Monday, March 11, 2013

March 12, 2013

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!" Matthew 25:23
Kirk Nowery from his book “The Stewardship of Life” shares this story to make a point about why good stewardship matters.
At 12:55 pm the mayday call crackled through the speakers at the Flight Service Station on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. The desperate pilot of a Piper A22, a small single-engine plane, was reporting that he had run out of fuel and was preparing to ditch the aircraft in the waters of Cook Inlet.
On board were four people, two adults and two young girls, ages 11 and 12. They had departed two hours earlier from Port Alsworth, a small community on the south shore of Lake Clark, bound for Soldotna, a distance of about 150 miles. Under normal conditions it would been a routine flight; however, the combination of fierce headwinds and a failure to top off the fuel tank had created a lethal situation.
Upon hearing the plane’s tail number, the air traffic controller realized that his own daughter was one of the young passengers aboard the plane. In desperation himself, he did everything possible to assist the pilot; but suddenly the transmission was cut off. The plane had crashed into the icy waters. Four helicopters operating nearby began searching the area within minutes of the emergency call, but they found no evidence of the plane and no survivors. The aircraft had been traveling without water survival gear, leaving its four passengers with even less of a chance to make it through the ordeal. Fiercely cold Cook Inlet, with its unpredictable glacial currents, is considered among the most dangerous waters in the world. It can claim a life in minutes, and that day it claimed four.
Kirk adds these thoughts to the story: For reasons we will never know, the pilot of that doomed aircraft chose not to use the resources that were at his disposal. He did not have enough fuel. He did not have the proper survival equipment. Perhaps he had not taken the time to get the day’s weather report. Whatever the case, he did not use the resources that were available; and in this instance the consequences were fatal.
I wonder how many other people have died needlessly like these four people did? Why, because someone did not manage and or use the resources they had at their disposal. – I also wonder how many have died without Jesus -- spiritually speaking from others being poor stewards of the resources God has placed them in charge of.
Nowery states, "The stewardship of resources is a serious business; and God’s will is that we give it serious attention. This demands that we have the right perspective on our resources, and that is possible only if we have the right focus on our source."

What will your focus be today?

March 11, 2013

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."  Matthew 6:33
As we shift gears to the next "Soulshift", "Consumer to Steward" I want you to give some focused thought to several questions:
What does it mean to be a consumer?
What is good about it?
When is it a problem?
What does it mean to be a steward?
Which would I want to be?


Which am I?

Dr. Marjorie Elder was a professor at IWU when I was there as a student. I never knew her very well but I always admired her. As we begin studying this next soulshift I urge you to pray this prayer.
“Our Father, when we realize that all we have has been a gift from You, from life to heritage to possessions, stewardship becomes a very demanding practice. Of ourselves, nothing; from You, all.

“We seek a SoulShift that begins with asking You to take our capabilities and show us how to use any gifts we have for Your glory. And take our possessions – all Yours – and give us wisdom in handling them. We thank You for directing the first tenth in a way that helps us know it is wisely used. Thank You for our church. What great planning can be accomplished by a body of believers far beyond what an individual could manage. Then give us wisdom in choosing the places for our offerings. Bless us with a generous spirit and increase our joy as we delight in giving You more of what is Yours. Amen” -Marjorie Elder