Stewardship Communications Blog

The Book of James talks a lot about the various facets of faith. Our faith is instrumental in overcoming the many temptations we are faced with in our day to day lives. The testing of our character is one aspect of how strong our faith really is. There are many temptations throughout life. Some examples include force, greed, ambition, selfishness and pleasure.

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At the beginning of each new year, media remind us that some parts of our lives are not yet disciplined or just lacking. We’re invited to join a health club or start a new diet-exercise plan at home. Maybe we need to look at how our desks and closets are organized or how we plan our time at school and work, how we spend our money.

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I have tried to live by the principles of Christian stewardship as I heard my father explain when I was very young:

Christian stewardship is the systematic and proportionate giving of one’s time, talents, and material resources based upon the conviction that what we have comes from God, in trust, for the benefit of all mankind.

Let’s break this down a little:

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Many times I come to God asking for something. Today, I just want to reflect on and be thankful for the many blessings I have received. I could talk about God’s awesome creation. Every system is in sync from the beautiful natural world, its cycles and laws, to our natural resources and provisions for our good health. I am thankful to be living in a free country, having the necessities of life. But today I will concentrate on relationships that God has given me.

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Stewardship at Mt. Pisgah exists whenever we participate in its ministries by giving of our prayers, presence, gifts, service, or witness. Each of us is blessed to have our own, specific stewardship journey at Mt. Pisgah. We can each decide how we want to take that journey by participating in one or more of those stewardship activities.

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I like directions…I am thankful for the guidance in the Bible, of family and of MapQuest.

We first attended Mount Pisgah ten years ago…on (what I thought was) a whim. We had arrived with our 11 year old son, knowing no one in the area, yet feeling called to this area from Texas. After a couple of weeks of church searching; first as an individual (my husband James had arrived in May) and as a family…we still had not found “the one”.

One Saturday, as I pestered my husband about where he thought God was calling us and where we were going to church on Sunday. He said "I don't know...I haven't found it yet". Having no clue to where to go, we saw a little sign on the median of Mount Pisgah drive and Midlothian Turnpike with an arrow that pointed to the church. He decided we’d go to Mt Pisgah on Sunday.

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Every young child sings, and I have had opportunities to sing in church choirs since preschool. I can’t remember a time when a choir rehearsal made me sad. Even though my voice gets scratchier and weaker as I move into senior citizenship, I get better and better at enunciating the consonants and appreciating the message. The stewardship of my voice has been so heart warming. Participating with many other voices to blend in choral tributes to my faith in God makes me glow with joy from the inside out!

And that is what I have found throughout my discipleship path: each of us has gifts from God that we can share with others through church ministries.

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The weather this winter has been a challenge for many of us. It certainly has been for my family. At the same time, I often get a sense of peace watching the snow fall, each snowflake a unique gift and creation of God. A single snowflake by itself is small and hardly noticeable. Seemingly insignificant. However, when many join together the world is changed into a unique and beautiful place. What a blessing!

Our gifts to God can do the same thing.

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Wouldn’t it be wonderful if…

People arrive hours early for church. On Sunday mornings, they don’t just set a backup alarm clock to assure they wake up in time; they set a backup for the backup. They arrange their schedules to make sure they don’t miss gathering for worship. Throughout the week, they talk about what happened on the previous Sunday as excitement builds for the upcoming church service. There are all-day talk shows on the radio devoted to reviewing last week’s service and breaking down the next one. There’s even a TV show called “ChurchCenter” that runs highlight clips of church activities that have happened across the nation that day. When Sunday comes, the members start loading up their trucks, SUVs, and sedans hours before the service starts. “Hurry,” says Dad frantically. “We’re behind again.” “It’s 6:00 a.m.” says Mom. “Church doesn’t start for five hours.” “Last time we left at this time, we had to park three miles from the sanctuary and sit in the nosebleed seats. 

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Several weeks ago I was reminiscing with a former work colleague about a business deal we both had been involved in years ago. There were numerous people involved with analyzing whether the deal should be done and if so, what the offer price should be. All aspects of the deal were reviewed time and again. One of the important factors of doing the deal was what Return on Investment (ROI) it would yield. The financial analysis was very complex and the team looked at multiple financial parameters of the deal over its life. The analysis reports consisted of several hundred pages of printout from a computer model.

The thought process we went through on the corporate business deal is not unlike the personal process each of us goes through when deciding what our financial commitment to God’s work at Mt. Pisgah will be. As a business or as an individual, we all have limited resources. We have to decide what our priorities are, and how we can best use those resources. We sometimes ask what we get in return when we dedicate those resources.

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