Sunday, September 23, 2007

Day 26: Rich Enough to Be Generous

God will make you rich enough so that you can always be generous. Your generosity will produce thanksgiving to God because of us. 2 Corinthians 9:11, God's WORD Translation

This was one of the focus verses in church this morning. John and I were thrilled to see Lillian and Calvin this morning and to ride to church with them. The congregation here is open and friendly, even though it was only our second visit there were hugs and handshakes on the way in and out. I can think of no words that adequately describe the choir, it's merely a handful of people, but they sing beautifully and fill the space with song that sounds part heaven and just a touch of Motown and all GOOD! Although the worship service was from page 5 of the hymnal, TLH, confession and real absolution was included, a welcome addition, especially in these days.

Pastor's sermon was based on the shrewd manager, a story that has always been a bit murky to me, but he explained it differently than I've ever heard it before and in a way that finally cleared the murk. Pastor Wilkens explained this morning that the land system at the time was one where a rich person owned the land and left the running of it to a manager. The owner told the manager how much he expected to earn from the land and the manager's job was to make sure that the owner was satisfied. The way the manager was paid was by charging the tenet farmers more than the owner's requirements and so when the manager was cooking the books prior to his dismissal he was removing his own wages. Exchanging short term profits for the ability to mooch off these people's generosity for the long term. Still not the nicest guy around, but planning for the future. Pastor explained that Christ was commending the man not because he mis-managed the owners land and got himself fired, nor because he was preparing to mooch long-term, but because he was planning for his future with what he had at the time. He went on to talk about money being a tool that God has given us to serve Him, by helping our fellow man and that if we can't manage money then we will mis-manage the Gospel as well. Finally he finished with the verse that I opened this with.

The verse itself is speaking of money, and we are very thankful at this point in time to be the beneficiaries of those who are rich enough to be generous, not just with money, but with time, prayers, friendship and support. We are also thankful to be rich enough to be generous ourselves, not just with the few dollars that we have, but with the joy and faith that we have in a God who planned for our little boy from the beginning of eternity and who even today has given him all that he needs. There are many things that we are able to share at this time, the one that pops to mind immediately is the way that John is touching hearts here, more than one person has received joy in the midst of their own suffering from our beautiful little boy and his generous smiles, waves and high-fives. We are thankful beyond measure to get to be his parents.

Now for the antics of the day, oh you had to know that he was up to silliness today too! Well not all of it was silly, some was just impressive, first off he behaved well in church. The candy lady gave him a piece of peppermint candy and once it was finally unwrapped he stuck the whole thing in his mouth, I told him to be careful and watched and waited for when he'd need my help cause he was choking. What a cutie, he sucked on and played with that peppermint for half the service and finally spit the itty bitty remains of it into a kleenex because he was done. During all of this he was paying enough attention to fold his hands for the Apostle's Creed and the Lord's Prayer, it always amazes me to realize that even though he's sitting in the pew playing with the bulletin or hymnal that he is listening too. After a good long nap he was ready to run and run he did. I wish all those people who walk by him why he's dawdling and think that they are encouraging him to actually move could have seen him today. He was going fast enough that I had to really walk to keep up with him, of course that was when he was headed to the parking structure that dad parks in, and when he was heading to the escalators. He was nice and waved to the other little back-pack-boy that we met. That's one of the nice things around here, often the kids that we see have the same little back packs and tubes and I can see that John is checking them out. He walked all over the place and when I finally had him heading back to the room I got busy on a phone call and was just walking with him and before I realized it he had taken a detour through the hospital and was back at the beginning again, little stinker. Finally he slowly creeped back to the room, he was excited to stop by the little convienance store but other than that well, he'd really rather go the other way. He's sleeping now, storing up energy, I wonder if that means that he'll actually do stuff for the OT and PT tomorrow or just wait and burn it all later?

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