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At the end of the year, after wrapping up the Lottie Moon Christmas mission offering, the question is always asked, how did we do? What did we give? This year, let’s take a look at it in a different perspective.

What comes to mind when asked about numbers? First thought is that we need them to count. Good start. What else?

Okay, we know it is the title of the fourth book of the Bible—the one that can be rather difficult to read through. It has all those numbers throughout the book.

But, did you know that numbers can tell a story? Additionally, pun intended, according to Webster there are 38 ways to use the word “number” in the English language. One use is for the purpose of sharing information. We typically look at a number as a way to determine how we are progressing ahead or behind a given goal or objective.

This year as we completed the 2019 Lottie Moon Christmas mission offering, honestly, I was disappointed. Our goal was $25,000, and we gave $15,196.00, almost 40% under our target. I’m not sure why that was, so I went back to look at our history of missions giving. Just as Moses frequently told the children of Israel, “you shall remember…,” we too need to go back and remember why we gave, and what we have given, or we will forget.

Since the early days of our church, we have supported the International Mission Board Lottie Moon Christmas mission offering (LM) and the North American Mission Board Annie Armstrong Easter offering (AA). Today the LM offering supports 3,656 missionaries worldwide, engaging 847 people groups. That equates to 4 missionaries per people group. Some people groups have millions of people and others have only hundreds. And, they all need to know Jesus. That is why we give—to give His Light to the world.

Back in 2002, shortly after we started keeping records, with a goal of $3,000 for the LM offering, we gave $8,378.00, 250% over our goal! In 2008 we crushed a goal of $7,500, with over $20,000.00 for the AA offering. Looking back, we have been quite generous. Since 2001, we have given over $495,000 to those combined missions offerings. That is no small figure!

So, as I went back and remembered, I took another look at that 2019 figure. Our combined goal for the AA and LM offerings was $43,000. We gave just over $38,000! We met 88% of our total goal.

The numbers tell the story. Good job FBCW

Posted by Glen Locklear with
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Deuteronomy 6 is the chapter that is at the heart of all Children’s Ministry.  These family ministry passages concern how we, as a people of God, can continue following Him.  God knew when He told Moses to give this passage to the people, that the next generation would be different than the last.  The first generation out of Egypt remembered what life was like as a slave.  With that knowledge, they asked to be brought back as slaves; they did not want to have the Promise Land because the people there were too big.  God saw this generation and said, fine I will wait you out.  When that generation died, God came to their kids and said now there is only Caleb and Joshua. Moses looks to this generation and says it is your turn.  The same covenant I gave to your parents is now before you to be ratified, and the people are being told all the instructions.  In Deuteronomy 5 you see the Ten Commandments stated again for the people to follow.  Then you come to chapter 6.  This passage begins with the dramatic, “Hear O Israel. . . ”  If you are not paying attention, now is the time to give your full attention to the coming words.  The Lord is one.  Love the Lord you God with all you have to give; heart, mind, soul, and body. 

As the messages of these commandments are agreed to by the people, God also provided a way for the people to pass on their beliefs.  God told the people, if you demonstrate to your children at every point in their life the Love of God, you will succeed and you will keep the blessings.  Failure to follow is a failure to keep the blessing and you will receive punishment just like your parents.  We can now look back with perfect vision and read of the failures, but God has a remnant for each generation that kept His word and followed.  They were blessed and continued what was started.  As a whole, the people failed, then repented, then failed again.

In January the Children’s Sunday School sponsored a trip to Pizza Ranch.  There were 50 from our church that attended.  In our devotion, we discussed Deuteronomy 6.  I talked to the group about many different ways we can observe this passage today: Family devotions at lunch, how to make up games using the Bible on a drive to church, etc.  The time was short, but if this generation will listen and truly follow His statutes, the next generation will have a better chance.  My question to you is, If you keep track of what you did this week with those a generation younger, would they be following the teachings of Jesus, or would they be getting another lesson?  I pray each day that we will take the time to place Jesus and His life in front of ours.  What would your kids or your grandkids say about your life? 

Posted by Jason Hoke with

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