7 posts categorized "Stewardship"

What About Tithing?

I stated earlier in the week that on Saturdays we will post relevant articles from our archives that will address common spiritually mismatched issues in marriage. This is a re-post from April 28, 2009. It remains true, relevant and powerful for the unequally yoked who yearn to tithe. Hugs, Lynn

******

For the next several Tuesdays we will be answering the questions left on last week's Open Forum. And we love your questions! So please feel free to ask more.

This week's question is from Amanda:

788824_dollar_bill"I would love to hear how you handle giving (financially) in a SUM. I don't think it would be accurate to say that my husband is an unbeliever exactly, but he is less inclined than I am to dedicate this life to living for God. The biggest struggle we have is regarding tithing and offerings- he generally feels that the 10% is an arbitrary number that has no bearing on modern life. Any thoughts on how to handle this is greatly appreciated!"

 

Lynn's Answer: Tithing: This is a controversial issue in any marriage but this is one area where unequally yoked couples tend to be at odds frequently. What does the Bible say about tithing? Let’s take a look.

Actually the Bible has much to say about money. Jesus taught us to use our money to influence friends.

Luke 16:9 (NIV) I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. 10"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?

He also said, Luke 12:48b (NIV) From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

There are many scriptures in the Old Testament which address tithing. Look in the first book of the Bible, Genesis: And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand." Then Abram gave him (Melchizedek, king of Salem) a tenth of everything. Chapter 14:20.

But I want you to remember, we live in the new Age. The age of grace given to us by Christ Jesus. We are no longer subject to the law.

With that said, the following scripture is what speaks to me about tithing:

2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV) Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

So how does this play out in real-life with our spouse. From my own marriage I can tell you that my husband can get worked up about tithing. Because of the years of televangelists pleading for money then misappropriating it, my husband has a jaded view of “giving to the church.” Can I get an AMEN?

And honestly, I can understand why he might feel that way. I have been careful not to push tithing as an issue in our marriage. I give a small portion of our income. Very small. So small that it does not create discord in our relationship. Do I feel bad about this or desire to give more? YES! However, I trust God to see my heart. He knows what I would like to do. More importantly He does not want tithing to become one more issue to drive my husband away from Jesus.

So, I give of my time. I volunteer in ministry. A lot! But not so much that I neglect our home, or him or our daughter. God honors this in our life.

What God really wants is not our money. He wants our heart. First and foremost. Period. The End.

Look at the scriptures below and discover what God really wants. Hint, it is not your checkbook. Be Blessed, Lynn

Revelation 19:7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.

Psalm 29:2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.

Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'

 

Dineen's Answer: Tithing is a very difficult issue to settle clearly, and I think Lynn's advice above is sound and the Scripture references are perfect. What I'm about to share is what worked for me.

About 12 years ago, the tithing issue came up big time in my marriage. I'd just recommitted my life to Christ and had joined a church I adored. And my precious hubby had made the decision for atheism. Talk about a couple going in opposite directions!

The tithing issue weighed heavily on my heart though. I wanted to do our part and worried what it would mean if we didn't. At the time I was reading a book called The Wonderful Spirit Filled Life by Charles Stanley. He tells you do this exercise where you write whatever decision you're grappling with on a note card or piece of paper. Then find a quiet place to pray uninterrupted. Ask God to make you absolutely neutral in this decision. Once you've prayed, tear it up, acknowledging your willingness to become neutral and continue praying until you are convinced you're neutral about it.

I wrote on a card that I would ask my husband what he felt we could tithe each month and that I would accept whatever he said. Once I'd prayed and felt I'd reached this place of neutrality, I went to my husband and asked what we could do. He told me a figure. Amazingly, I was fine with it. And though it was not the 10% I thought we were supposed to give, it was more than I'd hoped for. Every year since, I've asked my husband what he feels we can handle, and that's been the commitment ever since.

No, it's not 10%, but I know I'm honoring God and my husband by doing it this way, and that I can give in other ways as well, like using my graphic design skills and programs to do the church newsletter.

And as time has progressed, I've found that I'm the one tested in this. For example, roughly three years ago I started doing freelance graphic design work again. From the start I made the decision to tithe 10% of the extra money I earned. And my hubby was fine with it.

