3 Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. 5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. - Philippians 2:3-5 (NLT)
|Newsletter Vol. I, Issue 8||August 2010|
We've delivered or served over 11,800 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.
|Good Samaritans Needed
One of my favorite classic rock 'n' roll bands was the Steve Miller Band. His song "Fly Like an Eagle" starts with the words, "Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin', into the future". That's how it's been for Amy & I lately and probably for most of you as well. It's hard to believe it's already mid August. Where did all the time go...into the future?
As Jesus Was Homeless grows it continues to get harder and harder to balance work, family, JWH and rest. I feel myself falling further behind with all the things that we are doing and would like to do with Jesus Was Homeless. One thing we've learned is that we will never run out of opportunity to help others, but we are always running out of resources and time. I suspect it's like that for most churches in our area as well. That's why it's so IMPORTANT to get others involved. Most of the people that we come across just need an individual to come alongside them for a period of time to help get them on their feet. Amy & I are just plain tapped out of time. We just can't serve all the needs that we would like to but we know there are many individuals that would welcome the opportunity.
I had a gentleman that was unemployed, no place to live, but had a car and needed some gas money. He contacted one of the local churches for assistance, they didn't return his call so when he showed up at the Sunday church service he asked the Pastor if he had received his message. The Pastor replied that he had and that was the end of the conversation. Now, the problem with this scenario is that churches have become a place where people wish to receive a hand-out. The hand-out is often given until the point it taps the church's resources or until they figure the individual is not meeting their criteria or utilizing their gifts properly. It becomes the old cliché of "a few bad apples ruin it for the lot". Where the church staff, Pastor, administration is missing the opportunity is "to Be the Church". There is a whole group of people that attend, called a congregation, that are called upon by God to "Be the Church", so let them. The issue is not the gas money this gentleman needed but a job to support himself to earn his own gas money. How is this accomplished? By someone taking the time to come alongside this individual, find out his story, see how they can help use their own spiritual gifts to get him from point A to point B. Oh but there's that word again, TIME.
Let me point you to an experiment by Princeton University psychologists John Darley and Daniel Baston inspired by the "Good Samaritan" idea. They took a group of seminarians from Princeton Theological Seminary and told them they would have to prepare a sermon and then walk to the building next door and present it. They introduced three variables into the experiment: 1.) Before the experiment started, they asked the students why they were in seminary, whether it was for personal fulfillment or to help others, 2.) Some of them were told to develop a sermon on the relevance of the professional clergy to the religious vocation and the others were told to do it on the parable of the Good Samaritan, 3.) Half of them were told they were a few minutes early and could take their time getting to the building where they were supposed to give their talk. The other half were told they were a few minutes late and should hurry over.
On the path the students would take to deliver their sermons, Darley and Baston planted a man "slumped in an alley, head down, eyes closed, coughing and groaning." The expected result was that those who had responded that they were in seminary to help others, and those who had to prepare their sermon on the Good Samaritan (thereby having just spent time on the command to help those in need) would be the two groups most likely to stop and help the man. But the results shocked both Darley and Baston. Neither of those two variables made any difference. The only thing that mattered was whether the seminarian was told he was late or not. Of those told they had some time to spare, 63% stopped to help the man. Of those told they were late, only 10% stopped to help.
Darley and Baston said of the experiment, "A person not in a hurry may stop and offer help to a person in distress. A person in a hurry is likely to keep going. Ironically, he is likely to keep going even if he is hurrying to speak on the parable of the Good Samaritan, thus inadvertently confirming the point of the parable. (Indeed, on several occasions, a seminary student going to give his talk on the parable of the Good Samaritan literally stepped over the victim as he hurried on his way!)
In a typical week, only 1 out of every 4 believers will allocate some time to serving other people. Most of that time is dedicated to volunteering in church programs that serve the congregants, while little effort is invested in serving the needy people outside the congregation. While it's much easier to be a hand-out of cash or resources it's much more rewarding to be a hand-up by investing your time into another person's life.
So the real question for the Church congregants is "will you simplify your life and slow down to take the time to truly "Be the Church", to connect with God and help the least of these? Or are you just there on Sunday mornings because it's another "to do" item on your busy schedule even though 8 out of every 10 believers don't feel they've had a connection with God during worship service?
If your answer is to "Be the Church" let us know and we can match you up with someone in need every week. If you have the time, I would invite you to "Come and See".
16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion-how can God's love be in that person? 18 Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. - 1 John 3:16-19 (NLT) Feedback, comments or suggestions.
