You never know when or where you are going may get an opportunity to lend a hand. During the halftime of a recent high school basketball game, the Sibley Ocheydan dance team was doing a routine to Taylor Swift’s song, “Shake It Off” when the sound system started cutting out.
What was cool was that the student sections from both the home and visiting school (MOC-FV) start singing the song to help the dance team keep dancing. Way to lend a helping hand (or voice)!
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31: 24
As the ebola crisis is no longer front page news in the U.S. let’s not forget those that continue to suffer from the devastating disease in West Africa. Also pray for the people that are fighting to save lives on the front line of the battle.
Learn more at: www.samaritanspurse.org
The topic is racial tension is a real one in this world…no doubt. It’s alive and well today. All you have to do is watch or read the news and you’ll see it. It’s crazy out there. There’s things going on that are just out of control. There’s hate, murder, and looting. Even much of the protesting has gotten out of hand. No matter what you think about the issue…or what side you may or may not be on…it’s real.
But maybe it’s not so much ‘race’ that you have tension with. Maybe it involves other ‘topical’ groups…like homosexuals, prostitutes, the poor, the rich, the liberals, the conservatives, a different religion, a different denomination, or the long haired and tattooed. Whatever it is, it’s real to you.
Now imagine if you got a hold of your family genealogy and found out that you come from a long line of everything listed above. You could find examples of all of examples in the different generations of your blood line. A line of sin and brokenness. What would you think?
As we enter the Christmas season remember this, our Savior Jesus comes from a line of brokenness as well. Matthew 1: 1-17 gives the genealogy of Jesus. In it are some famously great names in the faith…all of which made some huge, bumming mistakes. They committed sins against God. There’s also some folks who are not so famous because of their ordinary, but yet sinful life. There’s even listed some names of women (which wasn’t normal to add). For example, Tamar (vs 3) was a lady who had children by her father in law. Rahab (vs 5) was a prostitute. Ruth (vs 5) was a Moabite…which was a nationality hated by Jews. Bathsheba (vs 6) was a wife that David stole from another man.
The point here is that in Jesus’ lineage God broke down racial barriers by including nations outside His covenant people. He broke down barriers by including broken, sinful people of all kinds. He broke down sex barriers by making it possible for all people to be equal before Him. And He did all this so Jesus could be someone we could actually identify with.
May we remember who He is and where He came from as we enter into the Christmas season. May we look to love Him…and to love others. No matter what they look like or do.
There are two things to consider when thinking about the power of the “domino effect:” the first is how you line things up. The second, is that the momentum build up starts with a simple little push. (The following video is a commercial but the demonstration of the domino effect is the amazing thing we need to consider)
The Mission of Pizza Ranch is “to glorify God by positively impacting the world.” In Pizza Ranches all over the Midwest, “how do we impact our world” is a continual question, and a constant conversation. Most have community impact nights where people and organizations can raise funds for their cause.
One of the causes that many of our rural Pizza Ranches support is Farm Rescue.
Farm Rescue provides planting, harvesting and haying assistance to farm families that have experienced a major injury, illness or natural disaster. Our mission is to help family farmers’ bridge crises so they have an opportunity to continue viable operations.
Imagine, your entire income is predicated on you—the farmer—either planting or harvesting your crop. It’s not like a farmer can say, “well it will wait until I get better.” The critical nature of farmer totally depends upon planting and harvesting at the appropriate time and season. Farm Rescue comes in to help farmers in need at just the right time.
“Begin with the end in mind.”
Stephen Covey: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
As we come to the close of 2014 it is a good time to begin thinking about the answer to this question: What will make you thrive in 2015?
To thrive means “to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances.” (Webster)
While reaching a goal is good, thriving is better.
Thriving is that ever present realization that the journey is almost more important than the destination. The apostle Paul said: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:14)
This week, begin to answer that question and unlock the journey you will be on in 2015.
Recently at the Pizza Ranch Home Offices a group of us were discussing the questions, “On what do you base your hope for eternal life?”…and “Are you sure of your salvation?” Pretty deep questions. Those kinds of questions aren’t part of our typical everyday discussions. But, do you have an answer for them? There are so many people out there that struggle with these questions. Even believers do. Sometimes we have doubt. But do we need to?
The truth is, many of these feelings come from faulty thinking. We think that we shouldn’t struggle with sin. But we absolutely will. We think that we shouldn’t struggle with temptation. But we always do. As long as we’re alive on this earth, we’ll never be perfect. Understand that becoming, or being a Christian will NOT make those things go away until we’re in Heaven.
We know we have eternal life when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. We recognize our sin, and our need for Him in our life. We become a child of our heavenly Father. And now God sees everything we do through his son Jesus Christ.
Be encouraged that salvation is not something we can lose. That assurance fills us with joy, and helps us want to fight against temptation and sin in our lives. May we confess our sins, ask the Lord to forgive us, receive that forgiveness, and find ways to glorify Him with our life. May each of us glorify Him and enjoy Him forever.
Check out 1 John 5: 11-15 to see more.