Trust & Provision

I love sitting down to write a message to you all because it causes me to reflect on all the amazing things God is doing in individual lives and in Real Life as a community. I am so blessed to be a part of such awesome and generous church.

Thank you for reaching out last month and inviting so many people to Easter Sunday! What an amazing day celebrating the Resurrection. I am still moved by Baptism Sunday, where 21 people professed their commitment to follow Christ. I wish each of you could be in the pool with me and look into the eyes of people trusting God with everything.

It is because of your trust in God and your commitment to be used by Him that we can create a warm and safe environment where people can come dressed in their everyday lives and openly explore a relationship with Jesus. I love you guys!

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for being generous. We have almost fully funded our Summer Impact budget of $11,000! (We are at $9,800!) These funds, which fall outside our normal operating expenses, allow us to impact the lives of over 500 children and teenagers with the love of Christ. I can’t wait to see the miracles God will do this summer. He always honors sacrifice!

I know that you are just as committed to what God is doing at Real Life as I am. We are in this together. We are a family.

Over the past six weeks, our regular giving has been down about 25%. I did not want to carry this knowledge by myself, but for us all to work together as community. Our weekly budget to fully fund all of our ministry impacts is $7,800. I have not been as clear as I should have in giving this information out to you all, and for that I am sorry. Going forward, we are going to add a weekly update to our monthly budget report that we already post on the bulletin board in the hall. We will also communicate with you on a monthly basis how God is continuing to work in our community through your giving. As a staff, we strive to be as wise as possible with all our resources to make the greatest impact. Here is what I would like us to do together:

  1. Pray for God’s provision for us. He truly is the source of everything.
  2. Pray for our trust to increase as we give to God. Giving is about trusting and following God’s leading.
  3. Expect God to move mightily in your life and the life of the Church.

These are great days! I see God’s hand at work all the time. He is already addressing our financial need this very week! Thank you for being a part of what God is doing.

My prayer for you:

And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NLT)

I love my church,

Jeff

Worship Wednesday: “Triune God” and Pentecost

This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, a holy day that commemorates the birth of the church as we know it. Acts 2 describes how this happened: the Holy Spirit was imparted into mankind, fulfilling a promise God made in the book of Joel that we would be able to hear and obey the urgings of the Spirit to bring more and more people into relationship with God. Join us on Pentecost to remember the history of the church and to reflect on how the Holy Spirit continually renews and empowers us to follow God’s will.

Dispatch: Everybody Loves A Good Story

Recently, my brother and I went to the movies together for a much-needed break from the insanity of school, work, and let’s just say life in general. After the first movie ended, we had such a great time that we decided we might as well make it a double feature and followed the first movie with a second. As fun as this was, our semi-late night became a super late night, and a big part of me (the “working-me”) regretted it when my alarm ticked on at 4:07AM the next morning.

Nonetheless, as my brother and I do, especially on a late night, we got to talkin’ all theological- and philosophical-like. Our conclusion was simple: everybody loves a good story.

Our universal obsession with story has been true of human existence from the outset. Throughout human history it is evidenced that people have gathered around storytellers in arenas, town squares, and fires for as long as we can tell. In the Bible, we also see a similar interest in story. Through the stories of Moses, the tales of the Israelites, the allegories of the prophets, and the parables of Jesus, stories, whether historical or metaphorical, played a significant role in shaping meaning and direction for the first-century Jew and have continued to do so for every Christian throughout the ages.

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Dispatch: Supporting Ethiopian Orphanages

Community members Ben and Katie Bradley will soon be traveling to Ethiopia to bring home their daughter! We have walked this adoption journey with them for the past four years and want to help provide some practical items for the children who are still in America World’s transition homes and orphanages. The Bradleys will be able to transport up to 400 pounds of luggage, and Real Life Church hopes to fill that up with the following items:

  • unscented baby wipes (important: unscented/sensitive skin wipes are the only type used)
  • socks for children newborn to 16 years old
  • antibacterial hand gel (large as well as handheld/individual containers needed)
  • diaper cream, specifically with zinc oxide (Desitin or Boudreaux’s)
  • towels for infants

Here’s a note from Ben and Katie about this undertaking:

This summer or fall, we’ll get to travel to Ethiopia two times: first to finally meet our daughter and go to court to formally adopt her, and then a second time to take custody, go to an embassy appointment, and bring her home.
While in Ethiopia, we will visit several orphanages in Addis Ababa, as well as in the remote region our daughter originated from. These orphanages like many much-needed supplies, and the postal system is not reliable. We plan to hand deliver these items with your help!

We each get to bring two 50-pound pieces of luggage with us on both trips. That makes 400 pounds of luggage, which we plan to fill almost entirely with donations. We have been collecting items to bring over for the last four years, and have reached out to local businesses, as well.

Thank you for joining us in providing items that are needed by children and caretakers in the orphanages of Ethiopia! These items will help me get huge difference in quality of care!

Please be sure to check all expiration dates to ensure that items will not expire in the near future. Bring donations to the church by Sunday, June 20, and place them in the donation chest in the entry. Thank you for helping make a difference in the lives of these children and their caretakers!

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