You Can Make Time!

Reflections on a Social Media Fast 3

Make Time

Today, we are talking about time.  Stephen Miller Band wrote,

Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
Into the future
Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
Into the future

I’ve found no more appropriate way to think about how I have utilized social media in the past.

I like schedules and I calendar almost everything.  I know what’s happening and when.  The old adage, if you aren’t 5 minutes early than you’re late, is something I’ve taken to heart and amplified a bit (much to my wife’s chagrin): if you aren’t 30 minutes early than you’re late.  I’m very organized when it comes to my time.  I’ve written on it here, here, here, and here.  I don’t like my time wasted.

However, I continually let social media waste my time.  One of the biggest discoveries I had after I started the social media fast was how much time I had spent looking at social media.  I found my thumb going to the place on my phone where the Facebook App had been countless times a day.  It was subconscious.  If my thumb is drifting to this nebulous spot on my phone then how much time would I have spent mindlessly scrolling?

Make Time

We all have exactly the same amount of time in a given day.

  • 24 Hours
  • 1,440 Minutes
  • 86,400 Seconds

If you find yourself lacking in time, here’s an idea: Take a Social Media Break.  I promise it will be productive and that  it will be good for you.  I promise you will have more time.

Remember social media isn’t bad.  As I shared in my first post, social media is a tool.  It SHOULD be utilized, but tools yield to their master’s desires.  Use social media, don’t be used by it.  This idea will be the subject of my next post about my social media fast.

Reflections on a Social Media Fast 2

Part 2 - People Freaked Out

social media

On September 24th I posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (which I don’t use much, I know I’m terrible), and LinkedIn that:

Allison Crandall and I are signing off of Facebook/Messenger/Social Media for a while. If you need me you an email me at jason@cityviewpearland.com

Allie gave me the business because, “who cares if you’re off social media.”  She likes to give me the business (I like it too).

I remember telling her, “I know, people won’t care, but sometimes people ask me questions, etc and it’s kind of like an out of the office email letting people know I’m off and how to contact me if they need something.”  I’m a pastor and I utilize social media a lot.

Freak Out

We were both wrong, people cared, they really cared.  People freaked out.  I don’t have a large following on social media, a few hundred followers on Twitter and a couple thousand friends on Facebook.  I don’t know how to check Instagram followers (I know I’m terrible).

Within minutes of my signing off social media, I got 27 text messages, 5 phone calls, and a few emails.  The questions and comments continued for the next week.  They were:

  • Why?
  • Is something wrong?  Are you guys okay?
  • I want to see the boys.  Have someone else post pictures.
  • What about Penny?
  • How are we going to hear about Penny?
  • What’s Penny doing?

(Penny is our dog.  She’s a corgi.  She’s a puppy and… terrible, but we love her. She has her own Instagram, which I’d post here, but you know… I’m terrible and don’t know what it is exactly).

My favorite question was from a very serious, but paranoid friend: “are you afraid the government and Illuminati are watching you?”  I sent a text jokingly back, “aren’t they the same thing?”

The Social Media Social Contract

I’m nobody special.  I didn’t understand why there was such a reaction to my signing off of social media.  As I reflected though, I think it has something to do with the way that we connect and feel connected.  I think, due to social media, we are okay with feeling more physically/spatially/relationally disconnected from others.  After all we don’t need to actually keep up with people because we can always pop on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram and see what’s happening in their world.

That’s not an indictment.  I enjoyed getting back on Facebook and seeing my cousin’s kids, my brother’s dog, my friend’s accomplishments, etc.  Social Media has made it possible to keep up without keeping up. It’s like there is kind of a new social media social contract that says this is okay.  People liked keeping up with me from afar.  I didn’t know how much the posts of our boys, our thoughts, funny quips, Bible verses, and Corgi pics meant to others.  It was only after signing off of social media though that I knew we mattered like that to others.

It got me thinking that maybe I should contact personally (via text, phone call, invite over, get coffee with, etc) those people who I enjoy seeing on social media.  I should spend time checking in with them outside the Twittersphere and Facebook universe.

My reflection today is don’t let the social media social contract be the only social contract you have with people.

Reflections on a Social Media Fast 1

Part 1 - Tools not Crutches

At the end of September my wife and I took a break from social media.  We had a lot of reasons (which I’ll talk about a little over the next few posts), but more than anything we just needed a detox.  I was beginning more and more to find this post from Urban Dictionary far too true in my own life.

