Stewardship

 

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“And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.”                                                                                                         2 Corinthians 9:8

Please prayerfully consider and check any and all areas of interest to you where you would be willing to give of your time, talents, and treasures. Participating in ministry allows you to return to God what was first given by Him!

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Stewardship Reflections

Stewardship of Time

**Colossians 3:17, 23-24  states “Whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus….Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

Jackson Brown Jr. wrote “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Louis Pasteur, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein”

Prayerfully consider the time you are committing to the Lord’s work.

**Here is a story called “Share Your Time”

A man came home from work late again, tired and irritated, to find his 5 year old son waiting for him at the door. “Daddy, may I ask you a question?”

“Yeah, sure, what is it?” replied the man.

“Daddy, how much money do you make an hour?

“That’s none of your business! What makes you ask such a thing?” the man said angrily.

“I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?” pleaded the little boy.

“If you must know, I make $20.00 an hour.”

“Oh,” the little boy replied, head bowed. Looking up, he said, “Daddy, may I borrow $10.00 please?”

The father was furious. “If the only reason you wanted to know how much money I make is just so you can borrow some to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you’re being so selfish. I work long, hard hours every day and don’t have time for such childish games.”

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even madder about the little boy’s questioning. How dare him ask such questions only to get some money.

After an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think he may have been a little hard on his son. Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $10.00, and he really didn’t ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door. “Are you asleep son?” he asked.

“No daddy, I’m awake,” replied the boy.

“I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier,” said the man. “It’s been a long day and I took my aggravation out on you. Here’s that $10.00 you asked for.”

The little boy sat straight up, beaming. “Oh, thank you daddy!” he yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow, he pulled out some more crumpled up bills. The man, seeing that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, then looked up at the man.

“Why did you want more money if you already had some?” the father grumbled.

“Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,” the little boy replied.

“Daddy, I have $20.00 now. Can I buy an hour of your time?”

Share some time with those who need you.
They need our time more then we will ever know. 

**Volunteering is a gift that truly benefits both the giver and receiver — by changing lives in profound and meaningful ways.  Three Lakes depends on volunteers to help build a stronger community.

“Being hungry does terrible things to one’s self-esteem,” according to a former client of a Christian food pantry.

A volunteer says; “People ask me why I volunteer at the food pantry.  I am retired and need something to do and it is a way for me to help others.  A win/win situation.  I can work a 3 hour shift and still enjoy my retirement.  Young families that come in for assistance like a smile and a little reassurance from an older person and I like those smiles in return.  The sharing and learning goes both ways.”

Food Pantries and Advocacy programs help provide families with the tools they need to gain footing in rocky realities.  Food pantry volunteers are the critical link in providing friendly, confidential assistance to those often shy about asking for help.

Caring, discreet volunteers are needed to greet and assist clients, pack food, and stock shelves.

Please prayerfully consider the time you return to the Lord for his work.

**“Today we often feel we must “get away” from our daily routine in order to worship God, but that is only because we haven’t learned to practice His presence all the time. This is God’s ideal. In Eden, worship was not an event to attend, but a perpetual attitude; Adam and Eve were in constant communion with God.”

Lord help us to understand that committing our time to attendance at church brings us into fellowship with You and others  and gives us spiritual food for thought as we go about the week.

Stewardship of Resources 

**1 Chronicles 29:11-12 “Everything in heaven and earth is yours (O Lord)…Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things.”

A TV reporter interviewed a successful author and asked: “So, you think God wants everyone rich?” He said, “No, I don’t believe that.” She was a little surprised by the answer and then asked, “Well, what do you believe?” He responded, “I believe that everyone needs to learn to become more generous with whatever God has given them.” She then asked, “Well, didn’t your book becoming a bestseller make you rich?” He replied, “No, it helped me become more generous!” The truth is–every one of us in America is rich when you compare us to the rest of the world. What each of us needs to learn is how to become more generous with whatever God entrusts to us.

Please prayerfully consider the resources you are returning to the Lord.

**Luke 12:15 states: “And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

Lord help us to donate or sell what we haven’t used in a year or more. We might give to those who are in need, including the Three Lakes Thrift Shop or the Homeless Shelter in Rhinelander. May we get into the habit of asking ourselves if a contemplated purchase is a need or a want.

Let us prayerfully consider our material resources and how we might share them within the church and the community.

**Matthew 6:24 states:

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

No matter how much we buy, there is always plenty more that we can want. We live in the never-enough world, where the myth of materialism is preached as though it were gospel. Nearly every time we open a magazine, turn on the television, or talk to a neighbor, we’re bombarded with the message that material things provide the answers to life’s basic questions. “How do I find peace of mind?” Buy more insurance. “How do I show someone how much I love them?” Send a greeting card. “What do I do when the going gets tough?” Go shopping, of course. But contrary to the myth of materialism, it isn’t the ones who die with the most toys who win. It’s those who’ve loved their families well and know the joy of having that love returned. It’s those who’ve known what it is to spend their lives for a purpose greater than themselves. It’s those who’ve known their God and look forward to eternity with Him.

