Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday at SPUMC - Nov. 29, 2009

"No man is an iceberg drifting on the ocean of history. Each one of us belongs to a great family, in which he has his own place and his own role to play."
--Pope John Paul II

Usually on Sundays, I give an update of what happened at church today... But I wasn't there! I hope any of you who read this can fill in the blanks for me... I feel adrift when I'm not able to be at the weekly family party!

Here's what I do know:

During the Education Hour
**The children began talking about the season of Advent and God's promise to send a Savior. They were also given an Advent "Take-out Box" Devotional - a set of devotionals, a journal, and a candle to encourage the families to take time together this season and share scripture, prayer, and blessings.
**There was no Confirmation due to Thanksgiving Break.
**The Wired Word, our current events class, talked about rules and how they pertain to our walk with Jesus - which rules are timeless and which are time-limited.
**And our new Bible/Book Study for Advent began a discussion of "The Advent Conspiracy." There are still books available in the Narthex if you'd like to get in on the discussion!

The worship service was focused on Simplicity and "The Overlooked" Christmas Relatives. We've begun the lighting of the Advent wreath, singing the traditional Christmas tunes, and even singing the Doxology to the tune of "O Christmas Tree!" This Sunday the story of "The Pause" was shared - and all were invited to take home a pretty little package to remind them of being still, taking a rest, and appreciating this holy season. Oops! Carol reminded me to tell you that the little box was empty! It represents a "pause" - taking a break from the busy-ness of the season and enjoying the moment, opening your heart, and letting God in. Thanks Carol! After church, the Hanging of the Greens took place. All the decorations went up and a festive (and I heard, delicious) meal was served! Many thanks to the organizers and the cooks!

I've heard a lot of good things about today! I wish I could have been with you! (Did I leave anything out?)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Hands down, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It highlights the home and family. It is synonymous with stuff that can be found only at home - early morning fussing around in the kitchen, kids and grandkids, long distance phone calls, holding hands and praying before that special meal."
--Charles Swindoll

Today, as I awoke at 6:30am I grumbled a bit at the early hour... and then remembered WHY I was getting up so early! Today, Mike and I are walking at the Mall of America in the Walk to End Hunger! We're turning in over $900 that YOU helped us raise to serve those in our neighborhood who are without jobs, homes, food, and warm clothing. I love starting my Thanksgiving Day in this way - a way to count my blessings, give back, burn calories and spend time with friends. So much generosity and joy!

Then, we came back to the house, watched the Macy's parade, and continued a family tradition of making the centerpiece for the table while Mom cooks. My sister, dad, husband and I laughed, played, created, and laughed some more at this silly, but fun tradition, started many years ago (I'm pretty sure Mom started it as a way to keep us out of the kitchen while she prepared dinner!).
When the meal was prepared, we sat around the table with the feast and centerpiece before us. Dad shared his prayer that he had written just for today and we began to share what we were thankful for this year. Family, a warm home, food to eat, jobs, loved ones, laughter, joy - so much to be thankful for!

Happy Thanksgiving - and may the many blessings in your life be a reminder of the One who provides them this Holiday Season!

What are the Thanksgiving traditions in your home?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday Thanks

This is the last update on our "Month of Generosity and Thanks" thankfulness chain! Be sure to check it out on Sunday - it's amazing how long the chain got by simply thinking of one or two things each week that we are thankful for!

These are the things our congregation was thankful for this week:

Mashed potatoes
The Macy's parade
The Walk to End Hunger
Christmas decorations
Donut holes
Warm mornings
Clean pants
Hugs and kisses
Good health
A great hike
A new house
My kitty
Losing weight
A great year
Fun-packed weekend

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


"Thanksgiving puts power in living, because it opens the generators of the heart to respond gratefully, to receive joyfully, and to react creatively."
--AnonymousLooking for a way to respond in thanksgiving?

Walk to End Hunger is only two days away! You can still donate to support Megan and Mike Adams, Beth Johnson and family, Melissa Early and family, and Beth Hewitt and Jason! Just go to, on the left side of the page, click "Sponsor Participant." You can then type in one of our names and donate!

As of this writing, Megan and Mike are listed in the top five fundraisers for the event with $800 raised! THANK YOU to all who have donated! Neighbor's Inc will be so excited to receive these donations!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sermon Notes - Nov. 22nd, 2009

"The scriptures invite us to be 'overflowing' with gratitude. How splashy is that? How much thanks - and where?

