Listen! Can you hear the voices? Children singing, playing, learning, basketballs bouncing. Teachers teaching...in our charter school, daycare, Sunday school... Teenagers and adults singing, hammering, sawing, mowing, feeding, clothing, learning, ministering... We are alive and working hard to serve God on this corner of Drexel and Gevers.
I've been a member of Baptist Temple almost all my life. I grew up here. I was a child when the construction for our gym building began. I was a young married adult when this beautiful sanctuary was remodeled.
My dad was chairman of the building committee when the gym and connecting building was built. The committee chose the verse in Psalm 127:1, “ Unless the Lord builds the house, the work of the laborers is in vain”.
At one point a prominent member of the church came to my dad and told him, “If you build a gym this church will go down the drain!”
I'm thankful my dad and his committee listened to the voice of God! He and his committee listened when the architect encouraged them to make the walls non-load bearing to allow flexibility in the years to come and that has proved helpful just this past year! My dad served on many committees that ensured these buildings would be strong and useful for ministry for many years to come.
So I learned at an early age that these big buildings come with the responsibility of taking care of them...of always looking not just to the present but to the future. These are important buildings but never more important than what happens within them.
Baptist Temple is a facility that God uses for ministry and service and I believe God wants us to make sure this facility is in good repair so that our ministry can continue. I support the Heartstrong for CHRIST Campaign because it takes money to do God's business and we continue to strive to do His business here at Baptist Temple!
It's like being small pieces of a puzzle...one small piece added to another small piece, added to another small piece will enable us to complete the picture! It will take all of us. 2 Corinthians 8:2 says “though they have been going through much trouble and hard times, they have mixed their abundance of joy with their deep poverty, and the result has been an overflow of giving generously.”
Some can give just a little, some can give a little more, and some will be able to give big amounts. We'll put our money together and our finished product with help us to complete an even bigger task!
When I first heard that we were headed into a capital funds campaign, I began to pray. Then Sammy and I began to talk and pray. Sammy, my mom, and I began to read the devotionals that guided our thoughts and prayers each day helping to prepare our hearts for what God wants us to do. 2 Corinthians 8:8 says, “This is one way to prove that your love is real, that it goes beyond mere words.”
Sam and I have been better off financially in years past than we are right now so with past campaigns we “upped” our giving but it wasn't as much a sacrifice as this one may be for us. Tithing is almost thoughtless for us....it has always been just a given...it's what we should do. Giving above our tithe requires thought, planning, and prayer.
God has not given us a final number yet. He has brought a percentage to mind and he has brought to mind things we can do without so that we can give a little more. Sammy and I will continue to pray and ask God to lay on our hearts what He would have us give.
In the spring of 2009, Baptist Singing Men of Texas sang here in this room. The words to one of the songs were, “I'll follow you down any road at any cost.” One of the men shared a story of a woman who wanted so deeply to give an offering. She said, “I've given all I have. I can't give anymore.” and then she wept. The question God asked me that night and continues to ask me is “When have you wept like that? When have you given like that?”
Philippians 1:6 says, “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.”
God began a good work in this church over 100 years ago and He will continue to be with us as we allow Him to work through us to complete His purpose through our sacrificial giving.