Intentional Planning Allows For Additional Giving
Miriam Sommers desires to live life based on God's Word and God's math, two values from her youth that she still holds on to in her active life after 80.
In Miriam's early years in California, her parents Peter J and Martha Funk, modeled a positive and welcoming attitude towards life. Her father's involvement in the Mennonite Brethren church, and ministries such as Navigators and Campus Crusade instilled in Miriam the importance of scriptural teaching and sharing the gospel. Her father's business mind and devotion to stewardship became influential in her financial decisions.
She recalls a story of her father opening his wallet as the offering plate circulated through the congregation. In it he had a five-dollar bill and a one-dollar bill. Her mom reached over and gave the $5. Later, their home was broken into and the $1 bill her father had left was taken. Miriam's takeaway? "My parents were going to be without the $6 anyway, wasn't it great that God got the $5."
A key question for Miriam is, 'How am I going to use my money?' Miriam responds, "Why not give it to God? It's a lifestyle thing for me that I saw in my parents."
At times she's needed a reminder. When money was particularly tight she expressed her concern for not having enough money to give to God after paying her bills. A friend reminded her, 'God's math doesn't work that way, pay Him first and you'll have enough.' Miriam says it works.
It's important to Miriam to be intentional with her resources. Her choice of which ministries to support is guided by her desire for the Gospel to reach more people. Miriam's decision to use a Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA) allows her to be a good steward of her finances during her lifetime and provide a legacy gift when she is gone. With the fixed income from the CGA Miriam has additional giving potential for the ministries she loves.
"I want my money to be used of God, for his benefit, not mine," says Miriam.
Miriam remains active in her church and community in Dallas, Texas. She lives in a retirement community but finds plenty to do. She, along with another friend, crochet squares to be assembled into an afghan. When the process is complete they are donated to a homeless shelter in the Dallas area.
"God has always provided enough for me to give. It becomes fun. When you give it to God, he takes care of it," says Miriam. "He has blessed me. I want to live out my life being able to share."