Tag Archives: Giving

The Contribution: An Act of Worship

The Lord’s church is a unique institution. One of her unique characteristics is the manner in which her financial needs are supplied.

No church policy pressures members into giving. We do not exact tithes from members, nor do we attempt to finance our work with street collections, fairs, bazaars, bake sales, bingo parties, or other such fund-raising activities.

Each week faithful Christians contribute from their hard-earned wages to support the work of this church. We are fortunate and thankful to our Heavenly Father for the loyalty of our brothers and sisters who have committed themselves to provide for these financial needs.

The principle upon which the financial needs of the church are supplied is given in 2 Corinthians 9.6-7:

But this I say, he which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver.

Acceptable giving is something that is learned through studying God’s Word. It must be purposed and planned. It is a personal expression of devotion and love for God and His church. It is an act of worship centered in the heart expressed with money earned
through your labor.

– Bill

 

A Living Faith

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.    Matthew 5.14-16

Faith – religion – belief in God is valuable only in the way it impacts your life. Christianity is and has always been a religion of the individual person. Sure, there are things we collectively believe and hold in common as a church, but at its simplest level, Christianity addresses this one question: What do you do with Jesus of Nazareth?

Christ – Not an Idol or an Icon

Generally, the world has made Him a god of veneration, an idol and an icon. He’s extolled as an ideal, one worthy of praise and worship for His great sacrifice on our behalf.

But is that all? What about the way He’s taught us to live? His teachings and example go largely unheeded. To literally live the way He wants us to live is seen as impractical, even impossible, as G. K. Chesterton has observed, “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”

Once when asked about the “greatest commandment,” Jesus answered, “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength…you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12.30-31).

Could Christianity really be that simple – to love God above all else and to love others more than self?

Example of Living Faith

When Makenna was stricken with leukemia, my heart was crushed, and I despaired for her, fearing her young life would be cut short.

But did she despair? Throughout those long weeks of hospitalization and chemo, not a whimper. Instead, it was “be strong and courageous and do not be afraid.” Up until that time she had a professed faith; the crisis of that illness enabled her to live what she claimed to believe – to love God above all else and trust Him whatever the outcome. Her young faith gave witness to an entire town of what it means to be a Christian.

The Make-a-Wish Foundation grants “the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions…wishes that change the lives of the kids we serve.” That’s a great organization providing  children who are seriously ill – oftentimes terminally ill – an opportunity to fulfill a dream.

Makenna’s Make-a-Wish was granted this past week. Two representatives from the Make-a-Wish Foundation visited Imperial to inform Makenna that her wish to provide two families in earthquake devastated Haiti with homes, food, and water was going to be honored. Here’s what I find compelling: the Make-a-Wish Foundation seeks to “change the lives of the kids we serve.” Makenna’s “make-a-wish” seeks “to change the lives of others.”

Selfless Giving

Now we could say, “Wow, isn’t Makenna a great kid? Look at how unselfish she is, to give her ‘wish’ to somebody else.” And that’s how I think most people have reacted – which is alright; it’s only natural.

I haven’t talked to Makenna about any of this, but here’s what I think I know about her. She didn’t do this to attract attention to herself (although that’s inevitable). She probably would have been just as pleased to know her wish had been granted without the ceremony.

What she chose to do is a part of her living faith. She not only loves God, but others – even strangers in faraway places. And so when presented with an opportunity of her own choosing, she chose to “do unto others…,” to let “her light shine before others, so that they may see her good works and give glory to her Father who is in heaven.”

Whereas I think Makenna is a great and unselfish young woman, I’m more grateful she’s opened her heart to God, allowing Him to work through her. Christianity is not something she wears as a badge, it’s something she is, and I give thanks and glorify God for her living faith.

– Bill 

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.          Ephesians 3.30-21

 

 

The Gospel for the Poor, the Crippled, the Blind, the Lame

Marginal people they are — the poor. They’re easily overlooked and ignored. They’re not “like” us. They make us uncomfortable.

