Tag Archives: talent

You Matter

Name the twelve disciples. No googling. Perhaps you start off strong – Peter, James, John, Thomas, Andrew, Judas … no, take Judas off since he betrayed Christ …

Having witnessed a few minutes of the red-carpet celebrity strut of the Academy Awards, it still amazes me who seems to matter and what some people will actually wear in public. There will always be headliners who get more than their share of attention, but what happens to the stars if the “little people” don’t do their jobs?

You may not know the full list of the disciples, but Jesus did. He called each of them. They mattered. One of the wonderful things about belonging to Him is that each of us matters. He doesn’t love some of us more than He loves all of us.

I love the passage in Isaiah 43 – “I have called you by name; you are Mine.” He calls each of us. We all matter.

Some people live out their calling without much fanfare. The spotlight doesn’t fall on them. They are like the guy who was escorting some starlet to a movie premiere. The media was pushing and shoving to get a picture or an interview, the fans were frantic to see who was in the next limo. This guy steps out and a reporter with microphone and big hair yells to him, “Are you anybody?”

Look around. You will see the called serving at church. A few examples:

  • Currently, Adele Cleveland, Laura Rogers, Wyona Stephens, and Ted Wood have been serving as counters. When the offerings are given, someone has to handle the money with dedication and confidentiality. Carolyn Watford, our Financial Controller, works with them to accurately separate and record our gifts. In effect, they are stewards of our stewardship. Many people have served through the years without much notice in this important role. On behalf of our congregation, I express deep appreciation for their labor of love. Each of them matters.
  • We have a team of people who work with sound and lighting for worship and other activities. Alan Keel, Julie Hunter, Davis Scoles, Will McCollum, Joe Hughes, Kevin McDonald, Tony Petrucelli, and Dean Matthews serve on our tech team. They might get noticed when we have sound issues, but working those boards is anything but easy. I am grateful for the time, focus, interest, and expertise they bring to the task.
  • There are many others that we will mention going forward. Each matters to the ministry of Wieuca!

Jesus call us all. The way we employ our time, talent, and treasure illustrates our response. You matter!

Only 9 to go!

A congregation was excited about its new, young pastor. He was energetic, preached inspiring sermons and worked with the youth. Then one night he was late for the church council meeting.

Another time, he failed to show up for a committee meeting.

He even started coming late to worship.

Then one Sunday, he failed to show up at all for worship.

The council voted to dismiss the pastor.

Then the council had the following message posted at the church entrance: “We have fired our pastor for acting like the rest of us.”

A preacher wrote that story, right? Sounds like one, doesn’t it?

Did you know there are nine weeks left in 2015? Counting this Sunday, we have a handful of Sundays left in the year. Included in that number are holiday weekends – Thanksgiving and Christmas.

As we enter the last two months of the year, let’s take a look of the days ahead:

  1. How will this coming season encourage me to grow deeper as a disciple of Jesus?
  2. How will I support the mission and ministry of my church?
  3. How does my calendar reflect my service to fellow members, community, and Christ?
  4. Will this be the year when I am much more interested in giving than getting?
  5. How will I experience being a more joyful steward of my time, talent, and treasure?
  6. How will I express my gratitude and generosity because of the blessings God has brought into my life?
  7. Who is the person who needs to hear the Gospel from me during the holiday season?
  8. Was Brother Lawrence right? “Our only business is to love and delight ourselves in God.” How can we practice the presence of Christ in a hurried, distracted life?
  9. Let’s make the most of this time of year!

Just how old are you?

A man received a phone call from his grandson to wish him a happy birthday. In the course of the conversation, the boy asked, “Just how old are you?” The man replied, “I’m 62.” There was silence for a moment before the boy spoke: “Did you start at 1?”

Life isn’t always measured by length of years but by experiences. A little girl was quizzing her grandmother about how things were when she grew up. Grandma responded: “We used to skate outside on a frozen pond during the winter. I had a swing my dad made out of an old tire; it hung in the front yard from a big oak tree. We rode a pony our grandfather bought for us. We would go out to the woods and pick wild raspberries and blackberries.” The girl listened in wild-eyed amazement, trying to take all this in. At last she said, “I sure wish I’d gotten to know you sooner.”

