Thursday, December 19, 2013

Reflections on Giving

In a Thanksgiving blog I reflected on my gratitude for Towne View being a thankful church. This I week I have been reminded of how giving is woven into the fabric of our congregation. In recent weeks we have:

  • collected 108 shoe boxes of gifts to be distributed around the world through Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan's Purse
  • in partnership with Prison Fellowship's Angel Tree shared Christmas gifts with 25 children from 12 families who have a parent incarcerated
  • worked with Storehouse Ministries (Noonday Baptist Association) to distribute twelve Thanksgiving food baskets (w/turkeys) and six Christmas boxes (w/hams) to those in need in our community
  • shared Christmas caroling with the residents of Laurel's Edge and Highland Court- senior living facilities in our neighborhood
  • delivered a ream of paper to each of 34 classroom teachers at Chalker Elementary School
  • given generously to typhoon relief in the Philippines through Baptist World Aid of the Baptist World Alliance and to support overseas mission work through the annual Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions
We have given in partnership with other ministries, parachurch groups, and agencies to make a tangible difference in the lives of people.  Our spirit of giving is a worthy reflection of the Gift we celebrate this season.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Nine days and counting

It's quiet on the construction site today. As I look out my window I see heavy equipment parked and almost five acres of Georgia clay turned into mud. Instead of tress crashing and dirt moving I am listening to the steady drip of water. Such things do not a happy preacher make!

The news headline reads "Nine Straight Days of Rain." I am not amused. My mind can't help but go back to the summer we broke ground on the previous building... and broke an extended drought in north Georgia.  I am not encouraged.   We have a tight schedule for the completion of our new facility. For the moment, I am not optimistic.

I know the soil needs replenishment and we all need the water supply renewed but I find myself looking up to heaven wanting to cry-out "why?" or "come on God, you know what we're trying to do here." Then I try to remind myself that "why not?" is just as good a question and that maybe I need to be open to what God is doing here.

This season we are reminded that the creator of the universe became Immanuel, "God with us." In sunshine and rain God is with us... loving us, working in us, and lovingly working through us.