First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

Oops, I better pay that bill!

December 16, 2016

    What's your credit score?  Are you good or maybe too embarrassed to say? It's okay if your score is 500 or below. The good news is...it can get better. The bad news is...it could get worse. Strange how almost everything about our lives is wrapped around that number. Purchasing an automobile requires this check. Our monthly payments are closely tied to this number. Credit card companies flood our mailbox with card offers based on our great credit rating. It's likely that those same offers don't 'bug' folks with low scores. (Count that a blessing.)  During my journey toward ordination, my credit score was checked. Apparently, this credit number does in deed tell a great deal about character, integrity, and priority. 

    Well, it was with great shock the other day when I noticed I had an unpaid bill. Gaaa, there goes our credit score!!  How could I have missed it? 

I'm so thankful that Burt Roy or Roy Burt (*snicker *snicker, probably not his real name) sent me this friendly reminder. The email correspondence addressed to rhughes made me feel like Burt (Roy) and I have been friends for at least 7.6 seconds. (Hey, he did use the warm salutation "Dear".)  

    I regularly check my spam folder for any legitimate emails that inadvertently got directed to the wrong place. I happened to see the above email and immediately saw red. Not the actual red in the header, but the red flaming out of my eyes. Another spammer trying to bilk money out of an unsuspecting person. I was born at night, but not last night..... Sadly, I have recently heard of two elderly people being scammed out of thousands of dollars through these same kinds of people.

    Our credit score does carry significant meaning and can open doors or close them. If you procrastinate and leave bills unpaid or you don't have the ability to pay them because your money is spent on other marginally important things, listen up. Pay your bills; improve your credit score; grow your possibilities.

    Maintaining a healthy credit score is a lot like maintaining our faith. Clearly, a credit score ignored or abused is going to suffer and lose it's impact for us. Our faith, if left unattended or ignored, is going to erode and leave us grasping for anything we can reach. Paul, in his letter to the church in Thessalonica, encouraged the church to monitor, engage, and maintain their faith. It was that important!

    "We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God’s fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. You know quite well that we were destined for them. In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know. For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless. But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you. Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith." (1 Thessalonians 3:2-10, NIV)

    Interacting with our Creator on a daily basis through prayer, learning more of God as found in the Bible, and exercising our faith in practice only strengthens our faith. In the long run, an exercised faith gets stronger in the same way a credit score increases in value as we buy things and pay them off in a timely manner.

    How is your faith? Are you good or too embarrassed to say?  It's okay if your faith is a bit weak. The good news is... it can get stronger. The bad news is...it can tank as well. What kind of faith do you want and how will you move forward today?

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