Thoughts on life, leadership and the movement called the church by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fields of Gold

I finished reading the small but potent book today called Fields of Gold by Andy Stanley. It's a book about giving and it's one of the best books on the subject I've ever read. It's a quick read, but extremely powerful. In typical Andy fashion, the book includes moving illustrations and begins with THE best story related to why we should give that I've ever heard. (you have to wait all the way to the epilogue to see how that story gets resolved, and it's a real gem if you do!).

So, I highly recommend this book. Even if you are a long-time giver or tither, you would still benefit from it.

It's available in paperback or for your Kindle, and you can get it be clicking here.

When I read, I underline, highlight, dogear pages, make notes, etc. Here are a few of the notable quotes (for me) from Fields of Gold:

* I already mentioned the opening story, beginning in chapter 1 called "Dust in the Wind" and resolving in the Epilogue. Don't miss it. It's awesome.

* "...doesn't that make it irrational to trust God for your eternal destiny, yet decline His invitation to direct your finances?"

* "When you give away something valuable, it feels like a loss. You had something. Now you don't. And that can be a tremendous disincentive to give more. But Paul (2 Cor 9:6-11) puts this concept in a completely different light. He says that giving to God's work is not giving something away. It's an investment, not a loss. The farmer who sows doesn't lose seed. He gains a crop." What rational farmer would say, 'I'm afraid to sow my seed because then I won't have the seed anymore? What will happen if I need this seed?' Any farmer knows that if he wants a crop, he's got to sow his seed. It doesn't benefit him to stuff his pockets full. Neither does it do any good to pray, 'Oh God, please give me a crop. I'm not sure I'm ready to sow any seed, but God I'm trusting You to get involved. And I'm holding onto my seed just in case.'"

* "True wealth is having everything you need when you need it. And God is able to give you all things, at all times - all that you need."

* "The fact is, God can be sitting on the sidelines watching you struggle financially, or He can be actively involved as your financial partner. It all depends on what kind of steward you are....I think you already believe that God can intervene directly to change your financial picture. Here's why I think this. As a pastor...I've never heard anyone pray: 'God, as You know, I've withheld from You all these years while I followed my own plan. And sure, I've gotten into this financial catastrophe while on my plan, but I still think my plan can work. So I'll figure things out here on my own, and You can go help somebody else.' No. When the bottom drops out, we suddenly what God involved in our finances.

There is a LOT more that is notable here, but hopefully this has wet your appetite. Go get the book and read it!

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Ultimately, it seems giving is more a trust issue than a generosity issue. Do I trust that God will provide what I need if I give up my hold on some of my money? When the Israelites tithed of the first (and best) of their crops, how could they be assured there would be more, or that the locusts wouldn't come and devour everything--they couldn't. And neither can I. Somehow, I come to a place where I have to trust that God sees the bigger picture and WILL care for me (as he does for the birds and plants). It's a daily issue of trust for me.