Saturday, October 21, 2017

Springfield Today, October 11, 2017

October 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Blog

Good Moanin’ Springfiedians,

Every Sunday afternoon, for many years now William Waffles, a Methodist pastor in Ohio, would go to a nearby prison to conduct a church service and then would visit with the men who were incarcerated there.  It took time, but after many visits (and the inmates knew he was going to quit coming) he began to develop relationships with many of these men.

Now for some time this pastor and his wife had been saving for a trip to the Holy Land.  It had been a lifelong dream and after years of scrimping and saving, they finally had enough saved up and the dream was about to become a reality.                                                

On a Sunday afternoon, a couple weeks before they were to leave, the pastor told the men at the prison that he wouldn’t be back for a few weeks.  He told them, “We’ve worked hard and saved and finally this lifelong dream will soon be ours; we’ll be leaving for the Holy Land.”  He assured them that even though he would be gone for the next couple of weeks, he would continue to pray for each one of them.

The inmates, who had really come to appreciate the pastor and sincerely liked him, were happy that he could take this trip. The Sunday before he was to leave, they gathered around him, patted him on the back, shook his hand, and a few even gave him a hug.  You could tell they were genuinely happy for the guy.

A little while later, as the pastor was getting ready to leave, one of the prisoners awkwardly came forward with a package that had been hastily wrapped with a single strand of ribbon.  The fellow said, “We didn’t have time or money to get you a gift, but we wanted you to think of us while you were away, and this is the best we could do.  Please don’t open it until you get home.  Then, when you open it, remember – it’s all we had to give to you.” (Remember that phrase. “It’s all we had to give to you.”) The pastor thanked them, prayed for them, and took his package and went home.  He told his wife how pleased the men seemed to be about the trip, and how they had even given him this gift, and made him promise not to open it until he got home.  She was as curious as the pastor to see what could possibly be in this box. He pulled the single strand of ribbon, lifted the top off the box, and smiled as he looked into the box. What he found inside the box was his own wallet, his pen, his watch, and his case for his glasses.

What had happened was, when the prisoners had gathered around him to offer congratulations, they had picked his pockets clean.  And then wrapping it all up, they gave it back to him as a sign of their appreciation and gratitude for everything he had been doing for them.  “It’s all they had to give.”

And whether you and I want to admit it or not, that’s our story too.  We have picked the pockets of God, so to speak, and everything we have is His. Paul asked this rhetorical question of the Corinthians, “What do you have that you did not receive?” [from God]  (I Corinthians 4:7 NIV)

And that’s really the question each of us should answer.

“What are you doing with what you’ve been given?”

We’ve been given time – what are you doing with your time?

We’ve been given the Gift, the gift of the Holy Spirit.  What are you doing because of Him?

We’ve been given the gifts. What are you doing with the spiritual gifts you’ve been given?

We’ve been given resources to live on. Do you tithe? Do you give back what is rightfully His?

We’ve been given relationships, which are fulfilling, and takes away our loneliness. What are you doing with the relationships you have been given?

On and on we could go about all that God has given to us – the question is difficult: What are doing with what you’ve been given.

No excuses.

No justification.

No mental gymnastics to avoid the question.

What are YOU doing with what you have been given?

Are you bringing glory to His name?

 

What You Need to Know…

 A HUGE thank you to Kathy Hedden and her crew for another fantastic Pumpkin Festival!  This was our largest ever. Great pumpkins! Great food. Great people. Great time!

Youth Football Guys – Sunday, October 15- Bring money for food – Van leaves from church, stop for fast food, and on to Pastor Jays’ home.

Escape Rooms Saturday and Sunday, October 28 & 29, 5 – 9 PM  Gloria Sanguedolce’s theme room, “Harvest Dinner” and  Jody Sarginson’s theme room, “Acorns & Leaves & Pumpkins, oh my!” are sure to having you guessing.  $10 per person.  Get a team of players to escape the room!  This is a teen fundraiser!

Men’s Fellowship now meets at Jerry Stone’s home at 1724 N. 21st, from 6:30 – 7:30 PM every Thursday.

 

Please pray for:

Melody Boyce – Surgery on Oct. 13
Mary Bishop’s grandson Bannock’s upcoming surgery on Oct. 9
Austin Bush – home from school in pain from surgery

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