You Only Have a Short Window to Be a “Super” Hero

Superheroes are as popular as they’ve ever been, with new superhero movies coming out seemingly every weekend over the past few years. Not only that, every new superhero movie seems to break the box office record of the one set before it. I heard a speaker the other day who has taken his son to every superhero movie on opening weekend since he was a kid. Immediately, I made a mental note of parent goals! I can picture my son and I watching Captain America and Iron Man battle it out in Captain America: Civil War and having the same legendary battles in our backyard. (If I ruined the plot of that movie for you I apologize, but you have had over two years to see it!) The truth is every dad (and mom) wants to be their kid’s hero.

We want our kids to look up to us, to love us, and to want to be like us one day. The tough reality is that, as a parent, the time that your kids view you in the “You’re my superhero!” way is short-lived. There are only so many backyard nerf battles and living room wrestling matches. There are only so many tea parties and Daddy-Daughter dances to attend. There’s a short window that parents have to be heroes (at least the “super” ones).

This year at Kids Week, you have the opportunity to be your kids’ superhero. I know what you’re probably thinking: you don’t have the vacation time, and you have too much going on at work. With our busy schedules, it’s easy to think we can’t afford to take time off from work. I would suggest that you can’t afford not to. We don’t like to think about this, but most people could do our jobs. And while missing a week of work may slow the pace, it won’t be the end of the world. Only you can be your kids’ parent. Only you have this short window in time where your kids are desiring to be with you more than anyone else (except maybe grandma!).

As with anything, you have a choice to make. I would challenge you to think about your return on investment. What has the greatest reward for eternity for how you spend your time the week of Kids Week? Going to work? Or working half days and spending each morning at Kids Week investing in your child? I realize that not everyone can take the week off of work, but I would challenge you to consider doing anything and everything you can to be at Kids Week. Some of you may not be able to take all four days off but could be there for two. Whatever you can do, do it. The memories you’ll make and the opportunity you have to build relationship with them around the gospel will last for eternity.

-Brant Gordon (Cooper and Lyla’s Dad)

Click here to register for all things Kids Week!

Do you have kids three years and under that want to join us for Kids Week?

We are offering programming for kids three years and under if their parents serve. This may be a great opportunity for you to jump in and for your child to be a part of our toddlers and babies areas. You can register them as you go through the volunteer registration form located here.

Serve Week Reflections: A Story of Tragedy, Generosity, and Hope

“Dreams for a better life were destroyed for this family. Refugees from the Congo. Five children under eight years old have died as a result from a house fire this weekend. Sadness & loss too large to imagine on this Mother’s Day. Prayers for this family. Embrace them in love.” This was the quote given to the local news crew as LaTosha Walker, operations manager for the North Carolina African Services Coalition (NCASC), made remarks about this tragic event.

In 2016, a family of six relocated to the Greensboro area from the Democratic Republic of the Congo—dad, mom, two girls, and three boys (ages ranging from eighteen months to nine years old). Dad works for Delmonte while mom works at a chicken plant in Sanford, NC. On May 12, their apartment caught on fire in the wee hours of the morning. First responders were able to get the entire family out of the home; however, within seventy-two hours of this event, all five children died at the hospital. 

Traditionally, my last few days leading up to serve week had been getting the necessary materials to the necessary serve sites. However, this time was different. It was spent trying to figure out the best way to serve this community and this family during grief and sorrow. There were two groups scheduled to serve on Tuesday and Wednesday, and to be honest, I was a little bit nervous. 

Well, after much conversation with some of the executive staff, we decided to proceed with the serve opportunities with slight modifications. For example, we had a pastor present during each opportunity. Both groups engaged with the children of the community—which was about sixty kids! Per conversation with Walker, everyone had been checking in with the parents of the deceased (which is to be expected), but there were a lot of kids who lost five friends.

Renewing Our Minds in True Generosity 

As we all have heard it stated before: “Your generosity fuels the mission.” Yet, a simple glance at our current culture reveals grand “self-generosity”—people spend a lot more time trying to figure out how to spend their time, talent, and treasure on themselves. By resisting the patterns of the world and renewing our minds (Rom 12:2), our generosity grows ever more in-line with God’s will, not ours. 

