Pride and Thanks: Feb 13th - 19th

This Week & Beyond...

Team night #4!!! Keep it out of the gutter - As previously mentioned, this upcoming team night is going to be a fellowship night.  Part of being a team that's together, is being a team that hangs out together, eats together, laughs together, and....BOWLS together!!  Yes, that's right, bowling lanes have been secured and we're going to battle it out retro style!!  

On Sunday, February 26th, let's meet here at Calvary, 5:30pm, eat some pizza together, and then, head over to "the" Steinbach Deluxe Bowling lanes(7pm) for a little good old fashion fun!  There'll be prizes for top score, lowest score, and maybe more!!!

Cost!?
Pizza will be on the house, bowling(two games) is $11.50/person total, including tax.

Please head over to planning centre and let me know as to your attendance at your earliest convenience!  Hey, even if you don't want to bowl, still come for pizza and cheer on your peeps as the lanes!!  Partaaaayy!! 

Looking forward to hanging with y'all!!
Gregory 

Devotional...

Pride and Thanks
by Jean Pope, Longview, Washington

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4)

"Thank you for playing today, Jean." It was Kay speaking to me as I went past her to put away my clarinet. As a member of our church's worship team, I played every Sunday, along with Kay on keyboard and several others. She said, "Thank you," several weeks in a row, always including my name. She gave quiet, personal thanks -- to me and to others -- for all kinds of things for which I would never think of thanking someone. At first it surprised me, but then it irked me. Why is she thanking me so much? I wondered.

After all, I try to be appreciative of the efforts of those around me. That was part of what irked me when Kay kept saying "thank you." Her actions were far above the standard I had set. I had considered only efforts that were above average to be worthy of an expression of thanks. That meant I took for granted all the regular things people did.

As I thought about this, I realized that the real underlying issue in my thanklessness was pride. It was causing me to try to maintain an image of having everything together, an I'm-better-than-you attitude. Thanking someone, however, elevates the level of the other person.

When Kay thanked people, she had no expectation of receiving thanks in return. That was a real stretch for me; offering thanks to people who rarely return it. "It's not fair!" has been my usual reaction to such treatment. This, of course, is simply my pride showing up again.

As I realized this, I felt a need to lighten up, but I didn't know how. Then I noticed Kay actually admitting some of her own shortcomings. She would even bring up ways she sometimes made mental errors and she would laugh about them. I knew Kay was not dumb; she is intelligent and a quick thinker. Her admissions showed she accepted her deficiencies and failures and that made her approachable.

I began admitting to her some of my own silly mix-ups and uncoordinated actions to see what would happen. Kay listened with understanding and laughed with me without making me feel that I was totally mindless. With that for a start, I have felt safer to admit my faults to other people and have grown deeper in all my relationships as a result.

As I share more about my failings, I am facing them head-on. Doing this is also changing some of my critical attitudes. Many of the things I have been most critical about toward others are things I now see in myself. Because of this, I find myself expressing true thanks instead of thinking critical thoughts. I already can see a difference in how people are responding to me.

Someone once said, "One of the best ways to practice humility is through confession." Facing my faults more honestly has helped me confess them better and finally make progress against my pride, as well as in saying "thank you."

That's my story, but what about yours? Does your pride cut off your appreciation of others? Do you need to -- maybe even right there in the worship ministry of your church -- admit your weaknesses and confess your faults to someone else? Should you be freer in your words of appreciation to others? If God is prompting you to take action because of what I have said, I would encourage you to do it and not delay.

GOING DEEPER:
1. We all know that no one is perfect, but we often try to give the appearance of perfection to others. What would happen, do you suppose, if you began to let others recognize your imperfections and struggles?
2. Jesus - and the New Testament writers - said a lot about humility. Why does it so often seem so lacking in His followers?
3. Look for ways to acknowledge and express appreciation for those who serve with you.