5 Reasons for Almsgiving

With Lent comes an emphasis on prayer, fasting and almsgiving. The rice bowls or other ministry containers come home and we are reminded to take the money we save from fasting and give to the poor. Some people take this seriously and some people don’t. Sadly, for a long time I was one of those who basically ignored the almsgiving portion of Lent.

Image by niekverlaan (2014) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Money can be a touchy subject and there are those who think that the Church is all about money. Yes, the Church needs money to run but almsgiving is (and should be) a deeply spiritual act. And, it doesn’t always mean money. If you have limited funds, you can give some of your time or talents or prayers. With a little creativity, there is no doubt that the Holy Spirit will inspire you with ideas for almsgiving.

If you need a little nudge, here are three reasons you should start a regular almsgiving regimen:

It’s Biblical

Tithing goes way back to the Old Testament and Jesus mentions the importance of giving several times, including:

Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” Matthew 8:10

Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.” Matthew 5:42

I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.” Luke 21: 3-4

It is an Act of Mercy

Feeding the hungry, give to the thirsty, clothing the naked, visiting the imprisoned, visiting the sick, sheltering the homeless, and burying the dead are all corporal works of mercy. Therefore, donating (almsgiving) to organizations that provide these services is, by extension, an act of mercy.

Better yet, you can give the alms of yourself by volunteering at an organization that provide these services. Or, just take some time to visit the elderly in a nursing home or a shut in. I worked with the elderly for a long time and I can assure you, it would be a great gift to them and incredibly rewarding for you! God is enormously generous and we always get more than we give.

It Fosters Gratitude

We all go through different struggles in our lives, some times can be worse than other times. When this happens, it is easy to get tunnel vision which makes past our little world a challenge. When we give to those who are less fortunate than ourselves, it can open our eyes and our hearts to the suffering of others. This is especially true if the almsgiving is from our necessities (think of the widow’s mite) and not an afterthought of our surplus.

It Can Help Form a Habit

Hopefully when we start almsgiving at Lent (or any time of the year), it will become a habit of giving and generosity. There are a lot of people who give (especially to food banks) during the Advent/Christmas season but than that falls off. The needy aren’t just needy during the winter holidays (although it is most noticeable then). There are people who need help all through the year.

Therefore, starting to do almsgiving at another time of the year, such as Lent, may help you get you into the spirit of giving on a regular basis.

It Can Strengthen and Enrich our Prayer Life

Or, rather, it should. When we pray, and enter into the heart of God, it is natural to want to spread His love to others, thus making almsgiving an overflow of our prayer life. And when we give alms, it can open our hearts to others and to God in a circle of blessing and grace, thus enriching our prayer life.

There is a reason prayer, fasting, and almsgiving is the trio focus of Lent. All of them, including almsgiving, work together to convert our hearts and our minds to God. If you focus on one or two and ignore the other(s). then you miss out on the fullness of grace that could be yours.

So, I encourage you to prayerfully discern what alms the Lord is asking you to give, be it money, time or talent. And once discerned, have courage to give without cost because, believe me, you will receive so much more than you could ever receive.


REMINDER: I go live in my Facebook group every Monday at 10:35 am EST and every Thursday at 1:30 pm EST. I hope you will join me!

PSST: If you are looking for accountability or focused encouragement in growing your spiritual life, I’d love to chat with you and see if we would be a fit for working together. Book a call with me here.

31 Days of Prayer – Thanksgiving Prayer

Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Therefore, in honor of our Canadian neighbors, I am sharing a thanksgiving prayer that I posted a few years ago:

31 Days of Prayer - Thanksgiving Prayer

Image by LoveToTakePhotos (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Thanksgiving Prayer

Our Father in Heaven, source of all goodness and love, please look kindly upon us and receive our heartfelt gratitude in this season of giving thanks.

We thank You for all the graces and blessings You have bestowed upon us: spiritual and temporal. We thank You for the gift of our faith; our food and shelter; our health; our family and friends; and for the gift of love we have for one another. In Your infinite mercy and generosity, Father,  please grant us Your continued graces and blessings.

We ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.”

With the blessings we receive so abundantly, may we all be filled with thanksgiving and gratitude!


Tweetable: 31 Days of Prayer – Thanksgiving Prayer

31 Days Writing Challenge

Book Review: Love Without Limits

From Book DescriptionLove without limits

In Love Without Limits, Nick and Kanae tell how they improbably found each other, fell in love, and then fought to overcome skepticism from others about their relationship. Filled with practical insights that will benefit any couple, this inspiring book describes a godly courtship and the early years of they Vujicics’ marriage and parenting journey.”

My Comments

I first heard about Nick Vujicic on Youtube when I found a video about him. He was born without arms and legs, and yet he has been an inspiration for thousands of people. He has certainly inspired me. I haven’t always handled my own disability (cerebral palsy) with as much courage, faith, and grace as Nick but his words and joy always remind me of all the things I have to be grateful.

So, when I had the opportunity to read and review Love Without Limits through the Blogging for Books review program, naturally I was thrilled. Whether you are married or not, I highly encourage you to read this well-written, uplifting, and beautiful book.

It is also a practical book. Nick offers advice on how to prepare for a solid marriage by taking the time to discuss important topics, such as spiritual beliefs, financial matters, and what he calls the “elephant-in-the-room” issues. He even writes about the joys of remaining abstinent before marriage and offers tips for avoiding situations that may compromise one’s beliefs. He even goes so far as to offer “rookie tips” for working at one’s marriage.

Needless to say, I absolute recommend this book and give it five (5) stars. 🙂

Changing Your (My!) Attitude with a Little Gratitude!

Yesterday (Wednesday) wasn’t the best of days. It was bad. It was one of those days where I wished I never got out of bed. Ever have one of those days? I hadn’t slept well the night before, so I woke up tired and cranky and the day went downhill from there:

  • I went into the bathroom and found a HUGE centipede in my tub which snapped me out of my grogginess and completely freaked me out.
  • By 9:30am Andrew had lost all of his stones, and was showing no hope of earning any of them back in the near future (due to several tantrums /  melt-downs, among other issues).
  • Two business appointments didn’t go very well.
  • Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong and it seemed like nothing I did was right.

By the time 2pm rolled around I was ready to crawl back under the covers and never come out. I sent Andrew to his room for quiet time, and curled up on the couch. It was then in the silence of the moment that I realized something. I hadn’t prayed.

I usually make it a point of spending at least ten minutes alone with Lord and His Word everyday. Well, I haven’t made the time to do that this week. It has been a busy week, but that’s really an excuse. I could have taken the time; but, I forgot and I didn’t.

So, while Andrew played in his room, I took up the bible and read this verse (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18):

“Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”

Um. Yeah. Not doing that so much. Certainly not praying without ceasing. And I certainly wasn’t giving thanks for the day I was having.

I took out my journal and started writing to the Lord. I have a ‘gratitude journal” but it’s been a long time since I’ve written in it. Anyway, I started writing down all the things I was grateful for. I started with Andrew and all the wonderful things about him. Then I went on to other things I was grateful for. I praised and thanked the Lord and by the end was even thanking Him for the terrible day I was having.

It didn’t take very long; but, those few minutes transformed my thinking and my attitude. Did my day get better? No, not really. But I had a changed perspective.

It’s amazing how reminding ourselves of all the things we have to be grateful for each day can impact our attitude! What about you?  What are you thankful for today?