Two years ago, I had just started a new job, it was a fancy career job which paid a salary and everything! For the first time in my life, I had an "adult" income stream coming in. And for the first few months I did not give a full tithe (10%), as Christian tradition suggests. There were a whole host of reasons for this in my head, most related to the uncertainty of what expenses I would be incurring and what the taxman would take from me (always too much).
For the next three months, I worried about money a lot. It was on my thoughts almost daily and my income, though much bigger than anything I'd ever earned before, just didn't seem enough for what was required. December was the third month and Christmas was a struggle not to panic at how expensive the festive season is.
Over the Christmas holidays, my conscience finally won through and I was convicted that as my God had given me a salary, so I had to make giving my first priority. So in fear of what might happen and what unplanned expenses would be incurred, I increased my giving to the full tithe.
Almost overnight, my money worries vanished. This surprised me. It should not have. For my story is not unique nor is it out the ordinary, it is the economy of God working as it always does.
Being cynical - by nature, choice and desire - the recent fad on Facebook for girls posting pictures of their faces without any make up on provides much ammunition. While the end result, over two million pounds raised for a cancer charity, is undoubtedly a Good Thing there is still a lot of room for perverse amusement.
As a typically unobservant guy I can struggle to really tell the difference. Maybe if their face colour has changed from the usual orange to a more natural colour... The other thing that amuses me greatly is the irony of seeing a #nomakeupselfie taken with just the right light, just the right angle, just the right background to basically achieve the same effect as make up.
On further reflection, it is a brilliant concept. Consider a hypothetical woman wanting to take part in the trend. A #nomakeupselfie makes her appear brave for sharing her non dolled up face with the world and makes her look morally good for being willing to do this for charity. Not only that but any likes or nice comments are doubly pleasing for her vanity! It's a win-win situation. And all this combined with a veneer of humility, how can it be about pride and vanity when money is going to charity and a potentially awful picture is being shared with the world?