Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What Americans spend on Halloween

There are many differences serving in a large church versus a small church. Staff, workers, space are a few. One of the major differences is budget. A smaller church does not always have the same resources that the larger church does so it makes the local Pastor become more careful over dollars and the budget.

I was lamenting the fact that our "Harvest Feast" was taking place, celebrating with the kids and their parents that we would be offering a Christian alternative to the practices of the world but combing through the numbers to find the money to fund the activity.

As I was going through the planned activities of Hayrides, pumpkin patch mazes and rides, bowling and food on Saturday and skating, games and food on Monday, I realized I am close to the $500.00 range. I realize that is not a lot of money for most ministries but this is more than I had intended to spend per the budget.

As I was pairing down the wish lists of the youth workers to fit back within the numbers, I ran across this illustration from Preaching Today on Halloween and what Americans spends celebrating.

The National Retail Federation estimates that Americans will spend the following for Halloween in 2011:

Total Halloween expenses—$6.9 billion (that's more than twice the amount Americans spent for Halloween in 2005)

Largest Halloween expense—$2.5 billion for costumes

Amount spent on candy—$2 billion

The research also shows that Halloween isn't just for kids anymore. In 2011 nearly 70 percent of adults plan to hold their own celebrations for Halloween.

Martha C. White, "Now That's Creepy: Americans Will Blow $7 Billion on Halloween," (9-29-11)

After reading this, I put my pen down, lifted my hands and thanked God that we had the resources to fund this activity and pray that we can make a difference in our section of the world, our parcel of ground to the glory of God and the betterment of our young people.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Make Me

"I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument." (Isa. 41:15.)

A BAR of steel worth five dollars, when wrought into horseshoes, is worth ten dollars. If made into needles, it is worth three hundred and fifty dollars; if into penknife blades, it is worth thirty-two thousand dollars; if into springs for watches it is worth two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

What a drilling the poor bar must undergo to be worth this! But the more it is manipulated, the more it is hammered, and passed through the fire, and beaten and pounded and polished, the greater the value.

The "making process" is painful. Drilling away at this, hammering away at that, the pounding and polishing, to what end God? Why must I go through this ? Those who suffer most are capable of yielding most; and it is through pain that God is getting the most out of us, for His glory and the blessing of others.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dealing with Procrastination

Pastor Steven Furtick of the Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina blessed my soul today with his blog. I have a major problem with procrastination of my own dreams, goals, and ideas. I have a hard time chasing personal goals because I am always working on ministry goals, member goals, district, state or even local initiatives, I forget to chase mine. Very Simple Blog that kicked me to my knees and made me pray. I am sharing his words with you.

Two words can disqualify every dream you’ve ever had:
One day.

One day I’m going to start my own business.
One day I’m going to move overseas.
One day I’m going to live wholeheartedly for Christ.
One day I’m going to lose weight.
One day I’m going to make a difference.

If you’re not careful, one day becomes the next day, and the next day becomes the next day, and the next day becomes…

The best time to start a diet is tomorrow.
The best time to start making a difference tomorrow.
The best time to do anything is tomorrow…

…if you don’t want to ever actually do it.
Tomorrow always comes but the dream never happens.

Stop waiting.
There’s only one day that’s appropriate to start chasing your dream:

Make today your “one day.”