Here is a comment I tried to post to David's reply to my August 5 sermon (blogger wouldn't let me post it):
Thank you, David. Perhaps our challenge as Christian leaders is to give people good compelling reasons to give. I remember, as a child, my grandfather giving $1 each Sunday at church. It was also what he always left as a tip. I think that, at some point, it was a generous offering and tip, but by the 80's we (my family) would have to sneak back the table at a restaurant and supplement his dollar.
Here's something I wrote in the latest sermon, and I can't remember where I read it, but I read it somewhere last week:
Christian thinker Ron Sider has figured out that if all the Christians in the USA alone were to tithe – give 10% of our income – we could provide basic nutrition and healthcare to all the poor in the world, and have about $70 billion left over each year.
How differently the Third World would see the USA if it was our priority to save life rather than to take it! The best way to store up treasure in heaven is to give our earthly treasure to people in need. As St. Augustine said, the bellies of the poor are the best storerooms for our extra grain.