Tuesday, March 6, 2012



Just the mention of the word is enough to cause many people to tune out.  It is oftentimes brushed aside as a "churchy" word with a nebulous meaning that no one really understands.  I know that whenever I truly need to understand something, an example is always helpful and encouraging.  For that reason, I now present you another excerpt from Learning to Give in a Getting World, the book I co-authored with Marc Farnell on the spiritual discipline of giving and the blessings that come along with responsible Christian stewardship.


Don't think I'm going to offer up this portion of the book without asking a little something in return.  I know that the testimony that appears in our book will bless you immensely, no matter where you find yourself with respect to giving.  Perhaps you are toying with the idea of tithing.  Perhaps you tithe, but are feeling prompted to give more.  Perhaps you are giving over and above the tithe.  The one simple thing I ask you to do is this:  once you are finished reading this testimony of God's grace poured out, head on over to www.facebook.com/LearningToGive.  If you want to encourage others in the same way that Scott Pearson's testimony below will most assuredly bless you, consider posting a brief testimony on the FaceBook page about how giving has changed your life, and how God has blessed you as a result.  You never know how your words might encourage someone else!

Without further ado, and I know there was a lot of ado, here goes Encouragement Testimony #1 from Learning to Give in a Getting World.

The following email was sent to CrossRidge Church on June 11, 2010 from Scott Pearson, a member of the church and a faithful servant on the Praise Team.
Hello Pastor Marc,
Over the past two years, I have struggled so hard to make a living for my family.  I went from having a great job to losing my job and receiving over $6,000 in bounced payroll checks.  I started a new job, but it barely paid my bills and at the end of each month, I literally had nothing left.  I had to do odd jobs or sell my personal belongings to make up the difference for our basic needs.  After six months of getting caught up, I was just about to be even and be able to start saving when I was called into my office and once again left it without a job.  I was devastated and as soon as I hit the door, I collapsed with fear and anguish I had never felt before.  I thought about my family and what I was going to do.
Again, I was left with no job, no income and no way to pay for our basic needs like food, mortgage and gasoline.   You know the feeling you get when you stub your toe?  The eye-squinting pain and how it consumes your entire body?  That feeling became a daily feeling that I felt each time I woke up.  I was praying, searching and crying out to God.  I heard no response mostly because my human self was drowning out His voice.
It is June now and I am still without a job.  I came to church [on June 6] in a sour mood and all I heard was “give, give, give”.  I was so angry, hurt and confused.  I was sick of hearing about giving and I thought to myself, “I get it, go to another subject”.  I came home frustrated, ready to give up and ready to quit.  I even told my family I was done with this church.  I had lost everything I had worked for.  My daughter was in tears and looked me in the eye and said, “Dad, you’re the reason I accepted Jesus, and you’re the reason we are together and you’re giving up on God?”.  She reflected about the night she accepted Jesus as her savior and how I told her I could not save her, and that she had to call out to God.  He was the only One that could save her.  I was shaken back to reality.
Monday morning [June 7], I surrendered and was quiet in my mind as I began to pray.  I asked God what He wanted me to do.  In my spirit, I heard “Give!”.  Instantly, I was angry again.  I cried out to God, “Give You what?  I have nothing!  I have no money and no income and you dare to tell me, not ask me, to give?”.  A parting gift, if you can call it that, from my last job was a brand new laptop with all the fixings.  I had posted it to sell it.  It would keep me afloat one more month as I frantically searched for a job.  The system was valued at $1,200 and it equaled a house payment and a little money for food.  “I can do it”, I told myself.  The key word here was “I”, not “He”.  Again, I heard “Give!”.  I fought God.  I said, “No, this thing can sustain me for another month.”  Again, I heard “Give!” and then I heard “Trust me!”.  My fear was gone.  So, I packed up the laptop, drove to the church and I handed it to you, Pastor Marc.
No, I do not have money at this time, but what I do have I gave.  I want to be a faithful servant and that is what I will be.  I will give everything I have and all I have because my God gave it all for me to save me.  As I write this, I see in my mind thousands of hurting kids searching desperately for hope and love and finding nothing.  Families are being torn apart searching for a light in the darkness of this world.  If I can be one glimmer of light, I will give everything I have.  I will give my time, talents and treasures.  It all belongs to Him and I have to surrender it as He surrendered everything to save me and to give me hope. 
Pastor, I stand tall now ready to work for God and to give Him everything.  Not just with what I have, but all of me, everything I am.  I refused to let Satan devour me or my family.  And when I say family, I mean my church family as well.  We have to stand together, lock our arms and stop Satan in his tracks.  In the name of Jesus I claim victory!  I claim victory!!!  I CLAIM VICTORY!!!

