Sword and Trowel

Lessons from The Book of Nehemiah about pitching in and helping.

Linn Winters
Nov 25, 2018    40m
In this sermon Pastor Linn Winters preaches from passages found in The Book of Nehemiah. In these passages you find the people of Jerusalem, led by Nehemiah, rebuilding the wall around the city. Pastor Winters uses this story to help inspire his congregation to becoming tithing families, so that they are able to build the new buildings they need. The new buildings will allow the members of the congregation to be able to continue their growth as Christians. Video recorded at Chandler, Arizona.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Herb: 00:05 I came to Cornerstone about 10 years ago.

Stephanie: 00:08 We would come into church sneaking kind of in the back. Then we would basically leave.

Herb: 00:14 We've been brought up in the church, and so it was a big part of our core is to go to church on Sundays. We would always do it when it was sometimes, somewhat, convenient.

Stephanie: 00:26 I felt like I wanted community so badly there, but it's hard, it's kind of like intimidating. Like you know, you go into service, and sometimes you don't see people you know. So I think I felt, you know, lonely.

Herb: 00:44 We're going to church, and Linn had a passage where he really encouraged us to get involved in some small groups. Steph and I were really kind of looking for something that we could learn more about God.

Stephanie: 00:58 We actually got invited through some friends of ours that are also in Cornerstone, to be involved in a Bible study. We decided to do the Israel trip with the church, and we completely got plugged in.

Herb: 01:10 What's really changed for us since we're really kind of, sort of, getting deeper in the word of God, is it kind of really opened our heart. But you know, the church has asked us to be involved in some opportunities, and we really prayed about it, and really felt led that God is opening up a channel where he wanted us to get involved in the deeper part than we were getting involved in.

Stephanie: 01:34 I would say my life has completely changed in so many ways with my kids, just with friendships, I'd say mostly a lot with our marriage, because with us kind of committing and in also doing ministry together now. It's life changing.

Herb: 01:48 The way we communicate, and the way we love each other, and the way we are with each other is so much different after we engaged, and really kind of being more in depth with each other.

Stephanie: 01:59 It truly has fulfilled me in such an impactful way, I can't even explain it to people. So it really is been amazing.

Herb: 02:08 I believe God has instilled in us to be involved in church in many different types of capacities. To serve, to really use our talents and our gifts, to really serve God. God is using us not only to give of our tithes, but to give of our time, and our resources, and the gifts that he's instilled in us.

Stephanie: 02:32 When you truly put your heart out there, and you serve, and you give back. God blesses you ten fold. I think there's so many couples, and people out there that need, they need this.

Linn Winters: 02:56 Hey Cornerstone. How you doing? Happy thanksgiving. That is how you say it, right? I mean you wouldn't say Merry Thanksgiving, so Happy Thanksgiving to you. I hope it was an amazing time. I hope you got a chance to be with family and friends and people that you love, and I hope that somewhere in the last few days you've had the opportunity just to stop and think about what you're thankful for, what God's done in your life. And my hope is that list was so long, that it wore you out. Thinking about the things that you're grateful and thankful for in your life. I'm just going to tell you man, I'm thankful for some stuff. I'm thankful for my wife. I have got one of the most amazing wives, one of the most amazing pastor's. wife. I don't know any other pastor's wife who's like my Lisa. and it doesn't hurt that she's hot. I'm thankful for my kids. I'm thankful for our church. Man, I love being your pastor and I'm so thankful for you guys, and the fact that you walk with courage, and you follow Jesus without hesitation. I'm just thankful for you, and it's an absolute privilege to be your pastor.

Linn Winters: 04:16 Okay, so we're going into a conversation about unfinished. We've been doing this for the last few weeks. If you haven't been here, we've just been saying out loud, putting it right out there. Hey, this conversation, we're going to talk about buildings. We're going to talk about money. But we've also really cautioned everybody, to say, you realize and please, please, please don't think that the conversation is actually about buildings, or that it's actually about money. It's about the lives that are going to be changed inside of those buildings, when we finally decided to build them. And so we've been going after this together. And let's just be honest, this whole building thing has been harder than we thought, right? I mean, we all expected by now we'd have couple buildings up. We thought by now the bank would have given us a loan.

