Summary: This message looks at work and how it is our legacy and provides a legacy.
Legacy of Work
Can you remember your first paying job? I can I was. 14 and got a job as a pile it. You might think that is a strange first job for a 14 year old but it is what it is.
We lived in Hammond River just outside of Saint John New Brunswick and the Jr. High School I attended was overcrowded and so we did split shifts. You either went to school from 8:00 until noon or from 12:15 until 4:15.
Because of that I had a lot of free time. The farmer down the road from us, Murray Crowley owned a team of horses and in the winter he worked in the woods. And so he hired me to help, he would cut the wood and I’d pile it. What were you thinking? I mean, who in their right mind would let a 14 year old fly a plane?
Any way that was the beginning of my employment history, and I discovered that I liked stuff and the money that I got from working would buy stuff and so I’ve worked pretty much continually for the past 41 years. And during that time I have pumped gas, sold clothes, sold vacuum cleaners, for about a week, sold cars, worked as a bell hop and front desk clerk at the Admiral Beatty Hotel in Saint John. I’ve worked on tug boats, fishing boats and oil tankers, served in the Military Police in the reserves while I was in college, have been an assistant pastor, a solo pastor and a lead pastor. Technically we were missionaries during our four years in Australia, and during time we have been at Cornerstone I sold clothes at Tip Top Tailors and worked as a freelance writer for six different magazines and taught at Kingswood University.
For most of us work, is something we do, and for some of us work is something that defines us. You don’t just work as a policeman you are a policeman, you don’t just work as a nurse or doctor or teacher, that’s what you are. Perhaps not in your eyes but certainly in the eyes of others.
This is week two of Money Month at Cornerstone. Just to highlight, since 2002 we have taken the month of April to focus on the theology of our money. How we make it and what we do with it after we have it. And what that means for us as Christians.
I realized that for the first seven years that our church existed that the only time I spoke about money was when things were tight. And then there was always an air of desperation about it.
And it really came across as scolding people or trying to guilt them into giving. What usually happened was that those who were giving gave more and those who weren’t giving just became resentful.
So in 2002 we adopted a new model where I take the month of April to discuss the biblical view of money and giving. And at the end of the month, we offer those who call Cornerstone their church home an opportunity to let us know what they estimate they will be able to give in the year ahead and that figure is what we will use to create our budget for the new year.
Our theme this year is “Your Legacy, Your Choice” and last week we started looking at how we each shape the legacy that we leave. And I mentioned that Everybody Leaves a Legacy, it might not be apparent but it is there, and it is far reaching. And then I spoke about how We Leave a Legacy By How We Spend Our Lives, and talked about choices that we make and how the choices we made yesterday have shaped our today, which means the choices that we make today will shape our tomorrows. I guess that means, “Choose carefully”. And then I spoke about how We Leave A Legacy By How We Spend Our Money. And my main point there was that We will all choose to spend our money somewhere.
And some folks can’t understand how Angela and I can afford to tithe our incomes to Cornerstone, that is we give 10% of what we make back to God. Notice that I said that we give it back, because it truly is our understanding that what we have we receive from God. So I guess truthfully we all choose to spend God’s money somewhere.
In the same way that some people can’t understand how Angela and I can afford to tithe I can’t understand how some people can afford to drink, smoke, play the lottery or for that matter play golf. Most of us can’t imagine how others can do what we don’t do, but they do, because they have chosen to.