How Everyday People Live Out Their Christian Faith

Illustrating how men and women display their love for Jesus in their day-to-day lives.
Little things that may have an eternal impact. Might these stories motivate you to use your talents?
  • Other Unique Ministries

    LOVE EVERYBODY

    The world is so divided right now. You can't say anything without offending someone and causing strife. This is so contrary to what God commands us to do: love one another. It's one of His two great commandments. Yet we stand divided on just about every issue. God woke me up one night and laid it on my heart that I needed to do something about this. I didn't know what someone with my skills could do about something that significant, so I tried to ignore it. But it kept eating at me throughout the day, which I can see now was the Holy Spirit at work. A few days later, I was driving and the guy on the radio said we just need a big sign that says to love everybody. And I felt God's presence all over me. That was what He wanted me to do. So my wife made a sign that simply said "Love Everybody" and I stood on the street corner and waved it at passing cars. The next day, Kerry stopped and gave me a bottle of water. We started talking about race relations and how sad it was that we all just can't get along. I told him I had another sign and asked if he'd like to join me. So here we were, a white man and a black man, waving "Love Everybody" signs at our community. The reaction was amazing. People honked, stopped to talk, and yelled encouragement. One lady took what we thought was a picture, but it turned out… Read More

  • Children Prayer Special Needs

    A MOTHER WITH A SPECIAL CALLING

    I have had to learn that God has a unique way for each of us to serve Him. I have two adult children with various disabilities. My second son Caleb was born prematurely and spent the first three and a half weeks of his life in intensive care. He was eventually diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. Two years later, my daughter Alice was born and within eight months, we knew that she also had developmental delays. Early on, I had to learn to advocate for my children. While navigating many of Caleb’s medical issues, I learned to question doctors and even argue with them when necessary. I also began to learn the rights of parents in the education system. I insisted that Alice (who hears but is not able to speak) get sign language instruction. I refused to sign the IEP until that was incorporated into her learning. As my children were growing up, I learned to be honest in prayer. Sometimes, I’d say, “Lord, I don’t think I can handle this.” And He taught me. He taught me that we can handle more than we think if we let Him hold us up. Also, when we say we want to do great things for God, “great” doesn’t always look the way we expect. For me, service to the Lord consisted of loving and serving my family. It was enjoying them for who they are, and it was praying that they would reach new heights. It was letting them fight their battles independently too, even though I always… Read More

  • Other Special Needs

    FOCUSING ON WHAT I CAN DO

    My accident was October 20, 2018. I was helping my family cut some firewood like I do every year. As we were working, a tree started to fall. I could see it coming and ran, but I wasn’t able to get out of the way and was caught under the tree. I had a fracture in two vertebrae, causing damage in the nerves, leaving me paralyzed from the neck down. My next stop was a rehab hospital and it was like entering into the unknown. I didn’t know how long I would be there, and the doctors weren’t sure whether I would ever be able to walk again. Over time, I realized the weight of that thought; not walking was going to change everything about my life. My family would put scriptures on the walls of my room, and I would have visitors almost every day. I really feel like the Lord used that to keep my spirits alive. Rehab was hard, but moving home was harder. Realizing all the changes that would have to be made to live in a home environment was difficult to take in. I have to give the credit to the Lord. It was God who sustained me, and continues to do so through all of this. Early on, there were moments where it was difficult to get past all the things I couldn’t do. But now when I wake up each day, I try to focus on what I can do and what I have to be thankful for. Then, I set my eyes… Read More

  • Children Unique Ministries

    HELPING HANDS

    I have always liked the thought of kids giving a helping hand to other kids. When we decided to homeschool, I began to look for opportunities where we could serve as a family. People need help in many different ways, so we never lack a place to give a hand. What we started with our older son has now trickled down to our younger son. One of our favorite places to serve is The Ronald McDonald House. We go to bake cookies or some other treat that will then be shared with the guests. It is their home away from home anywhere from a few weeks to a few months in a time when they need some normal. Their spark of joy draws us back over and over again. Watching my kids get a chance to help others really inspired me to coordinate similar opportunities for other kids to lend a hand. Within our homeschool community, I set up different events where kids can help other kids in need. Close to Christmas, we stuff stockings for teenagers in the foster care system and at the beginning of the school year, we help with backpack buddies for the students. We live near a military base and there are always opportunities to help those serving our country. Children from those families may be without a Mom or a Dad for long periods of time, and it brings perspective for our kids when helping those families. Even now, with our country and our world going through this difficult time, our students are helping… Read More