Your brother in Christ,
Scott Pearson
*               *                       *
Then, on June 17, a follow-up email was received from Scott Pearson, with the subject line “What a mighty God we serve!!!”.
Pastor Marc,
I wanted to let you know that I started a new job yesterday.  I am here to say that it works.  God is faithful.  All I had to do was trust Him.  By giving everything I had, He has now provided me with a  job that will take care of my family.  I loved it on my first day.  This is a good job and I am so excited to tell you about it.
I’m with a stable company and I feel so blessed.  The true miracle here is this is a job I had to turn down previously because of the pay.  I added everything up and it would not sustain our basic needs because of the distance and if I had taken it, I would not have had enough to pay our bills, let alone give to the church.
After I gave you the laptop last Monday, I got a call.  It was the job I had turned down.  I was told they were willing to offer me double the original offer.  I was stunned because when I had told them about the situation, I was sure they didn’t want to have anything to do with me anymore.  During the call I was told that my skill set was amazing and that the company desperately wanted me to join them.  Trying to contain myself, I said “Yes!” and accepted the offer.
I hung up the phone and began a dance of joy, freaking out my kids.  My wife kept saying “What?”.  I broke down in tears and told them what had just happened.  My daughter, with a huge smile on her face, looked at me and said, “I told you so.  Only God can save us and He has and always will if we stick to His Word.”  I was so proud of her.
Pastor, it is time to shine!  It’s time to dust ourselves off and draw the line.  I proclaim the name of Jesus and yell at the top of my voice.  I have victory because I trust in my God to provide for all my needs.  Not my wants, but my needs.  He is good, faithful and I will never again doubt His blessings.
Yes, I looked for the job.  Yes, I interviewed for the position.  Some may say I did all the work.  I say I just did my part.  God met me once I surrendered everything I am to Him, but I had to walk to Him broken, calling out for Him to save me.  A humble, servant’s heart is what I will daily strive for.  I will give everything I have down to the last thing and penny to help my church shine the light of Jesus Christ.
I refuse to let Satan get a foot hold in this church, my town, my state, my country and my world.  I will store my treasures in Heaven, not in this world.  My family is in total agreement with me when I say we will give it all to help bring the lost, hurt, lonely, shattered, abused and scarred people to the throne of God so He can mend them all.
We must, as a church family, surrender it all, take a step of faith and be willing to lay it all down at His feet.  If we, as a church family, surrender, God will use us all in our own way to a point we cannot fathom.  Even if we only save one person from the grips of Satan, it is worth it all.  If we are faithful to our God, nothing, and I mean nothing, will ever stop us.  STAND TALL, CHURCH, AND BE FAITHFUL! WATCH WHAT HAPPENS!  LISTEN TO HIS CALL AND REJOICE THAT YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE A PART OF IT ALL!

Learning to Give in a Getting World, by Marc Farnell and Jesse Greever, is available as both a paperback and eBook at the following locations:

CreateSpace (paperback, $13.99)
Amazon.com (paperback, $13.99; eBook, $8.99)
It is also available to Amazon Prime members as a free eBook download as a part of the Kindle Lending Library.  Pastors and church administrators can contact me directly at jesse@accidental-author.com to find out about discounts available for churches that wish to use this for teaching and small group curriculum.
You can also become a fan of the book at www.facebook.com/LearningToGive.
Follow me on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/#!/JesseSGreever

Scott Pearson and his family are the founders of To Him Alone ministries.  Check them out!

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