Hilarious Generosity

The Giving seasons are upon us. First we’ll focus on the Giving of Thanks. Then we focus on Giving Tuesday. And then there is the great push, pressure, panic of Christmas Giving. I wanted to share what God is  brewing in my heart about His kind of giving.

Giving of Thanks. Sunday at New Wine Church we just released God Stories. My heart was so full after spending time bragging on our strong, healing, loving Father. Be sure to spend some time with someone you love and count your blessings. I mean it. Make a list and say them out loud. So good for your soul.

Giving Tuesday.  I have an abundance of ministry emails and letters flowing into my inboxes. My own letter is going out shortly. There must be a better way to navigate all the needs.  Here is one thing to try. For every “asking” letter we receive, or social media fundraiser we read, let’s stop and pray for that ministry. Each group really does need the fullness of Holy Spirit to do what they are doing.

Christmas Giving. Maybe, just maybe, the Grinch had it right. “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store.”

I have been pondering what it means to… slow…down… a… bit… and let the Spirit teach us about how to be generous.

One of my favorite passages on giving comes from 2 Corinthians. The whole chapter is amazing. But for now let’s look at verse 7.

“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7


This word fraught with freedom. We get to choose. Decide. Determine. We get to decide: who is important to us, what issue is moving us, who is feeding our soul and spirit, who is in need?    Obviously God cares THAT we give, but He also cares HOW we give.

Not Reluctant or Under Compulsion

“You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” NLT

God loves a person who gives cheerfully.  Let that sink in.

Are we more concerned about how we look? Do we feel guilt or pressure to give?  Or, are we motivated by love for the One who loves us, and loves that we give willingly, happily, trustingly, even cheerfully?

We love it when our kids share happily and cheerfully. I think God loves it when His kids do too.

Here is the beautiful equation about generosity. We give because God gives. We give because we trust God to refill our cups. We give because it pulls us out of unhealthy Me-syndromes. We give because we know that God does miracles with our two fish and five loaves.  We practice “hilarious generosity” because it reveals that we are overflowing with the same hilarious abundance that God has.

What do we give?

Money. Sure it’s a real thing. Giving can be a real thermometer for how well we are trusting God financially. No shame here. Just a reality check. It all comes from Him. And He never runs out. So do we feel the freedom to share our money because we know God will replenish? Just sayin’.

There are other resources that God asks us to share as well.
• Our God stories. They are like seeds that reproduce once they are shared.
• Our food, clothes, possessions can be shared. Do we really NEED all that stuff?
• Our wisdom and skills. Others may need what we carry but we have to be willing to share and to sacrifice the time, effort and comfort to give to others.
• Hope. Peace. Grace. Love.  More than cheesy Christian-ese these are tangible resources that we store up and give away to others.

I keep hearing in my spirit, “Am I willing to be hilarious generous all these things?”

Everyone is tapped out during the holidays. So it makes me question if we’re tapping into the overflow of Heaven and giving out of His abundance.

“Yes, God is more than ready to overwhelm you with every form of grace, so that you will have more than enough of everything—every moment and in every way. He will make you overflow with abundance in every good thing you do. “

Listen. I get the squeeze. I am just really confronted with “God loves a cheerful giver.” So what if we give a little less out of obligation and pressure but we give a whole lot more with honesty and hilarity?

Here is more of this passage out of the Passion Translation. Enjoy it. And ask the Spirit how you are doing with generosity. May all your Giving Seasons be full of cheer and overflow.

Hilarious Generosity

Here’s my point. A stingy sower will reap a meager harvest, but the one who sows from a generous spirit will reap an abundant harvest. Let giving flow from your heart, not from a sense of religious duty. Let it spring up freely from the joy of giving—all because God loves hilarious generosity!Yes, God is more than ready to overwhelm you with every form of grace, so that you will have more than enough of everything—every moment and in every way. He will make you overflow with abundance in every good thing you do. Just as the Scriptures say about the one who trusts in him:

Because he has sown extravagantly and given to the poor,
    his kindness and generous deeds will never be forgotten.

10 This generous God who supplies abundant seed for the farmer, which becomes bread for our meals,is even more extravagant toward you. First he supplies every need, plus more. Then he multiplies the seed as you sow it, so that the harvest of your generosity will grow. 11 You will be abundantly enriched in every way as you give generously on every occasion, for when we take your gifts to those in need, it causes many to give thanks to God.