Well, folks, I think it’s time for us to get uncomfortable. I encourage you to turn back and read again and again what Jesus had to say about the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind — all those we tend to neglect, overlook and forget. Just look around our church building on any Sunday morning. How many of “those” people are present?

The Bible speaks often of God’s concern and care for the poor, the fatherless, the widow, and the oppressed. We need to retune our ears to hear this biblical concern for the poor and the neglected. In turning to serve and help them we feel the heartbeat of God.

The Old Testament reveals a number of significant facts concerning God’s attitude toward the poor. The LORD especially loves the poor and hears the needy (Psalm 69.33). God’s anointed one delivers the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy (Psalm 72.12-13). The LORD doesn’t forget the cry of the afflicted (Psalm 9.12). And furthermore, God is a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in their distress (Isaiah 25.4).

Under the Mosaic order the poor received certain economic advantages. The people were commanded to loan to the poor freely without interest (Exodus 22.25; Deuteronomy 15.7-11). Part of the wheat and grape harvest was to be left ungathered for the benefit of the poor (Leviticus 19. 9-10; 23.22). And a portion of the tithe was to provide relief for the poor (Deuteronomy 14.29; 26.12-13).

The Old Testament insists that God requires justice for the poor and will judge those who oppress them. Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy each to his brother, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor (Zechariah 7.9-10). Open your mouth for the dumb, for the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy (Proverbs 31.8-9).

The Old Testament teaches God’s people bear a special ethical responsibility for the poor. The memory of their own experience of slavery in Egypt was supposed to motivate the Israelites to show mercy to the oppressed and afflicted (Deuteronomy 24.17-22). The faithfulness of God’s covenant people was continually measured by their treatment of the poor.

Like the people themselves, these are biblical lessons we’ve neglected, overlooked, and forgotten. Well, maybe it’s time we changed all that — what do you think?

 — Bill

 

When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous…

Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, “Come; for everything is ready now.” But they all alike began to make excuses.

The first said to him, “I have bought a piece of land, and I must go out and see it; please accept my regrets.” Another said, “I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my regrets.” Another said, “I have just been married, and therefore I cannot come.”

So the slave returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his slave, “Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.” And the slave said, “Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.” Then the master said to the slave, “Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those who were invited will taste my dinner.”

Luke 14.12-14, 16-24

 

 

Trip to Mountain States Children’s Home

Visit - 3Last Saturday, December 7, Gale and Londa McCormick; Jeff, Diana, Isaac, and Mason McCormick; Maury and Nola Kramer; and DeMarys Cooper traveled to Loveland, Colorado, to tour the Mountain States Children’s Home. They are pictured here with Assistant Director Nick Mears.

Those who made the trip were also able to tour the new Thrift Store in downtown Longmont, which celebrated its Open House on the day they visited. All proceeds of the Thrift Store benefit Mountain States.

Randy Schow is the Executive Director of Mountain States, with an administrative staff of seventeen, four cottages, and four couples who serve as house parents. Seventeen young people, ranging in age from ten to eighteen, now reside at the home. According to Jeff, the primary goal of the home is to return the young people back to their families.

The facility’s acreage, where livestock is raised, provides meaningful chores as well as meat for the homes. The Distribution Center, which looks like a typical grocery store, is where they keep the food from their annual food drives. The school on the grounds is well equipped with a nice gymnasium and computers. It’s where teachers and volunteers work with students to bring them up to standard levels. With this individual attention, the children can make up almost four years’ development in a single year. When they advance to a suitable level, they begin attending the public school in Longmont.

“It is interesting to read about or hear someone speak about Mountain States Children’s Home,” said DeMarys, “but it gives you a better picture of the good work that is being done when you get to visit. One thing I learned was that the parents must pay a fee for their children to be in the Home, according to what they can afford.”

