Today's Word for Pastors...

But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.
John 3:21

Today's Preaching Insight...

Faith makes a difference

Americans who help religious congregations not only give more time and money than people working with secular causes, but provide three-quarters of secular charity as well, according to a study that was reported in The Washington Times.

The study found that "religion-giving households" in 2000 gave 87.5 percent of all charitable contributions in the nation, for an average of $2,100 for each household. "Givers to religious congregations are dramatically more generous than others," said the report, issued by Independent Sector, a nonprofit research organization, and the National Council of Churches.

Six in 10 American households give to a religious congregation and more than 85 percent of those also gave to secular organizations, said the study . . .

"The influence of faith extends to volunteering," the study said, noting that 54 percent of regular worshippers also volunteer. That compares with a volunteering rate of 32 percent by Americans who do not attend a house of worship. Religious givers volunteer for secular charities as much as secular Americans, averaging about 10 hours a month. And the most actively religious people work the most volunteer hours. "In round numbers, one-third of the people give two-thirds of the time," the report said. 

For more on this topic, check out The Grace of Giving by Bill D. Whittaker at http://www.preaching.com/resources/from_the_lectionary/11547537/faith%20giving/.

Today's Extra...

The Dying Man and Cookies

An elderly man was at home, upstairs, dying in bed. He smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookies baking. He wanted one last cookie before he died. He fell out of bed, crawled to the landing, rolled down the stairs and crawled into the kitchen where his wife was busily baking cookies.

With his last remaining strength he crawled to the table and was just barely able to lift his withered arm to the cookie sheet. As he grasped a warm, moist chocolate chip cookie, his favorite kind, his wife suddenly whacked his hand with a spatula.

Gasping for breath, he asked her, "Why did you do that?"

She replied, "Those are for the funeral."

Find more humorous snippets like these at http://www.preaching.com/resources/humor/.

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