To the Ministry Family Waiting for Daily Bread

waiting-for-daily-breadI’m talking to ministry folks who may be on the poor side of life right now. Those who are hungry and wondering where their next meal or week’s worth of groceries is going to come from.

Paul’s words in Philippians 4:12 express how so many of us feel, “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” Our journeys through ministry life bring us to those hungry places.

To you who have a bare pantry and nothing but condiments in the refrigerator. Don’t be tempted to rush out and solve this problem yourself! Psalm 37:25 tells us David’s testimony of God’s work for His children.

I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” Psalm 37:25

Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God

Lack of food can be a worry when you feel responsible and your kids are asking for something to eat. The Bible teaches us all Christians should make God and His Kingdom our first priority. Relying on God for food requires the rubber meeting the road and helps us practice what we preach/teach by living in faith.

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink?for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Matthew 6: 31-33

You fill in the blank for what seeking the kingdom of God is for you. You know your own personal need for Bible reading, the ministries you have (including your family), and the opportunities God places for you to be a witness for Him. If all of your monetary resources are dry stop panicking and stay busy doing God’s work. Be satisfied with that obedience and, as stated many times throughout this article, wait on Him to take care of you.

Ask and ye shall receive

Luke 11 gives us a great explanation from Christ about how God gives to His children,

 “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.  For every one that asketh receiveth; … If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?  Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” Luke 11:9-13

Simply ask, “God, you know we don’t have food for the week, will you please give us the next meal?” Then, wait in faith.

Give and it shall be given unto you.

My single mother worked hard cleaning houses and had just enough money for us to make it. Once I watched her go into our pantry and fill a box with food leaving our shelves nearly bare. She gave the food to our next door neighbor,  she was mean and hateful to her kids and had rejected my mother’s friendship with her.  Mom, in the middle of the night, left that box of food on her porch. Mom had the kind of faith that God would provide for us because we were His children. She taught me these verses:  Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Luke 6:38. God always rewarded her generosity and we never were hungry.

God happily blesses those who give, especially those who give in His name, to His people in their time of need. Allow your heart to stay soft toward others. Even in your “poverty” it is good to be in the practice of giving.

A Side Note: One danger in ministry is we may have knowledge at times about who the givers and non-givers are in our church because we are involved in the church finances. Guard your heart against becoming bitter at other families that may not be giving and are faring better than you while you may be struggling to feed your family. God takes care of His servants, so keep your eyes on Him!

Expect only God’s daily provision.

In the account of Elisha’s life in 1 Kings God directs him to the brook of Cherith. He provides him daily meat from the ravens. Then, as the brook dries up He directs him to lodge with the widow and her son. Miraculously her empty containers fill daily with meal and oil with just enough for them to eat that day.

In the account of Israelites’ journey in the wilderness God provided manna for them to eat daily for 40 years!  There’s no question God can accommodate you, it’s a matter of when. In the Lord’s prayer it says, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Daily bread, is what we are to pray for, nothing more, nothing less.

Fred and Christine, a couple we know, spoke about how when they were young Christians living in a tiny apartment on a tiny income. They met friends who lived downstairs and regularly both couples would be down to simple items in their pantry. Together they found out they could combine their resources and have a meal, one would bring a loaf of bread, another would supply tomatoes or meat and they would eat simple sandwiches and feast on fellowship. A little humility (admitting to a friend you only have a little) and a bit of creativity may create something delicious.

Don’t beg or broadcast, just wait in prayer.

Reading George Muller’s biography is a help to anyone needing encouragement in trusting God’s provision. He saw prayers answered for daily bread for the orphanage he owned in Germany. The food for the children would run out and each time they would pray specifically for that meal, God would uniquely give to them. When times were tough he would not beg or broadcast to anyone, he would pray. The best way to ask for what you need (like mentioned above) is to do it in your prayer time. Devote time you would ask others to pray for you into asking God instead.

Earlier I mentioned speaking with a friend about your situation in humility. Remember, that is not the same as purposefully dropping hints to other people expecting that they will hand you some cash or invite you over for dinner.  Worry often catapults us into asking others to take care of our needs instead of expecting God will. Always use your manners and courtesy, because ministry people do not need to be known as mooches. Prayer is most effective in these situations! When God answers your prayers, you cannot doubt His love.