Mountain States provides counseling for students and their families during the child’s stay at Mountain States and after the child goes home. According to house parents, many of the children lack social skills, so they teach behavioral changes and practical everyday skills. Each activity is rated to show how well it was performed and the attitude the child exhibited while doing it. All the children are responsible for keeping their shared rooms and bathrooms clean.

Our thanks to Jeff McCormick for organizing the event. He was especially excited about the generosity from both the churches. He was able to present a check for $1715 from the Holyoke church plus some generous cash contributions from the Westside church as well. He also learned of several ways we can help on an ongoing basis. Right now one of their biggest needs is for vehicle repair.

“They were so thankful for our contribution and our visit,” said Jeff. “We definitely plan to go again.”

 

Some Thoughts About Progress

Tree_logoFirst, I want to thank everyone who saw value in attending our congregational budget meeting Thursday evening and for your participation. “Church work” is always difficult, no matter the situation or circumstance. Large “thriving” churches have their problems, too, just like small rural churches. The problems may be different but they are certainly no less challenging.

The Grasshopper Complex

What we have to guard against is the “grasshopper complex” of Numbers 13. It’s all a matter of faith. Those ancient Israelites were convinced they faced the insurmountable. Canaan, the “Promised Land,” was within their grasp, but they saw it as unattainable; “We can’t do it” became their mindset. The land was too heavily fortified and its inhabitants too big and strong.

How quickly they forgot that the God who delivered them from Egypt, who parted the waters of the sea, who provided them water from rocks and bread from heaven was the One who promised them the land. Faced with a hard thing, faithlessly their hearts melted, and they all died in the desert.

Here is our firm assurance from God: “[Do] not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6.9). The courage to remain faithful, especially in the face of a perceived lack of progress, is our divine challenge. Satan wants us to be discouraged, he wants us to think there is no progress, he wants us to quit and give up. “We’re so small we can’t really do anything, so we might as well not even try. “Nonsense!” is what I have to say to that!

Progress in Giving

Thursday evening we took a step in the right direction – forward. For the past year our weekly contribution has averaged $590 a week, an amount that barely and at times failed to cover our expenses. A budgetary goal of $680 per week was set for 2014, an increase of $90 a week. That’s a challenge, but it’s certainly attainable. It will require each of us to do a little personal evaluation.

Money is tight for us all, but I seem to recall someone we all revere once saying, “Where your heart is, there will your treasure be also.” Personally, I believe we’ll not only meet this challenge, we’ll surpass it. I think that’s progress.

Progress in Adding to the Kingdom

You want some more good news? Jason Borland has conveyed his desire to be baptized into Christ, and he wants that to happen in Holyoke with us. His baptism will occur on Thursday evening, December 12, at 6:00 here at the church building. Instead of our usual Thursday evening Bible class, we’ll have a special devotional service. God bless you, Jason.

Progress for Young Families

The new Sunday morning worship format is working well. Thanks to Jeff and Diana McCormick for introducing the idea of providing a worship service for our little ones. It’s hard for small children to sit through “church,” much of which they cannot begin to understand. This gives them an opportunity to be trained and taught on their level.

This has also resulted in better overall attendance at Sunday morning worship. It encourages families with small children to come because now there are better environments for worship and teaching for everyone, even the little ones. “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19.14). Isn’t that progress?

Progress in the Prison Ministry

The Holyoke Church of Christ Prison Ministry has received official recognition as a ministerial and chaplaincy organization by the Colorado Department of Corrections. Because of the work of Dan Kafka, this church has an unparalleled opportunity to fulfill one of our Lord’s specific commands – to teach and preach the Gospel to those in prison. Dan has won the trust and confidence of the prison authorities at the Sterling facility, which has enabled Bill Lewis to be appointed as a full-time chaplain.

