Thursday, April 22, 2010

Giving Back

Whether you are or are not an American Idol fan, you have to give it to them that "Idol Gives Back" is an incredible thing. Last night, American Idol raised many, many millions of dollars to go to children in need around the world. Because they've been doing this for a few years, they had lots of stories to tell through the evening about places and people where the money is already making a difference. I'll admit it, I cried as I watched kids from Arizona to Africa whose lives have been changed forever by the donations given and the people who've given their lives to do the work paid for with that money.

I like the name too. Idol makes a bazillion dollars doing what they do and the people on the show profit big-time. It's fitting to see them acknowledge that they are giving back just a little of what they've been given. The money, the fame, the success - it wasn't simply theirs, it was given to them. They were given an opportunity, given a stage, given encouragement. And all through the night, as they interviewed the contestants and superstars who were there, they each said it was a privilege to be participate in Idol Gives Back.

I'm pretty sure this concept isn't new. We've all been given everything by the God who created us, and it's our privilege to give back just a little of what we've received. After all, just a little in the right hands makes a huge difference.

Imagine what just a little in the hands that created the universe does.

(As an aside, I know the church is often criticized for talking too much about money - interesting when Idol is revered for doing so - but, I wonder if it's often because people don't have certainty about where the money they're giving to the church goes. If you are part of Ashley Ridge Church, never hesitate to ask. I will show you personally where every dime goes. And, hopefully, you won't have to ask too often b/c we'll always do our best to make it apparent for all to see so that Jesus gets the glory for the great things being done in our community and around the world.)

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