  • Labor Unique Ministries

    MASKS FOR OUR MEDICAL WORKERS

    The parable of the Good Samaritan really hit me during this pandemic. Jesus expects us to help each other, not look the other way. When the Coronavirus started to spread, I was worried about the people on the frontlines who lacked the proper equipment. My father is a hospital administrator and he told me stories of how a number of medical workers didn't even have masks to wear. I wondered why he didn’t just retire to keep safe, but he said this is the time when healthcare workers step up, when they rush to the forefront because they can help people in need. But I kept thinking that without this protection, doctors and nurses would be at great risk. My friends certainly couldn’t find any masks; online stores were out of stock. People were panicked. I knew I had to act. So I did. My friend, Amy, and I set up a website where we tried to help with supplying masks to people. Our goal was to make, find and send personal protective equipment to those on the frontlines. We tackled this problem in a couple different ways. First, we set up tutorials on how people could make their own masks. We acted as a conduit where sewing groups would make masks and we’d find medical facilities where they could be used. Next, I had a friend in Hong Kong who worked at a diaper factory, but his company shifted over to making a million masks each day. We felt that could be our ticket to a good supply of… Read More

  • Church Activities Food Unique Ministries

    THE SHARING GRACE PANTRY

    I have always been passionate about helping people and I knew that we had people in our own community that needed help. Especially during this pandemic and so many people losing their jobs. The state and local benefits offered to those in need do not cover everyday items such as toilet paper and shampoo. I knew that we could be doing better. I came up with the idea for a pantry. The pantry at our church, Bethany Lutheran in Parma Ohio, is called Sharing G.R.A.C.E. with G.R.A.C.E. standing for Groceries Reaching Across Community Everyday. The pantry offers items you cannot purchase with state and or local benefits---toilet paper, shampoo, diapers, household cleaning products, hygiene products, and feminine products. We are able to close that gap and support those in need. We want those people to never have to choose between rent and diapers. We spent a month doing a “fill-the-pantry” drive and our congregation responded with an outpouring of support to fill the pantry and meet the need. The pantry is for anyone and everyone: for people who might need one-time help or those that might need more consistent help to keep them going. I have definitely seen the pantry help people when they might be at their lowest. Right now, some people can’t leave their homes and don’t have enough income to get the things they need for their family, We are able to step in, help them get back on their feet and support them. The experience has been incredible. At the end of the day, all I… Read More

  • Labor Unique Ministries

    FLAGS FOR VETS

    I wanted to find a special way to honor our veterans. I got a little tired of the media showing people disrespecting our flag, although I value their right to protest. Veterans put their life on the line to keep us free, and they should be saluted and thanked. Every day. So I thought I'd do something special for a couple veterans in my community: my dad and his neighbor. For each of their front yards, I purchased a kit for a lighted flagpole, set the pole in cement, bought a large American flag and raised it for all to see. It made them each incredibly happy to display Old Glory in their yards. People saw what I had done and started calling me, offering to pay to have that done for a veteran they knew. This was all happening right when I got downsized out of a job. I was pretty down and kept asking God what He wanted me to do with my life. And as these requests kept rolling in, I asked Him if this was His will for me. I felt Him nudging me to continue and so I did. I started putting up more lighted flagpoles for veterans in my city, paying for it out of my own pocket. But the costs were mounting. I formed a nonprofit called Flags For Vets, and gave people a way to donate so we could cover the costs of doing this. Now three years later, I've done this for over 420 veterans in 23 states. We'll do this… Read More

