Great for the Whole Family! Food, Information, Giveaways!

Help your family be ready in the event of a disaster. Mission to North America is offering a family focused Disaster Response Workshop at Bethel Church, 17990 Midway Road, Dallas, Texas on Friday and Saturday, April 17-18, 2015.

Schedule:

  • Friday, April 17 – 5:30 – 8:00 – FREE BBQ Dinner followed by Workshop One
  • Saturday, April 18 – 7:30 – 11:30 – FREE Continental Breakfast, followed by three more workshops

Some of the Workshops being offered:

  • Teaching children to prepare for disasters through interactive activities
  • Equipping your church to respond to disasters
  • HAM radio and social media during disasters
  • Preparing your family for disasters
  • Building Sheds of Hope
  • Assembling your 72 hr family kit
  • Introduction to CERT
  • Responding to disasters

Register Now! Click HERE 

  • Submit One Form for Each Person in Your Family 4 Years and Older Who Will Be Attending the Disaster Response Weekend.
  • Child Care Is Available upon Request

You are welcome to invite family, friends, and neighbors to take part in this Disaster Response Workshop!

Download our Disaster Response Workshop PDF Posters. This printable file includes a 11 x 17; and a 8.5 x 11; these are great for bulletins boards. Also, included are a 5.5 x 8.5 and a 3.5 x 8.5 flier for use as bulletin inserts.

Contact Rick Lenz at rlenz@pcanet.org or 817-690-8107 for more information.

Orchid & BirdText to ponder this week

Hebrews 11:39-40 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Thoughts to ponder this week
  1. Is my future reality a present comfort in the midst of current suffering?
  2. Is my future hope in the finished work of Christ alone?
Text to ponder this week

Hebrews 11:35b-38 Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy— wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

Thoughts to ponder this week

1. Humanity is in rebellion against God and in that state, judges faithful followers to be unworthy of life.

2. Our depravity as a human race is seen at its depth against those who are created in His image and live by faith.

3. Depravity is the absence of grace.

Text to ponder this week

Hebrews 11:32-35 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection.

Thoughts to ponder this week

1. Don’t allow personal failures to rob you of living the rest of your life by faith.

2. Don’t be quick to disqualify others because of personal failure; they may very well be living by faith right now.

BrochureCover

I have been pastoring in the Presbyterian Church in America since 1989. Missions has always been close to my heart, and it has been my joy to lead numerous mission trips overseas and in the USA. Over the last year, I have been working with Disaster Response, primarily in Oklahoma.

Drawing upon my training and experience in carpentry, I designed a new shed that could be built remotely, so that more people could be involved in ministering to families after disasters. This design allows churches to pre-build 8 x 8 sheds, giving their people an opportunity to “mourn with those who mourn.” Prebuilt sheds are then flat-packed and transported to the disaster area where teams can set them up, providing much-needed storage for those who are gathering up the bits of pieces of their lives and memories. What a joy it has been to see that this shed plan is now being widely used in disaster response areas!

Since designing the shed, I have worked with teams in Texas, Oklahoma, and Mississippi to pre-build, transport and set-up sheds.

Just a few days ago, I got back from Oklahoma, where over 400 young people and adult leaders came from all over Texas to help build sheds. I worked with one group in the warehouse where some of these volunteers pre-built fronts, backs and sides to be assembled. I also went out and helped set-up 2 sheds.

One of the families that received a shed had just moved into a new home built by Habitat for Humanity. Before the tornado hit, they had been planning to have an old, dead tree removed from their back yard. Ironically, the only thing left standing after the tornado was that tree!

Now it stands proudly in their yard reminding them of God’s protection in the midst of the storm. The children were at school when the storm hit, and took shelter with their classmates as the storm brought death and destruction all around them.

IMG_3346

The team in this photo came in from Saint Louis to work for Friday and Saturday. Their first pre-built shed was set-up in 1 hour and 45 minutes. Great teamwork! The homeowner and her son and daughter are to the left, in front of the tree.

With every trip I have made to work with Disaster Relief, my love for this work continues to grow. Sheds of Hope is growing by leaps and bounds, and there is much to be done to enhance the effectiveness of this rapid-response ministry.

Update to this Post as of February 11, 2015 

MNA has called me to work with Sheds of Hope. All three parts of the call have been approved 1. My internal call to work in this ministry 2. MNA’s call to work along side them in this ministry and 3. My Presbytery has now approved MNA’s call, and my acceptance of the call has been recorded, as well. Praise God! As of February 7th, all three of these have been confirmed and approved. I am now able to move forward as full time MNA Disaster Response Specialist, Sheds of Hope.

Prayer requests:
• For safe travel on the road this month
• For new contacts with churches and individuals during the trip and training events
• For safety, good weather, and good participation during the training events
• For good health
• For additional prayer and financial support

Online Giving Link:
For those who are able to give financial support, you can access my online account through the MNA website.
Gifts toward my support can be received into a designated MNA account. If you have pledged to my support in the past, you may start giving now.
• Here is the link to my online donation account through the MNA website:
• Online Giving Link

If your church has a missions committee, I would love to get in touch with them, as I still need additional monthly support and one time gifts. Just let me know who to call!

Shed of Hope – Mississippi Church Request

Available today is a new 8 x 16-foot shed plan.
A church in Louisville, Mississippi requested the longer shed following the tornado that came through the state in early May. Sheds of Hope provides 8 x 8 sheds to people who have been effected by storms.

The unique request came from a church who needed to store pews that are too long for the 8 foot long sheds. A team of volunteers will build the extra long 16-foot shed and set it up at the church in the next couple of weeks.

If you would like to help provide teams for Mississippi or Oklahoma, let us know at Sheds of Hope. Groups can also pre-build 8 x 8 sheds that can then be transported to the areas that have been hurt by the recent storms.

After months of planning and thinking about the design, we finally purchased the wood for the new Pulpit, Communion Table, Baptismal Font and Advent Candle Stand for First Church. Shedua wood was chosen for its beautiful natural color and striking designs in the grain.

The joy of coming up with a design that would work for the church and all that was involved in building it was the most demanding and time consuming part. There is no short cut to this step.

The staff at the church knew what they wanted for the overall look. They had selected and purchased a handmade glass bowl for the Baptismal Font. Now, the design and framework had a central focus that flowed into the rest of the design.

Baptismal Font

The  grain of the piece of Shedua wood that was used for the communion table reflects the natural tones and colors that are seen from every angle. A clear natural finish was used to protect the wood, while at the same time allowing one to see its beauty.

Communion Table

All four of the pieces needed to flow as one on the platform and be easy to remove, as the church sanctuary is part of a multi-use building.

The Set

Building and finishing all the pieces of furniture took about 120  hours, not counting the time for the design.

In Remembrance Of Me

We were very excited to be able to deliver the furniture in time for the first Communion Service in 2014.

We are reminded during this season of the church calendar of the visit of the Wise Men. “And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.  And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2: 9a-11 May the people who come each week be brought to Jesus, seeing him, and not just the things our hands have made.

God has given gifts to each of us. Will you ask him today how you can  use yours to help bring people to Jesus?

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.

Godly leaders take time to cultivate a willingness to teach people they have never met.

Colossians 1:4b-8 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints— the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace all its truth. You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.

Godly leaders take time to cultivate a willingness to pray for people they have never met.

Colossians 1:3; 9 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, … For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.