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Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.

Hello Friends: 9.1.2011- The Gift of Giving

Hello Friends,

It was his 32nd birthday and, frankly, it might have been his best one ever.

A week or two ago, me and three of my kids stood on the corner of Wallace & Glen Greek and we sang Happy Birthday to a homeless man named Daniel. Along with a well-sung song, we gave him a Starbucks pastry, a bottle of water and five bucks. You would have thought he had been given a million dollars.

How did I know it was Daniel’s birthday?

Well, Christi told me.

Christi is a wonderful member of West Salem Foursquare. She has been actively extending kindness to Daniel for some time now and found out the date of his birth. Recently when we both discovered that we had been reaching out to the same “address challenged” individual, we worked together to celebrate his birthday. Christi knew she would be out of town that day, so she asked me to give him some birthday money (normally she only gives food and smiles). My kids and I pitched for the pastry and water.

After celebrating on the street corner, we walked back to our car with smiles on our faces and joy in our hearts. My youngest son said, “Dad, that was awesome!”

It was awesome. It was awesome on a number of levels:

1.  It was a simple yet powerful demonstration of the kindness and love of the Lord to a person who is struggling.

2.  It was an act of giving with an amazing return on investment, not only in Daniel, but in me, my children and in Christi.

3.  It was a partnership between various individuals, all working together to minister grace and hope.

4.  It felt like something Jesus would do: singing Happy Birthday on a street corner to a homeless man.

I tell you this story because it illustrates the power of partnership and giving. Over the next few months at West Salem Foursquare we will have a number of opportunities to partner in our giving. I encourage you to prayerfully pour your heart into these opportunities…go ALL IN. Don’t hold back, knowing that if we all work together, each contributing faithfully, then it will be awesome.

Look forward with me to these upcoming opportunities:

1.  ALL IN // September – November. Last year at this time, I sensed the Lord say to my heart: “Ask the Church to go ALL IN.” So many from our congregation responded cheerfully to the biblical pattern of tithing & generous giving. We heard story after story of God’s faithfulness. So we’re going ALL IN again! This September through November we are calling WSFC to a Three-Month Giving Challenge. If you go ALL IN and the Lord doesn’t honor His Word in your life THEN your church will give you 100% of your donation back. No questions asked. Go for it. Trust the Lord. Try giving your full tithe for three months. Then tell the stories of God’s faithfulness in your life!

2.  Outreach Offering // September 24/25.  This last June we received an offering for our youth camps scholarships. WSFC was so faithful to invest into our young people. Our next quarterly special offering will be the weekend of September 24 & 25 and it will be received specifically for the various outreaches of WSFC, including the Salem Dream Center, City Vibe, A New Leaf, and Mexico Missions. Begin to pray and plan now regarding an offering, which is over and above your regular tithe.

Be challenged AND encouraged by Luke 6:38: “Give and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full…pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. For with the measure you give, it will be measured back to you.”

Blessings,

Pastor John
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