Grace in a Paperweight

3 comments Written on September 1st, 2011 by
Categories: Alumni, Faculty, Pray For MU, Students

Message From the Alumni Director

"He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much." Luke 16:10

Grace In a Paperweight

In my recent travels to the East Coast, I picked up a couple of paperweights for the gals in my office. Beautifully inscribed on the top of each one was a quote from Mother Teresa: “God doesn’t require us to succeed; He only requires that you try.” The significance of this gift selection was intended to serve as reminder for them that they need not focus on perfectionism or perceived success, but rather on being faithful to that which the Lord has given them to do each day. Upon receiving this gift, with expressed appreciation, one of the gals said to me, "Now that’s grace in a paper weight!” Grace: a beautiful gift and a beautiful reminder to us that even when we fall short, God still guides us, corrects us, restores us, and offers us great mercy at the top of each new day.

Fear of failure, weighted perfectionism, and overwhelming circumstances often prevent us from moving forward in what God has called us to do. Faced with challenges of defeat, sizeable task lists, and even feelings of insignificance and hopelessness, we lose ambition in contemplation of the value our small contribution brings.

Don't Underestimate the Small Things

We need not underestimate the importance of being faithful in what seems insignificant. Everything we have is a gift from God, stewarded to our care. Jesus tells us in Luke’s gospel: "He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.” He asks us to be faithful to that which He has entrusted to us – be it time, money, family, talent, or resources. For it is by faithfulness in the ‘small’ things that faithfulness in ‘much’ grows. Every moment of our lives, from the sublime to the mundane, presents a sacred opportunity for us to respond to God’s call in faithfulness.

As I think about the students the Lord has brought to Multnomah this year, I’m reminded of Dr. Mitchell’s prayer in asking "that God would bring to Multnomah those students He could entrust into our care.” Please join us in praying that, as a faculty and staff, we would be found faithful with what the Lord has commended to us this year.

May He Find Us Faithful

My prayer for you would also be the same – that whatever He has committed to your care, in the same way, He would grant you the grace needed to find you faithful. May this reminder in Luke’s gospel encourage us to be faithful in all things. For in our small steps of faith and obedience, we grow in faithfulness over much.

Being faithful in the small things,

Michelle M. Peel (MA‘10, BA ’00)
Director of Alumni Relations
Multnomah University
Multnomah Bible College and Seminary

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Director of Alumni Relations

3 comments “Grace in a Paperweight”

Dear Michelle,
Just received an e-mail for alumni. Although I never finished my education at Multnomah it was nice to read your article about ” Grace in a Paperweight “. It seems that it was directed to me as I’m sure other readers felt also. I was enrolled at Multnomah in the middle ” 80’s ” and being married at the time deemed it neccessary to find employment to support the starting of a family. Unfortunately, since that time the downward spiral of my marriage and family ending in divorce, work life etc., and now four adult children living the life as prodicals, and a former wife idiolizing her 6 figure income and alcohol along with her ” cultural Christianity ” the lack of my faithfulness in the small things has caused me to not only doubt my worth at all but has put me in a position of extreme despair. Being unemployed now for about 2 1/2 years, no undergraduate degree, almost homeless and—-I could go on and on. I know God has forgiven me yet that acceptance is quite hard to swallow since I originally had envisioned being used as a channel for His hope and love. Now I’ve not that hope whatsoever even though the thought of returning to school is a desire that will more than likely be just that—a desire. In any event your article hopefully will be the catalyst for others to be what God has in store for them. Thanks for the ray of encouragement and Lord willing that ray will be much brighter for others. Blessings to you, Michelle.

I am very concerned when I read on the MSB website that a faculty member has purchased and is promoting something with a quote from Mother Teresa. There is ‘way too much laxity in Christian thinking today, prompted by some of the loose theologians who are writing and selling new evangelism theories, and we have no business promoting Roman mystics and their theology. Please take this off your blog before many more people read it. I am stunned that MSB has come to this!

Thanks so much for your honesty and your vulnerable response here, Richard. I am so sorry to hear that the course of life has taken you down this road of heartache and brokenness.

It is always such a blessing to hear how the Lord uses the timeliness of our Alumni Connection to speak into the lives of our alumni, and I’m encouraged today to learn that He has used this month’s article to speak to you. I trust Him to continue to be at work in you…renewing hope and strengthening your faith. Along with Paul, I want to encourage you with these words: “I am confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” Phil. 1:6

Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers… I am believing Him to be close to you in this time and to be all that you need. As the psalmist cried out… “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your “hope” in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God”~Psalm 42. I am trusting that as you put your hope in Him, you would find dreams realized renewed…who knows maybe someday will see you again here on Multnomah’s campus…Perhaps enrolled in our DCP (Degree Completion Program) …He is faithful and able!

His richest blessings to you,

Michelle Peel (MA ’10, BA ’00)
Director of Alumni Relations