Archives for October 2009

Gearing Up for Angel Tree – The Body of Christ at Work

You may be thinking, Angel Tree already? It’s barely mid-October… True, but this is when the initial work begins for the church coordinators.

Since this is my first year as coordinator, I actually started my preparations even earlier. The past couple of weeks, I’ve been reading my packet of info and going through the box of materials left behind by my friend Amy who died in a tragic car accident in May. Her love for and ability in carrying out Angel Tree leave some mighty big shoes to fill. I’m happy to report, though, that I won’t be filling them on my own.

It just so happens that Angel Tree is one of the areas where our church family shines. Making Angel Tree a success takes an enormous amount of volunteers, and I am recruiting even more to do many of the tasks Amy managed on her own. All I had to do was mention the needs this past week to the ladies in my Bible study group, and several offered their services on the spot.

What a blessing to see the body of Christ at work, pulling together and functioning like God intends. And I’m just seeing the tip of the iceberg right now. The volunteers will really start rolling in when it comes time to buy the gifts and then wrap and deliver them. I’ve seen folks from every age group get in on the action. There’s something for everyone to do where Angel Tree is concerned.

So as I’m gearing up and hopefully getting the initial letters out to the caregivers in the next few days, what is your church gearing up for? Is there a ministry where your church family, as the body of Christ, shines? Tell us about it. It’s always a blessing to hear how the body of Christ is at work!

“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us…” Romans 12:4-6a

Praise Party!

You’re invited to a praise party! It actually started a few days ago, but it’s still going on so come on and join the fun! The reason for the celebration? A long-awaited answer to prayer.

You may remember that in June I asked you to pray for Kristin and Shawn. A casualty of our struggling economy, he lost his job in late March and has been diligently looking for another one ever since. Well, our prayers have been answered — Arkansas Children’s Hospital offered him a job late last Friday afternoon!

When he called to tell me the news, Kelli and I were just introducing ourselves to a couple who were potential photographers for her wedding. Knowing Kristin and Shawn would be calling with job news that afternoon, I quickly told the couple I needed to take the call and then turned away to answer my phone.

Within seconds, I squealed to Kelli, “He got the job!” and then back to Shawn, “Oh, that’s wonderful! Praise God!” I told him I would call back after our meeting and then tried to calm down and look like a slightly more sane mother of the bride, but it didn’t work. I couldn’t stop the bubbling.

Before I knew it, the photographers knew the story of how our son-in-law had been looking for a job for six months. I eventually calmed down enough so we could get down to business, but I think they actually enjoyed being on hand for the kick-off of our own little family praise party.

God richly rewarded Kristin and Shawn’s perseverance and trust in Him. He provided the job just two weeks before Shawn’s unemployment benefits were due to run out. And not just any job, but a job in Shawn’s field. He’ll be working in the media services department (part of their communications department) doing video editing and shooting. So once again, let me just say, “Praise God!”

Let me also say, “Thank you” to each and every one of you who have offered prayers on Kristin and Shawn’s behalf. They’ve been greatly appreciated — and now needed again as they work out the details of their move and as Kristin begins to look for a job (she will, however, be staying and finishing her commitments this semester at the university.)

And if you find yourself in a similar situation of waiting for an answer to prayer, I hope their story will be an encouragement to you. Remember, “…weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5b) Take heart — you’ll be throwing your own praise party before you know it!

Hungry For More

A couple of days ago, I donned my mother of the bride hat again and joined Kelli for one of the more yummy aspects of wedding planning. You guessed it — cake tasting. And believe it or not, we’re going to have to taste again. In the midst of our other stops, we only made it to a couple of bakeries so we still have a legitimate excuse for eating more cake. What a shame, huh? :)

Since we had a couple of afternoon appointments with photographers, we sampled cakes before lunch. Not the best timing, I know, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, right? :)

The first place actually boxed up a little 6-inch round cake for us. What can I say, it barely made it to the car. I scrounged up a couple of plastic spoons from the console, and we went to town. Oh, it was all very business-like — taking bites, tasting, commenting, etc. Thank goodness I can tell you we didn’t eat the whole thing, but since it was getting close to noon by then, hunger did play a role in the number of bites we took :)

By the time we got to our second stop, we really were getting hungry, but the cake was just more cake. And it was sweet. We were hungry for more. Hungry for solid food. So off we headed to Cheddar’s where we could find something more substantial. Something that could strengthen us for the rest of the day.

You know, in our spiritual lives, there comes a time when we should be hungry for more, too. Hungry for solid food. In 1 Corinthians 5:14, Paul says, “…solid food is for the mature…”. I guess we need to ask ourselves if we’re showing ourselves to be mature.

Are we hungry for the Word of God? Do we dig in and go for more? Are we studying and meditating on it, even memorizing it? Are we allowing it to be that something more substantial we need to strengthen us for our lives? Let’s enjoy the “cake” of the Word but pursue the meat as well.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV

Flickr photo by JessAndTheCity