The Snowball

I’ve seen videos of avalanches. They are big, powerful, and unstoppable. Its a juggernaut that keeps going rolling to the bottom. Resistance, (as the Borg would say) is futile. 

This week, the avalanche is in Winston. World Changers has taken over our little town and it is full steam ahead. The past few days, students and their adults have been at homes, parks, and churches all around Winston, Green, Dillard, and Canyonville. They are working hard, changing lives, and working hard TO change lives. 

As hard as these wonderful volunteers are working, I’m very much in awe of how hard our little church has been working to supply lunches to all these students. I should show a picture sometime. It is quite remarkable what a great little machine we have here. It is a constant reminder that though individually we may consider ourselves poor, God can still accomplish amazing things when we work together. 

It makes me think about how Christ started his ministry. He had 12 disciples that he called away to follow him. To think that our faith, built on the sacrificial death and resurrection of Christ, was entrusted to 12 men who didn’t have much on their own, is a testament to how powerful our Lord is. Providing for this project, to Him, is peanuts.

May God bless all of you as he has blessed us!Image

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You can be a… Wooooooorld Changerrrrrr!!!!!

I am very tired. But it is for a good reason, not like the times in college I would stay up late at night playing video games and drinking Dr. Pepper. As I type, adults in Winston and various churches are hurriedly putting together last minute details and what not for our World Changer project next week in Winston, Oregon. Stuff is everywhere, but mostly situated in the youth room. It looks like a college student’s doomsday bunker.

There are times when the planning process has been frustrating. Things don’t come together like they are supposed to. Funding is always an issue that lingers in the back of your mind that threatens to undo the positive attitude and the excitement that has been building up in you the past two or three months, and mercifully, I’m not the person that has to pull together the funding.

However, with less than a week to go, things seem to be coming together. God has been gracious as always with us, and we are getting that much more confident that this week will be unlike anything that has ever been seen in the town of Winston.

With that though comes all the busyness and the behind the scenes work. My desk is littered with World Changers information, contacts, updates, and notes scrawled any spare piece of paper I can find. My thoughts are disorganized, which as Denise will tell you, is nothing new.

And to be frank and honest, there have been times in the midst of a rush of frustrations that I have said to myself, “I wouldn’t have to be dealing with this right now if I never introduced this project.” Yes. I have said that a few times. In His infinite grace, God has reminded me that yes, if we weren’t doing this project, I wouldn’t have to worry about anything. The flip side though, is that if this project was never here, the city of Winston would never be impacted for Christ as they will be soon. Homes and lives that desperately need fixing would never be fixed, and I wouldn’t be on task with what God is already doing here.

The busyness is worth it. The frustration is worth it. The piles of paper and to-do lists are worth it. Proverbs 14:4 tells us:

“Where no oxen are, the manger is clean,

But much revenue comes by the strength of the ox.”

I would have rather have a busy and messy desk than a stagnant and clean one.

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You can pick your friends, you can pick your nose…

 I sometimes have trouble making friends. (I hear you covering your mouths in shock). Because I am very introverted, I do not become close with people automatically. A lot of this stems from realizing I made some poor friend choices in my life. I am much more selective than I used to be. So, to my 400+ friends in Facebook…congratulations!!!

Anyway, I was reading the bible and I realized that Jehoshephat had a similar problem. He was a contemporary of King Ahab, who by all accounts, was the most evil, spineless king Israel had ever had. It is possible to be evil AND spineless, and you don’t have to work hard at it.

In 1 Kings 22,  Ahab wanted to go to war with another nation but, needed Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah’s help. This was something J (for short, I’m not spelling his name over and over) should have not gone and done. He should have especially realized that this was a bad idea because Ahab told him to dress in his royal apparel while he hung back in disguise. Now, I’m no genius, but I would call it off right there. In the end, J almost winds up getting killed, but Ahab’s plan backfires and kills him.

The lesson to be learned from this is who we make our friends with. We want to be accepted and liked, and sometimes we make poor choices based on those decisions. When we were kids, many of us wanted to be popular, liked, and protected so we made friends with that 8 year old down the block who purposely tried to run over your dog on his bike. Many of us adults may enter into business partnerships or other relationships that only drag us down and never lift us up.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul wrote the believers there saying,  “Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness?” 

Thankfully, I’ve managed to pick my friends carefully, especially my closest friend (I love you, Denise!) In the end, I must remember that my allegiance is ultimately to Christ, and in the end, anything that strives to come between me and Him should ultimately be cut off.

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Compassion

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1 John 3:17 “If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need but shuts off his compassion from him – how can God’s love reside in him?”

A woman in our bible study group asked, “I know we need to show compassion, but how do we do this and not become pushovers?”

I thought this was a good question,  and by the replies of everyone else in our study, they thought it was too. In fact, it generated more conversation than any of the questions I posed to them. So, from now on, she will write our bible studies if she thinks she’s so smart.

However, it got me thinking: What do we do to be generous and show compassion but keep people from taking advantage of it?

Or, in other words, how do help people not become moochers? And, what does compassion have to do with it?

The apostles, Peter and John, encountered a man, who many a jewish person in 1st century A.D. would have considered a moocher without question. Since he was lame from birth, he couldn’t move around much unless someone carried him, which would get tiring for that person after a while. He laid on the ground and begged people for money, because of course, money would have made him better again. Peter and John offered him something better. Through Christ, they gave him the ability to walk again. Not money, but what the man deep down really needed.

As someone who is an expert on mooching, (I lived with my parents for a significant amount of time) I could contribute a lot to this question, but I welcome your thoughts, opinions, and ideas on this matter. Remember, there are no silly answers, just silly little brothers…

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