Playing to Your Strengths

“Invariably, when I go through the line at the grocery store, someone looks at my cart stuffed full of grill-out supplies and says,  ‘You must be throwing a party.’ And every time, my response is the same. ‘Yep, we are! And you’re invited!'”

Larry serves Feed the Need Missions as a purchasing volunteer, shopping prior to the site meeting each week to ensure all supplies and ingredients are up to par and ready to go for serving the community.

Larry’s commanding voice earns him attention from other shoppers and staff in the grocery store. “Other people can hear me two or three aisles down, giving out the details about what I’m doing and why.”

The platform he has been given via the volume of his voice (and the groceries in the cart) is something he uses to his advantage. Capitalizing on the curiosity around him, Larry takes the opportunity to be invitational and informational. And the impact is incredible.

A “Chance” Encounter

“About a month ago, standing in line, I was checking out, explaining Feed the Need mission and vision to the cashier. I was explaining that we simply feed our community, and share the love of Christ. A gentleman behind me blurted out, ‘I want to come!’ I replied that at our sites, everyone is welcome. We do meet physical needs, sure, but our hope is to relieve all kinds of hunger, from empty bellies to a need for companionship, purpose and prayer. Seconds later he shoved a $20 bill in to my hand and said, ‘Let me help you buys your groceries tonight.'”

“The story didn’t end there. Not long after, the same gentleman showed up at the site. ‘Do you remember me?’ he asked. I grinned. Of course I did. ‘I decided I want to come help, if you could use me.’ It was incredible how the Lord used a chance encounter at the grocery to connect us and mobilize this man to give and serve with me.”

“We visited, talked about Jesus, and I shared more about what we do at Feed the Need Missions. I learned a precious lesson that day. You just never know who’s listening.”

We love how Larry is embracing his role, and his unique personality, making himself available to be used by the Lord and draw people to the sites.

An Open Invitation

Our challenge for you today is to think about how God has uniquely equipped YOU to serve, to give. Maybe you could help support our mission through a twenty dollar donation, like the man in the grocery store. Maybe it’s time to visit a site and find out what we’re all about. If you’re ready to put feet to your faith, activate your own unique skills for the Kingdom of God and serve your community, we want you to know you’re invited to the Feed the Need family! We would love to meet you, pray for you, and help you find the perfect place to plug in! Check out our locations, find one near you—we can’t wait to meet you!

What is Emotional Poverty?

The term “poverty” is most often associated with a lack of financial and material resources, and for good reason. When it comes to sustaining life, food and shelter are certainly the most essential needs. But survival is about more than having these basic needs met. Poverty can actually be experienced in a ways having nothing to do with a lack of money, food or shelter. Another type of poverty a person might experience is emotional poverty.

Emotional poverty is a deprivation of essential needs that are connected to emotional and mental health. Counseling professionals have identified several crucial needs for human beings. A few of these include:

  • the security of a stable home life
  • the giving and receiving of attention
  • a sense of control over one’s environment
  • a sense of belonging and connection with a wider community
  • meaning and purpose
  • a sense of achivement
  • a sense of emotional connection, friendship and intimacy with others

A lack of these emotional resources, interestingly, is not limited to any particular demographic or set of circumstances. It may be a result of the stigmatization of financial poverty. But it could result from a loss of a job or a tough home environment, strained relationships or undiagnosed or addressed mental health issues. So really, anyone can experience it.

And while emotional poverty is not a clinical disorder, it can lead to problematic responses such as anger, anxiety, isolation and a host of additional negative behaviors. This type of poverty often manifests itself through loneliness, mental challenges, relational issues or difficulty with life or coping skills.

A Biblical Understanding of Emotional Poverty

The Christian’s response to emotional poverty comes from the imperative given by Jesus himself: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” When we see others experiencing any kind of lack, it is our responsibility to respond. Jesus modeled this with unrelenting action-based compassion for others. His service was not limited to those who were poor. We often find him associating with people who are rejected, isolated, mentally unique or challenged, and grieving. He embraces them, does life alongside them, and commissions them for Kingdom Work.

