Tuesday, December 23, 2008

random LOVE thoughts

As we drove to Georgia this past Sunday, I had several thoughts that were really, really good.  One of the things I enjoy doing (but don't do a lot) is listening to podcasts of some of my favorite preachers (Francis Chan, Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Perry Noble and others).  In the midst of our LOVE MORE ... EXPECT LESS. series and hearing feed back fro our Give Back challenge, I continue to be overwhelmed by how God is loving people through us.

I reflect back on the things God was birthing in me this past summer, and something hit me.  No, it wasn't my wife hitting me cause I said something dumb, and it wasn't one of the children throwing something from the back of the Tahoe.  It was big truck passing us somewhere in South Carolina.  It was a truck from Target stores, and I noticed their slogan: Expect More. Pay Less.  It was during the summer that I began praying for our 2009 theme of Love More ... Expect Less.

Where did it come from?  The inspiration was God.  Do I get creative ideas from other places?  Yes.  Do I admit that?  Yes and need to do that more.

You see Target is one of the most creative chain stores.  They want their customers to expect more from them.  I didn't say they are better than their competition or other stores.  But they are distinctive.  They are creative.  They know their audience and their target.  Wait!  That's my point.  That's my heart.  I want people to expect the love of God from our people!

In 2009 my prayer is that The Community Fellowship will touch more people for Jesus, reach further than ever before and make the Jesus more known and more famous in our community and beyond.  No small task. We don't have an insignificant Savior either.  Think about it.  We're celebrating CHRISTmas this week which is all about Jesus.  The church is all about Jesus, too, and always about Jesus.  It is my desire to let the family I lead, the church I serve and the life I choose SHOUT what will matter and last and lead others years after I am gone.  Who is it?  Jesus.

How will we make a bigger impact for Jesus in 2009?

Matthew 9:36 (nlt) --- When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Recognize needs.

Acts 4:34-35 (nlt) --- There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.

Meet needs. 

John 12:32 (nlt) --- And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.

Point them to Jesus.

Why are these random LOVE thoughts?  It is because God continues to stir in me and in you how we can give His love away and make a difference in the lives of people we encounter.

Psalm 79:8-9 (nlt) ...Let your compassion quickly meet our needs, for we are on the brink of despair.  Help us, O God of our salvation!  Help us for the glory of your name.  Save us and forgive our sins for the honor of your name.

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