Sunday, November 17, 2013

Gift Giving is One of My Love Languages

Linda loads groceries for food pantry.
Guest blog by Linda Grinnell

I learned about tithing and giving as a child, and gift-giving is one of my love languages – how I express love. I love the Lord, my God, with all my heart, mind, soul and might, so tithing or giving offerings and sacrificial gifts to God are not difficult for me.

Steve and I have been a part of Baptist Temple for almost 33 years. When we moved here from College Station, we felt this was where God wanted us. This is the church family with whom God would have us worship, study His Word, grow, and do ministry. We believe in what God is doing here and are committed to helping to make sure the Gospel continues to be preached and that people’s physical and spiritual needs are met. We wholeheartedly support the Heartstrong for CHRIST! campaign. Having celebrated BT’s centennial a couple of years ago, and learning about the diverse ways God has used this church to share His love in the past, we are excited about what God is doing here now and His plans for future ministry here. We must make sure the buildings and parking lots are maintained and repaired so that God can continue doing ministry in this location.

In 2003 Steve and I purchased a second house down the street from our home. We first rented it to our daughter, and later to our son. After our last renter moved out we began demolition of a bathroom and the kitchen with the plan to remodel the house, move into it, and then sell or rent the house in which we currently reside. Our plan for the “second house” – the one we decide to sell or rent, was going to be the source of money we would use to buy a new car and put the rest of the money in a retirement account.

Steve and I have been praying and discussing and praying some more about how we can give sacrificially in such a way that God will be pleased. We don’t make a lot of money – we are not rich monetarily – but during these past few years, when many people have lost homes to foreclosure, I have marveled at the way God has provided us with the resources to pay two mortgages and pay down (almost pay off completely) our credit card debt along with staying current on all the other bills – you know – groceries, utilities, etc. I believe God has provided and protected this investment, the second house, for the purpose of this campaign. We are not sure exactly how this is going to work out, but we have pledged what we believe to be an amount that we would have spent on a new car. This is a huge step of faith for both of us, but I am excitedly anticipating that Steve and I will experience multiple miracles to make this happen.

With regard to the First Fruits Offering – my first thoughts went to the account given in Exodus of a time when God instructed Moses on how to build a tabernacle (Exodus 35 and 36). I always thought it was so cool that people brought their jewelry (as well as other items) as an offering to the Lord for his Sanctuary. I don’t have a lot of gold, but I do have silver and turquoise jewelry that I would be honored to give as an offering to my God. As some of you know I’ve been showing my paintings and drawings this past year. I offered to God that if He will bring buyers for my art, I will give the money to Him for this campaign. Steve has sold a go-cart and will be selling a motorcycle as a part of our first fruits offering, and we have other items we are planning to sell. We are both so excited about God’s future plans for Baptist Temple!

God revealed Himself to me at a very early age, and as I grew, I learned about tithing and giving by watching my parents. I am grateful for God’s provision and protection throughout my life, and I am grateful for this opportunity to show that I am Heartstrong for Christ! by giving sacrificially to this stewardship enrichment campaign.

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