One of Eight Blog
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April 25, 2019, 12:25 PM

Contagious


Contagious!  That is the word that best describes what is taking place.  Let me rewind so that you get a chance to see what I mean.

 

March 26, 1:25am.  Text Message from Amy Pearman.  “I have something to put on a leaf.  I can’t wait to tell u about it!!!”  That’s what came across my text message.  Very cryptic to say the least, but kind of exciting all at the same time.  My response was to say that I was looking forward to whatever she was going to do.

 

April 2, 11:32am.  2nd text from Amy “So, I joined Billy’s ministry and went to a meeting.  There was a guy there from first refuge who told us all about the things they do and how they are expanding to Sanger.  They do free medical, dental, counseling and food pantry.  They r also wanting to add a ‘women’s health center’ one door down from planned parenthood in Denton to give girls an option in where to go if they need help…  He says he estimates we can save 200 babies the first 6months we r open.!!  We would also have the opportunity to get trained on how to minister to these girls and work there.  We could do something tangible to help stop abortion!!!   So exciting!!  He has all the resources he needs to open the center except for $2500/Mo rent.  I couldn’t put what he said out of my mind so I started praying about it and I ended up going to talk to him and now God is helping me raise money for it.  We already have a commitment of $1400/Mo for a year!!!!!!whoop!!!!”

John:   So, I’m reading all of this while standing outside the Collinsville Church building.  We had been having our monthly preacher’s meeting when all of this info started popping up.  Here is the irony: I had just finished catching everyone up on our “One of The Eight” campaign. 

Not more than a few minutes later, another text message.  Can you guess from who?  “Make that $1500/Mo.  God is good!!” 

April 3, 5:20pm.  Mitchell Smith sends a message to the leadership, “Missy Collister wants to come talk to us about something, I told her to come in at 6:45.”  That night she shows up with her husband Derrick to, you guessed it, talk about helping unwed mothers through a program called “Embrace Grace”.  This program focuses on helping these mothers with the choices they are faced with after deciding to give birth to their child.  Its just another part of the process that needs to be addressed.

If you feel a desire to get involved, you’re not alone.  If seems to be contagious.  Talk with one of these people.  They can put you on to something meaningful.  And as always, keep them in your prayers.




April 16, 2019, 7:15 PM

Igniting the Fire


Yes, I know it has been a few weeks since you’ve gotten an update.  There has been so much going on, that’s its been hard to stop long enough to share the news.

 

God has blessed us with some powerful committed hearts that are on fire for galvanizing brothers and sister in Christ to support their ministries.  It doesn’t take much to see how God has used convicted souls to stem the tide of injustice toward those unnamed and overlooked children whom we know God knows and calls by name.

 

Billy Odell started this awareness campaign in order to get people to see the Movie “Unplanned”.  Nothing can be more powerful than to see a true-life story of how a person who supported and worked for the pro-choice movement was converted to a pro-life call to arms.

 

His efforts have allowed our congregation access to politicians who can legislate our convictions.   He has pushed me to preach on the subject from our pulpit.  He has formulated an action committee within the congregation to find ways to keep the fight going.

Tune in next week to hear about how this on act of commitment has ignited the fire in others who have found their own area of commitment and action.  It truly is a contagious atmosphere that God has allowed to grow within his family.




March 5, 2019, 11:42 AM

Acts of Righteousness


This week’s update spotlights the unsung heroes of the eight.  Our tree has, at last count, over fifty personalized commitments given by young and old alike.  These include individuals who signed their names and those who felt that recognition and attention was unwarranted or unwanted. Some of those have been shared with you over the past few weeks as a challenge to encourage and a means of accountability. 

Today, however, I thought it good for all of us to be reminded that no matter how big or how small these commitments might be, each one is important.

If you are the ones who are committed to prayer, then pray.

If you are the ones who are reading God’s word, don’t stop.

If you are trying to be positive, smile.

If you are asking people to come and worship God, don’t be discouraged.

If you’re reaching out to those around you in a way to met their needs, don’t forget to tell them who motivates you and gives you hope.

My prayer is that what you do in secret will be rewarded by God.  Jesus put it this way:

Matt 6:1-4

 "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2 "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

NIV




February 20, 2019, 11:00 AM

Keenan's Prayer


Teach Us To Pray

These were the words of Jesus’ disciples after the observed Jesus praying. Luke records the event:

Luke 11:1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."

NIV

Think about it. These are grown men who now have been with Jesus and are very familiar with John the Baptist and his ministry. You might even think that it would be a forgone conclusion that these men should know by now how to pray.

Can prayer be something new and challenging to one’s spiritual life? Can prayer be the beginning of a new outreach to those who need to be introduced to Jesus? Can a simple prayer being said for the very first time change the whole makeup of your job or business?

Let me share with you the story of one of the eight.

