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LCH Stewardship 2012—Temple Talk by Bill Potter

For the past few weeks members have been sharing their passions with you through Temple Talks and bulletin inserts.

If someone asked what I am passionate about, one of you would probably say the LCH website or our music program. Others might mention Mac computers or the LCH wine cellar. And Miguel will tell you that I’m a fanatic about proper formatting, valid HTML code, good grammar, and correct punctuation.

But when all is said and done, the real passion in my life is LCH and the mission we have been given of proclaiming the inclusive love of God to our world and our community.

And to realize that mission, I am passionate about tithing.

I remember back in the spring of 1979 when I first started working here in Honolulu. I had finished my MA in teaching English, and I had a couple of part-time jobs. I wasn’t making all that much, but I have this distinct memory of adding up my different checks at the end of each month and writing my own check for 10% of that total to the church I was attending. I can’t find my checkbooks from those days, so I can’t tell you exactly how much I was making then, but I do remember that I lived a very simple life.

Many years have passed, I have a full-time job, and I don’t live anywhere near as simply as I did then. But I still wear shorts most of the time. And I still tithe.

If I were talking with a televangelist, the lesson of this story would be that my faithfulness in tithing back then is the reason for my prosperity these days. But fortunately, that kind of thinking is not part of our Lutheran theology. We know that we live by grace through faith and not by our own works.

Still, I have to believe that faithful tithing puts my life on a path that opens me up to blessings. Some of those blessings are material, but the really important ones are spiritual and relational.

And those blessings keep me passionate about LCH and the ‘ohana I have here.

And that’s why I’m passionate about tithing.

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