For the Love of God and the Promise of a Donut

Since our church became a Central Drop-Off Location for Operation Christmas Child several years ago, Sweet T and I spend Saturday mornings moving hundreds of cartons filled with thousands of shoebox gifts out of the Sunday school room and loading them into a 28-foot pup trailer. Our Saturday morning crew consists of a number of people: men, women, and children; individuals and families; who generously give of their time on what seems to always be a beautiful Fall Saturday morning, to help us complete this monumental task. They do it for the love of God and the promise of a donut, with joy and love, grunts and laughter. 

Matthew 9:37 (ESV)

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 

Every year during National Collection Week, Sweet T and I are overwhelmed by our numerous Operation Christmas Child volunteers who freely give of their time to help us complete the mission of this wonderful ministry. Every collection season we look forward to seeing familiar faces, many of them who have worked alongside us since we began this journey. Each year, we’re blessed by new volunteers who fall in love with the heart of this ministry that brings the love of Jesus to millions of children all around the globe.  

We are also incredibly blessed by our growing donor network, many who start out like Sweet T and I did back in 2008, packing a box or two only to multiply that number into hundreds and hundreds of love-filled, prayer-immersed shoebox gifts.  

Psalm 105:1 (ESV)

Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples.

It is truly amazing to see God at work through the church, inside the four walls of brick and mortar, and outside the traditional church walls, in businesses, schools, small groups, and other community organizations. It’s been an incredible week so far and Sweet T and I find ourselves feeling very grateful, encouraged by our sea of ministry partners who answer the Lord’s call to deliver exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever imagine. 

Matthew 16-20 ESV

You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.  A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

God is good all the time and all the time God is GOOD!!!

Blessings,

The Devotional Guy™

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Hear! Hear! The End of the Year is Near!

It’s November 1 and this year is almost over! Including today, there are 61 days left in 2018. It’s hard to believe how quickly the days turn into weeks, morph into months, and fade into years. 

For Sweet T and I, the beginning of November is marked by the ramping up of Operation Christmas Child and the upcoming National Collection Week. We also start to anticipate the fast-approaching family holidays and a season of thanksgiving and celebration. 

The Devotional Guy_Daily Devotional

18 And Jesus came and said to them, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)

We have seen God do incredible things since Sweet T and I started actively participating in Operation Christmas Child 10 years ago. We’ve made great friendships and established life-long relationships with people we would have never met otherwise. But God always has an abundant, multiplying plan. I’m continually amazed how the Lord takes our offering and expands it beyond measure.

In the course of co-laboring alongside wonderful OCC volunteers, Sweet T and I have affirmed first-hand that we can’t outgive God. Sweet T and I take to heart God’s command to go out and make disciples. On any given day, we actively seek opportunities to pour into other people’s lives, re-investing the grace and mercy God showered upon us into those amid our circle of influence who need it most.  Operation Christmas Child is one spoke of our vibrant ministry wheel that proclaims the gospel to a hungry, hurting world. 

15 And he said to them, Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Mark 16:15 (ESV)

Every individual in the world needs the gospel. The gospel brings restoration to a world in desperate need of redemption. Every corner of the world hungers for the healing the gospel brings to people near and far. Through Operation Christmas Child, millions of children in 100+ countries receive a simple prayer-filled, love-packed shoebox that carries with it the promise of eternal life. These special gifts, delivered in Jesus’ name, have a far-reaching impact. Along the way, these shoebox gifts are a  blessing to everyone involved in the process of getting the box into the hands of a child.

National Collection Week is November 12-19 this year. We’re looking forward to seeing God at work!

Blessings,

The Devotional Guy™

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#OCC2018 #OperationChristmasChild2018 #OCC

Celebrating Your 9 Favorite Posts of Summer 2018

Labor Day marked the unofficial close of Summer 2018. It has been a busy and eventful season in many respects and Sweet T and I continue to be blessed by seeing the Lord at work. T and I have already been busy discussing and preparing for the upcoming 2018 Operation Christmas Child (OCC) National Collection Week (November 12-19).  We’re excited to see what God will do in our 10th year of partnering with Samaritan’s Purse in this incredible ministry.

Our outreach at Union Gospel Mission Dallas continues to grow and produce blessings and fruit. Since joining this outreach ministering to the homeless 8 years ago, Sweet T and I have witnessed life change first hand. We are both grateful for our 4th Friday outreach team and their individual faithfulness to this powerful ministry. God is good all the time and all the time God is good!

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Writing and blogging opportunities and avenues continue to show substantial growth as well and I’m certainly grateful to see the readership blossom for this writing ministry that God has called me to pursue, especially through The Devotional Guy™, which is now in its 5th full year. I’ve been working on a book focused on prayer since the beginning of the year and hope to have it completed soon. My original goal was to have it completed by the end of this Summer, but God has taken me down some different roads to reveal, show, and teach me some additional things that I believe will influence the final product.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:23-24 (ESV)

With one season winding down and another starting up, I wanted to take a look at nine of your favorite posts that received the most traffic during the Summer of 2018. Please feel free to check them out and pass them along. Here they are:

Psalm Saturday: How is Your Prayer Life?

The Last, the Least, the Lost, and the Lonely Among Us

The Secret of Cultivating Gentleness

Taste and See the Lord is Good!

Are You Tired and Empty? Find Jesus.

The Seven Wonders of God

Day 8339: Continuing to Face the Challenges of Living Life in Recovery

Celebrating My Sweet T!

More of Him. Less of me.

Thank you to all of you who continue to read faithfully and share this blog with your family, friends, neighbors, and fellow blogosphere mates. Pass it on!

Happy Blogging!

Peace be with you.

Blessings,

The Devotional Guy™

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TRIVIA: Did you know that Don Henley’s 1984 classic song “The Boys of Summer” features lyrics written by Henley and music composed by former Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell?