September 20, 2010

Outreach Break

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:54 pm by reacheachweek

I meant to write a few weeks back and explain why I have not blogged about my weekly outreach.  Things just keep getting busier and busier as the weeks go by.  I am now eight months pregnant and feel like I have a 10 pound basketball strapped to my stomach. Sometimes I wonder how in the world I am going to be able to carry this precious little boy around for the next 9 weeks!  I’m leaning on the Lord for his strength! 

There are some other personal things that are going on right now in our family that I will be able to share about in the weeks to come, but for now I have decided that I NEED to take a break from my 52 week challenge.  I am not quitting this challenge, but instead just putting it on hold until I feel that it is time to resume this challenge.  It took quite a struggle on my part being willing to submit to what God was speaking to me about taking a break from a number of things in my life (this be one of those things), but right now I need to rest and focus on my family.

I will be back to resume this challenge soon.  I look forward to blogging about the many opportunities that God gives me to reach out to others.  Oh, and just because I am not blogging about them right now doesn’t mean that God doesn’t open those doors each and every day!  I have learned over the past 23 weeks of this challenge that outreach is not just a duty that we have as Christians, but rather a lifestyle that God has commanded for us to live!  Can I get an Amen? 🙂

I’ll be back in touch soon.  Until then….I leave you with a few of my favorite scriptures found in Romans:

 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”

Romans 12:9-13

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August 31, 2010

Outreach #23 (Backpack Outreach)

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:20 pm by reacheachweek

A couple of weeks ago our church handed out backpacks to the congregation to fill with school supplies for kids that live in a low-income area of Aurora.  My husband and I had so much fun buying all of the supplies to fill the bag up with.  We even bought a gift card to McDonald’s for our kid.  Ever since we have dropped the bag off, we have thought and prayed for the child who received that bag. 

It has to be rough to be in school these days!  The lack of morals and disrespect for God in our school’s today is absolutely heart breaking!!  All we can do is get on our knees and pray, and that’s exactly what I am going to do!

“But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.”    

Psalm 55:11

August 2, 2010

Outreach #22 (Divine Appointment)

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:53 pm by reacheachweek

It’s been a few weeks since I have blogged about opportunities to reach out each week.  I’m finding that instead of strategically planning a way to reach out each week that the Lord is really just setting up divine opportunities for me to help someone in need.  For instance, last week I was at Wal-Mart and before I started my shopping I had to run to the bathroom (this is happens a lot when you are expecting! :-). 

As I was washing my hands I heard a lady in one of the stalls coughing and sounding very sick.  I wanted to ask if she was okay, but I didn’t want to bother or embarrass her.  When I walked outside the bathroom I noticed a guy standing next to the bathroom with a wheelchair.  I asked him if he was waiting on someone in the Women’s restroom.  He told me his sister was in there and he was really worried about her because she has had a lot of medical problems over the last year.  I asked if I could offer his sister a bottle of water.  He said that would be wonderful.  I went and grabbed a bottle of water out of a case of water that I was going to purchase.  I handed it to the man and asked him to give it to his sister.   Before I walked away I told the man I would pray that his sister would feel better.  He smiled and said thank you.

I didn’t go to Wal-Mart that day expecting to reach out to someone, but thankfully the Lord gave me the opportunity.  It’s really neat that in this process to tangibly touch someone’s life each and every week, it has really become a LIFESTYLE!!  My prayer is that even after my 52 week challenge, I continue to live like Jesus and bless those around me DAILY!!

July 12, 2010

Outreach #21 (A Cold Drink)

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:09 pm by reacheachweek

Rick and I were packing up our car for a trip up to the Michigan Dunes for the day.  We had to park our car on the side of the street b/c there was a man who was pouring black top on all of the driveways in our subdivision.  On that particular morning it was very HOT.  It was about 10:00 a.m. and it was already 88 degrees with very high humidity in the air! 

As I was buckling our little girl in her car seat I glanced over at the man pouring black top on our neighbors driveway and he was wiping sweat off of his forehead.  Over by a tree I noticed a cup that was tipped over indicating to me that this man was clearly out of his drink.  He must be really thirsty, I thought to myself.  I ran inside and asked my husband to go see if  the man would like some cold water or a cold pop. 