(Quote from Dr Seuss book The Grinch)

Glorious Riches and Great Power

Last night in WGR Class we talked about  the WHO of God and the WHY of God from Ephesians 2. (We are Going Somewhere this semester so I invite you listen or watch class to be able connect the dots.  The recording will be posted shortly.)  God has glorious riches and great power for “those who believe.” And what’s His purpose? That we might “know him better.”  This is God’s objective. He wants to show up and show off for you so that you will have confidence in WHO He is.

You will never believe this real life story I got this morning as Evidence of Believing. It is from Laura Jones in California.  Oh the adventure of God.

“So I just wanted to share Whitney’s story – one of the gals I asked you to pray for yesterday.
This woman left a mission she was on, gave up a serious relationship, and decided to follow the Lord’s call to Deeper School. She had all the money she needed for the full year’s schooling and a bit extra. Then God asked her to give it all away. And she DID.
Her gift kept a ministry from folding and left her with just enough for this month’s rent and her last two bills. Nothing at all for school. Just Jesus. And she came to California anyway, knowing that she would not be allowed to start classes without her payment. But God had told her to come.
Yesterday we went to register. Still no money. Yet she had total peace. She knew God had brought her here – even if it was just to be with the students in our house and spend time with Him – and she trusted Him to provide and make it clear if she was to be in school.  When she stepped up to the desk, she simply stated that she didn’t have the money. As expected, they kindly told her she had a few weeks and could still join the class later, but she had to have the money before she began.
Whitney was still fine. But I pressed her – “Did you tell them the story?? It may not change the outcome at all. You may still have to wait to start. But at least they will know how to pray WITH you. They’ll know you weren’t just blowing them off after they set boundaries.”
Whitney had to go to work, so I went back to tell her story. On the way, I met one of the other students and we stopped to pray in agreement that the Lord would give back to Whitney.  The staff were glad to hear what was going on and said they wanted to talk with her. They weren’t sure how it would work out, but we all wanted to pull Heaven’s resources down on her behalf and see her come!
We all prayed. Another student dreamed the Lord gave Whitney great wealth. And we waited.

Today, the school agreed to let her come to classes for a bit and see what the Lord brought in. Not half an hour later, someone donated $2000 towards her tuition! Enough for the first half of the payment plan and then some!  God is so, SO good! He is so faithful.”

Jesus you rock our world.  Lead us Spirit into “revelation and wisdom” that we might know You better.  Amen.

Fountain Springs Community Church presents an Unhindered Encounter

Join Us for a two day event.

A candid conversation about how we’ve formed our definition of beauty, what it is costing us emotionally, how it effects our choices in relationships, how porn poisons our perceptions and how God has more than pat answers to offer to all of this.

Its a powerful weekend to be washed by Truth.

March 18th, 7:00pm – 9:30pm

March 19th, 8:30am -1:00pm

Ticket includes a goodie bag, snacks and two days of teaching.
($20 in advance and $30 at the door.)

To learn more about the Unhindered Encounter click here.

Does Jesus Matter in Life?

Does it really make any difference if we are Christians when we are facing real life circumstances?

I wonder if the average Christian truly has any expectation that the presence of God will actually impact the situations he or she is living through. And I also wonder, do we lack expectation because we lack faith?

Right now in my circle of life, there are all kinds of car issues. Our old van is more and more refusing to go into reverse. Laura’s transmission gave up the ghost all together. Shimmi just got hit with huge auto repair bills. On top of these needs I have loved ones facing foreclosure, facing medical debt collectors, and using roofing loans to pay for groceries.

Does an eternal Jesus matter in these concrete issues?

My mind goes to the Narnia stories by C.S. Lewis. Lucy was the first of four children to experience the all together Other Reality of Narnia that was far more real than their everyday England. And over and over people would doubt, malign or question the reality of Aslan, the great Lion who was the True King of Narnia. And over and over, Lucy looked for Aslan. She asked for Aslan. She hoped for Aslan.

And over and over, Aslan showed up in the most surprising ways. Unpredictable yet unchanging. I am learning to believe that if you never have need of a god, you are doomed indeed. It is in those “God I am hopeless unless You show up on my account” moments that we see we need a God, and we are not God. I think this is a good thing. And God is happy to be God for us. I think this is the best thing.

In one Nania scene when all seems lost, Aslan remarkably shows up, to which Lucy remarks, “You came!”

“Of course I came. Did you question that I would, child?” Aslan asks.

Lord give us Lucy hearts. Teach us to look for You in the hardest of moments with hearts of faith. And teach us to wait expectantly for Your appearing in our hard places.

“You surround them with your favor as with a shield.” Psalm 5:12