Social Media can be best described as:

Facebook – I like doughnuts

Twitter – I’m eating #doughnuts

Instagram – Here is a Polaroid-esce photo of doughnuts

Foursquare – This is where I eat doughnuts

YouTube – Here I am eating doughnuts

Myspace – Meet the Up-and-coming band, ‘doughnuts’

Linkedin – My skills include doughnut eating

Pinterest – Here is a recipe for doughnuts

We plugged back in a couple days ago and I thought I’d share a little bit about what I noticed as I took an intentional break from the cultural phenomena known as Social Media.

First Thought: Social Media is a Tool not a Crutch

I don’t think social media is bad or evil or even a giant waste of time (on its own).  I think it’s a tool to be used.  Any tool that’s overused or improperly utilized can cause problems. Those tools can even destroy.  During my break I noticed how I had stopped using social media as a tool and started using it as a crutch for social interaction.  Crutches are great tools when a lower extremity is broken or hurt, but when nothing is broken and you’re using one… then there is a problem.  I am blessed to have a lot of opportunity for social interaction.  I don’t need social media to be the only place where it’s happening or even one of the main places where it’s happening.

Book Recommendation: The Imperfect Disciple

Imperfect Disciple

Wilson, Jared C.. The Imperfect Disciple: Grace for People Who Can’t Get Their Act Together. Baker Publishing Group.

 

This year I’m reading (or listening to) a lot of books.  I’m going to share about the ones I find truly helpful and beneficial.  Some of these books will be church planting, some christian living, some will even be…. gasp… secular business/productivity/organizational type books.  None of them will be fiction… I know I’m a wretch (but grace is amazing, right?).  I just prefer to watch my fiction (i.e. movies) then read it (it’s more efficient).  All of the fiction lovers out there either cursed me just now or started to pray for me.  That’s fine. This is my blog.

 

The first book I am recommending this year is The Imperfect Disciple: Grace for People Who Can’t Get Their Act Together by Jared Wilson.

 

4 Reasons Why I Read and Enjoyed The Imperfect Disciple

1) I’m always weary of “how to” Christian Living books.

Wilson’s title captured me though, I’m an imperfect disciple.  Sometimes (rarely) I have a semblance of getting it together… other times not so much. I love this statement:

“I want to write a discipleship book for normal people, for people like me who know that discipleship means following Jesus—and we know that following Jesus is totally worth it, because Jesus is the end-all, be-all—but we often find that following Jesus takes us to some pretty difficult places.”

I’m normal.  Jesus is everything to me.  The more I’ve grown as a follower of Jesus the more I’ve seen the messiness of my own soul and been exposed to the messiness of others.  The real Jesus meets these real issues in others and me.  That’s a thing I believe.  That’s a thing that Wilson highlights and I deeply appreciate.

2) Beholding is more important than Behaving

He hits something on the head for me while explaining why we don’t try to behold Jesus (something I know I should do, but frankly struggle to do).  He says, “The very fact we consider something familiar sort of stifles any impulse to study it.”  I’ve found this to be true in my devotions lately.  I know the gospel.  I’ve studied it and heard it for most of my life.  The gospel is a thing I talk about all the time and Jesus is a person I talk about all the time.  You know what though, I’m ashamed to admit this, I fall into a pattern of just doing the right thing (behaving) and not looking at Jesus deeply (beholding).

I like how Wilson makes this point early in the book.  He makes it before he gets to chapters that emphasize more common spiritual disciplines like Bible reading or prayer.

3) Spiritual Disciplines are Important

Maybe it is just me, but in the current Christian climate it seems that spiritual disciplines have become almost looked down upon.  Like reading the bible, praying, and attending a local church have become that thing that old people do/did.  I think part of the reason it feels like that is because earlier generations pounded those disciplines so hard that it sounded like doing that stuff was all it took to be close to God.  It felt like they were leaving grace out of the picture.  (I don’t think this is what was actually happening, but it’s what it seemed and felt like).  I like the way Wilson reframes the disciplines:

  • Rhythm of Listening – Study Your Bible
  • Rhythm of Spilling Your Guts – Pray
  • Revolution Will Not Be Instagrammed – Go to church

4) I LOVE Grace

Grace is my favorite thing. Getting what I don’t deserve in God through Jesus.  I LOVE it.  I love how grace is constantly and consistently pounded on throughout the book as the power behind discipleship.  Wilson loves grace, he wrote a whole chapter on it and talks about it throughout.  I need to see that being produces doing.  I need it demonstrated to me.  Wilson does that.

