February 27, 2010

Affirming Words 2/27/10-Dealing With Discouragement from the Book of Elijah Part 5 of 5

Pastor Jack from St. Jude's Community Church in North Carolina brings a sermon of hope to those in the church discouraged. This is a great sermon for leaders in the church and it helps the followers understand the love of God. Pastor Jack uses wonderful stories to get his sermon across. He speaks of Elijah in the bible.

Affirming Resource 2/27/10-Shreveport Church of Hope (LA)

Shreveport Church of Hope is dedicated to spreading openmindedness and acceptance in Christianity.

Sheveport Church of Hope is an interdenominational church dedicated to preparing for the coming reign of God. With Christ as the center of our church we are open to everyone seeking a relationship with Christ and desiring to experience Him in everyday life. We encourage everyone to witness to Jesus Christ through acts of compassion, justice, worship, and devotion. We follow Christ's teachings as we are led by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, the church, and circumstances in our life.

From the SNN Library 2/27/10-Going Public With Your Faith: Becoming a Spiritual Influence at Work

Are you a Christian?  Do your co-workers know that?  If they don't, we found this book to have a good approach toward engaging people at work in discussion about Jesus without making them believe you are some type of bible-beater.

Amazon.com ratings: 8 of 8 users gave it at least 4 out of 5 stars
SNN rating: 4 stars

This book flies in the face of almost everything you’ve ever read or heard about evangelism. Going Public with Your Faith, winner of the 2004 Christianity Today Book Award and the Silver Medallion Book Award, is written for all Christians who may not think they have a gift for evangelism but want their lives to have an impact on the people around them. It describes evangelism as a process and helps readers understand how their skills and God-given gifts can easily be used to draw customers, clients, and coworkers to new life in Jesus Christ.

"...The chapter on postmodernism, in particular, will provide a much-needed prescriptive for laypeople and pastors who still are working out of 'aggressive, non-relational' modes." — Norman Transcript -- Robin Galiano Russell

"…The book is peppered with helpful and sometimes provocative comments from business professionals who have learned how to connect with co-workers and clients in the secular marketplace." — The Dallas Morning News -- Robin Galiano Russell

Click here to read customer reviews or purchase the book from Amazon.com.

Encouraging Music 2/27/10 "The More I Seek You" by Kari Jobe

Just For Fun 2/27/10-I Can Has Cheezburger

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Encouraging Words 2/27/10 Your Adversary, the Devil

From:  Love Worth Finding

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against . . . the rulers of the darkness of this world.” Ephesians 6:12

Did you know there is a ruthless, cruel underworld system that wars against you?

The crime bosses are but amateurs compared to this syndicate, ruled by the Master of Deception. He’s called the “destroyer,” “liar,” “accuser,” “tempter,” and “prince.”

Satan is indescribably wicked, brilliantly stupid, and hideously beautiful.

If he can’t convince you that he does not exist, then he tries to spread the lie that he is only in hell. He is not in hell. Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels, but he is not there yet!

Be warned . . . Satan comes against you to obsess, depress, and possess. But, be encouraged . . . Jesus has purchased your victory by His blood!

Satan is portrayed as a roaring lion in 1 Peter 5:8. Put on the full armor of God (Eph. 6:10-18) and claim the victory that only faith in King Jesus can achieve.

February 26, 2010

Affirming Words 2/26/10-Dealing With Discouragement from the Book of Elijah Part 4 of 5

Pastor Jack from St. Jude's Community Church in North Carolina brings a sermon of hope to those in the church discouraged. This is a great sermon for leaders in the church and it helps the followers understand the love of God. Pastor Jack uses wonderful stories to get his sermon across. He speaks of Elijah in the bible.

Matthew 25 Resource 2/26/10-Food Bank of Iowa (Des Moines)

From the time the dock doors opened in 1982, the Food Bank of Iowa has been committed to its top priority: maximizing "food in - food out". Donated products are received from all sectors of the food industry, including: growers; packers; processors; manufacturers; wholesalers; brokers and retailers. The Food Bank of Iowa also receives commodities from the United States Department of Agriculture for distribution as well as national food donations through Feeding America. From time to time, the Food Bank of Iowa has the ability to purchase large quantities of the food products most needed by the partner agencies. In addition, many companies, service organizations, groups and individuals hold annual food drives.

