Impact = Give Out those Cookies!

“God is always trying to give good things to us, but our hands are too full to receive them.”  — Augustine

“God made all of His creation to give. He made the sun, the moon, the stars, the clouds, the earth, the plants to give. He also designed His supreme creation, man, to give. But fallen man is the most reluctant giver in all of God’s creation.” — John MacArthur

Years ago I went on a fishing trip with some guys. We had a great time of fishing, of fellowship, and of forecasting visions of where we were praying for our ministries to go. The last day of our time together, one of the guys came out for our morning coffee. He was dressed for the travel day back and I said, “That’s a great shirt! It looks good on you!” I didn’t think much of it until two days later when that very shirt arrived, new, via UPS to my house.

Last fall I was with a group of guys for a one-day meeting at a ranch outside of Houston. We all gathered for our dinner and watched as one of the guys who owned the ranch was barbecuing dinner on his “Old Smokey.” After dinner I said, “Wow, that chicken had great taste! I love that smoker.” I didn’t think much of it until two days later when that very “Old Smokey” arrived, new, via UPS to my house.

These two people were givers at their core!  Some people are givers… I want to be a giver!

We have some incredibly generous givers in Young Life. We have so many stories in Young Life of people who have given gifts large and small — out of hearts for giving. We just have some great people who have the heart of God. God is always trying to give good things to us; it is His nature.

Some of our friends have a natural response — they hear a need and they want to respond. As we reflect on this past year where have you seen God supply… and you always know His natural response is to give!

One of the greatest ways we can be grateful, as well as encourage generosity, is to be generous ourselves. Are you a giver? Have you ever given a gift to another person’s ministry, mission trip… do you buy the Girl Scout cookies?

I remember moving to San Diego where I took on a region that was struggling financially. I was sharing the need out there, well, everywhere and certainly was focused on getting back to financial health. I received a call from an area director in a struggling area in Alaska, meaning his own area was still trying to figure out how to get kids to camp.  He shared with me that his committee had met and decided they wanted to pool their funds and make a gift to the region I had just moved to. A week later, I opened an envelope and saw a pile of checks from 10 different committee friends and the area director. I was humbled.

I called the fellow staff person and said … “Why?” He said, “We love to give; we love to bless; and we know that we will be taken care of when we take our eyes off ourselves.” Chuck Reinhold is famed for saying, “Treat everyone’s ministsry as if it is more important than your own!” These are great and challenging words. Think about the places we can bless people: camp scholarships, housing, attending others’ golf tourneys and banquets, and just looking for places where we can “send that shirt,” or “ship that smoker!” The hearts of the guys I referenced earlier in this article — well, they are just “givers.” We know the people we are talking about — we love them! In Young Life … these people “make it rain!” My challenge to myself and to all of us reading this blog is: Let’s be givers too! Let us be known for our overflowing generous natures.

Once a quarter I take lunch to my 9 year old at his school. He always gets the same thing at Jimmy John’s. I always bring him four or five extra cookies. He is a giver, and he knows he needs to bless people before lunch is out. He loves to give away the cookies!

My prayer for all of us — give out those cookies!img_5171

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