Am I Really Helping?
The weekend of Palm Sunday, my message was about how to care for our life with God. As an illustration, I related my conflict between body, mind, and will when it comes to Applebee’s Triple Chocolate Meltdown dessert. I think my illustration must have resonated with many of you. Over the past couple of weeks, I have had several people text or email me photos of their dessert indulgences. (It doesn’t appear to me that the will is overruling the body in these instances!)
The latest photo came on Monday. Craig Lockwood and his family were in Niagara Falls and one of his sons spied a particularly delightful dessert on the menu. Along with the photo of Adam getting ready to dig in, Craig wrote: “Adam listens to your sermons and here is proof. When he saw this on the menu, he thought of you and ordered it.”
I am encouraged that my messages are proving to be helpful in daily life!
(By the way, Adam did share his dessert with his family. Craig says they all enjoyed it very much!)
I am grateful to the many that have begun participating in our Stewardship with a Goal (SWAG) emphasis. Our total received to date is $23,564. As the first project on the SWAG list (the abatement of asbestos in the boiler room) is estimated to cost $25,000, this initial project is nearly completely funded.
The next project on the SWAG list is a $10,000 payment on the principal of our loan. Pearce’s indebtedness presently stands at 2.7 million dollars. The debt was incurred during the building of the 2001 addition to our facility. Every additional payment we can make on the loan’s principal pays significant dividends in the future. So thanks for continuing to add some SWAG!
A Down on the Corner Moment
This year Pearce Church is seeking ways to get “down on the corner” and share the love of Jesus with others. I had a very special “down on the corner” moment last Thursday (April 4). But first, I need to give you some background.
For several months, Honna Lusk, John Tassone, and I have been meeting for lunch at the Applebees in Gates. We’re reading a Tim Keller book, Center Church, and use our lunch time to debrief on our reading, as well as catch up on what God is doing in each other’s lives. John, as Pearce’s former administrator, is also a valued mentor to Honna.
Whenever we walk in that particular Applebees, we always ask for a table where Samii is on-duty. She is, in our humble opinion, one of the best servers we have found in the restaurant world. A few weeks ago, while enjoying our lunch, we got talking with Samii. “We’d like to know your story,” we suggested. And, before we knew it, we had it all arranged. We would take our favorite server out to lunch!
So, last Thursday, I found myself with John and Honna at a table at Six50 (a new restaurant not far from Pearce) listening to Samii’s story. It was a wonderful “down on the corner” moment for me, and I hope Samii sensed Christ’s love as we treated her to lunch.
The Perelandra Principle
This past weekend, I began a three-week series of messages entitled “The Perelandra Principle.” The principle goes like this: “Enough is enough.” The following questions may be helpful ones to consider in applying the Perelandra Principle to your own life.
- Do you keep track of your spending in order to know “where it all goes?”
- Do you recognize when you make “impulse” purchases that later sit on the shelf and seem unimportant?
- Is it your practice to seek God’s guidance in discerning and distinguishing between “needs” and “wants?”
- Have you found ways to model the Perelandra Principle to your children?
- Are you more prone to look for ways to spend money or seek ways to generously give?
The Apostle Paul was a great advocate of the Perelandra Principle. He once wrote: “Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” (Philippians 4:11-13, The Message)
It’s Just Pocket Change
At the conclusion of last weekend’s worship services, I encouraged those attending to donate their pocket change. It was a way, I hoped, to reinforce the Perelandra Principle and the generous life it makes possible. Well, it’s amazing how pocket change adds up. We received a total of $775.94! This money will be given to a family in our community that could use a “blessing” this week. Thanks for being such a generous church family.