The Food Bank of Iowa serves over 285 partner agencies in 42 Iowa counties. Through these partner agencies the Food Bank of Iowa strives to meet the critical needs of a diverse population including children, seniors and the working poor. Our partner agencies include food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, shelters for victims of domestic violence, non-profit child and adult care centers, youth and senior programs and rehabilitation centers. Please click here to learn more about our partner agencies and view a map of our service area.

The Food Bank of Iowa is not a government agency and is not funded by tax dollars. Funding is received through a handling fee (ranging from 0 to 14 cents per pound) from the partner agencies. Contributions are also received from businesses, foundations, schools, the religious community, individuals and civic groups. Funding is also received through special events and promotions.
Click here to find out more.

Affirming Resources 2/26/10-First United Church, Bloomington, IN

First United Church is an inclusive community of Christian faith. We are a unified congregation proudly affiliated with two denominations – American Baptist Churches USA and United Church of Christ – but our congregation includes persons from many different religious backgrounds. Both denominations are committed to the principles of congregational independence and freedom of the individual believer to interpret scripture in the light of his own experience of God. As we value diversity on the one hand, on the other we are united in our faith in Jesus Christ. That faith is central to our witness as a congregation. Our purpose is to help each other live out this Christian commitment through worship, study, and service, as we are also committed to invite others to share the good news of Jesus Christ.

Click here to find out more.

Encouraging Music 2/26/10 "We Cry Out" by Kari Jobe

LGBT Helping Hands 2/26/10-Waltham House (MA)

Waltham House is a group home program designed to provide a safe and supportive living environment for up to 12 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) youth ages 14-18. The program also serves youth who may be questioning (Q) their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Many young people have previously experienced difficulty (at home or in placement) due to their gender expression or sexuality identities. Waltham House offers residents a safe environment to live while they prepare for family reunification, independent living and future self-sufficiency.

Waltham House is located in Waltham, Massachusetts. The program offers 24-hour staffing, and is housed in a large, comfortable, federal-style home with an expansive tree-lined backyard in a Boston-suburban neighborhood. The program serves GLBTQ youth who are in need of a safe and nurturing environment in order to reintegrate back into a community and/or family setting.
Click here to learn more.

Encouraging Words 2/26/10 Controlling Your Thought Life

From:  Love Worth Finding

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7

There was a sign in a business that said:  “We are not what we think we are; what we think — we are.”

What are you allowing into your mind that is thereby controlling your heart, your actions, and your words? God made you so that you can’t think two thoughts at one time. If you’re thinking what’s right, you can’t be thinking what’s wrong. And as you think, so you will become.

Guard your mind. Center your mind upon the Lord Jesus. Don’t let the devil take away your pure-hearted devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. Stay in love with Jesus and there won’t be any room for those filthy, dirty, wicked, lascivious, lustful, and prideful thoughts that bombard us all.

Start today to become more active in marshalling your thoughts and bringing them into obedience to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). Use Philippians 4:8 as a sieve through which you pass each thought:

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

February 25, 2010

Affirming Words 2/25/10-Dealing With Discouragement from the Book of Elijah Part 3 of 5

Pastor Jack from St. Jude's Community Church in North Carolina brings a sermon of hope to those in the church discouraged. This is a great sermon for leaders in the church and it helps the followers understand the love of God. Pastor Jack uses wonderful stories to get his sermon across. He speaks of Elijah in the bible.

Matthew 25 Resource 2/25/10-Foodbank, An Australia Without Hunger

Did you know that a staggering 2 million people rely on food relief at some point every year? A million of these are children. The evidence is largely hidden, but the facts confirm that the need is growing, particularly amongst the working poor and the elderly.

