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2021 Stewardship Drive Temple Talk, Paul Schmidt

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You can read Paul's Temple Talk below, or view the video on our Facebook page.

A short story about stewardship called:  Little Butchie And The Peanut Can.

Once upon a time, many years ago, Little Butchie lived in a very small home with his Wise Father and Wise Mother, and his little brother and little sister. They were a happy family. They all loved their Lord Jesus.

When he was 8, Little Butchie told his parents that he wanted an allowance for doing his chores. All of his friends got an allowance which they used to buy fun toys.  His wise parents said they could not afford to give him an allowance, but they had an idea how he could earn money from his neighbors, so then he could buy new toys. Butchie thought that was a good idea.

A few days later Wise Father brought home a large sack full of boxes of Christmas cards. He explained to Little Butchie how he could sell the boxes to their neighbors after they answered the front door bell. And his Wise Mother said he would make Jesus happy because the cards told the story of His birth on Christmas Day in Bethlehem.

Little Butchie loved his new job, sold many boxes of cards to all the neighbors and even guests who visited his home. He suddenly had more friends than ever before! One evening after supper Little Butchie brought in his big pile of money he had earned and put it on the table. He announced he was going to buy lots of toys! Wise Father suggested that some of the money was his since he bought the cards. Little Butchie reluctantly understood, and glumly watched while his Wise Father took a large portion of the pile to his side of the table.

Wise Mother had further bad news. She asked Little Butchie, who gave you good health and your family? Jesus?! Yes! And for this reason she and Wise Father gave one of every 10 dollars of their pile to Jesus because this is what love requires, and he should too. It would then be his Sunday school offering. Little Butchie reluctantly agreed, and watched more of his pile move over to his mother’s side of the table.

Wise Father then suggested Little Butchie make a special place to keep Jesus’ money, and after some discussion it was decided that an empty peanut can (which magically appeared) would be a good place. Little Butchie wrote on a piece of paper, Lord’s Treasury, taped it on the can, put Jesus’ money in the can, and put it on his dresser. His now very small pile was carefully put into the top dresser drawer so his little brother and little sister could not get it.

As he was getting used to working all of these piles, especially Jesus peanut can, Wise Father had to occasionally audit the Lord’s Treasury, since Little Butchie would sometimes fail to give Jesus his share, borrow from Jesus to buy ice cream, Twinkees, candy, and the like, and fail to give Jesus’ money to Sunday School every Sunday, letting it pile up unattended.

When he was 9, Little Butchie and his family moved to a much colder climate. He continued his various businesses, and at age 11, he became a paperboy, passing papers every morning in the dark 7 days a week to 120 customers from his bicycle.  After he collected money from his customers, Little Butchie put part into a pile for the newspaper company, part into Jesus’ peanut can and part for himself.

One day Wise Father suggested if he put some of his pile into Mr. Krueckeberg’s bank, he would make extra money while he was sleeping. Little Butchie thought that was a really good idea. So he opened a savings account with Mr. K. When he was 16, he stopped passing papers, and worked as a hod carrier, garbage collector, janitor, city street sweeper, crosswalk painter…always putting the proceeds into piles for himself, Mr. K. and Jesus.

Finally… Little Butchie did not need Wise Father to audit for Jesus, and learned to enjoy watching what all Jesus’ pile could do, in his home church, at Lutheran World Relief, and for school projects which raised money for various community programs.

One day while he was in high school, Butchie’s Wise Father asked if he would like to make even more for Jesus’ peanut can and himself while sleeping than he got from Mr. Krueckeburg’s bank. Once again, Butchie thought that was a very good idea. So Wise Father told him about stocks and bonds and mutual funds, and how to use them. So Butchie studied the books Wise Father gave him, then began to put some of his piles into these magic places as well. Meanwhile, Wise Father reminded him that even in these places, Jesus should have His share of what Butchie made while he was asleep. So Butchie did what Wise Father advised and Jesus’ pile and Butchie’s piles grew even larger together.

By the grace of God, and in spite of his sometimes reckless behavior, Butchie did indeed grow up and left home for college. He certainly wanted to learn how to do something else the rest of his life than be a hod carrier, garbage collector, janitor, etc. Meanwhile, he never stopped working at one or two jobs at a time and carefully putting Jesus’ share of the money into His special peanut can, The Lord’s Treasury.

One of Butchie’s favorite jobs while at college was as a waiter at a local sorority house. He especially enjoyed rush, when a bunch of pretty girls would come through every Fall and Spring to look at sororities they might join. One evening while serving during a rush party, he saw the most beautiful woman he had ever seen in person…like right out of the movies! Wow! Butchie could not believe his eyes! The other waiters all stopped in their tracks and were looking with him.

Jack! What’s her name? Don’t even think about it Butch!!. Jack hurt Butchie’s feelings, but Butchie had to admit to himself he was not cool, just a nerd, and Beautiful Woman surely would not wish to be seen with a non-cool nerd.  But he decided to not follow Jack’s advice, and “think about it” anyway!

By and by, time passed, and much to his and nearly everyone’s surprise, especially Butchie’s little sister who asked, what does she see in you?… Beautiful Woman married Butchie becoming Wise Wife. Thank you Jesus!! he quietly exclaimed.

Wise Wife really liked the peanut can idea. She took to it like a duck to water. She showed Butchie from the Bible that the more they put into Jesus’ peanut can, the bigger their pile would become as well. Wise wife was of course correct. Butchie was pleased, and not surprised, since he had learned that Wise Wife was always right. She also taught their children the mysteries of the peanut can. Indeed, as the children grew up, they often put more money into their Jesus’ peanut can than into their own pile…which required Butchie to supplement their income from his pile. This annoyed Butchie.

However, his Wise Wife smiled her warm and loving smile, which always melted Butchie and calmed him down.  She reassured him, he should not be upset, for this is exactly what she and Jesus had in mind. Jesus’ peanut can made her and Jesus very happy. Filling it up and giving it away, she said, is what love requires. Butchie was amazed when he remembered that he had once years before heard exactly the same words from another wise woman.

The end of a short stewardship story:  Little Butchie And His Peanut Can.