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Don’t Wait For a Funeral To Say What You Really Want To Say!

Tombstone and beautiful flowers - 3D render

Today I did a short video for a friend who is receiving an award and recognition for his life work to this point. It was a privilege to communicate just a bit of the huge respect and love I have for him. He is a man of integrity, love for Jesus, great compassion, and he lives to please his Lord Jesus.

It reminded me of something important. We all know people whom we love and admire and respect. It is a shame that we do not tell them of our love and admiration more often. What an encouragement it would be to share our observations and feelings. The apostle Paul did this all the time in his letters. He acknowledged people for their work and expressed his love. He called out individuals by name and told them why he did so.

Our world is full of discouragement. We can bring huge encouragement to those around us by simply acknowledging the good and faithfulness we see. If Jesus was not shy about showing His love and appreciation for those who followed Him, we should not be shy in showing our appreciation for those who have followed Him well and who we deeply appreciate.

To the one for whom I recorded the video I say this: You are a friend, a brother and a great example to many of what it means to follow Jesus. Who can you say that about and will you tell them?

About The Author

Tim photo 08 005 (Small)T.J. Addington is a Senior Vice President with the EFCA and the leader of ReachGlobal, the international mission of the EFCA. He has served as a pastor, consultant and denominational leader.

Over the past twenty five years, T.J. has consulted with numerous churches and Christian non-profit organizations in the areas of healthy leaders, intentional leadership, governance systems and dealing with issues of organizational health and strategy. He resides with his wife of 36 years, Mary Ann, in Oakdale, MN and is the father of two sons and has two grandsons.

He is the author of five books: High Impact Church Boards;Leading From The Sandbox; Live Like You Mean It; When Life Comes Undone, and Deep Influence which is available for pre-publication orders. In his spare time T.J. is an avid fly fisherman.

He can be reached at tjaddington@gmail.com

Teen Carries Injured Competitor In Race

Running Uphill

As a past runner for my cross country team in high school, this story really made me smile!  Wouldn’t we all like someone to stop and help us out in life even if it meant their giving up a better position at the finish line?  Click the link below to hear about this heart-warming story of two competitors.

 

http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/us/2014/10/17/dnt-runner-helps-injured-runner.wday.html

 

 

What is in your hand?

Moses and the burning bush

I have been reflecting recently on the conversation that Moses had with God at the burning bush. Like us, Moses felt completely inadequate to do what God was calling him to do. And of course he had numerous objections to his ability to do what God was asking him to do.

One of the most interesting parts of the conversation takes place in Chapter four. “Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘the Lord did not appear to you?’ Then the Lord said to him, ‘What is that in your hand?‘ ‘A staff’ he replied. The Lord said, ‘Throw it on the ground.’ Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake and he ran from it…..”

Now there was nothing significant about a staff, every shepherd had one. But God took what was in Moses hand, an ordinary staff and used it for his purposes. I am convinced that God never calls us to do something for Him without giving us what we need to do it and it is often right there – in our hand.

Here is a great example from the missions world. A few years ago when there was political instability in Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea refugees began pouring into Liberia. Titus Davis, a movement leader in Liberia was moved in his heart to minister to the refugees since he and so many Liberians had lived as refugees during their civil war. Rather than writing to others for money, he contacted churches in Monrovia and asked them to help. They collected some money and purchased bags of rice and bundles of used, clothing, put it all in a taxi and headed to the refugee camps by the border.

He and another couple of leaders began sharing the food with pregnant women and nursing mothers as well as giving the clothes to those in need. He had been trained in the chronological storytelling evangelism strategy and while they were ministering to the physical needs of people he was telling them stories of God’s redemptive plan.

These refugees were almost 100% Islamic, but they were moved in powerful ways by the compassion of Christ and the story of redemption demonstrated by Titus and his friends. People followed him home every evening wanting to know more about Jesus. People came to Christ and churches were planted.

