Intentional Kindness – Day 3.4

We were challenged the first week on Day 1.4 to be open to needs that we find along our daily journey. Day 2.4 urged us to make a list of people and organizations that have needs and to list some possible ways that you or your group could serve the community.

We’ve  been looking around for needs. Now it’s time to do something. Figure out something that you can do to serve someone, and do it!  It doesn’t have to cost you any money or a large amount of physical effort – although it may.  You can pick up a phone, write a note, or take some goodies to a neighbor.  Just do it!

Here’s Brandon Hatmaker’s thoughts for Day 3.4 …


Religion without Mercy – Day 3.2

As you read the Bible passages, there is evidence that the people addressed in the passages had religion; but they lacked mercy.  Sometimes when our religion consists of rules rather than relationship, we tend to judge others on rules that are easiest for us to keep.

Relationship requires mercy to exist and grow.  The closer we grow to God, the more we realize the mercy that has been extended to us – the easier it is to extend mercy to others.

Here’s Brandon Hatmaker’s thoughts for Day 3.2 …

Mercy – It’s Not Fair! – Day 3.1

I often tell people, “If you see any mercy in me, you’re seeing Jesus.”  It’s not that I can’t be generous and sometimes compassionate for people who have encountered difficulties in life.

My problem was with people who were always “shooting themselves in the foot” – making poor choices – using bad judgement – taking the easy way out instead of hanging in for the long hall.  I figured that if they were not going to work at getting an education or a good career, were going to mess around with illegal drugs, drink large amounts of alcohol, not take care of their body – yada , yada – then they got what they deserved.  So why should I sacrifice for them?

Not too merciful – pretty Pharisaic!  That was before I found myself divorced and wondering what next?  By my standards of mercy, I was done as a pastor. I had messed up big time by contributing to the death of my marriage with sins of commission and sins of omission.  It was then that I began to experience God’s mercy and grace that I had only talked about before.

Previous to that I probably believed that God was sure privileged to have me on his side.  Now I was glad to have the Holy Spirit and the Body of Christ by my side to help heal and restore me! Before I had sided with the older brother in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15); but now I could identify with the son coming home with hat in hand.

So my perspective on mercy changed – drastically!  It’s not a spiritual gift that I’ve been given.  It’s an everyday challenge to obey Jesus’ command:  “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36 – NIV).  By the way – this command is second person plural – “You all be merciful …”  “Youse guys be merciful …”  As I am empowered by the Holy Spirit and surrounded by people of mercy, I am able to be merciful. Thank you, if you are one of those people who have shown me mercy over the years …

Now from my confession to Brandon Hatmaker’s blog …

Amazing Grace – Day 2.7

Today is a day to rest in God’s grace and hum or sign a few verses of that familiar hymn by John Newton who so wonderfully experienced and expressed about God’s amazing grace in that song.  If you don’t know his story, click his name and read it.  He who had be a slave and involved in the slave trade allied with William Wilberforce to abolish slavery in England.

You might want to listen to a few other songs – Grace Like Rain or Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone).  (Click the title to hear and see on Youtube)

Here’s Brandon Hatmaker’s blog from the Primer

Street Cred – Day 2.6

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – John Maxwell, Theodore Roosevelt, et. al.

Today’s lesson is about gaining credibility to share the Good News of Jesus by becoming Good News in people’s lives.  Many times we try to avoid the messiness of serving other people by “proclaiming” Good News from pulpits, radio, TV, webcasts, podcasts, blogs, Youtube, etc. Many of these efforts have limited credibility in people’s lives because they don’t walk along side people in need.

Don’t get me wrong – I am NOT saying that we stop these types of proclamation of the Gospel.  I’m advocating that we use both good words AND good deeds.

Brandon Hatmaker has this to say in his blog …

Community Day 2.5

Today your group will be making plans so that you can make some hygiene kits for homeless or other people in need. You can use the list in the Primer, and individually distribute the kits as suggested.  You can take them to Hope Ministries or the Homeless Center.

You might want to piggy back on the Outreach Ministry’s Project of helping the women at St. Margaret’s House.  Here is a list of Items needed from the bulletin: sanitary napkins, lotion, body wash or bar soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, antiperspirant, and large size women’s clothing.  You might want to adapt your list to include some of these these items and give the kits to St. Margaret’s House.

If you have children and youth in your group, be sure to include them. Brandon Hatmaker gives some additional suggestions in his blog …

Willingness to Try – Day 2.4

Today’s action is to begin seeing what God sees in our community – the different types of needs that exist.  Some of them may require financial resources; but many do not.

Start listing the needs you personally know about – then start looking around our community.  If you have a computer, google it.  If you don’t, then dig our the phone book.  If you are interested in groups that address a certain need, pick up the phone and dial 211.  You’ll get a United Way volunteer that can direct you to groups and/or agencies in our community that are already working to meet a particular need.

It might be good to share some of those groups on this blog.  It’s probably not best to share individual names on the blog; but you can certainly share these names with your group, pray about the situation, and seek a way that you can address the need.

Here’s some thoughts from Brandon Hatmaker on Day 2.4 …