• Stefan Youngblood

$5 Buys Gold at Local Church

Hey Folks

He walked into church Sunday morning behind his mother Stacy. He looked up and waved at me as we were practicing. I waved back. No one knew at that point that little Jack Lindley (4yrs old) would be used as an instrument of God to demonstrate the simplicity of giving, the beauty of obedience, and the power of a step. I don’t know if it was the first step Jack took, away from his seat and toward Ned, or the last one, when he stood at Ned’s feet, hands held high with his “gift”, but nevertheless, a powerful step. Think “One small step for Jack, one giant reach for E-Street Church.”

In case you weren’t there, Ned was somewhere in the home stretch of his message on giving and generosity, when he had each of us open sealed envelopes. I listened to the “oohs, and ahs” as people realized a church had just given them cash. As Ned explained what we were to do with this money (Bless Back), Jack didn’t really need to hear more. He started walking toward the front of the stage. No one stopped him. Perhaps the Holy Spirit had so inspired this combination of passionate worship, extravagant generosity, and risk taking, that mom and dad’s place was to let the child lead. His steps were slow and deliberate. All in the same direction. I want that kind of obedience. Instead, I hold back, reconsider, second guess, wait for someone else, and ask myself, “Is that really You God?” But Jack, he made his way to Ned and he held his heart, his life up towards Ned, and towards God, for all of us to see. I know he was holding an envelope, but we all knew he had something more in his envelope. He held wisdom. Love. A generous heart. He simply “gave it back.”

Reminds me of the real life story in the bible which unfolded as a woman lavished a costly bottle of perfume on Jesus. Extravagant? Yes. Worship? Definitely. Worth it? He stretched out His arms to demonstrate limitless, indiscriminate love for broken sinners like you and me… you tell me. Jack, from all of us, thank you.

A Few Reminders:

~ Go and bless someone around you in Jesus’ name. We want your stories, to give God glory. Email them to me at this address or communicator@esumc.org, or bbp@estreetgathering.org.

~ Ever read a passage of the Bible and think…What’s Up With That? Join us for a 10-week study on challenging stuff in the Bible beginning Sunday, June 13th at 11am. We will explore those hard to understand scriptures together! No prior Bible Study experience required, and no homework! Register to attend at http://www.esumc.org

~ We’re about to start a prayer needs page on our http://www.estreetgathering.org site. If you would like to help manage this, please let us know. Many of you prayed for my sister Fran (in chemo) and have heard that my sister Gwen (who, along with my parents had been caring for Fran) suffered a traumatic brain injury on Saturday and is now in the Trauma Center in Baltimore. Please keep them both in your prayers.

God is good all the time. Thanks to Ella Newmiller’s small gift to me, I now have a new sign-off. There’s no place like hope.

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When Grace Happens

Partner of Echo Community Foundation

Raleigh NC 27616

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