Tithing is really near to my heart. I grew up watching my mother give 10% of our income no matter how tight the budget was that month. She believed that God meant what He said about taking care of our finances, and we all watched as He came through on His promises. When God called Sam and I to move to Kosovo and live on support, I knew I wanted to give 10% away, no matter how little we might receive.
It has quickly become my favorite part of the month. We pray, and then we choose people or organizations to bless. Even when our account is low, it makes us feel rich, because if we have enough to give away, then we must have enough. And per God's promise, He always blesses us with more than enough.
In February, we weren't receiving much support, but we still felt God leading us to go to Germany over Sam's spring break. We knew we needed to get out of the country and rest, and we were feeling particularly drawn to stay with Seth and Becky Rodden, Sam's friends from college, but we were hesitant to spend money on it. In faith, we booked the trip, and sure enough, God provided the finances for it. As we considered our March tithe, God led me back to a verse I'd read during our honeymoon:
Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always. (Deuteronomy 12:22-23)
As it turned out, our Love Feast, as we dubbed it, was one of the best parts of our trip. Seth and Becky had been in Germany as long as we'd been in Kosovo, and they seemed just as tired as we were. Seth speaks excellent German and has a couple jobs, but they don't cover living expenses, and so the newlyweds (married just a few months before us) have been scraping by on their own savings. Becky is a wonderful cook, but has had to reinvent spaghetti a hundred different ways to fit their food budget. They are incredibly ingenious, giving people (and totally spoiled us when we stayed with them), and we couldn't think of any better way to bless them than with the feast we already had in mind. We took them out to Münster's famous Pinkus Brewery and ordered the most German thing on the menu. We talked about everything we were grateful for and encouraged one another, but mostly, we ate. And ate some more. We allowed the Lord to satisfy us, and we felt His spirit comfort us. It was just what we all needed to carry on.
I'll end this with Psalm 103, which perfectly describes the God who sometimes commands us to feast:
Praise the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits--
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Liz & Sam
PS: If anyone feels led to bless the Roddens, please email us, and we'll happily orchestrate it!
As always, support can be sent to
Sam & Elizabeth Steere
3601 Ginger Creek Dr.
Springfield, IL 62711