Author: Pat Murphy

A Thanksgiving Letter from Elder Pat Murphy

Dear Antioch Family,

Don’t miss it!

Miss what? The opportunity to really connect with each other this Thanksgiving. There will be lots of togetherness this week, and it usually centers around food, family, football, fun and even shopping. With all that togetherness, how could we not connect?

THE ANSWER IS SIMPLE, BEING TOGETHER IS NOT THE SAME AS CONNECTING WITH EACH OTHER.

We’ve all done it. During the holidays we’ve spent time with those whom we love, and yet, something kept us from really connecting. We had fun, we laughed and we were in the same space, but we didn’t really connect. Why?

Here’s a working definition of connect, “bring together or into contact so a real link is established.” The key word here is, real. Being together does not create a real link or connection. What does is getting below the surface of our lives, and getting to the heart.

AND JUST HOW DO I DO THAT, YOU MIGHT ASK?

We make space to ask each other real questions and take the time to listen to each other respond.

Questions like:

  • What’s been the best thing in your life this fall?
  • What’s been the hardest thing about this year?
  • What are you most thankful to God for right now?
  • What are you asking God to do in your life or family in this season?
  • How can we pray for you?

In John 13:34, Jesus gives His disciples a, “new command; love one another.” He says that is how others will know we are His disciples, “if we love one another.” There are few ways we show our love for each other more practically than to invest ourselves and our energy into knowing one another. And we actually know each other when we connect at the heart level.

Let’s not let the Thanksgiving holiday end without connecting with those around us. Be intentional, be courageous and go deeper with each other. Make the time, even if it’s awkward, you won’t regret it!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pat Murphy – Elder and Director of Development

Why Do We Give?

Who doesn’t remember their mom or dad responding to the universal question of, “But why?” with the answer of the ages; “Because I said so, that’s why.”

Though very little comfort was derived from this answer, when it comes to the authority God has placed over us, it really is all we need. We may not like it and we may want more, but we don’t need more.

In the context of the question, “Why do we give to the church and to what the church is doing?” (like building a building), is it enough to hear in response, “Because God said so?” Let’s see what the word of God says:

  • Concerning ownership: Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.” In other words, He owns everything…including our very lives. We are stewards (managers, not owners) of all that is in our hands, meaning wallets and bank accounts and houses and retirement accounts and investment portfolios and…you get the picture.
  • Concerning stewardship: Matthew 25:14-30 says, “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants (stewards) and entrusted his property to them.” God relates our role of manager to a servant who is entrusted with the owner’s property when he leaves to go on a trip. One day, the owner will return and we, the stewards, will be asked a simple question; “What have you done with what I entrusted to you?” In this passage of scripture, the owner looks to praise the servants who took what had been entrusted to them and invested it wisely so it would grow. We don’t want to be the servant who “buries” our stewardship only to be held accountable for what was considered to be a very unwise use of the owner’s resources.
  • Concerning our part in generating the income that produces wealth and the assets we possess: Deuteronomy 8:18 says, “But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” Not only are our possessions His, the very ability that allows us to create wealth (which translated means more than today’s food and more than one change of clothes) has been to given to us as a gift. We can’t even take ownership of that!
  • Concerning, “How much of what God entrusts to us do we give?”: 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 says, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” Since we don’t own it, surely God is giving us this guidance on how much of His property to give, so we are the benefactors of His grace and mercy as we attach our hearts to the eternal and not to this world (Matthew 6:21).
  • Concerning where we give His resources: Malachi 3:10 says, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in my house.” A tithe means a tenth and in the days of the Old Testament, the children of God actually gave three tithes (Deuteronomy 12-14); two every year and one every third year. If you are doing the math, that works out to be 23 percent every year. This scripture is telling us to give to God’s house, the church, so the needs of the House are met. When it came time to build God’s temple (1 Chronicles 29), the people were asked to dig deep and give generously…and they did!

