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Sylvester Neal, 58, says of his pennies: "I don't even understand my own fascination with them. I just love pennies. There's no rational explanation." Last summer -- before he finally converted most of the coins into dollar bills -- his collection weighed about 16,000 pounds.
A story is told about a church meeting where a very wealthy man rose to tell the rest of those present about his Christian Faith. "I'm a millionaire," he said, "and I attribute my wealth to the blessings of God in my life."
He went on to recall the turning point of his faith: As a young man he had just earned his first dollar, and he went to a church meeting that night. At that meeting, a missionary who discussed his work. At the time of the offering for the work of this missionary the wealthy man knew that he would either have to give it all to God or nothing at all.
So at that moment he decided to give all that he had to God. Looking back he knew that God had blessed that decision and had made him wealthy.
When he had finished there was an awed silence. As he moved to his seat and sat down a little old lady leaned over to him and said: "I dare you to do it again."
There is the story of a preacher who got up one Sunday and announced to his congregation:
I have good news and bad news.
The good news is: we have enough money to pay for our new building program.
The bad news is: it's still out there in your pockets.
A story from the chassidic tradition.
When members of a monastery believe that the "messiah is one of us," there is a transformation in the way they view one another.
Each month I gave Lilly my time and attention as a responsible, caring pastor. Each month, Lilly Strong gave me the presence of Christ in the humblest of forms. I went to give, I left as the one who received.
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