New Stewardship Program – Encouraging Word – May 2017

New Stewardship Program

WELS Ministry of Christian Giving has published a new stewardship program, Joyful Generosity, for congregations to use in 2017 and 2018 (due to the expected heavy focus on the Reformation’s 500th anniversary this year). The program includes six weeks of worship and Bible study materials as well as 21 personal devotions. “The goal of Joyful Generosity,” according to Rev. Kurt Lueneburg, “is to grow our appreciation of this truth: ‘From the fullness of [Christ’s] grace we have all received one blessing after another’ (John 1:16). Our Savior abundantly blesses us and enables us to use those blessings to his glory and the benefit of precious souls at home and abroad. As we grow in our understanding of God’s generosity, our daily lives—and the atmosphere in our churches and synod—will reflect our Lord’s generosity. To that end, we pray that the Spirit will bless the use of these materials.”

Words of Wisdom – Encouraging Word – November 2016

The Secret to Being Overwhelmingly Grateful, Part One

“As sinful human beings, we tend to take God’s blessings for granted. We often don’t notice the amazing gift of air conditioning until it breaks down in the middle of summer. We aren’t aware of how much we depend on electricity until the power goes out and we stare at one another, wondering what to do without our TVs, cell phones, and computers. A wise, old pastor once told me, ‘The secret to happiness is not getting what you want; it’s wanting what you’ve got.’ We spend so much time focusing on what we don’t have, on what other people have, on what we want to have, that we lose sight of what we do have. The secret to being overwhelmingly grateful is to recognize what you have.”

Schroer, Andrew C. 364 Days of Thanksgiving. Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 2015.