Challenge Part II

I realized that I left it unclear as to what other challenges our Pastor might have offered. So I am going to take time to write about the challenge we participated in last summer.

Our church had committed, in January, to raise 1 million to start a hospital for women and children in Mali West Africa.

http://www.cccomaha.org/YOC/index.php?p=mali
http://www.themaliproject.org/home
http://www.koutialahospital.org/

This being a large sum even for a large church, our pastor decided to use it as an object lesson. He spoke about the parable of the talents and then handed out envelopes. Anyone who wanted to participate in the challenge was to take an envelope. In these envelopes were bills, $20, $50, or $100, to be used as seed money so that we could find ways to raise money for the Mali Project. A total of $20,000 was handed out that Sunday. Over the summer, church attenders came up with all sorts of ways to raise money. They were creative and they were persistant, and in the end, over $438,000 was raised, exceeding the expectations of everyone. And it was fun!

The Parable of the Talents

Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

After a long time, the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. “Master,” he said, “you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.”

His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

The man with the two talents also came. “Master,” he said, “you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.”

His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

Then the man who had received the one talent came. “Master,” he said, “I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.”

His master replied, “You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

“Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

– Matthew 25:14-30 (NIV)

Challenge

Our pastor has issued (once again) a challenge. We are to memorize a large (for me) chunk of scripture. He loves to issue challenges and we love to accept and exceed expectations. To add an additional element of interest, he has divided us into 2 groups, 45 and older, and then us younger crowd.
http://cccomaha.org/memory/index.php
I sit with a few single women who are older than 45, all of whom are single parents with now grown kids. They are, of course, very eager to go for the challenge and encourage me to do the same. So, in my attempt to do so I am going to type it out once which I do feel will help.

2 Peter 1:1-11

Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perserverance; and to perserverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

(I will be keeping myself updated as to my progress and do have some other tools that I may post here to attempt to memorize this. I have 6 weeks, we will see what happens.)