My Rashionale — Late-arriving surprise provides one of those God moments

December 7, 2020

Rod Marshall’s emotional “oh my” response concerned me at first. He stared at the text message on his phone in disbelief for several seconds.

But the stunned look turned out to be because of something really good, actually great.

It came from a heart of awe in what the Lord had done and gratitude to the generosity of those supporting the work of the Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries, where Rod serves as president and CEO.

Rod shared how the Children’s Homes’ 2020 Giving Tuesday goal looked beyond realistic when it was set — $650,000. Still, they sensed a peace and confidence in the ambitious ask, he explained.

When midnight struck on Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1), the dollars donated came up a bit shy of the mark and confused the team, but they didn’t let it discourage them.

And then two days later (mid-morning, Thursday, Dec. 3), Rod’s phone started lighting up as he and I recorded an upcoming TAB Talks podcast on the topic of leadership.

The consistent buzzing and bursts of light caught my attention as we chatted about wisdom, integrity, compassion and other characteristics of a strong leader.

He never blinked nor felt the need to grab his phone. He stayed focused on our conversation, something I’ve been working on in recent months and was able to watch modeled for me in that moment.

As we wrapped up in the studio, Rod flipped through the messages on his phone — and that’s when he stopped and stared.

At 6:30 that morning, a donor contacted Children’s Homes team member Steve Sellers to let him know he had intended to be part of the Giving Tuesday effort but failed to get his check in the mail in time.

He had a $50,000 check in hand ready for Steve to run by and pick up.

With the surprise gift and a few other late-arriving donations, the new total landed at $652,953.

“Our hearts are full” became the sentiment of everyone connected to the Children’s Homes.

We could sense the cheering and high fives as an image of cute kids throwing confetti trickled out through the digital world in a celebratory social media post and email message:

“Thank you for helping us reach and exceed our goal. Every gift helps and every gift makes a difference in the life of a child and family. THANK YOU for your support through Giving Tuesday and every day in-between!”

The generosity of church families and individual donors giving to the Children’s Homes in this recent effort is a great example of how Alabama Baptists respond consistently to the work and ministries taking place across the state, nation and world to make a difference for Christ.

Thank you, Alabama Baptists, for always being willing to dig deep and give with such a generous spirit.

Think of a person, Sunday School class or church missing out on what TAB has to offer and invite them to join our family

We are down to three weeks and counting until we wrap up our 2020 Read TAB Day goal to double our reach.

We launched the effort in August with a goal of expanding our engagement in all areas of service by the end of the year.

So far, we have increased in every area except two. We’ve lost a few Twitter followers and print subscribers, but all other platforms have had healthy jumps.

For instance, our Monday-Wednesday-Friday complimentary email newsletter — TAB Highlights — grew from 365 subscribers on Aug. 1 to 760 subscribers on Dec. 1.

The number of people reading our blog for young adults — The Rope ( — has almost doubled in the same timeframe, and we’ve gained more than 1,000 Facebook followers, getting us close to the 9,500 mark.

The monthly average of visitors to our website ( has steadily increased as well.

As we’ve analyzed the numbers and thought about the various audiences, we are realizing just how many Baptists are missing out on the expansive content, various resources and networking opportunities provided through TAB Media.

We are beyond grateful for the opportunity to continue printing a weekly newspaper when most other states have gone to biweekly, monthly or not at all.

It’s also exciting to be able to provide all we offer in print through our digital platforms as well, so there really is something for everyone in whatever form you prefer.

Your subscription to TAB comes with an all-access pass that includes:

  • Weekly print edition
  • Emailed PDF edition
  • TAB News app edition
  • Member-only access to more than 45,000 archived articles, the latest news coverage and information about helpful resources for individuals and churches
  • Discounts on seminars, webinars and workshops sponsored or co-sponsored by TAB Media.

Let us know if we can help you take full advantage of the all-access pass by calling 800-803-5201 or emailing

And help us double our reach by thinking of someone you can share TAB with today.

By Jennifer Davis Rash

  • David Garrard Magic