Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Thanks for the Encouragement

I suppose this column and my blogspot are really for me to wax philosophical. I am not sure I am much of a philosopher. Besides, the only one I remember was Socrates and didn’t he drink poison? Ugh! Not my cup of tea, please. Well, I will try.

Over the past few weeks, I have been encouraged by your faithfulness. We have been urging people to step forward in faith financially and with their time and wow, it has been happening. I see that as God moving in our midst. But mainly, I see God moving in our midst when I see your concern for others. I see God moving in our midst when I hear you joyfully singing on Sunday morning or on Tuesday night. I see God moving in our midst when you let me help you struggle with the stuff of life.

So thanks. Thanks for being who you are. On my birthday, last year, I received a card from someone and the card said, “I thank God for the Day you were Born.” And it wasn’t from my mother either. Wow that card made me feel good. I want to pass that along to you.

I thank God for the day that you were born. You have made my life richer and fuller. I am a better person for knowing you. Now I want to ask you to do something today. After you read this article, find someone who needs a bit of encouragement and let them know you are glad that they were born and it doesn’t even have to be their birthday.

You have been an encouragement to me and I know that together, we can be a force of encouragement and hope for others this year. Remember, invite a friend to church and bring some food for the poor. But most of all, come to church and expect great things because God is going to be with us. Allen

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Stewardship Time

We are in the middle of our semi annual stewardship campaign. Well perhaps it is more of a bi-annual campaign. We don't do one every six months and only every other year or so. Well, anyway, October is Stewardship month at our church.

Okay, I know some of you don't like these kinds of things but I do. I like them because they remind me that I need to renew my commitment to Christ and the church every so often. I am reminded that Jesus spoke more about how we manage things than he did about a lot of other stuff. I am reminded that the ministry of the church depends on each one of us.

Do you remember the story about the stranger who rode his tired horse into town. It was late afternoon and the man was very tired and hungry. He knew no one in this town but thought that the townspeople might be willing to share a morsel of food for a weary traveler.

As he rode into town, he waved to the people but they only stopped to stare. He got off his horse and approached one of the villagers and asked for a bite to eat. "We have had a poor harvest here and there is barely enough food for our family. You won't find anything to eat here."

From house to house the story was the same. The stranger saw that the people were very disheartened and fearful. So he went to the village square where several folks were gathered. "Gentle folk of the village," he said, "I have in my hand a special stone that will help you make it through the long winter. this is a magic stone. With it we can make stone soup."

Well, by now you may remember the rest of the story. One by one, the villagers brought vegetables, seasonings and such to the fire to watch the man make soup out of the stone. And before long, everyone had a full belly and best of all, the stone soup had brought them all together.

That is the reason, we ask people for a commitment. We ask everyone to put something into the pot. God tells each one what to bring. And when we do, everyone gets filled, even the strangers, and we are all brought together.

I would love to visit with you this Sunday. Come by and let's have some coffee and who knows, maybe a pot of soup. Allen