When Bryan started talking about starting a "discussion group" at one of the motels we deliver food to, my initial thoughts were that most likely nobody would show up - shame on me. It just seemed to me that the folks we come across seem pretty church damaged and that they would not trust outsiders to come in and talk to them about God. Well, one thing I have learned recently is not to limit God (seriously, who would have ever imagined that assembling 48 meals in our living room and passing them out to those is need would eventually grow into 390 meals weekly and monthly BBQ's) so I kept my negative thoughts to myself and 1 month ago we started our Life Support out-reach at Motel 9 in Branson. Having not allowed myself enough time, running into van problems and the food not being ready when I went to pick it up I arrived 30 minutes late, not really expecting to see anyone there except my husband and step-son, but to my amazement there were 5 residents sitting in an incredibly hot breezeway (with no breeze) listening to Bryan asking them questions about how they view Christians and Christianity. We have now had 4 discussion groups and can barely fit everyone into the hotel room that we are now meeting in. I see people coming to explore God in a non-threatening "come as you are" environment and I have to admit that it is awesome! It's one more time that God has shown me how he can reach anyone, in any situation, if we are willing to go and be his hands and feet. What an honor and privilege to be able to go to those who might never step foot into a church building and talk with them about how magnificent our God is. - Amy
If you would like more information on becoming a part of the "Life Support" let us know. We are hoping to have leaders step up and help facilitate as it grows. We are already looking at a 2nd motel and with God's blessing we would take it to several motels. Feedback, comments or suggestions.
AUGUST "LOVE YOUR NEIGHBORS" BBQ at
AUNT MOLLIE'S EXTENDED STAY MOTEL
Please join us for our next "Love Your Neighbors" (as yourself) BBQ Event - at Aunt Mollie's Extended Stay Motel
, 251 Expressway Lane, next to the Sight & Sound Theatre, Sunday, August 22nd 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. The garden at Aunt Mollie's Extended Stay Motel continues to thrive and we will get to benefit from the fruits of our labors as we have fresh veggie's with our BBQ. Check out the complete set of photos on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jesuswashomeless.org
WISH LISTWe are in current need of the following items:
We need 4 businesses a month to help sponsor our Life Support by providing food on Wednesday evenings for about 15-20 people. If you can help or know someone that can please call me at 294-1300 for more information.
We desperately need 20 Large Print, NLT Life Application Study Bibles for our Life Support.
| DONATIONS DO HELP
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.
Below is our food items & costs.
Do you know a business that might be willing to make a monthly commitment to help? If you have read our past blogs you know it's not as much about the food as it is about carrying the message of Christ. You can see we are making a difference in those that we serve as well as the ones serving.
THANK YOU - THANK YOU - THANK YOU - THANK YOU
Rich, the General Manager at Golden Corral, presenting Amy & I a check for $1000. Truly God's timing as Amy & I were contemplating having to cut back on the number served. Rich, KD and Golden Corral are great supporters of Jesus Was Homeless and thanks to their continued help people in need will be served.
PRAISE - PRAISE - PRAISE - PRAISE - PRAISE - PRAISE
Our friends over at Sight & Sound Theatres have pledged $1.00 from every ticket sold to their show for one week in November. This will be a HUGE blessing for us!!! More details to follow but this is a great idea for a way to help support us.
As you know, Amy & I both work full-time jobs so any type of fundraising has to be a commitment that others can help share the load on. Feedback, comments or suggestions.
To Imagemakers of Hollister for hosting our website and putting up with all my changes. We could not carry the message without them.
To Sir Speedy of Branson for continuing to provide our flyers week after week.
To McDonalds for donating the sandwich buns that have helped provide over 20,000 meals.
To KRZK for having us on the "Steve & Janet" Show whenever possible. Click here
to watch and listen to the latest interview.
To CenturyLink for making us a beneficiary of their 2010 food drive. We collected 316 lbs. of
food and $700!!!
To Church Army for providing us not only a place to store and assemble the food but also people to worship with, learn from and experience community.
To the many volunteers that have made Jesus Was Homeless a true Branson "Community" organization.
Compassion, Justice and the Christian Life: Rethinking Ministry to the Poor
by Robert D. Lupton by Regal Books
List Price: $11.99
Our Price: $6.15Buy Now
This book is identifies our lack of the church in our "community". It also addresses the need for our teachers, city leaders, etc. to live and work in their own communities. How we can empower those in need to earn the hand-outs so that we can help them improve their lives.
Living Dangerously: Seven Keys to Intentional Discipleship
by Shawn D. Anderson by Wipf & Stock Publishers
List Price: $19.00
Our Price: $17.10Buy Now
This book makes it clear that God called us to become disciples and to make disciples. Not to just sit in church until our time is up but to Love God, Love Others and carry the message.
Grow Your Church from the Outside in: Understanding the Unchurched and How to Reach Them
by George Barna by Regal Books
List Price: $12.99
Our Price: $7.49Buy Now
Another fantastic book from the Barna Group. How to get outside the church doors and reach those that are church damaged and show them a new vision of Christianity. Incredible statistics that should move you outside.
Simple Church: Returning to God's Process for Making Disciples
by Thom S. Rainer by B&H Books
List Price: $19.99
Our Price: $11.00Buy Now
Good book about how to simplify your church. When too many programs are too much. Explains how a vibrant church moves people horizontally to grow spiritually and become disciples.
unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity... and Why It Matters
by David Kinnaman by Baker Books
List Price: $18.99
Our Price: $8.00Buy Now
Incredible and credible book about what the un-Christian thinks about Christians. Written by the President of the leading Christian research organization The Barna Group. The data doesn't lie about the "make-over" we Christians need to do. Visit http://www.barna.org
and check out their research.
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: $16.36
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: $7.24Buy 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: $25.00
Our Price: $25.00
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: $9.45
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: $4.99Buy 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: $5.13Buy 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: $6.96
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
|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