So, the answer to our question, “Why do we give?” appears to be clear. All of it (our stuff) is all His anyways. We are His stewards and managers and even our ability to earn income and build assets is a gift from Him. We are blessed generously to the extent we give generously and He wants the needs of His house to be met.

Is it enough for you to give because God asks us to?

By Pat Murphy, Director of Development and Elder

The Picnic Table Has a Story

You may have noticed a picnic table under a beautiful white oak tree by the church offices.

One of our staff members, Jenny Pang, created a group learning experience within the church staff by inviting people from several different departments to participate. Together, they built this wonderful picnic table and those who worked to create this table now share a unique bond.

Those who had a hand in its creation will always see this table differently than the rest of us who, though we like it, admire it and even utilize it, can’t fully appreciate it in the same way as those who have given something of themselves to see it built. Tears, sweat and probably even blood went into creating this table that is used almost every day and enjoyed by all.

The parallel is obvious: those who have given to support our campus expansion project will always see and experience our new facility differently than those who either did not have the opportunity to be involved or who did not take advantage of the opportunity given to them.

This is an invitation to those of you who have not yet participated in this “family project.” We need you and the whole family to get involved!

In Response:

Don’t miss the opportunity to have a vested interest in this.  Now is the time! 

By Pat Murphy, Elder and Family Pastor

Why We Give

Who doesn’t remember their mom or dad responding to the universal question of, “But why?” with the answer of the ages; “Because I said so, that’s why.”?

Though very little comfort was derived from this answer, when it comes to the authority God has placed over us, it really is all we need. We may not like it and we may want more, but we don’t need more.

In the context of the question, “Why do we give to the church and to what the church is doing?” (like building a building), is it enough to hear in response, “Because God said so?” Let’s see what the word of God says:

  • Concerning ownership: Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.” In other words, He owns everything…including our very lives. We are stewards (managers, not owners) of all that is in our hands, meaning wallets and bank accounts and houses and retirement accounts and investment portfolios and…you get the picture.
  • Concerning stewardship: Matthew 25:14-30 says, “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants (stewards) and entrusted his property to them.” God relates our role of manager to a servant who is entrusted with the owner’s property when he leaves to go on a trip. One day, the owner will return and we, the stewards, will be asked a simple question; “What have you done with what I entrusted to you?” In this passage of scripture, the owner looks to praise the servants who took what had been entrusted to them and invested it wisely so it would grow. We don’t want to be the servant who “buries” our stewardship only to be held accountable for what was considered to be a very unwise use of the owner’s resources.
  • Concerning our part in generating the income that produces wealth and the assets we possess: Deuteronomy 8:18 says, “But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” Not only are our possessions His, the very ability that allows us to create wealth (which translated means more than today’s food and more than one change of clothes) has been to given to us as a gift. We can’t even take ownership of that!
  • Concerning, “How much of what God entrusts to us do we give?”: 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 says, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” Since we don’t own it, surely God is giving us this guidance on how much of His property to give, so we are the benefactors of His grace and mercy as we attach our hearts to the eternal and not to this world (Matthew 6:21).
  • Concerning where we give His resources: Malachi 3:10 says, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in my house.” A tithe means a tenth and in the days of the Old Testament, the children of God actually gave three tithes (Deuteronomy 12-14); two every year and one every third year. If you are doing the math, that works out to be 23 percent every year. This scripture is telling us to give to God’s house, the church, so the needs of the House are met. When it came time to build God’s temple (1 Chronicles 29), the people were asked to dig deep and give generously…and they did!

So, the answer to our question, “Why do we give?” appears to be clear. All of it (our stuff) is all His anyways. We are His stewards and managers and even our ability to earn income and build assets is a gift from Him. We are blessed generously to the extent we give generously and He wants the needs of His house to be met.

Is it enough for you to give because God asks us to?

By Pat Murphy, Director of Development and Elder