February 11 - 17, 2008



Here is a 2005 archive column. Enjoy

No hot water: A first-world dilemma

Pity me! The hot water heater in my house bit the dust last week.

Pity me! I'm reduced to heating water in a pan on the stove for dishwashing and shaving. I'm taking showers at the YWCA.

Pity me! The plumber had to special order the shorter unit that will fit in my crawl space, and with his busy schedule I've had to go more than a week now without hot water, including a whole weekend!

I need your pity because I probably won't get much from the 1.1 billion people in the world who lack safe, clean, plentiful drinking water, according to the United Nations. Or from the families of the 3 million people who die each year from preventable water-related illnesses, according to the World Bank. Or pity from the millions who have to get water from an outside source and carry it home. Or from the millions who have running water but can only dream of hot water.

My hot water dilemma reminds me how many blessings we take for granted as citizens of a safe, wealthy, industrialized nation. We are so used to peace, freedom, plentiful food and safe water that we forget what blessings they really are. These are the blessings that newcomers to our shores unfailingly appreciate. 

Personal stewardship begins with an attitude of gratitude for the gifts that God has given us, and gratitude becomes difficult when we take our everyday blessings for granted.

My weeklong experience without hot water has reminded me to appreciate anew the abundance that God is giving me: Good health, a great family, wonderful friends, a job, a house, running water, central heat, electricity, a car, and life in a free and peaceful country.

It's everything I need. More than most of the world's people have. So I can share more, right? How about you?

Rob Blezard, webmaster and editor
Reprint rights gladly given to congregations for nonprofit, local use. Just include this note: "Copyright (c) 2005, Rev. Robert Blezard, archive.stewardshipoflife.org. Used by permission."

New This Week:


Michigan's Energy SealEnergy Guide for Churches
Right when you need it most – a free 48-page guide to help your church save money by lowering energy use! The State of Michigan Energy Office prepared this guide, which has lots of tips and info to get your church going! Click here for “Energy Guide for Churches,” from Michigan’s Energy Office.

Spiritual Consumerism’s Upside
Christianity Today“Why church shopping may not be so bad,” is the subtitle of this thought-provoking essay that explores why it is healthy for people to have options when it comes to choosing a worship community. Click here for “Spiritual Consumerism’s Upside,” from Christianity.

LCMSXLeaders Notes to Biblical Stewardship Principles
The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod has made a good resource even better by providing Leaders Notes to their Biblical Stewardship Principles. The Leaders Notes will help your congregation hold classes or workshops to explore the eight principles. Click here for the page that will give you both the Biblical Stewardship Principles and the Leaders Notes. From the Stewardship Resources of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.

Stewardship from the Lectionary
Your ChurchLooking for a way to put more stewardship into your preaching? Here is a great help -- a weekly commentary that highlights stewardship aspects in the weekly lectionary texts. Click here for "Stewardship from the Lectionary," from ELCA Stewardship Resources.