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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Our Stewardship Story

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-Bonnie and I are one of those Lincoln families with split giving due to our employments. We give both to the church and to the Christian university. We give regularly and we give cheerfully. Our ministry has several families who do the same. 

When we first came to Lincoln, neither of us knew that God was going to stretch us in the area of our finances and we certainly didnít understand what God was going to teach us or how God would prove himself to us.

It all began with our first Financial Peace class where we were taught the truth about bad debt; and we had allowed bad debt into our lives. We immediately began to follow Dave Ramseyís teachings and focused on digging ourselves out and establishing a practice of saving. God honored that decision and to this day, has supported us over and over again.

Satan didnít want these victories in our lives and he did his best to discourage us, attack us, and fight us. But once again, God was faithful and opened door after door of financial blessing.

First, there was the blessing of Bonnieís employment with the university. Not only did it meet a need in our personal money issues, it also gifted our son with tuition free education.

Second, there was the pain of being a renter in town for nearly four years. Without our own home, it just felt as if we still hadnít landed in Lincoln. However, due to the housing crunch, the high level of foreclosures, and Godís provision, we were able to buy our first Lincoln home at a below market price.

Third, we were able to be a financial blessing in our daughter and son-in-lawís life at a specially needed time. It thrills us to finally be in a position where we can be financially supportive for our children when the need arises.

This brings us to our present Capital Campaign. Because of Godís generosity with us; because we believe deeply in the ministries of Lincoln Christian Church, and because we are thrilled to be a part of this church, we have made a commitment to give generously above our current giving for the next three years. Many have already joined us in that decision and are making plans now to do the same.

We also are making a small sacrifice to help us honor that commitment. All of our vehicles are paid for in full. But we have a van that now has 230,000 miles and is failing rapidly. We wanted to replace it but have made the decision to put that on hold. I am now driving my son Matthewís little dented up car and for now, will be content to have it as a second vehicle.

As you can see, we are committed to this campaign. We wish we could do much more, but for our current circumstances, these decisions are both sacrificial and generous. And weíre thrilled to do it.

Bonnie and I wrote this together and this testimony moment was healthy for us. It has always been good for us to stop and just once again remember Godís goodness to us through the years and to see in retrospect how God has proven His faithfulness again and again. It still brings a pleasant smile to our faces when we stop and consider Godís goodness.  

[Ron Otto, Lincoln Christian Church]

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