A Pastor's Perspective 05-07-2024

   Mother's Day is a favorite Sunday for me. This may sound odd coming from a guy, especially a guy who lost his mother when only 12 years old.  And sure, the day has not always been a great one for me, there is pain in losing a parent no matter how old or young you are.  Nevertheless, grief gave way to gratitude.  I miss her still, even now, but in her 42 years she gave me something that will last a lifetime and beyond.  We will speak of these things as we wrap up our generations series and dedicate seven families and their newborns to the Lord.  
   This Sunday our Generations Message series concludes with the challenge to take "The Long View".  This will be the Sunday where we as a gathering of people who love Snyder and call it home will commit to give an offering over and above our regular weekly or monthly tithe - a 36 month commitment.  Many of our leaders met for an Advance Commitment Worship on Friday night, May 3, and submitted an early commitment over and above their regular giving.    During this time of worship they committed to giving over 5.9 million dollars toward our goal of 12 million.  Those who committed Friday night make up 22% of our population and now it falls to the 78% of us remaining to follow their lead.
   As we approach this Sunday, our Commitment Sunday, let us remember a verse from 1 Chronicles 29.  In this verse we see that the offering was a matter of David's heart.
    I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness.  In the uprightness of my heart, I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you. 1 Chronicles 29:17
   Maybe you have already submitted your commitment, or maybe you are still praying about the level of giving you and your family will be involved in the Generations Campaign.  Keep in front of your consideration that generosity is first and foremost a matter of the heart.  My pastor, Andy Stanley, used to tell us when it comes to money and our relationship with God,
    It is not about what God wants from us, as much as it is what God wants for us.
   As we engage and develop the spiritual discipline of generosity, along with other spiritual disciplines, we will become more aware of God and more like His Son. When we engage this discipline of generosity it uniquely reflects the generosity of Jesus.  
   This Mother's Day is going to be special as we honor our mothers - those who are still with us and those who have passed on. My mother was the first person to teach me about the joy of giving, to teach me about generosity.  We will all be a part of the Parent Child Dedication service as we as a congregation promise to support the spiritual development of these children.  As we bring our Generation's Commitment cards forward we are making a further commitment to the next generation. Until Sunday let us all continue to pray and contemplate about our gift to the Generations Initiative.
Looking Forward,
Important Note:  Let me leave you with one important logical note:  If you have already brought your commitment card forward on Friday night, please bring one forward again on Sunday morning as an act of worship and fellowship with the rest of the church.  Do not worry, we will not count you twice.