Did you know about our newest ministry addition? After serving together at “Neborns in Need”, the relationship has grown into a full-time partnership assisting parents in need of some help. Thanks to the lead of Jim Murray with this effort, the SURGE teams combined to help re-package 40,000 diapers. Following this project, through the aid of the Benevolene Ministry, we are now an agent for distribution of diapers coming through Newborns in Need. We have no boundaries limitting us on distributing these diapers. How cool it is to be able to help parents with this need.
Go has blessed us with another opportunity to help those around us. It’s great to be able to tell people that we love them & care about them, but it is so much better that we have been given these opportunities to show them by what we do. We give God the glory for helping these little ones who cannot help themselves.
On May 22, 2011, it is likely that every American Christian heard within hours that an F-5 tornado had ripped its way through Joplin, MO. Almost as quickly as the news spread, crews were in place to bring aid to the victims of this disaster. In some locations, not a wall was left standing. Many lives were lost and many more were injured. Everyone who has seen the devastation is amazed that more people were not lost in the storm.
Countless walls came down in just a very short time. Some, who knew the landscape well, could not find their way around the ravaged area of town. But, there is one wall that disappeared just as quickly. Fewer news reports have recognized its significance. This wall is the one that divides us. It is the religious barrier that prevents us from working together for the glory of God. It is the wall that separates us based upon race, creed or doctrine.
Countless crews of Christians from all denominations worked alongside one another, fed one another, travelled together & prayed together for one purpose. What the restoration movement has yet to see fulfilled doctrinally, was achieved in service and in love without one sermon or class, but through God working in the hearts of His people everywhere.
Jesus prayed to His Father in John 17, that those of us who believe in Him through the apostles’ message would be one. Through this, the world would see the oneness and believe that the Father had sent Him to us. I can truly say that for me personally, I witnessed that happening to a degree that I have never witnessed before. As workers from one organization were sorting debris, another was bringing sandwiches or drinks, while yet another was packing a house next door. Church vans from multiple denominations were lined up side by side outside a single church facility awaiting direction for service.
I will forever remember the destruction of walls in Joplin, but the one wall that was gone will continue to give me hope for what can be, when God’s people come together. I know Jesus was watching, as the Father answered His prayer.
When we are at the crossroads and faced with a decision, we first have to decide if we are in control or God. Ultimately, God is in control, but we still are given the opportunity to follow Him.
Even though there is a greater authority and power who will guide us, we still find ourselves at the controls. Have you ever been asked to deliver a package a quickly as possible? If so, you had your direction, but still had to make decisions on which street to take. Maybe you had to determine the time of day and usual flow of traffic to help you decide each turn. To make things a little more interesting, perhaps you were given specific instructions not to take any streets with school zones.
You would find freedom to make decisions, but you would also have some direction. If you were concerned with fulfilling your task efficiently, you would contemplate each turn. You would try to make each turn fulfill the objective.
It’s not that much different with God. We are faced with some decisions. We have direction and a goal. There are some specifics. It is still however, up to us to turn the wheel.
If you’re a person who does not like change, you might just like to take the same path all the time. Unfortunately, even paths change. If one is walked long enough & often enough, it becomes impassable and you must divert a bit to avoid the treacherous rut. Life is that way. There is going to be change. We can either take responsibility & help steer that change, or we can sit back and refuse to accept it while it changes anyway.
I’m acquainted with a church that had leadership express a few years ago, that they wanted things to just stay the same. After several years of not steering any change & trying to do things with the same people and the same ways, it has decreased in size to about 1/3 of what it was. People have died. Inevitable change. Less is being done, less participation, no attraction for newcomers.
Wouldn’t it be better to accept that things are going to change in life & then respond to that by taking hold of the wheel & steering the direction of the change? It’s not that we take those controls away from God. It’s more like accepting the responsibility that He has given to us. As long as we abide by His specific directives, we can then weigh the flow of traffic (society), determine the time of day,(current culture), and make decisions for change based upon our best ability to meet the objective.
Even with our best efforts in that, we find that we have times we do not feel wise enough to apply the knowledge that we have. So God has given us prayer. If we ask, He will provide the wisdom.
Even if you have a GPS navigator in your car, at least for now, you still have to press the gas pedal and turn the steering wheel for it to get you there.
Life is changing…..keep hold of the wheel! Brad
I have to confess, I have tried to write this post several times & end up deleting it each time. Instead of talking about the “new creation” or covenants or the nature of sin,…. I think I will simply leave it at this for today. JESUS (now you take it from here!)
No, I’m not talking about the environment. I’m speaking of the Leadership & Staff of Parkview Christian Church. We all agreed to die our hair green if the year-end offering reached $5000. Well, it did & then some. I can’t think of a better reason to dye my hair for the 1st time. This is going to begin on Friday night at the New Year’s Eve party & remain at least through Sunday. So, If your still looking for a great place to bring in 2011, look no further.
It is great to know that needs were met and we give God the glory for working among us. It should definitely give the sermon some life come Sunday morning!
Happy New Year!!!
What a great way to spend a day! It always amazes me how God sends more blessings our way when we are trying to pass along those blessings to others. You just can’t out give God. It’s kind of like visiting a nursing home. You always end up leaving with greater understanding or having your day enhanced in some way. You always feel like you went to give, but leave having received instead.
