November, last year we were broke. I wasn't looking forward to December and buying Christmas gifts for family & friends. Pay day is near the end of November arrived and the next pay day was a long way away, it would be just before Christmas. I was worried how I would be able to buy for my family and friends or just should I say to them “Christmas is cancelled this year” but if they are not like me, most of them would have already bought their gifts. I was at a loss at what to do for the best. We have a mortgage and most of our bills are direct debit, so money is taken out on a regular basis.
I have always paid my tithes since the age of 17 when I started working, and I have never ever missed. Tithes is 1 10th of what I earn, money given to my place of worship, each month, for that's when I get paid, monthly.
There is an amazing Law about tithing, and that is you can't out give God, if you don't brag about what you give, by not telling people the amount you give, and give the money not grudgingly, so He knows you heart is in the right place, then in your time of need, He will never let you down, never!
But having said that, I live in the real world like you do. And in November I was in dire straits, I needed money, and didn't know how or where I was going to get it from for like I said, my pay day was almost Christmas day.
I have a framed picture of a drawing of Jesus that my Mum had, I think before I was born so we have always had it in our house, and when Mum emigrated, she gave it to me, it has the words “My Peace I Give Unto You” where I sit in the mornings, I often look up at the picture, something to focus my mind on. After my pay day in November, I was for the first time in my life in two minds to pay my tithes or not, for I thought, we just can't afford it, but really I can't afford NOT to.
I remember my wedding day. Talk about, “given back, pressed down and shaken together” the day was perfect. Mum and I couldn't agree on a wedding dress I had wanted just a simple dress, plain from Dorothy Perkins, sleeveless and to my knees so I could wear it again, with some daffodils in my arms! Mum was having none of it I'd wanted plain white shoes, flat that cost about £20 (the same as the dress) again Mum said “No”. I didn't want to waste money, and start married life in the red, as I'd never been in the red when I was single. I was going to college at the time and one day in despair I said to my Teacher “Mum and I can't agree on a wedding dress”, she said she knew just the place, giving me directions, as I walked in the wedding shop, the lady, asked me if I wanted a “Beach wedding dress” I said “No, a cheap one” I tried on three, the third one was a bit big, she said, “Not to worry, dresses can be taken in” it was raw silk, I saw the price tag of £500 and said, “It's too dear, I can't afford this,” she then informed me, that she is the Manager, and with adjustments she would only charge me £100 although a lot more than my £20 Dorothy Perkins dress I knew it was fantastic for I'd already looked at some other dresses in wedding shops and they were so over the top dear! So I agreed to buy this one. It came just below my knee in length. My short veil cost £15 someone had informed me to go to a particular shop where I wouldn't expect to buy a veil and the sales assistant said to me, “How did you know to come here? We only had a few and this is the last one, its £15” As a gift my Uncle made our wedding cake, and other girls known & unknown to me who were doing cake decorations at college iced and decorated the 3 cakes to perfection, no charge.
My Brother had just bought a white car for his 25th Birthday, as the insurance is cheaper at that age, this he drove for me on our wedding day as a gift, no charge. My best friend had got married 10 years before me and had spend £700 on real flowers, this including her bouquet, lapel flowers and flowers for the bridesmaids head, they were lovely flowers but a lot of money for one day! I remember thinking, don't do that when you get married. So I said to another friend, “Here is £100, these are the people who need flowers and this money includes my bouquet & for the back of the car inside” she did me proud. As my dress was short she suggested a small bouquet, to go with my dress, the day was SO hot we had to keep the flowers in the fridge just before the wedding, it was actually the hottest day of the year, they later said so on the news. My fiancé bought from a 'normal' shop a jacket, shirt, trousers tie & shoes, I was just greatful he didn't wear his tatty biker's leather jacket! So the 'normal' suit was fine by me and it didn't cost the earth. My cousin asked me if I was having a disco I said “No, we don't need a disco” he said, “You have to have a disco” I told him, “If he wants one, he can pay for it,” he did.
My Mum said with £100 from me, she would hire the hall and provide the food! There is a lovely lady we all know, and I grew up with her, her job is catering, she did the food and it was amazing! Our rings didn't cost a lot. And because we both had our own homes when we met, we had asked all guests to give us the money or vouchers from Argos. The total of the money and vouchers came to £700. So ALL of our wedding, including our rings came to under £1,000 and that wasn't along time ago. That, I all put down to my tithing. His provisions in my time of need.
