Oct 31, 2014

Rethink: Generosity



Our Stewardship Education Series this year is titled “Rethink: Generosity.” We are now approaching our Loyalty Sunday in which we make an estimate of what we will give the church to do ministry in 2015.

A difficult task is easier done when we know that we are not alone in the struggle. It is easy to give up if is just me, but there is a synergistic flow of energy when it is us.
There was a man in a community who owned a little saw mill. He had one log truck with which he hauled in raw logs. One rainy day he was coming in over the graveled road with a heavy load. The truck slipped in the ditch. He walked a mile up the road to a house and asked the farmer if he would bring his tractor and pull his log truck out of the ditch.

The man said he did not have a tractor, but he had a mule, old Blue. The owner of the log truck said he doubted that a mule could do the job. The farmer said: “You don’t know my mule, Blue.” So, they brought old Blue to the log truck and hitched him to it. The man cracked his whip and said, “Come on Blue.” Blue pulled but the truck did not move. He cracked his whip again and said, “Come on Mac.”

The truck moved just an inch or two. He cracked his whip again and said, “Come on Maude,” and the truck came right out of the ditch. The log truck owner thanked the farmer, but asked him: “Why did you call that mule by three different names?”

“Well,” said the farmer, “you have to understand that Blue is blind and if he thought he was the only one pulling, your truck would still be in the ditch.”

When we think of the family, city, state, and nation as “ours,” and we all pull together, we can solve almost any problem.  What if we included in “our” church God and Christ? What if we pulled our weight as if others depended on us?


Come, Worship
Stay, Learn
Go, Serve

Oct 29, 2014

Whose?



Our Stewardship Education Series this year is titled “Rethink: Generosity.” Here is a story to remind us of who we worship and to whom we belong.

A man went out hunting alone. He had the good fortune of killing an elephant, but no matter how he tried he could not bring the elephant back home. He hurried back to the village and appealed to his fellow villagers to help him bring his elephant home. They asked: “Whose elephant is it?” The man said with pride: “It is mine.” The people refused to help him. He went back to his kill and tried to devise some way of moving the elephant alone, but could not. After reflecting on his problem he went back to the village and repeated his appeal for help. The people asked: “Whose elephant is it?” He said: “It is ours!” The whole village came to his aid at once.

Ownership is essential to cooperation in almost any enterprise. Shared ownership is an essential factor to the health of any institution. It is not my marriage, but ours. They are not my children, but ours. The church does not belong to the pastor. It always bothered me to hear someone refer to “Rev. So and So’s church.” The city does not belong to the mayor. The state does not belong to the governor, or the country to the president. A sense of shared ownership is essential to true democracy in any institution.

Come, Worship
Stay, Learn
Go, Serve

Oct 23, 2014

Change - Or Die!

For years, the opening of The Wide World of Sports television program showed “the agony of defeat” of a painful ending to an attempted ski jump. The skier appeared in good form as he headed down the jump, but then, for no apparent reason, he tumbled head over heels off the side of the jump, bouncing off the supporting structure.

What viewers didn’t know was that he chose to fall rather than finish the jump. Why? As he explained later, the jump surface had become too fast, and midway down, he realized if he completed the jump, he would land on the level ground, beyond the safe landing area, which could have been fatal.

As it was, the skier suffered no more than a headache from the tumble.

To change one’s course in life can be a dramatic and sometimes painful undertaking, but change is better than a fatal landing at the end.

Come, Worship
Stay, Learn
Go, Serve

 
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