Some people do their best stuff later in life. Some start early. Some find their rhythm somewhere along the way. Susan Boyle at 48 was an unknown until she stepped on the stage of “Britain’s Got Talent” reality TV show. She sang: “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables and brought the house down. She launched her singing career that night. Laura Ingalls Wilder, of “Little House in the Big Woods” fame, didn’t publish her first book until she was 64. Grandma Moses didn’t start to paint until she was 76.

The Bible is full of stories about men and women whose accomplishments exhibit the possibilities of time – not chronos, time measured by seconds, minutes, hours, or years, but kairos, time that refers to opportunity or the right moment. What time is it for you?

Moses was 80 when God called him to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. Caleb was 85 when he asked to be given the hill country in Canaan. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were young men when they refused to bow before Nebuchadnezzar. Esther was a young woman when she became queen. Joseph was 17 when his world was turned upside down. Jesus was 12 when He amazed the teachers and scribes at the Temple.

So, just how old are you? And what are you going to do with the rest of your life?

Carpe diem!

Point Guard

A class reunion is bringing them back to town. In my brother’s senior year, two high schools merged – North Fulton and Dykes. That transition wasn’t easy, particularly when it came to blending athletic teams. John played point guard on a basketball team that was instantly much better than the year before.

Better at the game we all loved, little brother had been a gym rat. He shot for hours, increased his ball handling skills, and most of all learned the game. Point guards are like quarterbacks on  a football field. The good ones not only know their position, they also know everyone else’s. As the point guard brings the ball up the court, he has to recognize defenses, he has to guide the pace of the game, and he has to follow instruction from the sidelines.

John did all that well. Oh yeah, he could score, too. He could shoot over you or drive around you. But that wasn’t his primary job. He had to see the floor, run the team, and distribute the ball. Dishing the ball to four other guys who each felt it was his turn wasn’t easy.

For a long time, John held assist records at Anderson College and Texas – Pan Am where he played. He was a playmaker, a floor general, a key to the success of his teams. I’m not biased at all, right?

I’ve noticed that he continues to see the floor well, run the team, and distribute the ball. He does these things in life … in his family life, his church ministry, his professional career. John is a great servant leader wherever God has placed him. He is a faithful steward of his time, talent, and treasure. He can still run the point but he really knows how to follow the Coach.

Among my many blessings, I have two brothers who are good and godly men. When we get together, we tell stories from back in the day – the older we get the better we were – but I have witnessed how both have played the game of life. I am a proud brother.

What about me?

From Leadership Network:

“In 1985, Bob Buford decided to create an organization that would address the leadership and organizational needs of large, complex churches and Christian organizations. He wrote a mission statement and business plan for the idea and hired a full-time staff person. To make sure the idea had sufficient resources, he committed 30 percent of his time and funded the budget. The result was Leadership Network.

In 1992, Duncan Campbell, the owner of a timber investment firm, became concerned about high-risk kids in Portland, Oregon. He developed a business plan and put up the money to fund his idea. He committed 50 percent of his time to the organization, Friends, that provides mentors for troubled youth in the Portland area.

In 1994, Tom Luce, a successful attorney, had a dream for an organization that would change the nature of public education in the state of Texas. He wrote a mission statement and business plan, hired a full-time staff person and committed his own money as well as 50 percent of his time. The result is ‘Just for the Kids.’”

All three of these social entrepreneurs are still at it today, helping to change things for the better; helping to change lives and organizations for the good. It would be easy to say that we don’t have the resources available to these men, but what are we doing with the resources entrusted to us?

Amelia Mohr was 8 years old at the time. Our church was collecting food to help an organization similar to Buckhead Christian Ministry. We distributed grocery bags much like we have done this month and asked our members to bring the bags so we can donate the food to BCM. Amelia wasn’t satisfied filling the sack her family picked up at church. She wanted for more bags and went to her neighbors and asked them to fill up a bag to help hungry people. She told her parents that she needed their help to pick up the bags from their neighborhood. She followed up with each neighbor until each had participated.

Stewardship is about life. We have all been given so much. We don’t own any of it; we have been entrusted with a sacred charge. Your time, talent, and treasure can make a difference. One day there will be an accounting. “To whom much has been given, much will be required.”

I read that somewhere …

If you don’t want to give until it hurts, how about giving until it helps? See you Sunday, ready to worship, ready to serve.