Monday, April 18, 2011

April 2011

Happy Easter!!!

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

From a passion play I went to this month

I pray that you have a wonderful Easter holiday. I pray that you will see the great sacrifice that Jesus made for you and see just how much he loves you.

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JESUS - Giving and the Greatest Gift of All

Giving and the Greatest Gift of All

This month we set aside a time for remembrance and a time for celebration. We remember Christ’s great sacrifice on the cross. We also celebrate His resurrection.

Romans 5:8
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

We didn’t have to do anything. We didn’t have to change and Jesus came and gave his life for us, out of love for us.

Act 16:31
And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household."

We now have the opportunity to believe and be saved. God calls us to have faith and belief in Him, yet He also calls us to give back to Him from the overflow of our hearts.

Matthew 25:35-39
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?'

Matthew 25:40
And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'

Jesus is saying that if we give to the least; the poor, the orphaned, the widowed, etc…, we do it for Him. Our Father calls us to love Him first and to love our neighbor second (Luke 10:27). One of the ways God tells us to show our love for Him and for others is by giving.

One way of giving is by tangibly giving, like the Matthew 25:35-40 passage above; by feeding someone, by providing a home for them, by providing them with clothing, or by visiting someone. Those are all great things and very necessary things, things we all should do, but that is not the kind of giving I want to talk about right now.

The giving I want to talk about this month is the giving of your money, of your tithe. God commands us to give a percentage of what we have to Him. He also says, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7). God wants us to give, not because everyone else is giving or because we feel pressured to give, but out of the overflow of our hearts.

I recently heard a pastor say God calls us to give financially so that our joy will grow, then he challenged, “If you don’t have joy in giving, maybe you need to give more”.

Are you willing to give your finances to God? No matter what size they are? Whether big or small?

Here are a few tips on how to start giving:

J – Give to God first. Remember the “J” in JOY. Commit to giving to your church, do it regularly and give a set amount, so you can stick to your plan.

Proverbs 3:9
Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce;


O – The Bible also calls us to contribute to our families. Now I know you are probably not the financial supporter of your family right now, but maybe you do need to be helping out or maybe you can be planning for your future family by putting money aside now and saving it for when you start your own family.

Proverbs 13:22
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.

O – We are to also give to the poor and to practice generosity to others. Make it a habit and plan to give to others. *Check out Helping in the Harvest for more info*

Proverbs 19:17
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD,
and he will repay him for his deed.


Y – So where does the “Y” and the “You” come into all of this, you might ask? Your job is to manage your money wisely now and to learn it now so that you will be able to manage it in the future.

First, try to avoid debt. Spend less than what you make, then you will be able to save some, too.

Proverbs 22:7
The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.

Proverbs 22:26-27
Be not one of those who give pledges,
who put up security for debts.
If you have nothing with which to pay, why should your bed be taken from under you?

Second, save your money. You never know when you might need it or for what. Make it a habit to put aside a percentage to save as well as to tithe. Maybe something like 10% - tithe, 10% - savings, and 80% expenses and other things or divide it out even more to include things like; gift giving, clothing, etc…

Proverbs 13:11
Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.

Proverbs 21:20
Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.


Are you truly willing to give? To give to see how God will work in your life? To give to see His faithfulness, joy, and blessings? Are you willing to give to God so that others will give all the glory to Him?

Ponder these questions as you think about the greatest gift God gave us. He gave us the gift of His Son and the freedom from death that we celebrate at Easter. Celebrate by giving from the overflow of your heart!

Are you willing to give your all to God, in the same way He gave us His Son?

Crown Financial Ministries -
This website had budget plans, books, and many other resources to help you get started.

Add Your Comment Here... April 2011

Christ’s work on the cross and resurrection means…

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By Faith…The Giving Widow

By Faith…The Giving Widow – Mark 12:41-44 & Luke 21:1-4

Below is the story of someone who gave everything she had. Jesus uses this example to tell us that no matter what amount we have, even if it is very small, we should give our all. This woman gave her all. Jesus asks us to do the same.

**The passage is from Mark 12:41-44, but the story is also found in Luke 21:1-4**

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

Royce Bair -

By faith this lady who had no husband to support her, gave her all. By faith she trusted that God would provide for her needs. By faith she was willing to let God use her.

This widow is a great example of faith to us. Will you choose to live by faith and give, trusting that God will provide for you?

OTHERS - Helping in the Harvest - April 2011

Helping in the Harvest

The author of Helping in the Harvest, Rachel, is taking a couple months leave from writing on JOY Blog. She will be back in June, after school is done, to once again write Helping in the Harvest for JOY Blog.

Until then, share with us how you or someone you know is helping in the harvest, or share an organization that you would like to see featured as a helping in the harvest article.

Just leave your comment below or send your ideas to

YOU - Winner of Waterfall

The winner of Waterfall is…

Carrie L.

Thanks Carrie, for sharing the story of your mother. What a story!

If you missed Carrie's Story click here to go to her comment!

YOU - Easter Nests

Easter Nests

Looking for a fun little project for Easter? Check this out!

Easter Nests

You will need:
½ Cup Sugar
½ Cup White Corn Syrup
½ Cup Peanut Butter
2 Cup Chow Mein Noodles
½ Cup Salted Peanuts
Jelly beans or egg-shaped candy

Combine sugar and corn syrup in a batter bowl – Stir. Microwave on HI for 1-2 minutes until mixture comes to a full boil. Stir! Add peanut butter. Stir until well blended. Add noodles and peanuts. Stir until they are coated. Use a teaspoon to drop mounds onto wax paper. Shape with buttered hands. Let cool for 15-20 minutes. Put the “eggs” (candy) in the “nests”!

Enjoy! **Pun intended**