Tuesday, July 23, 2013
- When my wife walks into the room, it makes me smile.
- When my daughter outthinks herself because she's so smart, it makes me smile.
- When my son giggles, it makes me smile.
- When I step into Busch Stadium, it makes me smile.
- When Phil Mickelson acts shocked that he made that putt, it makes me smile.
- When my dog turns her head like she's listening to what I'm saying, it makes me smile.
- When my mom says "I love you, son," it makes me smile. I just don't let her see it.
- When I pass a crowded community park with baseball fields in a random town, it makes me smile.
- When I see a family bowed in prayer in public, it makes me smile.
- When someone shouts "Anchor Down" it makes me smile. Go Dores!
- When they move that bus on the makeover show, it makes me cry usually. And smile too.
These are triggers. You have them, and I'd love in the comments to hear what they are. But what triggers a smile can just as easily trigger the opposite reaction, and often times what once made us smile is the hardest thing to digest. We hate the feeling because we once loved the feeling.
Every divorced parent, tragic loss, broken friendship, lost job, hurt feeling is filled with that overwhelming gut wrenching moment to fathom what once was amazing which is now the hardest thing to endure.
May we take notice that in the Bible Belt of the largest evangelical country on earth, our communities are not often smiling when they hear a mention of the "church." Instead, this term, be it used to represent a group of people or simply a building location, triggers responses within us that aren't always the most positive. The word "church" immediately negotiates a ploy in your belly, either a feeling of discontent and hurt, or an overwhelming sense of hope.
Demographics, and general common sense, says 70 percent of our community isn't smiling about the church. In fact, we aren't willing to engage them many times because we simply take the legalistic approach to evangelism and ignore what they may have to say because it's not what we want to hear. They have much to say, but we'd rather yell scripture at them on church signs than engage them with authenticity.
I don't want a church filled with people who simply are smiling through the culture and ignoring the frowns of their friends and family about what "church" represents. Behind those frowns are souls, many of which who might be in danger of spending an eternity in Hell separated from God because we weren't willing to listen to a dissenting voice and change our approach to reach them.
So how do we engage the culture? Let's make this simple. Let's start with the greatest commandment given by Jesus, to love the Lord your God with all you have, and love your neighbor as yourself.
Funny thing, that makes me smile.
So engage the culture by using the joy bottled within us, the Good News of Jesus Christ. Quit talking, and start DOING.
You can turn your smile into power by:
1. Loving people who need to be loved. A smile will break down walls, and a smile may restore relationships.
2. Forgiving people who have hurt you. A smile is a great start, but a soft answer turns away wrath. Let's quit letting Satan, the enemy of God, destroy our relationships.
3. Listening to people with a different opinion. Know someone of a different faith? Start a conversation. Have a friend with an alternate lifestyle that doesn't line up with your Biblical beliefs? Start a conversation. Hearing a person who's fed up with "church" because of baggage from their past? Start a conversation. Oh, one other thing. Be quiet while you're smiling and actually listen to them.
4. Serving people with no strings attached. Serving is not marketing. Don't serve trying to win them. Don't serve trying to persuade them. Just serve with a smile and be Jesus TO them.
The conversation will open itself and then you can share the Good News. And it may never happen, and that's ok. You just engage, and if the opportunity arises, take it.
Look for the trigger. You know, when they smile.
I love you and these are my thoughts.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
June 30 - A Portland man and his family mowed yards for the neighbors.
July 1 - Two different groups totaling 27 people pumped gas, washed windows, cleaned bathrooms, gas pumps and more at Doug's BP in White House. One of the groups also helped put out yard signs.
July 2 - Six team members served donuts and breakfast foods to the city workers, fire departments and police departments in White House, Cross Plains and Millersville.
July 3 - A huge team split into six vehicles and delivered 55 dozen donuts to local businesses, churches and organizations in White House.
July 4 - Our July 4th event on the greenway had 17 volunteers but was rained out by terrible inclement weather and flooding rain.
July 5 - A team of six people landscaped and weeded the back yard of a home on Lone Oak Drive.
July 6 - Rain cancelled the city event, during which Revolution Church was hosting face painting, a photo booth and making three giant murals to deliver to the 101st Airborne, 278th National Guard and 118th Special Forces Squadron. However, even after the city event was cancelled, the church was packed with volunteers who transformed two buildings into God's BackYard Bible Camp for Vacation Bible School.
July 7 - Revolution Church sent letters to soldiers before and after service, and a team of volunteers worked for over 10 hours to ready the buildings for VBS.
July 8 - Twenty team members split into two groups and served bottled water, snack foods and fruit with Project Greenway, setting up one and a half miles apart on opposite ends in heavy traffic areas. One group carried two coolers of iced water and the other served bottles. Also hosted VBS at church at the same time with a massive amount of additional volunteers. Launched an individual campaign to pay it forward by paying for the person's meal behind you at lunch, with a large number of people participating. One person at McDonald's started a wave of at least five people straight doing it. A Portland man and his son mowed their neighbors yard to prepare it for sale, and a White House man and his son cleaned a neighbor's property.
July 9 - Three teams pumped gas, washed windows, took out trash, cleaned bathrooms and more at Doug's BP in White House, Mapco Express in White House and Terry's Market in Cross Plains. Also hosted VBS at church at the same time with massive amount of additional volunteers.
July 10 - Six car loads are set to deliver fruit baskets to seniors and apartments in White House, assembling the baskets at 5 pm and delivering from 6-8. VBS again.
July 11 - Clean-up night at White House High School Athletic Facility from 6-8. Volunteers needed. VBS again at church.
July 12 - Landscaping and weeding at a home in White House from 10-12 am. VBS Family Night at the church.
July 13 - Church clean up day on the back side of the property from 7 am until noon. Will be cleaning the back pavilion and preparing for a September event. Painting at Watt Hardison Elementary School with Crystal Rogers and Jennifer Hand from 9 am to 2 pm to help the school get ready for the school year.
July 14 - Rake and Bake from 1-7 pm after church. Rake and Bake is a food event to deliver food to a number of houses while also mowing their yards at the same time.
July 15 - Chris Alsup will be leading a team at Terry's Market in Cross Plains serving from 6-8 pm.
July 20 - RevFest community event at the church property. Amy Bradford is the team lead.
July 26-28 - Project Restoration is a three-day extreme home makeover on South Palmers Chapel Road. Joe Everette is the team lead.
Events still needed a date:
- Heritage High School softball and basketball clean up day with Coach Leslie Barrow
- White House Dixie Baseball Clean-Up day with Rich Lopez
- White House Junior Pro Football Camp with Rich Lopez
- Concession Stand move-and-stock for White House Dixie Baseball and Junior Pro Football
- Possible Haircut event
- School Supply Drive
Check back here for more and add your serve event!
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to jump in!