  • Children Verbalizing the Gospel

    THE GIFT AND POWER OF MUSIC

    From a very young age, music has played a big role in my life. At age 4, I took my first piano class training, as most kids do, in the classical genre. It wasn't until age 10 that I took my first keyboard class with the sole focus being how we use music to worship the Lord. It was there that I got to explore Jesus in music, which is what drew me in to my passion for music. I began to dive deeper and deeper into this concept of using worship to glorify the Lord. I learned how to connect a soul aspect with the technical side of music which really impacted me, not only on a personal level but on a spiritual level. I found I was able to tap into the secret place with God using music. From there, I started finding a language in the context of worship and song using that to express thoughts and prayers to the Lord. Music was a powerful way to stir up a spirit of praise. I knew God had given me this gift and I wanted with all of my heart to steward over it. I also wanted to pass it on to others. I began teaching music about two years ago and now have 14 students. I love watching the light bulb turn on as they each individually begin to connect music with the soul of emotion. Then, I love tying that in to how we are all created in God's image and how He is the source… Read More

  • Children Unique Ministries Verbalizing the Gospel

    OUR MIRACLE SON

    I was 19 weeks into my difficult pregnancy when I was told by our local hospital that I would miscarry and there wasn't much they could do. I wanted to give our child every possible chance at life, so I started receiving blood transfusions. But at 23 weeks, I ran a high fever and began to hemorrhage. I was rushed two hours away to UAB hospital, the only hospital with a Level IV NICU in the state. I gave birth to our son, Cullen, but he weighed just 1.7 pounds and was considered a micro-preemie. The doctors only gave him a 10% chance of survival. During the next 137 days in the hospital, he came very close to dying three different times. But he survived by the grace of God. We saw God's hands at work throughout those long months. Being two hours away from home, we had no place to stay. A local church had some apartments for people going through extended hospital stays and, somehow, they heard about our family. They let us live there, for free. Someone set up a fund for us and that money took care of all our financial concerns. In fact, the fund ran out of money on the very day we took Cullen home. People, many of whom we did not know, showered us with food, parking passes for the hospital, and toys for our older two children. When we were discharged, the specialists told us they didn't know what complications his premature birth might cause Cullen in the future--would he… Read More

  • Labor Unique Ministries

    MAKING A CROSS FOR THEIR YARDS

    Staying at home during this pandemic is not easy. We all need to be finding some meaningful things to do with our time. Since we were coming up on Easter week, I decided to make our two grown sons a wooden cross that they could place in their own front yards so people could be reminded of the sacrifices Jesus made for all of us. So I went to Home Depot, bought several pieces of lumber and started working. I put them up in their yards one morning before they woke up and they each loved them. One suggested I do this for others that may not have the chance to get out right now or the ability to make them. So I put something on Facebook, saying I'd make anyone a cross and deliver it to their house. At no cost to them. It'd be my honor to do that. I am not the biggest Facebook guy but in just a matter of hours, I was inundated with requests from friends, family members, and people I didn't even know that heard about it, including some from other states. So for the last few days, I've been in my garage measuring, sawing, drilling and then delivering these crosses all around my community. I just pull up and place it on their lawn and drive off. Social distancing, you know. I've had to make some additional trips to buy even more lumber as more people make requests. This is my very small way of honoring the Lord. To let people know… Read More

  • Church Activities Labor Unique Ministries

    SENDING CARDS TO HURTING PEOPLE

    When I retired from my job, I knew I wanted to serve the Lord with my gifts and volunteer at my church.  I went to a meeting at my church. A leadership position needed to be filled. I was new to the group so I kept my hand and my head down. I didn’t want to volunteer to be a leader, that was for someone else. The next position was for the “Sunshine Committee.”. Only one person was needed to send out the get-well cards to church members. I knew that it was the perfect position for me. My hand quickly went up as I said, “I’d like to do that.” I really wanted to. I am a person who likes to work quietly behind the scenes. I knew that God had found me a position where I had skills and an interest. For the past three years I’ve received our church’s prayer list. I pray over every person that is on the prayer list and then send out care cards with love from God and our congregation. I carefully choose cards that fit men, women, and children. Some weeks are busier than others. I typically send 200 cards per year. Occasionally people approach me at church and thank me personally for the cards. Sending a hand written card is becoming a lost art. I believe people still enjoy getting a hand written, personalized card that lets them know that someone is thinking about them and praying for them. We carry each other’s burdens in prayer. Sending cards may not… Read More

