A small shoebox can teach a child about the love of God, lead him or her to faith in Christ, inspire pastors, and plant new churches. What goes into the box is fun, but what comes out is eternal. Be a part of changing lives through the power of a simple gift.
For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” -Matthew 11:28-32This passage could not sum up the last 6 years of my life any better. It nails me to a T. I was done with religion, or what I thought was "proper" religion. I remember telling Amy that I was done. I quit vocational ministry and gave up on my "calling." I was going to go make sandwiches or toss chicken wings for a living, but I wasn't going to be a pastor any more.
God, of course, changed that. Being a pastor wasn't the problem; I was the problem. The way I knew how to do my job was the problem. Maybe the system was the problem. I thought not working was the solution. Then Jesus hit me with it.
"Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it."The real problem lay in my example. I was watching how everyone else did ministry, how they did "religion." I took my eyes off my true inspiration; I stopped looking to Jesus as my example.
I was doing what those around me were doing, as they were having breakdowns and relational fallout.
I was doing what the next great author suggested.
The last thing I was doing was the very first thing I should have been doing, walking and working with Jesus. Watching Him do it, seeing how He went about life, not ministry, but life... all of life.
This journey started right before my 30th birthday. I am 36 now and have 4 years until 40. Most people dread 40, but I excitedly await it as I believe it will be my greatest decade yet. I am a work-in-progress, enjoying how Jesus is molding and sifting me.
I like what I see.
I am losing weight, the lightest I've been in my 30s. My mind and perspective are shifting, taking on a more holistic approach to life.
Are you tired? Are you worn out? Are you burned out?
Do these questions resonate? Crashing and retreating is not the response.
Walking and working is and we just need to change what walking and working look like. That's my journey. Let me know if you want to join our tribe of former burn-outs. Life is getting better!
We'd love to share Sunday with you. Everything gets started around 11:00am, so bring your favorite side dish and drink. We will grill up some chicken and hot dogs for the kiddos. See you Sunday.
For more information about gathering, contact us at email@example.com.
As I was taking the picture, I was instantly dissatisfied with the results. No matter how many pictures I took, it just didn't do it justice. I was incapable of capturing the reds, the blues, the shadows, the bright rays of sunlight bursting through. It was un-photographable!
|Terry's horrible cell phone picture! You had to be there.|
This artistic masterpiece wasn't created for me to enjoy through a copy via horrible cell phone picture, but it was to be enjoyed in the moment. This moment! God created it for His people to marvel at it today, to be enjoyed now, not later.
Let's not put off enjoying what God desires for us to enjoy today. Hug your kiddos, call up a friend you haven't seen in awhile; I pray that you are finding ways to enjoy God today, at this very moment.
Here are a few ideas for how you can more effectively walk through the open door that Halloween presents to us as Jesus’ missionaries.
BE HOSPITABLE: Don’t just give out candy.
1. Give out the best Candy
Please, don’t give out gospel tracks or toothbrushes or pennies…kids are looking for the master loot of candy. Put yourself in their shoes.
2. Think of the Parents
Consider having some Hot Apple Cider and pumpkin bread or muffins out for the parents who are bringing their little kiddos around the block. Make your entry-way inviting so they want to come closer and hang for a bit if possible.
3. Be Present
Don’t hide out all night. Come out to the door or hang out on the porch and if they stop to have some cider, get to know their names and where they live in the neighborhood.
4. Be Encouraging
Tell the kids you love their costumes and to have a great night. Practice building others up with words.
If you’re really into it, you may want to throw a pre-Trick or Treating party. Provide dinner and drinks. Then, send the dads out trick or treating with the kids while the moms continue hanging with some hot apple cider, coffee or tea. Then reconvene with the parents and kids together to examine all of the loot (kids love to show their parents and other kids the loot).
6. Learn the Stories
If you are out Trick or Treating with the kiddos or staying back with the other parents, ask questions…get to know their stories. Pay attention to their hearts and their felt needs. Look for opportunities to serve them later.
GO TO THEIR PLACE: Join what is happening elsewhere.
7. Attend the Party
If others are throwing parties, you may want to join them. If so, bring drinks, food or whatever is needed. Then, serve by helping to clean up.
8. Join the Community
If your community has key events, join them and invite some neighbors to go with you (then get to know their stories along the way). Our area has a trick or treating event on a main street where all the businesses give out candy, the firemen give tours of the fire engines, etc. We go with a group of friends to this each year and consistently meet more people to reach out to.
9. Head to the “Watering Holes”
If you do not have kids or are not going to engage in the Trick or Treating activities or events, consider going to the local pubs, restaurants or clubs near you for their events and get to know the people there. Make it your goal to learn the story of at least one person who needs Jesus and walk away with some next steps on how to serve them. You will want to do this with others so that you don’t go it alone.
BE PRAYERFUL: Ask for the Spirit to lead, guide and work.
10. Pay Attention
Ask the Spirit to open your eyes and ears to the real needs around you.
11. Stay Dependent
Ask the Spirit to help you listen, care and serve those around you.
12. Open Doors
Ask the Spirit for open doors for new relationships and gospel conversations.
*Edited Post by Jeff Vanderstelt on Verge Network
|Operation Christmas Child provides Christmas Shoe-boxes to children around the world stuffed full of toys, games, school supplies and more important, the opportunity to hear the Good News of Jesus.|
If you haven't heard of Operation Christmas Child, you can check out some videos and stories here: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/
Over the next 6 weeks, let's start collecting items for our Christmas Shoe-boxes. We have 100 shoe-boxes provided, so we don't need to worry about finding and locating boxes this year. Our focus and energy can be directed towards collecting the following items for BOYS and GIRLS age: 2-4 years old, 5-9 year old and 10-14 year old.
- Toys: Include items that children will immediately embrace such as dolls, toy cars, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, balls, toys that light up and make noise (with extra batteries), etc.
- School Supplies: pens, pencils and sharpeners, crayons, markers, notebooks, paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
- Non-Liquid Hygiene Items: toothbrushes, bar soap, combs, washcloths, etc.
- Accessories: t-shirts, socks, hats, sunglasses, hair clips, jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries), etc.
- A Personal Note: You may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. If you include your name and address, the child may be able to write back.
- Do Not Include: Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.
We are so grateful to celebrate the baptism of Erin Pont, her commitment to place Jesus as the Lord of her life is a great one. Please pray for her and the church as we continue to think and act like missionaries right here in Austin.