Some of these folks wanted to know how they could share this with their people when they returned home so Titus began training them in the story telling evangelism strategy (orality) and eventually did multiplication church planting training with them. When the civil unrest ended and people returned home to both countries, church planting followed because one leader took what he had in his hand and trusted God to use it.

What is in your hand that God can and wants to use?

About The Author

Tim photo 08 005 (Small)T.J. Addington is a Senior Vice President with the EFCA and the leader of ReachGlobal, the international mission of the EFCA. He has served as a pastor, consultant and denominational leader.
Over the past twenty five years, T.J. has consulted with numerous churches and Christian non-profit organizations in the areas of healthy leaders, intentional leadership, governance systems and dealing with issues of organizational health and strategy. He resides with his wife of 36 years, Mary Ann, in Oakdale, MN and is the father of two sons and has two grandsons.
He is the author of five books: High Impact Church Boards;Leading From The Sandbox; Live Like You Mean It; When Life Comes Undone, and Deep Influence which is available for pre-publication orders. In his spare time T.J. is an avid fly fisherman.
He can be reached at tjaddington@gmail.com

Student discipleship meets mission funding

The Old Main clock tower, University of Arkansas campus
Originally Posted by Fieldnotes Magazine

Author’s note: Lightbearers Ministries is a nonprofit organization that took part in the 2013 Praxis Accelerator Program. Kevin McCollum, Executive Director of Lightbearers Ministries, shared with Fieldnotes Magazine in July 2013 for this article.

Lightbearers' college housing that sustainably produces funding for missions.

Can college students in Arkansas fund global missions simply by paying rent? Lightbearers Ministries thought they could, and they devised a renewable and sustainable model to do just that. The model is simple: buy apartment complexes, house and disciple college students, give the profits away.

Lightbearers Ministries had a “desire to find renewable income for Christian mission work,” as well as an awareness of the Barna research findings that in America a majority of churched teens drop out of church in their twenties. Out of a combined desire to address the discipleship needs of college students and the funding needs of missions groups, Lightbearers dreamed of discipling college students in a program that would also create sustainable income for global missions.

More than half  of 18-29 year olds who regularly attended church leave stop doing so.

Kevin McCollum served on the board of directors for Lightbearers Ministries from 2005-2007, at which time the board asked him to become their executive director. The desire continued to grow into a bigger dream under Kevin’s leadership.

“This dream ignited our mission, leading us ultimately to establish a discipleship community.”  Lightbearers purchased an apartment complex in 2009 at the University of Arkansas and converted the complex into a discipleship community. The students in the community commit to weekly mentorship with an older mentor from their local church, in addition to biblical education and participation in missions. Lightbearers owns the complex and the income generated by the students’ rent then gets passed on to missions. Kevin shares that purchasing the apartment complex marked a turning point that moved Lightbearers from a program to a community.

Students living in Lightbearers' housing are provided with biblical training.

As participants in the Praxis Accelerator Program, Lightbearers had the opportunity to learn how to hone the presentation of their story for better impact. “The core team at Praxis played a pivotal role not only in clarifying our overarching story but by developing great story telling visuals for us.” Through the program, Lightbearers was also connected with new cities to share their story.

Lightbearers_One_Page_2013

Kevin recalls that, “Lightbearers had a clear understanding of our community model, but as a result of the Praxis year, we now have clearer grasp on our strategy for growth as well.” The complex at the University of Arkansas is the first of what Lightbearers hopes will become a growing number of sustainable discipleship communities serving the needs of ministry around the world.

Students also participate in missions projects.

“Over the past two years, our pilot complex at the University of Arkansas has generated over $250,000 for mission projects. We’re not just sustainable, we’re generous.”

Renewable funding sources provide grants for missions.

Fieldnotes Magazine invites you to visit the Lightbearers Ministries website to learn more or to donate to their work.

Stephanie Struck is the executive assistant at the Max De Pree Center for Leadership and a graduate of Fuller Thelogical Seminary in the dual Master of Arts program in Intercultural Studies and Theology and Ministry.

