A Miser’s Conversion

“We’re going to have to spend a lot of money and you’re going to be mad.”

Ellen said that to me earlier in the week and she believed it.


Because when we spend lots of money, I get nervous and, when nervous, I … uh … well … get mad.

But we’ve spent lots of money and I haven’t gotten mad.


Because I, a bona fide miser, had a conversion experience in Alaska.

I went there as a part of a Nazarene Work & Witness team. My friend Spiv summarized our mission experience in this way. She said it had three parts.

First, the work done by us—building, painting, etc.

Second, the work done through us—VBS.

Third, the work done in us.

God hit the target on that third one. Alaska became a work-done-in-me experience.

You need to know …

1)   I worry about money. I can be pretty prickly when we spend lots of money in a short amount of time.

2)   Going to Alaska cost more money than we could afford. On top of that, we had big expenses in July that were beyond the norm.

3)   God through the generosity of others provided every penny for my Alaskan trip, every single penny.

4)   Every time I spent money on anything I realized it was God’s money. A cup of coffee … God’s money. A jacket to keep warm … God’s money. Something for Ellen … God’s money. Lunch out … God’s money.

5)   I came home with a new appreciation for God’s money and decided I’d let Him, if He wanted to, worry about the money thing. After all, it’s His.

We have a special friend in our home, Suvir Saran, who’s drawing others here. We’ll have a house full of people through the weekend. And it costs money to feed “a house full of people.”

No problem. God’s money will cover it.

I’m curious. What area has God been working on in your life?

Challenging thoughts at Stuff Christians Like: “Why People Think Christians are Fake”

A fundamental understanding of community at Goins, Writer: “How to Get People Excited About Anything”

Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes

Two men. Two eternal destinies.

One common hope.

What people are saying:

My friend T. Neal Tarver pulls from his pastor’s heart in crafting this intriguing story. A poignant and compelling portrayal of heaven and hell, with a powerful look at redemption from the perspective of both the lost…and the saved. Well done!–Susan May Warren, best-selling, award-winning author of You Don’t Know Me.

 ”Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes” was a compelling read for me. The vivid  descriptions challenged and ignited my imagination.–Ron Fruit, GM, WRCO Radio

Tarver’s storytelling technique as he takes us along with Nick and Wayne’s journeys through opposite eternal pathways is nothing short of genius.Linda Rondeau, Author of The Other Side of Darkness

My novel can be found at:

WestBow Press


Barnes & Noble

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About tnealtarver

I've traveled and spoken around the world but always love to come home. There I eat exceptional meals, drink coffee to my heart's content, and get loved like nowhere else on earth. I believe a community centered in Christ should be all that and so much more.
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5 Responses to A Miser’s Conversion

  1. Kari Scare says:

    God is working on me in the area of aging for one, but I also relate to the money topic. I have had guilt associated with spending money my whole life, and work inside of me still needs to be done. You’re right in how a mission trip works in and through a person too. On the aging topic, I am not sure what He’s doing in my heart and mind on this one yet, but I know He is leading me to a place of wholeness.

    • tnealtarver says:

      Interesting to read your struggle through a marker I’ve passed. I celebrated my 40th birthday the 2nd week of my family’s arrival in Russia. I think I was too overwhelmed and depressed by my new surroundings to give much thought to my passage into “middle age.” Your writing about the experience offers the future you a good look back (when today becomes a long ago tomorrow).

      • Kari Scare says:

        I never thought of it that way. It was just a way to get through it now. But you are totally right on. Actually, your point fits for all of my blog. Thank you for pointing that out.

  2. jonstolpe says:

    My trip to Guatemala has been working on me in many different directions. I think one of the prime areas is my call to be a missionary right where I am. It’s time for me to be more intentional in my daily interactions with those I work with, I live around, and I spend time with.

    • tnealtarver says:

      You’ve done a great job of debriefing through your blog, Jon. I appreciate your changes shared in the public arena and the offering of applicable truth about foundations, walls, people, etc.

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