September 22 - 28, 2008
Ike blew into Galveston and swept away many homes, neighborhoods, lives. But not all. As with every hurricane, it affected hardest those who had built on sand, in low areas, close to the sea. Those on high ground, away from the shore, fared better.
Now we have a financial hurricane blasting across our nation. Homes, lives, neighborhoods will be devastated. Who will be hardest hit? It depends on where you live financially and spiritually.
First, some thoughts about hurricanes. A hurricane teaches you what is really important. What is really valuable.
When a hurricane is just hours away and you're loading up the car with prized possessions before zooming off to a shelter, what do you keep? Photo albums, videocassettes of the kids' birthday parties, grandpa's watch, grandma's locket, the diary you kept as a teenager, your wedding dress, your Army uniform.
And sitting in some high school gymnasium with 300 other storm refugees -- sleeping on a cot, drinking bad coffee and eating institutional meals -- what are you thankful for? The fact that you are alive, with your family, and safe.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:24-27 that someone who follows his word is like the man who built his house on rock. The mightiest storm could not budge it. Those who hear and do not follow Jesus' word are like those who built on sand. The storm whisked them away.
A hurricane teaches us what is really important. A financial hurricane is striking our nation. How will it affect you?
-Rob Blezard, editor and webmaster
Reprint right gladly given to congregations for nonprofit, local use. Just include the following note: "Copyright (c) 2008 The Rev. Robert Blezard, archive.stewardshipoflife.org. Used by permission."
New This Week:
Powerpoint: Stewardship Vital Signs
Making a case for stewardship and discipleship? Here’s a powerpoint presentation that provides great ideas for energizing a congregation about Stewardship of Life. Easily adaptable to your own church context. Click here for “Stewardship Vital Signs,” from Biblical Money Management.
Thinking about thinking, and how thinking affects stewardship
Aside from the weighty title, this resource has some very excellent, well, thinking about how people embrace stewardship both individually and culturally, and how we can help our people to think differently. Click here for “Thinking about thinking,” From the Stewardship Connection website, run Eugene Grim.
Segmenting Donors Leads to Inspired Generosity
Most churches have a “one size fits all” approach to stewardship appeals. How does that usually work out? Poorly, says this article. A better way is to look at different approaches for different types of people in your congregation. Click here for “Segmenting Donors Leads to Inspired Generosity,” from the Center for Christian Stewardship of the United Methodist Church.
In Crisis, Wall Street Turns to Prayer
It’s said there are no atheists in foxholes. Today I guess you’d have to say there are no atheists on Wall Street. This interesting article talks about the power of prayer in the corridors of financial power. How is your congregation dealing with the financial meltdown, and the aftershocks to come? Click here for “In Crisis, Wall Street Turns to Prayer,” from ChristianityToday.com.
Stewardship from the Lectionary
Looking 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.