Friday, December 25, 2015

End of the Year Giving for Farm Families

Farm income, and many types of business income, is notoriously seasonal. We do our best to smooth it out by shifting sales to early in the season and doing some canning, drying, smoking and storing to provide some income during slower times of the year.

Because of this seasonality many farm families do the largest share of giving to their church and other charities at the end of the year.

Beside being scriptural. Generosity changes us as a person from a potentially tight fisted miser to an open handed happy person. You must open your hand to give, but it is also necessary to open your hand so that more blessings can come your way. 

Farm families also have the possibility of giving of the fruit of their labor. My father used to give and extra wagon full of corn at the end of the year. He would have them make the check out to the church.

We give left over produce to Channel One (the local food shelf) all summer long. We often bring extra with them in mind. Again in the fall we take a load of squash or pumpkins. Usually this is produce that God has blessed us with above and beyond our needs for the business. I could wholesale this abundance to a store or something but I like to give it. Kinda of a picture of what God is doing all the time through our paychecks and other income.

Here is my check list for end of the year giving:

  1. Am I caught up on my regular church giving? Special projects should not detract from my normal giving.
  2. Has God blessed me abundantly in any special ways this year? Scripture teaches, that God owns it all, we are just stewards of his provision.
  3. If God has blessed me above and beyond my plan. I consider extra giving beyond my normal plan. God provides the resources for my giving. Generosity is one of the many ways God wants me to worship him.
  4. Is the Holy Spirit prompting me to give sacrificially? This would be above and beyond my tithe or other planned giving.
  5. Have I prayed about what God might be leading me to give? Since it is all God's, it would be good to consult him for direction.

     Be generous, you'll be glad you did.

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