It thrills me to know that the mission field is right in our backyard. In certain ways, the community we served felt like a third world country—over fifty Congolese families resettled, seeking a better life for their family. Whether sharing a meal with the homeless, painting a room, or doing some yard work, generosity happens when you envision a different, improved situation for the recipient than when you first encountered them. Romans 5:8 reveals how God demonstrates generous, forward-thinking love: “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!” He understood what was required of himself in the now to produce something beautiful later. 

-Will (Ministry Resident/Community Groups)

What Am I Going to Do with My Life?

“Hey, Jon. I have no idea what I’m going to do with my life.”

 I was at an end-of-college crisis the summer before my senior year. I went into college in August of 2014 pursuing a degree in theatre, but by the end of my Junior year, I wasn’t too sure I wanted to pursue it. Standing on the sidewalk in front of a Four Seasons hotel, Jon Sheets, the director of Mercy Hill College, looks me in my eyes and said, “I think you have the makings of a church planter.” My heart immediately responded, “Nah man, you got that! Besides, I don’t even know what a church planter is!”

I went home and literally googled the definition of a church planter, and a plethora of different articles arose trying to explain it. The bottom line was that a church planter catalyzed Christ-following believers to pick up their lives to move to a location in need of the gospel to start a church. At the thought of that, my heart loudly screamed NO.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that my passions (telling others about Jesus), my giftings (public speaking and casting vision), and the need (the urgency for people to hear the gospel) all lined up at this time for possibly a specific reason—to maybe one day plant a Christ-centered church.

The First Step

That led me to join MH College Staff where I currently work full-time. As a college resident, my main job is to raise up leaders to plant as many Community Groups on the campus of A&T in the hopes that Jesus will transform the campus.

At first, I joined MH College because it was the first step in planting a church, but then I realized how much of an impact being a part of college staff could have on my campus at A&T. When I stopped to look around my campus, I saw how many students struggle with depression, the desire to be accepted, alcoholism, substance abuse, and hard-heartedness. How could I not share the very message that has the ability to free broken hearts from the slavery of brokenness?

So I excitedly and willingly joined the college staff.

My first day on the job we went through an orientation called “Basecamp.” It was basically a review of what we do, why we do it, and how we will get it done. All of that can be summed up by the mission: MH College exists to see the gospel save, grow, gather, and send from the campus to the world.

Four other college residents and I learned how to work as a team by solving puzzles in a break out room and also talked about the importance of setting achievable and challenging goals. Over the course of the next two years, I pray that this residency will stretch me as a believer, as a leader, and as a potential church planter for the glory of God.

-Neeko Williams (College Resident)

How I Plan on Winning the Kids Week Photo Booth Contest

We in Mercy Hill Kids cannot contain our excitement for Kids Week. We’ve been making slime, creating superhero trading cards, and sorting hundreds of capes. In order to make our joy complete, Mercy Hill Kids is sponsoring a photo booth contest in the weeks leading up to Kids Week. In the kids’ lobbies at each campus, you’ll be able to take a family photo at our photo booth and post it for your friends to see the fun we have in store for our families. Whichever picture gets the most likes on Facebook and Instagram, the owner’s family will receive a day at the movies gift package!

Here is how my family plans on winning the contest:

  1. Costumes: I told my kids to pick out superhero costumes for this contest, and we ended up with construction worker costumes. I was shamed by my preschooler for thinking Spiderman was more of a superhero than an excavator operator. Now I just need to find that Superman costume from four years ago for my husband to wear. I knew I saved that for a reason!
  2. Hashtag: We’re going to use the hashtag #MHKidsWeek for optimal exposure.
  3. Share: All I need to do now is teach my mother how to operate “The Facebook” so she can share our epic photo with her friends. I plan on challenging people in the comments to do their own photos if they dare.
  4. Mock Flying: This is my secret weapon. If you put a child on the floor and put cutouts of clouds above his or her head, you can make it look like he or she is flying if you shoot the photo from above. Now to find the ladder…
  5. Why stop at a photo: I can also create a short video if I can get my kids to stand still for longer than four seconds. Stan Lee’s got nothing on me.

Let the creative juices flow, and good luck!

-Lauren Whitley (Associate Kids Director)

Click here for more information about Mercy Hill Kids Week this summer!

