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Sermon Excerpt: Blessings and Curses, Luke 6:17-26, by Pastor Beth

Life is all about choices. Every day we are faced with hundreds of choices, though most of them we make with little or no thought: What do I want for lunch?, what will I wear?, will I work on schoolwork, a sermon, go visiting or take the day off? Some choices are more important than others: Will I have the surgery? Will I take the job? Should I marry Bob?

Some people make impressive choices. You may have heard of Miss Oseola McCarty, a black woman from Mississippi who made a small living by doing other people’s laundry. Miss McCarty scrimped and saved all her life to provide a scholarship of $300,00 to the local black college just because she wanted to help someone. That $300,00 wasn’t the largest gift ever given, but it represented a lifetime of decisions to get by on less so someone else could benefit.

Another impressive choice was made by a man named Aaron Reuerstein, the owner of the Malden Mills factory in Lowell, Massachusetts. The factory burned during the Christmas season of 1995, but Mr. Feuerstein was concerned about his employees, so he continued to pay their salaries and benefits while his new factory was being built, then put them back to work. It was the right choice, too, as evidenced by a 25% improvement in productivity and a 66% drop in quality defects!

Both of those choices were motivated by love, but Jesus said, “No greater love has man than to lay down his life for his friends....

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