You are a Piece of the Puzzle

You are a Piece of the Puzzle | February 2015 Blog Post
You are a Piece of the Puzzle | CWOW Ministries | February Blog Post 2015

 

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

Have you ever felt out of place? Have you ever felt like a square peg being forced into a round hole? Well I have good news for you – You fit perfectly into God’s puzzle. Regardless of how you feel, God sees your purpose, value, and worth. You are God’s handiwork and He created you to accomplish something only you were made to do.

When God spoke you into existence He did so with the same intent and purpose as in Creation. On the first day of Creation when God commanded light to come, it came without hesitation. On the fifth day of Creation when God commanded the sea to be filled with fish and the air with birds, it happened without hesitation. As a testament to God and evidence to us, the sun shines, the fish swim, and the birds fly today. This is also evidence that God prepared you in advance for what you are facing now. There is nothing that can stop you from reaching your best.

Nothing God does is for the short term. He creates and builds things to last. Everything that God does has a purpose. He does not make mistakes or junk. Every word God speaks accomplishes what it was sent to do – His words have power. God spoke your name and you were conceived. God’s words, as a living force, pursue their intended target until the job is done. God will complete the work He has begun in you.

We are all a part of God’s process. Some of us plant seeds in the garden of life; others of us are assigned the duty of watering the seeds. Both these roles work together to build, edify, and encourage the Body of Christ and those around us. The process of salvation, redemption, and discipleship that we are all involved in does not end with us, it must continue on for generations to come. We must invest in one another so that this process continues. We must value and encourage one another and praise God for the way He has made us all. We must remind ourselves and each other that no matter how we feel or what shape we are in that we are God’s handiwork and we fit perfectly into His puzzle – the Body of Christ.

 

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Reaching Those Within Your Reach

CWOW Ministries | Reaching Those Within Your Reach
Reaching Those Within Your Reach | CWOW Ministries | January Blog Post 2015

… you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8 (NIV)

How long are your arms? How far is your reach?  How many people are within your reach?  I am confident there are a number of people within your sphere of infuence that you can aid and assist. Examples are neighbors, co-workers, family members, acquaintances, friends, friends of friends, and people you know in passing.

In your lifetime, you will not be able to physically reach everyone in need; however, God has placed you at the center of a network of people that you can help.  Jesus, in his earthly ministry, did not physically reach every person in the ancient world. However, Jesus met the needs of those who God directed Him to assist. Jesus also gave power and authority to His disciples to reach those outside of His immediate reach. In one instance, Jesus sent out 72 disciples in pairs to do the work. One reason Jesus did this was to teach us the power of partnership and unity as a tool to meet the needs of those around us.

We know from scripture that the hungry, sick, and poor will always be among us. No matter how many mouths you feed there will always be more hungry people. No matter how well you care for the sick, more will get sick. No matter how well you clothe the naked, more will need clothes. If you have a compassionate heart, knowing this can seem discouraging. However, don’t become overwhelmed, be of good cheer. You are not called to solve the problems in the world. You are called to introduce the world to the Savior, and not the whole world, but those within your reach.  Know this, God is victorious and He has equipped you to provide the necessary assistance to all those within your reach.

So reach, stretch, and extend your faith to those around you and within your sphere of influence. Commit to exercise your compassionate mindset starting in 2015.

 

Compelled by Compassion

And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her, and said unto her, “Weep not.”  Luke 7:13 (KJV)

It is evening, a mother weeps bitterly because her only son is dead.  She walks slowly in the funeral procession among a large crowd of mourners that have joined her.  Despite the crowd around her, she feels alone and numb to her surroundings.  She is a widow and now she has no son.  As she walks behind her son’s remains she is inconsolable. Her eyes are blinded with tears so she does not see Him looking at her from nearby.  She does not see Him approaching her.  Among the sounds of mourning and the funeral dirge she hears Him say, in a still small voice, “Stop crying.”  These words are delivered with such empathy, gentleness, love, and compassion that she takes immediate notice and locates the speaker – it is Jesus.  Then He steps in front of her son’s open casket, touches it and says, “Young man, I say to you, Arise.”  The son that was dead sits up and begins to speak.  Oh what joy!  The mother’s mourning has now turned to gladness, her sorrow is gone. Her son is alive.