It’s Spring. Birds are singing. Weeds are growing. Easter has come and gone. If you remember, last year was kind of strange as far as the weather was concerned. I remember standing at the front of Christine’s store. No, I’m not a quilter. Nor have I ever been interested in learning how.

The decision had been made to remove the burden of the overhead of storefront rental and move operations to their personal property in Bolivar. I was there to help move the packed boxes to their new home before the new tenant took over the lease.

Christine shared with me that God had been at work in securing someone who would be willing to take her place in downtown Sanger. “I was here at the store with my daughter Katy when Keenan came to town. He was looking for a place to call home for his business. Katy actually ran out the door and chased him down.”

Well, to make a long story short, Keenan opened up his Herbalife business. Started doing work out sessions with his customers. Made the Lord’s church here in Sanger his place to worship. Brought his girlfriend Olivia to learn about Jesus. Buried her in Christ. And, now is taking on the challenge of reading through the Bible in a year.

So, what is it that has made him one of the eight? Let me share a piece of a text message that he sent to me:

“… But for the tree (this is the one we have been using to as record of everyone who wants to do something new in 2019 for the Lord) I want to use this place as my ministry to help people. How or what that’s gonna involve or evolve into, I have no idea… And I know we already talked about doing a prayer before fit camp. That is where I want to start and hopefully evolve from there.”

What a blessing it was to read those words and feel the excitement in his heart.

That excitement was quickly followed by fear. As I continued to read, I quickly found that one thing he hadn’t plannned on was to start with something he had never done. He shared with me his fear over praying in public. It was something that he would have to overcome if he was going to implement this new focus at work.

Bible study with Keenan helped him quickly see that prayer is taught not just something you are born with. Prayer is simple when you have God’s only son to show you the way. Prayer becomes a part of your everyday life and with it comes something that is as common as tying your shoes.

 

Text received Monday, February 11th at 7:47 P.M.

 

 

 

Keep it Going Keenan. God is using you. We are praying for you to touch lives with God’s love.




February 11, 2019, 12:00 PM

Finding the Right Button


Many years ago, I had a friend who thought he wanted to begin a career as a truck driver. His aspirations to make a living driving across the country in his own truck led him to a decision to going shopping. The call: “Hey John, you want to go with me and try out some trucks? If I’m going to drive, I’ve got to have some wheels.” Needless to say, neither of us had much experience with big rigs, but that wasn’t going to stop us.

On the lot we found every color and kind of semi you could imagine. Some had sleepers, while others boasted chrome and pin stripes. We found what we thought was the perfect truck and decided to climb up inside. The feel of the size and smell of cigarettes made us think we could be Smokey and the Bandit.

The only thing that could match this sensation was when that Mack started to prowl. Smoke poured out of the twin stacks. The sun visors shook. The Dog on the gear shift knob looked as if he was ready to run.

Our excitement quickly turned into something else. After the dream of the new life wore off and we came back to reality, my buddy starts looking around the steering wheel. Left, right, then up and down. He takes inventory of the buttons above his head then back down to the steering wheel again. “I can’t find the off button!”

After several failed attempts, I came around to the driver’s side of truck convinced I could shut down this asphalt eating demon. Left, right, then up and down, I pushed buttons. I switched levers. I turned knobs. That Dog on the gear shift started to laugh at me.

Panic is the only way to express what I was feeling. That is until, my door opened up and my coconspirator said to me, “Come on, get down.” I thought, “What are we doing? Are we going to find some help?”

Instead of help, we snuck off the lot and quickly made our escape. As we turned the corner and entered the freeway, I could still see that truck sitting in the middle of that lot, smoke stacks puffing. It may still be running to this day. All because someone forgot to include a switch to turn it off.

Last Sunday, one of our shepherds, Mitchell Smith, preached a great sermon about how to start a ministry. Each of the steps he listed were so perfect and I’m glad I got to hear them.

For many, you’re like my buddy and I not knowing where the switch is. You would like to do something. You just don’t know how to get it started. If that’s you, take a listen to Mitchell’s lesson from last Sunday, he’ll show you how.

That leads me to our update on the Eight today. Edna Mouat shared with me another great ministry. In her own words, I share it with you.

“When you started the series on being one of the eight, Rochelle & I decided to go ahead with what had been on our hearts for a long time. That was to make blankets for babies and older children and find an outlet for them. We also wanted Jesus to be shown to our community through our efforts. Here is a sample of one of the blankets and the labels we have chosen.

 

We will be donating to the Family shelter in Denton. They currently serve around 500 families a month. Around 200 of their clients are there for extended stays. We have committed to 10 to12 blankets per month.”

That’s how you get a new ministry started. Please pray for them to keep their commitment. Pray for them to touch lives for Jesus. Or, maybe you could get involved and help them. Time, talent, or money can help keep this switch pointed in the correct direction.


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