Linn Winters: 05:06 And so I wanted us to have a conversation today that just revolves around what do you do? What do you do when you're doing something that you think you're supposed to be doing, you feel like God's called you to do, something that's important in your life and it gets harder than you imagined? What do you do in that moment? Because let's just be honest, isn't a true about life, that the things which are most important in life, the things that have the most effect in our lives, usually end up getting harder than we expected them to be when we started them. Think about this, what about college? Do you remember how naive you were as a freshman? You thought hey, this is going to be party every weekend, right? And then you ran into psycho English comp teacher, right? Who was like marking your paper all over the place. You ended up with student loans to your eyeballs. You had to take a second job to make ends meet.

Linn Winters: 06:05 What do you do when the thing you're doing, which you know is important, but it suddenly gets harder than you imagined when you started it? How about this one? Marriage, marriage? I think we would all admit that marriage has been harder than we thought it was going to be when we went. No one raise your hands. And it's probably true that all of us would say, look, look, look, I would do it again, I mean it's been absolutely worth it. That's not what I'm saying. I'm just saying that when I started this, if you would've asked me the level of sacrifice, what I was going to have to do, what it was going to be involved in being married, I would have highly underestimated the cost of being married.

Linn Winters: 06:49 I got one for you. Ready? Kids, I guarantee you, you had no idea. You were holding that little bundle of joy going, oh, I can't wait until they say I love you, this is going to be great. And then there you are at 2:00 in the morning, they're projectile vomiting, your wiping the floors. Wait til they're 15 and they start dating.

Linn Winters: 07:18 And isn't true, right, some of the most important things we do in life, the most critical things we do in life, get harder than we imagined. And the question is not do they get harder? The question is, what do you do when they get harder? How do I respond to that oh my, I didn't know this moment, in your life?

Linn Winters: 07:45 We're going to jump back into a conversation about Nehemiah. If you were here several weeks ago, you heard us talk about Nehemiah. Nehemiah was a captive. The Babylonians had come down, they had invaded Israel, they dragged most of Israel off into captivity. Nehemiah's one of those guys. He ends up serving in the king's court, he's the king's cup bearer, but one day he hears that the walls of Jerusalem have never been rebuilt. That when the Babylonians came in and sacked the city, the walls went down. But now all that are left there living in Jerusalem, live in constant fear and danger. Because robbers and the enemies all come in at harvest time, they steal all the crops from the farmers and take off. Because there's no walls to defend themselves, there's no safe haven for them to hide. And Nehemiah takes it on himself to go to the king of Babylon, to risk his career, to risk his job, maybe even risk being in prison. To say, hey look, would you give me permission to go and build the walls you tore down? Permission to go back and rebuild those walls? And God gives favor. And he gets permission to go back. And you and I don't know what Nehemiah was imagining that project was going to be like. But here is what I promise you, he had no idea that it was going to get as bad as it gets today. Nehemiah finds himself in a moment when he says, I think this is what God asks me to do. It feels like God's favor has been on me up until now. But why, why, why, is why is doing the right thing, why is this getting harder than I ever imagined? And you and I get to watch what he, and the people of Jerusalem who are working the wall, do in a moment when you suddenly realize this thing that God has put in my hand, this thing is harder than I ever imagined. Do I opt out? Do I throw up my hands and say, I didn't sign up for this? What do you do when it gets harder than you ever thought it was going to be?

Linn Winters: 09:47 Here we go, grab your bibles, go with me to the Book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah chapter four. Here's the easiest way to get there. If you just take your fingers, stick the, right in the middle of your Bible, you're probably going to open somewhere around the Book of Psalms, go left, and you're going to run right into this Book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah chapter four, we'll start in verse seven. Let me give you some background on what's happening. So they've started building the walls. Things have gone fairly smooth till now. The problem is now in this moment, there's like a convergence of everything that could go wrong is starting to go wrong. They've built all the easy sections of the wall, and now they're coming to the hardest sections to build. In that moment, the people who are working on the wall are all exhausted. They're going, wow, I had no idea. And they're thinking about, hey, maybe this is just too big a project for us. In the midst of that, the enemy's, seeing the wall go up. Go, hey, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, we can't let that happen. We're not going to be able to come down and just indiscriminately raid them every harvest time, and steal their crops, if they get that wall done. And so a guy by the name of Sanballat, begins to rally the enemies, the neighboring tribes, to strike against them. To kill enough of the workers, that the wall can't go forward. It's as if everything is converging to make this project harder than anybody, especially Nehemiah, ever imagined it would be.