Recommendation:

My wife and I frequently lament the lack of reading in our culture. People don’t pick up books.  They consume Netflix (guilty), Hulu (guilty), Sports Radio (guilty), and gobs of other entertainment.  They just don’t read and consider deep thoughts very much.  I’m hoping that doing these reviews will inspire some to read more.  So I’m going to do a recommendation system I’m calling READ IT.  I feel like most books should be read (I wrote one, you should READ IT).  The more capital letters in the the phrase READ IT the more I recommend the book.

I give Wilson’s book a full READ IT

I think you should.  You can get it on Amazon here.

Do Yourself A Favor: Get OmniFocus 2

My Favorite Task Manager

OmniFocus 2

 

Get OmniFocus 2

Small business owners, pastors, church planters, entrepreneurs, ministry professionals, and anyone who has a lot of freedom in their work needs something to help them stay on task.  OmniFocus 2 is my tool.

If you want to make sure you don’t drop the ball on tasks then please, do yourself a favor… get Omnifocus 2.  I love it.

There are a lot of task managers out there.  This one is highly adaptable to the way that you track your tasks.  I am goal oriented and it helps me track goals through the powerful folders feature.  Within the folder you can setup incremental projects that lead to the accomplishment of the goal.  Inside of those projects you can place your tasks that lead to the accomplishment of the goal.

I don’t recommend products unless I use them.  I literally use this app EVERY DAY.

  • Integrates with Calendars seamlessly.
  • I have it on my iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
  • Contexts, I use this as a “hats I wear” feature.  It helps me keep things straight as a Husband/Father, Pastor, Network Leader, Business Owner, and Individual.
  • Send tasks directly from email to your task manager.
  • Attach important reference material.
  • The Review Perspective is something I do every Monday as I setup my schedule for the week.
There are lots of people who have done free essential training for OmniFocus 2 online.  Here’s a great resource: https://www.youtube.com/user/learnomnifocus
Let me know if you have questions.  I’d be happy to answer as best I can.

Who Do You Want To Be?

My first step before I start getting specific about my goals

characterized

How are you characterized?

If you ask your spouse  come up with 3-5 non-physical descriptive words to explain who you are what would they be?  If you asked friends or colleagues that same question what do you think the answer would be?  If you’ve never tried it I highly suggest it.  Making people choose a few words causes them to be more careful with the words they choose.  It’s a fun exercise, but not exactly the point of this post.

I ask people that question as it relates to this past year.  How would you characterize me in 2017?

After I process that feedback (sometimes it is harder than other times).  I start to think about how I’d like to be characterized at the end of the next year.

An Example

For instance, at this time last year I decided I wanted to be more clearly characterized as someone who prays.  I know, I’m a pastor, that should come naturally.  I’ll be honest… it doesn’t.  But I want it to be more natural.

So about this time last year that was on my list of things I wanted to be characterized by.  That gave way to a goal of writing in a prayer journal weekly which I’m happy to say I did.  Prayer isn’t a lot easier for me, but it has definitely become a larger part of my life.  My kids know I keep a prayer journal and they know when they come to me with a problem or something they’re worried about the first thing I do is ask if they’ve prayed about it yet.

 

My advice before writing goals is to think about what you want to be known as at the end of this next year.  Think about the type of person you want to BE, before you think about the things you are going to DO.

 

What do you want to be characterized as this next year?

Plan: Control Your Calendar or It Will Control You

A look at a productive week in church planting

Plan

 

You’ve got to plan.  Organizing your week is pretty key to productivity in church planting.  You’ve got to drive your schedule or it will drive you.  I tend to set my week up in terms of blocks of time and the rhythms of my family and my church. At the bottom of this post is what a typical week looks like for me.

Everyday Stuff

I wake up early.  I always have.  I’m not a genius by any means (which is what a few friends have asserted).  I just like getting early.  4 is early even for me, but my boys have inherited my odd sleep schedule.  In order to beat them awake I have to get up at 4 to get some time alone with the Lord ad begin study.