We had the opportunity to share together with 2 special young ladies from China this Thanksgiving. What a blessing we recieved from having them with us. They prepared for us a wonderful meal as we also then shared with them the “traditional” American meal. So many memories made.
We were blessed to share with extended family, but also had realization of empty places around our table. We can still be thankful for those relationships & look forward to being together in the future.
We also had reminder of others close to us that had difficulties and separation on a day they would have loved to have just been together with family. It was also touching to our hearts, that these were thankful for what God had blessed them with, even in the less desirable circumstances.
I hope that this, “once a year” celebration, is a reminder to us that an expression of “thanks” is an important part of every relationship. It clearly is essential between us & God, as it is likewise with each other. I know that personally, I easily have laid this day to rest, more thankful than I was when it began. Again, to God and to all those in my life….Thank You.
As we quickly approach the “Holiday Season” , we are reminded again that at this time of year, the world hears more about Jesus than any other time. Setting aside whether or not you think Jesus’ birth should be celebrated or not, nobody can deny that it is an opportunity for Christians to communicate to people around them, about Jesus.
It always amazes me how much discussion is devoted to the origin of the Christmas tree or the colors of red & green & what they represent. When the church was young, there was meat that was sacrificed to idols. That meat became an issue. Paul, writing about the controversy made it clear that nothing was wrong with the meat itself. But they were to give consideration for those who thought they were worshipping an idol if they ate it. So, it is ok to consider each other & our feelings, but realize that probably nobody living today actually puts up a Christmas tree thinking about pagan worship.
It is a rare thing though, for people to experience December in America without at least thinking about Jesus. It is also likely that just a few simple comments or expressions of faith will affect the thoughts of others concerning Jesus. Even more so, our actions can scream a loud message of service, humility, grace & love. Just a simple recognition of Jesus coupled with our actions could guide a thought process in someone’s life that either brings them to Jesus, or restores what they once held dear.
If we are going to be a people who, “takes every opportunity”, then now is definitely a time to step up. As the Church & also as individuals, let’s see if we can really make this season one that glorifies Him.
As a Church, we will be having a very special Sunday service the 19th. It will involve the kids as well as a new choir. The focus will be on the love of Jesus. Following that, we will have a special but short Christmas Eve service. Both of these times would be a great time to invite family & friends.
From the Smith Family, to our family at Parkview, have a wonderful December & a Merry Christmas! Brad
Hey Everyone, You can join ”Brad’s Blog” & get new posts sent to your e-mail! Of course, you can make comments on posts, without becoming a member/subscriber. The advantage to this is the reminder that the blog is here & active. If you go to the right side of the page, under “Meta”, you will see the word “register”. Simply click there & it will let you fill in profile info and then select subscriptions on the upper left & you’re set. You don’t have to put a lot of personal information on the profile, so don’t be concerned about info getting out. Of course, you will be seen as hanging with the “Preacher”, so you might want to consider that a bit! Look forward to your participation & comments, Brad
As of October 4th, my family and I have been at Parkview for a year. I said for a long time that the best way to get to know someone is to work with them. That being said, we have gotten to know you easily, as there are so many working at so many things. It is always good to hear from people outside the congregation that they know of things that are being done and are impressed with the church here at Parkview. Over the past year, we have experienced some loss, at least physically, by those who have moved on to be with Christ in “paradise”. We have also experienced some gain, by the witnessing of some who have accepted Christ for the first time in their lives. What a blessing we have to experience life together.
Living in a society of people, we all have relationships with others. Some of these naturally go deeper than others. Having experienced this, we all know that relationships bring good times and sometimes hardship. It is the concept that Paul talked to the early Christians about, when he said “when one member suffers, we all suffer” and “we give honor when honor is due.” Growing together as a church is unique in that we have God’s Spirit working among us to help us fit together as He has need. This makes our relationships different from any other relationships that we have in this life. It’s not always just in the closeness or common personal interests that we see that “special” nature of our relationships, but it should always be seen in purpose. Our common goal is to shine the light of the “good news” to the world around us. As our heritage is one of a common faith, so our purpose is one of a common message. While we may have individual functions in that effort, we allow God to use that individuality to blend together.
It is with this purpose that we press forward into another month, another year, intent to see the glory of God in what we present to the community and world around us. It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving and Christmas are closely upon us. With the same steady passing of time, we will soon be finished with our efforts at Parkview, in our families and in the world around us.
Some may have started a “Christmas club” account. That is when you set aside a specific amount of money each month to reserve for buying Christmas presents. If so, soon you will be using what is saved up, for the very purpose it was saved. It might be a good time to consider….Why were you saved? Is that how you are being used? Or has something gotten in the way? God has a purpose for each of us. He also has a purpose for all of us.
We might be thinking.. Wow, November already, I’ve got to get ready for the holidays! Better yet, what a “holy”day it will be when Christ returns! Ready?
An independent Christian church, Parkview Christian Church serves the community of Springfield and the world. As believers in the Bible, we take the great commission to heart and hope you have heard the message of redemption. Come by any time to see what we are up to, or better yet, join us in person as we fellowship in the word and spread the gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ to a hurting world.