nickelpenney.jpg          Welcome Friend!  Glad you dropped by.   You know I was sitting here thinking of a funeral I was part of several years ago.

          She was only 45 years of age.  She died on the one-year anniversary of her husband’s death, which lead some in the community to wonder if she had taken her own life.

           She had four children now grown, two daughters and two sons.  The oldest daughter spoke at the funeral service held in the funeral home.  She and her sister sat on the left- hand side of the chapel and the sons on the right.  Some sort of conflict?

          The deceased woman was not a member of the Church, and I did not know her personally.  I had spent less than 20 minutes planning the service with one of the daughters and a woman friend of the deceased.  Somewhat frustrated, I returned to the Church office and asked the secretary if she knew the person whose funeral service I was to do in two days.

           The response was, “Oh, yes.  She used to attend when she was able and then, when she was unable to be present, she regularly sent in her offering to the Church through the mail.”  Since I had only recently come to pastor this Church and since what the secretary said intrigued me, I asked for more information.  This is what I learned.

           The woman whose funeral I had agreed to perform was deaf.  She had been deaf from birth and had other lifelong health problems.  She became blind and suffered from emotional and mental problems.  Her life in recent years was a series of episodes of treatment in mental health facilities and, since her husband’s death, had moved to various residences in our small town.

           On a regular basis she would send in her offering to the Church through the mail.  Quite often it was loose change in an envelope.  Sometimes the change in the envelope would amount to less than the price of the stamp to mail it.  Through all her sufferings she never failed to send in her offering.

           Well, some might say this was simply the result of her mental illness -- and I cannot prove differently -- but I believe that this was an expression of a profound belief on her part that in Christ Jesus suffering is never meaningless and is endured with us by Jesus Christ.

           On one occasion her offering in the envelope was 6 cents, a nickel and a penny. To those of us who have heard her story it is a most powerful witness to a faith in and love of God through her Lord, Jesus Christ.

           I believe that this offering was true “spiritual worship”.  (Romans 12:1, 2) 

           Do come back to visit again.   Thomas Q.

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Something To Consider

Scripture makes an incredible assertion: "God lives in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God and those who confess him live in God."  You mean to tell me that "confessing that one believes that God lives in us and we live in God" is all it takes?   That doesn't make sense!  It just doesn't compute in my 21st Century world!  Do you know why you think that?   It’s impossible to accept this beautiful truth if you only use logic or reason.  Such truth can only can be accepted and believed -- made real -- through simple faith.   (I John 4:16)   -Thomas Q