Helping Single moms and Widows…

Today on our Edmond Campus we were able to help single moms and Widows with car care. Here were the results.

There were 40 volunteers, 33 cars in 6 hours, 22 scheduled, and 11 drive ups.

We changed the oil, oil filter and air filter on all the cars. We checked the tire pressure and all fluid levels. Then they were treated to a full cleaning inside and outside. This cleaning included Armor All on the dash, vacuuming, scrubbing the wheels and tires, a free air freshener and bottled water. While the ladies waited, their children played in our fun park and the ladies enjoyed free coffee, water and candy in our lobby. Several ladies were overwhelmed that we would help them in this way.

We replaced the wiper blades on one care and the lady almost started crying.
We replaced the belt on another, because it had almost dry rotted through and she could not believe it.
One car the transmission fluid would not register on the dip stick. On another, only 1 quart of oil came out of a 5 quart motor when we drained the oil. Several ladies had almost no brake fluid in their master cylinder.
Multiple ladies said they needed an oil change so bad and didn’t know how they were going to pay for it. Our volunteers were amazing. They faced constant rain and cold temperatures and would have stayed all day if they needed to.

This was a comment from one of the ladies.

“Thank you guys for this incredible blessing. I was needing an oil change pretty badly and was wondering how I was going to be able to afford it. You were an answer to my prayers. Im extremely greatful. Thank you for being the hands of Jesus.”

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Good Samaritan

One of my favorite stories Jesus tells is the story of the good Samaritan. I think this story is so revealing. Jesus tells this story in answer to the question, “if the greatest commandment is to love God and the second is to love your neighbor, then who is my neighbor?”

Jesus tells the story to contrast those who get it wrong and those who get it right, I want to focus on the one who got it right. What were the things he did that we should emulate?

1. He saw the need.
2. He was moved to action
3. He reached out to a complete stranger
4. He refused to judge
5. He got extremely involved
6. He gave generously
7. He saw it as his responsibility
8. He saw it all the way through

The moral of the story turns out to be, the question is not, who is my neighbor, but who can I be a neighbor to?

So like Jesus told the lawyer “go and do the same.”

Today, find someone who you can practice these acts of kindness on. Let me know how it turns out.

Thanks
David

Helping people…the great adventure

I love adventure.  I love trying knew things, taking a challenge, doing something thats fun or gives you a rush! I love the risk of it the commitment of it, the courage it takes to be adventerous.  If someone around me is not asking, “you’re really going to do that?”  or,  “are you sure you want to do that?”  I know I’m not really living.

I love adventure.  The greatest adventure in life is taking the challenge and the risk.  Making the commitment, and sacrifice.  Accepting and embracing inconvenience for the sake of helping others.  There is no rush, no excitement, no fun, like helping other people.  Getting involved in their lives, dealing with their issues and helping them find solutions, this is adventure.

There are so many christians in the world right now who are living this great faith adventure, and I love it!  I love it that the church is figuring out, that the answers are not in setting behind our four walls enjoying each others company, but it is in reaching out and bringing people in that is changing lives, and causes great adventure.

Christians who aren’t passionate about Jesus, are struggling being bored with their Christianity because they’ve lost the adventure that is supposed to be at the forefront of a Christians life.

One of the reasons I love our church, and many like it is because we are living the adventure, we have lots of people who have embraced this exciting life and are doing it together.  This week we will be serving women at our “Girlfriends Conference”  Women from all four of our campuses and over 50 other churches will come together and experience a highly creative, spiritually impacting, relational and fun conference.

We have volunteers that will take their time and serve these ladies so they can have this life changing experience.  We also run youth camps all summer long, june through august at our OKC facility.  Rental camps and Our National youth ministry, Youth America. Next Monday we will be taking a team to Africa, where we are leading a pastors and leadership conference as well as a medical clinic for two weeks.  At the end of  July we will be taking another team to Camobdia, To work with Orphans and impoverished children, helping them  not be victimized by human trafficking.  We have a Kids camp as well as a Royal family Kids Camp which is our ministry to Foster Kids.  A free camp for 85 foster kids ages 7-11.

That may sound like a lot, and is why we call summers at harvest one big adventure!  We are committed to Change the world through the adventure of helping others.  All the teens, all the kids, all the adults, locally, regionally, nationally and globally we will help this summer, are all part of this great adventure called Christianity.  Its about taking the chance to love people, to extend grace to them, and to live life full tilt for the greatest adventurer of all time.  Jesus!

So jump off the bench, get off the sidelines, get in the game and enjoy the adventure and who knows, you might open up a life of adventure for someone else.

