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Archive for the ‘Beyond Sunday’ Category

Here is a wonderful post written by someone who serves both with The STORY Kids and The STORY Teens. This has been taken, with permission, from a recent post of hers on social media. Thank you Brittany!

“Harsh reality: you can’t change other people, you can only change yourself. Last night was one of those nights that I never like to reflect or dwell on, but today I felt like I needed to. Working in the restaurant industry can turn me into the person that I don’t want to be. Negative, selfish, judgmental, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love talking to people and making their experience at my restaurant the best for them; BUT sometimes, it gets tough. I’m sure all my server homies can attest to this. Last night I was not treated very good (this is not the first time something like this has happened), and usually I would talk about how mean and rude people can be for treating me this way. I would get overly frustrated because I didn’t think I deserved to be treated that way. BUT this time I took a few deep breaths and I thought to myself, I may be the only Jesus that some people ever see. As much as I would want to before, I couldn’t be short, standoffish, or a little sassy because Jesus wouldn’t do so. Although I am human and still get upset, I treated this table with as much grace and kindness as I could. Now, I know I have a LONG way to go, but my hope is that I am as rich in love, slow to anger, and as kind as Jesus is in my every day life. This is someone that I long to become. I’m thankful to have such a role model and reflecting on my reactions to situations does the heart good. The only person that I can change is myself, and it starts with recognition and change of heart.” #liveabetterSTORY

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attachment-1-4Last year, I had the opportunity to spend a week serving a joy filled people in far southern Mexico. We worked with them to build a building for the people of a small community to gather in. Along with that, we did things for families and children and just lived in relationship with this people who we had not known before. Jazen gets to go this year though she’ll be in a different area – Chenalho (Chiapas, Mexico). The group she will go with will serve the people, enjoy our common faith and live in relationship while encouraging and building one another up. For some added fun, things like toys and candy are taken. You haven’t lived until you see a 60 year old person who speaks a different language try pop rocks for the first time. Along with that…

A lot of the people work all day in the sun. You’d not believe the smile you receive when you pass on a hat. Jazen’s Dad had the idea (last year) of taking hats and he did so last year. We’ll do the same this year and several people from The STORY Church brought some of their own hats for Jazen to take (47 to be exact). So, what was given here will be enjoyed 1500 miles away. Just another way to Be the Church. I’m thankful we are growing as a church in how we serve our community (our focus) and those beyond our community. Thank you to all who gave hats! I think this will nourish Jazen’s soul…and we could all use a whole lot more of that. – Ray

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be-rich-with-year-website-and-verse-001Here are a few more ways people, who are part of The STORY Church, decided to Be Rich (In good deeds, that is) as part of our money give away. Note: Be Rich is a campaign where The STORY Church has given away time, energy and money freely to others. As part of this, we took up an offering with the purpose of giving every penny away. With a portion of this money, every family that showed up one particular Sunday were given an envelope with money in it to give away. These are summaries of some of their stories.

-I heard that _____________ Dad was in very bad health so I decided to give him the money.

-_____________ has been having a really difficult time lately. They’ve dealt with trying to find a job and with what they are supposed to do with their future. I gave them the money and added some of my own as just a bit of encouragement.

-I want to give my money to the girl in Mexico that we heard about (see previous post).

Keep ’em coming everybody!

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Reminder that The STORY Church will not be gathering this Sunday. Enjoy your time with your family. Soak in the moments you will one day miss and remember fondly. For those who are struggling this time of year, for whatever reason, I pray you experience the Lord’s comfort. This time of year and every time of year, remember to not miss life while you’re living it. Take the step. Reconcile the relationship. Forgive. Enjoy. Laugh. Prioritize the best things. Grow in faith. Take nervous steps. Above all, LOVE.merry-christmas_uxiGJBF.jpg

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This is Ray’s current newspaper article.

It doesn’t take much to have – “It’s always something” pop into our mind. Just think about your life and I bet it won’t take long to have an example on the tip of your tongue. Perhaps you’ve said this in the aftermath of the epic hailstorm that happened months ago. It can pop out of our mouths just when we thought we’d finally get a little breathing room financially. You know what I mean – don’t you? Money is tight but you have buy presents, repair something, pay for kids activities or get groceries with just a little bit of money. “It’s always something” can also come from your job, a relationship or just everyday circumstances. But it’s there…seemingly around every corner ready to pounce on us.

My goal right now is to forever change, “It’s always something” for you. First, in order to change our perspective we have to start by changing our minds. If we change what we put into our minds, then we change what we believe. Once we change what we believe, we change the way we live. So, what if we started to focus our minds on “It’s always something” from a different perspective? I used to be (and at times can still be) an, “It’s always something” kinda guy. But over the last number of years I’ve started to see this term in a different light. When I think I am alone, it’s always something that will remind me that the Lord is with me. When I’m fearful, it’s always something that reminds me that the Lord has told me, “Don’t be afraid, don’t be discouraged…” When something comes up financially, it’s always something that helps me remember that the Lord has always provided (though it’s not always been easy). When I feel I am at the end of my rope, it’s always something that will show me that the Lord is not at the end of His. When I feel like I am in need, it’s always something that will change my perspective and help me remember how much I have.

I feel like maybe I should apologize to you. You see, now that you’ve read this, it’ll be hard to ever use that term without being reminded that you can flip it and see it from a positive side. Just wait and see. I do realize that some of you might think, I’d really love to have this perspective but that’s not my reality. I understand and can relate.  But what if the Lord really does have this perspective for you even if you don’t feel very close to Him? Imagine how this would impact your life and the lives of others if this was true? I’m someone who didn’t buy the whole, “Jesus and church thing” till I was 27 years old. As a result,  I’m still amazed that the best environment for me to grow in this perspective has been with the people of the local church. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll have to search for the one that is right for you. But if a changed mind, a changed belief and a changed life could be at the end of the search, don’t you think it’s worth a shot? My hope is that whenever you think that a perspective like this could never be real in your life…Something will happen that will encourage and you’ll be able to say with a grin, “It’s always something.”

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