Monday, December 27, 2010

FREE STARBUCKS makes an eternal difference

This Christmas our church embarked on a mission of sharing the joy and meaning of Christmas in a practical way. Each day we practiced "random acts of Christmas" with individuals we encounter every week in our daily lives.

On Wednesday we brought smiles to over 100 people on our group "Random Acts of Christmas". We went to the local Starbucks and gave away free tall drinks to everyone that wanted one. You may ask what hot drinks have to do with Christmas. My answer everything.

For years churches have celebrated Christmas by giving the community something many don't care about, another service at their building and that is all. This year we gave them something that they could feel taste and understand. A truly free gift.

Over and over we were asked why we did this, no other church in the area does something like this. We were able to tell them, because we wanted to bring a smile to your face and that God loves when people practice acts of kindness. Does this really make a difference? YES

The next night my wife and I were eating next door and one of the girls who we gave a free coffee to, told us that she went home and told her sister that a church was giving away free Starbucks coffee, they want to check out this "different" kind of church.

Something special happens when we practice kindness without expecting something in return. All too often we expect something in return (come to our church, listen to what I have to say, let me tell you how your wrong). This holiday season let's practice what Christ said, do good works so that Christ can be made famous.

Let your light shine before men so that they can see YOUR GOOD WORKS and glorify your father in heaven

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Random Acts of Christmas

This past Sunday we announced that we will be performing "Random Acts of Christmas". We know that little things make all the difference in the world. Our lead pastor, Gilbert Thurston, has told us over and over that people are looking for three things. These are a smile, kind word and appropriate touch.

We are going to put this into practice not just on Sundays, but for an entire week. Each day the week of Christmas, starting on Monday, we will be emailing, putting on facebook and the church website a simple act of kindness that you can perform that day. I am excited to hear the stories that come out of this.

If you want to be a part, email me at and I will put you on the list. Can you imagine if hundreds of people started concentrating on being Christ in the little things every day? That is just what we want to do. Whether you live in Harrisburg or around the world, be a part this holiday season.

"There are many people who can do big things,
but there are very few people who will do
the small things."

Mother Teresa

Monday, December 13, 2010

Girl on Mission

Several weeks ago my daughter decided she wanted to help people in Harrisburg. We were talking and she decided she wanted to help the situation of the homeless population. Caitlyn decided she was going to make some hats for the homeless. In the cold winters, this is how she could help them in their situation.

This afternoon we went downtown and she saw a homeless man and lady under the bridge. She didn't have her hats but she new they were in the car. She came back to the car and got her hats and we went back to the bridge.

At the bridge we met Bill, George and Linda. We told them that Caitlyn had made the hats and would like to give them one. They were so thankful. As we walked away we noticed something, immediately they put their hats on and were smiling as they were talking. Did she change the course of their life, probably not. Her actions did however provide comfort to someone who needed it.

I am proud of Caitlyn, she brought tears to my eyes...she is being the hands of feet of Christ. Her actions reminded me of quote, "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." This quote by Mother Teresa was lived out in Caitlyn's life today. What would happen if each of us did little things every day? Sometimes as we "grow up" we look for the big tasks while forgetting that the little things are what bring smiles and comfort to people every day. When we see people, I hope we look on them with compassion and then immediately are moved to serve.

When Jesus arrived, he saw this huge crowd.
At the sight of them, his heart broke
Mark 6:34 (MSG)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thoughts on Today

Today I had the privledge of teaching at In cased you missed it you can hear it here . I loved the opportunity to talk about ways that I have learned to overcome the unrealistic expectations that I create.

As you go through the holidays, remember:

* Be Thankful - spend some time journaling what you are thankful for...use facebook...use a blog but find some way to share what you are thanful for.

* Make a Difference - look for ways to make a difference in the life of someone this holiday season...we are doing "RANDOM ACTS OF CHRISTMAS"...these will be simple ways that you can make a difference in the life of people you come in contact with everyday...if you want to take part, whether a part of or not, let me know you're email and we will email you daily the week of Christmas with a new assignment,

* Remember the gift of Christmas - turn to Christ and talk with Him about your expectations. Remember the reason for Christmas is restoring the relationship with Him.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I Hate the Holidays - Not what I expected

It has been nearly a month since I have blogged. It has been one of the busiest months of my life. We have gotten our LifeGroups off the ground as well as our first YouMatter project and the second in just a couple of weeks. This Sunday I have the awesome privilege and responsibility to teach at the weekend experience of If you are in Harrisburg or want to come, I would love to see you.

Everyone has expectations at that Christmas holiday. From presents to decorations to family, the list could go on and on. How do you deal with the expectations when it turns out to be not what you expected. The picture above is one of my favorite pictures. Too bad the holidays can't be exactly like the picture I have in my head. We are going to look at the story of Mary, a story from the disciples and see how they handled unmet expectations. Look forward to seeing you this weekend.