tables are located at all exits, red table cloths and fun balloons create a fun vibe.
The two weekends just before Valentines day. Our teens and children’s areas pack thousands of Hershie Kisses into small zip lock bags with our special ‘you’ve just been kissed’ connect card. People grab several of the bags as they leave the weekend services and go about kissing the people Dayton during the week.
packed by our VKidz spreading the value of kindness
Instruction sheet helps people know what to do
A couple of years ago I went to the gym on one of my usual gym days. (My wife tells me it’s a good thing.)
When I arrived I asked the receptionist, ‘Have you been kissed today?’ She smiled and said, ‘Nope, not today.’ I then gave her a pack said, ‘Well you’ve just been kissed.’ She laughed and exclaimed, ‘You’re from the Vineyard right?’ I replied, ‘Yep. We are kissing people all over the city this week.’
Here’s another example of what we’ve done:
On Valentines Day we head out to a couple of strip malls near the Vineyard. We take the packs of kisses, and several buckets of carnations. We pop into the businesses and head to the customer service desk and ask, ‘How many ladies are working today?’
We then count out the flowers and Hershey packs…and say, ‘We are from the Vineyard and you’ve just been kissed.’
Usually some of the other assistants are around and join in the exchange. Often, a male worker will ask for a carnation for his girlfriend or wife. Some guys say, ‘Thanks for the reminder.’
Most people are open, curious, laugh and catch the vibe.
One Vineyard group went to a high end Spa/Hair place, all of the working ladies gathered to receive their flower. ‘Who are you guys? Others exclaim, ‘This is so cool.’ Or sigh, ‘This will be my only present today.’Flowers and kisses were also handed out to the ladies who were becoming beautiful-er.
One of the team noticed one of the ladies getting her hair cut didn’t receive a flower. So being the sensitive, thinking person she is, made an extra special effort to find another team grab a flower and run back to the shop…when she gave the lady the flower, the surprised and delighted lady exclaimed, ‘You’ve just made my day! Thank you.’
Really? Made her day? Makes me wonder what one of her days looks like? Makes me wonder if she was ever loved, or had a caring boy friend, or had husband, or is now connected to an uncaring guy?
What’s in a gift of a small flower and a pack of kisses?
I think serving others in a fun, creative way sends an upbeat message to the people in our stressed out world.Serving others often is a small action that sends a signal that says, ‘Hey, someone cares for you.’ The action preformed with genuine love somehow touches the heart. My friend Scott, says, ‘Agape love revealed… means my love is demonstrated as I serve others through the choices I make, and by the actions I take.’
Process for Kiss Dayton: 4 weeks out: have connect cards printed (www.marketplaceprinting) 4 weeks out: order Hershey Kisses (snacc foods Cincinnati) 4 weeks out: order 4”X4” zip bags (BGR bags West Chester OH) 4 weeks out: order boxes of Carnations for pick up (Cleveland Plants and Flowers Dayton) 2 weeks out: have kids or teens pack the bags
Week of: have packs placed at all exitsValentine Day Outreach 3 days out: pick up flowers, cut stems and place in buckets of water so they will be open on the day 3 days out: design maps with instructions and contact phone numbers 3 days out: make name tags3 days out: gather Kiss packs and place in a larger bags for transport or containers
Day of Valentines Day Outreach Gather at 10am Give Instructions: go to shops, go to check out or customer service, ask, How many ladies are working today, count out Kisses packs and flowers give to workers, Say,‘We’re from the Vineyard and you’ve just been kissed.’ Also, be open to God’s leading and offer pray with people as *God spaceis created. Divide up into teamsLoad up and head out. After project head to Caribou Coffee, or Starbucks for download and great java.
1 Samuel 16 David was going along with his servants and with his mighty men. As they were walking a man suddenly appeared ad began to curse David to throw rocks and dirt. David’s men, and his servants all saw what was happening to their king. They also were stoned and had dirt thrown upon them. One of his mighty men wanted to chop the guys head off. David replied, “Let him be, perhaps he was to sent to curse me and perhaps God will hear him and bring blessing upon me.” The cursing, rock, and dirt throwing man followed them from a hillside continuing to curse and to throw stones and dirt. They arrived dirty, weary, and bruised. David then refreshed himself. Ever had rocks, dirt and curses thrown at you?
David a man after God’s own heart.
David humbled himself, did not retaliate and acknowledged God. He knew that His God was swift to bless. In the midst of cursing and being pummeled by rocks, and dirt he still believed God was good. When they arrived at their destination David cleaned himself up and refreshed himself. I personally believe he paused to worship. Following Jesus may sometimes mean we will have stones and dirt and cursing thrown at us. Our response is all important. Jesus “Love Your Enemies You have heard that it was said, YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. (Luke 6:27-28 NASB) The word mistreat can mean: despitefuly use you, insult you, hurt you, revile you, or accuse you falsely. Jesus our example But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:20-24 NIV) Jesus endured much, think about His journey toward the cross, verbal abuse and anger was hurled at him continually yet, He humbled himself and kept (this was an on going act of faith) entrusting Himself to the One who judges justly.