Linn Winters: 11:33 Here we go. Nehemiah chapter four, verse seven, here's what it says, "But when Sanballat Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem's walls had gone ahead, and that the gaps were being closed. They were very angry. They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem, to stir up trouble against it, but we prayed." You need to know, this is Nehemiah telling you what happened. He says, "We prayed to our God, and posted a guard day and night, to meet this threat. Meanwhile, the people of Judah said, the strength of our laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall." So look they are saying, we're exhausted, and now we're at the hardest part. We built all the sections that we're clear. Now we're getting to the sections where the old wall has been torn down, there's piles of rubble. We can't even start building until we do all the excavation. We got to remove all that stone in order to start building again, and we're exhausted.

Linn Winters: 12:48 Verse Eleven, "Also our enemy said, before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them. And we will kill them, and put an end to the work. Then the Jews who lived near them (So there's some Jews who were living in proximity to these enemy tribes.) The Jews who live near them came and told us ten times over, look, you got to listen to us, wherever you turn, they're going to attack. You start working on the north side of the wall, they're planning to come from the south. You go work on the east side of the wall, they're going to come from the west. They're going to get you when you're not looking.

Linn Winters: 13:26 Verse 13, "Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families with their swords, spears, and bows. After I looked things over, I stood up and I said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people, do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes. When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot, and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work. From that day on half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand, and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore a sword at his side as we worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me."

Linn Winters: 14:36 We probably already kind of know this, right? That whenever you start to do something important, when you do something that really, really matters, chances are somewhere along the path, somewhere in that it's going to get harder than we thought. It's just kind of how life unfolds, it's going to get harder. So the question, you ready for this? The question is never, hey, is this going to get harder? Because the answer is probably yes. The question is, what do I do in the moment when it gets harder? Because you realize it's like coming up to two paths, that when we're in that moment and we find ourselves saying, I had no idea. I didn't expect to have to put in this much effort, I didn't anticipate this much sacrifice, so now what do I do? Do I throw up my hands and say, look, look, nobody would blame me, I've put in enough effort so far, everybody would understand me walking away. Or do I choose in that moment to say, hey, I'm going to go forward, I'm going to stay the course. I'm going to do the thing that I think God asked me to do, I'm going to do the thing that I think is critical, I'm going to go that direction. And guys, you ready for this? What you decide in that moment, what you decide to do when things get harder than you thought they were going to be, they will change where your life lands, and they will change you.

Linn Winters: 16:15 Think about this. There's a high school student and one day they sit in the group, and they go, you know what? I'm just going to go out loud for Jesus. I'm just going to let my friends know, I'm going to let everybody in my...I'm not going to be obnoxious, I'm just going to be bold. I'm just going to let people know that I'm a Christ follower, and I have no apology to that, and so they step into it, and then they get heckled. They end up in that biology class, and the biology teacher is mocking them for their faith. They've got friends who now say, look, you're weird, I'm just not going to hang with you anymore. Crossroads. What do I do when what I think I'm supposed to do gets harder than I expected? And here's what you know. Based on their decision, life will end different. See if in that moment they just go, okay, so I'm just going to pack my Jesus away, I'm just going to go undercover for the remainder of my high school life. They're high school life will be different. You Ready? College will be different, and they'll be different. But if in that moment they say, you know what? I don't care. I don't care. I'm going to pay the extra cost, I'm just going to do that, I'm going to stay the course. I'm going to let people know who I am. That courage, that boldness, will show up over and over and over and over again in their life. Their life will land in a different place, and they will be a different person, because of what they decided to do. When it got harder.

Linn Winters: 17:58 You're married, and you get to a moment in your marriage, and you just go, I, I had no idea my spouse could behave this badly. I had no idea that I was going to have to make so much concession, that I was going to have to put in so much effort. Maybe I'm out, maybe I just call it done, no one would blame me. You get if you make that decision, your life is different. Your spouse's life is different. Your children's life is different. But if in that moment you go, man, I didn't know, but here's the deal, I'm in. I'm going to put the effort in, I'm going to go the extra mile, it'll change where your life ends. It'll change who you are.

