Squirrels … and data-nuts

squirrel-nuts

I do not profess to be an expert on squirrels, though they are fun to watch. They are always scurrying about, collecting food and stocking it away. And they seem to have a lot of fun with their friends!

As I understand it (again, not an expert), squirrels put away a lot of nuts (or acorns in my yard)… nuts they do not always remember later. But since they have a lot stockpiled, they can get some when they need it. Some observations on squirrels:

  • There are harvest times where there are more nuts and acorns than there are at other times.
  • When the harvest is plentiful, squirrels are busy gathering.
  • God has designed some animals to be “storers” (like squirrels) and others to trust Him for every meal (like deer). One is not more spiritual than the other.
  • Squirrels are fun.

I have a couple of take-aways from watching these squirrels in my yard:

  • There are harvest times in my own ministry, where it is easier (internally or externally) for me to raise support than at other times. Internally (often within my control) is that I have time to focus; externally (outside of my control) when the economy is perceived to be better, or a church is hosting a missions conference, etc.
  • When the harvest time is ripe, I should be busy connecting with my ministry partners, to prepare for the leaner times.
  • God has called me to a ministry that believes in preparing and storing. Other ministries do fund-raising differently than mine, and that’s okay.
  • Missionaries should be fun! I want my ministry partners to want me around.

What does this have to do with TntConnect? Well, a loose association, but this:

  • When I engage with my partners, I am always collecting tidbits about them. What they like, what interests them, what their communication preferences are, hobbies, children, etc.
  • I also store away all of the acorns of my engagement with them—my phone calls, personal visits, cards, etc.
  • TntConnect makes it easy for me to store all of these nuts. Like the squirrel, I may never use (or even see) some of this information again. But when I do need it, there it is, neatly stored away.
  • Let’s face it; I’m a data nut. For me, not to collect and store all of this stuff… is, well, just plain nuts.

One final thought: For squirrels, sometimes the acorns they pick up actually sprout before they can eat them. God uses the squirrels’ efforts to build the forest! Similarly, God uses my interaction with ministry partners to bless them in ways that may never benefit me or maybe that I will ever even know about.

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