I try to workout or run everyday.  I typically tag it with lunch.  I’ve found my energy level increases significantly when I workout and/or run.  I’m not any kind of a magnificent specimen of the male figure by any means, but I’m healthy, can bench my body weight (usually), and have completed a marathon.  I don’t attribute that to natural athletic acumen, but just some consistency in my regiment.  I HIGHLY recommend pastors exercise regularly.

Sunday

Sunday is devoted to our worship service, counseling and our life group.  I get up early, go to Starbucks and get a 5 shot venti peppermint mocha (nonfat milk, no whip cream) and look over my message, check our volunteer schedule, meet with my executive pastor, and think about what has to happen on Sunday.  In the evening we have our life group at 5pm.

Monday

Monday is typically an administration day where I’m working through weekly planning and message prep.  I know a lot of guys take Mondays off.  I’m not a fan of that, and you can read about that here.  My rhythms make me want to work through what happened the day before so I spend much of Sunday looking at numbers, assessing how Sunday services went, etc.  That’s just how I roll.

Tuesday

Tuesday is meeting day.  Normally, I’ll have anywhere from 5-9 meetings on Tuesday.  They vary in how crucial they are.  Typically, I meet with our administrative assistant and creative arts director.  I have regular lunch meetings and time with a couple people I’m discipling.  At night we have our staff meeting.  Most of our staff is part-time and this is the best day for them.

Wednesday

Wednesday is a message and planning day.  I finish my presentation outline and look ahead to what might need to be worked on for upcoming messages.

Thursday

Thursday is make up day.  It is an odd when everything goes according to plans on Monday – Wednesday.  Thursday is a miscellaneous day where I catchup on the things that weren’t done throughout the week. Thursday is my alternate evening meeting day and I’ll do meetings at night with our finance team or elder team on this night.

Friday

Friday is kind of special meeting day.  I meet with men I’m discipling.  I take interesting meetings (this week we’re meeting with a builder for our future long term home).  Friday’s work typically ends at noon.  I take that time through about 5pm on Saturday off.

Saturday

Saturday is rest and family day.  We’ve had soccer lately, but soccer has finished up for this season.  The important thing for us on this day is to be together, take a nap, and relax.  I’ve found that around 5 or 6 pm I start thinking about Sunday and all that’s coming so typically after dinner I’ll go to the bedroom and start my Sunday prep.

My Routine, What About You?

This is my routine.  I’ve based it on my natural rhythms and what my family, staff, and church needs.  What’s your rhythm

 

GRACE Gets Things Done

5 Steps to Getting Things Done for God's Glory

GRACE

“I don’t need to be productive, I need to be Godly.”  That is a constant refrain I get from church planters that I coach.  They want to read their bible, prepare sermons, and hang out in coffee shops.  There is nothing wrong with those things, but the work of church planting is SOOOO much more than that and requires productivity.  I try to remind them that the grace that saves and sanctifies us also works in us to be productive.

Remember 1 Corinthians 15:10:

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 

 

God’s grace towards us causes us to be Godly and that includes being productive for God’s glory.

The Origin of My System

I became a Christian when I was 16, a week before my 17th birthday. I started a bible study at my high school. Through that I felt called into ministry.  I told my parents, they told me they disagreed. The next year, my senior year, we started the bible study again and saw 30 people cross the line of faith and connect to a church. I talked to my parents again about going to pursue a bible degree and they relented.  They said I had to go to an extraordinarily conservative Christian college. I didn’t know anything about the school, but was just excited to go.

When I showed up on campus for freshman orientation I was given a student handbook, no big deal. Every place has rules. Then I got the dorm handbook.  I thought sure there are extra rules it’s a Christian school. Then I got a society handbook, then we got a sports handbook then we got a chapel rules sheet then another rule book for student government.

Then I learned that I was accountable for all the rules before classes started. That’s when demerits would start. I asked what demerits were. They explained the what happened.

  • 75 Demerits = Socialed.  Essentially, no contact with the opposite sex on campus.
  • 100 Demerits = Campused.  Students at this level weren’t allowed off campus except for church or approved ministry.
  • 150 Demerits = Expelled.  If you got to 150 demerits in a semester you were out.

Time to Get Serious

That’s when I got serious. I needed to get out, but needed the degree.  I figured my shelf life there may be 4 years but more likely I’d blow up by then. So one Friday night I sold out to the idea: I must graduate in 3 years. I sat down with the course books, an outdated idea today, and started looking and working.  I went through multiple iterations, but by bed time (yes that was a real thing) I’d worked it out.