If our thanksgiving is beginning to look like Niagara Falls perhaps we are getting the hang of it. "Maybe it looks like a bubbling fountain - overflowing with lushness and full of refreshing 'thank yous.' "I think about all the times when I don't overflow with thanks and wonder how much I think it costs to say words of appreciation, gratitude, or love. Words are free. And they are powerful - the 'I love you!' carries power far beyond the eight little letters needed to shape the sounds.

"This is the perfect week to take a small amount of time to send a note, email, card, flower, hug, whatever-it-takes to offer someone the blessing of being showered with abundant grace!"
--Pastor Penny Zettler

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday at SPUMC - Nov. 22, 2009

We celebrated another week of living thankfully - through our generosity - at church today!

Our Education hour was hopping with all kinds of wonderful discussions:
* The children talked about how God gives us courage to do what is right! (And they continued practicing for the Christmas Program! Mark your calendars for Dec. 20th!)
* The Confirmation class talked about those who share their faith with us by being role models of faithfulness.
* Beth led the last class on Philippians this Sunday - Thank you so much for your leadership!
* Beda led The Wired Word, discussing the latest news about mammogram guidelines.

Worship celebrated Thanksgiving a little early - talking about OVERFLOWING gratitude! Jill even did a spectacular stunt with the children's chat to illustrate what "overflowing" really looks like! (Here's a hint - what happens when you mix soda with Mentos candies?) In the end, the focus was that we have SO MANY blessings in our lives that we should be sharing with all those we meet - whether it's sharing words, kind gestures, money, gifts, our presence... There are so many ways to be generous in our daily lives and its up to us to figure how. It's up to us to figure out how to be "overflowing" with God's love.

How are you overflowing this week?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Praise and Thanks

"Gratitude... takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God."
--Thomas Merton

I don't know about you, but I take things for granted all the time... My warm home, food on the table, nice clothes, a loving family... all kinds of things, everyday. I take them for granted and I forget to say "thank you."

Part of being generous is being generous with our words - our thank yous, our praises of others, our acknowledgement of the blessings in our lives! That's why we've been making a paper chain of thankfulness at church - a reminder of ALL the things we have to be thankful for! That's why we've been starting meetings and small groups asking people to say something they are thankful for - an "out loud" reminder. That's why we keep talking about - and writing about - the blessings in our lives... it's so easy to take them for granted and to never say "thank you."

And when we take notice, when we appreciate, when we say "thank you" - we are being generous with our gratitude. We all like to be thanked and appreciated for the things we do - let's remember to thank those around us, too!

Who will you thank today?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday Thanks

Half way through the week - looking for a pick-me-up? Here's some more things our congregations is thankful for! Feel free to add yours in the comment section!

Good health
Eric's soup
2010 will bring 2 new Great-grandchildren
Emotional support
20+ year olds
Understanding people
Fun people to work with
Hot tea
Good friends
Good parents
October rain
Beautiful frost on the ground
Smiles and hugs
Warm shiney weather
Productive days
Understanding husbands
Opportunity for growth
Young children
Those who follow through

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


"If we learn how to give of ourselves, to forgive others, and to live with thanksgiving, we need not seek happiness. It will seek us."

A perfect quote in the midst of the last couple of months at church! Forgiveness... Generosity of ourselves... Living with Thanksgiving. God - and happiness - are in them all!

When do you feel happiest?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sermon Notes - Nov. 15th, 2009

"Who is the most generous person you know? I love the story about the generosity of the founder of Methodism, John Wesley. His life reflected his beliefs. As he finished his post graduate work, and began to teach, he was spending his salary in "typical" ways. His reason to live differently came in the shape of a cleaning woman who worked in his residence. He saw that she wasn't dressed for the cold. As he reached into his pocket to help her buy warmer clothing, he didn't have money to give. He realized he had spent his money on things that weren't making a difference in the world.

"From that moment on, he began to seriously give away his extra. Only he didn't define 'extra' the way I might. He decided he could easily live on the 30 pounds he was making, in fact, he gave away two. The following year, when his salary doubled, he continued to live on the 28 pounds he had been comfortable with the previous year, and gave away32 pounds. The next year he received a raise to 90 pounds: lived on 28, gave away 62 pounds. He kept this pattern throughout hs life - even when he was making 1,400 pounds through speaking and writing.

