generosity’s cheap imitation

I was thinking about Acts 2 and how the early church sold possessions and shared things in common with those who had need. That model has been celebrated and admired by many aspiring churches. And, like most of God’s jewels, Satan has attempted to manufacture a synthetic that is almost like the original, but not quite.

In this election cycle, we heard quite a bit about socialism and its partner, communism. I’m not an expert on the matter, but from what I can piece together, communism seems to be a cheap imitation of an original masterpiece. We’ve heard much about “redistributing wealth” for the benefit of all. In communistic countries, the wealth all belongs to the government and wealth is distributed at its will. With the early church, the “redistribution of wealth” was done by the willful generosity of the owners.

These past two weekends, browns mill church was the recipient of some incredible generosity. Dogwood Church, our sending church, collected a special offering each of the past two weekends and the total amount came to just under $15,000! We are stunned by the generosity and humbled by the confidence the people exhibited in our vision and leadership abilities for this new church. For some reason, seeing it come directly from the givers and not simply extracted from the general operating fund of the church brings extra meaning.

It is an incredible thing to witness generosity in action! God truly does love a cheerful giver. At this Thanksgiving season, we are incredibly grateful for the generosity of our family at Dogwood Church.

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be ready

As I was wheeling around the yard on my riding lawn mower today, I was chewing on a verse of Scripture that has come to the forefront of my mind of late.

I Peter 3:15b says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have people ask me about the hope that I have very often. When Peter wrote these words, he was making a couple of assumptions:

  • That we are living our lives in such a way that people notice that something is different.
  • That we are living our lives in close enough proximity to outsiders who might notice our lifestyle.

So, if you’re like me and people don’t typically ask you why you have hope and why your life is different, maybe we should check to be sure the two things above are happening in your life.

For me, I can say that I am not living my life in close enough proximity to outsiders for them to notice. Like many Christians, I live my life into a safe, Christian bubble and rarely rub shoulders with “those people.”

Moving forward, my family and I plan to live among “those people” and I will be personally carving time out of my schedule to build relationships with people outside the bubble. It’s hard to taste the salt, when it’s still in the salt shaker!