Give to give away
Thrive is back!!! Over the holiday season we put the brakes on Thrive so we could focus on outreach and church service. Now that we're through crunch time we're back in full swing. We switched it up a little; focusing on the men at Roselawn on Thursdays and the women on Fridays at Winbourne. On the 4th Friday we bus everybody in to share a meal and hang out; kind of like a family dinner. Today was the 4th Friday.
We had almost 80 people there and I had the privilege of sharing for a few minutes before we ate. I talked about Paul being bitten by a snake after the shipwreck, and how we have to shake off the things that try to defeat us. When the viper latched onto his hand, Paul just shook it off into the fire and moved on. We talked about the storms in life and the things that can get us off course; things like addictions, anger and unforgiveness...things we have to learn to shake off.
After lunch I was talking to a volunteer when JD walked over and shook my hand. He leaned in close and whispered "You really blessed my heart today. I'm just gonna shake it off." He looked me square in the eyes and said again, "I'm just gonna shake it off". I thanked him and smiled before he darted off.
The first time I met JD I was prowling around down at the levee on a homeless outreach. JD was living in a tent about 30 feet away from the railway tracks with a couple of other guys. He was upset about his girlfriend being away at detox and, he was mostly drunk.
I believe that God is big enough to enable JD to shake off the drinking, the rejection and the things that keep him on the fringe of society. I don't know what he came in with today, but he left with hope. That's what the Dream Center is about...seeking that which is lost, bringing hope to the hopeless and healing to the hurting.
I love that we get to do this. I love that Pastor Dino and Delynn's heart is to serve the poor. I love that HPC'ers give...for the specific purpose of giving away.
I love my church. I love my God. I love that I get to serve Him at HPC. All glory to God!