Saturday, November 20, 2010

Make a Difference

Today is the easiest time to make a difference
By Nathan Day Wilson

Recently my daughter reminded me of a phrase I used in a sermon a few years ago:”Four things you cannot recover in life: the stone after it is thrown; the word after it is said; the occasion after it is missed; the time after it is gone.”

I don’t know who wrote or spoke that idea originally. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t me. And by this point, it’s more likely paraphrase than quote.

I like it, though, partly because it can have many different life applications. For instance, the saying reminds me that we should make the most of our fragile lives.

We all know that life is fragile. No matter how careful we are, how closely we watch what we eat, how faithfully we exercise or how regularly we use our seat belts, life is still fragile. Loved ones die. Jobs end. Illnesses strike. Marriages dissolve. Wars kill.

A well-known teacher reminded his followers that life is fragile when he said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

I’m glad Jesus, with those words from Matthew 6, didn’t only remind us that life is fragile. I’m glad he suggests that we have opportunities to use our ephemeral lives for something that will endure, something that will make a difference.

Isn’t that what we want? No one really expects to live forever, no matter how careful we are, but we want our lives to matter.

We can’t stand the thought that we are just taking up space on the planet, and we cannot even settle for a quiet comfortable life. We want our lives to count and to have impact. We want to have done a good job with life. We want to make a difference.

There’s one more line in that passage above from Matthew 6. In it, Jesus says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

In other words, think about what you are doing with your money. Money indicates how we invest our hearts, and thus how we choose to make a difference with our lives.

Want to know how you can tell where your heart is? Look at the ledger of your checkbook or the statement of your credit cards. They will tell you where your treasure is going and thus how you are investing your heart.

Want to know the values of a family, or a business, or a religious organization, or a country? Don’t ask what it values, just look at where it spends its money. Those are the actual values.

None of us can say, “Look, such and such has a big piece of my heart, but my money has to go other things right now. The future is uncertain. I had better hang onto as much as possible.”

Don’t you see? There is never going to be an easy time to make a difference. There is today.

Wilson pastors First Christian Church, 118 W. Washington St., blogs at and reads e-mail sent to

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Vote for Lake Orion football team

Cast your vote for Utica Eisenhower (10-1) vs. Lake Orion (10-1) to be the WDIV Game of the week !! They are currently in 2nd place.

“Vote for Team of the Week” box is on the right side of this page:

Saturday, November 06, 2010

CROP Hunger Walk

Column: Help the hungry with community


Let me tell you a story about a man. I’ll call him Thomas, only since that is his name.

Thomas was a child of the Great Depression. He recalls what his father did after the Depression to help keep his family nourished, including spending many long hours in lines for construction jobs and planting a garden with tomatoes, corn and potatoes.

Thomas graduated from high school and received a scholarship to an Indiana college. He earned a degree in marketing. Only a few years into his first job, his father unexpectedly died and his mother grew ill. Thomas returned home to help care for her.

With no marketing jobs available, Thomas began working in construction. It was difficult to balance construction with caring for his mother, so Thomas sought a different job. He worked for a company cleaning offices and homes.

Even after many years of in this line of work, it was necessary for Thomas to utilize our area food pantries, including the Matthew 25:35 Community Food Pantry and The Salvation Army. Thomas depends on our food pantries and other support to have enough food to survive.

Unfortunately, his story is not rare; some 2.7 million seniors in the United States depend on food panties for food security.At the other end of the age spectrum are the 13 million children under the age of 18, 3 million of them young children, who depend on food pantries to survive.

For that reason, dozens of Shelby County residents will lace up shoes and slip on sweatshirts this Sunday to participate in the Shelby County CROP (“Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty”) Hunger Walk. Registration for the walk begins at 1:30 p.m. at Intelliplex Park.

Those participating will join approximately 2 million people will take part in a CROP Hunger Walk this fall. Collectively the efforts are expected to raise an estimated $16 million to end hunger and poverty.

A colleague who ministers in Michigan has been involved in CROP Hunger Walks for years. In an e-mail, she wrote, “I love our CROP Walk. It brings people together. It gives us a way to meet practical needs. It helps us focus on our community.”

“Sometimes I pray for our community silently while I’m walking,” she wrote. “I pray for the day when we won’t need the CROP Walk anymore because everyone will have enough to eat.”

That’s part of my prayer, too: A day when everyone will have enough to eat. Until then, participating in things such as CROP Hunger Walks is worthwhile.

Wilson pastors First Christian Church, 118 W. Washington St., Shelbyville, blogs at, and reads e-mail sent to