Archive | September 2014

The Importance of Church Outreach in the Local Community


The majority of US citizens call themselves Christians and yet the importance of church outreach within the local community cannot be overstated. The disciples were not labeled Christian until they had been scattered due to Stephen’s death and the Good News was being shared in Antioch. (Acts 11:19-26) Whether they were called disciples or Christians it was the same to them because of their relationship with Jesus. Even though Jesus had ascended, He was still an active part of their lives. This has been lost somehow in our culture today and we need to refocus on the local community because outreach will enable us to give, guide, and grow.

By giving ourselves in service to our communities through different charitable needs, we will live out Jesus’ command to love our neighbors as ourselves. We will be able to learn about material needs and then be able to assist in meeting those needs. Many organizations working to meet local needs do not have the resources to have a permanent meeting place and making our church facilities available will aid in meeting the need for a safe and secure location for their meetings. We are able to give to our communities by reaching out in service, helping with needed material items, and through the use of our facilities.

Through active outreach we are able to help guide our communities. By living out our relationship with Christ, we will point the lost to Jesus. Sacrifice our time to stop and help regardless of our busy schedules will show that people are more important than things. Mentoring programs for children and youth are in great need and as Christians we should be involved to allow Jesus to work through us as a positive influence in their lives. Through living out our relationship with Christ, we will be able to guide our communities back to Jesus through sacrifice and mentoring.

Growth of God’s kingdom will become a result of our newly formed relationships. The knowledge we gain will help us to better understand the needs and challenges of our communities at large. Christ’s church, His body of believers, will grow stronger and shine brighter to become the beacon on a hill. Stronger relationships in the community and increased knowledge of needs and the positive impact on Christ’s church will all grow as a result.

Allowing Jesus to live actively in our lives in an ongoing relationship is crucial. Because church outreach will give, guide, and grow in the local community; the level of importance will be realized.

*This work was originally submitted for an assignment in English Composition. It is posted here for your consideration and response.*

Blessings and Peace Always,

~Robert

Shedding Light


I Sing Because I'm Free

photo

pondering the path we walk

often times it seems quite dark

but even so, steadfast He keeps

shedding light as footsteps sweep

even when we cannot see

the pathway laid before our feet

Rest assured, steadfast He keeps 

shedding light as footsteps sweep

Shadows fall, disguising day

how quickly they lead us astray

but even so, steadfast He keeps

shedding light as footsteps sweep 

When we keep Him in our sight

his presence keeps away the night

and all the while steadfast He keeps

shedding light as footsteps sweep

Our family had a wonderful weekend together.  We did something we had never done before- we took a walk on the Monticello Trail.  The main trail is almost 4 miles up and back, and the girls have come here many times-but this was the first time we all finished it together.  My husband and I kept telling the girls we had…

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Thanking God for $6 Promise


“Yes, God’s gift. His answers to prayer may be the person standing right in front of you. Accept it. Cherish it. And be thankful for his promises. Even the $6 ones.”

Coffee with a Shot of Faith

As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning, and noon I cry out in distress and he hears my voice. Psalm 55:16-17

There have been an abundance of pleadings with God here since school has started. These have ranged from “God, please give us the strength to endure these mornings.” “God, please help us to help him.” “God, come on, now! Can a girl get a break? Just one morning please?”

Evening, morning, and noon I prayed for something that would help us ease the heartbroken and frustrating mornings we were having. I had even prayed for strength to accept that this phase may not end at all.

Sometimes, however, answers come from those he places in our lives. See, I am blessed with a family and friends who have sought to understand the differences in our son that are not apparent by just…

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Finding Him in the moment


Aw..the little things. I believe God loves the details! The little things we see, when we are actually looking around, like the discovery of a cluster of “four leaf clovers” are evidence of God’s attention to details. HE pays the exact same attention to us! “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” Jeremiah 1:5 (God’s Word) What a marvelous comfort to know HIS care for us is greater than everything else HE created. He even cares when we get bruised.

I Sing Because I'm Free

IMG_1565 The seven 4-leaf clovers I found all together on a walk…

Picking clovers one by one

and seven did I find-

but all the clovers in the world

can’t bring me peace of mind.

Knowing Him and seeking Him

each moment is the way 

to see His many blessings

as we journey through our day.