In one of the richest economies in the world it is difficult to conceive of two million people not having enough to eat, and deeply sad to think that up to a million of them are children.

Australia is not immune and, despite a strong economy, hunger exists in surprising numbers in every state, in urban as well as rural communities, in all age groups, and in nuclear families as well as single parent households.

Last year Foodbank distributed 17 million kilograms of donated food, which met only part of the need. Foodbank’s target for 2013 is 50 million kilograms, which we hope will bring us closer to achieving our vision of an Australia without hunger.
Click here to find out more.

Affirming Resource 2/25/10-Freedom In Christ Affirming Church, San Francisco (CA)

If you are looking for an evangelical, charismatic church, that is gay affirming and that believes and preaches the Word of God look no further, because we are that church. We are a people who love God and are called by God to be His lighthouse in San Francisco.

The message of God's love and of the Gospel of Jesus Christ must be shared to our community. For too long many of you have believed the lie that you can't be Christian and be Gay. For this reason you have strayed away from God and stayed away from His church. God is calling you home. God is awesome and has been doing a great work in our church. If you don't have a church home, come and visit us and see for yourself what God is doing.

Encouraging Music 2/25/10 "No Sweeter Name" by Kari Jobe

LGBT Helping Hands 2/25/10-The San Diego LGBT Community Center

Mission Statement

The mission of The San Diego LGBT Community Center is to enhance and sustain the health and well-being of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and HIV communities by providing activities, programs, and services that:
* Create community,
* Empower community members,
* Provide essential resources,
* Advocate for civil and human rights, and
* Embrace, promote and support our cultural diversity.

Guiding Principles

The principles that guide the actions of The Center Board, volunteers and staff, as well as the design and implementation of all Center programs, shall be:

* Inclusiveness and diversity founded on human and civil rights for all,
* Financial stability and integrity,
* The Resource Enhancement and Community Health (REACH) programming objectives,
* Collaboration with consumers and other community agencies to provide a continuum of care & services,
* Compassionate, quality service delivery,
* Continual Quality Improvement,
* Leadership Development,
* Cost-Effectiveness, and
* Measurable Outcomes.

Click here to find out more.

Encouraging Words 2/25/10 Expressing Our Praise to the Lord

From: Love Worth Finding

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.” Psalm 100:1

There’s nothing wrong with getting excited in church.

I heard about a man who came to a cold church. The preacher said something he agreed with and he said, “Amen.” Everybody turned around and looked at him. After a while he said, “Praise the Lord.” Then people arched their eyebrows. The next time he said “Amen” an usher tapped him on the shoulder to quiet him down. The usher said, “What is wrong with you?” He said, “Well, nothing. I’ve just got religion.” To which the usher curtly replied, “Well, mister, you didn’t get it here.”

It’s easier to cool down a zealot than it is to warm up a dead man.

What does it mean to make a joyful noise unto the Lord?
How do you make a joyful noise to Him, not just on Sundays in church, but all week long?
Why not start by singing one of your favorite hymns throughout the day today?

February 24, 2010

Affirming Words 2/24/10-Dealing With Discouragement from the Book of Elijah Part 2 of 5

Pastor Jack from St. Jude's Community Church in North Carolina brings a sermon of hope to those in the church discouraged. This is a great sermon for leaders in the church and it helps the followers understand the love of God. Pastor Jack uses wonderful stories to get his sermon across. He speaks of Elijah in the bible.

Matthew 25 Resource 2/24/10-The City Mission (Cleveland, OH)

What do you think of when you hear someone say "The City Mission"?
Do you think of a homeless shelter providing a bowl of soup and a warm bed in a safe facility?

At The City Mission, the door to a new life may indeed open with a night spent at one of our crisis centers. Or it may be a visit to an inmate in jail or prison or with a student attending one of our youth events or programs. But it’s the faith-based Christian discipleship programs that change lives.

Founded in 1910, The City Mission currently serves thousands of clients annually within Greater Cleveland at two different locations: main campus at E.55th and Carnegie Avenue and Laura's Home on Puritas Avenue in Cleveland.

