Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Outreach 2008

Thank you guys for making this event again this year.  The heartbeat for this event has a few key goals all of which come from the story of when Christ encountered the Samaritan woman at the well.  
Goal #1 - Get life filled people to pour out!
- Jesus encountered the woman in a place where people like him didn't go and instead of avoiding her, He engaged her in conversation, spoke life into her and left her convinced that He was the Messiah.
Goal# 2 - Have whole communities encounter Jesus.
The Samaritan women went back into her town and told everyone about Jesus and brought them to Him.  I believe that when we as a community go out into the community we feel His heart beating inside of us. We try and reach every home in a community  so that they all may encounter the love of Christ for themselves instead of just hearing about it from someone else.
Goal #3- So people can be full!
In the story, Jesus disciples were gone getting food while He stayed behind.  When they returned with food, He told them He was full off of doing the will of His Father.  I pray that everyone who got involved in this event this year will be full on this thanksgiving day.  I also pray for those eating the food that was given to them that they will find Christ this year and never be thirsty again.

Happy Thanksgiving Guys!  Tracy and I truly love all of you and are very thankful that God has given us the opportunity to pour His Life into yours!

Monday, November 24, 2008


I've been thinking for the past couple of weeks about the word Agape. It's my new favorite word and to me it sounds beautiful. Rob Bell explains in his book Sex God that, "Agape is a Greek word used in the context of God's love for the people, "for God so loved the world." He goes on and explains that:
"Agape is a particular kind of love. love is often seen as a need, something we get from others. Agape is the opposite, Agape gives." 1 John 3:18 says, Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but with actions and in truth. Francis Chan explains in Crazy love, "One of the clearest ways we love "with actions and in truth", is by giving to others. Not just money, but time."

This makes me think about how I Agape( how I love). To often I am caught up in my own world. Stressing out about school, wondering what I am going to do on Saturday, or worrying about something so little and pointless. I tend to get wrapped up in me, me, me. I tend to forget about the important stuff like: the people around me who are in need of influence and love. And after thinking about Agape, this Christ-like love, I know their needs to be change in my life.
Sometimes we do things for others because we have to. Rob Bell explains that,"There is a love because, a love in order to, a love for the purpose of, and then there is a love, period. Agape doesn't need a reason." I think this is so neat. In my small group and at Genesis, or wherever I go I don't want to Agape people because I feel like I have to. There should be no reason. It's in my blood to love in such a way because I am of Christ, so this Agape love should just naturally flow in me. In all of us.
.....We just had the turkey outreach and it went amazing!! This is my second time doing it and It was awesome to see groups of people from our church so desperate to help and it was neat to see the reactions of the people who received turkeys. When I think about it now, we Agaped those people. Not because we had to, or because it was the right thing to do but because of God's love instilled in us. God's love provoked us to give in such a way, to donate in such a way, and to deliver in such a way. How cool is this? .....This only pushes me to think about the awesome things God could do with us by us first just simply loving others. So.....let's agape people! Love like Christ!

Monday, November 17, 2008


Forgiveness is such an incredibly beautiful thing.  I visited my sister in Columbia yesterday, and her pastor really reminded me of some awesome truths.  Colossians 3 tells us to forgive others as God forgave us.  Not because he forgave us, although that is part of our motivation for sure!  But it is more that we forgive AS He forgave us:  unconditionally, always, whole-heartedly, compassionately, mercifully, gracefully.  Our forgiveness so often looks totally different from that; it looks stingy and cold, stiff and often harsh, rooted in pride and a sense of our deserving better.  True forgiveness is not about overlooking sins towards you; its about releasing a debt you feel is owed.  Releasing it.  Letting it go.  Recognizing that the sin DOES deserve punishment, but Christ already took that punishment.  When you forgive, you aren't being taken advantage of or giving in.  You are admitting that Christ already paid that person's debt, just as he paid your debt.  And that forgiveness leads to life.  Compassionate, humble, gentle forgiveness helps and blesses and builds up the person you are forgiving.  It lets us recognize that they are not doing anything to us that is greater than what we have done and will do to God.  God forgives.  He loves and cares and grows us.  How beautiful.  How devastating to our pride, to our sense of what we deserve, to our feelings of self-righteousness.  All the good we are and can do is because of God at work in us.  His grace.  His love.  His forgiveness.  God has shown us the way; let's follow whole-heartedly after Him, living as he lived, loving as he loved, forgiving as he forgave.