  • Children Food Verbalizing the Gospel

    THE BREAKFAST CLUB

    “God sees you. He loves you. God has a good plan for your life. Your life matters.” This message of love and hope is how I end every Breakfast Club. In a world where teenage depression, anxiety, and suicide are all too commonplace, I want these young adults to know regardless of how unloved and unworthy they feel, they are, in fact, very loved. That is why I helped start Breakfast Club at our local high school. I wanted to provide a safe place for all teenagers. Our mission is to feed bellies so that souls can be fed. This mission is carried out every other week with a slew of volunteers who come to my house in the wee hours of the morning to prepare breakfast; a breakfast that provides physical nourishment to an always-hungry teenager. After tummies are full, I spend twenty minutes allowing the Holy Spirit to talk through me as I give these young adults the spiritual nourishment their hungry souls crave. Regardless of the week, the message always places Jesus as the friend they need, the lifeline they seek, and the answer for their pain. And by God’s amazing grace, lives are being changed! Young adults are finding a relationship with Christ. Kids who are battling depression are finding hope. And parents are being impacted too as they wonder what all the fuss is about and come to volunteer. All the glory goes to God! I’m so humbled by His amazing grace; He is providing everything we need to feed hungry bellies and souls. It… Read More

  • Church Activities Labor

    THE PRAISE TEAM LEADER

    I never expected to be doing the things that I've been doing at my church for the last ten years. When I first joined the praise team, I said I’d help create the PowerPoint slides for the contemporary song presentations and that I would learn to play guitar. I learned how to play guitar through people that were already on the praise team. The team then acquired a guitarist and asked if I could learn bass, so I made the switch to help out. Later, the praise team leader asked me if I would be willing to sing because they wanted another male voice. Needless to say, I didn’t think I had a good enough voice to help lead worship. I was content with playing bass. God kept pushing me out of my comfort zone and I tried out to be a singer on the team. I started singing with them in 2010. I’m still critical of my voice even though people say that I'm a good singer. I give all the glory to God. I also said I never wanted to be the praise team leader. However, God had a different plan. When the original praise team leader stepped down in 2015, I was voted on as the person to replace him. I was shocked and honored at the same time that the entire team thought I would make a good leader. I’m in charge of researching and picking the music for our service and setting up the equipment every week. I enjoy working with other talented individuals. I… Read More

  • Labor Unique Ministries

    THE REGULAR GIRL

    From the first time I walked through the door at The River, I had a feeling of hope. I didn’t know what to expect, but forming relationships and watching lives change right before my eyes was not what I anticipated. There have been many women come through for help. Homeless, down and out, and broken, they come to get the help they need. They come to escape for a little while, get job training, wash clothes, have a meal and maybe get a haircut. They can take classes and training in areas that will help them succeed. These are the little things we take for granted sometimes. I know I did. I was only supposed to be there temporarily. The regular girl that had been volunteering needed to stop, and I told a customer of mine that I would help out. I could pitch in for a while until they found somebody that wanted to do it permanently. I didn't mind helping out, but I was not staying. That person was not going to be me. I was a newer mom and extremely busy with my three year old son. Now, my son is thirteen and I can’t believe ten years went by so fast. I guess it’s safe to say that I am now the regular girl. Women still come. Sometimes they come in and just want a friendly face and someone to listen. Other times, they may be preparing for a job search or interview. Some days, they may not want to talk, but just relax. In every… Read More

  • Church Activities Special Needs Unique Ministries

    SIGNING FOR GOD

    I learned to sign at a very young age because I had a family member who used it to communicate. I learned from a video series alongside my siblings. Early on in college, I decided to change my major to American Sign Language and Deaf Interpretive Services. I wanted to learn the language and learn more about deaf culture because of my family member. It helped me grow closer to this family member and build a stronger bond with them. While in college, I met the head interpreters for an area church. They helped me get a sign language internship which allowed me to interpret for deaf members of the congregation during worship services. It was all God-orchestrated. He brought the right people into my life at the right time. I am thankful and grateful for these women that invested in my growth and development as an interpreter. As interpreters, we prepare for services by creating written translations of the music beforehand and by studying the scripture passages. Other than that, we are trained to go at it cold. We are usually a couple of words, if not a whole sentence, behind the speaker so that we have a chance to process. Working as a team also helps. We try to always have two interpreters working together, so we can break up the workload. We become very in tune with each other’s signs of fatigue, so we can relieve each other. As interpreters, we sign everything that the hearing people hear: the corny jokes, the “Amen!” in the back of… Read More

