For those who missed this past week’s sermon, I have included information for you at the end of this blog post, so you can catch up.
A powerful story
I loved this past week’s video segment. Frank had gone from being convicted by his son’s generosity in the first video to a dream where he was literally convicted by his own attitude toward money in the second video. “Guilty!” Guilty of loving money more than God. Now, in the third segment he decided to do something about it. And his wise and faith-filled gardener, Ray, made sure he couldn’t just write a check to try to calm his guilt. Instead, Ray challenged him to serve, giving him the chance to humble himself in a way that let go of his sense of superiority.
If you’ve been part of a study group, you have seen the video vignettes where Ray teaches us a little more. Please let me share (or remind you of) some highlights.
From the first week, Ray talked about re-gifting. He noted that God has given everything that we have; when we give, we are in a sense re-gifting. When someone re-gifts something they didn’t really want (like Frank giving the watch lying around in his drawer) you wonder how much you really mean. When someone re-gifts something they value greatly (as son Evan did with his toy airplane) you know you matter greatly. How do we re-gift to God? Our best…or our “stinky sheep”? How do I show that I value God?
From the second week, Ray talked about money, and other things that we can focus on. It’s not wrong to have money, or even like it. But what does it do to our relationship with God. Everything – Ray says – is either a tool, or an idol. It helps us serve God, loving God and neighbor, or it becomes the focus drawing us away. In my life, with time, finance, stuff…where do I see tools, and where do I find idols?
From this past week, Ray talked about the ladle. “A spoon is for serving yourself; a ladle is for serving others.” And he reminded us that we are not called to serve from a comfortable distance, but to “become poor” for the sake of others. To get off our high horse and see those in need as real people, equals, loved by God. Where can I serve in a way that sees, and maybe connects with, real faces?
Frank has experienced a transformation. He has become more generous. Life is good. But sometimes, when everything is going great, the bottom falls out.
Don’t miss next week.
If you haven’t yet decided to be part of a small group, it’s not too late. Just show up and join in – Sunday mornings between services, Wednesday evenings at 7pm, Thursday mornings at 10am, or contact me if you want to join in a teleconferencing group on Thursday nights.
If you missed worship on Sunday (or would like to review the sermon, or just the video), here is information for you:
To hear the sermon, go to:
It includes (audio of) the seven-minute video.
If you want to watch the actual video, go to:
Watch the segment from 0:28 to 8:09.
* Disclaimer: I have NOT viewed the sermon that this clip is part of, and do not endorse or oppose anything in it. I am just giving you the link and the start/stop times for the movie itself.