Be wise with your money.

If you have ever gotten into the money pickle that leaves you with only pickles in your refrigerator then think about your money decisions that lead you to the money pickle… Making wise money choices can still leave you with no money at the end of the month to buy the last week’s worth of groceries, but being an unwise steward can also leave you with empty pockets to pay bills and buy food.

If you struggle in wisely managing your money:

  • Ask God for help!
  • Learn Biblical principles of money stewardship, do a Bible study or take a class.
  • Don’t stop tithing or giving in your local church.
  • Budget your funds.
  • Limit your splurges and stop spending needlessly.
  • Use what you already have.
  • Run from the temptation to use credit!

We err, as Americans, often in temperance (self-control) in this area of our lives and sometimes we suffer for our extravagance and make ourselves suffer needlessly. Dedicate some of your time to helping yourself become a wise steward.

In Conclusion

I cannot promise how God will feed you. If and when He does, praise Him and thank Him! Share your story of provision with others. AND I would love to hear your story, send me an e-mail and tell me what God has done!




How God Has Provided: Finances for Our Family

Almost eight weeks ago we stepped out in faith to follow my husband’s calling to preach and it has amazed us to watch how God has provided finances for our family now we are completely dependent upon Him.

Our situation reminds me of the Biblical account of Elijah, when there was a famine in the land God directed Elijah to a specific place where God Himself would be his sole provider.

And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying,  Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.  And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.  So he went and did according unto the word of the Lord: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.  And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. I Kings 17:2-6

The Lord has decided not to provide for us using ravens to bring us bread and meat but He is providing faithfully each day in other ways.

Love Offerings

  • When we left our church we received a check from our church as well as a love offering from both the members and the choir that served beside my husband for the past five years.
  • My husband has preached so far in 5 different churches and all of them has provided him with a love offering to cover our expenses for our travels there. One church even generously gave us $1,000 to be a blessing to a young preacher and his family, we were humbled by their generosity and kindness.

From Individuals

  • Before our last service at our church a couple approached my husband about helping us take care of some repairs that our van needed since they knew we would be on the road. They gave us $1,200 toward our repairs and the rest of the money that we needed was the exact amount that our church members gave us in their love offering. We spent 6 weeks on the road in a van that was fixed and back to its best self, until we backed into a dumpster and broke a tail light! Whoops!
  • Another very humbling gift was from a couple that gave my husband a handful of cash who we had never met before. Later we were able to pull all the connections together and find out that this couple had buried their 2-year-old son who had died from cancer only one week before. Their gift was precious to us.
  • Friends of our on a fixed income gave us a check from their family business, not once but twice. We know they probably could have used it for themselves, but they gave.
  • Three different family members provided us with checks that covered our expenses for one month.
  • We made a stop to see family friends and they also gave us a check to be a blessing.
  • We not only received monetary gifts, God provided us with many paid meals as well as accommodations in each place we visited to take care of us as we stayed overnight. Although they are not cash in hand, they are financial needs met.

Through eBay, Amazon, and Curriculum Sales

Early in the spring we made a choice to begin experimenting with buying items in lots and reselling them. We bought a 16-tub lot of vintage toys from the ’90’s and early ’00’s, books from library book sales, and a very large homeschool curriculum bundle. Although we have been selling throughout the year, our sales have been thorough and steady enough to provide what we need to be able to save for any upcoming needs, like our baby due in September!

This has also kept us busy in what might normally be considered a downtime between ministries. We have needed to be busy since we do not know the will of the Lord for our lives yet, it gives us purpose to be able to provide for our family with the work of our own hands. When we have not been on the road we have been busy taking pictures, listing and shipping items and then waiting for the Lord to sell them for us. And really with some of the random items that we have, it has had to be the Lord selling them for us!

Finances for our FamilyTo sum it all up –

God was showing us some things in our previous ministry that were telling us it was time for us to truly take a step of faith and leave what we were doing and we did it. When we made the choice we knew that it would end my husband’s income, our housing allowance, and other expenses like car insurance that his job provided. God is showing Himself faithful. We have heard many stories in our travels of God taking care of families for up to 7 months or more when they took their own step of faith to wait on knowing where the Lord would direct them next and trust He will do the same for us if that is what He desires.

