offspring of Israel his servant,
children of Jacob, his chosen ones!

Sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Tell of his salvation from day to day.

Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!

For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and he is to be feared above all gods. 

For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.

1 Chronicles 16:8-13; 1 Chronicles 16:23-26

Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday

Still Saturday::Undone together...

In the relinquishing of independence, I discovered community. My brokenness gave me connection, relationship. I thought asking for help was an admission of weakness. 
Instead, I discovered it a declaration of strength. Like King Jehoshaphat, it was the laying down of my crown that I finally found my place. 
Our God is a refuge for the broken, not a shelf for the display of the shiny. No more pride for those who have it all together, or shame for those who don't. 
Only stripped-bare humility, crowns on the ground. Together.
Michele Cushatt, Undone - A Story of Making Peace with an Unexpected Life 

Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday

Still Saturday::like a child...

A child has no platform,
no achievement.
Instead, a child must depend on another
for all that comes to him.

Jesus calls me to mature childlikeness
not an adult who still exists on milk,
needing another to feed her,
but a meat-eating child
who lives in joyful dependence on the Father.

Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday


On learning contentment and cheerful giving...

I’m ashamed to admit this.

When my husband and I were married in the fall of 1976, and I moved into his apartment near the university where he was a student, I brought an $800 credit card debt with me. According to an online calculator, $800 in 1976 would be almost $3400 today.  Among other character flaws, my credit card debt was a reflection of undisciplined spending habits.  

My husband wisely assumed responsibility for our finances. He closed that credit card account after paying it off and established a budget that kept us from spending more than we had coming in – a practice we continued after he graduated from college and our family and income grew.

Though we kept our spending under control for most of the first ten years of our marriage, we never considered including charitable giving in our budget. Neither of us was raised in homes where tithing was a priority, and we didn’t attend a church that emphasized tithing as a spiritual discipline. Our giving practices consisted of placing whatever discretionary money we might have in our wallets at the time into the offering plate as it was passed.

Eight years into our marriage, our budget and standard of living reflected our above average combined incomes, but shortly after the birth of our son Casey and buying a new home, we decided that I should resign from my position as a nursing administrator (with a salary greater than my husband’s and benefits that included a car) to stay home fulltime with our 3 boys – a decision that required drastic changes in our living and spending habits.  

A few weeks later, we were still adjusting to living on less-than-half our previous income when we were convicted about our nearly negligible giving habits. Convinced that tithing was a matter of trust and obedience, we prayerfully decided that in addition to the other changes we were making in our living standards and spending practices, we would begin tithing our gross, before taxes and deductions, income.  

Over thirty year later, it’s a decision my husband never failed to doubt or honor – even when it wasn't easy and often looked impossible, if not foolish, on paper. 

What We Learned From That Decision to Tithe

Tithing acknowledges that we are stewards, not owners, of whatever God has entrusted to our keeping (Deuteronomy 10:14). God owns it all. Tithing whatever we have been trusted to steward demonstrates that we are just conduits of giving a small portion of all that belongs to God.

Stewardship requires accountability (Matthew 25:14-30). We are accountable to God for how we use whatever He has given us. It has motivated us to live frugally, creating margins in our budget that we can not only tithe but be able to give beyond the local church to various charitable organizations and to meet the needs of others as we are led.

Because of that accountability, tithing has caused us to be more thoughtful members of the church. We have intentionally covenanted with a church we believe will use the tithes and offerings of its members for Kingdom goals to the glory of God – knowing that they, too, will be accountable.  

Tithing has been a refining discipline that has consistently brought impurities in our hearts to the surface – revealing our bent toward coveting and selfness as we learned to be content (Philippians 4:11).  

Tithing has been a matter of obedience – not because God needs our money, but because He loves us and wants us to trust in His Sovereignty and His perfect design and will for our lives – knowing that it will teach us more about His character, prove His faithfulness and increase our trust in His provisions.   

Tithing may have been birthed out of a sense of duty, but it grew to be a joy and a privilege. “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7 ESV) Tithing has been a catalyst to becoming cheerful givers.
Perhaps the tithe can be a beginning way to acknowledge God as the owner of all things, but it is only a beginning and not an ending.
Do you have a tithing story you can share here, or at The High Calling Share Your Story post linked below?

This post is part of The High Calling’s Share Your Story: Tithing Community Link-Up  Tithing graphic by Cindee Snider Re. Design by Jennifer Dukes Lee.