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.
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???
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.
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.
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???)
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.