Decade of Destiny
… is a comprehensive personal growth plan to make the next 10 years the best years of your life.
… will equip you to succeed in 7 key areas: spiritual, physical, financial, relational, vocational, emotional, and mental.
… is based on God’s promises to you if you follow his instructions in faith.
… includes 12 major initiatives to bless your life
… begins in two weeks!
December 17, 2010
Dear Saddleback Family,
My Christmas Prayer for You.
As your pastor, as we begin to Decade of Destiny:
- I’m praying you’ll be HEALTHIER, more FOCUSED, and more LIKE JESUS in 2011.
“My dear friend, I pray that everything will go well with you and you will be in as good health physically as your soul is spiritually health.” 3 John 1:2
- I’m praying your FAITH will be stretched and grow through your DOD giving commitment, so you can watch God perform a miracle in your life.
"What is impossible from a human perspective is possible with God." Luke 18:27
"According to your faith will it be done to you." Matt.9:29
- I’m praying your friend will be in heaven one day because you invited them to a Christmas service.
"I’m praying not only for these followers but also for those who will believe because of their testimony. John 17:20
My FAVORITE SERVICE of the Year!
The weekend before Christmas is always our most high-powered, inspiring worship service of the year. You don’t want to miss the music! It’s my favorite annual service.
PLUS, this weekend has added significance this year, as we all bring our Faith Giving Commitments this weekend. At Thanksgiving, I asked you to pray about your faith-stretching commitment between Thanksgiving & Christmas. Now is the time for all of us to DECIDE IN FAITH, how much each of us will trust God with our finances in 2011.
THIS WEEKEND AT OUR LAKE FOREST CAMPUS
- Full Choir, Orchestra, and special musical guests.
- I speak at all services.
- We commission our five new Saddleback campus pastors (Sat pm).
- All of us will bring our Faith Offering Commitments as our birthday gift to Jesus.
(This is your last public opportunity to join in Decade of Destiny.)
HELP US NOT REPEAT LAST YEAR! PLAN AHEAD!
Do you remember what happened in many churches across America (including Saddleback) last year at Christmas? Thousands came to our Christmas services all week but then stayed home and missed our regular weekend services. The super-low attendance the day after Christmas resulted in a low offering and created a deficit!
Gratefully, you responded enthusiastically to an email I sent asking you to mail-in your offering if you’d missed the weekend service. The deficit was made up in 48 hours because of the generosity of Saddleback people.
I don’t want to have to do THAT again!!
Especially because the timing of Christmas is even worse this year, with Christmas on Saturday! Many families will be out of town or recovering on Saturday and Sunday.
SO…. THIS WEEKEND, I’m asking you to bring TWO WEEKS of your offering (with your Faith Commitment Envelope) so we don’t repeat what happened last year, and I won’t have write you again! Thanks SO much! You are so faithful!
PREPARING TO ENJOY CHRISTMAS
- Mail me your Christmas card if you put a family picture in it. Kay and I use your pictures to pray for you during the year.
Pastor Rick Warren
1 Saddleback Parkway
Lake Forest, CA 92630
- Email me your story of how God has led you or your family to decide what to give to your Decade of Destiny fund over the next 3 years. I’ve been deeply moved by reading all the stories of God stretching our faith together!
Watch a video of other testimonies
See the list of the 4 buildings & 8 projects of Decade of Destiny
Share your faith-stretching testimony email PastorRick@Saddleback.com
- Read the powerful article below from USA TODAY this week on the scientific benefits of generosity! I’ve been told that that average of the Faith Commitments already turned in is close to $15,000 a family! You are the most generous people in America!
- Come this weekend with your Faith Commitment, expecting to be blessed - big time!
I LOVE YOU! MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Unraveling the mystery of why we give, or don't
By Judy Keen, USA TODAY
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Generosity is often described as coming "from the heart." In fact, the origin of your generosity is deep inside your brain's circuitry.
With a $5 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation, Notre Dame created the Science of Generosity Initiative in 2009, and research is now underway at universities across the nation.
Project director Christian Smith, a Notre Dame professor, hopes to unravel the physiological and behavioral mechanisms that cause some people to be generous… and others not.
It is widely known that generosity improves mental health, so researcher hope to discover how people can become more generous.
Feeling the 'warm glow' Researcher James Andreoni points out that people who give generously experience an internal satisfaction that he calls "the warm glow." Others call it "helper's high" — a real physical sensation that increases feelings of self-worth, and causes people want to give again.
Smith says some facts about generosity are known:
- Generosity is good for you: Generous people live longer. Senior citizens who volunteer live longer.
- People who have more money don't necessarily give more. The opposite is often true.
- People with religious faith give more than those without faith.
- People who plan their giving are always more generous than those who don't plan their giving.
A link to parenting?
Researchers are exploring how people's faith, spouses and even parents affect their generosity and whether giving is contagious. Omri Gillath at the University of Kansas is studying how people who were neglected or rejected by caregivers have a harder time learning to be generous, due to insecurities.
Stephanie Brown at State University of New York is using brain scans to analyze how generosity and caregiving relate. "If giving is proven to reduce stress, as it seems to do, that has profound implications for how we should structure our society."
Generosity and hormonal impact
Paul Zak at Claremont Graduate University is focusing on how generosity releases the feel-good hormone oxytocin, the same hormone people experience in sex, and is released after childbirth as people bond. Zak’s research team gave an oxytocin nasal spray to half his subjects and salt water to the rest, then had them play a game that required deciding whether or not to give money away. Oxytocin increased generosity by 80%.
Oxytocin activates the subgenual cortex of the brain which makes people feel good when they are doing something positive such as giving generously. Non-generous people do not experience this.
“Increased happiness is a measurable benefit to people who give generously. It’s why we all want to be around generous people," said Zak.
Generosity and self-worth
Jessica Collett, a Notre Dame social psychologist adds “Generosity influences everything else I do. If I become a generous, giving person, that is how I self-identify. People who are generous are happier, healthier and do better in life. So there's something about learning how to get beyond one's self and being generous that is good for the giver," Smith says.