Please prayerfully consider how you will use your resources.

**It’s been said that a lot of people are willing to give God the credit, but not too many are willing to give Him the cash.

2 Corinthians 9:7 states: “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Mark Long wrote a brief overview of the Bible’s perspective on money. Money is not a necessary evil, but our attitude toward it does reflect our attitude toward God. Whatever money there is in the world all belongs to God; we are His servants who have been given a trust; and we need to look after that which God has entrusted to us. From this relationship comes a simple message relating to financial management. Be content and live within your means.

Let us prayerfully consider our use of money, how we are supporting our church and how we will return what belongs to God in a meaningful way.

Stewardship of Talents

**Luke 8:16 states:

“No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.”

Here is a story about “Roles And How We Play Them”

Whenever I’m disappointed with my spot in my life, I stop and think about little Jamie Scott. Jamie was trying out for a part in a school play. His mother told me that he’d set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen.

On the day the parts were awarded, I went with her to collect him after school. Jamie rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement.

“Guess what Mum,” he shouted, and then said those words that will remain a lesson to me: “I’ve been chosen to clap and cheer!”

Please prayerfully consider how you will use your talents, whatever they may be.

**“You were created to serve God. Whenever you serve others in any way, you are actually serving God and fulfilling one of your purposes. God has actually SHAPED you for this purpose. What God told Jeremiah is also true for you: ‘Before I made you in your mother’s womb, I chose you. Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work.’ You were placed on this planet for a special assignment.”

Please think about the talents that you were blessed with and how you will use them to serve God.

**Romans 12:2 states: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect”.

The Mission Builders of the ELCA, in thankfulness for all God has provided, use their God-given skills to help Lutheran congregations, schools, camps, and social ministry organizations construct or add-on to their facilities. While their hands provide housing for ministries, their hearts and voices share their faith and build up the body of Christ.

**“We like to work. We’re able-bodied. We’ve been blessed and we thought maybe we could be a blessing to someone else. . . .You’re doing something to help others and it’s very rewarding,” say Alan and Juanita Buckel.

Please prayerfully consider how you return your God-given talents to the work of the Lord.

**1 Timothy 6:18 states:  “Be rich in good works, generous.”

Try to think of something that you might do for each of the following verbs:

This week I will offer….

This week I will help…

This week I will donate…

This week I will volunteer…

This week I will send…

This week I will give…

Lord help us to offer, help, donate, volunteer, send, and give. In this way each of us will use our God-given talents.

General Stewardship

**2 Corinthians 9:6-8 states: “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”

Pastor and author Randy Alcorn tackles the tithing issue from a unique angle: stop asking the percentage question for a moment, and consider your attitude. Alcorn believes that the 10% tithe is the minimum standard for giving, but the whole point of giving is to put one’s heart in the things of God. Your heart follows your money, says Jesus. If we want our hearts with God, we must send our money there.

Please prayerfully consider what resources you are willing to commit to God.

**1 Peter 5:2-3 states: “Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.”

We are each stewards of God’s creation, each called to do our part to preserve the life around us and within us. Lord help us to appreciate the gifts   you have bestowed upon us, and to use these talents and resources as a model of the Godly life.

**It takes many hands to build a home with a program called “Thrivent Builds.” Dedicated volunteers from local Thrivent Financial chapters, congregations and communities join together with local Habitat affiliates and partner families to make Thrivent Builds Homes a success.

Together these individuals change many lives – often including their own – and in the course of building homes, they also build lasting friendships and stronger communities. Learn more about these dedicated homeowners and volunteers.

What has been built is more than walls and a roof. Together, many hands with one vision build a home. In the process a community is formed and the foundation laid for it to grow and thrive. This is really what it’s all about and what Habitat is all about. Helping hands pulling together to truly make a difference in people’s lives. There’s no better reason to celebrate – and you can help!

Please prayerfully consider the many opportunities available to use your resources, time and talents for growing the kingdom of God.

 

Guide To Proportionate Giving

For they voluntarily gave according to their means, and even beyond their means. 
2 Corinthians 8:3

Proportionate giving

Instructions: Find your annual or weekly income in one of the first two columns. Then look across the row to determine your giving level in percent. We would encourage each household to increase giving each year, one step at a time.

Example: For a household earning $52,000 per year and contributing about $30 per week, the contribution is about 3 percent of income. This is a portion of what has been given by God to be managed and then is returned to do ministry.

 

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