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I wasn’t going to order homemade strawberry jam from the young women in our congregation, but I’ve changed my mind, b/c I’ve realized it’s not about the jam:

1) yes, I can make my own jam (altho’ I detest doing it — it’s hot, hard work), but there’s a lot to be said for helping these girls learn the value and dignity of work; I remember my sister talking about her fundamental disagreements w/the other youth leaders in her area: the other leaders all thought that funds should just be made available for youth activities out of the general budget (“what, make our children WORK?? perish the thought!”), whereas my sister remembered all of the service project fund raisers we did when WE were youth, and it certainly didn’t do us any harm; quite the contrary, in fact… if we don’t learn how to work, how else are we supposed to follow the Apostle Paul’s counsel to the saints in Philippi when he wrote: “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Phil 2:12)(emphasis added)”? we have to learn to work for the small things so it’s not overwhelming or inconvenient (b/c after all, we’re entitled to whatever we want w/o having to work for it, right?) to work for the big things… which is why I need to support the youth leaders who’ve decided to help the local youth in our church earn part of the money they need for planned activities (the jam fund raiser is specifically for girls’ camp this summer)…

2) altho’ my own children are nowhere near old enough to participate in church youth programs (for youth 12-18 years old), I would like to think that when they ARE that age, other people will help them in their endeavours to provide for some of their own needs and not just let them schlep around like little mooches… so I need to support other people’s youth in learning to appreciate the dignity and value of work in the hope that when my children are older, other people will help reinforce those same lessons that I’m trying to teach our children in our home…

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