I started in the fall of 1999 and in June of 2002 I graduated with a BA in Bible and a double minor in Counseling and Computer Science without any debt. How?  I learned the importance of envisioning a goal and attacking it.  Since then I’ve developed a way to attack any problem.

Church planting is one giant cornucopia of problems to solve.  My system has gotten a workout over and over again as we planted our church.  It has been tested and we’ve found it to be a helpful tool as we deal with problem solving inside of CityView.

The Productive GRACE system for problem solving and planning

1) Get serious about the vision

  • Ask: What is the preferred reality?
  • Write out what it looks like. This doesn’t need to be complete, but what would it look like if the problem was solved. Frequently, the biggest issue with dealing with a problem is clearly seeing what it should look like.  We get caught up with 1000 “what if” scenarios and that is counterproductive.  Sit down and write out what the problem would look like if it were solved.

2) Required resources 

  • Ask: What resources do I need to accomplish this vision?
  • Assemble the named resources. Do you need leaders?  Do you need tools?  Do you need advice?  Who do you need advice from?  You want to get the resources together to solve the problem.

3) Author a plan

  • Ask: What does this look like specifically.
  • Write down a specific plan. This is taking the preferred reality and flushing it out. Put it down on paper or your digital note taking software.  If it is a large plan consider using milestones and due dates.  Make a timeline and begin to implement the plan.

4) Consistently execute the plan

  • Ask: What do I need to DO right now to make this plan move forward?
  • Keep asking this question repetitively. In church planting, problems are sometimes quick fixes, but are frequently long term and require consistently asking the question, what do I need to do today to make sure that the plan is being carried out.

5) Effectively adapt to changes

  • Ask: What are the changes that are taking place that could change my plan?
  • Things happen.  Change is going to be necessary along the way. As a church planter it feels like as soon as you have a plan down some dynamic changes.  This doesn’t mean that you don’t have a plan.  It just means that you figure out how to account for it.

 

I thought it might be helpful to share a problem that we were facing earlier this year and how we worked through it using this GRACE method.

 

The Problem: We were dealing with a lack of communication from our staff.  When we did communicate it would be through a massive group text message with 8 people on it.  This was a huge thread of gifs, emojis, real issues to deal with, and inside jokes. Further, we couldn’t keep track of answers, who was doing what, and when assignments were due.  The thread was entertaining, but painfully inefficient.

The problem was exacerbated because we only had a very small office and mostly volunteer or VERY part-time staff with limited time availability.  I wasn’t sure what our staff was doing day-to-day.  I didn’t want to micromanage, but I did want to make sure they were working and accomplishing their area of ministry.

We weren’t communicating effectively and our conversations weren’t logged in a way that we could go back and find our questions and answers well.

I broke it down like this:

  • The Preferred Reality:

    We needed a way to communicate and collaborate as a staff on a daily basis without having to be physically present with each other. We also needed a way to catalog the conversations we were having so we could find our decisions, assignments, and plans.  I’m a techie and had an inkling that the easiest way to solve this problem was through an app that might enable threaded communication.  The preferred reality was to find an app that solved our communication issues.

  • The Required Resources:

    I talked to our staff and shared the problem and got their input. I also talked to several other church planter friends who were in similar situations and found out what they were doing to overcome the problem.  Additionally, I did a google search to find apps that were collaborative communication tools.  One resource came up over and over again as useful tool, Slack.  I downloaded the app and did some YouTube training on it.

  • Author a Plan:

    The plan was simple. Everyone download the app and move all staff communications to Slack.  This meant setting up multiple channels for our staff communication.  We setup the channels that made sense to us: worship, groups, video production, finance, etc.  This was the only place where we wanted these conversations to take place.   The only people in those channels were those who were necessary to the conversation.

  • Consistently Execute the Plan:

    This was slightly more difficult. We had lived in the text world for 3 years.  That was what we were used to.  We still were texting on the thread.  I had to effectively shut that thread down.  Whenever anyone would text there about a church related issue I’d text back, “SLACK!”  Within about a month all of our church related conversations were moved.  Occasionally, people still revert to texting.  They still get the familiar “SLACK!” comment and I receive a notification in Slack with a tongue in cheek apology.

  • Effectively Adapt to Changes:

    As we used the app we saw a need for multiple conversations and for some to be hidden. Not everyone needed to know what was going on in each thread.  Some of them needed to be locked down.  We developed new channels and discovered the way to make certain channels private.  This change made private and sensitive communication possible for us.

