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JAMES DOBSON'S FAITH-FULL PARENTS


"Of all the values transmitted to me by my father, none made a more lasting impression than his attitude toward money. As an evangelist, he could never depend on the compensation he would be given. The local church would collect a freewill offering for my father, but many times the gifts were barely sufficient to pay his traveling expenses. Furthermore, he would usually stay with the pastor during a ten-day revival. While there, he often observed that the children needed shoes or books or medication.


On the final night of the meeting when the modest offering was given to him, my dad would take enough money to get home, and then donate the balance to meet the needs of the pastor's family. Then my dad would return to be greeted by my mother and me. I can still hear the conversations between my good parents.


"Did you have a successful revival?" my mother would ask. "The Lord was with us," my dad would reply. "How much did they pay you?""Well, I need to talk to you about that," my father would say, grinning. "I know," Mom would say. "You gave it all away, didn't you?"


My mother would invariably sanction his decision, saying if my dad felt that way, it was all right. God had always taken good care of us and would continue to do so.


A few days later when the bills began to accumulate, our little family would gather on our knees before the Lord. Dad would pray first.


"Lord, you know we've been faithful with the resources you've given us. We've tried to be responsive to the needs of others when you laid them on our hearts. Now, Lord, my family is in need. You've said, 'Give and it shall be given unto you' (Luke 6:38). So we bring to you our empty meal barrel and ask you to fill it."


As a child, I listened intently to these prayers and watched carefully to see how God responded. I tell you without exaggeration that money invariably arrived in the next few days. God did not make us rich, as some ministers promise today. But He never let us go hungry.


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