A Bullet for His Wife…
On January 8, 2011, outside a grocery store in Tucson, Arizona, a troubled college-dropout named Jared Lee Loughner opened fire, killing six people and injuring 13 others. Most people familiar with the incident know that he shot and severely injured U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. But most do not know about Dorwan "Dory" Stoddard, a 76-year-old retired construction worker, who was among six people shot to death. Stoddard used his body to take several bullets for his wife Mavanell, 75, or Mavy, from the gunfire.
The next week, several hundred mourners gathered for a memorial service for Dory. His loved ones remembered that Dory didn't become a hero during that tragic shooting. For years he had lived with the character of a hero, and on January 8th, 2011 he acted in tune with his character. At the service, Dory's pastor Mike Nowak put it this way: "Dory Stoddard … didn't die a hero, he lived a hero. He completed his heroic act of kindness one final time with his wife, Mavy." Dory's son Dale, one of four sons, recalled a selfless family man known as "Mr. Fixit," who was consistently looking to help others. "He was always helping someone, someone who was hurting, someone who needed some care or just a gallon of gasoline," he told the service, flanked by his three brothers. "Guys like my father are rare."
That is great sacrifice! And it was done in love. In John 15:13-14 Jesus said to His followers, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” The fact is, sacrifices that are made in joy and from love always make a difference in the lives of other people.
On Sunday November 8th We will gather to worship and bring our “Sacrifice of Joy” offerings… For many years now, we have used this offering to catch up our ministry budget shortfall and make a extra special contribution to world missions. And just like in the past years, I am asking you to join me in bringing a “Sacrificial and Joyful” offering that is supernaturally directed and above your regular tithes and gifts to our building.
Why is a sacrificial offering of joy so important? Because, to do the work of God that changes lives we depend upon the faithful and obedient resources of the people of God—that’s you! Our church has a rich heritage of reaching the lost, helping people, growing believers and building the Kingdom of God. And God has ordained that His work be carried out through His people and He expects us to fulfill the tasks that He has called us to. In fact, we’ll be accountable for our responsibilities and whether or not we were faithful!
Let’s bring in a Joyful and sacrificial offering of over $200,000 on Sunday November 8th. We may not all give the same amounts, BUT WE CAN ALL SACRIFICE EQUALLY for the sake of saving lives in the eternal work of God. So let me encourage you to do 3 things between now and November 8th:
- Pray… that is not a cliché. Begin now asking God to show you what kind of sacrificial gift He wants you to bring on this special day. Don’t pray, “Lord, I’ve figured and this is what I can do, so bless it.” Instead, pray, “Lord, show me what you want me to give, so that you can bless it.”
- Listen… If you seek Him, He will reveal Himself and show you what to do… but you’ve got to be listening with your spiritual ears… don’t be surprised when He tells you to do something greater than you’ve considered before.
- Obey… then do exactly what He shows you. Where God guides, God provides. Obedience leads to blessing, and the favor of God is to those who are doers of the Word and not just hearers. (James 1:22)
Let’s all take it seriously and bring to God the greatest sacrificial offering ever. All for His glory and work. And remember, God is always trying to take you someplace new!!! I love being your pastor!!!
For God’s Glory Alone,