not-so-random acts of kindness

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All hands on deck to make cookies and share coffee and creamer for Lauren’s office mates. We’ve been learning that small gestures can lead to big kingdom impact.

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– Nathaniel

(Nathaniel and his wife Kaleigh lead Koinonia, which has several young professionals who are always on the look-out for ways to connect with co-workers and share Christ’s love in a practical way.)

there’s always a “but”

I’m often reminded how God cares lots about the relationships we care about.  This theme shows through in this brief glimpse into the SOKs Missional Community through the eyes of one of our young leaders:

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Today, we delivered hot chocolate. Not many people wanted hot chocolate, but then my brother came!

Berhane - blog signature (Black BG)

miraculous or just a coincidence?

Colossians 1:13 says, “The Father has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son.”  The following is a glimpse at His great power and healing through a story from our Missional Community, Koinonia.

Miraculous. What exactly does that mean? I’ve been finding that my definition of miraculous continues to evolve. At one point, I would have told you that unexplainable healings, being raised from the dead, and turning water to wine were miracles (which they are), but this is an extraordinarily narrow view of the miraculous.

I recently had an opportunity to visit a friend in the hospital. For me, hospitals are a normal and comfortable environment because I’m a nurse. What was less comfortable was praying for my friend’s healing,  wisdom for the medical staff, and God’s peace to be evident in their home while standing next to him.

The next day my friend went home. Was this miraculous? Was it a coincidence? Does it even matter? As Christians we were promised that we would do everything Jesus did… and more. The last time I checked,  Jesus cared for the sick and asked for God’s kingdom to appear in their lives. Why shouldn’t we start there as well? What better way to do this than to put ourselves in an uncomfortable position and step out in faith.

-Nathaniel

focus on the family

Missional Communities go through seasons.  Seasons of focus on the Mission and seasons of focus on the Family.  Game On! MC is learning how important family is in a time when other regular rhythms are out of whack.

January has been an interesting month for Game On!.  Due to changes in nearly everyone’s work, either a new job or having to pick up extra shifts or even being shipped off to Michigan for a few weeks to help out a new office, our Missional Community nights have been sort of light.  We, of course, continued to gather, but it became very lax.  Teachings that were prepared for were put onto the back burner and were replaced with more intimate teachings and time together.

Last Friday was the first time in three weeks we were all able to get together again on Missional Community night.  It really felt like we never skipped a beat.  We spent dinner exchanging stories from our work places, upcoming games, and even about what we are going to do for our upcoming OUT that won’t be at our normal location.  After a teaching on vision, we set off for the living room to do what we do best, play games together.  It was wonderful to have the family back together again.  I know we all missed one another, and I know we can’t wait for this week’s Missional Community gathering.

Dustin - blog signature (black BG)

“i think that you should talk to satan, too.”

I’m always in awe of how God speaks to children and in turn, adults are stretched, taught, and changed.  Here’s a story from one of our Missional Communities, Koinonia.

I was tucking my niece and nephew into bed on an ordinary Tuesday night. After the songs, drink and bedtime prayers, I was about to leave the room when my nephew (4 years old) told me he couldn’t sleep because he heard God and Satan talking.
“What are they talking about?” I asked.
“Satan is saying he is stronger and God is saying that He is stronger”
I didn’t grow up having bedtime conversations about spiritual warfare, so I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I asked him who was stronger and he confidently replied that God was stronger. I told him that the Bible says that Satan tells lots of lies, and one of those lies is that he is stronger than God. I then prayed again, thanking God that He is stronger. When I finished, he simply said, “I think you should talk to Satan too.”
In a split second, I heard my mind say both, “We don’t talk to Satan!” and “Yes, we do.” With trepidation, I spoke to Satan out loud, using the words that I recalled from Scripture. I bound him in Jesus’ name and told him that my nephew was a child of God and he must stop talking to him so he could rest. Not knowing exactly when to stop, I heard my nephew say, “I’m ready to sleep now.”
Even as I began speaking, I marveled at the fact that I was praying with an authority that I don’t usually practice. It is amazing how my boldness grows when I feel someone so innocent and precious is endangered. I can almost picture God rising up to defend me even as I stood up to defend my nephew. I play the events back in my mind and I’m reminded that God breaks into our world at unexpected times and uses the promptings of a child to inspire acts of faith.
Lauren - blog signature (Black BG)

always thankful

photo (2)SOKs (Southern Orchards Kids) was writing all the things we are thankful to God for doing on the sidewalks.  Before we went to go write, I taught the kids the prayer my dad taught me when I was little!  Some people wrote, “I’m thankful for a family,” “I’m thankful for my haters and enemies,” and so on.  While we were writing, it started to rain and get dark.  The whole purpose of doing it was to meet different people and to be kind.  After we were done, we came in and the little kids watched Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving, and we waited for the pizza to come.

Izyah - blog signature (Black BG)

Today, God blessed us to write things we are thankful for on the sidewalk, and afterwards we were going to have pizza.  Unfortunately, it rained and we did all that hard work for nothing, but it was fun!  God blessed us to have in between a lot of people and a little bit of people, so it was medium sized.  After writing with chalk, we went in because it started to rain.  Then, we watched Charlie Brown Thanksgiving until the pizza arrived.  Once the pizza arrived, we served the little kids and then the big kids.  Everybody prayed together and dug in and ate while we watched the movie.  More people came to eat and then left.  Once everybody was finished eating, we helped clean up and talked about what went well for the night.

Ruby - blog signature (Black BG)

reverse trick or treating

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Today, God blessed us to have a lot of fun passing out candy to people, door to door.  It was nice.  This one girl let us see her decorating that she did in her house and outside.  It was hard to give candy and not get any.  People were happy and smiled when we gave them candy.  God was good to have Ms. Natalie let people in her house to watch a movie and to eat pizza.  God was good because there was enough pizza for everyone.

Izyah - blog signature (Black BG)

Today, God blessed us to have a lot of people come and help pass out the candy.  At one house, this lady had it decorated from outside to inside.  It was hard to give and not get candy.  Afterwards, we came to Ms. Natalie’s and watched Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin.  The pizza arrived, and the adults passed it out with two pieces of candy each.  Everybody chowed down and finished the movie.  Then, everybody left.  It was fun!

Ruby - blog signature (Black BG)