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15 July 2008
Compiled in 2007 this is the annual salary survey of youth pastors conducted by Group Magazine.
Death on its own is difficult to bear, but the death of a child brings about a sense of loss like no other. This story examines death from the other side.
Some years ago a friend of mine lost his son at about four years old. From that he and his mother had many theological arguments as to why he had to go. So with that in mind I wrote this piece wondering about it from the other side.
“…after David learned of the death of his infant child, David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate.” – (2 Samuel 12:20).
Christopher Michael Carter
The Child & God
Written by Christopher Michael Carter
“Why did you take me?” The child asked.
“It’s what I’m to do,” God said, “if your time has passed.”
“But how has my time passed, am I not but a child?”
“Your time on earth is done – now – Don’t we have everything up here worthwhile?”
“I’d rather be with my parents and my friends…”
“And I never wanted it to end.” The child clarified.
“You’ll see them again soon, assuming they don’t slip through the cracks.”
“And what am I to do but wait for years wondering why you gave me to some wonderful people only to soon take me back.”
…And God was speechless.
For the past 17 years I have been involved with doing Planned Acts of Christian Kindness (P.A.C.K.) with a number of groups at our church here in Green Bay, WI. The P.A.C.K. program is totally free because the idea is for Christians to go out to busy public places and show God’s love and grace to EVERYONE through the giving of a simple gift or the doing of a helpful service. It teaches a pure servant heart for the Lord as you actually refuse donations if & when they are offered. God’s gift of grace through Jesus cannot be bought or earned at any price. Through P.A.C.K. the recipient gets a firsthand taste of what this is like. A joyous yet puzzling experience to say the least. But it is in that moment that it becomes actually fun & easy to share a little of God’s love with them. The program provides some simple suggestions but most importantly are the sharing cards that deliver God’s message. On the back of the card we insert our church information and what is happening. They are welcome to come and learn more about the love that Jesus has for them. Planting many seeds for sure, but the fact that we are loving on everyday people ranging from the homeless person rummaging through the garbage to the well dressed person driving a fancy vehicle and everyone in between, we place our complete trust in God. That He will bring us those who He knows needs His love & comfort at that very moment of their lives. Some it will be their first Godly touch for others it may be the touch that pushes them to that first step to the Lord. The truly “God moments” happen when the person you would least expect needs anything, the gift or God’s love ends up pouring out their heart telling you of the pain & suffering they are going through in their life. So often the person is right in the middle of their crisis and when you see the timing of how this all comes together you are left with no doubt to who is really in charge! I have experienced numerous “God moments” over the past 17 years and I can relive each one of them as if they happened yesterday. These make for great faith building and teachable moments. I know what this has done for my faith levels, my family’s, our church, and our community. The Lord tells us of the blessings for all who go out and share His loving message with the world. The more P.A.C.K. I have taken part in the more God has revealed Himself in so many different ways. It doesn’t cost a thing so I strongly want to encourage you to give it a good try. There are many simple low or no cost events you can do. Challenge your church/group to grow with it over time as you will impact more and more people with His grace & mercy. God bless your service to His glorious Kingdom! Simply sign up at http://acts18.org/christian-kindness/ and the link to the program will be immediately sent to your e-mail address. Absolutely no cost for this.
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