It’s funny… when times are really challenging, and you are faced with big life changes, there is one place to go to, and that place is service. This is where you help others who are in greater need than yourself.
I’ve been overwhelmed these past few weeks, taking care of my three sons and making preparations for the October cruise, while also realizing I am falling behind in booking gigs for this Christmas and next spring. But I knew what to do (in addition to taking time to breathe and pray): I stepped outside of my own troubles and did something for others.
It started with a trip to a local church (not mine) to take a video of a very special graduation:
“This is your best sermon,” Pastor William Greene said, pointing out how the call on our lives is to work with those who are most in need. At this church in Nashville, they call it “Making the Gospel tangible.” Not talking about it, but being it. Dakari (the tall, young man in the pic you see here) mentored the boys who had been attending “Straight Talk” summer sessions. They learned life skills and explored alternatives to violence and drugs. They also played basketball and made new friends.
I took my son, Dante, and his film friend, Noah, there, to help me with a short video about this program run by Nashville Peacemakers (you’ve heard me talk about Nashville Peacemakers before.)
Here is the video we made:
Something as small as doing a vision board can change the life-path of a boy who will someday become a leader and a game changer. Not a victim. Like Dakari himself (who went through a similar program in seventh grade), these boys are shown how God’s love in action makes a difference in someone else’s life.
At the end of the service, Pastor Greene prayed: “God, let’s do church on your terms.”
Like with Clemmie Greenlee (the founder of Nashville Peacemakers) who was shown by Becca Stevens (the founder of Thistle Farms) that Love heals and restores lives, this is what “doing church on God’s terms” looks like. Void of greed, selfishness, racial judgments, economic differences and all prejudices. Picture good ripples that keep spreading, washing over one boy, one girl at a time (or five). It’s knowing that we are all part of one human family.
Nashville Peacemakers is not a religious organization. Which makes it even more beautiful that this church family offered them such support and recognition!
This past week I had a wonderful opportunity to meet with Pastor William. He asked me: “In your family, did you ever make the table bigger if somebody stopped by at dinnertime?” “Yes!”; I answered. “Even when we didn’t have much, everyone was welcomed!”
“We pull out a little side table and cover it with tablecloth to make the table bigger. We find a way to include, not leave out.”
How can you find a way to extend your table a little bit? It’s probably not going to be a stranger stopping by your house. It’s going to have to be you bringing the proverbial table to and accommodating those you don’t usually think about including.
Think about that…
I promise it will bless you.
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