Up and Down and Up and Down

October 19, 2007

Hola!

So yesterday was such a crazy day-such roller coaster day!  IN the morning I picked my sister up from the airport in Portsmouth. We had a good time together, and ate at Cracker Barrel which is a treat.  Also, has anyone else noticed that going to cracker barrel in New England is wayyyy different than anywhere down south.  The accents are European and the sweet tea is a joke up here! 

Then work was super busy here at Fellowship.  For one, I received this information guest card cracking on my message from Sunday.  They said “My intro was too long” and I need to get to the “Meat” faster.  Basically that person was either playing a joke or was simply a miserable wretch.  Poor thing.

Then I had this decision to make that was kind of big.  Financially and Investment wise.  I had prayed about it and talked with others and was very excited about it, and then as I talked to the final person I needed to talk to before making the decision, I got worried.  That was the only way to describe it.  It wasn’t a word from God or anything.  It was just fear.  As I talked to the guy, I was looking up some daily blogs I look at every day and had yet to do so.  I opened one of my favorite ones, http://www.stevenfurtick.com, and this is what he said:

“In Matthew 25:14-30 Jesus told a parable about stewardship.
Three men managed money for their master, and the one who took the greatest risk with the master’s money received the greatest reward.
The most conservative one who took no risk was severely punished, and Jesus called him worthless.

I’ll tell you one thing, this flies in the face of the way most church committees and deacon boards think about stewardship.  I mean, how many Spirit-led and God inspired budget items and mission initiatives have been voted down by church boards and congregations because:
“We can’t spend God’s money like that…we have to be good stewards.”
This is often code for: “We can get away with being cheap and faithless, if we blame it on God and couch it in Biblical terminology.”

Of course, there are times when purchases need to be denied.  Of course, we need to operate with sound wisdom, and not every good idea is a God idea.
But the point stands: the best steward award in Jesus’ parable went to the man who risked the most…not the man who played it safe in the name of “good stewardship”.

Is it possible that in the name of good stewardship, some churches never get out into the realm of faith, putting themselves in a position where God has to come through?  Is it possible that the churches to be commended as the “best stewards” aren’t the ones sitting around with a 57 year old trust fund earning interest that eliminates any need for God’s help?  Or the churches who refuse to spend money to enter the modern age and do ministry with excellence because “it’s not good stewardship”?

Good stewardship requires wise decision making, to be sure.
And there’s a fine line between faith and foolishness.
But good stewardship also requires aggressive risk taking.

God’s people should never veto God’s will in the name of good stewardship. “

Man, I was floored and immediately the worry went away and I had a peace that I was making the right decision.  Thanks God!  You bring us to the right path, if we’re walking in your truth.

Later on that day, after I hung out with Carie and my sister some more, I went out with two guys in my life group, Phil and Mark.  The conversation was sullen and slow at first, but then we started talking and probably could have gone the rest of the night.  I praise God for these guys and the rest of my life group who follow through on my leadership and as far as I know, they all got together(or are going to) and became procative on building authentic community with one another.

Then this morning I woke up at 5 and showered and came to the office to continue study of my message.  The week’s topic is on love, and I just came to a point where I started weeping as I went through the passages we’re talking about aand the parts I was studying.  The wholeness of the love of God is so amazing!  It crushes selfishness and ego, manipulation and guilt.  It stomps what I want and paves the way for His Kingdom.  May we all learn to look through the past of our own earthly love experiences and find the wholeness of God’s love to actually be all we need.  I’m so pumped to share with Fellowship Church this principle as we look at going from Good to Great!

Until next time…

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