Wish You a Merry Christmas!

We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
And a happy new year!

A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones. (Proverbs 17:22 NKJV)

A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired. (Proverbs 17:22 MSG)

I love this passage of scripture, it’s so true, but could be perceived incorrectly if interpreted from the paradigm of so many people today.

It seems to me, many people today are lead by their emotions and lead by emotion. People tend to live life reactively based on their feelings.

If we interpret this with that thinking then we lose the meaning altogether. Happiness or being Merry doesn’t happen to us, we choose it. We decide to be merry and with that choice comes health.

How do we choose to be cheerful or positive?

1. Decide not to let our emotions rule us.

2. Choose the positive over the negative daily.

3. Choose to laugh. Find reasons to laugh, make reasons to laugh.

4. Enjoy life.

5. Live life based on biblical principles and tell your emotions to line up with the bible, don’t let your emotions push you around.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas

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Last Night…

Well the trip has come to a close. I can honestly say we have done all that we could to help the people of Cambodia on this short trip. We have laid a good foundation for future work and have further developed relationships with teams. I love my life, getting to share Jesus with people who so desperately need Him, and get to help people who have need.

Ended the night tonight with a debrief meeting with the team. We do this because I want to talk to them about returning to the states and re acclimating to the culture at home and not allowing reverse culture shock to set in.

We allowed everyone to share important moments to them, and to talk about how the trip made them feel and how they felt about the help we provided. As always it was a great meeting and good for perspective. This team was remarkable. They are resilient, flexible, positive, team players, great attitudes, a real joy to lead.

I am sorry that I haven’t been able to get up as many blogs as I would have liked due to poor internet connection and in some cases none at all, there will be more video and written blogs to come when I get home. Here are some things that the team said.

Some said they sensed the real responsibility to carry the vision of bringing justice to the world because of what they have seen. They vowed I will not forget.

Some said they were impressed by the leaders here and that there is hope because of the all out commitment to Christ that they have. They said that one leader told them that all the things we have done are such an encouragement because it makes them know that they are not forgotten and they don’t feel like the are in this all alone.

One said she was just so thankful for being able to come on the trip and sees it as a destiny move for her. God has opened her eyes to the need around her.

Others said, the have a revelation how simple it is to meet need if you just have a mind to do it.

One said it is so powerful how much compassion God has and how he provides for the orphans through Christians and the church. She said I have seen God use teams here and our team to provide the needs of widows and orphans, she sees how God works and what the church is really all about.

One said “I have never seen anything like the things we have encountered on this trip and it opens your eyes to our responsibility to use our blessings wisely and to be grateful for what we have been given.

Others comment were things like, “I have more compassion,” also “I see Hope.”

There was much more and these are just a few paraphrased comments. Truth is the experience is life changing, for us and the people we are helping. I’m glad God lets us be a part of helping others. Its awesome.

David

Pumped…

Tay, Mad, and Syd (10)I am so excited about all the great things happening with harvest. We are leaving for Cambodia in just over five days. This trip is going to be awesome! Be watching the blog for all the updates. Some will be written, others video, its going to be a fascinating and life changing trip. If for no other reason then i get the privilege of taking my oldest daughter, Taylor with me. She is 15 and a passionate Christian. Locally she is involved in our Creative team at harvest, she plays the acoustic and is starting to lead worship in some settings. She is very committed to the cause of Christ and has a real evangelistic spirit in her school. She has known for years that she is called to be a world changer. I have done my best to inspire her about life, but leave the destiny and purpose things between her and God, and She believes she is called to live her life in ministry.

So I am proud that another generation of Gadberry’s are stepping up to the plate to make a difference in the world. She will be the fourth generation ministry leader.

Let me move on before i get carried away and ahead of myself. It is such a thrill to take her and to be able to partner together to help people. If I haven’t learned anything else as a parent I have learned its always better to model what you want for your kids than it is to merely talk about it.

So what better way to teach Taylor how to help people, how to reach the world with the love and Gospel of Jesus than to take her, and let her do it with me.

I have also learned that these times provide for some of the greatest bonding experiences in a parent/child relationship. I love it that I am not struggling, or fighting with her about teenage issues, but rather partnering with her to change the world.

I love it that my kids love God, love the church, and love the ministry.

Its gonna be fun! Here we go!

David

Innovation….

Whatever you may think about Michael Jackson, no one can deny his talent, skill, or creativity. When I think of MJ, I think if innovation in the music world, and the music video world. He started at such a young age, and it didn’t take him long to realize that he had thoughts of his own about music, dance, and entertainment.

So many dance moves can be traced back to him. So much of modern pop style has its roots in his creativity. He was a pioneer in many ways. He tried things that people had never seen or heard before.

He obviously did get way out there, and for whatever people are saying he obviously had some personal issues and problems.

You still have to appreciate his innovation. His obsession with perfection may have caused him lots of personal pain, but it drove him to do some great things in his industry.

So be inspired to step out and do things that no one has. Be creative, try and risk and see if good things happen. While you do it though, remember there is a reason for our skills and talents and abilities. They are given to us by God for God’s purpose.

Line those things up with purpose, then you can have greatness and fulfillment.

I Pray for MJ’s family and hope that he made his peace with God.

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

A revolution of Service

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!”

Friends in all kind of places…

I think we live in a most interesting time. I love the whole social networking, micro blog, and blogging scene. I have friends from all over the nation and the world. Friends that I probably never would have spoken to again. Friends who I know but rarely communicate with. It was funny the other day, I was literally talking to someone in the states, someone in Uganda, and Someone in Cambodia all at the same time.

A lot of people try to resist technology but I think we should embrace it, and use the tools we have to benefit others.

A good friend is a precious commodity.

So join the fun, connect with others.

I’m 40 years old and i have reconnected with a friend I went to Kindergarten with. How cool is that. Have you reconnected with friends, or family