Linn Winters: 18:53 See, the question is not do the things that we start, do they get harder? That's not even question, they do. The question is, how do you and I, as the children of God behave? What do we decide in the moment when it gets harder? Now guys here, think about this. These guys are facing that type of moment, and here's the deal, they've already sacrificed like crazy. They've already done what everybody would call enough. So think about this. They're farmers, they're farmers, in order to build a wall, in order to join the building project. They've had to leave their farms, neglect their farms, which means this, you ready? There is no crop this year, because we're building a wall. So how does that work? Does that mean they have to mortgage their farms? They had to go in and say, hey look, you know, I need a little bit of money against my land, because I've got to figure out how to take care of me and mine, while I work on this project. Did they have to take last year's crop, and when they set aside enough for a year, are they now having to eat half? So they can stretch it for two years, until they can get back to planting again? I don't know, but I'm just going to tell you, every last one of them has already come to this moment with crazy sacrifice. And now, you ready? It gets harder. Now they're living under the constant threat of attack, and in order to stave off that attack, think about what they've had to do. They took half the workforce, and now they're standing there with spears and shields. The guys who are carrying mortar, are carrying a sword, in the other hand. The guys who are laying the block, have a sword strapped. You realize not only have they already sacrificed, but now it's going to take twice as long as anybody ever anticipated, and guess what they do? They grab trowels, and they pick up swords, and they go forward. Why? No one would blame them for quitting.

Linn Winters: 21:16 Why? I think there's two reasons. You ready? I think these men and women have a sense of God's call. See, they would say to you, hey, look, look, look, look, this isn't some surfacey decision. Opting out would be, this isn't like deciding hey, am I going to buy a car this year, or am I going to wait another year? Because at the end, when you make decisions like that, that won't change your life. They don't change who you are. This isn't deciding, hey, I'm going to buy a ranch style home, or I'm going to buy a modern style. Who cares? You can make a thousand decisions like this. But we believe this thing, this building this wall, we think it's something God asked us to do. We think it's something that God has placed in our hand to do. Which means it's a call, and you never, never, never walk away from a call. It's why what you decide to do with your marriage is different than most other decisions, because it's a call. It's why what you decide to do with your kids when it gets harder than you thought, it's a call. Can you imagine? Hey, you know what? I've been raising you, you're tougher than I thought, you're a rebellious booger, so here's what I decided. I'm out, I'm out, I'm out, you're on your own. I know you're only eight, you'll find a way. We don't do that, right? Why don't we turn our back on our kids? Because it's a call, it's not a decision, it's a call. And when God has placed something in your hand, you don't walk away from that, you walk into it. You grab mortar, and you grab trowels, and you strap on a sword.

Linn Winters: 23:19 Reason number two, I think they lean in. It's back in verse fourteen, here's what Nehemiah said to them. He said, "After I looked things over, I stood up and I said to the nobles and the officials, and the rest of the people, don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome (And then ready?) and fight for your families, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your homes."

Linn Winters: 23:49 You realize, guys, as we build these buildings, it's our kids who are going to go into those buildings, and make life changing decisions about Jesus Christ. Fight for your kids. It's you and me that are going to go in there, and who knows, maybe sit in a lesson that transforms our marriages. And Nehemiah would say, remember why we're doing this. Remember what you're building this wall for. And guys, I'm just going to tell you, you've got neighbors, you've got neighbors down the street and their marriage is chaos. And their best chance, their best chance, is to make it to this room and have a place when they get here. A building to go to a class, and talk about, and have their marriages turned around. You've got coworkers, and the best thing that could happen to them is to make it to this room. Remember why we're doing it?

Linn Winters: 24:46 Look, I know some of you are going to say, hey Linn, It doesn't really apply to me because here's the deal, I'm old. I've already decided I'm not going to do any more maturity, my body is doing that for me. My kids are already grown, and they're, moved out, and they're living in Seattle. So there's not a chance my son or my daughter-in-law are ever going to end up in that building. Don't you hope that in Seattle there's a church like Cornerstone, that would make a room for your son and your daughter-in-law? And that maybe, just maybe, they got a wall on the outside that says one on it, and it's filled with light bulbs. And that there's somebody in that church, who right now, is praying for your son and daughter and inviting them. Which means there's probably someone in Seattle praying that you'll do the same for their son or their daughter. It's why you do it, because you remember who you're building the wall for. So what do you do? What do you do about a building, when you feel like God has asked you to do it? What do you do about a city that needs to hear about this Jesus, and it gets harder than you thought? And Nehemiah would say you grab a trowel, and your grab a sword, and you go forward.