 

Church Plant Update | Grace Alive, Orlando

We are committed to planting churches in strategic locations to advance the gospel of Jesus. One of our recent church plants is Grace Alive in Orlando, Florida. On Sunday, May 13th, they had 206 people attend their gathering. This is their largest Sunday attendance since they launched 8 months ago! Here are some recent pics from their gathering.

Mercy Hill - Grace Alive Church Plant

Mercy Hill Grace Alive Church

Mercy Hill Grace Alive Church

Mercy Hill Grace Alive Church

Mercy Hill Grace Alive Church

We celebrate what God is doing in and through Grace Alive and pray for more!

-Mercy Hill Missions Director

Re-Imagining My Summer

I had been out of school five years when I made the seemingly abrupt decision to go back to pursue a graduate degree this past year. While I actually enjoy the process of learning, one aspect of school I had forgotten about during my time away was the built-in breaks afforded by the academic calendar. What a pleasure it was to be reacquainted to the concept of the fall, winter, and spring break!

I quickly began to look forward to days off and began to plan for how I would spend my upcoming summer break. I could use the summer in a number of ways that might seem practical to others. This includes working to earn money, taking classes, pursuing an internship, or just taking time to relax. And while any of those options would have served me well, meditating on Scripture prompted me to use my time in a different way to serve God and make much of him.

This summer, I have the opportunity to lead a team of two undergraduate students to South Asia for two months where we will conduct evangelical outreach with the unreached people groups in the area. This is a fancy way of saying that we will be talking about Jesus with those who have never heard about him before! During our two months, we will be helping make connections with nationals for our partners on the field as well as leading short-term church teams who visit over the summer.

The Call to All Christians

Following his resurrection, Jesus ends his ministry on earth by commissioning his disciples. Matthew records Jesus’ words as follows,

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).

This is not a Christian ideal or vague notion; it’s an explicit command from God for all Christians to see that the unreached know his Name. And it is from this command that I turn over my summer to God.

Generosity Extends Far Beyond Our Wallets

Around Mercy Hill, you will often hear the phrase, “Generosity fuels the mission.” It took some time for me to realize that generosity meant more than giving of my finances to the church and the mission of God. While it does not exclude financial giving, generosity is ultimately a willingness to submit all aspects of your life: your time, your money, your talents, your relationships, your future career choices, and your very life to God. When we submit these to God, he gets the glory, not us. And in the process, others get to learn about him and have the opportunity for relationship with him.

It is a scary thing, transferring over the control of your life to someone else. But when you know that you are giving it over to the all-powerful, all-knowing, and loving God, that fear lessens. Prior to his commissioning the disciples, Jesus hung on a cross, taking on the full wrath of God for the sin of humanity, dying in my place and in the place of all who believe in him. He did not hold back even his life so that I would get eternity with him.

In light of this, there is nothing I would hold back from the one who gave it all for me. And I would give everything over to him so that others would get to hear of him for the first time and learn about the only true and lasting hope that is found at the cross. It is a privilege and awe-inducing thing to be used by God to advance his mission, and I am grateful for the opportunity to do that in this way this summer.

You Can Partner with Us by Praying for Us

Please pray for my team and for our college students traveling around the country and the world over the summer to share the gospel with others. Pray that the Lord would be preparing the hearts of those we will meet. Pray that each of us would grasp a vision for what long-term mission or church-planting work could look like in these contexts. Lastly, pray that our efforts and those of our partners on the mission field would succeed in seeing the gospel go further in South Asia and in all places where Jesus is not known.

-College Community Group Leader
Name hidden to protect the security of those with whom they will be working this summer.

Don’t Settle: 3 Reasons You Should Choose an Unforgettable Summer

Summer is almost here! The days are longer, the weather is hotter, and the struggle to find motivation at school is at an all-time high. For many, there are exams: the final grind before the sweet step into freedom. Every day, you students muster up the strength to finish the race and arrive at the much-deserved finish line to hear the words, “You’re done! Let summer begin!” Then, it’s off to countless days at the pool, family vacations, Fortnite with your friends, and binge watching your favorite Netflix shows. All of these make awesome memories and craft up a good summer. But what if you could make it not only good but unforgettable?

