Saturday, March 20, 2010

The long lasting effects of ministry

I got my royalty check yesterday. It was a whopping $61.90. The Church Newsletter Handbook was published by Judson Press back in 1997 and every year I have received a nice little check in the mail. The book evolved out of my doctoral project at Andover Newton Theological School and I presented it to Judson for their consideration. They accepted it and then the rewriting began. I worked long and hard to turn it into something that they really were excited about. They had high hopes for it. They printed off 5,000 copies for the first run.

I think it sold over a thousand copies that first year. It wasn't in league with John Grisham or Stephen King, but for a book about church newsletters, it did very well. Every year I get this little reminder that my hard work in the mid 1990's is still reaching people and paying dividends.

Each time I get that check, I am also reminded that no good deed goes unrewarded. When we reach out and bless someone, it always comes back to us. The Scripture says, "Cast your bread upon the water and it will com3e back to you in many days..." It is so true. we don't know how or when or even why it works, but when we love someone, share with someone, encourage someone, it always finds its way back to us in some form or another.

The other day I was meeting with a group of colleagues. I was sharing the fact that I was struggling with something that was happening at church. I was blessed by the kind words of encouragement I received from them. One person told me afterwards how I had blessed them with my counsel in a very similar matter a number of years ago and he repeated what I said to him. He told me it was as true today as it was then. He was right and once again, the blessing that was shared in another time and place came back to bless me again.

So cast your bread on the water. Go ahead and reach out to someone in need. Be a friend, share the gospel, lend a helping hand and then rest assured that some day the fruit of that act will come back to you as a blessing.


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