Linn Winters: 26:23 There's an interesting section of scripture here that's kind of rare, and my guess is you've never heard a preacher preach out of it. So I wants to go take a look at it real quick. It's Nehemiah chapter three, Nehemiah chapter three, see if it jumps off the page at you. Here we go, Nehemiah chapter three, verse one, here's what it says, "Eliashib the high priest, and his fellow priests, went to work and rebuilt the sheep gate. They dedicated it, and set its doors in place. Building as far as the tower of the hundred, which they dedicated as far as the tower of Hananel. The men of Jericho built the adjoining section, and Zakkur, son of Imri, built next to them. The fish gate was rebuilt by the sons of Hassenaah. They laid its beams and put its bolts and doors and bars in place. Meremoth, son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired the next section. Next to him, Meshullam son of Berekiah, the son of Meshezabel, made repairs, and next to him Zadok son of Baana also made repairs.. The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but there nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under the supervisor. The Jeshanah Gate was repaired by Joiada son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah. They laid its beams and put its doors with their bolts and bars in place. Next to them, repairs were made..." And you go, Linn whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, I understand why that's a rare passage that preachers don't preach out of, it's boring. Are you kidding me? How many would say, you know what, when I get to passages like that where there's like a list of names on the deal. I just skip to the next chapter. All right, so all of you that aren't raising your hands, that's because you don't read your Bibles because you will do the same. That's exactly what we do. Okay, you ready for this? They don't care that you and I skip over that passage. You know why? Because their names are in the Bible. They made the list. They had an invitation from God to leave what they were doing, and do something with him. Think about this, guys, think about this. They're farmers. You couldn't be more average. They get up in the morning, they go and milk the cows, they go and tend to the field. It gets to sunset, they come back in and have dinner, and the next day they get up and do exactly the same thing and at the end of every year they harvest. And year after year after year, it's average, and then God invites them into the story. God invites them to join him. And they step away from their farms, and they begin to do his project, and they end up... Ready for this? They end up on the list. Because, because, because, God delights in inviting you and I to leave our ordinary, and join him in the extraordinary.

Linn Winters: 29:50 Guys, it's what happens when you decide to let a small group meet in your home. Your ordinary living room, the living room that watches all the football games on Saturday, your living room that everybody takes their dinner into and spills their crumbs all around. Your ordinary living room becomes a temple where people come together, and figure out Jesus, and lives are changed. It's how God over and over and over again takes our ordinary, when we handed to him, and turns it into something extraordinary. Let me ask you a question. If they'd opted out, if they just said, hey, you know, I'm too busy, my farm's got a lot. Maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe somewhere in the future. Do they make the list? Do you realize some did, some opted out. I don't know if you caught it in the passage. Go back with me to verse five. Here's what it says, "The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles." The guys who thought they were too good, too important. "Their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under the supervisors." Why? I mean, why are they going, hey, look, no, that's good enough for you, it's just not good enough for me. Is it because they're lazy? Maybe they looked at the building plans, and they said, I wouldn't do it that way. I think you're doing it wrong, so I'm not going to participate. Maybe they just don't want to sacrifice. Here's my guess, you ready for this? My guess is that when the walls are done, those elders, those nobles of Tekoa, I bet they use the walls. I bet you that when they go to the market, they go to the safe, secure market on the inside of the walls. I'll bet you when the enemies of Israel come to attack, they grabbed their wives, they grabbed their children, they go running into the security of the walls. You realize there's always somebody who's not willing to make the sacrifice, but is more than happy to live with the benefit.

Linn Winters: 32:35 Please tell me, please tell me, that there are no elders of Tekoa in the room. If I could warp you back in time, and I could allow you to have a conversation with these guys, what would you say to them? Wouldn't it be something like, are you kidding me? God is giving you the opportunity to take your ordinary life, and do something exceptional. He's given you a chance to get your name on the list, you're going to pass that up. Wouldn't you say something like, what are you going to do when you're living inside of those walls, and your sons and your daughters turned to you and say, hey, mom, dad, which part of the wall did we build? How's that conversation going to go? Tell me that you don't have stones to be willing to get the benefits of the walls, and not to have laid a single brick in the wall. Tell me that we don't have elders of Tekoa in the room.