David

“Recieve”

“Receive”….blog I wrote in 2006

If we’ll notice there are times in life that we’re more receptive than others. This should really be a lesson for us. It seems that all people are more receptive when life is brought to its basic simple reality. We live and we die, and then life after death. When people are brought face to face with mortality it’s amazing how receptive we become. I have very distinct memories when I was 20 years old, watching George Bush Sr. Declare war in the gulf coast to save Kuwait from its impending doom at the hands of Saddam Hussein and Iraq. The very next weekend our church which already had great attendance was at full capacity. In our church we could seat about 700 people including the balcony. We usually ran in attendance around 400 adults. That weekend every seat was full including the balcony, it was amazing. People we hadn’t seen in a while were at church, we had many first time guest and they were there to connect with God. People who were once a month or twice a month people all of a sudden became faithful attendees. It was a moment where we were faced with our mortality. Faced with the fact that our lives could change drastically, faced with the question are we safe? The sad part is that although we did grow overall, after a few weeks, slowly but surely people began to go back to their normal routines, God was no longer as important as He was in those moments that we desperately needed Him. I see this every time I preside over a funeral, every time I counsel someone who is in a moment of reality. I saw this Friday night, as I stood on the front lawn of Mitchell Hall on the University of Central Oklahoma Campus, as we honored the memory of an incredible young woman who was a member of our church, Hannah McCarty. They were unveiling a beautiful piece of art in her memory and to honor the scholarship that has been established in her name. What a great honor it was for me to be able to share in that moment. The head of the arts department Dr. Clinton presided over the ceremony, The president of the College, Dr. Webb was there and addressed the crowd, Jack and Pam sent out a clear message with their speech that Hannah’s life was so meaningful and continues to have meaning because of her relationship with Jesus Christ, as they say and I’m sure you’ve seen on city buses, “when you know Jesus the dance never ends.” Hannah was a prolific dancer, more importantly though she was a prolific Christian. I had the wonderful privilege of being the last speaker and had the opportunity to close in prayer. I hope that I represented Hannah and the McCarty’s and our church well in that moment, but most importantly I hope that I represented Jesus well. I simply told the truth. I told the crowd of it seemed like a couple of hundred people, how Hannah lived. She lived life with Passion and on purpose. I said to them she lived life to the full. “Many of us thinking living life to the full is filling our lives up with busyness and things, but she superseded that by living her life as busy as it was, with purpose. It wasn’t just about doing things but it was doing things on purpose.” I said.
I told them, “she looked her obstacles and problems and sickness in the eye, without complaint and simply said, I’m going to live anyway. The reason she had this Joy, the reason she had this peace, the reason she had this purpose, was her relationship with Jesus.” It was a great moment.
The context of this event was interesting, I’m sure that there were several Christians there, but there were also many very secular people there, but it was amazing how receptive everyone was. I didn’t feel a resistance at all as I spoke very clearly about Jesus Christ, I looked out on the crowd, and saw some smiling faces, some somber faces, and some faces caught in the act of introspection. Thinking over their lives, seemingly asking “am I living, really living?” It was a great moment. I am very proud for Jack and Pam, that Hannah was recognized in this way, but more importantly that they have taken a personal tragedy for them and turned it into a day to day ongoing outreach to people, who are getting saved and their lives changed. Pam told me that Hannah always said, I want to be responsible for at least one person going to heaven, and as Pam says, she has impacted many more than that.
It is very telling on us as humans that we are receptive at certain times more than others. It is very revealing when things are going well how easily we forget, how much we need Jesus and how unreceptive we become to His desires for us, and His purposes for our lives. If we could only find a way to tap into those moments of decision and understand how important it is for us to constantly and consistently be receptive to His spirit and His word.
We have been taught to be so cynical. Question everything, don’t believe anything, or believe everything. I don’t suggest that anyone go around blindly following others with no discernment. I think everything we see and hear and are a part of should be ratified by the word of God in us. Let us today make a commitment to God and to ourselves and to our church that we will be receptive. Receptive to the voice of God to His word and to His purpose for our lives. Why do we need to go about our own way until forced by circumstances to change our perspective, lets just keep a holy perspective and reverence for the things of God and watch Him use us to profoundly change our world. I am so grateful that even in our inconsistency and wavering God’s grace is sufficient, and He is not angry with us but longing for an close relationship with each of us.

American Christian…

After our trip to Cambodia last august, where we witnessed an extraordinary group of Christians who live their entire life for Christ.  He is truly the center of their existence.  They don’t have him i a compartment or say this is my “God Life” and “this is the rest of my life.”  It really challenged us as Christians to ask ourselves are we truly committed to the cause of Jesus Christ.  To His love, His grace, and to His Gospel?

A young Friend of mine, made this statement to me after we returned home.  He said, “I have realized that American Christians are more American than Christian.”  What a profound thought.  Have we allowed our culture as Americans to become more important to us than our Christianity, have we become the epitome of the Christ words when he said the Gospel could be choked out of our lives as a result of the deceitfulness of riches and the cares of this life?  I Know that some have, many for that matter, but I believe that God is raising up a new breed of believer, who really cares more for the cause of Christ than any other thing in their lives, and its this Cause that informs and influences every other area of life.  Jesus, let us be as Christians what you intended, that is my prayer.

David