This Week & Beyond...
1) A quick reminder to let me know if you'll be there on the 27th!! Our second Team night of the season.
2) Is there something you'd like to see added to these communications? Let me know!
3) Let's pray for Corinne as she prepares to lead the congregation this Sunday, Rob as he prepares to preach, and Tony as he prepares to lead the service.
Over and out...Gregory
by Tom Kraeuter, Hillsboro, Missouri
What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it? (1 Corinthians 4:7)
In his book, The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning shares a great story about a man who was filled with gratitude. Manning had just been preaching a series of meetings at a church in Louisiana. After the final meeting, a middle-aged man approached Manning and said, "I've prayed about this," and slipped an envelope into the preacher's pocket. Manning completely forgot about the envelope until late that evening as he was preparing for bed. As he emptied his pockets, he noticed the envelope. Curious, Manning opened it, and a check fell to the floor. It was made out in the amount of six thousand dollars.
Not long before this, Manning had spent several days in Juarez, Mexico. While there, he visited and ministered to people who live in a dump. My daughter and I visited such a dump in Matamoros, Mexico. The sights and smells are beyond comprehension. Huge mounds of garbage upon even larger mounds of garbage. The smells are nauseating. People live there and try to eke out a living from the garbage brought in day by day. Many die from lack of nutrition, tainted food and polluted water. Those who survive are malnourished.
Manning had met such people at the dump in Juarez. One family there apparently really caught his attention. It was a man, a father with ten children, three of whom had already died because of the conditions at the dump. Manning sent the six thousand dollars to that man.
Manning asks, "Do you know what the man who received the check did? He wrote me nine letters in two days -- letters overflowing with gratitude and describing in detail how he was using the money to help his own family and other neighbors at the dump."
I love that! Nine letters in two days! That is true thankfulness.
Are you that thankful? You might respond, "Why should I be? I haven't received a check for six thousand dollars." Maybe not, but everything you do have is a gift from God. Yes, of course, I'm talking about salvation. That's the biggie. But there is more. So much more. Even right there in the context of your worship ministry.
Your musical and other artistic abilities are gifts from God. Oh, certainly, you may have been diligent and practiced and worked at those abilities, but without the Lord's help, you could not have done it. And now that you have those musical gifts, you also have been given a place to share them: the worship ministry in your church.
Further, you get to work with other people in that ministry who want to help, as Psalm 66:2 says, make His praise glorious. Those people are gifts that are worth far more than money.
Has God blessed you and me? Yes, in ways far beyond our ability to comprehend. After all, "What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?" (1 Corinthians 4:7). Why not thank Him right now for the myriad of gifts He has bestowed on you?
1. The man whose family lived in the dump wrote nine letters in two days because he was so very thankful. What could you do to demonstrate a similar level of thankfulness to God for your own blessings?
2.Do you ever take time to thank the Lord for the gifts that allow you to be part of the worship ministry at your church? Maybe you should do that right now.
3.Are you thankful for the other people involved in the worship ministry of your congregation? Maybe you should let them know you are.