We all know that our normal summer routine is great until about halfway through the summer. So, instead of having a normal generic summer, how about making it unforgettable! If you’re a rising 6th-12th grade student, Camp Elevate is where you need to be! Want an unforgettable summer?

Here are three reasons you should come to camp:

1. It’ll be the most fun week of your summer! (Fun)

White water rafting, tubing, a wave pool, rock climbing wall, zipline, paintball arena, nine square in the air, and countless other games and activities! What else do you need to have a blast this summer, creating an experience you’ll never forget!!

2. You’ll be with some of your best friends! (Community)

Let’s be honest, you could be at home, straight chillin, or you could be with some of your best friends at camp! It’s cool to make unforgettable memories by yourself, but it’s even cooler to make them with others!

3. It’ll be the most transforming week of your summer! (Jesus)

Hundreds of students gather one week a year under one name, Jesus. Why not come see why students gather under the name of Jesus and how he transforms lives!

What do I do now?

Well, get off your couch, stop playing Fortnite or binge watching Stranger Things, and come have an unforgettable summer at Camp Elevate! Registration is still open, sign up today!

Click here for High School Camp Registration

Click here for Middle School Camp Registration

And for those who still aren’t convinced, check out this video, and you decide: will your summer be good or unforgettable?           

-Austin Griffin (Route 56 Coordinator – Clifton Road Campus)

3 Ways to Love Your Neighbors during Ramadan

In just five days, nearly 25% of the world will enter into what they consider to be the holiest month of the year, Ramadan. Muslims all over the world will fast to celebrate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad—that’s nearly two billion people. In 2010, the best estimate for Muslims in our own city and region was just under 4,000. With the increase of immigration, refugee resettlement, and diversity, this number is certainly larger. You have neighbors, co-workers, classmates, and kids’ classmates who will be celebrating Ramadan, who will be fasting from the rising of the sun to its setting. Sound familiar?

Psalm 113:3 says, “From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised!” Who’s name? The Lord, Yahweh, the Great I Am. This Ramadan, we have an opportunity to point to the one who is truly worthy to be worshiped from the rising of the sun to its setting. Here are three ways you can love your Muslim neighbors and friends during Ramadan.

1. Ask Questions and Be Ready to Share

Ramadan presents an opportunity for you to be a learner. You can humble yourself and ask a myriad of questions concerning why and how Muslims celebrate. One Muslim described it this way:

The reason Muslims fast is to discipline their body and mind. The absence of food and drink and other pleasures provides a perfect opportunity to concentrate on prayer and worship. Not having the luxuries of life at hand makes it easier to reflect on life and be grateful for what we do have. Muslims use this month to start afresh and give their life a new direction . . . to make resolutions, similar to New Year’s resolutions. It is a time when they decide how they want to live their life for the next year and try their very best to adhere to their new commitments.[1] 

Be slow to respond and quick to listen as you explore your friend’s faith. Listen for spaces where you can share the reason for your faith and ultimate hope. While these types of questions should create a space for you to share the gospel, you need to be patient. You’re talking to a person who was created in the image of God, who God wants to call to repentance, not just a project or evangelism checklist box.

Be ready to share the gospel. As I said before, you need to be slow to respond, but you still need to respond. Muslims are typically much more open to talking about religious and spiritual matters, especially during Ramadan. Although the largest practice during this month is fasting, Muslims will seek to do more good in every area as doing so earns them additional merits. Be sure to share the good news that no work done by man can earn our salvation, only the work accomplished by Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection can do that. As they seek to read through the entire Quran this month, offer to read with them, and ask them to read Scripture with you.

2. Break Fast And/Or Join a Fast

Each day at sunset, Muslims will break fast, called Ifthar. This is an awesome opportunity to enter into community and be present. Islamic cultures are typically much more collectivistic than our Western culture. Community is a HUGE deal. If someone invites you into their home to break fast, drop everything you’re doing and go—maybe not everything, but definitely go! This gives you an even better space to ask questions and talk about faith with your Muslim neighbors and friends. One way to do this is to buy them dates, which is what Muslims break the fast with, according to teaching from the Quran.