Click here to find out more.

Through the tireless efforts of staff and volunteers and the great generosity of many generations of Clevelanders, the Mission offers crisis programs for men, women and children; spiritual aid and support for those incarcerated and their families and dynamic programs for youth and their families throughout the year.

During our 100th anniversary celebration and activities in 2010, we invite you to take a closer look at our past, learn about our present and consider becoming a part of our future!

Affirming Resource 2/24/10-Drexel Hill Baptist Church (PA)

We are a uniquely, non-judgmental people called by God to reach out to unchurched persons and facilitate growth in one another into fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
Our purpose is threefold:
  • To love God above all else
  • To love others
  • To love ourselves
We will do whatever it takes to accomplish our mission.  We have chosen to affiliate with the Philadelphia Baptist Association and the American Baptist Churches, USA. We also are related to the Willow Creek Association and CUGM (Churches United in Global Ministry).

We are a congregation which is deeply rooted in the teachings of Jesus, the Christ, as found in the Holy Scriptures. We follow Jesus wherever he leads, without regard to how other Christians percieve Christianity.
  • We are faithful, but not religious
  • We are followers of Christ, not followers of American civil religion
  • We are radical in our faith and Biblical interpretation, neither liberal nor conservative.
  • The Bible is the basis for our belief in God, but we are not traditional.
  • We are sinners saved by grace, not judges sitting in judgement of the sin of others.
  • We love others, not just some.
  • We are welcoming and affirming - Not judgemental and denying.
  • We believe in a ministry of the called -- men and women, not just one gender.
  • We are Drexel Hill Baptist Church
  • Click here to find out more

Encouraging Music 2/24/10 "My Beloved" by Kari Jobe

LGBT Helping Hands 2/24/10-Ruth Ellis Center (Detroit, MI)

Ruth Ellis Center is the only mission specific agency in the entire Midwest dedicated to LGBTQ, (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-atractional, Transgender and Questioning) youth. The Center provides residential and drop-in programs. LGBTQ youth need helpers and advocates who get “it.” We get it. We understand their needs and help them find pathways to safety and independence.

The LGBTQ population is overly represented in the runaway and homeless youth population and severely underserved. The needs of these young people include the physical needs for shelter, food, clothing and healthcare and may also include addressing the problems of addiction, alcohol abuse and sexual exploitation. Street youth may also have educational gaps that require individualized vocational, employment and life skills training. LGBTQ street youth also face the added burden of dealing with internal conflicts and social ostracism.

* Nationally, about 40% of the 1.7 million runaway and homeless youth self-identify as LGBTQ.

* In Detroit alone, up to an estimated 800 homeless LGBT youth are on the streets every day.

* The National Runaway Switchboard estimates that young people who identify as LGBTQ are seven times more likely to be a victim of crime than their straight peers.

* In Michigan, nearly nine out of 10 LGBTQ students experienced verbal harassment in the past year because of their sexual orientation, almost five out of 10 said they had been physically harassed and a one in five said they had been physically assaulted.

Click here to find out more.

Encouraging Words 2/24/10 Hunger for the Word of God

From:  Love Worth Finding

“I rejoice at Thy Word.” Psalm 119:162

Job said, “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12). When God’s Word is as important to you as your physical food, then you’re going to start to grow in your Christian life.

I wonder if one day the dust on our Bibles is not going to testify against us. The following poetic lines sober my heart: “These hath God married and no man shall part, dust on the Bible and drought on the heart.”

Oh, that we would hunger for the Word of God!

Fast from one meal today. Sense just a touch of the hunger our hearts are to have for the Word of God, and remember to pray for those who need the pure milk of His Word!

February 23, 2010

Affirming Words 2/23/10-Dealing With Discouragement from the Book of Elijah Part 1 of 5

Pastor Jack from St. Jude's Community Church in North Carolina brings a sermon of hope to those in the church discouraged. This is a great sermon for leaders in the church and it helps the followers understand the love of God. Pastor Jack uses wonderful stories to get his sermon across. He speaks of Elijah in the bible.

