"Something For Your Heart"
(©2004 by Mike Yaconelli - Taken from "Devotion")

2-28-2007 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #431

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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds”].

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Patije

Story of the Week
“Something For Your Heart”
(©2004 by Mike Yaconelli - Taken from "Devotion")

Disciples are more than doers; they are givers. Yet disciples give more than words and knowledge to others; disciples give themselves to others. Disciples serve others by listening, supporting, encouraging, affirming, confronting, helping, loving, empathizing, and being there. Disciples are generous with their time and energy, imitating the One who knew how to serve.

As servants, disciples learn how to be sensitive, to know when they are needed and when they are not needed. True servants can read people well. They can feel pain in others and know when to step in and help. True servanthood is very difficult, yet very important because it is the one unmistakable way people recognize Jesus in us (Matthew 25:34-46).

Every month, Daryl's youth group went to Beverly Manor to put on a church service for the old people who lived there. Daryl didn't like to go, but he felt obligated. That's what Jesus would do, Daryl thought, even though Jesus didn't have old-folks homes in his day. Lucky him!

Though Daryl had gone to five services at the Manor, he never really did anything. He just stood in the back of the room and held the hand of an old man. The man's name was Oliver, and he seldom spoke. He must have been in his eighties or nineties. Most of the time he slept through the church service. Daryl liked the old guy, though. He used to wake him up and talk to him, even though Oliver never seemed like he was listening.

When Daryl would get ready to leave, though, Oliver seemed to know and would squeeze Daryl's hand. Daryl never told anyone about this, but each time he started to leave and felt Oliver squeeze his hand, he would lean down and whisper in his ear, "I'm sorry, Oliver, I have to go, but I love you, and I'll be back next month. I promise."

On his sixth visit to the Manor, Daryl was looking forward to seeing Oliver again. But Oliver wasn't around. As the service began, Daryl became concerned. He said to the head nurse, "I don't see Oliver here today. Is he okay?"

The nurse asked Daryl to follow her to Room 13, where Oliver lay in bed, looking frail and near death. Oliver's eyes were closed and his breathing was irregular. Daryl walked over and grabbed Oliver's hand. He had never seen anyone dying before and Daryl had a difficult time holding back his tears. Daryl sat with Oliver for an hour. When Daryl started to leave, he knew he might not ever see Oliver again. Oliver squeezed his hand. Oliver knew, too. Daryl said what he always said: "I'm sorry, Oliver, I have to go, but I love you."

When Daryl walked out of the room, a young woman was standing there waiting for him. "Hello," she said, "I'm Oliver's granddaughter. He's dying, you know."

"Yes, I know," Daryl said.

"I wanted to meet you," she said. "See, I came to see my grandfather when the doctors said he was dying. They said he couldn't talk, but he could always talk to me. Last week he sort of woke up and said to me, 'Please say goodbye to Jesus for me.' I told him that he was going to be with Jesus soon. He looked at me with the most alert eyes I have ever seen and said, 'I know, but he comes to see me every month, and he might not know I've gone.' I asked the nurse if she had any idea what he meant, and she told me that you came once a month and held his hand. I wanted to thank you for him, for me, and well, I imagine Jesus is very glad to have been mistaken for you."

Oliver died in his sleep that evening.

Read John 13:4-5, 12-17, The more you give the more you get.

What was the most unselfish thing you've ever done? As a journal entry, write about one thing you did for someone else with absolutely no thought for yourself.

May God grant you the gift of being a servant. May you know the words of Christ as true that it is in giving that you receive.

Pastor's Quote of the Week
"Do you really understand what I have done to you? You call me Master, and you say well, for so I am. If, then, the Master has washed your feet, why was it that you were unwilling to wash one another's feet? What lesson should you learn from this parable in which the Master so willingly does that service which his brethren were unwilling to do for one another? Verily, verily, I say to you: A servant is not greater than his master; neither is one who is sent greater than he who sends him. You have seen the way of service in my life among you, and blessed are you who will have the gracious courage so to serve. But why are you so slow to learn that the secret of greatness in the spiritual kingdom is not like the methods of power in the material world?
When I came into this chamber tonight, you were not content proudly to refuse to wash one another's feet, but you must also fall to disputing among yourselves as to who should have the places of honor at my table. Such honors the Pharisees and the children of this world seek, but it should not be so among the ambassadors of the heavenly kingdom. Do you not know that there can be no place of preferment at my table? Do you not understand that I love each of you as I do the others? Do you not know that the place nearest me, as men regard such honors, can mean nothing concerning your standing in the kingdom of heaven? You know that the kings of the gentiles have lordship over their subjects, while those who exercise this authority are sometimes called benefactors. But it shall not be so in the kingdom of heaven. He who would be great among you, let him become as the younger; while he who would be chief, let him become as one who serves. Who is the greater, he who sits at meat, or he who serves? Is it not commonly regarded that he who sits at meat is the greater? But you will observe that I am among you as one who serves. If you are willing to become fellow servants with me in doing the Father's will, in the kingdom to come you shall sit with me in power, still doing the Father's will in future glory."

(From: The Urantia Book - Paper-179 Section3-)

The Prayer
Dear God,        
        Help me to be a better servant.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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