  • Children Financial Help Food

    THE CAKE GUY

    Seeing children battling cancer has always tugged at my heart. Five years ago, I saw a story about a teenager who was battling leukemia. He was fighting for his life at Children’s Hospital, but he spent time going around to other rooms, encouraging kids in their battle. Wow. I was heartbroken when he passed away. I heard his family was struggling to pay his medical bills. A couple nights later, I saw a Kitchen Aid mixer on television and had this wild idea. My mother had a great pound cake recipe. What if I bought that mixer, made some pound cakes and sold them to raise money for the family’s medical expenses? I ordered the mixer and began making cakes. Now I’m not a baker; I own a flooring company, so this was not in my wheelhouse. I planned to make 25 cakes and raise $500. It turns out I made over 100 cakes and raised $9,500 for the family. Without that money, they said they may have lost their house. It was one of the most gratifying things I’ve ever done. So I set out to do this for another child. And then another. I pay for the ingredients so all the money raised goes to the families. People heard what I was doing and wanted to help. People started giving me bags of flour and sugar. One man started donating all the eggs we need. I bought several other mixers and gave them to people who volunteered to make cakes. When we do a fundraiser, we bake about… Read More

  • Church Activities Prayer Senior Citizens

    BRINGING HOPE TO THE HURTING

    I am a simple man, but I have a heart for people. For the past 16 years, that passion has led me to visit sick and hurting people in the hospital as well as elderly people who are unable to come to church. I oversee the Hospitality and Care Ministry at my church. I coordinate a group of men at the church and together, we visit everyone on our list each week. This ensures that every person is visited on a regular basis. This ministry is so rewarding because I can bring the hope of God to people who feel hopeless and lonely. It is hard being an elderly person who is always alone, or a person who is sick in the hospital. They need to be reminded of God’s hope and love for them. On Wednesday of every week, I make my rounds to people. I always bring my guitar and sing for them, which ushers in the presence of God. This uplifts them in a tremendous way. I love what I do, and I do it with excitement! I love to see the joy on a person’s face when I sing a worship song. The most important thing I do while I’m there is pray with them. Nothing can touch them like Jesus can! I know the people I visit look forward to having someone from the church there with them every week. I love these people, and I love knowing that I am giving them something priceless in this world: hope. Romans 15:1 says, “We who are… Read More

  • Children Labor Verbalizing the Gospel

    THE CLASSROOM SANCTUARY

    I have always loved helping people. As a young black teacher, I want to be a role model to the youth in my community, my church, and my classroom. So many children go through life without a father or support system in their home, and it is important for me to support my students in areas where they are lacking. As the son of a pastor, I have witnessed the power of prayer and faith, and this has had a major effect on my spiritual life and determined how I interact with God’s people. I let my light and my life speak for me. I truly feel that God has used me to be a vessel to young men, women and even my peers right in my classroom. God meets you right where you are. I remember a fifth grader coming up to me after class, asking me to pray for his grandmother who was sick. I stopped what I was doing and prayed for him and his family. It brings me great joy to know that my students see my connection with God without me even saying a word. My classroom transitions into a sanctuary and a therapy room for my students and coworkers; they know it’s a place to relax, relate, and release. I believe God can touch people and change them through prayer, song, scriptures, poems and people. God has given my students someone to pray for them and with them at their request through me, and has used me to become a not only a teacher… Read More

  • Church Activities Other Verbalizing the Gospel

    A TRULY SACRED WEDDING CEREMONY

    Every girl dreams of her wedding day, and I was no different. When I got older, I attended a wedding that gave me vision for what I wanted for my wedding. I didn’t walk away from that ceremony adoring the flowers or the bride’s dress; I walked away in awe of how glorious God is. I decided, THAT is how I wanted my wedding to be. A wedding is a once in a lifetime event. It’s the one opportunity you have to gather all the people you love together and share with them, in one ceremony, what your marriage is all about. My husband and I wanted everyone to experience and see that our marriage was about the Lord; it was about demonstrating the love of Christ. We so wanted the name of Jesus to be praised, for it to be evident who this was really all about. We made this our top goal from the beginning of the planning period. We carefully put together a ceremony that placed an emphasis on worship. We chose songs that had deeply ministered to our hearts. When it came to choosing who would lead worship, we wanted to make sure we had a team that knew and loved the Lord and who could cultivate a true atmosphere of praise. The more we planned, the longer the ceremony became. Overall, the ceremony took nearly two hours but we had already decided we didn't care how long it would take. We only get this opportunity once, so we were going to do it the way… Read More

