Don’t allow personal failures to rob you of living the rest of your life by faith. Your best may still be before you.

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

Hebrews 11:32 “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—”

In and around Moore, Oklahoma “Sheds of Hope” are beginning to rise above the partially cleared rubble where houses once stood. The project is sponsored by the Presbyterian Church in America’s “Mission to North America” branch.

Sheds of Hope Teams

Sheds of Hope Teams

Church teams have come from all over the country into the area and have built almost 70 sheds in the past few months. This week, a team from Maryland and another from Iowa helped build sheds for families who lived through the tornadoes that devastated their neighborhoods.

The shed in the picture is for a couple who survived the storm by taking refuge in a closet. When they came out after the tornado had passed, all that was left of their home was the closet. The lady who lived beside them just had enough time to pull a mattress over her head when the wind began to spin her and the mattress around inside her home. Rescuers found her among the rubble of her home, badly hurt but alive. The EF5 tornado took a direct path through this area.

The couple whose shed we built is planning to rebuild once a contractor is lined up. While we were getting ready to build the shed, a neighbor stopped by in his truck and ask if he could get a shed, as well. Sheds of Hope have over 200 families on the list for a shed. With only two teams lined up to come and help build sheds in the next few months, they need people willing to go and help build. Christ the King church in Norman will house teams and all it will cost your team is food and travel.

The two teams this week join a long list of churches that are helping people who have lost everything. A small team of six or seven people can build a shed. A shed is often the first sign that a home owner is planning to rebuild in the area again. These sheds give other families hope as they to begin to think about rebuilding.

I stayed in a campground near the church that was housing the teams. The man next to us lost his home, and all he retrieved from the rubble was some of his clothes. He and his son sold their lot and at the moment, they do not plan to rebuild.

People are having to make tough decisions. How could you or your church help people affected by the tornadoes in Oklahoma? Let’s talk! Share the Love…

If you would like to help, contact Sheds of Hope

The crippling of our hearts can only be undone by looking to Jesus.

“But Peter said, ‘I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!’…And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.” Acts 3:6,10b

 

Ralph doesn’t want to be a bad guy!

My latest favorite movie is Wreck-It-Ralph. I have to admit up front, this is just the latest in a long line of movie favorites.

Picture of a brick wallRalph is the “bad guy” in a thirty year old arcade game. Each night, after a hard day of wrecking, he goes home to his pile of bricks – alone. On the other hand, Felix, the “good guy,” gets a medal each night and is praised by everyone in the building where he has fixed everything Ralph had wrecked during the day.

Ralph hears in passing that a medal is given out in another game, and he sets out to see if he can get that medal. To do so he has to game-jump – not a good thing, because if you game-jump and die outside your game, you don’t get regenerated when it is reset. Game over for you. But the lure of the medal is to great for Ralph, and he sets out on his adventure to get a medal in another game.

When Ralph focuses on being passed over, his feelings lead him to a very dangerous place. Now in a dark and hostile environment, but still bent on getting a medal for himself, he unwittingly unleashes forces that endanger those in his own game and the people in the other games as well. Feelings have a nasty way of turning on us.

Have you ever felt like everybody around you gets all the praise and the medals, and you get none? What do you do when life and opportunities pass you by? How do you deal with it? You don’t want to go Turbo and game-jump.

What could your church do to connect with people who feel they’ve been passed over in life and may be thinking of game-jumping? Let’s talk! Share the Love…

Listen to Lightning Storm by David Dunn

Adam Names Everything Under His Care

Genesis 2:20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.

Jesus Prays For Everyone Under His Care

John 17:24 Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

Paper or Plastic?

iPad and Note Pad Together

iPad and a Note Pad

Connectivity has never been so easy! Whether sitting in a meeting or separated by great distances, we can connect almost instantaneously with one another. Even hard copies of documents can arrive within hours, or at least overnight. Today, I just sent our kids pictures from our oldest son’s wedding seven years ago. I got a Facebook invite from a family whose house I helped build over 35 years ago. Yesterday, I read that a school district in Los Angeles will need 640 thousand iPads for the new school year. Last night I watched an ad geared toward kids as they get ready for the upcoming school year. The company was still in the business of selling paper, writing books, back packs, calculators, pens and pencils.

I recently changed from paper sermon notes to using my iPad. For the first few weeks, I would go into the pulpit with both the iPad and my notes printed out, just in case. Now that I’ve made the switch, I don’t see myself going back to paper. There’s still a mix of paper and plastic in the hands of the people I’m talking to, but change is in the air.

What could your church begin to offer the person who brings their iPad/Tablet with them on Sunday? Let’s talk! Share the Love…

1. If you are still looking at people within the church as they once were – crippled and broken by sin – your heart is crippled and needs to be transformed

2. If you are seeing people within the church as they now are in Christ – your heart, once crippled by sin, is beginning to be transformed and changed to a heart of praise and wonder

And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Acts 3:10

The web is changing faster than we have time to digest, and people are surfing it faster than ever before. Flip book shows how fast people are scanning the news. Are you Old School? You know that If a book doesn’t grab your attention in the first few sentences, it’s too late. The church website is no different. You only have a few seconds to show that you are relevant. Here is a Test: Go to your church website and see if you have any events older than last Sunday listed.

Wake Up and LiveThe same is true of visual communication. Speed. Add to that “ease of delivery” and you have YouTube. “Over four billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube. Seventy-two hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute” Source: youtube.com/yt/press/statistics

To put this in perspective. This means that every minute of the day represents 90,000+ hours of video being watched by people across the globe. People are watching short videos on their phones, tablets, and computers.

Getting people to spend more than a few seconds on your church website is not something that just happens; it takes work. What would you do to help your church website get noticed? Let’s talk! Share the Love…

Heaven is filled with once-crippled sinners who were unable to praise God; but our brother came and demonstrated His love for broken and crippled people.  in doing so, he rescued our hearts and restored us to the Father, enabling us to praise Him for healing us.

Celebrating can be peaceful or boisterous, private or shared; but it leaves a lasting impression. The gathering place for our family celebrations when I was a child was in my grandparents’ cottage on the coast of Northern Ireland. My grandparents had a “good room” which was kept for special occasions. The fire would be kindled, and the room would be full of family and friends.

Enjoying the viewMy aunt Sally would keep us children entertained by a game called “Hiding the Thimble.” One of the kids would hide the thimble while the others were out of the room. When they came back in, it was a mad dash to be the one to find the thimble. If you have ever played this kind of game, you know the secret: never look in the direction of the hiding place if you know where it is. When the thimble was found, everyone in the  room shared in the celebration.  O how we children would look forward to any excuse to get into the “good room.”

After a family visit to Ireland one year, our children couldn’t wait to play “Hide the Thimble” when we got home. Why? It was because they had experienced the “good room” and Aunt Sally, who just loved to get all the kids around the fire and then show them the thimble.

Having a time when the church can gather and celebrate can build great memories for all involved. It’s true that this should be part of every worship service, but another way a church can have “good room” moments like this is when they have set goals and have been anticipating seeing God wonderfully meet their needs. The day comes, and the celebrating begins. The tambourines and the trumpets come out (maybe even literally!), and everyone can have a great time together. A church that sets goals together can celebrate together. What are some goals your church celebrates? Let’s talk! Share the Love…