Matthew 25 Resource 2/23/10-Community Harvest Foodbank of Northeast Indiana (Fort Wayne)

Community Harvest's mission is to alleviate hunger through the full use of donated food and other resources, and to increase public awareness of and involvement in solutions to hunger. In pursuit of this mission, Community Harvest solicits surplus food and grocery donations from the food industry, and through community food drives, and transports the product to our warehouse at 999 East Tillman Road. The food is sorted, inspected for quality, and readied for distribution to the hungry via a member agency network of 460 plus churches and social service agencies. These agencies include such vital services as emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, rehabilitation centers, youth and older adult programs. This network serves 16,500 unduplicated people each month in Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wells and Whitley counties.

Community Harvest is the largest hunger relief organization in northeast Indiana and the only charitable resource for donated food and groceries available to all nine counties. Community Harvest is the only certified area affiliate of the Feeding America National Food Bank Network, and as such is the sole distributor of food bank allocations from national food donors, such as Kellogg's, Proctor & Gamble, and General Mills. Community Harvest has greater access than any other area human service organization to donated product offerings, and greater capacity to handle large-volume donations and coordinate their distribution to hundreds of neighborhood charities.
Click here to find out more.

Affirming Resource 2/23/10-Long Island Community Fellowship (NY)

From humble beginnings, Long Island Community Fellowship (LICF) continues its growth as a pivotal force in the Long Island gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and allied community.

Sunday evening, February 24, 2002 saw a few people gather together with great uncertainty, as the first service was held in a small conference room in Hicksville, NY. Accompanied by a CD player, this group this group timidly sang praise to the Lord in the company of other GLBT people. For the first time, they heard the message of Jesus’ love for all, regardless of their sexual orientation. To some, it was a confirmation of what they already knew and to others it was the first time they felt truly accepted into Christ’s community of believers.

This journey of faith has continued to grow and blossom, both in the growing faith of longer term members as well as the attraction of new attendees, both homosexual and heterosexual. Our place of worship has also changed and grown – from our hopeful but humble beginnings in a small conference room, to our permanent home in Bay Shore, where we now have our Church offices, meeting rooms, and a beautiful Sanctuary, built by the hard work of our members. LICF continues to grow and expand in its mission to spread the message of Jesus’ love to ALL.

While “preaching and teaching” are important to LICF, living our message in every facet of our individual and organizational lives is fundamental to our existence. This is partially accomplished through both community building and social outreach. As an established GLBT organization, we continue to reach out to this community, providing assistance and support to other GLBT organizations throughout Long Island.

Click here to find out more.

Encouraging Music 2/23/10 "The Revelation Song" by Kari Jobe

LGBT Helping Hands 2/23/10-New Haven (CT) Pride Center

The seeds of change in New Haven were planted during the fall of 1993. A group of gay activists attempted to get domestic partnership approved by the Board of Aldermen. Similar to Hartford's legislation, this would have allowed same-sex couples to symbolically register their relationships in a public forum.

Not surprising, there was a problem securing legislation important to the gay community, in part because there was no central physical location for gay people to organize and display literature. In response, John Allen conducted a needs assessment for the regional gay community as part of his graduate thesis at Southern Connecticut State University. The survey revealed a vibrant regional gay culture of at least 40 gay and gay friendly groups with combined memberships of 1,700 and combined annual budgets of $2.3 million.

On May 27, 1996, the center was officially incorporated. Committees were formed - the work began. Mayor John DeStefano was instrumental in finding us a place that we could call home. On November 17, 1996 our center had officially opened, but it was with our fabulous party on Valentine's Day 1997 that our center really started to fly. We had a place where our entire community was able to gather and attend various programs, or just come to hang out, to browse our library or attend the wonderful movie nights (and those are just some of our more popular attractions!). After 13 years, the Center made the decision to relocate to 14 Gilbert St. in West Haven, finding a new home for the organization while still maintaining a place where the community can gather.