Jesus’ compassion for the woman is what caused Him to act.  Jesus was compelled by compassion to raise her son from the dead.  Who are you compelled to help?

Compassion is more than an emotional response to a sad situation, it is a mindset.  The “Compassionate Mindset” seeks opportunities to provide aid.  Emotions are fleeting, however a mindset is enduring.  A mindset is based on a conscious decision.  A person with this mindset consciously looks on another’s distress as their own and desires to alleviate it, as though it were their own.  Stated another way, compassion is “co-suffering.”

We at CWOW Outreach Ministries pray that this mindset be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.  Take on the compassionate mindset and begin to see, feel, and act to the glory of God.

For The One

CWOW For the One_Blog Image

“…there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:7 (NIV)

At Church Without Walls Outreach Ministries, we seek the “one.”  We are an Outreach Church, which means we are sent to the community to find the forgotten, downtrodden, hurt, abused, neglected, and outcast.  We are sent to find those who would not otherwise seek the church.  We show the love of Jesus to the “one” with the expectation that God will use this as an entry point into their life.  All that we do, we do in the name of Jesus, for His glorification.  Everything we do in Jesus’ name, in accordance with His Word, will accomplish what it was intended to do.  A well timed hug, meal, word, or financial gift goes a long way in expressing who God is.

Our actions are very much like one who plants a garden.  Some prepare the ground.  Some plant the seed.  Still others water the seed.  In this illustration, the ground preparation, planting, and watering are the actions we do for the “one” – God does the rest.  He shines His glorious light and brings forth a bountiful harvest in this person’s life.

This is a simple philosophy based on our faith in God as a seeker and a saver.  There is a military philosophy ingrained in every soldier, sailor, airman, and marine – “Leave No Man Behind.”  In the battlefield of life, there are many who are injured and mortally wounded that are in desperate need of first aid, triage, long term care, and recovery.  The only way to save the people is to go out and get them.  The injured cannot save themselves or else they would have done it already.

God wants all the lost people to be found.  All people are of value to God.  God created us, and only He can assess our value – not the world we live in.  This scripture is an example of how much God loves all of us, even the “one sinner.”  The sinner is not worthless to God.

Unity in Action

 

CWOW_Unity in Action

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! Psalms 133:1 (NIV)

Unity is defined as the state of being united or joined as a whole. God has called his children to live together in unity. Why? Simply stated, we need one another. When Jesus told His disciples that they would do greater works then he did, he envisioned them doing it together. Let’s reflect: Jesus called twelve disciples, not one. He anointed seventy disciples and sent them out two-by-two. Each person in the Body of Christ is unique and has a different skill set and gift. When we come together in unity we become more powerful and better equipped to meet the needs of our communities and make a greater impact for Christ.

In September, CWOW Outreach Ministries united with two groups to reach our community in powerful ways, through prayer and teaching. On Friday, September 24, we hosted an evening of corporate prayer at our church. The Southern Maryland House of Prayer led the session. For over two hours we fellowshipped, praised and prayed to the God of Heaven that His will would be done in Southern Maryland. We prayed intently for the schools and local churches. We were joined by a local pastor and congregates from other local churches.

On Sunday, September 26, we and local congregants came together, at CWOW, to learn about the gift of prophecy, its purpose and use. A Prophet based in a Southern Maryland church led the session. The Prophet taught this class at a beginner’s level to ensure we all had a biblical understanding of prophecy. This class was intended to prepare the church to operate in the prophetic so we may strengthen, encourage, and comfort one another.

At CWOW we believe it is imperative to meet the spiritual and physical needs of our community members. Hosting and participating in these events has strengthened our community and increased the unity of the local churches. We could not have done this alone. In order for the Body of Christ to be successful we must live, work, pray, and walk in unity.