Not only did he provide for us monetarily, as we traveled in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas and spent time with our family and ministry friends which has been as much of a blessing as any monetary gift we have received. We needed time to get away and fill our cups with the ones we love. We’ve needed to sit under preaching without ministering and let our kids build relationships with their cousins and other ministry kids.

Not all of our needs have been financial but I can testify that if the Lord calls you to follow Him, then He will give to you along the way. It may not be everything you want, but it will be everything you need! And for us, when the brook dries up and these things no longer provide for us, then we know the Lord will lead us on to the next place of His provision.

How God Provided: Blessings Beyond Measure

Do you ever have weeks where you are pinching pennies and wondering how God is going to come through to provide your needs for you? We had just one of those weeks not long ago and I think God just wanted to comfort me in ways to tell me that He loves our family and that He’s taking care of things in His own way.

One of the last times I wrote about God giving me my filing cabinet, I told you about how God will answer older prayers and will give you the desires of your heart that you were not even thinking of anymore. In this particular instance that I am going to write about God gave us things that we had not even prayed for or asked Him about. He just rained down blessings beyond measure in our lives, we are so blessed!

During the week I’m talking about we had enough food to last us through the week, the bills were paid, we just were not going to be able to do anything extra. Blessings Beyond Measure

On this particular week, our church held a western-themed revival and almost every night we  came home with a blessing. On Sunday we had a big “free” church meal with our church family and on Sunday night a lady gave me a pink cowgirl hat to wear. On Tuesday we were handed an extra-large bag of homegrown bell peppers. Wednesday night, we were given two music CD’s of the music group we had in for our revival. On Thursday, we were given a new-to-us table and chairs from an elderly lady that was a friend of a church member. It was an upgrade greater than we would have bought for ourselves. On Friday, they picked up a hutch from the same lady and brought home two more chairs for the table. On Saturday, toys and games for the kids from my husband’s grandparents who came through for a visit. Sunday, a handful of cash for our upcoming vacation was handed to us.

When all the things started to add up through the week, it began to become very humbling. God orchestrated each gift for us in a special way. My husband and I have never forgotten a quote we heard from a preacher during chapel in college, “When you give all you’ve got to God, you’ll never go without.” That week God was not just giving us means to live, He was giving us the sprinkles on top too!

So many ministry people out there wondering does God even listen? Does He care? Does He hear my cries? Because they feel like they are giving it all they’ve got to God in their home, family, and ministry and they feel like they have nothing left. The answer is: Yes! He knows how to bless us abundantly in special ways to make us feel like the song lyrics say, like you were His only child.

You can listen to these sweet girls sing a part of the song “He Loves Me Like I Was His Only Child,” in the link below.

God never uses the same tactics, He likes to bless us unexpectedly as much as He will answer us in the matters that are expected. He is a wonderful Father! Sometimes we may feel that He is running late but His blessings and helps are always in His perfect timing.

If you serve Him, He does not leave you alone on the path. When you have only the money in the jar on your bedroom dresser, He will show you in a special way that you are like “His only child.” He is an ultimate provider in physical, spiritual, and emotional needs.

You will have weeks where you feel like God withholds His blessings and you cannot see through the clouds that have settled down on your pathway of life. Other weeks God will shovel blessings you were never expecting down into your life that will make you realize how He never did leave you or forsake you. He was loving you all along and these blessings are going to be meat for your heart to help you carry you through those cloudy times in your life when He may be silent.

If we added up all the blessings beyond measure that God has given us throughout our lifetime, it would blow our minds!

  • Have you seen the Lord work in your life this week or last?
  • What memorable piles of blessings can you remember that God gave you in the past?
  • Have you thanked Him for those things?

The blessings beyond measure are more than material, they are even spiritual things that I have not mentioned specifically here. With God as our Father we have a wonderful life.

Luke 6:38  Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

P.S. Remember, when you give it all you’ve got to God, you’ll never go without!