The Salem Tidings

From the Pastor’s Desk

A Note from Pastor Paola:

“The world of the generous gets larger and larger.
The world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.
The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed;
those who help others are helped.”
     Proverbs 11:24-25, The Message
I am Salem, because here I experience and witness the joy of generosity.  This is the best kind of joy, the joy that spreads and it is contagious!!
I had to smile while reading the scientific research that provides compelling data to support the evidence that giving is a powerful pathway to personal growth and lasting happiness. Through MRI technology, we now know that giving activates the same parts of the brain that are stimulated by food and sex. Experiments show evidence that altruism is hardwired in the brain—and it’s pleasurable. Helping others may just be the secret to living a life that is not only happier, but also healthier, wealthier, more productive, and meaningful.
The writer of the Proverbs, through the wisdom of faith, wrote the very same concept in the 5th century BC. From the first page to the last, the Scriptures talk about generosity quite the opposite of the way our world does. It is the bestkept secret. It is God’s math, the math of Grace: more you give more you receive.
Of course it is not easy nor natural for us to give and be generous.  Some of us were brought up with the spirit of financial prudence. Some experienced scary times of poverty, loss of jobs, and unknown financial times. Some have the tendency of holding and storing for an unknown times of crisis. Some of us felt used and taken for granted in the past. Nevertheless, it is by overcoming fear and by trusting God’s promise that we can reach the kind of generosity that brings us deep joy and a purpose-driven life. There is a Chinese saying that goes: “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.” On Sunday, November 11, we are all invited to make a financial commitment for the ministries at Salem in 2019. Dig in to your heart, find the courage to step up financially, and most importantly: plan on giving until it feels good!


Pastor Paola