  • Children Other Unique Ministries

    OUR MINIVAN MINISTRY

    I spend a lot of time in my van. I am a busy homeschooling mom of three active kids, and a lot of our talks about God happen while on the road. It is important to me to have Jesus as the driving force in our family. When we moved from Kentucky to Nashville, Tennessee, I had no idea how quickly this would unfold. During our adventures driving around a new town, we found a ministry where we could serve together and it has become important to our family. As a parent, I always wanted to give my children the best, but not by giving them things. I wanted to raise kids that have a heart to serve God. Downtown Nashville presents daily opportunities to connect with the homeless. Many carry their lives on their shoulders or pull it in a cart. Looking for unoccupied benches, they try to find a place to sleep at night. My children's hearts, as well as mine and my husband's, were troubled. As we discussed it with our kids, we let them know that these are people just like us. God is not a respecter of persons, and He loves them just as much as anyone, but they have just had some hardship that put them in a bad place. We agreed that helping people is what Jesus would want us to do. Our desire ignited us all to look for ways to do just that. As a family, we determined we could help by making "blessing bags". We gather supplies that these individuals… Read More

  • Children Unique Ministries Verbalizing the Gospel

    THE SON STILL RISES

    When our son, Isaac, was 17 months old, we were told words that no parent ever wants to hear: “your son has cancer”. I remember feeling numb. And I wanted to run screaming from that room and tell them they were wrong. Instead, I sat there rocking my baby and silently asking God ‘why?’. I remember looking out the windows of the hospital those first days very angry, thinking "how can the sun still shine when we are in such darkness?" Then I realized that the sun is always shining. Even when we can’t see it on cloudy days, it is there; maybe not visible, but present just the same. It was a turning point for my attitude. You see, I realized that just as the sun rises each day, no matter what we might be going through, the Son has risen FOR us. It was no easy journey and people would ask “how do you do it?” And while the simple answer was that we had no choice, we decided to begin to use it as an opportunity to share our faith. One night, a dear friend called and told me she just couldn’t understand why God would do this to us. I told her that if I started asking myself "why us", it would imply that I wanted it to be someone else. Yet, why is a pretty common question we have in times of need. So as I spoke on the phone that night, I told her that maybe she was… Read More

  • Children Food Unique Ministries

    GRACE

    One Saturday of every month, I host a prayer breakfast for adults in my home. One day, we noticed a diverse group of children walking up and down my street with nowhere to go and nothing to do. Idle time can create trouble for pre-teens and teenagers, especially without much supervision at home. I prayed and asked God, "Lord, if you want me to start a Bible class for these kids, then send me five to participate. I could hold a class on the other three Saturdays of each month." I chose the number five because of the five letters in the word, Grace. G-R-A-C-E is love in action. Grace is what every man needs, what none can earn, and what God alone can and does freely give. God sent more than five on that first Saturday. In fact, for the past nine years, kids have come for a hot cooked breakfast, Bible study, memorization time, and singing and music time. The kids are sometimes accompanied by adults. The Bible class eventually grew to over 30 kids, three Saturdays a month. It now even includes kids who don't live in the neighborhood. These kids ask to be dropped off, or call for a ride. They want to get here. The kids especially love the music. We play the piano and sing praises to the Lord. Memorization time is spent learning the Ten Commandments and Bible verses. Hebrews 10:25 says "Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another--and all the more as… Read More

