28 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many." - Matthew 20:28 (NLT)
|Newsletter Vol. I, Issue 5||June 2010|
We've delivered or served over 7200 meals so far this year. Thank you to all the dedicated volunteers that sacrifice every Thursday morning and night and faithfully continue to serve.
If you would like to be part of building relationships, experiencing community and serving our neighbors, then join us each week.
Every Thursday morning from 9-11 am assembling the over 300 meals and every Thursday night from 5:30-8:30 pm deliveriing the meals.
We invite you to "Come and See" God at work.
Me, me, me. Life more and more seems to be about me. Not as in me, Bryan, but in me, myself and I. Look around in the world and you'll see what I mean. When we go out to eat we are waited on, when we stay in a hotel our room is cleaned. Salespeople help us at the store, not only in deciding what to buy, but then they take our money as well. Notice I said "our" money and not God's money. We can even have someone bring pizza to our front door. We can be waited on in almost every way in life. So it shouldn't be any wonder that it's harder and harder to get people to serve others. The struggle is that it's NOT ABOUT ME when I'm serving others, yet the single most transforming thing in a person's life happens when they make a commitment to serve others. It's like exercising. I know if I do it, I will feel better but I just can't get started. Or dieting, I know if I eat right, at the end of the diet I will feel better but I just can't stay on it. I think there are several reasons why we don't serve others more, and I don't mean the occasional once or twice a year just to feel better kind of serving, but the everyday, every week kind of serving.
, we live in a SELF-serve brain-washed world
as I pointed out before. Two
, we don't believe Jesus, in his way-of-life example and we certainly don't believe in what he says will be our reward. Oh, I know we say we do but unless we do it on a regular basis can we really say we believe him? Come on now, really?, I live in
the Show-Me state. Jesus set very clear examples of his service like in John 13 when he washed his disciples' feet. Or how about his story of the Good Samaritan. He also told us that service would be rewarded by separating the sheep from the goats. In the book of Mark Jesus says "If anyone gives you even a cup of water because you belong to the Messiah, I tell you the truth, that person will surely be rewarded. Mark 9:41 (NLT). Third
, I think fear keeps us from serving. Fear to take our eyes off ourselves, and our wallet, to live a life of service and generosity. I live in this fear today in my life so I totally get this. For instance, I want to sell our house before I take a deeper plunge into service. Really what it boils down to is not trusting in God. Paul told Timothy 18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. 1 Timothy 6:18 (NLT).
So why am I afraid? I think because society tells me I have to live in an upward lifestyle instead of a downward lifestyle. I know I've come a long way in overcoming this fear and I believe once I fully overcome it I will be able to enjoy life like never before.
Something happens in our transformation in overcoming fear when we begin to take our eyes off ourselves and choose to serve others. In Toby Jones' book "The Way of Jesus" it says "Service: Period! means serving others without strings attached and without piling any theology or message on top of the work we do with and for others." He goes on to say that "serving creates community, community for the guests, for the volunteers, for everyone who participates. There's something enormously powerful and uniting about Service: Period!" I truly believe this as serving others has helped transform Amy & I. We get to experience the "community" Toby is referring to each week through Jesus Was Homeless. Sometimes I can get caught up in the number of volunteers, or lack of, that show up to serve. I know people get busy with life but if we not only believe in Jesus and what he says, we have to trust that serving should be at the top of our list of things to do. Just maybe it should be more important than the final season of Lost, mowing the yard, or even a sporting event. Getting us "too busy" to serve is a very strategic plan of the enemy.
