Let’s Beat Hunger!

August 30, 2011

Meals From The Heartland

Tomorrow the Annual Hunger Fight for Meals from the Heartland Begins!  For four years now I have been actively involved with Meals from the Heartland.  Many of you have supported the annual event in years past by packaging meals and volunteering, supporting with financial contributions and praying for God’s provision and blessing.  For this I thank you and want you to know that you have been a blessing to the children that have been impacted by your support.  Even though those impacted cannot say “Thank You” themselves, many of our supporters have visited communities where the meals are being served and the stories of the impact are often unbelievable.

I cannot help but make note of the reality that while we often spend $5-$10 on lunch, many children are going without food.  By sacrificing your lunch tomorrow, you could fund 25-50 meals that will be packaged by the thousands of volunteers at Hy-Vee Hall over the next 4 days.  In essence we could feed a child for a month by making a personal sacrifice!  I think if we look at it this way, it is pretty easy to give up a meal.  There are many children that go without a meal every day and that is the Battle we are fighting at Hy-Vee Hall!

What I have experienced over the past year while serving Meals from the Heartland has allowed me to continually see the impact that this is having on the lives of those in our own community.  My role as a Student Challenge committee member has allowed me to experience the leadership ability and energy of Central Iowa High School students to support a great cause.  This spring we formed the first Youth Leadership Board as elected by students and these students and faculty members have played an important role in supporting the Student Challenge Mission, an educational leadership opportunity organized by Meals from the Heartland to involve Iowa High School students in the fight against hunger.  Tomorrow night, Wednesday, August 31, there will be 1,100+ students packaging meals during Student Challenge 2011 with a goal of packaging 400,000 meals over a 2 hour period.  I am excited for the energy and excitement to come, all the while these high school students have the same motivation of serving a cause much greater than themselves!  This is an opportunity for them to learn about serving and being in community to Beat Hunger!

Here is your opportunity to have an impact this year!  There are three ways people can support Meals from the Heartland.  PRAY, SERVE or GIVE!  Please pray for the blessing that this event will have on the lives of many!  Please consider serving by visiting the link listed here as there are still needs for volunteers to package or be a host: http://www.mealsfromtheheartland.org/annual-event/volunteer/ .  Or give by visiting my personal fundraising page that will go to support the Student Challenge efforts by going to this page: http://blba.us/i.asp?id=489223-254582569-1 .

WHAT IF?  You gave up lunch tomorrow to help fund at minimum 25 meals for someone who will not eat tomorrow!
WHAT IF?  You gave up a couple hours to package nearly 400 meals.
WHAT IF?  You took 2 minutes to pray for the Annual Hunger Fight, the experience of those serving, and the lives that will be impacted.

Luke 12:48 – “But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly.  When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.”

Let’s partner to save the starving!

Find Your Real Security Blanket!

August 9, 2011

Where does your security reside?  Our world tells us it resides in our money, our jobs, our possessions, our retirement, our dreams, etc.  Is this true for you?  What if you were able to be secure in the Lord knowing that He is good and will provide what you need?  How would this change your perspective on what it means to have Security?

Let’s face the fact that no matter how much money and how many possessions we have, they will never provide the security we need if it was all taken away.  For instance, if the stock market continued to drop as it has or a tornado hits our home, we may have very little, but in these times our Lord shall be our refuge for Security.  Many people find security in their jobs, even though they don’t enjoy them and they feel undervalued.  Our jobs can be taken from us today and what was once our security is no longer.  I found security in my job at RBC and have learned through the process of discernment that in my next vocation, I will not look for security, rather look to serve God who will provide the only Security I need.

Of course it is nice to know that we can meet our financial obligations and that we can do so without worry, but most of us find security in our job that allows us to live a particular lifestyle and amidst this we forget to look for real Security that comes from God who shows us His will for our life so that we can live with purpose.  I left everything that was secure from a worldly standpoint at the end of April.  At this point all that I knew was I would have an internship that would last through the end of August and I was stepping into Student Ministry.  In a sense I left the Security Blanket behind, took a leap of faith, and began to explore what God had planned!  As proven through my recent transition to full-time Student and Children’s Ministry, I was clearly not in control, rather following God’s lead and He was my Security.

Today I ask you to read scripture starting with Genesis 12:1-2.  What does the Lord promise Abram(Abraham) if he leaves all things familiar?  Then take a peak at 2 Kings 10:35.  This is a description of what remained of Jezebel’s evil life at the end, and per footnotes in my NLT Life Application Study Bible, there was “no power, no money, no prestige, no royal finery, no family, no spiritual heritage.  In the end, her life of luxury and treachery amounted to nothing.  Power, health, and wealth may make you feel as if you can live forever.  But death strips everyone of all external security.  The time to set your life’s course is now, while you still have time and before your heart becomes hardened.  The end will come soon enough.”  At the end of your life where will your security reside?

When I left RBC in April, many asked me about income and benefits as it relates to the internship, however important these may be, they are not the source of my Security!  My Security resides in the Lord and He will always be the one whom I can trust.  I left what was familiar to follow Jesus.  Will it be any easier?  Of course not, but I am not worried  because I trust in the Lord!  I have to remind myself of this daily so as not to be distracted and fall victim to the lie that other “things” will provide security.  I challenge you to seek the Lord for your Security, wherever your insecurity exists!

Saturday I caught up with a mentor of mine, Gary Lydic, who has been great help in this process of transition.  He reminded me that God is Good, and that my act of obedience and trust allowed God to reveal more of His plan.  I hesitated as most would in the decision to become a 29 year old intern.  Then Saturday night during the message given at Hope-Ankeny, I was reminded Jesus is walking right alongside us everyday, our Hope was not buried when He was.  He is present in our lives and will work for good.  Lastly, on Monday the radio broadcaster on Life 107.1 shared a story that related to how easy it is to believe that our money and our job provide security and as he reflected on the experience he was convicted of this, “if God is in my life and in my heart, I’d rather be penniless.”  God speaks to us in many ways and these experiences reminded me of the opportunity I have to serve the Youth of Ankeny and help instill a foundation of Security in their lives, so when they are faced with challenges they know where to go!  Had I not left my security blanket behind, I may not have been sharing this awesome story with you today.  I challenge you to go to sleep this evening and each day forward with the Real Security Blanket!