My income has slowly but steadily increased. When we've needed the money, the work has come in. When God had something more important for me to do, like take care of  my daughter when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor, the work literally stopped until the very last week of her treatment. I was faithful, therefor so was God. And you'll notice this had to do with me, not my husband.

So, Amanda, if we were sitting down with a nice cup of coffee and some girl-talk, I would tell you not to worry about the amount but the heart and motivation behind it. God wants us to tithe our resources happily as a way of giving thanks, and a reminder that we what have—money, skills, resources—are from his hand anyway. Ask your husband what he's comfortable with and honor it. That way he's not grumbling and neither are you. Then let God do the rest.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

 

*****

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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What Happened in 2013?

17430183_sMy friends, as we draw closer to our fast next week, I think it’s important that we look back and see what happened over the year. I love to look back at what I wrote in January before during our 2013 fast and see what promises and words Abba gave me came to fruition. And this year, I truly needed it.

Much has happened in my own personal faith walk. Abba gave me the word “worship” last year not just for me for our community too. Thus was born our Weekend Worship segments and worship has become a vital part of my faith walk this year.

But I felt like nothing had really changed in my family. Until I went back and read what Abba spoke to me last January. Two things stood out. The first one was about the word Abba gave me for husband—something He hadn’t done before.

That word was "prosperity" and came with a verse (Proverbs 11:25) that popped up many times over the year and even shifted in its relevance for us.

Let me tell you there were many times over the last year where I wondered if I’d heard right. We went through our roughest financial trial to date, and we are still recovering and will be for months. But to look back showed me that Abba did move and provide in stunning ways (even to sending the $80 I needed for medications) and opened a door for my husband professionally what will continue to open more and more over the next three years. It’s a slow process, which is exactly how it should be as we learn more and more about stewardship. Abba told me my husband would be blessed through me and that is exactly what has happened as I contended for my family this past year.

The second one my daughter Leslie helped me see. Abba told me in January that her verse for 2013 was Joshua 1:9 and that He would give her courage and strength. From my perspective, I hadn’t seen much of a change in her and have even despaired over it. Yet last week she did something stunning. She ran to Target the day after Christmas to exchange something—by herself. That may seem like a little thing but for my girl who struggles with anxiety, that was huge!

When I told her how proud I was of her, she told me she hadn’t had an anxiety attack all year long. Wow. Abba did give her the strength and courage SHE needed, not what mom thought she needed. And on New Years Day, she wanted to run to Walgreens and asked if anyone wanted to go with her. Tired lot that we were, all declined. She still went on her own and enjoyed her outing. Wow!

My friends, what about you? How has Abba moved in your life this year? And if you haven’t already, begin seeking Abba for what He wants for you in 2014. Write it down so you can go back next year and see it. Write down! I love doing this and even begin praying for my word in December so I am ready to hear it during our fast. This year before I could even finish my prayer, Abba rushed in and spoke it clearly to me.

Chosen.

Chosen, as it says in Ephesians 1, that we are chosen. When I heard this, my mind accepted it as I always have, that I am chosen by Jesus, just as you are. But Jesus wanted me to understand that there is more to this word than I thought.

I’ve always seen it as a broad word that applies to all of us across the board. But He said no, “this is not a one size fits all, Dineen. I chose you just as I created you—specifically.”

And then He impressed upon my heart that this is true for each and every one of us. True for all yet individually specific to each of us in the how, why and purpose.

So seek Jesus, my friends, for what He chose for you. Not just what you are to do to serve, but for your life and who you are. He also told me this would be a “Year of Intimacy.” I can’t wait!

6a00d83451ee9f69e20147e108e6bb970b
Tomorrow our very own Teresa T. will introduce us to our fast and has an amazing word for us each day next week. I’ve had the privilege to take a sneak peak and I promise you will be amazed at what Teresa has written for us. On day one she has a special gift for us that will bring you to tears so have a tissue handy. I bawled like a baby!

Get ready to be encouraged, inspired and loved by Jesus. Because He chose you. He CHOSE you.

