Chris' Blog


Chris Philbeck

The Blessing of Giving

Christmas is the season of giving. No one would dispute that. And while many people might wish they had more so they could give more, one Pennsylvania man reminds us that it’s not how much you have, it’s how you handle it.

The Associated Press reports in a story dated December 8, 2008, about a tiny church in western Pennsylvania which inherited more than $2 million from a farmer who lived in a mobile home. John Ferguson, a 71-year-old farmer who attended Hopewell United Methodist Church near the town of Black Lick, left his entire estate to the church. Ferguson died in January 2007, but the gift has been in probate since then. The church has just 80 members. Hopewell’s pastor Jason McQueen said that a panel from the congregation will choose projects to be funded annually from the income generated by Ferguson’s estate.

How would a Pennsylvania farmer who lived in a mobile home save $2 million? The story doesn’t give any specifics, but my best guess takes me to the words of Proverbs 13:11, Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow. (NIV) Amid all the stories of foolishness and greed dominating the news, a fact which has landed our country in the middle of a historic economic crisis, isn’t it refreshing there are still people with common sense and generous hearts who live out the words of Jesus? These are quoted in Acts 20:35, It is more blessed to give than to receive. (NIV)

I hope that your Christmas is filled with the blessing of giving this year. But more than that, I hope your life is filled with the blessing of obeying God’s Word about being a good steward of all that He has entrusted to you.

Jesus cares,

Pastor Chris