If you want to serve and can't at your church maybe you should look for a church home that will allow you to serve in some capacity. There is always something you can use your gifts in service for. This gentleman found us on the internet and here is what he is doing to serve:
My name is David. I am 68 years old (I have a hip replacement) and I can't do very much! I attend Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, Calif. I hope you will read this e-mail. I thought it might be of some interest to you. It shows what the Lord can do if we listen to him and then follow what he has to say! My wife and I belong to what we call the "Red Wagon." The "Red Wagon" is just a name for our church group that feeds the homeless on Mondays and Thursdays. We feed aproximately 225 homeless people every week! Over the years, I have prayed for something I could do for the church. I can't carry a tune, can't teach, etc. Well, finally the Lord spoke to me! As I was wrapping the forks and spoons into the napkins (Our health Dept. requires us to do this! ) the Lord told me that we are feeding the homeless food so why not give them a Bible Verse to take with them, more food! Well, I finally found something I can do! I print out aprox. 225 Bible Verses each week, 25 Verses, then change to a new verse! I hand write them, using a colored marking pen. Only three colors. Red (Title I make up ) Blue ( The Verse ) Black ( Where found in the Bible ) I print them on my home printer ( Copier ). I get two on each sheet of 8.5x11 inch standard paper. I cut them in half and wrap one in each napkin with the fork and spoon. I have been doing this for about six months and so far, no one has thrown them away! One lady found hers. She had accidently thrown it away with her napkin. She says she saves all of them! This is something simple that anyone can do. Maybe you know someone that wants to serve the Lord and doesn't know what to do. By taking the first step which was joing the " Red Wagon," the Lord showed me what I can do! I AM REALLY BLESSED!!!
Thanks for reading this e-mail. I hope you enjoyed it!
God bless You! - David
PS: I will share this with anyone who is interested in serving the Lord in this manner. Please have them e-mail me. firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to serve with us, you're always welcome. If you want to just do "something" and don't know what, we'll be glad to brainstorm ideas with you. If you're not sure about us then I invite you to "Come and See".
Click on Heather to hear why she helps deliver foodVOLUNTEER SERVING
Heather is a recovering addict new at Church Army. Hear why she comes faithfully each morning to help prepare the meals and each night to help deliver the meals.
"I'm Heather Nelson and I volunteer because it helps me bring myself out of self, and it helps me feel good about helping other people that can't have the stuff that we can.
Here are some updated photos of the garden that we planted at Aunt Mollie's Extended Stay Motel. I'm so proud of the residents that live there. They have really taken ownership and are having fun watching and tending the garden. I can't wait to celebrate in the feast with our August "Love Your Neighbor" BBQ. It's all about loving God and loving people. Building relationships, doing life and experiencing true community together.
Aunt Mollie's Garden
Aunt Mollie's Garden
Aunt Mollie's Garden
Aunt Mollie's Garden
Thank you to those that have donated and to those that continue to support this out-reach. With no salaries to pay and no building costs to manage we are able to put 100% back into serving others.
We continue to see the majority of our donations come from the same individuals. I still believe part of the "blessing" of service is that everyone has an opportunity to participate. How can we get the group both on Facebook and through our email to make a commitment of only $5.00 per month? I believe if EVERYONE just did a little, the few would not have to do a lot. I would love to get your feedback, comments or suggestions on this.
We believe in total transparency with our finances so be sure to visit our web page under Resources to see our 2009 financial statement. We always want to be good stewards with any donations that are received.
|WISH LIST - We are in current IMMEDIATE need of the
Groups, organizations, kids - to color and put smiley faces on our bags that we deliver our "Happy Meals" in. Please contact us to help. They come in packages of 500.
Businesses to sponsor a food item - If restaurants would just order 1 case of an item off our food list (see Resource page on our website) each week we could serve more of those in need.
Dessert Food Items - We really need these for our weekly meals.
Shaving Cream - We need these items for our monthly
Razors toiletry bags.
Large Print NLT Bibles
Small 2 Person Tents
$25 Grocery Cards
If you have someone or something that you would like prayer for please email it to us and we will be sure to include it in our Prayer Requests.
Ron and Nancy LaDuke
- Ron had a stroke while raking ditches. ***UPDATE*** - Ron is back at home and progressing rather quickly. Suzette Brawner
- Suzette's dad is battling cancer.
