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Recently, I came across this interesting story about the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in a John Maxwell leadership series. Apparently each year they are under constraints to raise their budget and must depend on their patrons to underwrite a major portion of it. Their most celebrated supporter a century ago was Andrew Carnegie, the steel magnate, who was quite wealthy and could always be counted on for a significant donation.

When the committee approached Mr. Carnegie this particular year, he issued them a challenge, saying that whatever their budget was for the year that he would match half of it. However, instead of giving them the money up front, he told them they would have to go and raise the first half and he would match it.

Though challenging, it provided a strong incentive. Within 24 hours they were back at Mr. Carnegie’s door, celebrating their efforts and asking him to fulfill his commitment. As he wrote the check, he acted surprised at how they could have raised all of that money so fast. He finally asked them how they were able to get so much money so quickly.

They responded: “From Mrs. Carnegie!” Is that funny, or what?

In Luke 5, the disciples complained that they had worked all night to catch fish and still came up empty. At least they complained to the right person.

The New York Philharmonic Orchestra may have depended on Mr. Carnegie for their budget, but I’ll take my chances with the One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills. Need resources? Don’t even hesitate—ask Him (Matt. 7:7-11).

“Everything under heaven is Mine.” Job 41:11b (NKJV)

By: Glenn Burris Jr., general supervisor

served as the president of The Foursquare Church from 2009-2020.