Every year it is so easy to talk about NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS where we focus on moving our lives down a "new trail" with a personal covenant to overcome "barriers, issues and bad stuff". Some of the "stuff" can be when addictions arise which are so often punitive, weight loss which can be health wise, eating differently and in some ways changing our behaviors. Each one of us have a tendency to look at our own lives way too much. We think more about how we want to improve ourselves. Why not begin thinking differently?
What if instead, we stpped to consider WHAT WILL I DO TO HELP OTHERS MORE?
At a certain point in all of our lives we must start focusing on "giving back" to others and when we do, can you imagine what we all could do together in a unified group? Feed the hungry, give clothes to those in need, provide shelter for the homeless and there is so much more. You have to purpose to do something with your life, if you have the heart to do so. So here is my question, "What am I doing to help?" Do you know the answer?
HERE IS WHERE I HAVE BLOWN THE ANSWER TO THESE QUESTIONS... I have not done much at all because I have focused more on "myself" and I have been very wrong.
MOMS AGAINST HUNGER - A LEADER IN GIVING
In 2015 I had the honor to meet a "giving" family, Bishop Greg Holley and his wife Gayla from Houston. Amazingly, these courageous people had began an organization called, MOMS AGAINST HUNGER. The more I saw these people give and give, the more I fell in love with WHO they were. They truly care and are deeply committed to helping feed the hungry and they are pledging their lives accordingly.
When we attended a church called SLOWBURN in Franklin, which was led by pastor Clint Thomas, we experienced another giving example. Inside this giving church, there was a young woman who had a real burden to help the homeless in downtown Nashville and decided to do something about this "cause" by recognizing their need. She formulated a group, got people at church to begin investing in people who could never do anything for her. However, if you stopped to speak with this amazing servant, she would say, "She is the richer for helping".
A GIVING CHURCH - CROSS POINT
Recently, the satellite church in Franklin under pastor Kevin Queens took our entire church into more purpose driven opportunities where we can help people in need. Do you know how wonderful it is when people stop, give and keep on giving? The more our church begins to give, the more blessed we are, but the goal is not to receive, but to give and it just keeps happening. Is your church giving?
A GIVING PASTOR - JOHN DICKEY
John Dickey has been helping in Stillwater Oklahoma giving his time to help be a chaplain for the Stillwater Police Force. Do you see what is happening? People are giving and congratulations John and HILLCREST BAPTIST CHURCH IN STILLWATER for having such an amazing pastor.
A GIVING FRIEND - GARY OLSON
Gary Olson a friend in Oklahoma City once told me, "You just need to give and give and give, until you can't give some more and then start giving some more". Many times I have talked about this, but never in the context of New Year's Resolutions.
Would you join me in a new purpose?
Let's figure out how we can ALL give more. Our time, our talents, our resources all count and I believe the more we can do to help others, the better. Don't do it for yourself, do it for someone else. Give to senior adults, give to the handicapped, give to ministries, give to your local church, give to other countries in need and keep on giving and see what can happen in your life!
DR. WENDELL ESTEP - A HUGE MENTOR GIVER
This year, one of the greatest mentors of my life will retire, Dr. Wendell Estep the pastor of FBC Columbia, South Carolina. He is a man who was giving as a young pastor back in Pawhuska Oklahoma when he began and he finished strong, giving away his whole life to serving others. I am especially thankful for this GIVING SERVANT who will always be one of my greatest heroes.
So I challenge all of you of influence, of affluence and those who have very little, begin to give to others no matter where you are and celebrate those who have also given over and over. I am so proud of the GIVERS who have inspired all of us. Remember also, to remain faithful and still praying for the TAKERS in life, because they are the ones who are horribly compromised. What a sad way to live.
BEGIN TO GIVE MORE
Jesus said, "When you have done this to the least of these, you have done this unto Me.". You will never be able to outgive GOD and in this 2018, I am thankful for all He has done for us. We never deserved this kind of unconditional love, but it just keeps on coming. Give more in 2018 and let's see what happens.
I love you all,
Kevin McAfee is a filmmaker who writes for the purpose of inspiring others to make a difference in the world through faith in God and using the visual language of film. His blog shares the hopes of impacting culture, because his heart is in media missions and the church.