My precious and dear friends, I can’t wait to meet you in the comments next week as we fast. I am already praying for you in many ways specific to what you have requested already and to what Abba has laid upon my heart. His love and passion for us is so deep and true and wide (Eph. 3:18).

Love you all so much!
Dineensig

 

 

Image credit: lenm / 123RF Stock Photo

*****

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A Tale of Prosperity

GodisFaithfulMy friends, I have some news to share and I’m so happy I can share it with you, especially since so many of you prayed for me and my family over our financial situation.

But let me start at the beginning of this God-filled story.

At the end of each year I begin praying for words and Scriptures for each of my family members. Then during our week of fasting here at SUM, I set time aside to pray specifically for each one and listen to what He tells me.

So, last January as I prayed for my husband, I heard the word “prosperity.” This is a word that can mean many things but in light of our financial struggles, which was part of my prayers, I felt this related to that. I kept an open mind though, because above all, I am seeking my husband’s spiritual prosperity, and I believe all of this is interrelated.

But even then, I questioned how this would be possible in light of my husband’s continued unbelief. Abba told me, “I bless him through you.”

And He didn’t stop there. He spoke to me about integrity through these Scriptures:

I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart. — Psalm 101:2b

As for you, if you walk before me faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, — 1Kings 9:4

I knew Abba wanted me to walk in this place of accountability and integrity as well, even though I hadn’t a clue what that would look like. But on that day on January 4, 2013, I prayed this:

Lord, I will walk in my home, in my life with integrity of heart and uprighteness. Let my heart be as Yours, Jesus, and my strength to be upright from You as well, Holy Spirit. In Your Holy Name, Jesus, amen.

Then just three days later, Abba led me to this verse:

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. — Proverbs 11:25

Little did I know how much worse our financial situation would become when we faced the loss of my husband’s job (A blessing since it wasn’t a place of integrity, and Abba opened a new door for him at a small start-up.), a wedding to pay for, and an unexpected ER visit that would bring us nearly to the breaking point. Perfect ground for Abba to come in and do miracles, right?

Well, yes, but not what I expected. I wanted Abba to come in with a big swoop and set everything right. He wanted to do things His own way so that His will would be accomplished as He planned and saw best. I can honestly tell you that though I’ve no doubt things were accomplished, as of today I only have a partial picture, because this story is still playing out.

And there were many days I wondered if I had misunderstood, days where I wondered how I would be able to pay for needed medications, pay bills, or keep food on the table. I’m still in awe as to how He did that, just enough to provide but not undo what our perseverance was accomplishing.

The waiting and the wondering have been the most challenging, as I’m sure you know. Many of us are in this place somewhere in our lives where we are waiting for God’s promise to materialize and save the day. And when conditions get worse, we find it harder to persevere and stand in place, because we wonder if we heard wrong or had we done something to mess things up. I’ve bought into that last lie a lot in the past.

And that’s what it is, a lie. Abba is not fickle with His favor, and from experience, I can truthfully say that sometimes the worst of a situation must be exposed before restoration can begin. Like an infected wound, the puss must be cleansed in order for healing to begin.

Now back to the good news. The start-up my hubby works for has been acquired by a large company and that is good for all concerned. This will enable us to recover slowly and even reach for a particular dream we have in our minds and hearts in about a year or so.

I love that Abba is doing this slowly so that we can continue to grow and be good stewards through all this as He continues to work in my hubby’s heart. I sense this is still a crucial time for growth and preparation for what’s coming down the road.

So, my friends, I hope this encourages you to continue to persevere and keep trusting God. If you feel your promise is delayed, ask Abba why. Above all remember that He does not withhold His good from us and if there’s something we’re asking for and not getting, He’s most likely protecting us or wanting to give us something better.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” — Matthew 7:9-11

Abba, I pray that You would stir our hearts and our spirits with wisdom to pray for your good gifts and give us the patience, endurance and perseverance we need in the time between our request, our thanks and our receipt of Your good and perfect gifts. Give us supernatural eyes and ears to see and hear Your presence every day. We love and praise You, King Jesus, and give You all the glory. Amen!

Love you all so much, my friends. If you have a prayer that you have been are carrying alone, share it and let’s pray for each other. Where two or three gather in His name...

