This past Saturday Jean and I were blessed to attend a banquet for Bridge of Hope, a wonderful Christian ministry that helps single moms and families get back on their feet through Christ-centered assistance, training, and mentoring. When a woman goes through their program, many times they are in need of a vehicle in order to secure and keep a job. And that is where our very own Joe Stiles comes in. Joe was recognized that evening because for a couple of years now, he has led a ministry in our church called C.A.R.S., in which he finds, repairs, and donates cars to needy women and families going through Bridge of Hope. Joe utilizes funds from our Benevolence and Missions Ministries when necessary, but has himself sacrificed countless hours to getting these cars in shape.
Most of you know Joe as the head of our Building and Grounds Ministry and as one of our Deacons. But here, typically behind the scenes, using the talents and heart His God has given him, and embracing one of our core values as a church of “Meeting Needs”, Joe is helping to advance the Kingdom of God one family at a time with the gift of transportation. But he is not alone.
So many of you in our church have sacrificed that most precious of commodities - time, to help advance the Kingdom of God through our church. You help provide meals in time of crisis, work with technology, service the mechanical systems, you help members move, help out on work-days, care for babies and toddlers during our services; you set-up, tear-down, and clean up for church functions; you balance check-books, and track our financials; you go to scores of meetings, help write policies, and help chart a course for the future of our church. You even pick up trash and straighten things up because this house of God’s is precious to you. I could go on and on. And unlike the position God has called me to, more often than not, you too are behind the scenes, where people often have no idea of what you have done or are even doing.
I wish I too could honor each and every one of you at a banquet; to tell others, and you just how much I appreciate you and your sacrifice. You give, and you give, and then you dig deep and give some more. And I, and others, just don’t say thank you enough. But then, I know some of you… and you don’t do what you do for the applause, or even the thanks of men. You give to your King, you sacrifice to your Christ; and you do it in gratitude for what He has done for you. You use your talents, you give what you can, so that He is glorified, not you… and not your efforts.
But, I am going to thank you anyway. I am going to tell you how much I/we love, appreciate, and depend upon you. It might be only in Heaven where you will see the fullest fruit of your efforts, but I am praying that God gives you just a glimpse of it here on earth. You are truly a vital part of the “body of Christ” that Paul described in 1 Corinthians 12. We cannot do what we do without you; I cannot do what I do without you. So, with all of my heart… THANK YOU!
ESBC MINISTRY FAIR - MAY 17th. Speaking of serving, we are going to host an opportunity for you to see and connect with one of the ministries in, and serving through our church. We will be doing this Sunday morning from the Sunday School hour - through the Worship - and following. God expects us to serve in the advancement of His Kingdom through His local church. We expect and even need you to serve as a member. And though this is a subject for another day, and something you might not completely grasp, you need to serve even more than we need you. Please plan to attend.
LOOKING AHEAD. Don’t forget, TAX DAY is April 15th. Oh joy… April 24-25 is the 30-Hour Famine in the Youth Ministry; and they are raising funds to combat world hunger through World Vision. And, April 26th is our next Lord’s Supper.
Have a blessed week!