The influence of this church and the simple Gospel message has never had the impact within the walls of the Sterling prison as it is having now. Forty offenders, criminals, convicts, murderers, rapists, thieves, thugs, gang members, you name it, FORTY of those men were baptized into Christ this year! There is a growing, thriving New Testament church behind the walls of the Sterling prison – men convicted of serious crimes, some of whom will never be released from prison, but who nonetheless now are our brothers in Christ and our fellow laborers in the Kingdom of God – and we, the church of Christ in Holyoke, have had a part in that. I know that’s progress!

Progress Defined

Progress is a funny word and I, like many, fall prey to its peculiarities. Too often we tend to see progress only in terms of something big, noticeable, eye catching when maybe real progress is not all that discernible. Remember Galatians 6.9 – don’t ever get tired of doing what is right, even if it appears no one notices. Don’t quit, don’t give up. Because the One who really matters does notice, and He has promised our faithfulness and labor will not be in vain. And to God be the glory!

– Bill

 

Opportunities to Serve

bundle wheat

I love opportunities to serve. I’m a member of an international service organization whose motto is: “Service above Self.” That sounds an awful lot like Christianity to me!

The Greatest Commandment

When asked about the greatest command, Jesus replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10.27). When asked, “And just who is my neighbor?” Jesus answered by telling the story of the Good Samaritan – the “neighbor” turned out to be someone the Samaritan didn’t know but someone he could help.

Season for Giving

We are entering the “seasonal” time of the year. The year is ending, the crops have been harvested, the cold weather drives us indoors, and we have time to slow down and reflect. Thanksgiving through Christmas is a fun time of the year – for most of us. Yet even in our small close-knit community are individuals and families who are struggling. In most cases, their needs go unnoticed. I suppose that’s why this time of the year special attention is given to ways we can help others.

Imperial’s Community Gift Program

A few years ago the ladies of the Methodist Church began a Community Gift Program. That effort has been broadened to anyone in our religious community who might see this as an opportunity to serve others.

Amy Prior, the coordinator of the Community Gift Program, has informed us of a number of ways to participate – buying toys for children, providing winter coats, adopting an entire family for Christmas, or furnishing food baskets.

How We can Help

This past Wednesday evening before classes started we discussed ways in which we as a congregation might be able to help. A suggestion to provide five $100 food vouchers met with general approval. It was also the consensus of everyone present that we raise the money for this project through a special collection so as not to place any more demands on congregational funds.

Sunday, December 8, is the date set for this special collection for our contribution to the Community Gift Program. Our goal is to raise enough money to purchase at least five $100 food vouchers from our local grocers (either Hills or Super Foods). All gift items will then be turned over to Amy. Distribution throughout the community is set for December 19-20. If you would like to participate in the gift distributions call Amy Prior at 883-3948.

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me” (Matthew 25.35-36).

An opportunity to serve.

 – Bill

 

Mountain States Children’s Home

Mission

To extend Christian services to hurting children in an effort to meet their physical needs, heal their emotional hurts, challenge their minds and teach them moral principles, in order to reach the goals of reuniting them with their families or preparing for independence.

History

Denver church leaders founded an agency that became Mountain States Children’s Home (MSCH) in 1960 resulting in the purchase of a 155-acre farm just north of Longmont on Highway 287. MSCH provides services to children in a rural setting and since that time four new homes have been built to house children. A donation distribution and storage area has been built; several farm buildings, a farm manager’s home, and an office for administration and the counseling programs has been constructed over the years. The agency has remained a private, non-profit facility for children since its inception.

Leadership

Mountain States Children’s Home is sponsored by the Longmont Church of Christ with the guidance and oversight of a Board of Directors. The current President of the Board of Directors is Mac Kilpatrick.

Education

Children receive an education through schools in the St. Vrain Valley School District and/or attend the Mountain States Children’s Home campus school. This has taken an important role in the overall balance of the programs in building self-esteem and achievement.

Programs

Education, Counseling, Spiritual Involvement, Family Model Living, and New Opportunities are all a part of the successful programs that teach the importance of a balanced life.

