Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pennies From Heaven

I get "Our Daily Bread" in my emails and this is an excerpt from one of the readings...

[Jesus said,] “This poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury.” —Mark 12:43

In 1987, Mike Hayes, a freshman at the University of Illinois, found a unique way to finance his education. He convinced a popular columnist at the Chicago Tribune to ask his readers to “send in a penny for Mike.”

“Just one penny,” Hayes said. “A penny doesn’t mean anything to anyone. If everyone . . . looks around the room right now, there will be a penny under the couch cushion . . . or on the floor. That’s all I’m asking. A penny from each of your readers.”

In less than a month the fund was up to 2.3 million cents. Donations came in from all over the US, as well as Mexico, Canada, and the Bahamas. Mike eventually ended up with $28,000!

Years ago, I managed to save about $165 just in pennies. As a single Mom that money came in real handy at Christmas time. I treated the pennies as if I was not allowed to use them and they had to go in the jug, never to be spent.

The reading made me think that it would be a really good example for our children, if we teach them to save their pennies. Furthermore, for them to save them for a good cause may be the very best example.

Oddly enough, I watched as my youngest son just dropped a few pennies on the ground as we were in the drive through at a fast food restaurant. I wished I had said something about it right then and there but I didn't. Call me weird, call me frugal, call me what you will but throughout these years, I have had a "thing" about picking up pennies, you know, ones you might find on the ground. The old wives tale about picking up a lucky penny, only if it's heads up gave me great trepidation for some time. But as the years wore on, I changed the rules and I even taught that to my kids;

"You can pick a penny up, if it's heads down if you turn it heads up as it's still touching the ground."

They'll do this to this very day. That, in itself is a good example of teaching our children, meaning they'll believe what we tell them if we take the time to teach them. I only wish that I'd taught them more of a reliance on The Father.

But the point of this post is, as stupid as it may seem, there's a lesson to be taught when it comes to pennies.

First; Never be too good to pick up a penny when you see it on the ground.

Second; It is humbling to squat down and pick up that penny, maybe in front of strangers.

Third; If we find a penny, we should take the time to thank God for that find and give it back in some sort of contribution to charity.

Yes, with that useless penny, lives can and could be changed. Teach your children to never arrogantly discard their pennies, teach them to save them, teach them to give back to a charity of their choice. This in turn, will open up a wonderful dialogue with your child concerning charitable works, what charity is and what might be in their heart. Charity=Love, they must be taught this.

Tithing is important, a premise I did not care for or really understand till I grew up, (a few months ago)
. There was a time when I was quite resentful about tithing. It made no sense to me and I remember thinking, "Good gravy, God doesn't need my money. Why do I have to give at Church?"

My thinking is of course, laughable at best but I'd be willing to wager that I am not alone when I thought this way. Giving resentfully is NOT what God wants. God also does not like stupid either and I am referring to those that give and place themselves in jeopardy possibly not being able to pay a bill. He also does not care too much for those that give simply in a "Show Off" mentality.

Now, I can't speak for the Father but I do believe that the understanding is to give from the heart, give in faith and give quietly, a communique between just yourself and our Lord.The point may be to teach your children to simply give, if even a penny at a time. They do add up, try it you'll see!!

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