Monday, February 19, 2007

Greatest Joy and Greatest Need

This past Sunday as we took the Hispanic members of Impact to worship with the church in Kingwood, we had a chance to show some things that were going on at Impact. At the end of the presentation, I was asked, "What is your greatest joy working with Impact, and what is the greatest need that you see there?" My answer to the greatest joy was "The people.." and what God does in their lives. My answer to the second part, the greatest need I see, was to get those people that God has touched to be prepared to share what God has done with others. Of course, that is what we all need to do, and I back that answer, but I know that behind the question was another question, " What can I do to help?" There are many of you asking the same question, so here is a short list:

1. Pray!

2. Donate to the Garage Sale. (see earlier blog for details)

3. Support a child for the Summer Program.

4. Invite someone to the Impact Celebration Dinner.

5. Volunteer as a tutor for our literacy program, Lit Up.

"No Words, Just Action; Just Jesus…”
Violent, not because he has an evil heart. Violent, because he has an illness of not being able to control himself. Hands flying, feet kicking, and head shaking. How do you minister to him? Or do you get with the Eldership and ask them to tell him not to attend services here? But wait a minute… We are in the middle of the Communion devotion when the one who is leading us into those thoughts reflects on the sacrifice of our Lord and gets choked up and teary-eyed. The man who had been perceived violent, with his hands flying, feet kicking and head shaking walks up front, wearing shorts and SILENTLY… --What is he doing? He's going up front! He reaches out with his hand and gently pats the Brother (who is choked up) on his shoulders, then turns around and walks back to his seat. To the ordinary eye it just looked like a nice gesture, but to the spiritual eye, we saw Jesus! All of His love, all of His grace, all of His mercy wrapped up in the act of one man who was considered violent and out of control. No fear of standing up, no fear of what someone in the crowd might say, and no fear of stepping out: just Jesus teaching without saying a word. We continue to pray and with anticipation look forward to Jesus showing up in our services that He might teach us. -Les Rose

Friday, February 16, 2007

Michael Broussard Service, Ind. Hall, Feb. 7, 2007
Sometimes we are like the little boy who was overheard talking to himself as he strutted through the backyard, wearing his baseball cap and toting a ball & bat. "I’m the greatest hitter in the world," he announced. Then he tossed the ball into the air, swung at it, and missed. "Strike One!" he yelled. Undaunted, he picked up the ball and said again, "I’m the greatest hitter in the world!" He tossed the ball into the air. When it came down, he swung again and missed. "Strike two!" He cried.The boy then paused a moment to examine his bat & ball carefully. He spit on his hands and rubbed them together. He straightened his cap and said once more, "I’m the greatest hitter in the world!" Again he tossed the ball up in the air and swung at it. He missed. "Strike Three!" "Wow" the boy exclaimed, "I’m the greatest pitcher in the world."
Ron Sellers used this illustration as he spoke of Michael Broussard who passed away recently. Micheal was one of those special Impact members that maybe very few know about, but those who got to know him were greatly impacted by his servant heart and his positive spirit. He was an encouragement to his community volunteering on various activity committees at Independence Hall. "He was always there to help," said one of his friends at the assisted living facility. "Even though he had to cart around his own oxygen tank, he would never let me attempt to carry a card table when we were setting up for something." That is one of a lifetime of examples. No matter the burden he already had to carry, he was looking out for others.
My brother Micheal was part of my Sunday routine. He stayed in the same spot during the Sunday lunches, and it was just part of my rhythm to pass by Micheal, squeeze his shoulders and say "How's it going?" He always had a positive response and a warm smile. The oxygen tank he carried around didn't slow him down. The massive growth on his nose may have hindered his breathing, but it didn't hinder his desire to help. His physical and material situations were no match for his spiritual situation. He was a child of God who served in his community, chose to be apart of the Impact family, and grew and served alongside us here. We will miss his presence and we will miss his spirit, but we are grateful for his ability to show us how to see past what our first glance hits and focus on the blessing and opportunity thatis in the reality before us. Micheal Broussard did not strike out in life. He was an all-star to those who knew him.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

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Kingwood Church's Impact

One of many Impact supporters, Kingwood Church of Christ is using the next few weeks to continue to celebrate and focus in on its mission efforts. Though they have several incredible works that they are very involved in, Impact has been on their heart from close to the beginning of the work in downtown Houston. Their biggest contribution has been in support of the bilingual minister position over the years. As they celebrate what God has been doing to spread the good news of His Son across the street and around the world, we celebrate them for thier faithfulness. They are constantly supplying clothes for the Distribution Center. They share in the joy of sereving lunches at Impact Sundays. They have a heart for the children and families, participating in the Christmas activities and presents, helping put together parties for the kids here, and raising their own youth to have the heart to serve at Impact as interns and volunteers. The list of their contributions as a church and as individuals goes on and on.

We really can't thank them enough for their prayers, help, and support. They play a great part in sustaining what we do at Impact, and much of what is done is never noticed, and usually that is how they want it. We want to thank them and show them due honor, but they would just deflect that honor to the One that truly provides all our needs. Thank you Kingwood for what you do. Thank you God for what you do through their efforts.

The thing is, I could say much of the very same and more about many other churches in the Houston area. It really is incredible how churches come together for Impact to make an impact in the lives of so many needy people. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who give and give and give. May God bless you, and may He guide us as we continue to seek to serve Him. -All for His glory.