Why People Who Need Help Tend to Isolate

Matt and I sat at her table discussing ways our nonprofit organization could help her with repairs around her home. She lived in an older manufactured home that sat on several acres on the outskirts of town. She had some family, but they were busy with their own lives.

She asked how many people would come to help. Matt joyfully responded that he felt sure he could have around 30 volunteers come help. With that bit of information, she froze. After a moment of awkward silence she informed us that this wasn’t going to work.

Matt did eventually work at her home with a small number of volunteers. A number she felt comfortable having on her property.

Why won’t they ask for help…

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What Do You Want Your Last Words on Earth to Be?

Even if you’re not a Christian, you probably know some of the Crucifixion story. Jesus, hanging on the cross for several hours, asked for a drink of water. The soldier lifted up a sponge on the end of a stick soaked with sour wine. Jesus took a drink then said, “It is finished!”. He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

A few things about that statement appeal to me.

  1. Jesus knew why He was on earth. He knew His mission and purpose.
  2. Jesus knew that He accomplished His mission.
  3. Jesus breathed His last breath at the moment He finished His mission.

The apostle Paul talks about being a drink-offering poured out; about running the race in such a way to win. Paul talks to run not without aim or to box as if boxing the air.

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Want a Simple Way to Live a Missional Life?

When do you think about taking time out of your busy schedule to invest in another person’s life? Are you one of those super organized people who has it on your calendar each week or month? Maybe it’s when something is said at church or you read something that compels you to do something.

I find that I need a reminder. It’s not natural for me to think of others. Well, I will if it involves me in some direct way. Either the person is already close to me, like a family member or friend, or I derive some benefit from it—it makes me feel better.

Not a very pretty picture of myself, but I know that is who I am.

But when I press into God and spend time with Him, He changes me. He takes my eyes off myself. He gives me a heart of flesh instead a heart of stone. I care about the vulnerable, the hurting, the lonely…I care because that is who He is.

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How Is Your Lifestyle Affecting Your Mission?

4 Ways to Adapt Your Lifestyle to Your Mission

Does the way you live your life enable or hinder your ability to engage in mission? If you know what your mission is—whether it be orphan care, working with the poor, mentoring young couples—does your lifestyle help you embrace that mission?

We all have resources at our disposal. We have time, money, talents, relationships. Trouble is we tend to use them on our own agenda.

What dictates how you spend your resources? Do you put thought into these things or do you just go with the flow?

Another way to pose the question is, “Do I adapt my lifestyle to my mission or purpose in life?”

Here are a few ways that I think will help us intentionally adapt our lifestyle to our mission. Do understand, I am not an expert on this. Not even close! I find that I have to continually re-calibrate my life to stay on mission.

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Discover and Engage Your Passion

What are you passionate about? I’m not talking about painting your beer gut in Dallas Cowboy blue to convince me that your a fanatic Cowboy supporter.

Nor am I talking about your career, your possessions, maybe not even…gulp…your family. I’m referring to a passion that impacts others. A passion that changes another person’s destiny.

Does any passion like that exist for you?

I know for many of you one or more passion does! So much so that it’s a part of your identity. When others talk about you, your passion comes up in the conversation.

You have a passionate heart, but…

You might be like many that I talk to. You hear a story about an foster kid; about refugee families; about living life on life with your neighbors. Some kind of story that kindles a desire deep within you.

“If I knew how to help.” “If I had the financial means or time.” I hear something like that often.

So you have a passionate heart. You might even have a specific passion. Yet, you don’t know how to engage that passion. You don’t know how to rearrange your priorities or how to get involved.

You’re not alone!

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The Terror-Strickened Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Why is that so often our first response is based on our fear? We gravitate easily to a worst-case scenario.

If you pay attention at all to current events, you know that a crisis is happening in Syria. Because of a civil war that’s lasted for over four years, and now ISIS, thousands of refugees are fleeing the country.

At first, most of the refugees fled into neighboring countries like Jordan and Turkey. But now many have taken on the dangerous journey of making an attempt to get into Europe. Sadly, many have died along the way.

Countries throughout the Middle East and Europe are struggling with how to best handle the influx of the refugees.

Some have stated that this is the largest movement of refugees since WWII.

It’s interesting when we look back at that time in history, it’s hard for to understand the lack of response during WWII. The majority of people were against what the Nazis were doing throughout Europe, but they remained silent.

Out of Fear.

Sadly, we are repeating history.

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Driving Fast on the Wrong Road

A Guest Post by Matt Peacock

This is a guest post by Matt Peacock, a pastor and now executive director of Partners in Hope Lake Travis.

In looking at the culture we live in I can’t think of a better description of daily life than driving fast down the wrong road. We can easily assume we just need to jump on the highway of contemporary American culture and drive fast enough to stay up, without ever asking if it’s the right road.

What do I mean by driving fast?

Busyness is held as the inescapable norm – so do it all the way.

How many times have we expressed how busy we are to others in our conversations and heard it from others. It is a badge of honor in our culture that we are driving as fast as everyone else: making every appointment, involving our kids in every opportunity, making sure the calendar has no days unplanned.

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How to Praise God While on the Battlefield

Guest Post by Josh Armstrong

Josh and his wife, Jen, live in North Texas. They have a heart for children who need a family and hope one day to live in a foreign country as missionaries. They strongly believe that ALL Christians are “missionaries” and are called to minister with their lives somewhere, even if just to the community in your own backyard. Josh is a podcaster/blogger at ProjectFaithJourney.com.

A missionary friend in South America recently shared the following:

The road that is banked by both joy and sorrow, hope and vulnerability, peace and frustration is the road I think many a missionary must travel. There are “wins’ that triumph the losses, and yet still losses that covet our focus. May our eyes be ever set on Christ, the redeemer of the losses and the confident hope in the midst of our battles.Seth Powell

It’s true. The journey we all face can seem like a battle.

This is a great reminder that we are all missionaries.

When looking at life and the struggles we face, let me share with you truths about the struggles that we all face … They amplify! In fact, as Christians, they amplify things in 3 ways:

  1. How inadequate we are.
  2. How much a big deal our problems seem, and when we finally come around to it…
  3. How big our God is.

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Hope Shines Here

#RunForShoes Buckner's Shoes for Orphan Souls

When you aren’t sure how to help the millions around you that need help, usually something simple goes a long way. That’s the case with Buckner’s Shoes for Orphan Souls.

For a small donation you can provide new shoes for a child who otherwise might not have their own shoes, not even one pair.

Here is some information provided by Buckner about why shoes are so important:

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How to Determine What Cause to Support

So many good causes. Social media does a fantastic job of spreading the news about those who don’t have a family, haven’t heard the gospel, need rescued from slavery, or just need a helping hand.

Such limited resources. All of us only have 24 hours in a day. Sure some have fewer commitments than others, but still. None of us has all the energy or money that it would take.

Downside is that this fact often keeps us from doing anything at all. If I can’t help everyone, I won’t help anyone. I don’t want to play favorites or make a choice.

If I had my choice, I would foster and adopt from right here in our community (which we did) AND be on the mission field in a foreign country while serving on multiple boards of nonprofits doing great things. Then every time I was made aware of a cause that needed money, I would give, generously.

The truth is I can’t be in two places at once. I only have so much time to devote to nonprofit volunteerism. And who among us has an unlimited amount of money?

The reality is that none of us can respond to every good cause. So, what do we do?

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