You who are without sin cast the first stone. A woman was caught in sin, accused, condemned and ready to be stoned. The men were right according to the law to stone her for her actions, however mercy prevailed from the merciful One. Jesus said to her accusers “Whoever among you is without sin cast the first stone.” They all left one by one. I often wonder how long He wrote in the sand? How long did it take for the men to realize they too had sinned and were worthy of being stoned?
Go low. A year or so ago I heard through the grapevine that someone was defaming me, speaking bad things about me; generally running me down. People would come to and would begin to tell me what was being said. I would say, “Stop. I do not want to know.” My spirit was troubled, my emotions at times were ragged, and I was very concerned. I decided to humble my soul and to pour out my heart to Jesus. I often prayed, “You see it all. You hear it all. You know it all.” I chose not to confront and to entrust my soul to Him who judges justly and to extend mercy. I also prayed for mercy and grace for the person and spoke blessing. Often, I simply worshipped, and many times I just laid on the floor. During this time I was attending a major conference. In the sessions of worship I knew I needed to go low so I found a place and laid on the floor.
During this season I also discovered He knew everything about me. He saw it all. He heard it all. He knew it all. I was humbled, convicted, yet loved.
During one of my times of worship I saw the humility of Jesus while singing and meditating on Phil 2. I was undone. God became flesh and humbled Himself every moment He lived on the planet, then He went to the cross… for me. He was, and is the Humble One. Such humility I see. Such humility amazes me. Such humility for all to see. Such humility amazes me. Such humility You gave it all for me. Such humility, amazes me. Stones, dirt, cursing and vengeance are common. Humility, mercy, and trust, not so much. As hard as is might be, especially when we are on the receiving end, we are called to something higher. KYLO
A New year coming. I wonder if it will be new season? It’s funny we put a lot of energy by honoring dates, seasons and times. Yet, we really don’t know what is ahead of us. New years resolutions usually last about a day. One thing I do know plodding on, plodding on, doing what you know to do often leads to a positive place. I regress to a post from a few months ago. When Less=More. Think I’ll continue to focus on the principle.
Thinking about when less is more, or how less, leads to more. The Minimalist movement is an interesting movement. They understand that more is often discovered in the less. So they adjust their lifestyles. They seek to have less in order focus on having more. More peace, more clarity, more focus, more time, and more being. They’ve discovered as they have less, and do less, they have more time for relationships, faith, and time to do what they really want to do. When less is more. Being less discouraged =’s being more determined. Being less distracted =’s being more focused. Being less fearful =’s being more brave. Being less stressed =’s being more peaceful. Being less negative =’s being more positive. Being less confused =’s having more clarity. Less talking =’s more listening. Less striving =’s more resting. Less doing =’s more being. Less law =’s more grace. “Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; love more, and all good things will be yours.” ~ Swedish proverb
Did you know there are over 52,000 self storage places in the USA which is a 22 billion dollar industry, and there are more of these places than there are McDonald restaurants?
One man noted, “Clutter is the cholesterol of an American home.” One thing we have is stuff, and we have a lot of stuff. We build bigger houses to hold all of our stuff, and then we fill our garages with more stuff instead of our cars. Then we rent storage units to store all the important overflow stuff. What do we have? We don’t really know, but we know it’s all important stuff stored away for a rainy day. Having stuff is ok, unless your stuff has you.
1 Cor 7:31 NLT Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away. When is less more?
When we are faithful in the small things…
God is the great Investor. John 1:17 “From the fullness of His Grace we have all received one blessing after another.”
We have all received the gifts of talents, treasures and…time.
According to the parable of the talents we will be commended, if what He has invested in us pays dividends. In other words, what He has given to us is to be invested into the lives of others. If we do, we will receive a well done. Jesus…”Well done good and faithful servant, you have done good. Enter into the joy of your King.”
Something happens in our hearts when we give away what we have received.
A few months ago I was able to help a homeless man. We had a great conversation. I discovered he had HIV and bone cancer. I prayed for him. I also began to speak into who he was. As I prayed for his healing, I told him his health did not define who he was, Jesus defined who he was. We both wept as I hugged him. The hug was one of those healing hugs, where you sense love and health flowing. He told me I had made his day. I replied, “No you have made my day!” I walked away receiving far more than I had given.
“More blessed are they that give, then those who receive.”
Jesus… “if you are faithful, trusted with a very little, you can also be trusted with more.”
This is true in all of life. It is especially true concerning spiritual riches like love, power, presence, and peace. When we are faithful to love, heal, and to bring God’s presence and peace to others, love, power, presence and peace increases in our own lives.
So faithfulness is the less, that leads to more… Being faithful in the small things, leads us toward our destiny… our purpose.
You cannot change your destination over night. You can change your direction.—Jim Rohn
Our decisions do determine our destiny.
One decision can lead to enormous blessing, or lead to enormous regret.
