Thursday, July 19, 2018
She walked into the clinic tonight with two black and swollen eyes. There was a large gash on her forehead, just above her right eye. She and her husband are homeless. Her horribly battered face was a result of her husband allegedly beating her.
The only reason I used the word "allegedly" is 22 years of journalism taught me a person is guilty until proven innocent, so always use the word, "allegedly." He was arrested and charged with domestic III, which is only a class A misdemeanor. It made me wonder how bad does a woman have to be beaten before it's a domestic I charge.
She went right back to him when he was released from jail. She was at the clinic last week to see our eye doctor. He came by this evening to pick up her glasses. I wouldn't give them to him. Patients need to pick up their own glasses.
Then she came in. My heart sank when I saw her, and knowing that she is back with him. This isn't the first, or even the second time this has happened. She was excited to receive her glasses, and smiled when she placed them on her battered face. At least she had something to smile about.
I hugged her and told her I knew what happened, and she needed to take care of herself and that she didn't have to put up with this. Then, my heart sank even more when she said, "The hill did most of it."
That's a classic response from a woman in an abusive relationship. The hill didn't punch her in both eyes. The gash may have came from the hill, but there was a reason her face hit the ground so hard.
When she blamed the hill, I knew at that moment she may very well end up dead one day at the hands, or fists, of her husband. What can you do when she won't leave the one who has beaten her and put her in very bad situations over the years?
We have tried to help them the past couple of years as well as other ministries and agencies. They are young, but their lives have spiraled out of control.
On our Facebook page you see the nice photos, and a lot of great things happen every day. We don't post the bad photos for obvious reasons. We want to protect the victims.
This ministry isn't easy. We see the worst in people. Thankfully there are a lot more good folks out there we minister to than bad, but the bad ones lately have been really bad.
We see firsthand what sin does to people ... exactly what the Bible says it does. "The wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23)
Jesus says in John 10:10, "The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy." Satan is busy doing that right here in Dothan, Alabama, just like he is around the world. But, our God is bigger. We have seen the power of God radically transform lives, pulling people out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Those we try to help who are slaves to drugs, alcohol, and violence can be saved. Their lives can be transformed, but only by the power of Jesus Christ. However, I also know Romans 1:28 says God will turn them over to debased or reprobate minds if they continually deny Him.
There are some who can quote scripture as good a most pastors. They know the difference between right and wrong, but they continually toss God aside. That's a very dangerous place for anyone to be.
Please pray for this young woman, and for her husband. Please pray for those who are slaves to addiction ... to sin, who keep refusing to obey God. They know the truth, but will not allow it to set them free.
Please pray for us and other ministries who are reaching out to those in darkness. We will continue to go into the enemy's camp and try to pull more out. It's what God called us to do.
Sunday, July 15, 2018
|Union Hill Baptist Church Children's Group|
|Children from Union Hill Baptist leading prayer.|
We saw two decisions for Jesus - one during Bible study and one Thursday morning. It was a very busy week as we served, ministered to and loved on around 200 of our homeless and needy friends. With people representing their families, we helped around 300 people with food and hygiene items this past week. We were able to help several of our homeless friends with new tents and get a 61-year-old woman off the streets.
The wonderful Samaritan Clinic medical volunteers took care of 27 patients Thursday night. We are beginning to see more nurses join us to serve at the clinic, and that's a tremendous blessing. We need more doctors and nurses, so if you are a medical professional, please come join us.
A great blessing and something very encouraging to see was the children's group from Union Hill Baptist Church in Cottonwood who joined us Saturday. The children were amazing. They were not shy or ashamed to pray with people and jump in and serve in any way needed.
New volunteers continue to join us, and that's always a blessing. Seeing the Body of Christ serving together is how God designed His church to work. It's all about leading people to Jesus.
We couldn't do what we do without volunteers and those who donate financially and items such as non-perishable food, hygiene items, tents, bug spray and more.