Another way to enter into their celebration as a follower of Jesus is to fast alongside them. If you have a co-worker, consider spending your lunch break fasting and discussing both of your reasons for fasting. Muslims are fasting to earn right standing with Allah and increase their good deeds for salvation. You would be fasting in order to remind yourself that God is even more essential to life than food. You would be fasting from acceptance, as a reminder of the gospel, not for acceptance.

3. Pray

Ramadan is a time where Muslims are very open and focused on spiritual matters. Whether you have Muslim friends, neighbors, or co-workers, you can be praying that the Lord would reveal himself as the one true God even as Muslims seek to worship Allah. Here are some specific ways to pray.

Pray that:

  • Muslims would become disillusioned with the many rules and requirements that bind them to a belief system that cannot save them.
  • They realize that no amount of human self-cleansing will save them from an eternity in hell.
  • You and others in our church would have the opportunity to share the gospel, and God would prepare the hearts of Muslims in our city and region to believe.
  • Many Muslims come to faith through receiving dreams and visions from the Lord. Pray God would give Muslims dreams concerning himself and that you or other church members would be available to explain them.

-Greta Jo Griswold (2 yr. College Resident)

[1] https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/sharing-the-gospel-in-ramadan/

How My Life Changed During College Because of the Church

The first time I went to Mercy Hill, I knew I found a home. I was an incoming freshman—already at High Point University for summer school—when I got invited by Greta, my teammate. I saw people worshiping Jesus with such an authentic passion, and I realized that these are the kind of people I want to surround myself with and learn from.

Joining Mercy Hill was the best decision I made during my entire college career. Being a Christian in college is challenging because of all the outside pressures and temptations that make us think we have to be the stereotypical “college kid.” At Mercy Hill, I was able to meet incredible people who lived out the gospel so effortlessly and modeled for me the freedom I have in Christ to live for him and not for the world. I joined a Community Group where I learned so much and was challenged to grow in my faith more than I ever thought was possible. Even though I grew up going to church occasionally, I never knew what a relationship with God looked like or that a relationship with me was all he wanted!

Every Sunday at Mercy Hill, the gospel came alive to me, and I was excited to follow Jesus even though I was a little unsure of where he was taking me. The church body is so powerful because it loves, serves, and encourages so that major life change can happen. The greatest joy I have ever experienced is watching God move in the lives of those he loves because people were simply faithful to love and share the good news with others. At Mercy Hill, someone invested in me so that I was equipped with encouragement and guidance to be sent out and invest in someone else.

Equipped to Serve

God used me to share the gospel with girls on my team and eventually lead a Community Group. (Wow, what a learning experience that was!) Who was I that he would entrust me with leading a group of college girls—especially because I was following in the footsteps of an incredible leader?! But he is faithful and helped me figure out how to use my strengths to best serve the group.

The cool thing about having a relationship with Jesus is that there is always more to learn about him and yourself. There is never a moment where we have “mastered” our faith; it’s a lifelong journey that is unique to us. We just keep building that relationship. As I was entering my senior year, I was praying for God to bring me someone to disciple, and oh boy did he deliver with a beautiful surprise. Again, there is such a soul-filling joy experienced when you witness someone’s eyes opening to Jesus and his love for them. God brought someone to High Point I had known most of her life and allowed me to slowly and consistently share with her until she truly saw Jesus. We celebrated her baptism on Easter and continue to pray as she starts her journey of faith. God doesn’t want us to wait until we have “perfected” our lives. He wants to meet us where we are and take us on an incredible adventure. I know I’m enjoying mine so far.

I am who I am today largely because I walked through the doors of Mercy Hill Church four years ago. The Lord met me there like never before, and my relationship with and mission for him is forever changed!

-Haley Barnes (Recent HPU Graduate and Community Group Leader)

Are You Getting Heavenly Rewards?

This week in our Community Groups, we are studying Matthew 6:1-6. While studying this passage, I realized that there is a concept in these verses that is often passed over: heavenly rewards. What does Jesus mean when he says in verses 4 and 6, “And your Father who sees in secret will reward you”?[1]

Remembering Who We Are

I fear that we have forgotten the biblical notion of heavenly reward. We (I think rightly) have made the gospel message central which says, “Jesus Christ has done everything necessary to save you; you contribute nothing to your salvation.” I myself would go so far as to say that offering any of your personal work to God to try and purchase salvation from him is a grievous sin. This often leads to anxiety about anything that even smells like a good work. But we have forgotten that the gospel also says we are saved for a particular purpose. God has crucified the old sinner with Christ and remade us as saints, set apart for the good works he prepared for us to do (Eph. 2:10).