How can we proactively meet emotional needs for our neighbors? Paul the Apostle gives a helpful model for as he ministers to his young protege Timothy:

Everybody needs to be loved.

Paul calls Timothy his beloved son (2 Timothy 1:2). He doesn’t just love him inwardly. He expresses it. People around us need to know we love them. We need to tell them they are precious.

Everybody needs someone to pray for them.

Paul prays for Timothy consistently (2 Timothy 1:3). Not only is prayer a powerful tool for accessing physical and spiritual resources, it also lets a person know they are regarded. It gives them dignity as they feel a sense of importance to others, and to God. Regular intercessory prayer offered to a person absolutely fills up a person’s emotional bank.

Everybody needs somebody to believe in them.

Paul reassures Timothy that he is capable of great things (2 Timothy 1:5). Like Paul, we must speak life into others. We must encourage potential and affirm in a way that builds up confidence and boldness.  People need a cheerleader when they are emotionally downcast. They need to know that someone sees them, and is proud of them.

Everybody needs somebody that will help them.

Finally, Paul challenges Timothy with advice to help him succeed (2 Timothy 1:6). As Christ- followers, we need to be assertive and available as a resource to others. We can provide biblical truth, wise counsel, accountability and support. As God’s ambassadors, we should give it freely. It is our highest duty to connect people to the ultimate resource—Jesus.

A Missional Solution for Relieving Emotional Poverty

At Feed the Need Missions, it is one of our missional objectives to relieve emotional poverty. Each week, in communities across Texas, Feed the Need Missions trailers roll up, and volunteers assemble to prepare and serve free hot meals for anyone in the community. While the meal does relieve hunger and meet practical, tangible needs, we often say this is just the tool that opens the door to providing emotional, social and spiritual filling that is also a desperate need.

The meals we serve and the consistency of our presence creates intimacy. We are actively working to build a sense of community and belonging, of acceptance. We are creating security, giving attention, and building relationships that allow us to minister to people in their emotional need. Our guests are also invited to serve alongside us, providing them an opportunity to feel a sense of achievement and purpose.

At Feed the Need Missions, we are about meeting people in every type of poverty. If you are lonely, isolated, or hurting, we invite you to come and let us serve you. If you are ready to step in to a mission field where you can practically meet the emotional needs of others as a Christ-follower, Feed the Need Missions has a place for you to serve and help. Everyone is welcome. You are welcome.

I love mother’s day, and here’s why –

For a long time, I didn’t know if I would ever have the privilege of being a mother. It was after a long, hard road that I stepped into it as a newly-licensed foster mama. I’ll never forget the late March evening my precious daughter was placed in my arms. I had waited so long and prayed so hard for her, I knew that moment I would never, ever, take it for granted. And I can honestly say, many years (and messy adventures) later, I am still so full of gratitude every single day for the precious gift that motherhood is in my life.

I remember as a new mom I stole away one morning to process this new season. I drove myself to the Starbucks just down the street from my house, asked God for wisdom, and dove in to the scriptures for what it means to be a mom, by God’s design. As Mother’s Day approaches, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share a few things I learned with all of you out there. 


Prepare to Launch

A man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
-Genesis 2:24
To my dismay in that moment, I discovered that parenthood is about preparing your children to leave you, so that they can be fruitful independently of you. This was hard for me to grapple with as a foster mom. The vulnerable position I was in felt heavy on my heart every day. I knew our time together, our forever, was not guaranteed. I could lose her. I was terrified of that. I didn’t know how long I would have her. I’m not unique in that, really – the truth is none of us ever do. But God’s Word reassured me. The fact is, one way or another, our kids will leave our care…
So for as long as God entrusts his precious children to us, that is our mission, our privilege. Prepare them for launch, for flight, for separation from us. And so that day, I began to look at parenthood God’s way. Even as a tiny little person, my goal each day was to pour in to her what she needed in order to strengthen her for whatever was going to come next.