"Wesley felt that the Christian should not merely tithe but give away all extra income once the family and creditors were taken care of. He believed that with increasing income, what should rise is not the Christian's standard of living but the standard of giving.

"2 Corinthians 9:7 says that God loves a cheerful giver. May we be those particularly loved!"
--Pastor Penny Zettler

(Photo courtesy of Google Images.)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday at SPUMC - Nov. 15, 2009

It was another beautiful day at St. Paul's UMC!

The education hour was learning all kinds of interesting things:
* The children talked about how wonderful God is and that we should find ways to worship and praise God all throughout our daily lives!
* The confirmation class met with Pastor Penny and their parents to watch the NOOMA video "Rich" and learn about all the ways we are rich and can give back to God.
* The Philippians study was talking about Paul encouraging us to take strength from God, live out our faith, and live with joy!
* And the Wired Word group was graciously led by Ryan this week - talking about the Fort Hood tragedy and were our faith fits into such horrible incidents.

Worship was continuing the theme of Extravagant Generosity - and all the ways our gifts can open doors in our lives, in our community, and in the world! Rhea generously shared part of her faith journey with us and Jeanette led a wonderful children's chat (reminding us of the childhood poem "here is the church, here is the steeple, open the doors, and there's all the people!")! Today was also the first opportunity to make your pledge for 2010 - be sure to bring your pledge cards next week to support the ministries of SPUMC!

We are so blessed to have so many gifts and talents present in this congregation - so many ways that people are able to share their faith with one another. (And so many great cooks who bring yummy treats during fellowship hour!)

Watch tomorrow for Pastor Penny's sermon notes!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Teaching Thankfulness

Our theme at church this month is generosity and thankfulness. Each Sunday (and other times while in church groups/meetings) we have been asked to write something we are thankful for on a chain link and we are making a large chain... it has been fun...something EVERYone can do....
It got me to thinking... I teach at a Junior High...special ed students to be specific...learning and behavior mostly. On Thursday I got to thinking about my students while I was at a church meeting writing on chain link...I was thinking "I wonder if my students would be able and WILLing to do the same activity...

I thought about it for awhile when I got home. I didn't want them to perceive it as a "baby" Junior Highers often do....I tried to come up with a clever poem to read to them...but I couldn't... I tried to come up with some things I am thankful for...but I just thought they would ignore me...

It was then that I spotted my Turkey.....
and thought...ah ha? I will offer them a sucker if they play along! And play along they did! I am proud of them... many came up with several things...some didn't want too...many passed up the sucker and some asked "can we do this again?" So...I will keep it up as long as they want to play! I think it is good for them!

(Submitted by Beth Johnson. Have a story about thankfulness or generosity you'd like to share? Email it to Megan at

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thoughts on Saving - Clothes

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin." --Matthew 6:28

"As you build and sustain your wardrobe, there are many ways to keep it the style you want without spending too much.

"Define your style. Know what you want before you go looking so you won't buy something just because. It's like the grocery list. If you have a plan, you'll know what to look for. Avoid buying just because it's on sale. Even if it's a great sale. You don't need another one if you already have three like it in your closet.

"Avoid using credit cards as much as possible. If you have one that gives cash back on purchases or other perks that you will use, consolidate all your purchases on the one and pay it off, always, on time...

"...You can have great, personal style without overbuying. Set wardrobe goals. Don't shop and buy willy-nilly. Only buy what is a part of your plan.

"Avoid trendy clothes.
Buy clothes with lasting style.
Add flair with accessories.
Find quality clothes at alternative stores.
Avoid high-maintenance clothes.
Wash in ways to preserve the life of the fabrics.
Learn to sew on a button and mend a hole.
Find a good shoe guy (and a tailor if there's just no way you'll learn to sew!).
Use sales, coupons, and specials - and never pay full price.
Help the kids learn to shop and spend wisely.
Get support and help if you're spending your way into debt."
--from the book, "99 Ways to Stretch Your Budget" by Cheri Gillard

What's your favorite way to save on clothes?

(Photo courtesy of Google images.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009


"First, calculate whether you have enough money for all your needs today. If you do, stop focusing on lack this minute. You probably have all the money you need to take care of today's needs and more. It doesn't matter how much more. Anytime you have more than you need, you have abundance. Catch yourself the next time you start dwelling on what you don't have; switch tracks by noticing and appreciating all you do have. As this becomes a personal habit, you'll find yourself coping well with any amount of money you have, rather than worrying about it.

