Seed Faith

Seed Faith

In all my years here and in other churches, I have not spoken on finances hardly ever. In fact, I cannot remember that last time.

Giving is one of the basic principles of serving. It is a spiritual principle that has effect for the soul and your personal finances. Templeton, of the Templeton fund, was speaking at a convention and told the crowd that the secret to his success was tithing. A multi-millionaire was saying the basic secret to his success was giving. Another man of world fame was J.D. Rockefeller who was not known as a Christian, tithed because of the rich return for giving. Some people think that you can be too rich too rich to tithe, but it is usually the ones who have little that do not give because they think they have too little.

Jesus exhorted the rich young ruler to give it all away and follow. He did not and Jesus said he was hard for the rich to enter into the kingdom of God. In another place, he spoke of the woman who gave a small amount, but it was all she had, and he commended her faith. Giving is a matter of faith. It demonstrates your faith in God’s ability to provide.

Oral Roberts wrote a really good book years ago called “Seed Faith.” I was given the book by a dear saint just after we were baptized in the Holy Spirit. I read the book and caught the principle of giving. It was a principle for planting for the future. It was not about cars, houses, wealth, and a prosperity gospel; it was about having faith in God to return a harvest, to bless in whatever way he chose. I really saw it as honoring God. I was not twisting God’s arm for anything. I was placing myself in a place where he could take care of me. I was investing in his kingdom.

Sometimes the word tithe sets people off. They do not want to give 10%. Maybe they cannot give 10% in the financial condition they are in at the moment. But the idea is to plant seed. Plant what you can and plant faithfully on a regular basis. You will never have a harvest of anything if you do not plant. You cannot be looking in the garden for tomatoes if you do not plant them.

We have some new believers, new members who will grow into strong servants in the kingdom. Each is encouraged to start somewhere to plant seed for God’s garden and watch what he can do with a little. 5 loaves fed 5000 men. Planting the seed puts you in miracle territory.

I would encourage you to get a copy of Oral Robert’s book to build your faith. Jesus when questioned by the pharisees about tithing told them they missed the weightier matters of mercy and compassion, but he said you ought to tithe. Cathy and I learned long ago that we had to start small and grow in our giving. We have had amazing miracles of provision. He has been faithful to us and we have tried to be faithful to Him in our finances.

Looking Still

Looking Still

Good news, the church’s name has been officially changed and recognized by the Secretary of State of Ohio. There were several businesses and churches that were using the name, Connection, is some form. I had applied twice with our name and twice were told that others had too similar a name. We could either get permission from them to use the name or make ours uniquely us. So, I called the Secretary of State’s office and spoke with someone asking them what would work. He said that “The Connection Church of Butler” would work. So, I sent the paper work in with that name and we were granted the change of name on our charter. So, legally now, we are The Connection Church of Butler.

If you have noticed, change takes time. It may seem like it is fast, but it is not. We have been working on changes since the end of last year. We still have a ways to go. I still have not completed the series of messages I want to share. We have, as a group, read the book, Becoming a Welcoming Church, we have focused on the Serve the Valley Outreach and we are in the process of the Summer Sack Lunch Outreach. Michaela is spending her summer in a limited internship with me. She is doing a wonderful job. Many of you are starting to catch the vision of the New Covenant approach to being a follower of Jesus.

What am I looking for still? I am looking for more members to catch hold of being committed to the work of the kingdom. Some of you have gone through a lot and have experienced “burn out.” You needed a break or just distanced yourself to a position of semi commitment. I understand. Cathy and I have experienced the same thing, but we had to come to a place that it was more about Jesus and his message than our feelings. Hard to do, but necessary.

I am still looking for you to invest in other people. I do not see anywhere in scripture where it says you did your time. Relax and coast. We may not be able to do everything we used to be able to do, but we can do something. No one should be just an “attender.” Everyone should look to plug in somewhere. You can greet, you can make coffee, you can serve the valley, you can teach the kids, you can pray, you can take on small projects. Start looking for somewhere to serve. It takes all of us to make this work and be able to reach new ones. I want to have a group of people called the church that make “the lost not feel lost anymore!”

We are moving the right direction. One prophetic word that I was spoken to me was that we are about to experience a flood of people. I want to be ready, have the baptismal full and always in service because there are so many coming to Jesus.