I'm so thankful for everyone who supports us through prayer, volunteering and donations. Thank you everyone. Together, we are seeing lives changed for eternity, and that's what it's all about.
I'm so thankful for everything God is doing. Seeing souls saved every week is awesome. To God be the glory!
|Dan praying with one of our homeless friends.|
|A homeless veteran putting on a new pair of tennis shoes.|
|Samaritan Clinic after a very busy Thursday evening.|
|Vanessa leading prayer.|
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Are you letting your light shine? Jesus says we are the light of the world and we need to let our light shine.
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven." - Matthew 5:14-16
Jesus is the Light of the world (John 8:12), and if we are followers of Jesus, then He lives inside of us. If He lives in us and He is the Light of the world, then we need to let His light shine through us. But why?
Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:16, "So that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven."
We are not saved by works, but when Jesus is inside of us and His light is shining brightly for all to see, people will see the good works that we do in His name. They will know we are not doing good works for ourselves, but for God. They will, in turn, give glory to God.
Don't try to hide the light because society tells you to hide your faith; that it's a "personal thing." Faith in Jesus is personal, but it's also something we must share with others. Why? Because Jesus commands us to.
Read the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, "And Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.'"
We can't keep our faith to ourselves if we are suppose to go and make disciples of all people groups. It's impossible to make disciples by not telling people about Jesus. No, don't listen to society. Go and share Jesus with others. If we don't who will? We have to be concerned about eternity for ourselves and for all of those around us.
Let your light shine. Let people see Jesus in you. Let people see Jesus consistently working through you (good works) to glorify your Father in Heaven. We do good works not to receive recognition, a pat on the back, or for even a "thank you." We do good works to bring glory to our Heavenly Father.
Jesus was always doing good works when He walked on earth. He healed the sick, raised the dead back to life, cast demons out of people, fed people, and taught people about the Kingdom of God. He did it for the glory of God, and to prove He was indeed the Messiah.
As Christians, we are followers of Christ. Go forward in Him, and let your light shine brightly for all to see.
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Hamburgers, hot dogs, watermelon, ice cream, fireworks, family and friends. Those are the usual ingredients for a traditional Fourth of July celebration. Some like to mix in the beach or the lake, but a backyard will do as well.
It's a great time of the year when we celebrate our country's independence. It's truly something to be thankful for and celebrated. Billions of people around the world can only dream about the freedoms we, too often, take for granted.
More than 1.1 million Americans have died in wars protecting our freedoms. Sadly, nearly half of that total is from our nation's own Civil War as nearly 500,000 died during that dark period of time in our nation's history. More than 400,000 died in WWII.
Freedom comes at a great cost. We shouldn't take it for granted. There are more than 1.3 million active military personnel serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. We need to be thankful and pray for them. They make up a scant 0.4 percent of our nation's population.
Freedom is wonderful, but as former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt said, "With freedom comes responsibility."
I am thankful God allowed me to be born in the U.S. He could have placed any of us anywhere else in the world, but in His great wisdom, He decided to put us in America. Why? I have no idea. You will have to ask Him. What I do know, is the ultimate freedom comes from God through Jesus Christ, and with that freedom comes even greater responsibility.
The Apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 5:13-14, "For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"
Jesus frees us from slavery to sin (Romans 6:17-18). We are not to take that freedom and abuse it to do what we please in this life. No, Paul says with that freedom we are to love and serve one another.
As the saying goes, freedom isn't free. It cost Jesus everything to buy our freedom. He left Heaven to live as one of us. He gave Himself to be horrifically beaten as well as verbally abused and spat upon. He endured a Roman cross to shed His precious blood, which covers our sins.
True freedom came on the third day when God raised Jesus from the dead. One by one as people believed chains were broken. Peter experienced forgiveness of denying Jesus three times. Thomas was forgiven for doubting Jesus had risen from the dead. For more than 2,000 years, slaves of sin have been freed.
