This Saturday is Independence Day. We celebrate the freedom that we enjoy as Americans and we have the opportunity to celebrate the freedom available to us in Christ! You may not feel free as you watch the news, or work over-time every week, but even with all of our country’s woes we still live at one of the highest standards of living in the world. We are free.
I sometimes forget that as I go through my day. I forget that the Bible teaches me to think about good things (Phil. 4:8) instead of begrudging what I don’t have. Not that we are to ignore our problems. Rather, we are to make sure that we don’t give them more time than we need to resolve them (i.e. worry).
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
When the apostle Paul wrote that he didn’t want to be controlled by anything except Christ, I think he meant to speak against a negative attitude as well. So, this week, we encourage you because we’ve been encouraged to celebrate the joy we have found in our freedom. The occasion, even above this national holiday, is that we are known and know the one who set us free! Will you join us in celebrating?
In preparation for our mission trip, Reliance had a Garage Sale to raise money for the roof we are helping put on in Honduras. While the individual cost of the mission trip lies on each person going, we have to raise the funds for the roof, hence the name we have selected "Raise the Roof Honduras. The cost of the Roof is $2500.00 and that is the amount we committed to contribute towards the Finding Hope Honduras. org's Women and Children's Community Center.
Anyway, after much hard work, donations, and a very special thanks to the Foundry Church for allowing us to use their parking lot, we have pulled off a pretty large Garage sale for the amount of people involved.
We have raised $1700.00 !!!!! so far......
I thought that was awesome and surely a God Thing as we worked really hard, but I truly feel that God gave the increase. We are still short $800.00 for the roof and I firmly believe God can supply the rest of that money !!!
Please pray for this mission and contribute monetarily if God so leads you !!
You can also send money with Mission trip allocated in the memo line. That address is :
P.O. Box 7951
Saint Petersburg, FL 33734
What are we doing
Reliance is a church plant, and that means there is not a lot of money in our bank account, we are small, we are starting out and rely on a lot of help from the outside sources that have chosen to support us for a while. We are so very grateful that God allowed this and continues to be the great orchestrator for the things we need.
Having said that, a lot of church plants do not go on mission trips because the church plant is the mission. We are missionaries basically out our front door in Florida. While we have studied Acts before as a core group before we ever came to Florida, we recently studied it again.
Through much prayer, a trip out of our area is what we feel led to do. To help someone else to further God's kingdom, and we need all the prayer and support we can get, though I know God will provide !!
We had our first real meeting the other week for the mission trip to Honduras. While it was much needed, it became real in the fact that "we are doing this".
Reliance got to meet the founder of Finding Hope Honduras Katlyn McConnell and listen to her vision first hand, and it got real.
While many people go on the mainstream mission trips where you have nice posh accommodations, and hot water, well it looks like we are definitely going third world with this. She is in a remote area, about 3 hours from civilization.
Since I am taking 2 children with me, I got a little anxious when it became real that there were no hospitals nearby ( 3hrs away) and we would be kinda roughing it for a week.
After I had this moment of worry and concern, I calmed down and remembered that God's got this. I must place my trust in him and rest assured that he will take care of me and my family as we travel and do work for him.
Sometimes in all things we do, whether it is traveling to a remote area or even working at a job with sick people sometimes infected with unknown germs, God is in control. Believe in what you do and have faith that whatever happens God has it in His hands, He has You in his hands and he loves you.
Please continue to pray for us and support monetarily if God leads you to !!
Have you ever been around that optimist, the one who always tries to turn things around to the brighter, more hopeful picture, when sometimes you actually want to live in the real world, you know the one who wears the rose colored glasses and see's all things as opportunities and lessons, not the known reality that life is....
Well let me tell you, I see that as Romancing life... yep that is what I shall call it.
Then there are others, the people that continuously live in the real world and see things as they truly are, not hopeless, not a cynic or fatalist or pessimist, but a realist.
The realist- someone who lives in the real world, but occasionally gets to experience Life to it's fullest, they usually can see the silver lining, hope and often will be optimistic, but when we get to Romance life, well that is great. Even the realist get to experience life and life to it's fullness.
I could go on and on with definitions of cynic, fatalist, pessimist etc... but we all know what those words mean, let's talk about Romancing life..... without rose colored glasses.
Enjoy the little things, small moments that take your breath, gestures, flowers, sunrises and sunsets.
Enjoy the grace, hope and mercy Jesus Christ offers. It is abundant, it is everlasting, and it is an awesome experience in the Life journey
Romance Life, find the good, see the good, look for the good in others, in situations, challenge yourself to do it if you do not do it naturally.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippine 4:8
God has a plan for your life. He wants you to live for him... simple. He wants you to be happy and if Romancing life does not come naturally, take a vacation from what comes natural and try it, try on a pair of rose colored glasses for a few hours, challenge yourself to think a little differently and find good in everyone, not bad. Look for that good quality and concentrate on it. God will bless your efforts. When something bad happens look for the good, look for a lesson, look for God in all things. If you cannot find God in it, look for him to be there with you through it. I will say he will be there for you in all things if you are his. He will comfort you, guide you and help you in times of trouble, he is a refuge of strength and peace. Try him.
Try Romancing life a little, look for the good.....
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.Romans 12:2
“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.”
I remember being 11 or 12 years old and being jealous of all of my classmates who wore glasses (nerds represent). It didn’t matter how close to my wood paneled TV screen I sat, my vision remained 20/20 until I had almost graduated high school. You can imagine how excited I was to hear from the optometrist that I had “slight” impairment in “one” eye from “extreme” distances. This was my moment to join the cool crowd! So I joined the ranks of four-eyed nerds and went on with my life. Today I spend an average of 10 hours a day in front of a screen and I keep up with my glasses like I keep up with my phone. My slight impairment has changed to blurred vision and headaches if I try to go a day without my goggles.
My dependency on my glasses has come with age, but they remind me of our dependency on Christ to “see straight”. We need focus in order to read God’s word, sure, but more importantly we need focus to continue his work without getting distracted by our phones, TV’s, our careers, and yes, even our families. Paul explains our need for focus when he writes, “no soldier get entangled in civilian affairs” in 2 Timothy 2 to help us understand a key truth about focus. It isn’t that all civilian pursuits are evil; nor is it that phone, or TV’s, or careers, but it is that when we entangle ourselves in them we get slowed down and everything stop’s moving forward altogether.
This week, let’s turn our attention from our own lives just a little more and look clearly through the biblical lens prescribed to us by Jesus to see and serve the Lord.
-Devin and Sarah