I want to say THANK YOU…
People often ask me what I love about Watermark and why I’ve chosen it as my church home. My answer is always, “I’ve never been a part of a church where I truly felt cared for until I came to Watermark. Here I've found the church body lives out their faith through transparency, community, accountability, grace, and compassion.” I realized this past Tuesday that I should also add generosity to that list. Before having a relationship with Christ we often live our lives consuming all we can with a “get mine” mentality, and taking/buying way more than we need. As we grow in Christ we start to give more, serve more, and love on others more intentionally. As I listened to JP’s message last Tuesday on generosity I had an overwhelming sense of gratitude thinking about all the people here that have been so incredibly generous to me since I started coming to The Porch/Watermark.
“Generosity meets the needs of others. Generosity is an investment in the Kingdom. Generosity comes from God.” –JP
So often we think of generosity as just being about giving money, but often times generosity is shown by giving of your time, engaging in conversation, and meeting people’s needs. I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to a few people that have been so generous to me, and who continue to encourage and challenge me by the way they give to be more generous myself.
_ “GENEROSITY MARKS THOSE WHO KNOW AND TRULY BELIEVE THE GOSPEL.” -JP _
Janet Godby- I haven’t known Janet that long, but from day one of meeting her I realized just how truly selfless she is. We were in the car together and I overheard heard her having a conversation with someone and anything they needed she would respond, “Sure! I’d love to help. Just let me know what you need.” Since then I have consistently seen her live this out. Janet constantly goes out of her way to serve others. She cooks for people, spends time listening to them, and even has made people cd’s of Christian music they can workout to. Thank you Janet for all you have done for me and how without even knowing it you’ve challenged me to give even more of myself to others.
Chris Gurley- We have served together here at The Porch and Chris has continued to stand out as a servant leader. He is someone who serves so much and does it often times without people knowing how much he is truly doing for this ministry and for others. He’s become a dear friend and is always there to check on me, pray for me, and even bring me coffee on days when I’m not feeling well or need a little energy. If you’ve ever been around him you probably too have a story about how he’s generously given of himself too. Thank you Chris for being such a great example of living generously, and giving so much to others.
Jonathan Pokluda (JP)- I couldn’t thank people and not include JP. One thing I love about serving at The Porch is the example JP is to us all. Not only does he share with us incredible truths every Tuesday night, but he leads us so well in giving us an example of what it looks like to follow Christ. As he spoke Tuesday I started thinking of the ways he has lived out this message of generosity. He has always been there to challenge me, answer emails, take time to talk through my questions, offer forgiveness, and encourage me to grow in Christ. He truly pours himself out into this ministry. Having served with JP for over two years and gone on two mission trips where he’s lead I am constantly in awe and challenge by the way he generously gives to all those he meets no matter where he is. Thank you JP for not just preaching a good message on generosity, but truly living it out as well.
“A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” –Proverbs 11:25
“Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.” –Deuteronomy 15:10
I actually have an a very long list of people I could have included here including Melissa Rubin, Kiersti Orr, Lauren Godby, Joe Waters, Jon Lantz, and all of those I have the privilege of serving with at The Porch. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity and for being an example to myself and all those around you of what it looks like to live generously. I feel blessed, encouraged, and challenged at the way you have given, and love that we can follow your example as you follow Christ.
Here are some questions for us to continually think through:
What do I have to give?
We all have something whether it is time, money, food, extra clothing, a helping hand, a smile, and prayer. See Romans 12.
Why am I not giving?
Any reason you come up with is an excuse. We all have something to give and trust me when I say, you aren’t truly experiencing life until you are generously giving to those in your life. It brings much joy!
What are you holding onto so tightly that it will hurt if the Lord takes it from you?
“I've learned that we must hold everything loosely, because when I grip it tightly, it hurts when the Father pries my fingers loose and takes it from me!” –Charles Swindoll