Jesus offers that same freedom today. All we have to do is confess and believe: "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
We see in Matthew 4:17 where Jesus began preaching by saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand." From there, Jesus invited the disciples to, "Follow Me." His invitation remains the same today, and Jesus invites everyone to repent and follow Him.
Have you repented of your sins. I did. We all have to, for we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
I encourage you, experience the greatest freedom of all today. Repent, which means to turn from your sinful ways and turn to Jesus. Receive God's forgiveness, love, mercy, grace, salvation, freedom, life all wrapped up in one free gift named Jesus Christ.
Call out to Him today the best you know how. There are no set words to say. Simply call out to Him. "For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13) Then, follow Jesus.
If you do, then today will truly be your day to celebrate freedom, and you will celebrate it for eternity.
If you have any questions, or if you have just given your life to Jesus, please email me at email@example.com
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
I've noticed the older I get the more I visit friends in hospitals, attend funerals and hear about friends and colleagues dying. Sounds a bit morbid, I know, but it's just life.
If we are blessed to grow old, our bodies wear out and we die. That's just how it is in this fallen world, which leads me to wonder, are we really "blessed" to grow old? Is it worth all the sickness and heartaches? At the ripe old age of 51 - starring down that quickly approaching 52 - I'm thinking it is worth it and it is a blessing. After all, we only get one shot at this life. When it's over, it's over. There's no going back. No mulligans or do-overs.
We have one chance to make a positive influence on this world. With the recent passing of a former colleague and one of my best friends dying a few months ago, it's got me thinking, "Have I been setting the right example?" "Did I properly influence those two guys?" One I can say unequivocally I did. The other, I'm not so confident.
I guess it's easier to have a positive impact on a close friend than a colleague who lives a couple of hours away that you don't spend much time with. But, that's still no excuse. Every moment counts. Do I take advantage of each moment God gives me? I wish I could say yes, but I'm nothing if I'm not honest.
I've missed opportunities. I've made mistakes. In other words, I'm human. But, I don't like excuses. I make none. I just know I need to make the most of each moment and opportunity. I pray that I will.
What about you? Do you think about such things? Are you concerned about the influence you have on each person you meet? Should we? I think so. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I know my Lord and Savior wants to love through me and touch lives for His glory.
I really do care where people spend eternity. That's what matters most. The older I get and the more I understand Jesus and the Bible, I really understand that. I get it. Eternity is coming. There's nothing we can do to stop it. We do have a say where we spend it.
It all depends on what we do with Jesus here on earth. Do we receive His forgiveness and salvation? If so, Heaven, being with Jesus is our eternity. If we deny Jesus, we will be separated from Jesus for eternity. Those are the facts.
Therefore, making sure I show and tell others about Jesus is of utmost importance. It should be for every follower of Jesus. We have one chance, let's make it count for all eternity.
Sunday, June 10, 2018
|Pastor Prasad giving Bibles to new believers in India.|
Just look at the smiles on the faces of our new brothers and sisters in India as they receive Bibles. These are previously unreached people who heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, believed, and are now becoming disciples of Jesus.
A very important part to making disciples is making sure they have the Word of God to study and learn. Our indigenous pastors are doing a great job of sharing the Gospel to unreached people groups in India. As the people become believers, we need to put Bibles in their hands. Pastor Prasad and our brothers in India are immediately starting discipleship with new beliebers, so having Bibles is of utmost importance.
It's the same in Pakistan. Our brothers and sisters there are sharing Jesus with unreached people groups, and they need Bibles for the new believers as well. How else will they learn about God and the commands of Jesus if they don't have Bibles?
Providing Bibles for new believers is an important part of our ministry here at Love In Action. Please help us provide more Bibles, in their indigenous languages, as more people are coming to Jesus in India and Pakistan. Our brothers and sisters in both countries cannot afford to purchase Bibles, so let's help them. You see the impact these Bibles are having on the faces of these precious new believers above in the photos. They are excited about their new lives in Jesus. We can help them grow in Jesus by providing Bibles.
