If you take a good look at Acts Chapter two you will find that the early church did life together. Its important that we reach out to the community, and share the love of Christ, and the Gospel to everyone we com in contact with, however its also very important for our own spiritual growth, that we do life together with our church family.
This is how we are built up and strengthened in our faith, it is also how the world will know that we are followers of Jesus Christ. Jesus himself said that men would know we follow Him if we love one another. So encourage you, get plugged in to a local church and let it build you and strengthen you and do life together with them, because isolation isn’t the key. By the way it fine to have some fun while your at it.
What I have to say about the OKC Thunder is that I love it! I love that OKC has an NBA team, not only a team, but a quickly developing team. I think its incredible and says a lot about our state, that when everyone said we couldn’t sustain a team, here we are with great attendance every single game. The people who worked hard and have seen the vision for making OKC, the city its becoming I salute you. It’s incredible the change that is occurring, seemingly every day.
I love Oklahoma, I’ve lived here all my life. I’ve been a lot of places around the world and all over the united states, and there are a lot of places I love to visit, but I prefer to live in Oklahoma. Why? The people. Hands down, this is one of the friendliest and caring places in the world. Friends I have visit say that every time they come here. They say, “the people here are so nice.”
I love it that we are letting the Thunder mature, giving them a chance to grow, and they are not disappointing us. They are proving to be a real contender, and showing the whole nation that we are a team and a state to be reckoned with.
It takes true leadership to be the best at what you do, and I believe that the OKC Thunder are heading down that road quickly. They have excellent chemistry as a team, working well together. The top players, have shown humility, and character, and the whole team plays together like a family. I want to say about KD he is a true superstar because he not only performs at an extremely high level but he appears to have a team mindset and a humility about him.
I saw one of his tweets the other day on twitter and it further solidified my confidence in him as a leader, he was asked, “do you like living in Oklahoma?” Even with all the pressure of some of the guys in the media and other teams, he said “I love it, I love Oklahoma.”
Its fun having this team and means positive things for our economy our businesses and our future.
Lets continue to support them, and the growth of our state and City, and lets learn from this. Vision is the beginning of a dream, and leadership causes that dream to come to pass. Go Thunder!
How do you think the Thunder will finish this year?
I have been so proud of our team over the last two days. Yesterday we were finishing up our seven days of Servolution. Our project was to help with the CARE program at the MWC police department. Our team started gathering early and preparing to go in and help. Something happen that changed everything. A fire started in MWC and spread over a significant area of MWC and Choctaw. We know now that 49 people were injured, and 50 houses were a total loss with others being badly damaged and still others with smoke damage.
The police told us with everyone being called in, there would be no way we could do the project we had planned, they suggested we go over the the community center and see if there was something we could do there. At the same time, the leader of this project and one of our other guys in the church called and said why don’t we turn our servolution project into helping the evacuees, of which there were hundreds. So I stopped and picked up a lot of supplies told our team who were already in their “serve team” shirts to head to the community center and start setting up supplies. We called on other serve teams to join us, and just set up and started helping people.
Giving out water, and food, and toys for the kids. We started thinking, “who could we partner with?” So we called starbucks and they supplied coffee and Hot chocolate. Krispy Kreme provided donuts. There were pets so a vet brought dog and cat food and treats. People just started showing up and giving us hot food, to pass out, people in the community started coming in and saying where can I serve.
We worked with the Red Cross, what Great People they are and an incredible organization. There were also folks there from the Southern Baptist Disaster relief organization, incredible servants everyone. I must say that the MWC community leaders, the city council, the police, and firemen, The officials, and the leaders of the community center, Were so sharp. This city and its leaders have their act together. The sherriffs, the city manager, so many people and organizations working together to help others. We were so blessed just to be part.
There were so many churches sheltering people and helping people, our friends the Burchetts at Eastpointe brought their people together today and really helped the people who have so much damage and loss and the public servants working so hard as well.
So there are some things I learned.
1. Don’t set back and call leaders in the fray and ask them what you can do to help, they don’t have time to figure it out for you and at the moment don’t know what to tell you. Just get into the fray with them, and start serving. This is the best thing you can do. The church is not an outsider in the community it is a part of the community.
2. Partner, Partner, Partner….You have connections others don’t have and they have connections you don’t have.
3. Realize that people want to help.
4. Wear matching shirts so you can be easily identified and people can come to you for help.
5. Help the kids, if they can be connected with it gives their parents a chance to think, and rest a minute.
6. Be open to jump in and do what you can without hesitation, be willing to say yes, when needed.
7. Your team will give over and above, and people will always rise to the occasion.
8. Always be thinking about the next step.
9. Serve the servants. First responders put it all on the line, and have no time to stop and take care of themselves, so serve them as well as the victims of the disaster.
This was really a great way to solidify a servolution culture in our team.
I invite you to join the party and embrace what our friend Dino Rizzo Cause a “Servolution!”
Saturday and Sunday on harvest MWC Campus our projects were an absolutely no cost car wash, and an outreach to “Manor Care” a local nursing home facility.
we have had a good number of volunteers in all our projects. The car wash was Fun and interesting. People would pull in we would give them a couple of gifts, a bottle of water, and a car wax product and applicators, then we would wash their car. It was amazing to me, how many people wanted to give us money, and when we said no, it was as if they couldn’t grasp what we were doing. They really were having a hard time understanding this totally free, no agenda car wash. Once they got it they were really appreciative, wanted to know where we were from, and why we were doing this.
It shocked me at the response, and to be honest made me a little sad. I was sad because it is so foreign for someone to do something kind like this just to be kind, and not have an agenda or want something in return. It has really challenged all of us, to live our lives serving others, every day. Coming out of this, it will no longer be an event but a lifestyle.