  • Children Unique Ministries

    MENTORING A YOUNG BOY

    As a university professor, I spend most of my time with adults. I love mentoring these future leaders. It's very fulfilling work. But twice a month, I spend my lunch hour with an elementary school boy that I met through Big Brothers/Big Sisters. I joined Big Brothers/Big Sisters as a way of showing my students how to give back to the local community. As a father of three adult children, I knew I would enjoy spending time with a little boy, but I had no idea just how much life our relationship would give me. I look forward to these lunches. I know that we'll have interesting conversations and that I'll leave our time not only having invested in a young man who needs a solid male role model, but I'll leave with a heart full of love and a few fun anecdotes to share with my students. This gives me an opportunity to put my Christian faith into real action. My Little Brother has given me so much insight on life, God, teaching, mentoring, and how I see the world. Each week, I am amazed as he shares his young heart with me. My only hope is that I am able to bless him as much has he has blessed me. And I hope this inspires others to look into their own local Big Brother/Big Sister program. Almost everyone can sacrifice a few lunches a month to spend some time with a young person who needs it.

  • Financial Help Prayer

    SOMEHOW PROVIDING FOR MY FAMILY

    I was 26 years old when my dad passed away. He was one of my heroes. He battled bipolar disorder, and unfortunately took his own life. It was sudden, not something we saw coming. We were in total anguish, and left with such a void. Yet, in that moment, I cried aloud, "Thank you Jesus." I said it three times. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with a peace that surpassed my understanding. I had truly felt God. In the days that followed, my family and I grieved. On top of that, my mom and little sister couldn't afford to continue living in her home. At the time, I shared an apartment with my brother and knew it would be too small for them to move in. Being the eldest, I wanted to take care of my mom and little sister, but didn't know where to start. I spent my days in prayer, constantly relying on God for strength and guidance. A friend of mine builds homes for a living. He was just about to break ground on a new home, and out of the blue, he came to me and offered it at his cost. Financially, I looked at the numbers and I knew this was God. So I bought it. I wanted the home to be a surprise for my mom. After all, she's the other hero in my life. It would be something she could call her own, with me right upstairs. The day came to unveil my mom's surprise to her. It was a day filled with tears, but… Read More

  • Labor Mission Trips

    THE PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT

    I felt called to serve the Lord when I was in high school, and that's when I went on my first mission trip. Then during physician assistant school, I started going on mission trips with the Christian Medical and Dental Association and other organizations to Central and South America. It is encouraging, serving alongside and building relationships with a diverse group of providers and international believers. Seeing how God uses short-term missions to draw people to Himself is amazing. Now as a full-time physician assistant, I don't have the chance to go on as many mission trips. I work in a teaching hospital and clinic, and that has helped me learn more about what it means to disciple others. Working closely and regularly with people has helped me better receive and extend grace. I try to follow what's written in Micah: "To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Serving the families of and children with many different kinds of cancers and blood disorders has given me the opportunity to encourage, give hope, and help ease complicated and sometimes sorrowful situations. In what some might find to be an emotionally heavy field, I find strength in what I know to be true of our Heavenly Father. Knowing God's goodness, that He is ultimately in control, and that He works all things for the good of those who love Him helps me find joy in Him in any circumstance. I pray for ways to share this with my coworkers and patients in a secular environment.

  • Food Labor Special Needs

    A SPECIAL APPROACH TO BUSINESS

    My wife and I opened an ice cream shop three years ago, and it's been an amazing experience for to our family. Not just the ice cream, although that's good! It's our 12 employees. All but one are young adults with special needs. We have some with autism, some with Down Syndrome and one in a wheelchair. They bless us and our customers each day. They truly enjoy their job and simply pour out love to everyone that walks through our doors. I've been in the restaurant industry my whole career, an industry with a terrible turnover rate. So many people think they are above this work. They can't stand the repetition, and get frustrated dealing with the public. One day, I was studying the Bible passage about the disciples fishing all night long on one side of the boat. They didn't catch a thing. Jesus said try fishing on the other side, and their nets became full. What would happen if we tried "fishing on the other side" when it came to business? And that's what we've done. There aren't a lot of jobs for people with special needs. Hope starts to fade away. But people with special needs are thrilled to work, and so many actually thrive on repetition. Plus, they love being around people. Our goal is to change the way businesses hire people with special needs. We've got one company store and one franchise store, but we have franchise applications from 100+ locations that would all employ people with special needs. This experience has deepened our… Read More