More information: Southern Maryland House of Prayer.

 

 

 

Back to School Outreach

Email: Thank You

Good morning,

I just wanted to say thank you to your church and its members for the things that you are doing to help the community. My daughter and I would like to thank your church for the gift card we received at Walmart on 16 Aug 2014. May God continue to bless your ministry. Thank you again.

Very Respectfully,

Ms. Channa A.

Jesus said, Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them… (NIV: Matthew 19:14)

CWOW_Back to School OutreachWhat greater way to remove a child’s hindrances then to give them a fresh start and equip them with tools for success.

We went to Walmart to bless back to school shoppers with $25 gift cards. It was exciting to see joy, excitement and relief on the faces of the recipients. Twelve families experienced the Love of God through one simple jester.

We believe that it is important to lend a helping hand. We provided gift cards to parents and educators who were in the process of buying school supplies. A new school year offers a new beginning to every student. The grades, challenges, and struggles of last year are washed over and a new foundation is laid with the promise and potential for great success. Many students face a new year without the basic tools of success such as pencils, pens, notebooks and paper. When these basic needs are met the focus can be on education, learning and the tasks at hand.

As this school year begins, we pray that each student, parent, and educator have a prosperous school year with good success. May God bless them richly and be gracious unto them.

Happy School Year!

Tell Their Stories

CWOW_Tell Their Stories_2nd annual dinner

We’ve gathered the materials from our annual partner dinner, which was held on June 14th, 2014. We’d like to share some images from the event plus the theme for which inspired us to connect with our community. You’re encouraged to comment and share your feedback.

The theme for the 2014 Church Without Wall Outreach Ministries [Second Annual] Fundraiser Dinner was, “Tell Their Stories.”

The event was a little over 2 and half hours. We opened the dinner with a welcoming session which included everyone getting seated and getting to know others at their table followed by an opening prayer and song then we blessed the food before partaking. It was an enjoyable dinner with fresh caught lobster and for those that did not prefer seafood, they were served chicken to 75 partners and friends. If you were in attendance – thank you for being there with us!

Then after dinner, we addressed the theme of our dinner, “Tell Their Stories.” In line with this theme we asked our partners and friends that they share how CWOW has impacted them personally and/or their customer(s).  We also asked that they share a little bit about the person(s) helped; things like their age, gender, dreams, aspirations, and goals.

“We want our partners to understand that we with their assistance are helping real people surmount real obstacles to become productive, capable, fully functioning citizens of humanity.  We want our partners to see the people not the problem they are surmounting.  The problem is a phase; the person is an enduring evolving being.  We want to tell their stories so others might hear them and be inspired.  We want to tell their stories so others will know that we are helping people who need, but want to be more.” – Dennit Goodwin, Jr.

Later the founders: Dennit Goodwin and his wife, Mary Goodwin, and their son, Dennit Goodwin Jr., shared a summary of our last 12 months in operation as an outreach ministry along with our future goals. We closed with a dance, words of inspiration, and a prayer. We are looking forward to positively impacting our community at large with the assistance and prayers of our partners and friends and we will see you next summer for our third annual partner dinner.  God’s blessings!

At CWOW, we see ourselves as enablers.  We enable people to be the best they can be.  In order to reach this goal, we must help them by mitigating, alleviating, aiding, and sometimes outright removing the hindrances and burdens that are preventing them from becoming the best they can be.  We at CWOW see ourselves as cheerleaders and coaches motivating and guiding people to victory.

We at CWOW are compelled by compassion to meet the needs of the many so that all may reach their pinnacle.

The scripture that speaks to us this day is John 14:6 Jesus is the light, the truth and the way and no one comes to the Father except through Him.

For our readers and subscribers:

Now share with us, how can you help us convey these concepts to our partners?  How has CWOW impacted your own journey? If you were at our event and you’d like to share what the event meant to you, please share.