We washed one lady’s car who lived in the neighborhood close to the wash, and her family were obviously impoverished, didn’t have a lot, but a few minutes after we had washed her car, her little son came walking up from their house, his hands full of change. He said “we wanted you to have this” If we had been raising money they had no clue what it was for, but were so moved by our generosity they were ready to give. Our youth pastor told the little guy, you take that money back to your mom, and tell her we just wanted to bless you guys.
I pray that the church becomes known in the community, not as the neediest, but as the most generous. Let the world know that Jesus Loves them, and his people stand ready to show it.
On Sunday we had great services and that afternoon we went to the nursing home. We took adults, teens, and children with us, and we sang songs, we gave out gifts and we just sat down and talked with these wonderful, beautiful elderly people. Honestly our hugs and hand shakes were the best thing we could have done. My girls, Sydney and Taylor set down and talked to a lady named Pauline. She was so sweet, obviously her memory was affected and she had a hard time putting thoughts together, so we just begin to tell her about ourselves, and she loved it, she loved my girls hugging her, and holding my hand. It was interesting watching my girls in this setting, they have so much love to give and i am glad to be teaching them that this is what Christians do, they show the love of Jesus in a practical way. My oldest has decided that after church on Sunday we should make it a regular journey to see Pauline, and my youngest just cried, visably moved at the loneliness of an elderly person in her situation.
Love goes farther than we can imagine, its a touch of sincerity, a hug that says, I don’t even know you, but I care, a heart that is overflowing with compassion, not even knowing what to do but to say, I love you.
What we are finding is serving people can be inconvenient, and serving people can be awkward, but serving people is the mandate on our lives and the expression of our faith, and the love of our Savior.
Our culture, our people, our families, and our lives are changing, I feel forever. We have always done things for the community on some level, we have branched out in the last few years locally and globally, but I feel we are moving to a whole new level of love, and compassion for people. A revolution means a complete turn. This has been a complete turn of serving. A Revolution of Service.
More to come….honoring and appreciating our Dept of human services employees today. They’ve already begin to thank us, and we haven’t even done it yet. Just the thought moved them.
Remember its not about what we are doing, its not about, how good we are, cause we all know better, its about one thing. Expressing the Love of Jesus to people in all walks of life. Thank you Jesus, it’s all about you.
What a great concept. You have to love Dino Rizzo, Pastor of Healing Place in Baton Rouge, LA. This guy and his whole team are remarkable, and inspiring. They have become the personification of community involvement.
Harvest on all of its campuses, Okc, MWC, STW, EDM, check out http://www.harvestokc.com to find out more, are joining with Healing place and over 300 churches representing hundreds of thousands of people for 7 days of Servolution. The term Servolution was coined by Dino and is the name of his upcoming book. It means a revolution of service.
We believe that the church can speak about the love of Jesus, but then must also take the responsibility to share the love of Jesus in practical ways. Serving others, not for personal gain, not for what we get back, but just the opposite serve to show the love of Jesus. Isn’t this what Jesus did, when he walked the earth. He cared for people in practical ways, He brought solutions to problems, he was lead by compassion. We see it even in the last supper, when He, knowing that the disciples would run, knowing that Judas would betray Him, and Peter would deny Him.
He put a towel around his waste and filled a basin with water, and served them by washing their feet. He did this for two reasons one, for the act itself, two to be a model of what Christianity is all about, sharing His love by serving others. Dino said something that stirred me, Jesus reached us to reach past us.
If you are a part of harvest, don’t hesitate to get signed up for as many of these seven days of servolution events that you can. Lets show the world that no matter what is going on, there is hope because the love of Jesus is in us.
Do the servolution with Me
The word proud is incapable of describing the way I feel about my daughter Taylor. Don’t misunderstand, Taylor is a normal 14 year old girl. She is not perfect, but she is remarkable. Her heart for people is unmatched by most adults I know. Her desire to change the world is real, and her passion is palpable.
I and her mother have raised her to believe in, and live for the Cause of Christ. We’ve told her that nothing is more important than the grace of God, and that everyone should know about it. Thank God she has taken this to heart.
Many of our good friends have seen the potential in her and have believed in and supported her in many ways. This has bolstered her confidence and stirred her passion. Her pastors and mine, Kirk and Nancy Pankratz have always been so kind, supportive and encouraging to her.
All of this has culminated in her life, to cause her to want to answer Gods call. 2 or so years ago I went to Cambodia for the first time, in our global reach to bring hope and the Gospel to people who so desperately need it. From the moment she saw the pictures and heard the stories she vowed, “I will go to Cambodia!”
A few years ago when Taylor was younger our friend Chris Cain said to her “Taylor your a world changer” she took that to heart and while on a trip to Florida at eight years old She was nervous on the plane. It was her first time to fly. My wife Janae said, “taylor are you nervous?” I will never forget her response, she said, “yes mom, but if i’m going to be a world changer, than I can’t be afraid to fly.” Yuu know, that my sound silly, and maybe a little over dramatic to say, but the truth is, she has for years seen herself as a person who will change the world. She has dreamed of reaching people all over the globe. I have no doubt that she will. She went to Mexico last year, and had a very successful trip with our youth group, and we have decided that she’s old enough to branch out and go with Dad on this years trip to Cambodia.
Taylor’s trip is going to cost $4200, she has already raised over $600 babysitting, and has a huge garage sale planned, but she will need more help to get it all covered.
If you would like to help support Taylor fulfill her dream, and give her a start, really to the rest of her life, of what I believe will be one world changing adventure after another please email me, firstname.lastname@example.org, or send me a message on my facebook page, from there i can instruct you on the procedure to give to her trip. Which is tax deductable.
Thanks in advance for considering to help propel the dream of a teenage world changer.