Funding Sources

MSCH has garnered many faithful supporters who have donated funds for the hundreds of children that have been served since the beginning. Over 70% of the funding comes from individuals with the remainder from local business, civic groups, churches, foundations, and service organizations. Over 300 volunteers contribute their time and talent to this unique and special work.

Referral Sources

Most of the children have been privately placed. Children are also placed by social services or other agencies. A minimum one year placement is encouraged. Case plans are designed to address problems and solutions. The goal is to reunite children with their families if possible when both are ready. MSCH  welcomes referrals from school counselors, ministers, law enforcement officers, parents, grandparents and others.

 

 

The Grace of Giving

“For God so loved that He gave…”

Giving is about loving!

Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord (2 Corinthians 8.1-3).

Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed…(2 Corinthians 9.6-8).

A study in contrast: The rich young ruler and the poor widow (Matthew 10.17-25 & Luke 21.1-4).

  • The rich young ruler had it all, wanted to keep it all, and lost it all.
  • The poor widow had little, gave all she had, and gained everything.

 

So how much shall I give?

As much as you can.

  1. It’s a personal decision.
  2. It’s a determination of the will.
  3. It’s intentional and planned.
  4. It’s without obligation or duty.
  5. It’s sacrificial.
  6. It’s given “cheerfully” (Greek hilaros).

What about the “tithe”? Does the tithe provide a general guideline for giving?

Yes and no. Beware of legalism – the “leaven of the Pharisees.”

For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5.20).

– Bill

 

“Pure and undefiled religion…”

That’s the title of the new series of lessons on the Book of James we’ll be studying on Sunday mornings in Imperial and Monday evenings in Holyoke.

Who was James?

James was a common name among first-century Jews so it is not surprising that there are several men named James in the New Testament:

  1. James the son of Zebedee, one of the Twelve, who was killed by Herod Agrippa I in AD 44 (Mark 1.19; 3.17; Acts 12.2);
  2. James the son of Alphaeus, another of the twelve apostles (Mark 3.18; Matthew 10.3; Luke 6.15; Acts 1.13);
  3. James, the Lord’s brother, and a “pillar” in the Jerusalem church (Mark 6.3; Matthew 13.55; 1 Corinthians 15.7; Galatians 1.19; 2.9, 12; Acts 12.17; 15.13-31; 21.18; Jude 1);
  4. James the younger, the son of Mary, one of the women at the foot of the cross (Mark 15.40; Matthew 27.56);
  5. James, the father of the apostle Jude (Luke 6.16; Acts 1.13).

As just noted, James Zebedee, the apostle and brother of John, was killed by Herod in AD 44. Three of the remaining four men named James are obscure figures who are seldom mentioned and of whose activity we have no knowledge.

The Brother of Jesus

The author of this book was probably the eldest of the four brothers of Jesus named in Mark 6.3. While Jesus was wandering throughout Galilee and Judea proclaiming the Kingdom of God, most of His family thought He was a bit crazy (Mark 3.20-21). John 7.5 states plainly that “not even His brothers were believing in Him.” That all changed with the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15.7). Though not specifically named, Luke records that Jesus’ mother and brothers were among the believers waiting in Jerusalem prior to Pentecost (Acts 1.14). Later, Paul refers to him as one of the “pillars” of the church in Jerusalem. And it is James who takes a leading role in diffusing the Gentile controversy in Acts 15.

Date of Writing

Most scholars set the date of James’s writing around AD 45 prior to Paul’s missionary journeys and before many Gentiles had become Christians. If that date is correct, then James is possibly the earliest New Testament book to have been written.

