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It was the first crisis of my first pastorate. I had challenged the people of that Colorado church to make a "faith promise" of increased giving for world missions. To my delight they committed an additional $5,700 per year, a 50 percent increase over the existing missions budget.

I practically floated to the missions committee meeting, where I recommended we draft a revised budget. But there wasn't even a second to the motion. As one committee member said, "Pastor, when the money actually comes in, we'll decide how to spend it."

I was hurt and angry. God, missions, and I had suffered a terrible defeat.

Seventeen years later, I see the episode very differently. What I then thought was a spiritual issue I now understand to be a generational issue. The difference was not that I trusted God and they did not. The difference was more that they had lived through the Great Depression and I had not.

Projections of perceptions

We all tend to project our own experiences, perceptions, goals, and values ...

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