Pause and Reflect August 2016

“For I know the plans I have for you – This is the Lord’s declaration – plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. ” Jeremiah 29:11

Two major trips I was planning to participate in this summer became evident to me that they were not part of His plans. Yes, some disappointment for sure. God gave me some glimpse for the reason. Two of the young men I’m working with have needed some intense time involvement by me. This would not have been possible had “my” original plans been carried out.

The Well Outreach

IMG_1854A church, a community, and a hospital worked closely with a local food ministry to distribute food to area residents. I helped provide shuttle service for 100 volunteers. They parked in our church parking lot. The food was given out in the parking lot of the hospital just down the road. The Well Outreach sponsored the event in collaboration with Second Harvest, a clearinghouse for excess food, which the government hands out. The volunteers were in 90+ temperatures. The shuttle vans were air-conditioned.

School starts soon

Have you thought about a way to serve the community outside the walls of the church? Here’s one way. I will be serving as a teacher’s assistant in the local middle school. The topic? Lego Robotics. The teacher is a very good friend of ours. Class begins August 8th. Pray that I will be an encourager, learning along with the students and a witness for Christ by demonstrating love and compassion on kids who may see very few examples in other areas of their lives.

Set Free Church

Steven will be entering a program sponsored by Set Free Church in Nashville. The first 30 days are devoted to providing structure concentrating on study of the Bible and learning to get along with others. The next 60 days continues the discipleship process and begins to IMG_1855 integrate residents toward a productive lifestyle. The next six months to one year is a transitional time for residents to find and maintain employment and be constructive Christian citizen in society. Pray for Steven. Over 40 people on my Facebook post have expressed concern. This is a step in the right direction for Steven.

UPDATED  INFORMATION: Steven left the program after just two days. Pray that he finds his way and that way is in the Lord’s direction.

Final Thoughts

Pray for my parents as they to manage all the health issues that have challenged my dad. Pray for our good friends, the Copeland’s as they move to Missouri. He is a missionary who travels the world, teaching pastors. And pray for the family and friends in South Africa of a young man whose life here on earth was unexpectedly short.

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Pause and Reflect July 2016

A well-known Women’s Basketball coach died recently at the age of 64. I mention her because she was passionate about her craft. She made the best of her relatively short time.

 The Work of Politics and Religion

In our current political environment there is a tremendous amount of passion. But compassion seems non-existent. And, religion is not the answer either. When Jesus saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them because they were weary and scattered, like sheep without a shepherd.  The Lord is my Shepherd. This gives us all that we need. As we pass through the shadow of death, we have nothing to fear. He comforts us, restores us, and prepares a place for us to live in peace. The political pundits talk about their candidate “staying on message”. Well, fellow believers, we need to stay on the message of the gospel of Christ. This is what I try to do each day.

The Work of Ministry

Tom, Steven, Tim, Ronnie, and Kristy all are battling different issues. When each of these listens to wise counsel from the Word of God, they begin to see victories. When they try to solve things in their own wisdom, they experience consequences. My role is to reflect the love and wisdom of Jesus with a servant’s attitude. My mission is find ways to show them love and concern, and to give them guidance when asked.

Mentoring and Life Coaching is not counseling. I can’t fix problems. Pray for these and others whom I serve. Only God can fix our lives. Religion can’t. And we all know that politics can never fix our real problems.

Finding the right resources for someone in need is one of the other things I do. Brenda called the benevolence line at our church on a week that I was on-call. Her porch needed railing and repairs hopefully before hip surgery. This need fell outside the guidelines for benevolence. But I worked on finding a solution for her. God used a local contractor and two generous individuals to meet this lady’s need. All the pieces were there. I just put the puzzle together.

The Work of Partners

Your prayers and support are a very important part of our ministry to the needy and disadvantaged. Many people do not have the support of family or friends for a variety of reasons. Together, as the family of God we can demonstrate the compassion of Christ.

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