We're all busy.
So, here's one simple way to prepare for the biggest celebration in our Christian faith on earth...
Sit with Jesus...
How best can you prepare yourself for Holy Week and Easter when you're busy?
Yes, come sit with Jesus. You will not be disappointed.
This is me and my brother, Paul. I think we are in Colorado… but I’m not sure. And, my parents don’t remember!
Anyway - while none of us remember this moment, I can say with great certainty (and by looking at my facial expression), I was very thankful for my coat.
Each spring, Our Savior collects coats to give away to kids in our community at our August Back to School Fair. How can something as ordinary as a coat make such a huge difference in the life of a child?
Earlier this week, I caught up with Kristi, our Director of Outreach + Connections and asked her why we are so passionate about coats? Here’s what she shared with me...
Giving away coats started as a partnership! A local community member offered to donate coats and asked us to help distribute them to kids who needed them. We reached out to the Franklin Pierce School District to confirm the need. They responded with a resounding, “yes!”. They were so grateful that we were able to meet this pressing (and very real!) need.
Why are coats so important for kids? Practically, coats are a big ticket item that families put off - especially when they must choose between rent, utilities, and food. So, coats help kids go to school on cold days. Without a coat, kids just won’t go outside - or they’ll layer other clothing just to shiver in the classroom. Coats also help kids feel safe and provide a sense of individual value and worth in something they can call their own. Additionally, providing coats to kids is easier (logistically) than shoes or other clothing because kids can typically wear a coat that is a little big for two years and tend not to be gender or age specific.
How are they distributed? Every August before school starts, families look forward to our Back to School Fair. They arrive early to make sure their children get one before supplies run out. The last few years, supplies were so limited and many children did not receive a coat.
Wow! I learned a lot from Kristi about how important this coat drive is for kids in our community (and their families!).
The need for kids’ coats in our local community is great - and we anticipate it to be even greater this year as we continue to move through the pandemic and towards post-pandemic recovery.
Will you join me donating a coat or a few bucks for a coat?
We have a goal of receiving 450 coats. Last year, we gave out 450 backpacks filled with school supplies but the supply of winter coats was exhausted long before that. So, our goal is to have a coat for each student. You can check out oslc.com/coatdrive for more information and keep tabs on how we are progressing toward 450 coats by April 18.
And, if you want to learn more about coats or how to join one of our outreach teams, send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hey there friends!
It’s Friday, which means it’s blog day - the day I get to share some encouragement, occasional insights, and the rare deep thought that could leave us all confused. But hey - at least we can be confused together, right?
But seriously, I hope these blog posts inspire you to think and act more like Jesus.
Today, I want to share how play has a lot to do with following Jesus - our discipleship.
I used to think that fun and play was only for kids and that following Jesus as an adult had to be super serious 110% of the time. No time to waste. Don't smile, too much. The obligatory "hi" and "fine" were good enough. I mean, following Jesus was all about digging into deep bible passages and pondering how God really works. Worship had to be scripted and set on a schedule. Prayer time needed to be regimented. And fun? Nope. Fun was at best a distraction and at the worst, evil.
By this point, you might be thinking, "wow, you were super lame". The truth is. . . I was. (Some say I still am!)
A friend pointed the truth out to me... I was a Christian. But, I was not a fun person to be around.
When I think about Jesus, he had to be a fun guy. He was always at parties. He turned water into wine. He was invited to dinner parties at Tax Collectors homes. He always had crowds seeking him out. The gospels tell Jesus’ story as if he was one of the most fun guys to be around. Now, compare Jesus to the Romans or the church leaders of his day who didn’t seem all that fun at all.
Here’s my point - Jesus knows that having fun (or play) is a big part of following Him with other people.
It’s through times of having fun together over a meal, a day outing, a weekend trip, a week at summer camp, a few days on retreat, or a multiple week mission immersion or trip where we both experience the joy of Jesus’ presence being fun and bond with the people God has placed around us to enjoy as we follow Jesus together.
Several years ago, a cousin on my wife, Beth’s side of the family got me interested in the life and writings of John Wesley. Interestingly enough, John Wesley once said, “There is no holiness apart from social holiness.” While some people may think he’s talking about social justice. He’s not. He’s talking about how playing together brings a sense of the divine. When we set aside time to play with others, we actually honor the time God has given us by doing the things Jesus did with His time. Things like eating and laughing with sinners; spending days sailing across lakes with his closest friends; getting away on mountaintops, walking through gardens and valleys, sharing a supper in the upper room, and eating fish and chips on the shore after his resurrection.
So here’s something to think about:
Drop me a note and let me know. And in the meantime… keep playing!
Love you guys.
PS: When we see each other again face-to-face, let's share a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy being together. What do you say?
The OSLC ministry team is a growing collection of women and men who live as a family on mission, leading the OSLC family in connecting an unchanging God with a changing world by loving God, loving people, and living like Jesus.