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Altruism is a great gift to humanity. Jesus taught us to love our neighbor and altruistic behavior makes our world a better place. Some of us are able to give easily. Maybe some of us do this begrudgingly. Either way, something good happens.
You may think a gift is only a material possession like money or a resource that other people may not have that is given to them. We hear of missionaries and churches helping fund projects like building homes, building churches, supplying school materials, and providing resources needed in our community and world. These are wonderful things we should always celebrate.
A gift can also be a talent or talents God has given to us. We learn in Ephesians 4:1-16 (read it!) some of the gifts that God has given. The writer expresses that these gifts are to be used in a church. I would go further in that they can also be used everywhere. Let me go even further and state that there are many other gifts (talents) that God gives us that we use in our life of service. Christ gives us these gifts so the "body of Christ may be built up."
There was a lady I met about 10 years ago that never physically attended the church I led but was on the membership roll. Let me state she was very healthy and did not have any challenges to keep her from coming. One day I visited her home and we talked about why she never came. Her response was, "I watch worship services on TV every Sunday. I mail those churches checks. I mail checks to our church too. Isn't that enough?"
Is it? For some reason, I didn't challenge her that day. I thanked her for her giving. Maybe I should have stated that she was missing out on the joy of being with other believers and making a difference by putting her faith into action.
She needed a new recliner by the way. It was worn out.
Right after describing some of the gifts God gives to us, the writer discusses unity, not being tricked, speaking love, and being knitted together as one. During that time there were some teaching a different understanding of Christ that was false, but I wonder if something else was going on in Ephesus. Sounds like unity was needed in the church so they could reach people for Christ. In unity, the people were being challenged to use their gifts in harmony.
It is my belief that the most counter-cultural thing the Church could do today is to be a symbol of unity and bring people together. Our church is full of gifted people. We all make a difference together. I totally believe when we use our gifts we bring people together.
I thank all of you that have found a place to serve in our church. For those of you that haven't found a place, talk to our leadership. If there isn't an existing place where you think you fit, let's look at something new. Pray about it first. God will give you the answer.
I challenge all of you to read the "Parable of the Talents" found in Matthew 25:14-30. My understanding of the parable is God wants us to use our gifts in amazing ways. One gift or many, God can do amazing miracles through your service and our service together.
Our very own Evelyn Fraser will celebrate a milestone 94th Birthday on June 17th, 2020! Her daughter, Susan, reached out to us, her TCC family, to see if we could make this Birthday even more memorable by sending Evelyn a card. We're hoping this message in Flash will inspire everyone who reads it to send Evy a card, hoping she'll receive 94+ cards, one for each year she's been alive!
Imagine how excited Evy will get when she receives these cards and feels the love and care with which they're being sent! Please consider participating in this small act of affection toward one of our most beloved members. If you're interested, Evy's mailing address is as follows:
Belvidere Unit Room 110
981 Varnum Avenue
Lowell, Massachusetts 01854
Let’s have a graduation parade! In celebration of those high school seniors who are also graduating from TCC's CE program, the CE committee is organizing a car parade to celebrate these families.
This will take place on Saturday, June 6th at 5 pm leaving from the church parking lot. PLEASE BE AT THE CHURCH BY 4:45.
Please decorate your car festively to celebrate these youth.
There will be a "parade marshal" who will lead the parade and route maps will be made available electronically and in paper form.
The parade should take about a half hour in length to visit these graduates. Rain date will be June 7th, same time. Please find attached a map of the parade route.Attached File: 18Map of Car Parade.pdf
A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.
At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you. I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.
The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."
We work hard for what we have, but how much of it is luck—being born in the right place, with the parents we have and so on? But you know what? Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots, but by God’s grace, it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.
Even we cracked pots from TCC are able to water plants and bring flowers to our community. Over time you learn that we’ve just got to take each person for who they are, look for the good in them, and realize we all put our pants on one leg at a time. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.
Thank God for all of my crackpot friends.