Dineensig

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


What about Tithing?

For the next several Tuesdays we will be answering the questions left on last week's Open Forum. And we love your questions! So please feel free to ask more.

This week's question is from Amanda:

788824_dollar_bill"I would love to hear how you handle giving (financially) in a SUM. I don't think it would be accurate to say that my husband is an unbeliever exactly, but he is less inclined than I am to dedicate this life to living for God. The biggest struggle we have is regarding tithing and offerings- he generally feels that the 10% is an arbitrary number that has no bearing on modern life. Any thoughts on how to handle this is greatly appreciated!"


Lynn's Answer: Tithing: This is a controversial issue in any marriage but this is one area where unequally yoked couples tend to be at odds frequently. What does the Bible say about tithing? Let’s take a look.

Actually the Bible has much to say about money. Jesus taught us to use our money to influence friends.

Luke 16:9 (NIV) I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. 10"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?

He also said, Luke 12:48b (NIV) From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

There are many scriptures in the Old Testament which address tithing. Look in the first book of the Bible, Genesis: And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand." Then Abram gave him (Melchizedek, king of Salem) a tenth of everything. Chapter 14:20.

But I want you to remember, we live in the new Age. The age of grace given to us by Christ Jesus. We are no longer subject to the law.

With that said, the following scripture is what speaks to me about tithing:

2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV) Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

So how does this play out in real-life with our spouse. From my own marriage I can tell you that my husband can get worked up about tithing. Because of the years of televangelists pleading for money then misappropriating it, my husband has a jaded view of “giving to the church.” Can I get an AMEN?

And honestly, I can understand why he might feel that way. I have been careful not to push tithing as an issue in our marriage. I give a small portion of our income. Very small. So small that it does not create discord in our relationship. Do I feel bad about this or desire to give more? YES! However, I trust God to see my heart. He knows what I would like to do. More importantly He does not want tithing to become one more issue to drive my husband away from Jesus.

So, I give of my time. I volunteer in ministry. A lot! But not so much that I neglect our home, or him or our daughter. God honors this in our life.

What God really wants is not our money. He wants our heart. First and foremost. Period. The End.

Look at the scriptures below and discover what God really wants. Hint, it is not your checkbook. Be Blessed, Lynn

Revelation 19:7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.

Psalm 29:2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.

Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'


Dineen's Answer: Tithing is a very difficult issue to settle clearly, and I think Lynn's advice above is sound and the Scripture references are perfect. What I'm about to share is what worked for me.

About 12 years ago, the tithing issue came up big time in my marriage. I'd just recommitted my life to Christ and had joined a church I adored. And my precious hubby had made the decision for atheism. Talk about a couple going in opposite directions!

The tithing issue weighed heavily on my heart though. I wanted to do our part and worried what it would mean if we didn't. At the time I was reading a book called The Wonderful Spirit Filled Life by Charles Stanley. He tells you do this exercise where you write whatever decision you're grappling with on a note card or piece of paper. Then find a quiet place to pray uninterrupted. Ask God to make you absolutely neutral in this decision. Once you've prayed, tear it up, acknowledging your willingness to become neutral and continue praying until you are convinced you're neutral about it.

I wrote on a card that I would ask my husband what he felt we could tithe each month and that I would accept whatever he said. Once I'd prayed and felt I'd reached this place of neutrality, I went to my husband and asked what we could do. He told me a figure. Amazingly, I was fine with it. And though it was not the 10% I thought we were supposed to give, it was more than I'd hoped for. Every year since, I've asked my husband what he feels we can handle, and that's been the commitment ever since.

No, it's not 10%, but I know I'm honoring God and my husband by doing it this way, and that I can give in other ways as well, like using my graphic design skills and programs to do the church newsletter.

And as time has progressed, I've found that I'm the one tested in this. For example, roughly three years ago I started doing freelance graphic design work again. From the start I made the decision to tithe 10% of the extra money I earned. And my hubby was fine with it.

My income has slowly but steadily increased. When we've needed the money, the work has come in. When God had something more important for me to do, like take care of  my daughter when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor, the work literally stopped until the very last week of her treatment. I was faithful, therefor so was God. And you'll notice this had to do with me, not my husband.

So, Amanda, if we were sitting down with a nice cup of coffee and some girl-talk, I would tell you not to worry about the amount but the heart and motivation behind it. God wants us to tithe our resources happily as a way of giving thanks, and a reminder that we what have—money, skills, resources—are from his hand anyway. Ask your husband what he's comfortable with and honor it. That way he's not grumbling and neither are you. Then let God do the rest.

Praying and believing,
Dineen


*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Trouble ~ Transition ~ Tension

Today is our conclusion to the Love Our Neighbor series. Walking through this scripture has left me permanently changed. My heart for people softened. This series brought with it the Kingdom Assignment. God gave us a chance to practice kindness, and goodness. He gave us a chance to be the hands and feet of Jesus. He watched, as we loved our neighbor.

This series unfolded Matthew 22:36-39 and Matthew 25: 14-30.

I understand this command in a way I never did before:

Matthew 22: 36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

Our world reverberates with hate, bitterness, and broken dreams. When we give our love away a doorway opens. Kindness and compassion overcomes barriers, hatred, and anger.

It opens a door to share Jesus.

Today, right now in our country and in our world, doors are opening.

People come to know God usually through three circumstances; trouble, transition, and tension. The pressures of the terrible T's propel people to search for God. Our world is smack in the middle of all three. People are scared, they are in financial trouble, and tension mounts each day as we watch the nightly news.

Our opportunity is NOW.

From this day forward I will never be the same. I am going to live every day of my life, giving love away, opening the door for God. I will be obedient. I will be kind. I will live compassion. I will live for Jesus.

If we truly live in this kind of obedience, our unbelieving spouses, our children, our neighbors, the world will know there is a God and He lives and works in our lives.

Lord, this is my prayer for every reader who stopped here in the last few months. Let your Holy Spirit fill us so full, that kindness is in our every breath, love in our eyes, and compassion in our hearts. Let us live it. Let us be the door to share with this broken world the life-changing truth: OUR GOD SAVES! I ask this in the powerful, awesome, glorious name of Jesus, our Redeemer, and our Lord. Amen.

Please share with me what happened with your Kingdom Assignment. Whatever you did with your dollar is exactly what the Lord wanted. Don't judge it unworthy of mention. Allow the Lord Jesus to receive honor because you used God's money in some way to serve His kingdom. Write to me today a quick note. Please email me. You can read other's stories by going to the Kingdom Page through the link in the sidebar.

I am excited to see where the Lord will take us next. You should know I am always just as surprised by the Lord as you are when we walk through these journeys. Thank you for walking beside me. Your friendship, wisdom, and love are gifts I can never repay. But, I sure do tell my "Father" about all of you often. Have a blessed week, Lynn

*****

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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I was a Kingdom Assignment

788824_dollar_bill Little did Lynn know that a kingdom assignment was already brewing back in May. A dear friend of mine found a lost treasure in a parking lot—a wad of money. She let the store know she'd found something valuable and left her phone number to call if anyone came forward. One phone call would gladly bring her and the treasure back to its rightful owner. She went to the police, but they basically told her there was nothing they could do. So she prayed for the owner to come forward and continued to pray for their loss all summer long.

One night at the hospital, she came to visit us. She handed me an envelope with this wonderful letter telling me how she'd found this literal "manna from heaven" on the ground. And how God led her and her family to give it to us. I was so amazed to hear the story and shocked when I opened the envelope!

God is so good. I couldn't imagine why he wanted us to have it, but I trusted him to know best. And since it was his money, truly, I wanted to tithe 10% back.

Then I got Lynn's letter and my dollar bill. I prayed about what I could possibly do right now with that dollar. I remembered that tithe I had ready to give to my church, and then thought I could take it and add to my kingdom dollar since I technically didn't earn it and felt free to use it elsewhere.

So off my little envelope went today to a friend in need, a check and that dollar. Yep, I "passed the buck," so to speak. (Now how could I resist using that one?) She can keep it or pass it on to another person as God leads her.

