Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘charity’

charity

Americans gave more than $358 billion to charities in 2014, an impressive number when you consider our economy. As a nation with stagnant salaries and rising cost of living expenses, $358 billion is quite a hefty sum, a figure that represents an incredible feat of generosity, one that deserves a deeper look.

When you dig into the total by category, you find that religious organizations received the most donations. Religious groups garnered 32 percent of the total.

Generous giving of that magnitude creates a lot of attention in the news. The talking heads on television continue to discuss the story. They don’t know how to interpret the information. They point to foundations, museums, scientific studies, and research hospitals as worthy causes for such giving, but for many reason religious groups seem like an odd place for people to send that level of financial support. They scratch their heads as they try to figure out why people give and sacrifice in this manner.

To me, the answer is quite clear. Churches, charities, missions, and religious organizations are performing the work of Christ.

Religious organizations feed the hungry, clothe the homeless, care for the sick, give comfort to the wounded, share hope with the broken-hearted, and minister to our souls. Significant acts like these will always mean more to people than receiving a tax deduction. It causes us to open our wallets. It enables us to volunteer and assist others in their time of need. It allows us to reflect Christ in a dark world.

As we approach Thanksgiving and Christmas, remember religious organizations, charities, and churches when you give. Armed forces personnel can give through the Combined Federal Campaign with payroll deductions. Odds are there is a charity that could use your assistance. Your financial support, no matter how great or small, allows people to share the redemptive story of Jesus and perform the loving work of our gracious God.

Read Full Post »

charity

Folks are having a tough time financially.  2013 has been a tough year for military families.  Many were impacted by the furlough that started in July. Their paychecks were reduced by 20%.  Others have endured hardship due to the recent government shutdown.  While most military personnel were held harmless during this year’s budget battles, there are some who were unemployed for seventeen days and will not receive back pay for any of that time.  Others are still waiting for the call to return to work.

When tough times arrive, you quickly determine what is necessary in your life.

I stopped wearing a watch in 2011.  I didn’t really need it anymore.  I had just come back from a deployment in the Horn of Africa.  Over there, few people wear a watch because it is a luxury they cannot afford.  Folks are primarily concerned with the basic needs of life; food, water, clothing, and shelter.  A watch in Africa is simply an unnecessary item.  An extravagance to many and a poor use of money to most.

I had it pretty good in Africa.  Anyone was reminded of that fact when you left post and journeyed into town. There you saw people living in shacks, shanties, and cardboard boxes.  You saw women selling illegal drugs on the street corner like you would see a hot dog vendor back home.  You saw orphans who had been abandoned due to poverty, prostitution, HIV, or AIDS.  On post, the Army fed me, gave me clothes, provided a bed at night, and paid me to work.  Yes, I had it better than most of the people I saw everyday.

Americans may not realize it, but we are some of the wealthiest people in the world. In 2011, that fact became crystal clear.  Unfortunately, it took an overseas deployment to see it and truly comprehend that reality.

If you made $1,500 last year, you are in the top 20% of the world’s income earners.  If you made $25,000 or more annually, you are in the top 10% of the world’s income earners.  If you made $50,000 or more annually, you are in the top 1% of the world’s income earners.

People may not take comfort with those figures, but it is a great reminder that even in a time of furloughs and shutdowns, God has blessed us and provides for our needs.  During the good times, we do not think about the necessary, because choices are not being forced upon us.  During the tough times, we see how important charity, compassion, and generosity truly are because we ourselves are in need.

We are all challenged to find what is truly necessary in life.  And when that conviction hits us, there should be a response to share our abundance with others.  Scripture reminds us that our value is not based on our valuables, just read Luke 12:15.  In fact, we are called to be a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:6-8), to care for widows and orphans (James 1:27), and also care for the poor (Galatians 2:10).

As we approach Thanksgiving, let us take stock of our lives, find what is necessary, share what God has provided, and thank our Creator for the blessing of His tender care.

Read Full Post »

Americans gave almost $300 billion to charities in 2011.  That is a staggering number when you consider our troubled economy.  As a nation with high unemployment and frozen salaries for those who can find work, $300 billion is quite a hefty sum.  But that figure also represents an incredible feat of generosity.  One that deserves a deeper look.

When you dig into the total by category, you find that religious organizations received the most donations.  Religious organizations garnered nearly one-third of the total.

Generous giving of that magnitude creates a lot of attention in the news.  The talking heads and pundits on most media outlets are still discussing the story, but they don’t know how to interpret the information.  They point to foundations, museums, art and cultural groups, or research hospitals as worthy causes for such giving, but for some reason religious groups seem like an odd place for people to send that level of financial support.  In the end of their stories they end up scratching their heads as they try to figure out why people give and sacrifice in this manner.  To me, the answer is quite clear.  Churches, charities, missions, and religious organizations are performing the work of Christ.

Religious organizations feed the hungry, care for the sick, give comfort to the wounded, share hope with the broken-hearted, and minister to our souls.  Significant acts like these will always mean more to people than receiving a tax deduction.  It causes us to open our wallets.  It enables us to volunteer and assist others in their time of need.  It allows us to reflect Christ in a dark world.

As we approach Thanksgiving and Christmas, remember religious organizations, charities, and churches.  You can give through the combined federal campaign in the armed forces or locally.  Your financial support, no matter how great or small, allows people to share the redemptive story of Jesus and perform the loving work of our gracious God.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: