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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Operation Christmas Child 2018 | Making Memories

This week as Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week kicked off, I’ve been reminded a lot of my late friend Mark Jones. This is our second season without him here to come by and marvel at the progress we’re making and celebrate the goodness of our God. During the week, as the brown cartons loaded with shoebox gifts gradually filled up Room 301, Mark would pray over them with us. At the end of the Collection Week, he’d find Sweet T and I and take our picture standing in front of a pup trailer filled to the brim with thousands of shoebox gifts, once again celebrating what our God had done.

Devo Guy OCC 2018

This 2018 OCC National Collection Week has already been a tremendous blessing. We’ve rejoiced in seeing old friends who faithfully bring boxes to our home church, Trinity Bible Richardson. Sweet T and I are overwhelmed with joy as we see the new faces, many of them young children walking in their love-filled shoebox gifts with their mom or dad for the very first time. The kids are beaming, as are the parents. The hallway fills with God’s radiant love, connecting each of us with the other.

During the time we knew him, Mark taught us that we each have a lot of reasons to sing God’s praises, no matter our current circumstance or present situation. Sure, life can be difficult, but the Lord is great even when we find ourselves at our worst. Mark truly made worship a lifestyle. I see his smile and hear his voice even though he’s gone to be with the Lord, likely leading worship in Heaven, just as he did here on Earth. There are so many things I wish he were here to see. The fruits of this ministry that Sweet T and I are blessed to experience daily during this wonderful week being foremost among them. You can’t foresee how the seeds you plant will grow but you can remain confident that with God all things are possible. God truly is good all the time and all the time He is good! Exceedingly. Abundantly. Beyond all measure.

Praise God, praise God, praise God.

#ipackedashoebox #OCC2018 #GodisGoodAlltheTime!

Learn more about Operation Christmas Child here!

Blessings!!!

The Devotional Guy™

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