The joy of this is knowing that through a blessing I could bless another—the whole point of why we are here! God blesses us so that we may be a blessing to others. He never intended us to keep it all to ourselves. He even asks us to share our struggles so that others can share those blessings with us and share in that comfort—what I and my family have recently experienced in abundance.

We are all part of God's Kingdom. And His Kingdom is within us all.

"The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you." — spoken by Jesus in Luke 17: 20-21

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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GREEN

Today I want to share an email letter I received from one of my dear friends. Her heart for God and His creation is apparent. The timing of this letter is perfect as Tuesday was Earth Day. Be Blessed, Lynn

HAPPY EARTH DAY FRIENDS!! LET’S GO GREEN!!!


"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth... God saw all that he had made, and it was very good." (Genesis 1:1, 31)

What better way than to begin my letter to you, my friends about an important Day and time in our Earth’s life. For several years I have made conscience efforts to change the way my family and I treat our Earth. After all it is the only longest living evidence of what our Lord our God has made for his children to inhabit. Knowing this day when we acknowledge and make ourselves aware of the value of our Earth, I have been thinking of what I would write to my children and to you about this year’s Earth Day. Therefore, this year I did something different.

I sat quietly and listened. I listened to the winds that have been blowing, to sounds of the leaves on the trees in my back yard, to water draining down the drains of my lawn, to the birds chirping to one another, to dogs barking at the wind and ultimately I believe in the wind I heard our Creator’s voice. His voice was showing me everything he had created and that yes indeed it was all good!

"If you follow my statutes and keep my commandments and observe them faithfully, I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit." (Leviticus 26:3-4)

So what can I do? Is what I am already doing enough? I hope we are asking ourselves these questions. I hope what I model to my children by the way I live and take care of our own little parcel of Earth they will learn to carry on these habits. Habits which I hope will help save the Earth for future generations.

Gradually over the last three years, I have switched all the lights in my house to CFLs – thank goodness CFLS come in all sizes and shapes now. So even my Dining Room chandelier has CFLs. I switched to Earth-friendly cleaning products by companies such as Shaklee, Seventh Generation and now even Clorox offers an Earth friendly product line. Using detergents that are high in concentration is a great way to save on the impact to our Earth. It helps cut down on the number of plastic containers that will end up in our landfills. These containers do not decompose.

Also, last year our newest addition to our routine at home has been two new trash containers in our home. Our family makes a conscience habit of separating our trash in the house by recycling. We have a can for paper, plastic, tin, foam and anything marked with a recycling symbol and number on it. Another can is for pop cans and bottles. The third can is for waste that we can’t recycle.

This year the newest thing I discovered is recycling my shopping bags. I know.... What a guilt I used to get about always throwing away these plastic bags. As a super busy mom I just didn’t have the time or forethought to put reusable shopping bags in my car to take to the store. Better still, I began to purchase reusable shopping bags. And, I remember to put them in my car to reuse and reuse.

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)
"The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers, the heavens languish together with the earth. The earth lies polluted under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse devours the earth; its inhabitants suffer for their guilt." (Isaiah 24:4-6)

It is up to us to teach our children how to save our Earth and give their grandchildren a safe and healthy Earth to live on. Our Lord our God has given us his commandments bazillions of years ago in the Bible reminding us to take care of the Earth and if we don’t, there would be consequences. Let’s just equate it to the Father telling us to Clean Up our Rooms or else! ;-) Isn’t that what we tell our kids?

There are so many ways we can make a difference to help make our Earth a better place to live and last for generations to come. I suggest starting slow. Do something that you know can be comfortable and easy for your family. Even if it is just shopping for products that have an earth-friendly sticker on them, organics for instance. Or maybe you just recycle your grocery bags? Heck screw in just a couple of CFLs. Chris and I have noticed in the three years we have been using them, we have saved almost $100 on our electric bill.

Well, I know this is a lengthy letter and I apologize. But I care about you and I want us to always be together on this beautiful planet. I hope you will consider what I have written and if you would like me to help you get started on ways to make a difference, let me know. I have many more ideas and ways that we use here at our home that I am sure we can find that one thing you can do to help save our Earth. :-)

I love you guys and God Bless our Happy Earth!

HAPPY EARTH DAY!!

Kerilyn

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