Fieldnotes Magazine is a publication of the Max De Pree Center for Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary. We would love to hear from you about people, businesses, or other organizations we can interview or feature. Please email The Editor at Fieldnotes Magazine.

Little Dresses For Africa

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Here is something simple that you can do, that won’t be too costly and will make a huge impact on a little girl in Africa.  How about making her a pillow case dress?  Even a novice seamstress can make one.  If you have young daughters at home it would be really fun to make one for them and one to send.  Then your girls and a girl in Africa would have matching dresses!  How fun!

Learn more about this and see the link to the pattern for pillow case dresses below.

Originally posted on Little Dresses For Africa.com

Changing lives one little dress at a time…

Little Dresses for Africa is a non-profit 501c3, Christian  organization, which provides relief to the children of  Africa. Simple dresses are made out of pillow cases, and distributed through the orphanages, churches and schools in  Africa to plant in the hearts of little girls that they are worthy!

Knowing the history of the girls in Africa and the difficult road that lay ahead, Rachel O’Neill decided she would take  some dresses to the children in the villages.  A small group of ladies began to sew simple little dresses, made out of pillowcases, to be distributed to young girls through the orphanages in  Africa.

WHY PILLOWCASES? The pillowcase pattern has been around since the pioneer days and is easy enough for even a novice seamstress.  Pillowcases are available in so many colors and patterns.  They already have the hem and sides in them and are often sitting unused on shelves in closets all across the country.  With just a little help they can be turned into bright little sundresses, perfectly suited for the African climate.  Pillowcase dresses are only a suggestion.  Any simple pattern is great to use.

This ministry captures the hearts of so many and continues to grow as groups of all sizes spring up across America.  These groups cross age, gender and denominational lines, to serve the most vulnerable of God’s children: little girls.  To date we have received well  over 2.5 MILLION LITTLE DRESSES and donations from all 50 states across the USA as well as from the UK, Ireland, Canada, Mexico and Australia. 2.5 MILLION!  That’s a lot of little girls!! With your help these beautiful dresses have been distributed in 47 countries of Africa!  We are happy to partner with mission teams and travelers to get these dresses to the children who need them most. One generous supporter,  Nancy’s Notions, has sent over 100,000 to us.   We are so grateful. Dresses have also been sent to  other countries in crisis such as Honduras, Guatemala, Thailand, The Dominican, The Philippines, Cambodia, Mexico and thousands and thousands to Haiti.  In addition, we have sent dresses to children in need right here in the United States, in the Appalachian Mountains and South Dakota. But more importantly than how many have been shipped, are the lives that they have touched as these little dresses go out as little Ambassadors in the name of Jesus, to give hope to the children that receive them.

HOW TO HELP: With Little Dresses for Africa there are many ways to provide help…from starting or hosting your own sewing group, sizing and packing little dresses, or donating financially toward shipping costs.  To ensure that they actually get to the children, the majority of our dresses are sent with mission teams here in the United States, as they travel on their missions, for personal distribution.  We are happy to mail them to your teams to take in your extra bags for distribution.  Please have your team contact us. We also mail them internationally.  Little Dresses for Africa hosts a team once a year to deliver the little dresses personally to the grateful and excited little girls that need them so desperately.

Remember, the job is not complete until these little dresses are actually on the the little girls that need them. Please enclose your tax-deductible donation to help with shipping whenever possible. It costs an average of $2.00/dress to get the dresses to the children.  Although it is not required, any amount you can send help. Thank you in advance for your help! Check the gallery for pictures!  Due to the amazing response, we can’t promise specific pictures, but maybe your little dress will turn up in a picture on a precious little girl!

Simple patterns are downloadable below, or feel free to use your own pattern, if you prefer.

“We’re not just sending dresses, we’re sending HOPE!”

Click here for pillow case dress directions

 

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