We base our decisions often on our feelings rather than seeking wisdom. In the flow of life we face numerous decisions daily. Some small, seemingly insignificant decisions can change the course of a persons destiny. It’s important to pay attention to our heart. A few weeks ago I went to Kinko’s to have some cards cut for an event. I dropped off the cards, returned, and found the address missing from the back of the card. I realized I should have checked the cards before taking them to Kinko’s. I returned to work and had more cards printed correctly. I then took them back to the shop to be cut, and set a time to pick them up.
I returned later that afternoon to pick up the cards. They weren’t ready. The cards had been forgotten. Hummm?
I had a decision. To be upset, or to not be upset. I’ve been practicing being calm in such situations. When I’m tempted to complain, I think about Heidi Baker and dirt. Most of the time my up-set-ness, especially over bad service, the food not being cooked right etc. pales in view of what she has gone through. I’ve never fallen backward into a dirt poop filled latrine.
Decision. Do I wait 45 minutes, or do I return in the morning to pick up the cards? I almost decided to come back in the morning, but felt a slight God check in my heart, so I decided to wait.
During the wait I visited a couple of shops, got a hair cut, and then returned for the cards. I walked out of the shop toward my car. At that moment a husband and wife pulled up next to me. The husband asked me if I could help them. They had just visited their son at the VA their car had broken down. They had spent all their money getting a new S belt for their car and needed gas money.
I said, “Sure follow me to the filling station.” As the man was filling his car I heard the whole story. Their son, 23 years of age, had just passed away at the VA hospital. He had been wounded in Afghanistan and an ensuing infection had claimed his life.
He was their only son. I listened, loved and prayed for him and his wife. She wept. I told them about a Father who understood their pain and their sense of loss. He too had lost a Son. I prayed for the Comforter to come and to be with them. They were more than grateful and thanked me for caring. I walked away in stunned wonder. As I pondered what just happened. I thought about how many dots had to be connected for this meeting with the family to happen?
A trip to Kinko’s… back to Kinko’s… seeing misprinted cards… reprinted cards… then back to Kinko’s… cards forgotten… a forty-five minute wait… then a life encounter with a couple in need. To orchestrate all of this to its conclusion is impossible. It’s simply mind blowing to think how many of my decisions were prompted and guided by the Holy Spirit.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to / acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
What you sow is what your reap. Think about your decisions. Which of your decisions led to regret, and which decisions led to gratitude? It is clearly evident you and I need wisdom to make right decisions
Read Andy Stanley’s book The Best Question Ever. Well worth the read and the application.
Here is a main thought from the book. “In view of my past issues; my current state of being; my season of life, and considering my future, is this the best and wisest thing for me to do at this moment?” In order to hear clearly we must push pause.
In order to gain wisdom we must de-chatter our lives. Chatter: is the consistent ambient noise that crowds our lives. We have to find time to be in a quiet place, to push pause, and to slow down, and focus on the inside of our being. Wisdom comes from above. When we ask for wisdom, we can expect to receive the wisdom we need. We simply need to be in a faith place where we can hear His voice. Wisdom also, comes from trusted people. People who we know that love us and have our highest good at heart. Those faithful people who will shoot straight with us and help us see what’s ahead.
I had a dream where an important leader was speaking to me. I could not hear him clearly because he was whispering. There was just to much chatter around me. I remember straining to hear what he was saying. I did hear, “You are a creative, and you need to plan personal space to think.” I realized having created personal God space over time does pay off. I was encouraged to keep creating time zones for reflection.
Socretes stated, “Beware of the barrenness of a busy life.”
I conducted a funeral for a man who was an amazing builder. His family and friends spoke well of his life. One thing was certain he was a man who wanted to make sure things were done correctly and right. One time his sons had to install a water heater three times before he was satisfied. At the end of his life he reviewed his connection with Jesus, his faith. He wanted to be clear, so he made sure he reconnected and was connected to Jesus.
At the end of our life we all will most probably ask ourselves, “What difference did I really make?” I think, Jesus will ask one question, “Did you love well?“
At the end of all our lives our stuff won’t matter, only three things will matter. Our faith, our family and our friends. Our investment into our faith, our family and our friends is all important. We have one opportunity to be who we were created to be.
“Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping…into the future.” Fly Like and Eagle Steve Miller Band.
When a second is gone, it’s gone. When a moment is gone, it’s gone. It’s important to live life from a point of living in the now, having gratitude, making the most of every moment.
It’s far better than living a fast paced life looking back in regret. If I had only… done, said, loved, served, prayed or decided.
Regret is a trap. Paul the apostle, stated that he forgot the past. He let go in order to take hold of his life’s purpose and to press into his future.
God invests in us so that we can invest into others. Where we invest our time, energy, talents and resources reveals what really matters to us.
The time you invest into the people you love always adds up to something that matters.
It’s where and what you focus upon that matters.
In order to see less become more, it’s important to stay focused… on what really matters.
Therefore be careful how you walk, notas unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5: 15–16)
When does less become more?
Remove the chatter.
Invest in others.
Focus on what really matters. I’m looking forward to 2015. I’m going to continue creating space for the One who has led me this far. I told Pattie, “We only have one plan, and His name is Jesus.”