 

Conclusion

This is just one example of a way that we have utilized the GRACE system to solve problems in our ministry.  I use the same system to create annual goals, address confusing situations, and stay focused on what’s next while working towards our vision.  Whether you are trying to wrap up a degree early, deal with a staff issue, or just address become more productive the GRACE system can work for you.

Hurricane Response – “We Are Better Together”

Better TogetherBetter Together

One of the most encouraging things I’ve seen over the past several days is the churches in our city working together to meet needs and love on people.

Here are a few of the amazing things I’ve seen:

  • In my city of Pearland the churches have procured a 200,000 sq ft warehouse to be a centralized hub for food, water, toiletry, and cleaning supply donation.  We’ve had an amazing pallet business in Florida donate 26 pallets stocked with food, water, toiletries, and cleaning supplies.  Many other churches have made similar donations.
  • Churches are working together to help the community with ZERO thought to who is getting the credit.  This is most easily seen as teams go house to house ripping out carpet and drywall.  If one church’s list is full then they ask another church to grab it and… THEY DO.
  • Our church meets in a school.  The schools are closed until at least Tuesday.  That would mean that we wouldn’t have a place to meet for two a second week in a row.  This could be very difficult for our young church both spiritually and financially.  A local church opened it’s doors to us meeting there this Sunday morning.
  • CityView Church got to buy supplies for several distribution centers that were in need of cleaning supplies and gift cards for gas and groceries.

We really are better together.  This is a wonderful picture of the gospel that we are seeing ministered in both deed and WORD.  Jesus is being made much of as people are seeing the church serving the devastated.

 

Keep Giving

The needs are great.  By the grace of God they are being met.  There is still a lot more to do though.  As we’ve been told many times recovery is a marathon and not a sprint.  Multiple groups are on the ground working.  Give towards those groups that are local and going to be there for the long haul, after the television cameras are gone.

Donate to CityView Church Disaster Relief

Donate to Southern Baptist of Texas Disaster Relief

 

Hurricane Harvey – “Survived to Serve”

survived to serve

“You Survived to Serve”

I have felt survivor guilt.  I’m finding that many people who have gone through Hurricane Harvey are feeling this.

GRATEFUL

On one hand I am so grateful, so thankful that we stayed dry, safe, and powered throughout the entirety of Harvey’s onslaught on Houston.  We are doing well on a personal and church level.  None of our members had any truly significant damage and all of our equipment was untouched by the flooding (this was a concern for us as we are a portable church and most of our equipment is located in a trailer parked in a significantly flooded area).

ACHING

On the other hand I hurt and ache for those who lost everything or will soon due to coming drainage floods (Worst Flooding Is In Front Of Us).  I see video of people being rescued.  Then there are the pictures of homes still underwater.  I watch stories on the news of families trying to escape the flooding waters still.  I read news articles of mandatory evacuations being ordered even last night.  And then the growing count of those who have lost their lives.

 

I feel guilty.  So guilty.  I’ve prayed and prayed.  The message I feel deep in my spirit and to the depth of my bones is this:

 

“YOU SURVIVED TO SERVE”

 

This has been the gist of my message to our church and those who have been personally unscathed by the the storm.  We have survived this IMMENSE devastation to serve others.  If we are still standing it is not because of our strong planning or excellent preparation, but by the grace of God.  We are here to demonstrate our Savior’s love.  We are here to serve others.

These words of Jesus have been ringing in my heart over these past few days:

[14] “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. [15] Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. [16] In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)

 

Do good!  Serve others, not for your own fame, but for the good of people and ultimately for the glory of God.

I am thankful for a church that is doing this.  They have been serving from the moment they were able to get out of their homes.  They haven’t stopped.

Our church won’t stop.  This city is our home and we are in this thing for the long haul.  If you’d like to help us help our community YOU CAN DONATE HERE.  Every dollar is 100% tax deductible and is used to help victims of this catastrophe.

I’m also thankful for our denomination (Southern Baptist) that puts a priority on disaster relief.  Both state and national levels are on the ground already.  They are serving meals, organizing clean up crews, providing showers, and ministering the gospel to those who have lost so much.  If you’d like to donate to them you can do so here: Southern Baptist of Texas Disaster Relief.

 

Remember, we have survived to serve.  You can’t serve everyone, but everyone can serve someone.