Letter from Graham

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DEAR FRIENDS,
 

One of my favorite movies is the animated film – “Up”. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor, and watch it on your favorite streaming device. The movie features an older man named Carl Fredrickson who is a balloon salesman. Carl is happily married to a woman named Ellie, and they live a wonderful life together in a tiny little house. Their life goal is to go on a big vacation together. Carl wants to surprise his wife, and presents her with the gift of that dream vacation, but on the day he presents it to her, she sadly passes away. So, to escape (his pain and the neighborhood) Carl ties one thousand balloons to his old house, and floats away from the challenges that are all around him.

 

A lot of us probably feel like Carl these days. We just wish we could tie one thousand balloons to our life and float above it all.

 

And so, this year’s stewardship series will be based on the word “Up”. We will focus on the concept of God helping us to float up above all things in this world. The stewardship theme will be – “Go: Upward and Onward with God”.

 

The word “Up” actually occurs in the Bible 2,380 times. Here are some of my favorite verses. “He heals the brokenhearted, and binds Up their wounds,” Psalm 147:3. “Arise Lord, lift Up your hand oh God,” Psalm 10:12. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you Up,” James 4:10. “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it Up,” Prov. 12:25.. “I lift Up my eyes to the mountains, where does my help come from,”. You might say that our faith is based on the concept of looking Up.

 

In this series we will focus on four important tools for growth in our Christian journey:

 

Humble Up

Give Up

A Hand Up

Build Up

 

To do anything great in life, we need to start with humility – “humble up”. Then, we are faced with the fact that we can do nothing on our own, so we give to God – “give up”. After we give to God, we want to help others with a “hand up”. And finally, our job as Christ followers is to “build up” the world around us.

 

There is one final Up concept we hope you consider in our stewardship campaign. We hope that you will consider “Rounding Up” your pledge to our church this year. So, if you are giving $175 a month, maybe you might think about “rounding it up” to $200 a month. As inflation costs increase, so do our costs at the church. Thank you so much for your generosity!

 

Finally, I hope that you know deep down in your hearts that our God is even more powerful than the balloons that carried Carl Fredrickson’s house away into the heavens. Our God can lift us Up, in any and every circumstance. Come be lifted Up with God, this Fall! Thanks for being a great church.

 

In Christ,

Graham Baird

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