My mom & dad, Tom & Carol Stallings
- The second surgery went well but continued prayer for healing is still needed.
Bryan & Amy Stallings - We currently have our house for sale and would love prayer around if it is God's will for it to sell. We are wanting to do more in ministry but feel that having a mortgage payment makes it difficult to make a career change.
|HITCHED & HAPPY
Join Amy & I and some friends for a 10 week series on marriage relationship skills right here in Branson. It's only $25 for the 10 week course and that includes dinner. Childcare is provided for only a small fee. If you're happily or unhappily married it's always good to learn some additional tools for your marriage toolbox. It has certainly helped us to continually work on our marriage. We look forward to seeing you there. Go to www.operationus.org
or click the image below.
Hitched & Happy
The Way of Jesus: Re-Forming Spiritual Communities in a Post-Church Age
by Toby Jones by Resource Publications
List Price: $18.00
Our Price: $17.00Buy Now
Awesome book about what the future of "Church" will look like. Toby Jones is spot on in this book about why people are fleeing the church yet searching for God. Read about Toby at http://www.booksandbridges.com/index.php
Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together
by Ron Hall by Thomas Nelson
List Price: $14.99
Our Price: $6.95Buy Now
Great book about an affluent couple that comes alongside a homeless man and builds a relationship that will inspire you.
What Every Church Member Should Know about Poverty
by Bill Ehlig by aha! Process, Inc.
List Price: $22.00
Our Price: $21.00Buy Now
If your church congregation wants to get involved with the poor or those living on the margins this is a must have book. You will learn about the "hidden rules" of poverty.
Not Just a One-Night Stand: Ministry with the Homeless
by John Flowers by Discipleship Resources
List Price: $14.00
Our Price: $10.73Buy Now
Fantastic book about a church that learned the only way to be a hand-up instead of a hand-out was to build long-term lasting relationships with those living in poverty and on the margins.
Enough: Discovering Joy through Simplicity and Generosity
by Adam Hamilton by Abingdon Press
List Price: $10.00
Our Price: $4.75Buy Now
No Perfect People Allowed: Creating a Come-as-You-Are Culture in the Church
by John Burke by Zondervan
List Price: $14.99
Our Price: $1.78Buy Now
This book is written by the pastor of Gateway Church in Austin, Texas. It is designed for those that want to become leaders within their church but I think it's a good read for anyone that wants to learn how to meet people where they are in life. Visit Gateway at http://www.gatewaychurch.com
The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical
by Shane Claiborne by Zondervan
List Price: $14.99
Our Price: $5.83Buy Now
This is by far my favorite all-time book. It's about a guy who decribes finding God among the poor. It's all about intentional living. To learn more about Shane Claiborne visit his website at http://www.thesimpleway.org
Please join us for our next "Love Your Neighbors" BBQ Event - At Motel 9, Sunday, June 6th from 4-6 PM. Bring a dessert item if you would like and share in this free and fun event celebrating the true spirit of "community". Break down the walls that society has built and experience life with someone that lives on the margins. There will be food and games for the kids as we cook-out. This will be a great opportunity to build relationships with someone new. See all the photos from our the May BBQ on our Facebook page.
(If anyone has connections with an ice cream man it would be awesome to have free ice cream available, and a dunk tank, and a bubble machine, and....)
Payless Inn BBQ that was held May 2nd
|WAYS YOU CAN SUPPORT US:
- Every Thursday morning or night.
Donate - Financially, food, services - without this we can't carry the message.
Buy a T-Shirt - Help spread awareness and financial support
Invite us to speak - We will come to your group or organization to share what we do.
Provide feedback - Through your comments or suggestions we can create change.
Follow us - On Facebook & Twitter and invite your friends.
Forward us - The website, emails, events. You never know what might happen.
PRAY, PRAY, PRAY - Prayer for God to always be in front that we may be folllowers.
Jesus Was Homeless
Amy Stallings - 417.335.0266