Archive for the ‘community’ Category

I was hungry and you formed committees.

I was thirsty and you preached sermons.

I was naked and you said, “That’ not in the budget.”

I was sick and you sang another chorus while internally debating traditional verse contemporary style of worship.

I was lonely and you rushed to the restaurant to get the best booth.

I was in prison an you held another congregational meeting.

I tell you the truth: whatever you did to the least of these, you did unto me.

The last couple of nights Joshua has been extra clingy (is that a word?).  He wants me by him constantly. While he is playing, he wants me by him. When he is laying down, he wants me by him. I love it, yet it is draining. Sometimes I just need to have a break. I feel drained. Yet, at the same time, I enjoy the fact that he loves me so much. All he wants is for his daddy to be around. He wants to know he is safe. He wants to know he is not alone. He wants to know I am near by.

I want to enjoy these moments. I know that one day he will be older and we will not get this moment back. He will be wanting to do his own thing and I will long to be near him. I pray I learn to embrace these moments.

As I think about Joshua’s desire to be near to his daddy, I am forced to think of my own relationship with God. We are encouraged to draw near to God (James 4:8).  I have to ask myself the hard question: Am I seeking to draw near to God? DO I desire to get closer to Him each day?Do I so long to be with Him that I cannot stand the idea of not being near him? Do I, like Joshua, just want to be near my daddy? I believe God wants me to be that in love with Him. He wants me to seek Him. He wants me to love being with him. He longs for me to long after him. God is my daddy and he loves his child.

I am thankful for the lessons we learn through children. My prayer is that we can all learn to love God so much we cannot stand the thought of not being near Him. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

There are people who have been a part of my life that have left a legacy for me. Their names have never been in bright lights. People are not surrounding them with cameras flashing asking for their autograph, yet they have left a legacy. They have made an impact in my life which I am forever grateful. It was often the small things they did that made the greatest impact. The 3rd grade teacher who gave me a Bible when I did not have one of my own. I do not remember her name or any of the classes she taught. I did not understand the words in the King James Bible she gave me, but I remember that she cared about me enough to take me to the church book store and buy me a Bible.

I recall the man who took me to the basketball games at Oklahoma Christian when I was in middle school. I don’t remember what class he taught at church, but I do remember the way he cared about me and it left a legacy for me to love others.

My parents have always cared for me and wanted the best for me. They have left a legacy for me. I do not remember all the words they have spoken, but I do know their love for me.

I want to ask you the question—what legacy are you leaving? How will you be remembered? I hope to be remembered as one who loves people. I want to live my life in such a way that all those who know me understand that I loved them. I like when people remember a sermon I preached. I love when kids remember an illustration I gave to explain a Bible point; but more than anything I want people to know I loved them and that God loves them. I want to leave a legacy. However, sometimes life gets in the way. I get so busy going from one task to the other and one activity to the other, that I fail to love. I fail to leave a legacy.

How about you? Do you find yourself so busy that you do not have time to love people? Do you find you do not have time to serve others? Maybe you are going through life staying busy and you even have your name in the paper and you make the headlines, but you are not leaving a lasting legacy—is it really worth it? We have a lot of kids at our church who need someone to leave a legacy for them. They need to know they are loved and cared for. Yet, in our busy way of life, we cannot find the time to love them. We cannot find the time share our hearts, to teach a class, to leave a legacy. What legacy are choosing to leave?

Community

Posted: January 30, 2008 in body life, christianity, church, community, spiritual

I believe one of the most important aspects of Christianity is community.I also believe it is the greatest means of outreach. Jesus prayed that His believers would be one. He said the world would know that we are His disciples when we love one another. So why is community so difficult? It is hard to live outside myself. I find it difficult to put others needs above myself. Sometimes I wonder if the reason is because I have been burned by people who claimed they were my friend or ally. We are a fallen people. I think that makes the need for community even greater. As Christians, we are the church and church is the body of Christ. We need each other. I need you and you need me. That is how the body of Christ should function. Let’s learn how to love one another and see that we need each other. That is when the world will look at us and see that we have something to offer that they are missing in life.

It was a great and exhausting week of spring break. A group of students and faculty members from Ozark Christian College came to work with Memphis Urban Ministry for the week. It was a great time of outreach and service. Sunday evening we passed out flyers and registered kids for the two day kids camp that would be taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday. It was a good opportunity for the people to see Memphis and the neighborhood they would be working with during the week. The area of focus was Clearborne homes which is saturated with poverty. Monday was a day spent preparing chili and serving lunch to the community. Many homeless men and women came through the line as well as many families who stated they would not be able to feed their children if they did not have that meal that day. About 70 people were served lunch on Monday.
Tuesday and Wednesday was spent conducting a kid’s camp. It was basically a two day VBS. About 30 kids participated in the full two day camp and there were many more who were able to attend only certain portions of the camp.
Thursday was also a great day. Hot dogs were served and clothes were given out. About 50 people came in for clothing and approximatley 10-15 more people came for lunch only.

It was a great week. I am thankful to the group from OZark who gave up a spring break to come to Memphis to serve a hurting and impoverished community. The smiles on the faces of the children and the parents who were served tells of the great appreciation.