Linn Winters: 33:52 So here's what we're going to do, next week we're going to come back and make commitments. And I'm just asking that this week, you pray, Hey God, I feel like you're inviting me to join you in doing something exceptional, something that really matters, and I know it's gotten harder than we thought. That's not the question. The question is, what do you do when it gets harder than you thought? So what should me and mine do? Here's something interesting. When Nehemiah assigned the workers on the wall, he assigned every family to work on the piece of the wall that was closest to their home. Isn't that genius? Because I guarantee you that section of wall, they built really, really well. And I've got a feeling that as they placed those bricks in place, they were already thinking ahead and saying, someday, someday I'll bring my son. I'll bring my daughter, to this place and I'll tell them, this is what your family did,

Linn Winters: 35:01 So guys, here's what I'm hoping. I'm hoping that we build a building for cash out there, and that someday you take your sons and your daughters and you stand outside that building. And while you watch teenagers file out, you turn to your sons and daughters and say, see those kids, those kids who were changing their lives and decided to follow Christ? We own part of that. I hope you watch married couples coming out of those rooms who lives, whose marriages, have been transformed. And you say to your sons and daughters, we changed a family. We changed a family. And that's the reason, you ready? That's the reason that vacation in 2019 wasn't the same, it's the reason dad decided not to trade in his car in 2019, because we own what God is doing in that building. We decided to step away from the ordinary, and join God in the extraordinary.

Linn Winters: 36:00 So here's what I'm going to ask, and I'm just going to be bold. I'm going to ask you to pray about becoming a tithing family, giving ten percent of your income. It's what God has asked all along. And I can't think of a better moment to say, hey, I'm just going to step into that part of obedience in my Christian walk. I'm going to become a tithing family. Because you realize, guys you ready for this? That if we were a tithing church, there wouldn't be a building fund. We would build those buildings cash, if we were a tithing church. And so I'm just proposing that we don't have a building fund this time, we have a faithfulness fund. That we just all give to the general budget. We're going to take, your staff will take, last year's budget, we will hold it even. We won't spend a new penny. That's despite the fact that we have air conditioners that need to be replaced, that's despite the fact that there's cost of living, that's despite the fact that there's health insurance and all the fun of that, and we'll hold it there. And as you and I give faithfully, then every single month as we go over the regular budget, we'll put it right into the building. We'll build a building cash. The other good part about this is, the banks will love the fact that it's coming into the general accounts, it'll get us that much closer to a loan. I'm going to ask you to give ten percent. I'm going to ask you to become a tithing family.

Linn Winters: 37:25 I know there's some in the room, and you're just going to go Linn, I can't, I can't, I can't, I can't, I've got myself financially in such a desperate spot, I can't. Okay, so would you by faith do something. Would you not let everybody else put bricks up, and you not? Would you consider this? Would you give two percent? If you were to give two percent this year, and then if you increased it two percent more next year, and then two percent more of the year after that, and the year after that, after five years, after half of a decade, you would be a tithing family. At least it'd be a plan, right? It'd be a step in the right direction. You pray about it. You decide what God's laying on you. Here's what I want us to do. If you're here today and you go, Linn, I haven't made my decision yet, I don't know exactly what I'm going to do. But here's what I do know, we're going to do something, we're going to be in for this. Then in just a moment I'm going to ask us to get up, if you're in, Head out those doors, grab your grade school children. Okay, and then head out to the building, and we've got a wall that we want you to put your family name on. The Smiths were in, the Jacobsons we're in. I think it going to be a powerful thing for your children to see us do. I'd encourage you not to take your like preschool kids, it's still a construction zone. If your grade schooler gets impaled, they'll heal. Probably cause trauma for a early child. No, we've actually made it kind of safe, and you do have to be watchful, but probably a good idea a little bit older kids to go out and do it. Guys, I think it's a moment, I think it's a moment for our children to watch and see what their parents do when things get harder. That they grab a trowel, and they grab a sword, and they go forward.

Linn Winters: 39:24 Let's do this, let's stand together, we're going to pray, and then we're going to go. Dear Lord Jesus, we're just going to say it out loud. We thought by now, we thought by now we'd have some buildings up, we thought by now the bank would have given us a loan. This thing has gotten harder than we ever expected, and yet God, we believe. We believe that this is a call, we believe you're not done changing the city, we believe you're not done growing us up. And so God, we're going to grab trowels, we're going to strap on swords, and we're going to go forward. Because it's what you do, when what you're supposed to do gets harder than you expected. God, would you watch? Would you watch what we do next? And this I pray in Jesus' name, Amen.

Recorded in Chandler, Arizona.
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Cornerstone Church
1595 S Alma School Road
Chandler, Arizona 85286