Giving {Living} Beyond

For most of us, this week will be filled with food and family, traditions and even some shopping. But for millions around the world – and even many in our communities – this Thursday will not be a festive family occasion.    In fact, for many, Thanksgiving is the beginning of the most depressing time of the year, not the most wonderful.

  • As many as 3.5 million people are homeless in the United States during any given week … and up to 40% of that number are families with children.  {source}
  • There are more than 140 million orphans worldwide. {source}
  • Over 115 million widows live in desperate poverty across the globe. {source}
  • Many of us will sit down this week to tables overflowing with food.  In fact, as my pastor said on Sunday, as a family, we will probably throw away more food on Thanksgiving Day than many families have to eat the entire week.   Almost 1 billion people in the world  do not have enough to eat. {source}
  • Some of us will spend Friday shopping – braving the crowds, poised on the internet, supporting home businesses.   Last year we spent an average of $658 on Christmas gifts. {source}   For a reference point, the median income worldwide is $1700.  {source}

Y’all … we have so. much.

helping others during the holidays || TeriLynneUnderwood.com

None of the information given above is intended to make anyone feel guilty.   I hope it simply makes you even more aware of the vast blessings God has given to you and your family. But, we DO need to ask ourselves the hard questions during this holiday season {and daily!}.  Those questions begin with a prayer asking God to guide us in our financial decisions and about how we should spend our time. There are people groups that God in His Word consistently mentions as important to Him:

  • Poor
  • Oppressed
  • Widows
  • Orphans

Over the next few weeks, I want to share with you a few ways you can give {live} beyond.    My one request is this:  That you begin earnestly seeking the Lord’s direction in these matters.  Ask Him how He would have you give {live} beyond yourself, beyond what you *think* you can do, beyond what even makes sense in our economy.   Ask God to open your eyes, your heart, your hands, and even your checkbook … and join me in Giving {Living} Beyond.

In what ways do you give extra during holidays?  How have you experienced God’s blessing on your sacrificial giving of time or finances?

Posts in this series:

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Comments

  1. Great, great reminder and well said!! Yes, we have so much and are so blessed. Thankful for you, my friend! Great way to start off the week!

  2. LOVE this! I look forward to reading more. My friend, Tamara, spend a week in Ethiopia in October. Here is a post she wrote about the reality of starvation. The thing that really struck me was that this widow is my sister in Christ. There are over 2,000 verses in the Bible that call us to care for the poor.
    http://journey4hope.blogspot.com/2011/11/starvation-is-real.html

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