Thursday, July 30, 2009


That is the number of lunches we served today at our lunch ministry. Last week we had 86, this week we grew huge, even ran out of sandwich meat, twice! But boy, were they ever happy to get meals!

This ministry is really at the heart of how we live out our calling as Christians. We are empowered to serve God by serving others. We are gifted by the Spirit to share our gifts with others. We are enriched with God's grace so that we may enrich others in their lives. To be a follower of Christ means we need to get our hands dirty, and in the process we may see the face of Christ shining back at us. And I saw that beautiful face many times this afternoon as I was scurrying around trying to make sure we have enough for everyone to eat.

So may you be blessed with dirty hands as you bring the light of Christ to others.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


A couple of weeks ago a pastor in the area issued a challenge to me - six months to see which of us can lose the most weight. I readily accepted it and have been in the gym pushing my body at least three times a week since then.

As many of you know, weight has often been an issue for me. And now, with this challenge, I am being held accountable by someone else, which is a good thing. As the time goes on I will update you to let you know how it is going.

The body is a wonderful gift, and we have the responsibility to take care of this gift. At times in my life I have lived up to this responsibility quite well, at others times I have not. So as I move forward with this I offer words of encouragement to you as well - get out for a walk, have an apple rather than the cookie that is on the counter, pair up with a friend and do something healthy together. Take some time to take care of your body and you will feel much better for it in the long run.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Compassion Take 2

This afternoon we ran out of prepared meals for our lunch program. We had prepped for 80 - which was 10 more than we served last week, and half way through the distribution we had people in the kitchen making more - all in all I believe we served close to 90 people in an hour.

The need is so great - and we are so blessed to be able to serve.

Compassion really is about getting your hands dirty. It is about diving into the muck and mire of life in order to walk with others as they are struggling. We do this by being the shoulder to lean on, the ear to listen, and the hand to help up. Compassion is a hands-on activity, and can take many forms as there are many needs around us.

So today, may we all be blessed with compassionate hearts. May we find ways to get involved with the lives of others. May we be the face of Christ to a neighbor.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I know it has been a long time since I last posted - the summer has become much busier than I expected it to be. One of the new ministries that we started here that has taken a lot of my time is a Lunch Ministry. What we do is every Thursday we provide free sack lunches to anyone who wants one. It has become quite an amazing outreach here at the church.

We started with about 40 people coming to get something to eat. But as the summer has progressed we are now preparing to serve at least 80 each week. We have a group of volunteers who come and make the lunches and then serve them for about an hour. The responses from the people who come are amazing.

"I cannot believe you are doing this - it helps my family so much"

"Can I take a second one for my dinner tonight"

"Thank you and God bless - this is wonderful"

Just a sampling of what we hear every week.

In the fall we are going to transition to serving a hot lunch, probably soup. The need here is great, and to have the ability to serve those in need is a true blessing to everyone involved.

This got me thinking about compassion - how we enter into the struggles with others as they are facing them. The way the world is today, there is a huge need for compassion. There is so much hurting, so much pain, so much struggle - and we are so fortunate to be able to show compassion and care for others.

I preached about this last week, and after the sermon the response was overwhelming. People were coming out of the woodwork to find ways they could get involved. I received a letter from on lady who said - "Was impressed and saddened by your sermon, we want to help with the expense. We have so much to be thankful for."

So today, may we all have our eyes opened to ways we can be compassionate to others. May we be blessed with open hearts and open hands to serve others. May we be the face of Christ in a sometimes dark world.