If you've got a nickel---

If you've got a nickel or two, or just got your income tax refund and want to give a portion of it to causes of God's kingdom, here's some suggestions:

1. Send Jeremy to Poland. If you're generous, you could give him $8 to get him back! (If you don't use facebook, click here to get to Jeremy's webpage at the UAM BCM)

2. If you are able to make a monthly commitment, maybe since you paid off some debt with that tax refund (woo-hoo! no car payment for the first time in 9 years!!!!), go here: www.biblesunbound.com. This is an excellent time to get involved with a new ministry in your life. Why? Well, while some people are giving up Facebook or the Internet or blogging for Lent, I learned something from Mr. Belotti, one-time director of bands for Jacksonville High School. His church encouraged folks to give up something temporarily for Lent, but to also take on some form of ministry during that time, and keep it up. So, as we contemplate the coming celebration of the Risen Christ, can you imagine a better way than by putting Bibles in the hands of people that can't get them any other way? No, me neither. {By the way, Ann and I are doing China-Good News 1 as our project, because we wanted to involve our kids in physically mailing the Bibles. When we're able to sponsor more, we'll take on sponsoring Bibles into North Korea or Egypt, those are projects that only require your gift.}

Why do I want to hit you with these things now?
Well, now is better than later.

And should you tithe on your tax refund? No. You should have tithed on your income to begin with, which is what you make before taxes. Your taxes are just like any other bill, only your employer holds them out for your convenience (nothing like legal enforcement to be convenient). So, your tithe is 10% of your pay. Your take-home pay is your pay after your first bills are paid. Just because President Obama pays his heat bills from it before you pay yours, you still are being paid the 'gross' and not the 'net'.

So, if you are getting a refund of your no-interest loan to the government, you've already tithed on it. What you give now is an offering, based on your gratitude for God's provision. So, give back out of consideration of His grace, not penny-pinching the smallest percent possible. Is 10 % a good place to start? Sure is. But don't limit yourself.

And if you are getting a refund greater than what you paid, you really ought to give out of gratitude.

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