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  • Bruce Black

Tap Into Your AOTYGS


Welcome to 2023! I hope it has started off in a great way for you.


I love the holidays! Jeanette and I spent time with family and friends and hosted a block party for our neighbors. We received thoughtful gifts from others, and the gifts we gave made the recipients happy. I love that feeling that comes with giving.


Also, during this holiday season, I received daily emails from one or more non-profit leaders asking me to give an end of the year gift to their organization. (I’m sure you received these emails, too.) The writers of these emails would lay down the challenge: “If God’s blessed you throughout 2022, please consider giving an end-of-the-year gift to us.”


I could relate to these emails. I remember attempting to tap into the “End-of-the-Year-Giving-Spirit” (EOTYGS) myself when I worked for local churches. We typically had a December Special Offering. I know firsthand that the EOTYGS is a real thing. Add to the EOTYGS the IRS tax benefits of charitable gifts and together they make a strong pull to donate. It’s no surprise that during December our email boxes were filled with non-profit leaders’ requests to give to their organizations.


As 2023 began, those EOTYGS emails kept popping up in my thoughts. I wondered why I kept thinking about them. And then this question came to me:


“Why do I have to wait until the end of 2023 to tap into my EOTYGS?”


I couldn’t come up with a reason!


I’m going to make 2023 my year of giving and I hope to experience the wonderful feeling that comes from giving throughout the year. In 2023 I’m hoping to tap into my AOTYGS. The “All-of -the -Year-Giving-Spirit.”


As I dedicate 2023 to giving, I plan to give:


My time and my whole self to the people in my life ...

In his book, Playing Well with Others, Eric Barker says that what people want are two things:

  • Our time and..

  • Our whole selves, not just our Facebook/Instagram selves. Barker calls this being vulnerable.


Barker says that people want us to put away our phones and other distractions and be present with them. They want time with us. They also want us to share with them the hurts, the struggles and failures we face, not just stories of the victory laps we have run.


I wonder if that is part of the reason why Jesus came into this world? He gave us his time (33 years of it) and he showed us his whole life: his struggles, his hardships, how people misunderstood him, how some even hated him, as well as his ultimate victory. He gave us His time and His vulnerability. Both are what we long for in relationships.


Knowing the importance of time and vulnerability, I want to give them to others.


  • I commit to not waiting until December 2023 to give resources to others. More on this next week.

  • I want to gift prayer to the people my life…more about this in two weeks.


I want to encourage you to join me in the AOTYGS for 2023. God has the always expressed his love through giving. I’m sure you remember…


For God so loved the world, He gave…


Don’t wait until Christmas to follow Jesus’ example and God’s lead. Embrace your AOTYGS.


Bruce

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