Yes, God Does See Some Works as Good and Rewards Them

I feel that some readers’ brains are exploding at this point. It feels like such a contradiction to what we may have heard. But let’s try to transform our thinking by renewing our mind with Scripture.

Where does it say that God will reward our works?

Let’s begin at the end. In Revelation 22:12, Jesus says this to his hearers: “Look, I am coming soon, and my reward is with me to repay each person according to his work.”

Paul seemed to foreshadow this same judgment of Christ as he says to the Corinthian church, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Cor. 5:10).

Paul even describes (although somewhat cryptically) what this will look like:

For no one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid down. That foundation is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, each one’s work will become obvious. For the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire; the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. If anyone’s work that he has built survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will experience loss, but he himself will be saved ​— ​but only as through fire. (1 Cor. 3:11-15)

Paul here understands that there is no such thing as a good work that is not built on the foundation of Jesus Christ. But if your good works flow from the salvation you have received through faith in Jesus, then you will receive a reward on the Day of Judgment.

What’s interesting about this passage is that Paul completely undermines the common idea that you may have heard (or even expressed yourself): “I don’t care if I get a reward, I just want to get in the gates” [which is usually code for, “I don’t care about living some ‘radical’ Christian life. My faith is enough”]. But Paul here says that just “getting in” is “through fire”—it’s terrifying.

We must always keep in our minds that we do not do our good works out of our own efforts but out of God’s empowerment. Just like Paul says of his own life: “I worked harder than any of [the other apostles], yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me” (1 Cor. 15:10). How gracious is God that he rewards us for the very works he accomplishes through us!

So, we pray fervently that God would give us both the heart and the energy to do his work. And first and foremost, we strive to do this work simply because we love God, we want to please him, and we know that at his right hand are “eternal pleasures” (Ps. 16:11).

But despite how it may sound to our ears, both Jesus and Paul present heavenly rewards as a pure, secondary motivation.

Use Heavenly Rewards as Economic Incentive

We are an economic people that respond to economic incentives. Let’s be honest. We often buy things because they are Buy One Get One that we wouldn’t have purchased at normal price. Everyone loves a sale. Yet, concerning Christianity, we don’t like to think about being incentivized; we consider it sinful behavior. But Jesus made us, and he knows how he has wired us. It’s not our behavioral responses to incentives that are bad but being incentivized by the wrong things. Jesus says, “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal” (Matt. 6:20). The implication is this: don’t be incentivized by worldly things but by the treasures of the Kingdom of God.

Paul goes with this same sentiment in 1 Timothy 6: “Instruct [the rich] to do what is good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and willing to share, storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of what is truly life” (vs 18-19).

Conclusion

That last thought of Paul’s is interesting. It seems that he believed that one can enhance one’s experience of the Kingdom by trading good works for heavenly riches. What are theses riches? That is hotly debated, and answers range from the praise of God to literal heavenly wealth to greater authority and rule in the Kingdom.

Regardless of what these rewards are (and there is much more that could be said about this topic in general), we need to take stock of our life and see if we believe this. Does the way we strive to leverage our lives—our time, talent, and treasure—show clearly that we expect to receive a reward that far outshines what we have done? Where do our earthly lives show that our home is?

John Calvin, in writing on this topic of heavenly reward, says[2] that to truly understand this topic and live it out is to be like a family who sends all their goods and furniture to the house they just purchased, while still eating dinner on the floor of their old apartment, using paper plates and plastic utensils. Their assurance of the superior worth of their new home allows them to live joyfully deprived lives while they wait for the glorious home that’s to come.

-Alex Nolette (Equip Coordinator)

[1] I recognize that there is some debate as to whether the rewards in Matthew 6 are given in heaven or at some point in the present. But, while conceding this, I find it to be sure ground that many who read these verses will think of heavenly rewards.

[2] I have expanded this analogy, but I am convinced that Calvin would approve.