Friday, January 09, 2009

Tithing is a strain on my wallet! I want to donate alternatively! (Personal Entry)

(Privacy settings are set so that only church friends and former missionaries can read this note.)

Since my student loans impart a negative net-worth, the church would technically owe ME money, but that doesn't work this way, so why should I tithe when my outgo outpaces my income?

The tithes I made are good until January 15th (This note was written and saved as a draft on January 9th) and I was told that blessings will come my way if I tithe.

So far, I've been given advice to earn money (appear on Dr. Phil about a "personality shaper" that I'm hiding, and other TV talk shows; Mom says I'd get paid a lot doing that.) and someone at the main Branch church promised he could get me a job with the Department of Defense.

Are these advices the only blessings I've gotten? Classes starts again next Thursday, so how could I possibly squeeze in a Fort Riley job, appearances on talk shows, and classes together and remain in the loops? God can show/tell me unexpected solutions, so I'm all ears! (And all eyes!)

I was expecting something concrete. Oh, wait! I have the lucky numbers behind the fortune cookie slips! I need to find lotto tickets and use those numbers on them. They may be the blessings I've waited for!

Pastor Mike Wangsgaard will NOT let me tithe money-saving lights!

I have been in tight financial waters for a while and I would love to tithe, honestly, but knowing my money's already tight as it is, I'd be more able to afford giving the church one to four of those new CFL bulbs every month.

I suggested this to B.P. Wangsgaard, but he said the Institute's accountants would have to go through too much trouble to "keep track of the money saved from these bulbs." He even suggested that I return them to Home Depot and get the money back; I took that as a piercing insult (but kept those feelings to myself of course. Oh, and they were from Wal-Mart, with some from Aldi's too.)


Virtually ALL packages and boxes of CFL lights say things like "Save $## over the life of one bulb!" Then the fine print says, "Estimated savings based on ##¢ per kilowatt-hour at an average of # hours of use per day."

I remember a bulb packaging saying, "Save $74 over the life of the bulb." I think that assumed 10¢/KWh. Therefore, if the Institute is indeed paying 10¢/KWh, then that would even exceed my monthly tithing minimum (if considering my income before loans and other outgo), and from the kindness of my heart, I could donate 2 or more of these bulbs a month, with the other money saved earmarked towards the various programs, charities and causes in the LDS, I would get imparted an even bigger blessing than by just donating the minimum tithes.

Giving "begrudgingly," and being a cheerful giver

Somewhere the Bible states that God only appreciates a cheerful giver. If I could only donate raw cash and/or check for the tithing amount, I would hesitate heavily over it. Some say do not tithe at all in this case, or only tithe the amount you would not give a moment's hesitation to, so some only tithe up to a certain amount, knowing they'd feel hesitant to donate more.

I would not feel hesitant in the slightest to donate the energy-saving bulbs. Maybe if I can't convince Wangsgaard to let me (after showing him the package's statistics), maybe I could speak with another Branch President from the Marlatt Avenue branch and see if he'll think different.

If blessings do come from the tithes I've already given, and they satisfy enough needs, then I'll not mind tithing the traditional way again.

Three years to pay off $60k to start missionary training and tithing isn't helping the case so far. *sigh*

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