Salvation and Stewardship Should be Inseparable

Salvation and Stewardship Should be Inseparable

Salvation and Stewardship Should Be Inseparable Mark 10:17-31 Twenty years ago, on the Mediterranean island of Malta, conjoined twins Mary and Jodie were born.  The twins shared a heart and lungs.  Their parents carried the twins to London. There the doctors determined that the twins would eventually die.  The only way to save the life of one would be to separate the babies.  Such an operation would mean immediate death for the other. Mary would eventually die, but Jodie was given the chance of a full life. None of us may ever be faced with such an agonizing ethical decision. Jesus once presented a man with a life and death decision I want you to contemplate. Once a man came to Jesus and asked him, “Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may (have) eternal life?” (Mark 10:17) This question is a good one. Most people I have met want to go to heaven when they die.  This man was no exception.  How did Jesus respond? You would think that Jesus’ response would be one that we have all been taught to use when someone asks us this question, but to my knowledge, no one ever responds to this question the way Jesus did. How do we usually respond to this question? Children that attend Vacation Bible School are taught the A, B, C’s. A is for Admit.  Admit that you have sinned. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 6:23) NIV B is for Believe. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”...
Our Responsibility for the Earth

Our Responsibility for the Earth

January 19, 2019 Romans 8:18-28 In Genesis one, God began a relationship with the earth and with the inhabitants of the planet before he started a relationship with us.  With everything God made, God said that it was good. The streams, rivers, and oceans were good.  The valleys, meadows, hills, and mountains were good. The animals that inhabited the land, sea, and air were all made just the way God intended.  The vegetation that grew in the sea, deserts, rainforests, meadows, forests, on mountain faces were all good. From microscopic animals to the largest ones to walk the earth, God made them all and said they were good. In Chapter one of Genesis, beginning with verse 26: 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” 29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all...
God’s Value System

God’s Value System

God’s Value System January 12, 2020 Luke 7:36-8:3 I have in my hand two bills of different values.  Same weight, same material, same production costs, but different amounts.  So why is one bill more valuable than the other? We have determined that one of these bills will trade for more goods and services than the other. One of these bills is worth more because the treasury department says it’s worth more. It has been assigned a higher value than the other. Just as we assign value to money, we also assign value to people’s time. Our society has determined that an hour of a doctor’s time is worth more than an hour of a cashier’s time, unless you happened to be standing in the line of a cashier. An hour of a teacher’s time, unfortunately, is worth much less than it should be, which is the reason it’s becoming more challenging to attract people to the teaching profession. An hour of my veterinarian’s time is worth more if my dog is dying than if my dog just needs a yearly vaccination. We’ve determined what people’s time is worth based on which skills we value most, and which skills we need the most at any given time. We value people’s time on how much we have to pay for it or how much intangible benefit it brings. Can you place a value on the time of a friend, a parent, a child, or a grandparent? When we only value people for their profession, power, or money, we’ve left out some of the most important values like love, wisdom, friendship, companionship,...
Are You Just Spinning Plates?

Are You Just Spinning Plates?

January 5, 2020 When I did clowning, I had a plate spinning routine where I’d spin a plate on a stick. I’ve not done the routine in many years, but I used to perform the comedy sketch at R.B. Wright Elementary School when my children were young. Tizzy would spin one plate on a stick and place in on a stand. Then, he would spin another plate and put it on the stand. By then, the first plate started to wobble, and the children would scream and tell him it was falling. Tizzy would run back and spin that plate some more. By then, the second first plate started to wobble. Once he had those two plates spinning fast, he started spinning the third plate, and so on until five or six plates were spinning. Of course, each time a plate began to wobble, the children started to yell and scream. Each time, Tizzy would run and catch the plate before it fell and give it an extra spin. After all the plates were spinning, Tizzy would take his bow. But filled with arrogance and pride at his great accomplishment, one by one, his plates started falling off of their sticks to the great pleasure and amusement of the children. Does this sound like your day, your week, your life? Maybe you are a great multitasker. Or perhaps, you would admit that your life is sometimes in a tizzy because you are overextended with commitments, projects, or financial obligations. Didn’t life use to be simpler? I realize that whatever age you are, life at times seems complicated. We always...
Shine a Light on Your Noise

Shine a Light on Your Noise

December 29, 2019 John 17:25-33 How many of you are going to stay up and usher in the New Year Tuesday night? It seems like the older I get, the more of these I sleep through. New Year’s Eve is a young person’s thing, I suppose. When you are young, you haven’t experienced many New Year’s Eve celebrations, so you want to stay up and see what all the fuss is about.  After you get older, wisdom sets in, and you remember someone wise once told you that not a lot of good happens past midnight so you stay home and watch all the young people celebrate on television. You promise yourself you’ll stay up and watch the ball drop in Times Square, and about 12:30, you wake up and discover you missed it all, so you drag yourself to bed while all the young people or young at heart continue to party and make a lot of noise. Why noise? Why not enter the New Year with some peace and quiet, with nothing but the sound of a clock ticking away on the mantle? Though few are aware of the custom, making noise as the New Year comes in was once thought to be an effective way of pushing away the evil spirits so they would not enter the New Year with you. I guess if we thought that worked, regardless of our age, we’d all be making a lot of racket as the New Year came in. Eventually, though, all of us want some quiet. Even the rowdiest, party animals eventually have to sleep, and most people...