“Mama”

The Hebrew words for mother and father are very fascinating. It probably isn’t surprising that Ab, father, is a picture of an ox (symbolic of leadership or strength) and a house. The father’s role is as the leader of the home.

But what about a mother’s role in parenting?

The word for Mother is pronounced “em.” Same beginning letter for leader or strength, but the second letter means water. Mother means “strong water” in picture form.

The implications for that are pretty amazing. Ancient Hebrews made glue by boiling animal skins in water. As the skin broke down, a sticky thick liquid formed at the surface of the water. This thick liquid was removed and used as a binding agent—and they called it “strong water.” So, linguistically, the Bible shows us that a mother holds it all together, and boy doesn’t that resonate?!

Another way to translate these word pictures is “headwaters.” Headwaters are a molding force, the source and head of the way elsewhere. This certainly speaks to the influence of the mother in guiding and shaping a young life, of her instruction and her example. A mother leads by modeling as she yields to the authority of the father in godly submission. Her force, like water, is gentle, and repetitive, powerful enough to carve pathways out of hardened mountains and stone.
Interestingly, there are so many properties and effects of water that are so crucial to life and health: it elevates mood, increases cognitive function, regulates, protects, removes waste, helps with nutrient absorption, fights illness, increases energy –

It’s gentle yet powerful, it is cleansing and healing, it sustains life. I would say that’s exactly what mamas do and are on the daily.


A Greater and More Perfect Love

You may be wondering, what does all this have to do with God?
A mother’s love – known for its special intuition, its fierce protectiveness, and refusal to give up on even the lost causes, is all just a mere reflection of a greater and more perfect love of Jesus Christ. Just look at how Colossians confirms that He is the bonding agent and the headwater for us:

He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
Colossians 1:17-18
Here are three more of those maternal allusions, nestled in the psalms, that are used to describe Gods love for us: 

  • A Safe Place

God wants to shield us more desperately from our enemy than any mother in nature. And He gave His very body, His life to do so. The wings are the grace. And this undeserved, covenant favor preserves us just like those helpless, baby chicks. All we have to do is run to Him. 
Read: Psalm 17: 8-9 | Psalm 57:1 | Psalm 91: ALL

  • Sustainer

As I read this passage, there are three elements to what is described of the Lord. It starts with sustaining someone who falls. A physical misstep. Next it says He raises up those who are about down. An emotional pit. Finally it says He feeds them appropriately. A filling of food. When I read about all these things I see a common thread. And the thread is comfort and nurture, all met with appropriate filling. If there is a void or an emptiness, He can fill it.        
Read: Psalm 145:8-9, 14-16

  • Sacrifice

There really is not a better word to describe motherhood. From pregnancy to nursing and on, a mother must give of herself, nearly constantly, to her own exhaustion, depletion, to nurture and prepare another life. Often there is almost a complete surrender of identity – there is who you were before kids, and then there was you as a mother. It changes everything.
He will love us despite our undeservedness, because He sees the potential for life. As a mother protect her unborn child, so He will protect us, He will never let go of the promise of one day holding us in his arms. And He will pay any cost, even sacrifice His own life, for that to happen. We can trust in Him.
Read: Psalm 103:1-13

 

Happy Mother’s Day

Moms are definitely wonderful, and worthy of gratitude, and I sure am thankful there is a set aside time to be thought of. But I hope we all remember every day that as moms, we are entrusted with the privilege of reflecting the incomparable love of our God. So let’s not forget today, and every day, to give thanks and honor to the one from whom all these wonderful mothers with their wonderful qualities have come. He is our sealant, he is our source, he is our our safe place, our sustainer, our sacrifice. Thank you thank you God for showing us your love for us through mothers.

From all of us at Feed the Need Missions, we’d like to thank all you moms out there! You are appreciated and so loved!


