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A Note from the Pastor's Desk
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Pastor Mike Mack
Senior Pastor,
Rev. Mike Mack
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Worship service Sunday mornings 9:30 a.m.
   With each passing day, I appreciate more fully the welcoming and loving nature of this congregation .  Having been part of a long development process in another congregation, I know that this church did not magically arrive at it's location or grow to it's current place in ministry without many sacrifices.  Throughout the history of this church, I am sure that people had to work their way through many challenges.  One of the primary challenges for individuals and churches is stewardship.
  Fall is often the time of the year that churches emphasize stewardship of the resources in both our personal lives and in the church.  The challenge, of course, for all of us is to understand that stewardship in our personal lives and in the church are inseparably connected.  If we get it wrong in one place, we will probably get it wrong in the other.
  When the church I formally served embarked on a capital campaign, our consultant suggested that we include a study by Randy Acorn's book "the Treasure Principle".  His approach in the book is scriptural and valid, but isn't very palatable to most of us-including your pastor.  Alcorn's primary premise is that God intends that Christians be motivated by "enlightened self-interest" in their giving of financial resources to the kingdom of God, usually through a church or ministry.
  Acorns suggests that the Treasure Principle was taught by Jesus.  It is simply this:  when it comes to money, "You can't take it with you, but you can send it ahead." (P. 18. The Treasure Principle, Randy Acorn. Mulnomah Publishers, 2001)  It was the last straw for some of our folks when we got to the point in the book that Acorn suggested we should actually each agree to tithe 10% AND give generously as God guides us beyond that amount.
  Acorn also shared what he called "The Six Keys to Treasure Living."  These keys are helpful in accepting the implications of the Treasure Principle in our lives:  They are:  1. God owns everything.  I am his money manager.   What we possess has been entrusted-not given-to us. 2. My Heart always goes where I put God's money. We become passionate about things when we reallocate money from temporal things to eternal things. 3. Heaven, not Earth, is my home.  We are citizens of a "better country-a heavenly one." (Hebrews 11:16) 
4.I should live not for the dot but for the line.  From the dot-our present life on Earth-extends a line that goes on forever, we should live for eternity in Heaven. 5. Giving is the only antidote to materialism.  Giving is the joyful surrender to a greater person or greater agenda.  It dethrones me and exalts God.  6. God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving.  God gives us more money than we need so we can give-generously.  If you're like me, you'll understand the truth and logic of these keys.  However, the implications for your life and finances are a bit challenging.
     There is something I hate to tell you.  I'm going to speak about stewardship one Sunday in October.  I know how much people love it when the preacher talks about money, but I assure you that your giving is between you and God.  We have a Stewardship Sunday to make sure it really is between you and God.  Please spend a little time pondering "The Treasure Principle" and start to seek God and God's call to you as Disciples of Christ in the area of stewardship.
  See you on Stewardship Sunday (I'll be the nervous guy up front.).  Blessings, Pastor Mike

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