"Worry is a future-tense emotion. Worry is a projection of a possible - not necessarily probable - scenario. Will there be enough? Where will it come from? How long will it last?

"Transforming every 'What will I do?' into 'What can I do?' fuels your fiscal creativity, restoring a sense of peace as you pursue prosperity."
--Sarah Ban Breathnach, from "Simple Abundance"

What CAN you do today?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday Thanks

It's Wednesday - half way through the week and time for a pick-me-up!

This month at church, we're asking our congregation to write down one or more things they are thankful for on strips of paper so that we can make a gigantic paper chain of all the things we are thankful for - as a reminder of all the blessings in our lives.

When we can count our blessings, it makes it so easy to look at all we have to give!

Here are some of the things our congregation is thankful for this week...

St. Paul's UMC
Safe hunting trips
America's Bible Belt
Jesus Christ
True Friends
Book Group
Being with Friends
Nap Time
Dolores Dahl
The Painter
Mexican food at Teresa's
Friends and Family
Baby smiles and hugs
Warmer windows
Sunny warm days for kayaking
Tuesday is over
Relaxing December
Family on Thanksgiving
A spark of Spirit!
Thanksgiving break
A car that runs - and the resources to keep it running
A warm house
Love and grace
Those who work with children in crisis

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What Can I Do TODAY?

"Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present."
—Albert Camus

"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." --Luke 6:38

"In the movie 'Pay It Forward,' the concept of doing something good for someone else is presented in an unusual way. The idea is that when someone does something for you, instead of thanking them or repaying them, you 'pay it forward' by doing something good for someone else. In the movie, this kindness is usually done to complete strangers: a young reporter whose car is totaled is given a car by a stranger who had two. A homeless person who had been helped by someone saves a woman about to jump from a bridge. It is interesting to see the chain of goodness wind through the story. Some of the characters that pay it forward find themselves on the receiving end of someone else paying it forward.

"The above verse may be loosely paraphrased as 'pay it forward.' I have found this concept to be a good way to deal with the spirit of greed. When we have been especially helpful to someone, we may secretly hope to be rewarded in some way.

"However, if I adopt the spirit of paying it forward, then I let go of the desire to be thanked and rest in knowing that someone else down the line will benefit from the goodness I have shared."
--Valerie E. Hess, from "Spiritual Disciplines Devotional: a year of readings"

Carpe diem. Seize the day. We often think of these words when we want something, or when we are having a hard time getting up the nerve to do something for ourselves... What if we thought of this phrase when we were thinking about giving more of ourselves or our resources?

I'm going to look for some chances to do a Random Act of Kindness or two, today... If you're able to do one, please let us know! I'd love to hear (or read) your story!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sermon Notes - Nov. 8th, 2009

"'Seize the day!' might sound like an unusual invitation to extravagant generosity.

"In Luke 9:55-62, Jesus teaches his followers to pay attention to the importance of living today. 'Seize the day!' rings true as an invitation to make a move NOW on a life lived fully and well.

"A Jewish writer interpreting scripture sums up the invitation to life: "If not now, when?" It's easy to pile up reasons why now isn't the best time to give, to be generous, to be open handed or open hearted. But if I'm to make the most of every day I live, I want to make a move on generous living in this moment. I want to act today in ways that share what I've been given. I want to do today things that are grace-giving. I want to be a blessing in this hour. I don't want to wait to feel that I have extra before I give; I don't want to wait till I'm organized , till I have time, till I know how, till I grow up, retire, get my driver's license, learn to make bread, or any of the hundred things in my way. I want to be a giver now.

"This day seized -- by me. You too?"
--Pastor Penny Zettler

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday at SPUMC - Nov. 8, 2009

What a fun Sunday at St. Paul's UMC!

The kids were talking about remembering to be obedient to God, because that helps us to live together. And when we're tempted to disobey, we should ask God for help. (A lesson we could all try to remember...)

The Confirmation class talked about our ability to do great things when we ask God for help!

And while I don't know off-hand what the adult classes were discussing today - I'm sure it was thought-provoking and uplifting!

Worship was lively! We had a fun children's chat with Cathy - she gave each of the children $1 to use in a generous way this week! I can't wait to hear what they did with it! Sandy played the harp and sang, "You Lift Me Up" - absolutely beautiful! And Dolores shared a little of her life story and why generous giving is part of her life.

