Just pause what you’re doing for a few minutes and think with me about a couple of very important things.
Have you ever stopped to consider, I mean really consider, what’s important in life? I feel one of the lesser qualities we as Americans seem to have in our DNA is that we scurry from one place to another – one activity to another—never stopping to get introspective. Our lives are too often like the shell game you find played on the street corners in New York, and we’re the ball chaotically being shuffled from one place to another!
More importantly, have you ever stopped to consider what God feels is important in your life? I believe we tend to overcomplicate what we think God expects of us when Scripture lays it out pretty clearly in Micah 6. “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”
This verse dovetails nicely with James 1:27. “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
I believe these verses are telling us that at the epicenter of God’s heart, he wants us to be humble, holy people who have a conscious bent toward mercy for others. As Tennessee Baptists, we have two opportunities in these next two months to make a conscious effort to be involved in doing good toward others by giving generously to the Mother’s Day Offering for the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home (TBCH), and to the Father’s Day offering for Tennessee Baptist Adult Homes (TBAH).
Both of these great ministries have been partners with Tennessee Baptists and the Tennessee Baptist Convention for decades. We’ve supported these two entities through the Cooperative Program, contributing more than $51 million Cooperative Program dollars to the Children’s Home since 1926 and nearly $8 million Cooperative Program dollars to Adult Homes since 1975. But the demands placed on these two partners are escalating as our Tennessee foster care system buckles under the weight of children without families and by the growing number of aging adults. That’s where you can help by contributing to the two respective offerings.
Here’s why the two offerings are important. The Mother’s Day Offering provides 37 percent of the TBCH’s budget and enables ministry up to 200 children in the residential and independent living programs. The TBAH has four senior adult care facilities and five developmentally disabled group homes and extends care to more than 300 senior and 55 developmentally disabled adults. Many of its residents require partial or full assistance, yet the only state money the TBAH receives is Medicaid reimbursements. The Father’s Day offering is vital to sustaining this dignified care.
Sometimes I think we believe we can’t make a difference unless our financial contribution is a extravagant. Truth is most of us are more likely to write checks of much more modest amounts. Some of us would need to write checks of even $5 or $10. But just like the Cooperative Program, if we all participate cooperatively, it all adds up. It multiplies and together we really can do more to help others than we can do by ourselves.
So this Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, let’s stop…just for a moment, and make the conscious decision to extend mercy to those who so desperately need the help of others; who need our help.
It is a joy to be on this journey with you.