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LIVE GENEROUSLY: Be generous in all that you do.

Stewardship 2024 has begun. Church members should look in your email box for information. There is a link in the email to connect you to Messiah's pledge website portal. There you can complete your financial commitment to Messiah for calendar year 2024. If you prefer, paper pledge forms are available at church.

This year's stewardship theme is Live Generously. Even though we may tend to over use the word Generous in our stewardship communication, it is an important concept of Christian giving. Over the next few weeks, you will be hearing examples about what it means to be generous in our day-to-day journey of following Christ.

First published in Messiah's blog in November of 2016, the following reflection tells of a generous neighbor. You may have read it before, but sometimes hearing good things about good people is worth hearing again. Then ask yourself how you can be a generous neighbor.

Neighborly Steward – Every Day, Every Way

This past summer a former neighbor of ours passed away. When I reflect on my memories of Pat, my first thoughts are to his genuine generosity and kindness. I often bragged that I had the best neighbor a homeowner could ever have.

Pat was the ultimate Mr. Fix-it. He had so many tools in his shop that I didn't know the name for half of them or how they might be used. But if I ever had something not working or a project idea, all I had to do was mention it to Pat and he would say; "Let's take a look." Not only would he insist on lending the proper tool to fix the problem, he often would lend his expertise in getting the project done correctly the first time. What a guy. We missed them when they moved and now the world will miss this generous man as well.

My response to Pat's generosity was both gratitude and praise, but also it involved responsibility. I made sure I took care of the tools and returned them in the prime condition that they were when I borrowed them. In addition, I learned to repeatedly ask for his help. You could tell that Pat loved to help. He loved to lend his tools to his neighbors. Kindness is like that. Genuine generosity wants to give one's neighbor what he or she needs. And genuine generosity wants to be asked.

We have a generous God. He has showered us with many blessings. He also created us in His image of generosity. How do we respond? GRADITUDE: give Him Thanks. ASK: He wants to bless us and help us. CARE: take responsibility of the gifts and blessings God has given us. KINDNESS: help our neighbor. GIVE: gift and lend our talents and our wealth to a world of neighbors in need. Be Generous; every day, every way!

Doug Ruecker

November 2016

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