I found these clovers a while back- actually it was July 4th. I found seven 4 leaf clovers on 7/4. I really do believe that God has a sense of humor- and that He gets our attention in the most unique ways! I hadn’t even been looking for clovers, I happened to glance down and they literally jumped out at me.  I was reminded of this today, as I thought about how He is relentless in His pursuit of us and of our attention.

And so this morning, I sense Him trying to capture my…

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Worship is Life


Even though most people think worship is simply singing, worship involves every aspect of our life. We worship God through our devotion, praise and in our work. Reading the word of God is devotional because, we are choosing Him over other things and as we do continue to do this we begin to devote our money to His purposes. As we continue this devotion we begin to realize that we are praising Him by testifying to how He cares for us and how He alone is worth of our adoration. Then, we start becoming the light of His love and grace at work. Our attitude about our work changes and we realize the opportunities for greater service exists by volunteering at church and with other charitable organizations throughout our neighborhood. Our devotion, praise and work all come together to reveal that our life is a life of worship.

As the sun rises


I Sing Because I'm Free

photo

 as the sun rises

so does appreciation

for all He creates

At the moment, I am waving my white flag- surrendering my frustrations to Him.  Sometimes technology is our best friend- and other times it’s my worst enemy!  The latter description is what I am experiencing at the moment.  Instead of continuing to work on a project that is causing me undue frustration- I am choosing to step away from the desk and worship.  He created all things and surely He will give me guidance in His timing to complete this tech-savvy task.

So this morning, I am in awe of His beautiful sunrise, and I am in awe of everything He has blessed me with… including this computer (which at the moment is the source of my frustration).  He shows me time and time again that His ways are far better than mine, and that I can do…

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Standing Tall


I Sing Because I'm Free

IMG_1993 Standing tall- a radiant sunflower on a recent day trip

 Listen, stay alert, stand tall in the faith, be courageous, and be strong- 1 Corinthians 16:13

It’s the little things that make me smile.  Sunflowers are one of those things.  I can’t get enough of them.  A daydreamer at heart- I could stare at them all day if I’d let myself!  I remember seeing them when I was young, and wondering how on earth they could have such a huge, beautiful bloom and still stand so tall on such a thin stalk.

IMG_1991

God’s business is putting things right; he loves getting the lines straight, Setting us straight. Once we’re standing tall, we can look him straight in the eye.  Psalm 11:7 (MSG)

I remember when I was in elementary school feeling self-conscious of how tall I was. Feeling like a giant, I often walked around with hunched shoulders…

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IDENTITY


What is my identity? How do I identify myself? How do I introduce myself?

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” II Corinthians 5:17 and verse 20; “Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making as appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (NASB)

When Paul spoke this he was not just dreaming up something to say to the church at Corinth, he was pointing back to what Jesus said. In Matthew 28:18-20, “Jesus came up and spoke to them saying, ‘All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’” (NASB)

As I read these verses and think about these questions, I realize that there is only one answer that is true and right. My identity is in Christ alone. I should really only identify myself as His disciple. My introduction should only reflect that to which He has called me; I am an ambassador of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. I am commissioned to fulfill His command, “to make disciples of all nations” and to teach these new disciples to “observe all” that He has commanded. To fulfill all You have commanded, I must learn and know all you have taught and commanded. Help me Father to learn of You, to grow in Your graces and to humbly go out to do Your will.

“I Wait”


I Sing Because I'm Free

I am lost, lost, lost 

without You, You, You

showing me, me, me

what to do, do, do

so I wait, wait, wait, 

patiently-ly-ly

as I sit in 

sweet surrender

at Your feet

won’t You sing

over me

with your sweet sweet 

melody 

 I wait patiently

as I worship

at Your feet

Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.  Isaiah 30:18

I remember being worried sick over little things that were completely out of my control.  And every single time, whatever it was, it worked itself out. Or He worked it out, unbeknownst to me.  When my girls were babies, I taught piano and voice lessons out of my home. I was blessed with wonderful students who would take turns being my…

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maybe just one more cup…


I Sing Because I'm Free

IMG_2067

Streaming sunlight beckons me

to sit and spend some time with Thee

one cup, two cups, maybe three

there’s always time for more coffee!

But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love. 

Psalm 59:16

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