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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN




Am I Giving My Best?

And this they dirt not as we hoped but first gave themselves to the Lord and then to us by the will of God." (II Corinthians 8:5).

I read that Queen. Mary used to go to Scotland every summer. She was so loved by the people that she went about the country without an escort. One afternoon she was walking with some children. Suddenly dark clouds came up. The queen stopped at a house and asked to borrow an umbrella. She said to the lady of the house, "I'll send it back to you tomorrow.' The lady was reluctant to lend a good umbrella to a stranger, but remembered that she had an old one in the attic. One rib was broken and there were several holes in it, but she turned it over to the lady at the door with an apology. 

The next day there was another knock at the door. When she opened the door, a man in gold braid stood with a big envelope in hand. The queen sent me," he said, "and she asked me to thank you for the umbrella." For a moment the woman was stunned and then she burst into tears. She said, "Oh! What an opportunity I missed that I did that I did not give her my best!"

The story is told of a rich man who wanted to help a poor carpenter and his family. He hired him to build a house and went away on a long journey. The carpenter said, "My boss is away, so I can use shoddy materials, cut down on supporting work, and no one but me will know." So he build a cheap and shoddy house.

When the rich man returned, the carpenter said to him, "Here is your house all finished according to your instructions." 

"Good," said the rich man, "and here are the keys and the deed.  It is yours.  I am giving you this house."  Over the years the carpenter grieved. In using cheap materials, he had only cheated himself.

Each day. we have an opportunity to give Jesus the best of our time, money, ability, and opportunity.  According to Jesus, we are helping ourselves when we 'give our best to Him "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys will thieves do trot break in and steal, For where your treasure is, there will heart be also." (Matthew. 6:21-21).

Jesus tells us that our '.treasures are indications of our focus, faith , and future.

Our giving tells where we place our emphasis, how much we believe in what we do not see and the direction  our heart v. m travl.  What umbrella are you giving the King?  What kind of house are you building for yourself?

Jerry Barler

(Submitted by
Tim Woodward)