Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Put your money where your mouth is
5:13 p.m. Today's project was to make several end-of year small donations to organizations and ministries that I believe are doing important work for health, research, combatting poverty, the preservation of our constitutional rights and freedom of religion.
My priority is to support organizations who preach and uphold the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but not all of my recipients are Christian organizations. Another priority is to fund 501C.3 non-profits, but some donations will not be tax deductible, because the money is used for political advocacy.
As I skimmed through my checkbook, I saw groups we support all year long, year after year: our church, Samaritan's Purse, American Bible Society, Focus on the Family, Prison Fellowship, Paralyzed Veterans, Riverside Police and Firefighters, The Word for You Today, Riverside Life Services, Heartline, Institute for Creation Research, Teen Challenge, the Harvest Crusade, California Right to Life. Like many in our community, we leave bags of clothes out for Lighthouse for the Blind, Vietnam Veterans, and Goodwill. The saddest part of the financial struggles we've endured has been a lessening of our giving for a good part of this year. It's a privilege to be able to contribute once again to causes we believe in. God is so good!
Some donations are intensely personal. Steve and I are very eager to see breakthroughs in Alzheimer's research, so we are sending the Alzheimer's Association a contribution. I'm a breast cancer survivor, so we gave to the Susan G. Komen foundation, and participate in Race for the Cure. As senior citizens who desire advocacy that reflects our faith and moral values, we've joined the Christian Seniors' Association.
American Christians have much to be thankful for, but also mounting concerns about the "free exercise" of our religion as guaranteed to us in the Bill of Rights. Vigilance is needed to preserve our constitutional rights on many fronts today. The American Center for Law & Justice, Pacific Justice Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and Citizens United boldly represent concerned citizens up to and including bringing cases to the Supreme Court. If we feel candidates for office merit our support and represent our views, we give to local, statewide, out-of-state, and national races. We can't be everywhere, but we can send small donations!
Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world." But Jesus Himself said in Luke 6:38, "Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."
Is your cause just? Do you want to see the gospel preached? Then help make it happen!