About the Writer

Amanda joined our staff in September of 2020 as the Marketing Director. She is a pastor’s wife, Bible teacher and public speaker, and former church staffer. In her 10 years of adult ministry experience at one of the largest churches in the U.S., she fostered a passion and proficiency for church program development, discipleship and sharing the love of Christ.

Poverty & Hunger in Rural vs. Urban America

According to the US Census, rural America makes up 97% of the land mass of our nation. From these areas come vital national resources, including food and energy products. With its seeming abundance, it’s ironic, then, that food insecurity and poverty here tend to outpace urban poverty.

When you think about under-resourced communities in America, most likely your mind swells with images of densely populated cities. Statistically, though, rates of poverty are higher in small towns than that in metropolitan areas. While poverty exists in all communities, there are unique challenges to combating rural hunger and poverty.

In this blog post, you will discover challenges related to rural poverty, how these create a desperate need for tailored hunger intervention, and how Feed the Need Missions is responding to these unique rural needs.

What Causes Increased Poverty & Hunger in Rural Areas?

Rural communities make up 87% of the counties with the highest rates of overall food insecurity. Food insecurity is defined as the lack of consistent access to enough food to sustain a healthy, active life. Also, childhood poverty is much higher in rural areas than in urban cities. What makes these communities particularly vulnerable?

According to PBS, a few common challenges of rural communities include:

  • Employed individuals make less money
  • Rural areas are not experiencing increased job opportunities
  • Disabilities are more common in rural areas

Another important consideration is the lack of convenient access to goods, services, programs and resources that bigger cities enjoy. In small towns, residences, businesses, and yes, grocery stores, tend to be more spread out and sparse. Twenty percent of rural counties in the United States are considered “rural food deserts,” which means a minimum of ten miles must be travelled to reach the nearest market or grocery store, whereas, in urban areas, food deserts are classified for those who need travel only a mile.

How Can We Reduce Rural Poverty & Hunger?

What is becoming evident is that many hard-working families in these rural communities simply cannot reach the life-sustaining resources they need on a consistent basis. Successful intervention must involve bringing the food and resources directly to the community on a regular basis. This is precisely what Feed the Need Missions, a Bastrop, Texas based nonprofit organization, endeavors to do.

Feed the Need Missions harnesses and empowers volunteers, businesses and churches in rural communities to come together to serve and support site locations in their own communities. Currently, we serve nine unique site locations in North and Central Texas, and we are poised for continued expansion throughout Texas and beyond.

These site locations utilize trailers equipped with food and meal prep supplies each week to prepare and serve hot meals to anyone who drives or walks up, free of charge. There is also ample opportunity for much needed bridge building to community resources, emotional support and spiritual guidance for guests. Additional efforts include an annual Gobble Kits campaign, which provides free Thanksgiving Dinner kits (complete with turkeys) to families who sign up in advance.

Help Feed Children & Families in Rural Communities

A simple donation of $20 per month allows Feed the Need Missions to serve 10 people in these communities. When you commit to giving monthly, you are not only providing people in our communities with a meal they can rely on, you are giving them opportunities to learn about the hope and love of Christ. Join us as we bring relief to hardworking families and children in these rural communities. Visit our website to learn more and donate today.

There’s a popular phrase that encourages me to look forward to the month of April with excitement and enthusiasm, in spite of the depression that looms from the hard and long winter of the past several months and challenges in life:

“April showers bring May flowers.”
As families around the world gathered recently to celebrate the life, death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ at Easter, I was reminded of how His story parallels with the idea of sunshine following a season of gloom and sadness. Jesus’ suffering and death produced new life. Throughout scripture and throughout life we are faced with the reality of frailty and brokenness. “The grass withers, the flower fades.” But those of us who have trusted in Jesus know can cling to the hope in phrases like “joy comes in the morning,”

We all have experienced showers, or seasons of gloom and sadness. I have lived through many, with the passing of my father, my son being sick as a baby, trouble in my marriage, moving my mom, sibling rivalry, loss of grandparents, shut down of business, church heartbreak, brokenness, depression and anxiety, illnesses, cancer,  etc..etc.. Maybe you are even experiencing some right now. It can be easy to dwell on the negative things in our life. But Ezekiel 34:26 says:

“And I will make them and the places all around my hill a blessing, and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing…”

Just like this scripture, “April showers bring May flowers” is a reminder that even the most unpleasant of things, in this case the heavy rains of April, can bring about very enjoyable things indeed— even an abundance of flowers in May. 

