Archive for the ‘Community Makeover’ Category

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Walk Inside

September 4, 2009

Earlier this week I went out for lunch fully intending to go through the Drive-thru and get back to the office. Upon seeing the line of cars I changed my mind and went inside. I actually do this quite a bit. Going out to lunch and moving from sitting at my desk to sitting in the car is not exactly rejuvenating, so I will get out of the car for a walk. I was reminded of a little lesson I thought I’d share.

I was inside for approximately 8 minutes. In that time I was approached about an opportunity for our church to reach out to a group of folks in an area we don’t have great exposure, was invited by a local high school to partner with them on a couple of items, thanked for helping out on the Community Makeover, and given the chance to invite someone to West Ridge who doesn’t attend church anywhere. One morning this week I didn’t ‘Pay at the pump’ for the gas in my car. As I continue to build relationships with the local gas station employees I was given another opportunity to talk church and life with someone who is clearly not a follower of Jesus.

Ok, I don’t do this all the time, but I will continue to try to do it more than not. If I always stay in my car then these conversations never happen. Outreach or Sharing Christ is not a program, it’s a lifestyle that stretches us as disciples of Jesus.

Everyone Belongs,

Paul

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Smile and Wave

August 3, 2009

One of the lessons of this Community Makeover weekend is what is truly possible when someone allows themselves to slow down and get involved with what their eyes have been opened toDouglas from the porch.
If you live in Paulding and West Cobb and journeyed on Hwy. 92 you have probably seen him. Most likely, he has waved at you. Maybe you were even nice enough to wave back. But one day someone did more than just smile and wave. A couple  from West Ridge had just spent some time delivering food to less fortunate families in Northwest Atlanta alongside Ralph and Marie Ugo and Caya Ministries. One of the things that Ralph typically does is to give some treats to those who serve with him in the form of a couple of bags of groceries. Armed with two bags Claudia asked her husband Joe to stop. What began that day was a relationship. Theirs is just one story that represents a dozen others.

Many of the projects in this Community Makeover came about because of Christ-followers who were willing to stop. In their God-given humility, I don’t think any of them would want special attention drawn to themselves, so I’ll keep it to first names.

What can happen when you stop? For one thing, you give others the courage to stop with you. Like Tim and Michelle who have not stopped praying and telling others about the help that their friends Alan and Sherri needed. This past weekend, over thirty people descended on Alan and Sherri’s house, and the amount of work done in one weekend is astounding.

When others stop, you accomplish more than you ever would have accomplished on your own. I think of  David and Jerry and Rocky and Michael who stopped long enough to rip the siding and the roof off one house and repaired most all of the floor joist for a friend named Steve.  They and a couple dozen new friends.

There are so many stories like this. Houses and needs so dramatic, I cannot even begin to describe them. Whole homes were made over this weekend after someone stopped, gave others courage, and the groups of people accomplished amazing things.

However, the Community Makeover is not intended to be a parachute drop. It is designed to be the catalyst for forming relationship after relationship with people who no longer become needs we are trying to meet, but friends we are trying to love.

Everyone Belongs,

Paul