"Honey, could you come? Phillip has asked to see us and especially requested that you come." I hurriedly completed my task and joined my husband as we walked to our friend's car.

"I just wanted to share with you what has been happening with us these past few weeks," he said. "I think you will be as amazed as we are--and as excited.

"Remember, Pastor, how I sought your advice regarding the payment of tithe on property we had sold? Because we needed to buy again, at a more expensive price, I wondered if it was necessary to tithe the full amount of increase."

"Yes, I remember," my husband replied. "My wife wasn't with me at that time but I also remember what I told you. I said that I could not tell you what you should do but was happy to share our experience with you. Every time we sold a home, even though we were usually needing to purchase again, we returned tithe on the increase we had accrued since purchasing that property. We have done this a number of times and every time the Lord has blessed us."

"That's right," Phil replied. "It wasn't easy for me to do that. I wrestled with the problem but eventually decided to follow your example. And you won't believe the results!

"We were planning to purchase a house but nothing we looked at seemed right for us. So eventually, we began to investigate the possibility of buying land and having a home built to our requirements. We started searching for land and found a new development in a rural area that suited us. But we were told every block had already been purchased at the original price of $99,000.

"I was naturally disappointed but had the temerity to ask the agent to contact me if any of the allotments were being resold. He told me he did not expect that to happen. Even if it did, the land would be considerably more expensive than when it was originally sold off the plan--up to 25 per cent more. "I had realised that would be the case and told him I would be willing to go to the more expensive resale price. He didn't give me much hope for this to happen but agreed to keep me in mind should there be any change in the situation.

"The following week, the agent phoned me to say that one owner had not been able to come up with the full price of the land by the required date and the block was available to me at the original price, if I was interested. I assured him I was, and would come and close the deal. But this was not the end of the story.

"Having completed this transaction, I was even bold enough to ask him to please let me know if any more allotments came up.

"Imagine my amazement when the agent again phoned me with news that a second block was now available--and that it would also be at the original selling price. I immediately assured him I would take both blocks!

"Some weeks previously, I'd discovered that a friend had also endeavoured to purchase a block of land in this development but was too late. However, I felt I should let him know that I had been able to purchase a second block that had become available for resale. So I phoned his son to pass on that he could buy this second block instead of me but was informed that his father had already purchased elsewhere.

"That meant I was able to obtain the two allotments at a price that gave me savings of four times the amount I had returned in tithe! I want to thank you, Pastor, for sharing your experience with me--and thank my heavenly Father for fulfilling His promise to me in such a dramatic and encouraging way."

If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving?large or small?it will be used to measure what is given back to you. Luke 6:38.

Joy Totenhofer is retired and lives in Mooroolbark, Victoria.