The phrase is also a lesson in patience. Many of life’s greatest things come only to those who wait, and by patiently and happily enduring the clouds and damp of April, you can find yourself more easily able to take in the sights and smells of May if you change your outlook and keep your eyes and heart focused on Christ and His blessings. 

Even though my hardships brought brokenness and heartache, good came out of every situation. When my son was sick, fighting for his life in the hospital for seven years, I fought God. I wasn’t a Christian at the time, and I questioned if God was even real. I cried out day after day, “If there is a God you will heal my boy?”
In the waiting and the hurting, God pierced my heart. I gave my life to Christ and my husband Jonah confessed “I give you my son, like you gave your son to us.” In our newfound surrender, we had hope. The “may flowers” came when I surrendered my life to Jesus. There was healing in our own lives, and, thankfully, we also witnessed the miraculous healing of our son.


Surrendering your life means trusting God who gave us his one and only Son, Jesus, to die for us. I am so thankful that God healed my son, but I know that this isn’t always how God chooses to answer our prayers. Sometimes He has a different plan. The beauty is knowing there is a plan, a purpose, and a loving God who is orchestrating all things for “good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” 
I pray your flowers come too. Be ready for the April showers by praying and surrendering your all and allow the flowers to come in May in every area of your life. Change your outlook and keep your eyes on the prize, Jesus! Leave a comment with your prayer request. I would love to pray for you during the month of April Showers! 
Spring is always a beautiful reminder of the possibility of new beginnings and fresh starts.
As you reflect back on the past months, what are some things you can (or need to) let go of in order to enable you to begin experiencing the freedom God has for you? For me, daily quiet time in God’s Word has been lacking because of busyness. Honestly, the result has been a shift in my focus on myself rather than the journey set before me from Christ. 
But here is the good news—His mercies are new every morning. Just as Spring reminds us, new beginnings are always possible with Jesus, even when things seem far beyond hope. Because God has unquenchable grace for us, we need only turn, let go of the past,  and embrace a new perspective—a fresh look at the future and all the wonderful possibilities it brings, free of failures and disappointments.
Let’s embrace that new perspective today. Let’s commit to growth together in Christ. Let’s be consistent in our walk this month, and allow our faith to strengthen. 
My prayer for you this month is that you will experience the favor of God in your life. May things turn around and work out for your good. May your tears transform into joy and laughter because the good Lord will grant your heart’s desires. May you be consistent in your walk with Christ and your desire to grow closer to Him.
 
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”- Philippians 4:6-7

Tips for Building a Solid Team Dynamic

There’s an African proverb that sagely advises, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

This is especially true of any Christ-centered endeavor, whether it’s a ministry team or a faith-based non-profit like Feed the Need Missions. There are times when some of us more ambitious and energetic types might believe it would be much easier to go it alone. But biblically, to be truly effective, we must embrace the pursuit of the “dream team.”

Paul the Apostle went to great lengths to educate the ancient Corinthian Church that while we are uniquely gifted, we are wholly interdependent—designed to work in tandem to achieve greatness. Maybe you’ve had the joy of working in a group in which all are individuals operating cooperatively in their zones of excellence, not for personal glory, but for God’s glory. But for most of us, that feels like an illusive myth.

The truth is, building an effective team, and operating as one, is not easy. Great teams don’t happen by chance or by luck. They are built on self awareness, intentionality, right placement and shared vision. If you’re ready to take your group of highly skilled individuals to the next level, know that the road might not be easy, but it will be worth it. If you’re looking for practical ways to develop your mission or ministry team, read on to discover a few tools we’ve discovered that can help you get there.