  • Prayer Verbalizing the Gospel

    A LEGACY OF FAITH AND PRAISE

    I am 80 years old. I’ve lived a full and blessed life. When I leave this earth, in God’s timing, the only thing I want people to say about me is “she loved God, and she loved people.” I don’t want to write my epitaph, I want to live it. I’ve been serving the Lord for over 40 years, I was 36 years old when I started my journey with Him. From the start, I knew my call from the Lord was to speak my testimony and that is what I have done. I speak life and faith over others every day. I am so grateful for every little thing in my life. I’ve been suicidal, I’ve been messed up, I’ve battled sickness, I’ve even been declared dead three times but I always gave God the glory for every victory He brought me through. It’s an honor to me that those around have taken notice of the God that I live for. If my light is on and my door is cracked, people know they can come here for prayer. It’s my opportunity to show others that God is real, He’s personal. I want others to believe it when God says they have a purpose, because if they don’t believe it, they won’t receive it. I want my home to always be open to those in need. I want to reach out in love, in prayer, or even with just a smile to others, because when I leave my home, my ultimate goal is for others to see Christ in… Read More

  • Children Labor Unique Ministries

    SUFFICIENT GRACE MINISTRIES

    I founded Sufficient Grace Ministries for Women in 2004, eight years after the loss of my twin daughters Faith and Grace and about six years after the loss of my son, Thomas. Faith and Grace were born still in 1996 at 26 weeks, while Thomas only lived for six hours after he was born full-term. When I was pregnant, he’d been diagnosed with Potter’s Syndrome, which was termed ‘incompatible with life.’ I chose to continue to love and carry Thomas to term so we could meet and hold him before he went back home to Heaven. One of the greatest privileges of my life has been to sing to my sweet boy in my arms as he went to the arms of Jesus. While many mothers naturally find themselves searching for purpose in the pain or beauty from the ashes after the loss of a child, I was hesitant in the early years of raw grief to enter into the bereavement support world. It wasn't until I was searching for a way to support a friend who was walking through the grief when her daughter was born still in 2003 that I began to ask myself, "What would I have wanted? What would've been a comfort to me?" It was like waking up from a deep sleep, as God brought to my heart the great need of the grieving mothers around me. I began with the Dreams of You Memory Book, a baby book created especially for babies with a brief life--a place to write memories and the… Read More

  • Labor Other Unique Ministries

    THE VOLUNTEER

    Most people look forward to the day they retire. I suppose I was no different. At first, I wanted a typical sit-around-and-lounge retirement, but the fantasy of that wore off quickly. It didn't take long before I was bored and searching for something to do. I started to get involved in the community that I love dearly, and that's when I really began to enjoy my retirement. Most people don't understand the concept of volunteering. They think they are doing others a service, or maybe themselves a service by checking their "good deed" box. Volunteering is simply giving of yourself, expecting nothing in return, and having joy in that simple gesture. Jesus set the perfect example of volunteering. The Bible says Jesus came to serve, not to be served. In the past five years, I have joyfully volunteered with 10-12 organizations and currently spend 25+ hours a week participating in seven different organizations. It truly is the joy of my life being the hands and feet of Jesus with these organizations. God has provided so many opportunities for me to be a light all over my community by simply doing what Jesus did, and that is to serve.

  • Food Labor Unique Ministries

    BLESS-N-BASKET

    I remember a time when family not only meant that which you were born into, but also the people around us who we "do life" with. God is the greatest advocate for community, and I do not believe it is by chance that we find unity there. Bless-N-Basket was birthed from the very idea of putting unity back into community, and loving on our neighbors as Christ commanded. What was supposed to be a small get together for women in the living room of our home soon became a call to start a complete food pantry. The very first meeting in July 2018 brought 15 to 20 women together in our little living room in Lincoln, Alabama. We had a time of devotion and prayer, and afterwards, each lady left with a box or two of food for their own family or friends. That night, it became evident that these meetings were not just for women. For as many women as there were in our living room, there were just as many men standing outside. We quickly outgrew our home, so we moved the meetings to our business showroom. By November, we were busting at the seams and knew that we were going to need a bigger place to meet. I look back now and can see the hand of God was always orchestrating the next move. About the time the need for more space became a necessity, we were blessed with a divine connection to New Hope Ministries in Oxford, Alabama. In January of 2019, Bless-N-Basket Food Ministries held… Read More

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