As our indigenous brothers and sisters in India and Pakistan put their lives on the line every day for the sake of the Gospel, we need to come along side them and help them. This is one great way to do that. We not only can provide Bibles, but also give our brothers and sisters great encouragement that they are not alone in the ministry.
Please help us provide Bibles in their own languages by mailing your tax-deductible donations to: Love In Action, P.O. Box 85, Dothan, AL 36302. Please write "Bibles for India/Pakistan" on the memo of your checks. You may also give online via PayPal. Click on this link, https://loveinactionministries.com/donate, to go to our website, then click on the "Make a Donation" button to give securely through PayPal.
Thank you and God bless you for giving.
Sunday, May 27, 2018
|Ken with Russ and Nancy live on the radio during their "Friday Live"|
show at the Love In Action Connected Coffee Cafe.
|People donated 143 pairs of men's tennis shoes and work|
boots to help us minister to the homeless in Dothan, Ala.
What happens when the Body of Christ comes together? People get saved and the "least of these" are helped.
The JoyFM 94.3/96.1 partnered with us this past Friday, May 25, to raise awareness of homelessness in Dothan, Alabama, and to encourage people to donate men's tennis shoes and work boots to help us give the homeless men we serve some much-needed shoes. We receive a large number of women's shoes, but not men's. So, when 143 pairs of men's shoes were donated through this partnership, we celebrated.
When JoyFM General Manager Mark Giles stopped by Love In Action to donate some men's clothes, I gave him a tour of our campus. Mark noticed our men's shoes choices were dismal, only a handful of well used shoes were available. I explained to him our challenge of getting men's shoes.
While we were in the coffee house, I told him about the Worship & Coffee Fellowship events we held last summer. He said why don't we partner on a coffee house event and ask people to donate men's shoes. Then he came up with the name, "Friday Night Light," with Jesus, of course, being the Light.
Excellent idea with amazing results.
The JoyFM did an excellent job promoting the event, and we both saturated social media. Russ and Nancy hosted their JoyFM Friday Live show from 3-7 p.m. at our Connected Coffee Cafe and a steady stream of people stopped by to donate shoes. It was a fun afternoon.
From 7-9 p.m. Dane Skipper led praise and worship. The coffee house was packed. It was great watching the Body of Christ coming together to lift up no other name than Jesus Christ. That's how God intended it to be. I also loved seeing people interact with the homeless who had never done so before. In some cases, they didn't even know they were talking to a homeless person. Not all homeless people are dirty and wear ragged clothing. Most of them do care about how they look and smell. That's one reason why we have a shower for the homeless and do their laundry.
These events do wonders for the homeless. It makes them feel like they are part of something, and they are. Also, how many times are the homeless invited to watch a live remote and register for gifts?
The greatest part about Friday was two people giving their lives to Jesus. Bro. Dan Levy of Love In Action saw them at the picnic table next to the coffee house. He went out and talked with them and led them to Jesus. Then later that evening a man came in looking to be a blessing to someone who is in a similar situation as he was in several years ago. We introduced him to the man who just got saved, and he was offered a job with an excellent starting salary. That couple saw God moving in their lives in amazing ways. They were in church on Sunday, too.
We look forward to partnering more with The JoyFM. We make a great team.
Thank you to everyone who was part of Friday Night Light to make it such a success. Thank you to everyone who donated men's shoes. Thank you JoyFM, Dakota Coffee, and everyone who made desserts. Oh my! We had a lot of delicious sweets. Thank you to our volunteers for serving, and thank you to everyone who came out.
Our next Friday Night Light will be Friday, June 22. More details will be released soon. Please keep an eye on our Facebook page.
Click here for a photo album from "Friday Night Light."
|Dane, Christal and Clay were wonderful leading worship for "Friday Night Light."|
|Everyone enjoying the fellowship at "Friday Night Light."|