This past week we spent a couple of days with our Grace Group helping Casa de Elizabeth orphanage in Imuris, Mexico. Our church helps this particular orphanage by not just giving some financial help, but by praying for them and occasionally going to help out with some real practical needs. #GraceGives
Last summer a group went and we painted the outside white. Looks great with the finished trim work done since then.
This is the small group (minus the beautiful photographer…see below) that did some painting, electrical work, hung curtains and prepared a couple of meals for the kids and staff.
Great job, team. Loved working alongside each of you!
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:35-40
Pray. Whether you can give or not, the best thing we have going for us is to pray earnestly. So, let’s do that.
Give. There are many opportunities to help those suffering in the Philippines. At Grace we’ve primarily used Samaritan’s Purse in the past. So we will again this time. If you’d like to go online and give directly through their site, you can do so here.
If you’d like to give through our church, you can do so these next few weeks. Whether you give at church or online we’ll send whatever comes in to Samaritan’s Purse. We love what they do and how they do it.
Each Sunday this year @ Grace we are putting out a challenge, a ‘stepping out’ if you will, kind of challenge. Often sermons leave us thinking about our relationship to God and sometimes an action point that relates to those with whom we are closest. These challenges are about ‘stepping out’ of our routines and comforts and stepping alongside those we see and don’t yet know. Here are the first three:
- Think of a way to show appreciation to someone who blessed you in 2012
- Meet a neighbor
- Serve someone anonymously
I know, seems simple. Lots of room to be creative, or not.
Here’s the point: We want to take initial steps in knowing and serving one another and those who are all around us. Some of the challenges will be pointed towards others in our fellowship, some towards neighbors we know, and those we’ve never met. Some will be pointed towards missionaries we support and the smiling face that gives us our receipt at the local store. The reason is not to say that we have finally fulfilled the Great Commandment to “love one another”, but to move in that direction.
My hope is that as we take these weekly challenges we will see a change in our perspective of where we live and how we can serve those around us.
Come and join us. The weekly challenges are put on our website each Monday for that week. What could it look like to have 500+ people in our community acting on these challenges to love and to serve?
I just went online and gave a gift to help the victims from hurricane Sandy through Samaritan’s Purse. Our church has chosen to use this ministry as the best way to help in disasters like this.
You can go to the website and watch the video, or just read about all they are doing right now. http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/articles/franklin_graham_support_for_sandy_victims/
Then click the GIVE button and enter your debit card info. I’ve done this before. It is safe and it is a good thing to do. As you give, pray that God will use your gift to bless someone. Whether it’s a victim still awaiting help, or a volunteer who is there giving of themselves to help, pray for people. People need the Lord, and many will see the “good works” of Samaritan’s Purse volunteers and witness the light of the World. Matt 5:14-16
Tomorrow our church is taking a portion of our normal worship service to serve the school that we have been meeting in for almost 18 years. It’s amazing to me to think of how long God has allowed us to meet in this place.
As I was preparing for my message tomorrow, I was reminded that as we serve the school tomorrow we’re serving God and people. Sinagua is not a building. It’s people. Many of them may not be followers of Jesus, but they are people He created. People He loves. So, we’ll be serving Him and His purposes by taking some time to wipe down some shelves, move some desks and do some clean up work. I can’t wait.
If you’re a Gracer, here’s the plan for tomorrow:
Come to church and get a good seat. I suggest 9:50. It’ll be packed tomorrow. There is no children’s ministry or nursery. EVERYONE will be together for our worship and teaching and serving! We will shorten the service significantly so we can jump right in and get to work on some basic projects around the school. We will then gather and finish our time together with lunch.
- Come at 9:50
- Everyone will be together in the service
- Wear your work clothes
- Worship will start right @ 10
- I’ll be teaching a brief message
- 10:35 we will be getting to our projects
- There is something for everyone!
- You will be encouraged to work together as a family
- Lunch will be awesome, as always.
What a great way to serve God! We get to bless Sinagua (remember, Sinagua is people, not a building!) And we get to work together, side by side, getting to know others in our church.
“Grace Gives” is our effort to serve the community of Flagstaff. We have 3 projects we’ve committed to and several more in the works. We’re asking the family of Grace Church to serve our community with the love of Jesus with no strings attached, no hidden agenda. Let’s allow God’s love to do what only God can do. Let’s be His hands and feet in the community we call home.
Last Sunday we had about 100 people sign up for some of the needs. This Sunday we’ll have the sheets available again to give more of you an opportunity to serve. Thanks Grace, for being so giving.
I’m pretty jazzed about preaching John tomorrow. I really don’t want to finish this book because it’s been such an amazing study on the Gospel of Grace! Yet, I’m excited because of how it finishes. Really comes down to two words. Follow Me. Many of you have, most of you will be challenged to take the next step in following Jesus.
Tomorrow we’re launching “Grace Gives”. I really can’t wait to invite our entire church family to give freely of the grace that we’ve received. This is going to be huge.
Thanks Lord for giving us Your Word and Your Mission! We are free to live in grace and pass it on to others as well.