What's easy to see from your first visit to the Center is that it fills a real need in the community. Every night, the Center is a hub of activity catering to the needs of south-central Connecticut's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community. Many groups moved their meetings to the offices of the Center and many new ones formed. The success of the Center lays not so much in the significant accomplishments of its short history, but rather, in our vision for the future. The Center hopes to become a venerable institution - a beacon for those struggling to understand their identity, and a place to form bonds and move forward in strength.

Click here to find out more.

Encouraging Words 2/23/10 True Hope for a World in Turmoil

From:  Love Worth Finding

“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.” John 12:32

For the first time in history, man is afraid of what he knows. His head and his hands have outrun his heart, and we are being faced with things for which we have no answers. There’s the plague of AIDS, the tinderbox in the Middle East, the outbreaks of famine, the irregular weather disturbances, and much more.

But, we don’t have to wring our hands and say, “What is the world coming to?” We can look up and say, “Who is the world coming to?” It’s coming to Jesus! Praise God!

Call a church today and ask if there is a place where you can volunteer in the area of community outreach. Perhaps there is a soup kitchen, a nursing home, a homeless shelter, or a children’s center where you can serve.

February 22, 2010

BCF Praise Report 2/22/10

"Join with others in following my example, brothers and sisters, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in the their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.  BUT our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like HIS glorious body! Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord!

Philippians 3:17-21, 4:1

Greetings BCF Family & Friends,

We're grateful for a great day together at BCF yesterday. We had a great time of worship and Elder Brenda Johnson taught about apostolic leadership to remind everyone of what it means to be an apostolic church.

Today I am reminded of the importance of living CONSCIOUS and AWAKE to the Living God! We are His representatives and ambassadors in every thing we say and do. If anyone knows that you are a Christian- you should be all the more mindful that people are watching you to SEE if there really is something 'Christ-like' about you! Our attitudes, our body language, our mouths, our behaviors, our Love-walk ALL are the tell-all of whether we really know the Lord Jesus or not. Paul reminds us that we should follow the example of Godly leadership that is in our lives and if they really are Godly people, then follow their example of faithfulness, commitment, love, obedience to God's Word.

Yesterday, Elder Brenda reminded us that God has blessed us all with Godly, Five-fold leadership, who have been time tested and proven in their love and faith, and that these leaders are here to HELP YOU follow Christ! I think of Apostle Dylan in Rainbow, a more humble, loving, sound & stable man of God you won't find! Also, Apostle Susan George, Apostle Randy Morgan, Dennis & Evelyn Schave, and all of the loving and anointed Five-fold Pastors that God has raised up who are living epistles of the Living Jesus Christ! WE ARE SOOO BLESSED to have such people to lead us and demonstrate the crucified life and to follow their example.

Are you living a crucified life? Or does your mood, your feelings, your body language, your mouth, your carnal passions or your circumstances have control over you? Remember today that there is only ONE person you will have to give an account to, and He is the only One who matters. Jesus. Live for Him and remember that you are the ONLY Jesus that many people will see in their lives! So give it your all, make it a good one! Everyday matters, every moment counts, the one time you let down your guard may be the one time the camera is on you! "When the Son of Man comes, will He find FAITH in the earth!?"

How can we do this and be consistent? By "seeking FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness!" Matthew 6:33! By living daily in His presence! We can't be Sunday Christians only and still ourselves to be a Christian! Follow Jesus, and if you can't find Him, then follow His followers who faithfully demonstrate His ways of living and being! I promise you that if you will, sooner rather than later, YOU WILL SEE Jesus, too- and you'll be imitating Him like the multitude of witnesses who came before us!

Don't forget the March events going on in the GLBTS Christian gatherings.

Columbus, GA at New Life in Messiah, Vancouver, BC at Rainbow, and here at BCF in the metro Washington, DC area!!!! These are great opportunities for you to be refreshed, fed, and TRAINED up in your Calling!

We LOVE you and we're praying for each of you. Have a wonderful week in the Lord!

