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What does a day's wages have to do with it?

The kingdom of heaven, Jesus said, is like workers hired by a gracious God to work in a field. Some are hired in the morning, confident they will eat that night. Some are hired hours later or late in the day and they hope for something, anything to help their family endure the challendges they face. All are paid a day's wages to survive and prosper.
Is God unfair to give blessings to each, irregardless of efforts they expend during work hours? To the capable, God seems unfair. To those who aren't anyone's first pick, God seems gracious.

The kingdom of God isn't blessings according to our efforts, it is blessings according to God's goodness. There is nothing fair about it. Think about it. God needn't hire any workers to do his work. The God who created light from darkness and paradise from ruin doesn't need us. He doesn't owe us. We are not entitled.
If God choses us and uses us, it isn't because of our merit.

God's kindness sends him in search of…

Sermon: How Are We Going to Get By?

As we watch the erratic gyrations on Wall Street, there is a lot to think about and more to worry about.

I gleaned an unexpected dividend last week while I was hunting for stewardship ideas on the Internet for our church's website. I found an outstanding and timely sermon by Jon M. Walton, entitled, How Are We Going to Get By? The pastor from the First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York discusses a timely topic with great entertainment value and even better wisdom. I hope you get a chance to read How Are We Going to Get By?
Sermon Preached by Jon M. Walton
September 21, 2008
Scripture: Exodus 16:2-15; Matthew 20:1-16

A Community of Prayer

Today's Upper Room devotional is powerful.

I hope you get a chance to read it.

"A Community of Prayer"

What would Jesus do if a neighbor cut down his tree without permission?

What would you do if your neighbor cut down your tree without permission?

Would you wake up at 2 AM with that question on your mind? Yeah, I wouldn't either except I did.

Would you wander forlornly to the patio window while at home the next day and mutter that question while gazing at the empty corner of the yard?

One nice thing about being a writer is I sometimes (okay, sometimes can sometimes be more than sometimes) answer my own questions -- out loud. When other people are around.

I was doing that yesterday. At least we shared a laugh or two.

I'd say to myself: Would it do any good to ring my neighbor's doorbell and ask her, "What would you do if a neighbor cut down your tree without permission?" I'd be interested in her answer. I like her, I don't want to make her mad, inquiring minds just want to know. So, I still don't know the final answer.

At dinner last night, I asked my husband and my college-aged son, "What would you do...?" Those two h…

Speaking the truth in love when a neighbor cuts down your tree, part 1

What would you do if your neighbor cut down your tree without permission?

I've been meditating on different Scripture that I think may be applicable to this situation all day and maybe part of the night.

One day the tree is stretching 12-15 feet into the clear sky. The next morning, the tree is severed from its roots and lying on the ground outside our fence.

The neighbor said she made an executive decision because she couldn't reach us. We went to church. We usually do that time every Sunday morning.

Some words are best left within the silent recesses of our home, or echoing prayerfully in the meditations of our hearts, or whispered half-explained to Internet friends.

What would you do? What would you say? Just curious. Are you?

By my title, you might be able to guess some of what I think. But this is an interactive story. Without at least one comment, part two might take a very long time to hit bright sunshine.