Back to the present day. So near the end of November I rightly so gave my tithes, and yes, I was nervous. That morning I'd read about some men who were despondent, and decided to go back to their old jobs, for they were experienced Fishermen. They had tried all night and had caught nothing, then a Man on the shore asked them if they had caught any thing, they replied “Nothing” the Man said, “Put your nets on the right side of the boat, and you will catch lots of fishes.” They had nothing to loose, and did, and so many fishes went into their nets they had difficulty hauling them in, their friends in the other boat had to help them. They had caught 153 large fishes and their nets didn't brake.
I looked up at the picture of Jesus and said, “I need 153 large fishes and for our nets not to break, so we needed to pay our bills, buy Christmas gift and pay the mortgage, if we can't pay the mortgage, then that is our nets braking.” I didn't have Peace, I was afraid. I went to work the following day and a work colleague asked me if I was going to the Christmas meal. I said to her, “I can't afford it” and within one minute she placed a £20 note in my hand and said, “This is for you, I want you to go” I asked “Why?” She said she was taught, “If someone is in need and I can meet that need, then I will always do it, I was so touched I hugged her and thanked her very much. We all already knew the meal would come to £17.
Then two days after that, someone who we both know, rang me up and said, “Tomorrow I will be giving you £200 pounds” WOW! This person has never done that before. I looked up at the picture and thank Him. There are two dear friends who I always give Birthday gifts to and I was still able to and I gave the kids £20 each and my Husband £20 from the money this person had given us and I said, “This is your Christmas gift from this person.” The rest was spend on food. It soon went. Now I wished I hadn't given to money to the kids and Husband! But I don't see the point of saving it for although it was a lean time for us, when they had that £20 it was lovely for them and me, so no regrets on reflection.
I again reminded Him I needed 153 'fishes' and for our nets not to 'break' we have never missed a mortgage payments, yet so many had, and would go on to lose their homes. I still hadn't bought any Christmas gifts, this was in for forefront of my mind, then two weeks later the same person rang us up again and said, “Tomorrow I am giving you £200 it is for you to buy Christmas gifts!” It just seemed unreal! So I went to my favourite shop and armed with my list of special family and friends I chose their gifts with care and love. I'd already got all my Christmas cards and wrapping paper for last year when they were all reduced and almost given away I used them.
The Law of giving your tithes works, I have proved it. Yet we were not out the woods yet. We in December had a new meter fitted by our gas and electric supplier and it showed green if we used little energy and power, amber if we used too much power and red it we used a lot of power. It opened our eyes we didn't know just how much power our electric kettle use and it went to amber each time we put it on. Sometimes I'd put the kettle on 3-4 times to boil before I even used it! And my Husband drinks that much tea and coffee in a day it was often on amber! The things it went to amber for was the hoover, microwave, kettle, iron and Son's Xbox! So drastic measures had to be done, we found our kettle that whistles for the gas and removed the electric one and the pop up toaster that too used too much energy and power so that too was removed and we now only used the grill which is gas. I use the microwave less buy heating food on the gas cooker instead of the microwave.
We have a £500 overdraft and when the dreaded bank statement came, my Husband was afraid to look at it we were £125.00 in the red! Since we got married, that is the best we have been well off after Christmas in a very, very long time, usually we are a lot more in the red. I was amazed and thankful. An old friend or ours who lives on her own, she hadn't been very unwell and was unable to get out, last Sunday I went to see her and bought her some reduced flowers as I know she loves flowers, took her some small bottle of milk, a small loaf & ham, as she has arthritis, I said I'd open the milk for her she said she has something to help her open tops. I gave her a hug and left.
This week while we were at parents evening, she sent me a text to say she had left us something by our bin as we not in, I said, “OK” when we got home she had indeed left us a lovely box of chocolates and a lovely planet by the bin. There was also something that had been put inside the house via the letter box, an envelope, I opened it, it was addressed to us both; it from the old friend who I'd seen last Sunday and who had been to our house with the chocolates and plant, in it was a note that read, “Someone has given me £100 that I didn't expect to get, and I want to share it with friends” there was £30 in the envelope!!!! You just can't out give God!
I got paid yesterday. He did it!
“A 153 fishes and our nets didn't break.”