P. Bill

Fathers

Father

Fathers. What do you say? First, there is the Father in heaven. The creator of all life. The one we pray to. The one we fear. The one we love. The one we count on for protection, guidance, support, approval. The one we count on for eternal care and shelter. In this one being we see the hope of all things. We see his love in the provision he made in sending his son to provide the bridge to all this contentment and hope. We knew his justice and wrath would have to be expressed and satisfied at some point. Yet, his love is so strong and his paternal character desires that none should perish, even though the consequences would dictate doom. But, he is not soft, passing over heinous crimes, transgressions, and lies. He is firm in his justice, but in true fatherhood looks for ways to satisfy justice and still save the child. So, he laid down his life for us. Like a father rushing to spare his child, as happened this week when a man saved his daughter from a vicious dog and lost his life in sparing hers, God the father laid down his life in the form of his son, sparing us eternal death.

Then there are fathers. This breed of father is only interested in the rush of lust and the accidental impregnation of a woman whether he cares or not. This breed of father is purely a biological function akin to breeding horses or cattle. There is no obligation, love, connection, nor care. This kind of father walks away, denies involvement, shirks responsibility. This kind refuses to support, pay support, or give the child any attention. This kind of father, if they take minimal responsibility, is abusive, hurtful, verbally destructive, and distant.

Then there are fathers. They marry the one they love. They have children, but have no sense of the needs of the child. They can be emotionally disengaged. They can be consumed with their career or work. They can be chasing fame, money, or power. Their excuses for the distance seem to be logical, defensible on the basis of “making a living.” So, the child grows with a father in the house, but also with an emotionally absentee father. Later in life, the child has difficulty with the whole concept and feeling of father.

Then there are fathers. They marry the one they love. They have children, but they realize the role of father is extremely important. They seek to engage with the child from birth. They are involved in the day to day of life for the child, the children. They see their role as stewardship to God. They really try to mentor the child in areas of life including character, manners, responsibility. They teach. They play. They advise. They discipline. They love. Also, they try to direct their child toward the Father in heaven. The fathers who admit their mistakes, ask forgiveness when wrong, are the ones that the child will come to year after year.

The goal of the father is to bring a child up in the admonition of the Lord and then to enjoy the lifelong friendship and companionship of the child in whom he invested.

P. Bill

You Encourage Me

You Encouraged ME

Last Sunday was one of the most encouraging Sundays I have experienced in a long time. Not, that we have not had great Sundays, but for me the response to the message was deeply heartening. As I went through all the areas that we need volunteers to plug in and serve, I had hoped to see some response. However, you all responded wonderfully. There were so many responses that area coordinators and leaders were excited at the end of the day.

Courtney had enough responses for the Children’s Ministry to cover the Connect Kids. That was wonderful. David and Teresa had multiple people volunteer to serve with them on the Greeting and 1st Impressions Team. I had two ladies say they would cover the procurement area; that is a relief for me. They both are good shoppers. We have a finance team in place. We have a public accountant now, Macauley in Bellville, as requested by our apostolic team. Serve the Valley is coming along. There are over 80 people from the churches ready to serve. Michaela had a number of people come up and are ready to serve the kids of the community in our Summer Sack Lunch program. Prayer notices and needs can be called in to Cathy or text her or iMessage her. Also, you can put the prayer request on the Connection App. Kay Clark was the first to use it! Way to go Kay.

There are still a couple of areas that need addressed, but the overwhelming response blessed me beyond my hope. Just so you know, I am still looking for decor help, maybe 2 or 3 could team up. Judy and Will had some ideas for the stage. Also, I would like for someone to take the coordinating the summer picnic scheduled for July 28th, just before the kids go to camp. All in all I am so pleased with everyone pitching in. This really feels like the Body of Christ working together!

The Connection APP is available in the Android and Apple stores. Go to your store and type “The Connection” into the search. Many apps will show up since the word “connection” is used by a lot of different churches and businesses. Scroll down through the list looking for our logo.
When you find our logo, download it. So far, the logo has been found quite a ways down the list since we are new to the stores. It is there. We have found it in both stores. The app is new and I am still learning how to work with it. It will get better as we go. Thanks for your patience.

The sign our front will be installed in its new location when Joseph gets back from his mission trip. It is very temporary, just leaning for the time being, but at least, it identifies us a bit. Someone at the Whiffletree Sunday mentioned the name change to me. She liked it. It will take a while for people to see and know our new vision and fresh approach to ministry.

P. Bill