I remember well the very first time I attended the Seventh-day Adventist Church at the age of 12. My mother had been given a copy of the Signs of the Times magazine by a colporteur who told her about the little Adventist Church in Orting, Washington.
It wasn’t long before I went to junior camp, then church school in Puyallup for eighth grade, and on to Auburn Academy. I soon became aware of the extensive outreach of our church and how it extended around the world. I think back to that first time in the little Orting Church, and I am amazed that we don’t take more offerings.
I don’t know when I first became aware of the tithe and offering plan that the Lord had instigated, but I know it was early in my Christian experience, because by the time I was married at 19, my wife Carol and I determined that we would pay tithe on all we made, plus a percentage of our income for church expense. We gave to all the other needs of the church as the Lord continued to bless.
As our children grew up, we tried to teach them the same principles. They listened and followed the same plan. Our family has been blessed above and beyond anything we could have imagined.
Early in my married life, I worked as a commissioned salesman, which meant if I didn’t sell any product, I didn’t get paid. I became fairly good at sales, but many times I was tested as I got near the weekend and hadn’t closed a deal. The Lord would bless as I went out on my appointments Thursday evening, and I would sell one or two nice jobs.
I remember clearly one Thursday evening I had not sold anything for the week, and we had bills that were due. Carol said, “I think I’ll go with you tonight.” I had three appointments, and as I came back to the car after each appointment, I wouldn’t say anything to her whether I had sold a job or not. After the last appointment, she said, “You sold all three jobs, didn’t you?” I smiled at her and asked, “Yes, how did you know?” She answered, “Because I was praying.”
In the early 70s, we started a little business called Action Awning Company. We sold patio covers, deck, carport and window awnings. I always said I felt like Paul—I was in the tent and awning business.
Operating your own business is not always a bed of roses, but we continued the plan God set forth in the Scriptures about being faithful in our tithes and offerings.
In the early 80s, I started going overseas one or two times a year for short-term mission service, helping to build schools, churches and orphanages in several countries. Being gone so much takes a toll on a small business, but the Lord always comes through with extra business just before I leave for overseas. Sometimes the jobs that come in at the last minute are the largest of the year.
I have seen over and over the promises in Malachi 3:10 fulfilled. God has opened the storehouse of heaven and poured out a blessing larger than we could receive. If you haven’t done so yet, try Him this year.