We laughed, we cried, we were grateful to be together!

(Watch tomorrow for a summary of Pastor Penny's sermon!)

Oh! And we shared another fabulous pancake brunch!

I'm thankful today for this church family - so many wonderful gifts, talents, and stories to share!

What are you thankful for today?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thoughts on Saving - Food

As I've been rethinking our giving... and how much we have to give... I've also been thinking about all the money we spend that is wasteful - and it's a lot!

So, I'm considering some ways of saving money - Like John Wesley said, Gain all that you can, save all that you can, and give all that you can - right?

Here's a few ways to save on on food purchases:

* Plan menus - fewer trips to the store, planned purchases, strategic use of leftovers!
* Know the prices - use coupons, take a calculator (to compare quantity to price), watch for mistakes at the cashier, don't fall for 5 for $5 schemes if you only need one!
* Pack the pantry with staples when they are on sale - try canning or freezing! (Just don't buy more than you'll use... Don't let things go to waste!)
* Eat less meat (you don't need it everyday) or use recipes that stretch meat (like sloppy joe's or meatloaf).
* Junk the junk food. Eat healthier snacks like fruit or nuts, go for a walk when you feel the need for empty calories!
* Make homemade bread! Make up your mixes ahead of time, store the dry mix, and make the bread when you want it... Not only does it save time and money - but your house will smell wonderful!
* Drink more water! It's better for you and cheaper than sodas and sugary juices. If you worry about tap water, simply buy a filter... It's much cheaper and more environmentally sound than bottled water! (Also, make your own coffee and tea - it can cost pennies compared to stopping at a coffee shop!)
* Eat at home. Most of the time when we go out to dinner, it's because the "cook" of the family doesn't feel like cooking. Dinner out can easily cost 6-7 times what it would cost to make at home! So, take turns cooking so one person doesn't get burnt out or lazy! Make it a family affair and it's the perfect opportunity for conversation and fun!
* Dining out - drinks and tips quickly add to the bill. Order from the carry-out menu for cheaper prices and eat it in the comfort of home, or take it for a picnic! Instead of delivery, pick it up - you save the delivery charge and the tip. When you do go out, split a meal or take home the leftovers for a second meal (portions these days are easily large enough to do this!).
* Make homemade recipes and freeze them for easy dinners (like pizza or spaghetti).
* Use re-usable grocery bags! It saves about 10 cents per bag and it's environmentally responsible!

What are your money-saving strategies when it comes to food?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Gift for Two

"It was a beautiful day for sightseeing around downtown Portland. We were a bunch of counselors on our day off, away from the campers, just out for some fun. The weather was perfect for a picnic, so when lunch time came, we set our sights on a small park in town. Since we all had different cravings, we decided to split up, get what each of us wanted, and meet back on the grass in a few minutes.

"When my friend Robby headed for a hot dog stand, I decided to keep her company. We watched the vendor put together the perfect hot dog, just the way Robby wanted it. But when she took out her money to pay him, the man surprised us. "It looks a little on the cool side," he said, "so never mind paying me. This will be my freebie of the day."

"We said our thanks, joined our friends in the park, and dug into our food. But as we talked and ate, I was distracted by a man sitting alone nearby, looking at us. I could tell that he hadn't showered for days. Another homeless person, I thought, like all the others you see in cities. I didn't pay much more attention than that.

"We finished eating and decided to head off for more sightseeing. But when Robby and I went to the garbage can to throw away my lunch bag, I heard a strong voice ask, "There isn't any food in the bag, is there?"

"It was the man who had been watching us. I didn't know what to say. "No, I ate it already."

"Oh," was his only answer, with no shame in his voice at all. He was obviously hungry, couldn't bear to see anything thrown away, and was used to asking this question.

"I felt bad for the man, but I didn't know what I could do. That's when Robby said, "I'll be right back. Please wait for me for a minute," and ran off. I watched curiously as she went across to the hot dog stand. Then I realized what she was doing. She bought a hot dog, crossed back to the trash can, and gave the hungry man the food.

"When she came back to us, Robby said simply, "I was just passing on the kindness that someone gave to me."

"That day I learned how generosity can go farther than the person you give to. By giving, you teach others how to give also."
--by: Andrea Hensley, "Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul"

What have you "paid forward" this week?

(Photo courtesy of Google Images.)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


It's Wednesday - half way through the week and time for a pick-me-up!