Rick came outside with a cold bottle of water and a cold pop and asked the man if he would like a drink.  The man thanked Rick over and over again and told him that he had just had throat surgery and really needed a drink badly.  I am so thankful that the Lord helped me to notice this man and how thirsty he was.  We were able to used by God to quench this man’s thirst!  What an honor!

“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”            Matthew 25:40

June 28, 2010

Outreach #20 (Special Needs Carnival)

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:50 pm by reacheachweek

On Saturday Rick and I volunteered for a carnival that our church was putting on for children and adults with special needs.  It was absolutely AMAZING!!  I was blown away by how well the carnival was run.  There were games, live animals, lots of food, a DJ playing fun music, cotton candy and the list goes on!  It touched my heart to see these kids and adults have such a wonderful time.  I volunteered at one of the food tables distributing condiments and helping those who needed it put the right toppings on their burgers and hot dogs. 

I think there is a lot we can learn from those with special needs.  I pray that my heart will be as selfless, loving, and non-judgemental as these precious ones who were at the carnival!  I know the Lord looks down on each one of them with a  loving smile!  My prayer is for the parents/caretakers of these individuals with special needs.  For a long time my Mom took in kids with disabilities so I know first hand how difficult a job this can be.  Will you join me in praying  for strength and wisdom for these families?

“The Joy of the Lord is your strength.”  Nehemiah 8:10

Outreach #19 (Walk For Life)

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:32 pm by reacheachweek

This summer has been jam-packed and breezing by so quickly that I haven’t had a chance to blog about the many outreach opportunities the Lord has blessed me with over the past few weeks!  Two weekends ago, my husband Rick, daughter Addison and I volunteered at a fundraising event for the Dupage Crisis Pregnancy Center.  We volunteered at the registration booth and then hiked the 2 1/2 miles to raise money for the center to help women make the right choice  for LIFE  and NOT abortion. 

It turned out to be a gorgeous day!  We prayed for the girls to have the courage to step into the crisis pregnancy center and seek help.  Some of the staff from the center read stories about women who were so thankful that they chose to seek direction in their decision to keep their babies. God is good!  Please continue to pray for all of the Crisis Pregnancy Centers nationwide that are encouraging women with God’s truth and the decision to choose LIFE!!

      For you created my inmost being;
       you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

       I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
       your works are wonderful,
       I know that full well.

       My frame was not hidden from you
       when I was made in the secret place.
       When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

       your eyes saw my unformed body.
       All the days ordained for me
       were written in your book
       before one of them came to be.

                                             Psalms 139:13-16

June 14, 2010

Outreach #18 (Encouragement to Others)

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:30 pm by reacheachweek

The other day as I was sorting through some old boxes I came across one of my old journals.  Of course it is always fun to read the things we wrote years ago.  One of the things I found in my journal was a poem that I wrote when I was serving as Outreach Pastor at a church in Colorado.  I thought I would share it with you today.

For the homeless who are hungry and haven’t eaten for days.

For the mother who is left alone with many children to raise.

For the teenage girl who is pregnant and feels confused and alone.

For the wife who is on her knees praying desperately for her husband to return home.

Through the storms of your life when all hope is lost,

Just remember you were bought by Jesus at a very high cost.

He hears every cry and wipes every tear,

He brings comfort and peace and takes away every fear.

He loves you so much no human word could define.

The love that He has for you is eternally divine!

 

The love of Jesus is truly amazing!!   I am so thankful that through the storms of my life I have a refuge in a God who is faithful and who loves me more than anyone else in this entire world!  My outreach last week was very simple.  I just made an effort to encourage those around me with the love of Jesus.  I made a phone call to a friend who is going through a very difficult time right now.  I genuinely complimented a lady that I didn’t know who was in the check out lane behind me at Target.  These gestures, though they seem small, really bless the heart of God!!

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another all the more as you see the day approaching”                                                                                                                                                      Hebrews 10:24-25

June 8, 2010

Outreach #16 & 17 (Prayer and Laundry Outreach)

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:56 pm by reacheachweek

I haven’t blogged about my outreaches for the past two weeks due to the fact that I was in the process of moving.  I am now settled in my new place, but I still don’t have my internet hooked up. 😦  My Mom is gracious enough to let me borrow her computer until I am connected again.

