Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Awesome night

Wow! What an awesome night at the Love In Action Ministry Center. Tonight's Celebrate Recovery was incredible. The Spirit of God was moving so strongly tonight as more than 155 people packed the LIA Ministry Center.

Worship was led by the choir from New Life in Jesus Ministry church of Dothan, Ala. They were wonderful. A very anointed group of singers. We will post a complete video of the worship this weekend on our web site:
Until then, there is a short video of them singing, "Our God is an awesome God" on our web site. Look on the left hand side at our TwitVid widget. You will also find a video of children from Victory of the Nations Church in Dothan, Ala., performing a dance at Celebrate Recovery tonight. It is so great seeing children serving God.

Tonight's message was delivered by one of our own. Willie Anderson is an inmate at the Houston County Community Corrections work release, and he's been attending Celebrate Recovery for many months. He preached a tremendous message that resonated with many people who regularly attend Celebrate Recovery. To see Willie preaching was beyond words. To see and know what God is doing in his life is just incredible. We will also post the video of Willie's message this weekend on our web site.

We see so many lives being changed it's just incredible. We praise God and give Him credit for all of it.

Before Celebrate Recovery tonight, a man we helped when he was homeless helped us. He called me this afternoon and said he was given a lot of can food and he wanted to donated it to Love In Action. "Y'all helped me when I was homeless," he said. "I want to give back so you can help others."

Praise God! From the homeless to the work release inmates, we love having church with them and watching God work in all of their lives. And, you know what, God is also doing a great work in all of our lives.

We serve an awesome God, and to be a part of this ministry is very humbling and exciting. Tonight's Celebrate Recovery was another example of the great work our God is doing.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Faith like a child

There's something special about watching people's faith in God grow. The excitement in their voices and on their faces remind me of a child on Christmas morning. As a child ... isn't that the kind of faith Jesus tells us to have? (Matthew 18:2-4, Mark 10:15, Luke 18:17)

Last week, one of the work release men was facing being sent back to the county jail because he had not found a job. It wasn't because Richard wasn't looking. He was, but nothing had come through for him.

Richard is a regular at Love In Action's Wednesday night Bible study, and he has been soaking up God's Word like a sponge. I've been watching him grow over the past couple of months. Two Wednesdays ago he said he would be sent back to county jail on that Friday if he didn't find a job. That Wednesday night, Emily Hinderliter, who is teaching a 5-part series, taught on faith and focused on Abraham.

Richard told her afterward he really needed that because he was wondering what was going on. We all prayed with him and he was at peace when he left.

This Wednesday night when I picked the men up, there was Richard, and he was all smiles. He said, "God gave me a job. Actually, two! Just look at God. Look at what he did for me!"

We were all thrilled and praised God together. Richard opened the Bible study with prayer that night, and he said his faith had grown so much through God giving him a job.

He's a young Christian, and he just saw what God can do when we are obedient and have faith in Him. He has heard over and over again the past two months that we need to trust God at all times, even when it doesn't make sense. Have faith, trust, obedience ... and now he has experienced the fruit of his labor.

That's why discipleship is so important and why Love In Action has a Bible study every Wednesday night. Richard is just one example of how discipleship works. Everyone who regularly attends our Bible studies appears to be growing in their faith in God. It's exciting to see, and we praise God for what He is doing.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Great ministry at LIA Ministry Center

The level of ministry at the Love In Action Ministry Center keeps growing stronger and stronger. The people God brings to help us show and tell the homeless and needy about His love are amazing.

For example, this past Tuesday night one of our favorite pastors, Gene Oden, came to share God's Word at Celebrate Recovery. Gene pastors a great church in Enterprise, Ala. - Crossroads Community Church. Their praise team led worship for us, and you want to talk about a talented and anointed band. They are incredible.

Gene talked about Jonah and running from God. Everyone soaked up that message like a sponge, and people responded to the message. We have all ran from God, and some are still running. Gene's message was simple, yet profound, and it resonated with everyone there. Gene has an incredible way of communicating. He's just real. There's no pomp and circumstance. There's no show. It's just Gene talking about God and how He can change all of our lives. I could listen to him preach all night long.

A cool thing happened Tuesday night that really pumps me up every time God does it. A man walked past the open front doors several times before entering the LIA Ministry Center. His name was Jerry and he told me his story. He's from Tennessee, but was in Dothan for a construction job. He lost his job and had nothing. He needed to get back to Tennessee.

I told him we would help with gasoline, but sit down with me and listen to the preacher. He did and he was one of the people who came forward for prayer after Gene's message. Praise God! Out of all the places in Dothan he could have driven past, he drove past LIA and then came back and heard a great word from God. He has a wife and six children in Tennessee. Please keep Jerry in your prayers.

Wednesday night was another incredible night of ministry. Emily Hinderliter from Tabernacle UMC in Taylor, Ala., is teaching a five-part series for us about Abraham. Emily is a very gifted teacher, and this series is terrific.

Last night she focused on faith. After Bible study, one of the men from work release told her he needed that lesson badly. He needs to find work by Friday or they will send him back to county jail. He's been putting in applications all over the place, but nothing has worked out. He was becoming upset, angry, and questioning why was this happening to him. The lesson on faith really spoke to him and he felt much better about things. We all prayed with him before we left.

Our volunteers are incredible ministers. Some, like Diana and my mom, cook every Tuesday and Wednesday so the people will have a good meal to eat. Others like Stephanie and JoAnna teach the children on Tuesday nights. People like Jerry, Tom, Robert and Robert teach small groups at Celebrate Recovery. Judy talks to newcomers each week to tell them about CR and what groups we have available.Yet another Robert picks up bread every week at Atlanta Bread Company for us give to people in need, and he does a lot more like electrical work and so much more.

Where would we be without Franklin? Not where we're at today, that's for sure. I can't begin to list everything he does. My mom is the same way. They both do a lot of behind the scenes work that makes the ministry so successful.

There are churches like Harvest, Tabernacle, Crossroads, Covenant, Greystone, Highland Park, Mt. Carmel, and Wiregrass who help us in a variety of ways. There are many other people who help through financial donations and volunteering their time. It's just incredible seeing the Body of Christ work together to reach the lost and hurting.

We serve an awesome God, and it's humbling to serve Him with people like you. Thank you and God bless.