Check out this episode: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/fresh-life-church/id214017745?mt=2&i=371493759

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A way to give back… 

Here is a link to a painting on a Facebook page that is set up for raising money.  All the money raised goes toward caring for the needs of missionaries already in the field that may need a little extra care or love.  Just click below and make a difference in someone life that makes a difference in a multitude frequently.  Many times missionaries struggle and have fears and we can encourage them and bless them knowing we are all human and have our own struggles despite our title or lack of title. 
The Paper Dove 

From this one place…

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.   -Beverly Sills

Someone may be rich and powerful, but without friends they trust they will never be truly happy or feel satisfied.  Someone else may be poor, but surrounded by friends they trust they will surely always be happy in a sense. cc0c4a_0b3168c2cc504d9da1ce82c8b69b29d6.jpg Friends we consider family are not a guarantee of no struggles in life but they help hold your arms up through the fight.  Showing concern for others is one of the best way to make friends and fulfil our own needs and interests. We are social and relational beings; we must be warm-hearted and be intentional in our efforts to take care of others. To do that we need to remember what we have in common as human beings. I believe we all have trust issues and fears concerning other people. I do not believe we want to feel this way… From this one place, the place we are currently in our life’s journey we can only see so far ahead of us. We can’t see very far and sometimes we are in the dark but is it worth it to trust in our hearts that others can help us see something else, something more?  To trust and gain surely is worth the risk of trusting and gaining nothing.  Some may mistakenly conclude that cultivating this compassion I speak of… is all about others’ benefit, whereas the first benefit is to us.  Compassion brings us peace of mind.  Compassion and trust both attract friends.  Friendship is based on trust and trust develops when we show concern for others. 

We are now so independent that it is in our own best interest to take the whole of humanity into account and consider our lack may be due to a need for interdependence on relationships that are in need of cultivating. Human-capital-1.jpg There will always be problems to face, but it makes a difference if our minds filled with peace, joy and calming awareness.  But change must start with each of us as individuals.  If one person becomes more compassionate it will influence those in his or her immediate circle of influence and so a change will occur.  Change is what we need.  We desperately need compassion and companionship… people to join with one another on the road as we journey through life.  I have come to the belief our current social climate is pressing “us” to view others from the awareness of their existence in terms of human capital.  This is frightening. What is human capital? Websters describes it as… hu·man cap·i·tal  noun: human capital

  1. the skills, knowledge, and experience possessed by an individual or population, viewed in terms of their value or cost to an organization or country.

We as individuals are more than what we “bring to the table” and we are more than the sum of our parts.  The beginning of change is right at our finger tips but it takes an effort… are we willing? Do we have the mental fortitude to refuse the norm and reach out to one another and do something different from what we are currently doing?  What view of others do we choose to take?

Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones. -Benjamin Franklin

or something more like…

The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime. -Babe Ruth

Guest blogger!  Holly! –I Apologize.

If you were raised like I was, you probably heard the phrase, ‘you’re my child and I expect more from you’, more than once while you were growing up. It is not only a way to correct our behavior, but a way to remind us that we are a part of their family. While this is an appropriate discipline method to use when it comes to our own kids, it becomes wrong when we attempt to use it as a way to alter the behavior of kids who don’t belong to us. Unfortunately, many of us within the church are guilty of doing that very thing to the people who haven’t made the decision to follow Christ.

Obviously, we don’t go around telling people they should change because they belong to us. We’re much more subtle than that. It occurs whenever someone boycotts a store because we don’t like a decision they’ve made. It happens every time we refuse to provide service to someone because we don’t like their sin. For some people, it is highlighted all over their Facebook wall. But regardless of how it appears, it is wrong. No Christian has the right to tell a non-Christian what to do. That job is reserved for God alone, and can only occur after they have surrendered their life to Him.

Here is what non-believers actually need from us. They need a sincere, humble apology. So, on behalf of the church, I would like to give you what you need. For the times we rejected you instead of showing grace, I apologize. For the times we showed our contempt for you instead of working to understand you, I apologize. For the times we placed expectations on you that you couldn’t live up to, I apologize. For all the times we have failed you, I apologize.

It is not in my power to change how other Christians see you. I can hope they will love you. I can pray they will let go of their need to control you. But only Christ can truly change anyone’s heart. Here’s what I can and will do for you. I will pledge not to judge you for your actions. I will pledge to remember that I’m a sinner just like you. I will pledge to give you the grace that Christ gave me. I will pledge to remember that what’s expected of me as a Christian isn’t expected of you. Most importantly, I will pledge to love you, to the best of my abilities, with no strings attached. On behalf of Christians everywhere, please accept my apology.

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Are you a PK who wishes they had a different family? Have you been wounded by the church? Do you feel that you don’t measure up to everyone else’s expectations? Do you wonder if God’s love for you is solely dependent on your performance or simply who your family is? If you said yes to any of those questions, this is the book for you. 

The life of a PK holds unique challenges and can actually drive young people away from the church. But the difficulties that pastors’ kids sometimes experience shouldn’t force them away from God. In Serving God in the Fish Bowl, Holly Tucker provides insights into the life of a PK, using her own experiences. Through prayer and lots of God-given wisdom, she provides daily Scriptures that are designed to give support to PKs who may be struggling in their faith. Holly spent her entire life as a PK. It is this fact that drives her desire to assist other PKs to become all that God wants them to be. 

Holly Tucker was raised in a pastor’s home and now serves in ministry herself.  She served in kids’ and youth ministries, spent time serving people in other countries, and has worked in an inner-city ministry.  Holly is currently pursuing her ultimate dream in life, to care for children who have been orphaned in other countries.  

I currently do most of my writing on…www.facebook.com/devotionalwriter.  www.wordpress.com/hollytucker5