The week of Memorial Day is when I moved, so I wasn’t able to find the time to really get out into the community and reach out.  I prayed that week that the Lord would bring something to mind that would be quick and yet an impacting outreach.  As I spent that time in prayer I felt that God was really calling me to intercede for the troops serving in war and for their families, so that is what I did.  At first I felt like this was a cop-out of doing an actual outreach, but then I was reminded that outreach is really Jesus working through us to touch someone in a special way.  What better way to do that then through prayer!!  Can I get an amen?!! 🙂

Last week my husband and I went to the bank and took out five dollars in quarters.  We then headed to a laundry mat in a lower-income part of town.  I prayed on the way there that God we lead me to the right person to give this money for laundry to.  As we drove up there was a women sitting outside of the laundry mat on a chair.  I got out of the car and walked up to her.  I asked her if she could use $5 for laundry.  She told me that she had finished her laundry for today, but that she has to come often to do her laundry and she could really use the money.  I handed her the envelope containing the $5 worth of quarters.  She shook my hand and said bless you.  I asked her name and told her that I would be praying for her in the weeks to come and that Jesus loved her so much!  She thanked me again, and I started to walk back to my car.  For some reason when I got back into the car I began to cry.  I just felt like God had really used me to bless that woman.  He even had her sitting outside for me when I arrived.  Wow, what an amazing God we serve!!

May 24, 2010

Outreach #15 (Provide Food)

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:34 pm by reacheachweek

This past weekend my husband, daughter, and I went to a fair called the Taste of Glen Ellyn.  Glen Ellyn is a town right next to Wheaton where we live (for those of you who are reading this blog and don’t live in the Chicagoland area).  After checking out some of the art exhibits at the fair we decided to get some lunch at one of the many food vendors represented there. 

We found a table and sat down to enjoy our food when a lady who looked to be in her 60’s sat down next to us.  I looked over at her and smiled trying to be polite, and then continued eating my sweet corn.  A moment later the lady looked at me with sweat pouring down her face and commented on how warm it was that day.  I agreed and told her we were supposed to get warmer temps as the week progressed.  As we were talking one of the hospitality workers politely interrupted and told the lady that she checked all of the food vendors and none of them took debit or credit cards.  The lady looked at me and proceeded to tell me that her bank’s ATM was down that morning and she was unable to get cash out to eat lunch that day.  Immediately I looked at my husband and said….”we are supposed to buy this woman lunch.”  My husband said he felt the exact same way.  So I asked the lady if I could buy her lunch.  At first she rejected my offer, and then I told her that I want to bless her today and it would be great if she would let me.  She then agreed so I bought her the food of her choice and brought it back to her at the table.

As we started to clean up our mess from lunch, the lady leaned over grabbed my hand and told me thank you once again.  I smile back at her and said God bless you and have a wonderful rest of the day!!

This outreach was 100% set up by the Lord.  I had a different outreach planned for last week and in one moment the Lord led me to bless a women with no money to eat at the time.  I love it when God chooses to use US to touch someone with his love.  There is no greater calling than this!!

May 17, 2010

Outreach #14 (Letter to a Solider)

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:13 pm by reacheachweek

My outreach for last week was to write a letter to a solider serving overseas.  I wrote a letter to a woman named Jessica who is serving our country in the U.S. Navy.  As I was writing this letter I began to think of all of the men and women who are risking their lives every day to defend and honor our wonderful Country. 

I am praying for Jessica.  She could be someone’s Mother, or a Wife, a Sister, or an Aunt…..I may not know her personally, but I know that our God does, and he loves her unconditionally!!  Please pray today for our men and women serving our country.  Pray for protection and for strength, and most importantly that they would come to know Jesus personally if they don’t already.  There is no greater relationship on earth!!

I wrote this verse in the letter that I sent to Jessica:

 The LORD watches over you—
       the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

     the sun will not harm you by day,
       nor the moon by night.

   The LORD will keep you from all harm—
       he will watch over your life;

    the LORD will watch over your coming and going
       both now and forevermore.   Psalm 121 5-8

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