November is a time of stewardship focus here at West Pines. "Stewardship" is the careful and responsible management of something (resources) entrusted to one's care.
Stewardship is using someone else's stuff and being responsible as you take care of what rightfully belongs to another person.
A good steward will borrow something that belongs to someone else (i.e., a car, tool, house, boat, money, clothes, computer, bike . . .) and return it in the same or better condition than when it was borrowed.
The Words That Change Everything
What's your life's journey been like? Can you describe it?
All of us have a story to tell. A journey or path to talk about. So different, so unique are our stories that no two are exactly alike. And yet there is a thread that runs through all of our lives and connects us. What is it, you ask???
"Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh -- more power . . . "
I believe there is a fascination with power - specifically more of it. All of us, men and women alike, enjoy more power. Whether it's more horsepower in our car engine or more amps in our microwave, we love power. If faced with the choice of a 1/2 horsepower garbage disposal or a 1/3 horsepower disposal, I tend to think most of us would bump it up to the 1/2 horsepower. Why? Because it's more power.
Could you imagine God saying, "Hey, Sorber, ask me for anything and it's yours. What do you want?"
My mind would most likely go to health, wealth, family unity, church effectiveness, and maybe some toys like an RV, boat, or a '69 Camaro convertible. (Ok, go ahead and judge me . . . )
To Know That You Know
As we make our way through the first chapter of Ephesians this Sunday, October 1, we will see that there was no doubt that the Apostle Paul wanted the "saints who are in Ephesus" (v.1) and the saints who are in West Pines to know that they are blessed (v.3) and loved (v.7-8) by God.
I know I'm going to show my age on this one, but I want to bring your attention to an amazing poem written by Francis Thompson in the late 1800's.
(wow, I am old)
It's called The Hound of Heaven. Here are some of the poem's lines:
Have you ever heard it said, "Church would be great if it weren't for the people"?
I know, right . . . . who would ever say such a thing?
OK. I'm guilty of maybe saying something similar to this a time or two. Certainly in jest.
I've also said, much to the chagrin of my wife, that "I really don't like people much . . . ".
I know . . . what kind of pastor would say that? Am I even a Christian???
Twenty two years ago this month my family came to south Florida to interview for a pastoral position. The visit was great.
We met some of the sweetest people who loved God and loved people.
The church was very family-friendly and our kids (just Jordan, Heidi, and Ben at the time) seemed open to moving south. Except Heidi maybe . . . her comment to a nice lady who babysat for us while Brenda and I interviewed was (and I quote): "You can't tell me what to do . . . we're not moving here."
I'm glad to say that Heidi has outgrown those opinionated outbursts over these 22 years. (or has she???)
Don't Be Tossed To and Fro
As a parent, my role and responsibilities have varied over the years of raising our four children who are now adults (for the most part).
As a teenager, I had the privilege of going to Winona Lake, Indiana and sitting in a large tent with a sawdust floor that dated back to the early 1900's. In this particular tent, some of the greatest preachers of their time had preached the word of God, calling people to repentance. Men like Billy Sunday would "preach up a storm" and people from miles away would come to listen. It was part of the "sawdust trail". Wow!!! People coming from miles away to hear preaching. That's a preacher's dream.