This month at church, we're asking our congregation to write down one or more things they are thankful for on strips of paper so that we can make a gigantic paper chain of all the things we are thankful for - as a reminder of all the blessings in our lives.
When we can count our blessings, it makes it so easy to look at all we have to give!

Here are some of the things our congregation is thankful for so far...

Madden 09
An extra hour of sleep
Daylight savings time
A warm home
St. Paul's Church
Being cancer-free
Good health
Great Grandchildren
Pastor Penny
Bright tomorrows
Warm sweaters
60 years of marriage

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Useful Pair

"When I was president of United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, one of my favorite treks was to Columbus, Indiana. There lived Fran and Chuck, both in their eighties, who were major donors to the seminary. A couple times a year my job was to give Fran and Chuck a "great opportunity for usefulness." I would take them out to lunch and dinner, spend a pleasant afternoon telling stories about what was happening in the world of theological education, and work into the conversation my my case for increased levels of support. Before I left in the evening to drive back to Dayton, I usually received a check for the annual fund. The first ones started out at $5,000. By the time I left United to go to Drew, their checks were in the amounts of $15,000 and $20,000.

"United was one of their smaller charities. Fran and Chuck spent their last years having the time of their life. They sat on a back porch in Indiana and waited for the world to come to their door. And the world did. Heads of universities, ministries, and charities from around the world traveled to Columbus, Indiana. Some of the biggest names in education, the arts, and the church drove into an unassuming retirement community, spent the day with two enchanting individuals, and paid for all their meals. Fran and Chuck were besieged with gifts. Their walls were crowded with pictures of world leaders. Their calendar was crowded. They never cooked. Every day was different.

"Fran and Chuck decided that they were in a time of life where they could live off a reverse tithe, no more than 10 percent of their income. Their goal was to spend as little as possible on themselves and to give away as much as they could on causes they believed in. Some of my peers were receiving checks of $50,000 or more when they came to call. Some got only $1,000. But here were an elderly couple whose last years were their best years because they got a theology of receiving right."
--an excerpt from the book, "Soul Salsa," by Leonard Sweet

Consider this quote from John Wesley:
Gain all you can, without hurting either yourself or your neighbor, in soul or body, by applying hereto with unintermitted diligence, and with all the understanding which God has given you. Save all you can, by cutting off every expense which serves only to indulge foolish desire, to gratify either the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eye, or the pride of life. Waste nothing, living or dying, on sin or folly, whether for yourself or your children. And then, Give all you can, or in other words give all you have to God.

Do you think you could live like this: make all you can; save all you can; give all you can?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sermon Notes - Nov. 1st, 2009

"Sunday's sermon is prompted by the invitation in I Timothy 6:17-19 to live with "extravagant generosity." God has formed us so that our hearts are happiest when we are giving--just like God. All we have is gift from God, and we are created to live into God's image by also being great givers.

"I grew up thinking that probably God (and the church) needed my money. Now I understand more, and I understand that God does not need my money but that when the Bible encourages me to give, it's for my own good.

"Jesus taught that where our 'stuff' is tells a great deal about our lives. The best life is found in giving: back to God, to change the world; to others, to soften their rough edges; to friends, to help through rough times; or to family, to encourage love to grow.
"How and where can I best give? A smile? A cookie? A fixed computer? A joke? A ride? A clean toilet? Pick up a helping spirit and look for ways to help heal the world."
--Pastor Penny Zettler

(Photo courtesy of Google Images.)

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Greetings Members and Friends of St. Paul's United Methodist Church!

This is a new blog - written to inspire thoughts, experiences, discussions, and exploration into our lives of faith. We want to encourage each other to think about our Spiritual Habits in new ways - ways that we can live out in our daily lives, ways that connect us to God, ways that connect us to each other, and ways that connect us to the world! A life of faith is one that is meant to be joyful, engaging, compassionate, energetic, and ALIVE! And so... We begin this new journey together - a journey that will, hopefully, help us move into a more passionate way of living our faith OUT LOUD!

The month of November will be centered around the spiritual practice of Generous Giving - so I invite you today to share one thing you have given away in the last week... Was it a smile? a lending hand? a cookie? a donation?
Since this is meant to be a place to share our experiences - I encourage you to sign on, and leave comments! We learn most from our peers when we are able to share our lives with one another...

So where did you give this week?

(Picture courtesy of Google Images.)