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  • Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. (1 Peter 4:12-13, ESV)

Archive for November, 2012

Have you ever thought about giving? Maybe you’ve even thought “I don’t see why that’s my problem.” Tune in to this episode of our worship service podcast and gain a new perspective. You’ll never think about giving the same way again. It’s not about the money.

People cry for many different reasons. Sometimes we cry whenever we are joyful and sometimes – and even more often we cry whenever we are confronted by a tradgedy. Tune in to this episode as we explore what the gospel of John says about crying.

I hope this message inspires and challenges your heart to always try to do the right thing because when you do you will reap blessings more than you can think or imagine.

PAINTED WITH A DIFFERENT BRUSH

One man who loved the color yellow had yellow carpet, yellow furniture, yellow drapes, yellow walls and even yellow appliances in his yellow kitchen. He slept in a yellow bed with yellow covers and wore yellow pajamas. He got sick. You guessed it…yellow jaundice.
He called a doctor who came to his apartment building. The manager told him he’d have no trouble finding the right one. “You just go down the hall and come to a yellow door,” he said. “That’s the one.”
In a few moments the doctor was back. The apartment manager asked, “Were you able to help him?”
The doctor replied, “Help him! I couldn’t even FIND him!”

I suppose it’s not always a good idea to blend too closely with your surroundings. And that holds true for the way we think and behave, too. We may not always want to be like everyone else around us. I admire those people willing to stand out from the crowd.

People like a Miami mother who came to police and spilled out cash and coins totaling $19.53. Her young son added another 85 cents to the little pile. It turns out that, after two days, they were the only people to return money scooped up from an armored truck that toppled on an overpass and rained more than half a million dollars onto the street below. Police said that witnesses reported seeing rush-hour commuters loading money into their cars and driving off while the armored truck employees lay bleeding. Police had pleaded with residents to return the money, but got nothing but laughter until a mother and a boy came in.
In a world that seemed to think alike, two people had a different idea. They refused to blend in with those around them. It was as if they were painted with a different brush. “I have children and I needed to set a good example,” said the mother of six, who could have used a little extra cash to supplement her low retail store wage.
Most people talk about values and what they believe to be right and wrong. But I’ve noticed that our REAL values can be seen by the way we live. It is the things we do and the choices we make that show what we truly believe.
An 11-year-old boy who turned in 85 cents because he felt “it was wrong for me to keep anything” stood out from the crowd. And a mother who wanted to teach her children to do the right thing set an example they will never forget. Like Ruth E. Renkel says, “Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritances.”
When this Miami mother one day passes away, she will leave her children a rich inheritance. Maybe not a pile of money, but she will leave them an example of a life of integrity and self respect, an example of what it is like to be painted with a different brush. She will leave them something far more important than wealth.
If her children inherit her values, anything else is just money.
Paint them fortunate.

By Steve Goodier

I hope this message encourages and inspires your heart to believe again that greatness lies within you and that every dream that is in your heart can be realized.

WHAT ARE YOU DREAMING ABOUT?

The agricultural school dean was interviewing a freshman. “Why have you chosen this career?” he asked.

“I dream of making a million dollars in farming, like my father,” replied the freshman.
The dean was impressed. “Your father made a million dollars in farming?”
“No,” the student said. “But he always dreamed of it.”

All right. That was corny. But at least this student has a dream, even if it is only a dream about money.

I prefer the story of a man who was discussing with his wife a trip he wanted to take to Alaska. He told her he’d always dreamed of such an adventure. He wanted to travel deep into the wilderness. He wanted to rough it. He talked about how exciting it would be to stay in a log cabin without electricity, to hunt caribou and drive a dog team instead of a car.
“If we decided to live there permanently, away from civilization, what would you miss the most?” he asked his partner.
She replied, “You.”
His dream; not hers. A better dream might include her.

This is a time of year we often examine our dreams and goals. I’ve found a couple of questions helpful when I consider which dreams to chase and which to leave alone.

First, does my dream have deep meaning? Or put another way, is it significant and important enough to commit my time and energy toward? What will it ultimately mean if I accomplish this thing I think I want? Probably the pursuit of prosperity alone will not bring the kind of meaning you desire at a deeper level.
The second question is similar. Does my dream spring from the best that is within me? Does it come from a place of love or altruism? Will my life and the lives of those I love be better for it? My best dreams include those I love.
What are you dreaming about?

By Steve Goodier