Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bling it Forward

Our church started a new series today called "Becoming the Boss of Our Bling", learning how to control your finances and honor God with your money. Definitely something I could use right now! Anyways, the pastor told the story of the parable of talents in Matthew 25:14 - 30. The basic gist of the story is that a wealthy man went on a very long journey and told his servants to look over everything while he was gone, including taking care of his finances. He made a very interesting point. He said that the man who went on the journey did not GIVE them everything. They were just supposed to look over and manage things until he came back. God has given us the same responsibility. HE has given us our "bling"...our stuff: houses, cars, clothes, etc. It does NOT belong to us. We are supposed to manage it in a way that honors HIM until HE returns! HE is like the CEO and we are the CFO. HE has given us the awesome privilege of managing our stuff to bring HIM glory. After a sermon like that, you would expect most pastors to take up an offering and tell everyone that the right thing to do is give money.

OK...here's the really cool part!

They passed the offering baskets out, but this was a reverse offering! The pastor told us that the staff had gone to the bank and withdrawn $10,000 in different amounts and put all those bills in envelopes. There were ones, fives, tens, and twentys and 4 100 dollar bills! We were to take an envelope. The church was giving us money!! Here's the catch: we were not allowed to give it back to the church or spend it on ourself. We had to give it away to someone else and we had tell about our experience on blingitforward.com. How cool!! I was SO excited and couldn't wait to think of how I was going to spend my money. I was so eager when the basket came my way. My sister pulled out $5, my bro-in-law pulled out $5 and I pulled out.......$20!! I was thrilled!

So now...here's the challenge: what do I spend it on?!?! If you have any cool ideas let me know!

But we're not done yet!! The other cool thing was related to tithing. The pastor shared the scripture in Malachi 3:10 that says "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!" So, he challenged us to tithe to Mountain Lake for the next 3 months. If, at the end of the 3 months, God had not provided for our needs (not wants!) Mountain Lake would refund 100% of what was tithed! How crazy is that?!

Normally, you might leave a sermon about money feeling depressed at how in debt you are or defeated b/c you know you're not managing your finances the way you should. And even though I, by no means, have a handle on everything, I left feeling confident and hopeful. God has truly blessed in more ways than I could ever say and I just pray that my decisions would bring honor and glory to Him.

7 comments:

oh amanda said...

How cool, Stace! I'm trying to think of something cool...

dbz said...

I have the perfect thing! Go to www.kiva.org. You can read more about Kiva on the site, but basically, you lend your $20 to a small business in developing countries. You get to pick the person you want to loan the money to. They pay the loan back in 6-12 months and you get updates from the business you've sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back, and you can choose the next person to loan the money to!

Becky said...

By the way, dbz is me. It wouldn't let me post!

Kat said...

Wow! Your church GAVE you money! You don't hear about things like that everyday!

Cindy said...

Staci, That is awesome! I love that message and the staff's ideas. I want to hear what you do with the $20!
Are you settled at this church?

Brandy said...

Very Cool! Someone i work with, her church did that last year. Can't wait to hear what you do with the money! Hey, that loan thing is cool that Becky mentioned.

Wanda said...

Hi Staci! I found your Simply Staci blogs today and was curious so I looked around. I visited your church page and read what they had done with the Bling it Forward. I also read the comments from the $ recipients, it just blessed and encouraged me to do the same. Thanks for sharing with us!!

By the way, you are a FABULOUS AUNT and Happy Belated Birthday! Sounds like it was MARVELOUS!!

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