Money is a Game

Money is a game. Find a way to work together as a team to win.

That line was in one of those “10 tips” lists that come in magazines and in emails. It was about marriage and how to get along.

Remember: Money is a game. Find a way to work together as a team to win.money-puzzle

Money can be a stumbling block in any relationship. Do we take it too seriously? It is an instrument of power in world conflict, in marriage, and even in church. To call money a game seems to take away its power. And working together means we’re on the same team, rather than competing with each other. Money came to mind over the Labor Day weekend when we read through Bruce Larson’s 5 Questions to Ask Yourself about your Work:

  1. Why am I here in this job? Accident or divine will?
  2. For whom am I working? A company? Boss? Or God?
  3. What am I working for? Money? Prestige? Power?
  4. With whom am I working? Go always puts people first.
  5. What kind of place am I in? Is where I work a place to serve the world God so loves?

On Sunday, we were had as our guests the folks from James St. Methodist in our annual summer exchange. Pastor Baums and I talked about the some biblical principles of work, the children picked some careers (from teachers to dinosaurs), the choir rejoiced, and communion was truly shared. You had to be there. Maybe you were.

The Church and Natural Disasters

It’s been over two years since the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. What followed was the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Nearly a million people were forced out of their homes and 20,000 died. Within a few hours, churches and relief agencies, many of whom were faith based, responded. What made this unlike any previous disaster was that the relief agencies were faced with assisting one of the richest nations in the world. In a recent article in Christianity Today, the author posed the question that many in the disaster relief community found themselves asking: “What do Christians uniquely bring to a materially wealthy nation struck by massive natural disasters…” in addition to the material aid, faith based agencies recognized that there were 3 neglected area of relief they could offer:Church

  • Spirituality – As workers prayed, listened and served, people were interested in their motivations.
  • Story – Efficiency is the mark of most agencies, but how the aid was delivered (the story) was equally important.
  • Sustainability – Local Christian churches have tried to maintain and sustain support, long after most agencies have gone.

On Sunday, we examined Psalm 46. There are some great verses to memorize in that psalm. Each of the 3 stanzas describes a world on the outside that is out of control, with a quiet center where peace and stillness reign. Like the church in a land where a nuclearized tsunami is at work, Christians can offer the refuge of God, calling people to be still and know Him. Michael and Sue performed a piano duet. The children’s story was done under the blanket. You had to be there. Maybe you were.

May all the work we do inspire us to say: “Praise God”

landscape

landscapeWhile on visits to England, Haydn heard the impressive oratorios of Handel and was inspired to try his hand at it. He started big! He took on creation using texts from Genesis, Psalm 19 and others. He was a devout Christian and noted at the end of each composition: “Praise to God”. He is quoted as saying: “I was never so devout as when I was at work on The Creation; I fell on my knees each day and begged God to give me the strength to finish the work.” May all the work we do inspire us to say: “Praise God”.

We returned to the sanctuary Sunday morning and heard about Jim Stone’s new chaplain ministry and Joe’s experience with the work of American Baptist Men in the Herkimer area as the community is recovering from the late spring floods. Doug’s music ministry was divine and the text from Psalm 19 took us from the heavens to our world to our souls. Following worship, we caravanned ourselves to Green Lakes State Park for a rainy start that broke out into sunshine. Swimming, walking around the lake and enjoying the great outdoors in great company. Praise God. You had to be there. Maybe you were.