What follows an F4 tornado? Opportunities! Open doors! Rowlett, Texas was devastated by an F4 tornado on Boxing Day (December 26th), and an immediate curfew was put in place to protect against looting. But Sheds of Hope was springing into action. Ready for deployment, two sheds were already being readied for transport. Back in September, Bethel Church of Dallas had built two sheds and stored them in anticipation of the next disaster. Little did they know that a lady who had grown up in their church would be a tornado victim in December. Because of their preparations, as soon as the Rowlett curfew was lifted, Bethel was able to set up a shed on her property so that she could store her salvaged belongings. As of today, Sheds of Hope has identified nine families in the disaster area that are connected to PCA churches. We have set up three sheds on site. Park Cities Presbyterian Church of Dallas has set up one of the sheds that was pre-built by John Browne and Rick Lenz; Bethel Church set up the other pre-built shed and has two more in the pipeline. Christ Community Church of Frisco pre-built two sheds last weekend and will set them up soon. Volunteers are coming out to help with pre-building and set up. Why not get involved? You can pray, you can build, you can give. Whatever God puts on your heart, we can use! Please pray that as Sheds of Hope start rising in Rowlett, we will be able to talk to other families in the devastated area and be able to give them hope, and maybe a shed.
I was reminded this week of the importance of “Retelling” the Christmas Story. We live in a world consumed by retail. Most in the retail business depend heavily on the Christmas season to provide a large percentage of their yearly revenue. For many, it all comes down to these last few weeks, traditionally starting with Black Friday.
The Retail Business looks to the Advent season to see if they are going to end the year in the “Black.” The Church should be looking to see if we are going to end the year in the “Red”. After all, the Church Calendar actually starts with Advent, the “Retelling of the Christmas Story.”
With all the Red around us at Christmas, let’s use it to remind us that it is a Savior’s Blood we need most, and not a Black Bottom Line. Don’t get me wrong; every Christian and every church should be dedicated to good stewardship, but it is our heart’s focus that is essential. Remember, this Advent Season is about the coming of a Savior to give his life for His people.
As leaders, let us be encouraged to look for the Red in this Advent Season and not allow ourselves to be distracted by the Black. Here’s a way to make that happen:
Retail stores will give you Red Bows so that you can help them increase their bottom line. How about using those Red Bows with a new purpose this year? With every Red Bow you give or receive this season, look for a way to Retell the Story. Ask God to give you opportunities. By taking the opportunity to Retell the Christmas Story, you may be reminded that no matter how many Red Bows you wrap around presents this Christmas Season, they will never meet the need or fill the void in a life. The only thing amazing and powerful enough to do that is the Blood of The Child that was born to redeem us.