Giving. I do.
Giving frequently. I try.
Giving intentionally. Ughhhhhh……
That’s the focus of an upcoming challenge called The 30-Day Giving Challenge. Blogger Kingdom First Mom has challenged her readers and other bloggers to spend the month of November contemplating and practicing intentional giving. Alyssa told her readers that she had been thinking lately about how to truly focus on the name of her website Keeping the Kingdom First. “After all, those who put God’s Kingdom first in their lives should naturally be seeking ways to bless others as much as possible, right?”, to quote Kingdom First Mom.
Recently at Alyssa’s church, the pastor finished a sermon series about Matthew 16. He said that generosity is one of six key factors in being a Christian. He then went on to suggest a 30-day challenge:
Spend 30 days with a journal in your hand. Try it for the next 30 days and see if I’m not lying. Take a journal and just jot down everything you give. Every time you find yourself being generous, write it down. Every time you feel prompted by God to give something you never would, or why would I buy THAT many cookies… from the Girl Scouts. I don’t know why, God just gave you the prompting to do something special for somebody! Write it down.
And then write down on the other side every time something comes back to you. Every time the cycle gets completed. Do it for 30 days, and you’ll never be the same again. You’ll never look at giving the same way again.
Jesus invites you in on the “Kingdom Dynamic”. You don’t have to be afraid to give in the Kingdom! I would imagine the anxiety about money- trying to keep it- is a real anxiety. You’ll start to be just utterly amazed at the freedom that comes to you from money… when you start being generous.
The light bulb hovering over Alyssa’s head suddenly started glowing brightly as she put her recent thoughts together with the pastor’s challenge. November, with 30 days, is coming up and Thanksgiving is included in those 30 days. Seems like a great match-up.
Your giving does not have to be monetary. You could share your time, your listening ear, your gently-used clothing, your service to someone hurting or lonely. Giving your child or grandchild a gift of your undivided attention, writing someone a note or phoning a friend to let them know you are thinking of them might be one of your strengths. Take inventory of your talents and gifts and share them. Be deliberate. Be intentional. Be generous.
I have accepted this challenge and will be blogging from time to time during the month of November. I’m not sure if I will talk about myself and my giving experiences. To be honest, I don’t what those posts will look like. We’ll see as November progresses. If you would like to join in this challenge, leave a comment and let me know. Then check back in with me during the month by email, lonestarlifer(at)gmail(dot)com, twitter @lonestarlifer, or Facebook if you are a friend. Leave giving ideas here to help other challenge participants as they look for ways to be generous. And listen to that voice inside of yourself when it prods you to do something outside your comfort zone. It could be You-Know-Who directing your path and inspiring you to a life of intentional giving.
If you are on Twitter, feel free to use the official hashtag for The 30-Day Challenge so we can all follow along with your giving adventures:
Bloggers can also grab a clickable badge for your sidebar or posts if you wish. The code is under the button on Kingdom First Mom’s sidebar. If you are a blogger and will be writing about this on you blog, Alyssa will have a Linky on her website November 1 so you can link your blog with all the others who are accepting the challenge. You can also RSVP to the event on Facebook.
You +God +this challenge can change someone’s life in November. Isn’t that exciting?
Matthew 5:14. Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:38. Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.
Matthew 5:48. In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.
Matthew 10:5. Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge: “Don’t begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.
All writing property of LoneStarLifer 2009.