Nature of the Book

Though named the “epistle of James,” except for the opening greeting, the book bears little resemblance to a letter; there is no personal information about the recipients and no farewell message or salutation. Instead, the book has more of the characteristics of a sermon or a collection of brief exhortations collected from several sermons. The major emphases of the book are:

Faith and action

For James, faith is more than an expressed belief, it is something practical to be lived and demonstrated in acts of obedience and mercy (2.22-25), endurance (5.11), and prayer (5.17-18).

Wisdom and prayer

“Wisdom” is the essential theme of the book. It’s not speculative wisdom, but wisdom for practical living. It addresses a person’s ability to discern right from wrong, giving moral and spiritual insight in dealing with the issues and challenges of daily living. James encourages Christians to pray for wisdom because that’s what is needed to remain steadfast in times of trial and testing (1.2-8).

Rich and poor

James was concerned about the careless attitude of some wealthy Christians toward poor Christians. These two classes are first mentioned in 1.9-11, where he maintains that God lifts up the poor but brings down the rich. As the letter progresses he becomes more critical of the rich – he deplores their prejudice toward those less fortunate (2.4) and their oppression of the poor (2.6). The essence of “true religion,” as he sees it, is taking care of “widows and orphans in their distress.”

Controlling the tongue

James is exceedingly concerned about the use and abuse of speech. Emphatically, he declares that Christians “must be quick to listen, but slow to speak and slow to become angry (1.19). They are to keep their tongues under control, otherwise their “religion is worthless” (1.26). In his view, the tongue is as destructive as fire. He calls upon brethren to put their words into practice (1.22-24; 2.12) and not to speak evil of one another (4.11-12). And he encourages them to be people of their word – a simple, consistent, truthful “yes” when they mean yes and “no” when they mean no (5.12).

In this short book of five chapters, James outlines a practical approach to Christianity, giving us vigorous and vital instructions on how to put our faith into action – pure and undefiled religion is…

– Bill

 

 

 

“Take Up Your Cross”

“If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9.23).

This is a difficult passage – not in understanding but in application – it’s just plain hard to do! My ego keeps getting in the way. I don’t particularly like the verb deny applied to the pronoun himself – I’d much prefer something like pamper! That just seems to go better with self, don’t you think?

But, of course, that’s not what it says, it says deny. Self denial and cross bearing both refer to personal self sacrifice, like “present your bodies as living sacrifices” (Romans 12.1). Jesus makes clear, right up front, the cost of discipleship. Cost! Now there’s another attention grabbing word. Salvation is the free gift of God – the only catch is, it costs you everything you’ve got! Self denial and cross bearing! What an offer!!!

Against Culture

Who wants to do that? That doesn’t sound like any fun! Listen to the lyrics of our culture – “you deserve…”, “just do it…”, “you only go around once in life…”, “go for it…”, “if it feels good…”, and so on. We’ve got a great grip on the hedonistic world view! Then someone comes along and says we ought to give that all up in favor of self denial and cross bearing – yeah, right!

But that’s the cost of discipleship – a mind altering life changing living death in order to be as near like our Savior and Lord as we possibly can. It’s a constant remembrance and imitation of His submissive will in the Garden before His betrayal, “Not My will, but Thine be done.” Over and over, all night long, begging and pleading, “If possible, let this cup pass from Me, nevertheless, not My will, but Thine be done!”

Self-Denial and Worship

Self denial and cross bearing is a daily process. Christians are not holy and spiritual only on Sundays. Instead, we are to worship and honor God each day by yielding our will to His. The Greek word most often translated “worship” is proskuneo. Its basic meaning is to “kiss the ground towards,” in other words “to bow down before.” As Christians we worship God by the spiritual bowing down of our hearts before Him and the submitting of our wills to His control.

Jesus taught true fulfillment and purpose in life was in serving others. Anyone can be selfish – that comes kinda natural. But selflessness is an acquired trait. Anonymous generosity is highly favored by God. And a life surrendered, dead to self but alive for God to use to do His will and work – Ah, but if only that may be said of each of us. May God bless you, bless us all in our service together. And to Him be all the glory!

– Bill