Good morning, my name is Diane Endicott and this is my wife, Kim Clark. We have been attending Highland for a year and a half and became members in May this year. Kim and I enjoy participating in Habitat for Humanity, being a part of Sandy Little’s Sunshine Brigade and are greeters one Sunday a month and attend the Messengers Bible study class—our “micro” church family within Highland.
After hearing Tom Ketterman speak so eloquently last Sunday, I started to rethink what I had prepared for today. I decided to continue with the message my heart was telling me to deliver, so here it goes.
Kim and I strive to live contently with less in our lives. We enjoy our simple home, time spent with family, friends, and our pets. We do not constantly search for things or experiences to fulfill our lives and make us “happy”.
While I was writing, I recalled a Veggie Tales video, my daughter watched when she was very young. Trust me, I tried and tried to get this thought out of my head, but just couldn’t shake the idea. In the video, the Stuf-Mart is built next to Madame Blueberry’s home, and she becomes obsessed with getting more and more stuff. In the end, her house—which is actually a treehouse—gets launched into the air from the weight of all the stuff and ultimately is destroyed. After this devastating event, Madame Blueberry witnesses this young asparagus girl with her asparagus parents in the park, singing a song about being thankful for her parents, a single piece of pie for her birthday, and God’s love and care. Madame Blueberry has her ah-ha moment and realizes that all the items from the “Stuf-Mart” didn’t really make her happy.
Much to my daughter’s dismay, I kept the “Thankful Song” alive in our home long after the video was watched; I wanted her to be thankful for the simple things in life and content with the living simply.
By now, you may be asking, why is she talking about a blueberry, asparagus, and “Stuf-Mart”, what was Renee thinking when she asked these two folks to petition our pledges, or perhaps you started thinking about your grocery list…stay with me another minute.
We feel certain that each of you understand the basic necessity to fund the church’s staff, pay for utilities, and building maintenance. But what you are supporting is anything but basic. Kim and I love the ministry staff; each with their own distinctive gifts—we feel like better human beings because they have touched our hearts. The music at Highland is so beautiful; music of all kinds, music so wonderful that we can be moved to tears. Having this magnificent sanctuary to hear God’s word, receive Holy Communion; perhaps you were married at Highland or said goodbye to a loved one in this space. The amazing Bible study rooms, nurseries, common areas to commune as one family. One of the most meaningful experiences Kim and I have experienced at Highland was in Fellowship Hall when we washed each other’s hands during the Maundy Thursday service.
Giving to Highland allows us to reach outside the walls of the church, near and far, to purposely live out the golden rule; to do unto others.
We invite you to examine your lives, seek out what truly brings you contentment; are there things perhaps, you can leave at the “Stuf-Mart”? If you haven’t made your commitment, we ask you to look inside your heart—what do you treasure about this sacred place—what is your “Why I Give” story?
Thank you for our lives, for this church and for the hope that is within us. Save us from selfish thoughts as we give out of abundance to bring life and love to others. Keep us sensitive, Lord, to the hurts and hungers of those who have very little and help us be doers of your good will.