Prioritize Spiritual Gifts

Spiritual gifts are unique abilities imparted to Christ-followers by the Holy Spirit. These are action-based, and are, simply put, the task God has in mind for an individual—their spiritual work assignment. Several scripture passages including 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, and 1 Peter 4 outline the many ways an individual may be equipped supernaturally for a particular ministry function in the body of believers.

One of the reasons spiritual gifts should be of paramount consideration on a ministry team is that it allows God the priority consideration. Placing a person on your team in a position to operate within their call and gifting will foster joy and fulfillment for that individual and great blessing to the team dynamic as they receive the fruit of it.

One thing to keep in mind is that, just as seasons change, so do spiritual gifts. These God-given abilities are given at the discretion of the Holy Spirit. They are not a person’s identity and it’s possible that over time they will change. It is important to evaluate these occasionally; in fact, they can be a helpful indicator of a need for role changes on a team.

Check out these free resources: Spiritual Gifts Test | Spiritual Gifts Explained

Understand Temperament

There’s a reason why so many corporations invest time and money to discover a potential employee’s temperament. Whether it’s enneagram numbers, animal types, the DISC or some other temperament questionnaire, ensuring a personality fits a particular team culture or a job assignment is extremely beneficial for a team’s success.

In general, these assessments give you an idea of how a person achieves the goals set before them. Some people are natural delegators or risk takers. Some crave routine, harmony and consistency. Others want to be given a detailed job and left alone, and still others love to work through problems socially.

Temperament assessments for a team bring self awareness, but they also help build sensitivity and reduce frustrations. As you share around the table, your team will discover new, viable options for solving problems. Seeing a lack of certain temperaments on your team can help you to recruit the best candidates as you expand. And hopefully, everyone will begin to appreciate the strengths others bring to the table. In short, each member will begin to understand their unique contribution while valuing those of others.

If you’re ready to dive in, try these online assessments: Myers Briggs Based 16 Personalities | DISC Personality Assessment | Working Genius (New!)

Focus Your Skills

Once you understand who’s on the team, and what they bring to the table, it’s important to align them to a singular vision. You can have the most skilled team in the world, but if they don’t have a clear understanding of where they’re going and how to get there, it’s going to be a real struggle to achieve success.

Does your organization have a strong mission statement? Creating a mission statement isn’t just about snappy marketing. It’s the driving force behind everything you do. Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People offers an exceptional in-depth guide to how to create a group mission statement. Once you develop yours, every action and decision must be filtered through the question: Does it help us achieve our mission?

Other considerations for focusing the culture and activity of your team are creating clear values and definitions of success. These help the team understand not just the goal, but the preferred way of getting to it. The best teams celebrate staff and volunteers who embrace these and make it a point to revisit them regularly.

Find Your Place

Whatever your temperament or spiritual gifting, there is a team waiting to embrace you at Feed the Need Missions. An established 501(c)3 organization operating in nine rural communities across Texas, we’re always looking for potential site coordinators, volunteers, church partners, and corporate partners in cities across the U.S. to join our mission to feed people physically and spiritually. If you’re ready to step in to an organization that is well-equipped to activate you, we’d love to hear from you. 

When you hear the word “love,” what comes to mind?

Most of us think of our spouses, children, family, or friends. We think of people who are easy to love, because they love us back. We often don’t think about those who are hard to love. Jesus says If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? (Luke 6:32). He goes on to issue this challenge to His followers: But love your enemies, do good to them” (Luke 6:35). It is not enough for us to love the people that are easy for us to love; we are called to love those who are hard to love.
But how?



