I have had some similar experiences with people, but this pastor’s story is phenomenal! A must read, but especially for church leaders.
A story from today’s devotional…
Is yours an addition church or a multiplication church?
Hattie May Wiatt, a six-year-old girl, lived near Grace Baptist Church in Philadelphia, USA. The Sunday school was very crowded. Russell H. Conwell, the minister, told her that one day they would have buildings big enough to allow everyone to attend. She said, ‘I hope you will. It is so crowded I am afraid to go there alone.’ He replied, ‘When we get the money we will construct one large enough to get all the children in.’ Two years later, in 1886, Hattie May died. After the funeral Hattie’s mother gave the minister a little bag they had found under their daughter’s pillow containing 57 cents in change that she had saved up. Alongside it was a note in her handwriting: ‘To help build bigger so that more children can go to Sunday school.’ The minister changed all the money into pennies and offered each one for sale. He received $250 – and 54 of the cents were given back. The $250 was itself changed into pennies and sold by the newly formed ‘Wiatt Mite Society’. In this way, her 57 cents *kept on multiplying. * Twenty-six years later, in a talk entitled, ‘The history of the 57 cents’, the minister explained the results of her 57-cent donation: a church with a membership of over 5,600 people, a hospital where tens of thousands of people had been treated, 80,000 young people going through university, 2,000 people going out to preach the gospel – all this happened ‘because Hattie May Wiatt invested her 57 cents’. The theme of multiplication runs throughout the Bible. What cannot be achieved by addition, God does by multiplication. You reap what you sow, only many times more. What you give to the Lord, he multiplies.
God is Not a Smorgasbord by Dr. Tony Evans
Far too many Christians today want a smorgasbord God. The kind of God where you pick and choose when you want Him and when you don’t want Him. But that’s not the kind of God He is, and the kind of people He is looking to partner with in impacting the world are those who follow single-heartedly. He doesn’t want you to just align with Him in private. He is not seeking a silent majority. He wants you and me to go public. He calls each of us to declare our allegiance to Him above all else.
God has something to say on every subject and every issue that confronts us as a culture and in our personal lives, and He has made Himself clear in His Word. If we are going to make a difference by bringing healing, oneness, justice and righteousness into a broken world, we must first get our own lives together and commit to obedience. We may have made some mistakes in the past. We may have tried to pick and choose when it comes to obedience. But we can start right now to make a better tomorrow.
Let’s declare our intention to serve God in everything we say and do. Why would we want to settle for the cafeteria god when we can have the full meal deal?
By Dr. Tony Evans
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This was posted in a devotional that comes to my email box. It was titled, 4 ways to love at work, but I would say these are ways to love no matter what setting we are in. They come directly from 1 Corinthians 13.
Love Bears All Things.
The verb to bear has two related meanings, to hold up and to cover – something like a pillar holding up a roof. The pillar holds up the roof and enables it to withstand the wind. Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of this word picture. He covers and protects us. In a lesser sense, we are also to be pillars for our colleagues.
Love Believes All Things.
The object of our belief is the Lord Jesus Christ. We trust that he is alive, seated at the right hand of the Father, and interceding for us. This is the transformative truth that allows us to see everything differently. If God is for us who can be against us?
Love Hopes All Things.
We live in an age of cynicism. Cynicism prevents us from having genuine hope in God’s unfolding plan. In our worry and doubt, we can fail to see the glorious things God is doing in our midst.
Love Endures All Things.
The workplace can be a test of patience. Frustrations and anger can lead to sustained bitterness. The Holy Spirit walks beside us and enables us to have peace (shalom) even in the face of trouble.
May you have a blessed day!
Going Back in Time
By Stacy Bohl
If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. (Hebrews 12:8)
There have been dramatic changes for everyone this past year. Both of our children had been away at college for a couple years. We were used to being “empty nesters” and had changed one of the kid’s rooms into an office. Shortly after the pandemic hit, our children finished their studies for the year, and we made the tough decision that they would stay home for 2020- 2021 school year.
My husband and I both switched to working at home, so we are all at home, together, almost 24/7. I had gotten used to not having the kids around. After the kids had left, I often spent many hours working at my main job and my side-business, sometimes working 10-12 hours.
My daughter kept coming into my office and asking me when I’d be done. On lunch breaks she’d ask me if we could go out and do something. My other daughter would accuse me of working too much. I would make excuses and even get angry when they came into my office while I was working.
When our kids left for college, we were sad to see them go. Our family is close, and we would call each other often, but I never dreamed I would have them back at home. Why should I be angry that my kids wanted to spend time with me? That’s not what God would want for me. I decided to recognize this change as a gift from God. I adjusted by scheduling “family-only” time on my calendar. It has helped me to make sure I don’t work longer than I should. It works!
Challenge: If there areas in your life that you might be putting too much or too little time, how might you make a change?
Feeding the Hunger
By Dr. Tony Evans
Many people come to church Sunday after Sunday to be pacified. They want enough to make them feel like they’ve gotten something, only to discover all week long that they are still hungry. They look for this pacification in a service, song or sermon only to wise up to the hunger still within. Sure, they got something that gave them the impression that it was the real thing, but they soon realize that something else is still missing. They do not sense the nutritional value that they expected to be passed on to them.
As long as you are satisfied with pacifiers, you won’t cry out for the real thing. Unless you become like the baby who rejects pacification––the religious, ritualistic ceremony of going through the motions––you will never find the true-life nourishment that comes from knowing God experientially. The real question we’ve been asking all along is how hungry are you to know God? Because God feeds those who cry out in hunger for Him.
God invites each of us into a truly transformative process wherein He asks us to view life’s trials through the lens of His own personal fellowship, intimacy and purpose. That’s true nourishment. When you choose to do that, you will also experience His power to restore, revive and return the years that the locusts have stolen (Joel 2:25).