Thursday, October 29, 2009

Baby Shower for Houston

On any given night there are an estimated 1,500 homeless youth, ages 17-24, living on the streets of Houston. Within that population are young moms raising their children in this precarious environment.

Thankfully, there are ministries like Little Footprints.

The heart of Little Footprints is to reach the little ones of the streets of Houston through various means:

Assisting the mother to become stable enough to raise her own children
Placing her child/children in our Rescue Family Program through Loving Alternative, an adoption/foster agency
Helping with practical needs such as diapers, wipes and formula, etc.

The goal of Little Footprints is: to love, bring acceptance to, give encouragement, and instill self worth and a sense of value into the street children, teaching them that they are special and that someone cares about them that they may become healthy citizens of society.

On Sunday morning, November 8 you have an opportunity to help Grace Presbyterian Church partner with Little Footprints to realize that goal. In our worship services we are throwing a Baby Shower for babies in need in Houston. We are inviting all who attend the shower to:

Bring diapers, wipes or formula (or anything else a baby or young mom might need).
Invite a friend to attend the “baby shower” with you.

Jesus welcomed the little children and on November 8 we get to show them all His love.

Share this opportunity with everyone you know!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Not Complacent

Last Friday an article in the Belief section of the Houston Chronicle ended with this assessment of the church in the United States:

…churches have become complacent and are no longer challenging themselves to do extraordinary things. churchgoers have a hard time seeing how their contribution to missions can affect the world or its problems.

One of the changes that seems to have happened to the church in the United States is that it has moved away from vision, it's not challenging itself to be great.

I suggested in the message on Sunday that it must break Jesus’ heart for someone to write that about His church. Yet we shouldn’t too quickly ignore the critique.

Instead it provides a great opportunity to demonstrate that:

We aren’t complacent.
We are engaging in extraordinary things.
We believe that with God’s help we really can affect the world and it’s problems.
We are committed to a vision to do even greater things (because Jesus promised that we would).

This Sunday, November 1, we will celebrate ways in which our Youth Ministries are living out what we believe as they share stories from last summer’s mission trips in both Sanctuary services. You DO NOT WANT TO MISS this Sunday.

The following Sunday, November 8, we will live out our Vision with a very special Baby Shower. Again this will be a Sunday you won’t want to miss.

As we look toward Christmas we will be focusing on the idea (inspired by the Advent Conspiracy) that Christmas and the church can [still] change the world. The next couple of Sunday’s are opportunities to celebrate and be a part of that change.

Join us and let’s show the world that we aren’t complacent – instead we are filled with compassion.

To the glory of God!

T Doug

Monday, October 19, 2009

It doesn't take all of us

I’m working on an upcoming message this morning and studying Judges 7 and had a thought I hadn’t really considered before:

It doesn’t take all of us.

One of the phrases many pastors (including me) use of a lot is along the lines of:

God is calling us to greater things in His kingdom and it’s going to take all of us working together.

The idea is to make everyone feel significant and included. The hope is to engage everyone to use their gifts. So we teach that we need all of us contributing – each piece of the puzzle working together. We tell our congregations and staffs – I’ve told congregations and staffs: It’s going to take all of us.

But it doesn’t.

That’s not to say that not everyone is significant. Everyone is. Each of us was “fearfully and wonderfully made.” And everyone has a gfit that can and should be used for God’s glory advancing His Kingdom. But that doesn’t mean it will always take all of us to accomplish the task or the vision God has placed before us.

Consider Judges 7.

Gideon (Jerub-Baal) had an army of 32,000 ready to attack the camp of Midian. If I were giving the pre-game speech I would have said something along the lines of:

“We can do this – even though Midian is undefeated in conference play, we can win this battle if we work together. We can do this – but it’s going to take all of us!”

But God says: “Send anyone who’s afraid home.” 22,000 leave.

New pre-game speech: “OK we are down 31% in numbers but those left are fearless and committed and ready for some action. We can do this but now it’s really going to take all of us!

But again God says: “Not yet.” Then follows this odd selection process involving how we drink water from a stream. 300 make the cut.

32,000 down to 300 (that’s a 99% decrease) . By the way, the 300 then proceed to smash the Midian camp to pieces (with 31,700 home in their tents).

Could it be that it doesn’t take all of us of us after all?

Could it be that all that is really required is the right 300 and God?

Now I’m not suggesting that we began to tell people that we probably don’t 99% of you – not exactly a strategy for church growth – or more importantly reflective of what we believe.

But responding to God's call and vision doesn’t take all of us. It only takes those of us who are called and up to the task.

Just a thought.