How to Love the “Hard to Love”

Do we just put on a smile and make fake conversation until we can make the quickest exit? It’s important to remember here that biblical love is not about warm feelings. It’s about actions. Through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit within us, Jesus has given us the ability to love everyone, in word and deed—even those we think we can’t love. Here are some steps you can take to tap in to that power:

Pray often for God to change your heart. When we pray for our attitudes, and when we pray for our enemies, it’s amazing how or hearts begin to soften toward those who we find tough to love.

Forgive often as Jesus forgave us. This word in the Bible can mean everything from remitting a debt, to leaving something alone and even to simply overlook. And if you need motivation, just think about how God has done this in your own life!

Set healthy boundaries. Loving someone doesn’t mean you have to be that person’s best friend. We can love even the most difficult people by being kind, meeting their needs, and showing them respect. 


Why We Love the “Hard to Love”


As Christians, we lead by example. Servant leadership is one of our core values at Feed the Missions. We believe it’s important to approach everyone with an attitude of service, just as Jesus did.
Loving people who don’t love us back can feel thankless at times. But we have a Savior who can relate.

Jesus loved us before we knew who He was or wanted a relationship with Him. So when we feel like it would be so easy to bring attention to ourselves or be angry at someone that has hurt us, let’s remember that we are who we are because of a God who never gave up on us. And if we’re committed to loving others well, one day maybe the hard-to-love folks in our lives will be able to look back and say the very same thing. 


Praying for a Heart to Love the “Hard to Love” 

 
Lord Jesus we ask that you forgive us for the way we treat others. Change our hearts to be more like yours. Thank you for loving us unconditionally and teaching us hard lessons. Allow us to be faithful to your word and walking out truth. Fill our hearts with compassion and servant leadership skills to help us love those that are hard to love. Your word says people will know we are His followers by the way we love- John 13:35. May we be reminded of who we are as we continue to love everyone. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
 

If you are ready to maximize the ultimate measure of your life, you can rest assured that Feed the Need Missions is an avenue through which you can make a major impact on those in most need and also reflect the character and values of Dr King.

Welcome to 2021—A brand new year is here! 
 
While New Year’s Day as a holiday has no biblical significance, this doesn’t mean Christians shouldn’t pause and reflect on the turning of the calendar.

A new year can remind us of new life, hope and opportunity. Every new season is a testimony of God’s grace. Creation itself reminds us of God’s great faithfulness as we witness renewal and rebirth. Things can be renewed. Even in a cursed, fallen world, hope for change can exist. In a sense, every day with Jesus is a chance to turn the page on an old way of life and embrace a new one. We are, after all, new creation people, and we serve a King who renews us daily by the Holy Spirit. 
 
A new year can remind us to be intentional. A new cycle of life can serve as a reminder to be present and intentional with the time we’ve been given. The writer of Ecclesiastes says, “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, ‘I have no pleasure in them”’ (Ecclesiastes 12:1). As Gospel-centered people, we should be mindful of the fragility of human life. 2021 is young and the opportunities seem fresh. Every breath is a miracle, a gift given to us by our Creator. 
 
A new year is a great time to recalibrate. Last year was a mix of joys and sorrows, goals accomplished and goals missed, friendships gained and friendships lost, year of pandemic, new jobs and some lost—but now it’s behind us. Choose God first this year! The proper response to the past year, whether good or bad, is not “I made it through” or “Look what I achieved.” It should be “Thank you, Lord!” Purposefully remembering God’s goodness instead of our own performance is a great way to begin again. 
 
A new year is the perfect opportunity to pray and reflect. May this year be brighter as you push into Christ. Let’s spend time in prayer recounting what Christ did for us. Let’s repent and fully worship his Majesty. Let’s renew our minds and commitments to Jesus first, then marriage, family, and church. Let’s rest this year. Don’t let the whisper of the enemy say you have less worth because you blew your resolutions last year. Jesus loves us unconditionally, and He doesn’t need our perfect performance to call us home and empower us for His mission. 
 
So as we make plans for 2021, let’s remember that even in our failures, we serve the One who remembers our frame and knows we are dust (Psalm 103:14). Trust your future to the King who holds the world in his hands.