Ap Dale

Matthew 25 Resource 2/22/10-Bridgeport (CT) Rescue Mission

Bridgeport Rescue Mission demonstrates the love of God to hungry, homeless and addicted people throughout Fairfield County, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We fight poverty from the inside out by providing a place of hope and dignity through a yearlong educational program, biblical counseling and case management. We are funded by compassionate individuals, churches, businesses, organizations.

Every day, here at Bridgeport Rescue Mission, we meet people whose lives are at stake. Some are at risk of succumbing to severe hunger and malnutrition. Others have fallen victim to alcohol and drugs, which are eating away at their bodies and minds. Still more are endangered by the cold and violence that threaten their lives on the streets.

Once they find their way to the Mission, we give them the food, shelter and medical care they need to heal their weak and weary bodies and gain strength for the road ahead . . . because their futures are still in jeopardy.

Click here to learn more.

Affirming Words 2/22/10-Why I Love Jseus

When I was growing up, I used to hear some friends, some people at work, some people in church, some people on TV and lots of other people... say that homosexuality was wrong and sinful.

Because I knew that I was gay, their negative remarks, jokes and putdowns, seared into my heart and their painful words followed me wherever I went.

A few of them talked about how gay people had to change and be afraid of God like they were afraid of Him, and when I was young, I believed them. So I struggled silently through the years, trying to repent from being GAY, but it never worked. I prayed and prayed and prayed...but nothing. I realized it was impossible for me to be who they thought I should be.

Because I believed that God would only accept me if I changed, I focused on myself and how I was failing, and that went on for many, many years. But after much denial, frustration, exhaustion and stepping away, I decided to follow God anyway, even though I was gay. I hoped He would have mercy on me, and I discovered something: That Jesus was OK with me.

After all this time of listening to these people throughout the years and trying to be like them, I realized, that I was only good at being myself. And I discovered that Jesus did accept me and love me for who I was. They were wrong, and I had listened to them, instead of God.

The only one who actually stood by me was Jesus.
Click here to read the rest of this essay at The Epistle.

Matthew 25 Resource 2/22/10-CARE

CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. We place special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. Women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to improve basic education, prevent the spread of HIV, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity and protect natural resources. CARE also delivers emergency aid to survivors of war and natural disasters, and helps people rebuild their lives.

We seek a world of hope, tolerance and social justice, where poverty has been overcome and people live in dignity and security. CARE International will be a global force and a partner of choice within a worldwide movement dedicated to ending poverty. We will be known everywhere for our unshakable commitment to the dignity of people.

Our mission is to serve individuals and families in the poorest communities in the world. Drawing strength from our global diversity, resources and experience, we promote innovative solutions and are advocates for global responsibility. We facilitate lasting change by:

•Strengthening capacity for self-help
•Providing economic opportunity
•Delivering relief in emergencies
•Influencing policy decisions at all levels
•Addressing discrimination in all its forms

Guided by the aspirations of local communities, we pursue our mission with both excellence and compassion because the people whom we serve deserve nothing less.

Click here to find out more.

Affirming Resource-Judson Memorial Baptist Church, Minneapolis, MN

Judson’s Mission: We are a spiritually grounded community united in providing sanctuary for all who enter. We seek to open ourselves to the healing and transforming power of God’s love as we seek to follow the life of Jesus: honoring our deepest differences, seeking justice and mercy, discovering and implementing our gifts, and nurturing our children.

Judson is Inclusive, Relational and Creative.

You will find Judson to be a theologically progressive church in the American Baptist tradition of honoring Soul Freedom, Biblical Freedom, Local Church Autonomy and Separation of Church and State.

We’re Open and You are Welcome here.

Judson is a place where everyone is welcome, and everyone’s story and journey are honored. A special and defining feature of our weekly worship service is the personal reflection, made by a member or friend of Judson who shares some part of their spiritual journey.

Encouraging Music 2/22/10 "You Are My All in All" by Nicole Nordeman

Encouraging Words 2/22/10 Yielding Yourself to Christ

From: Love Worth Finding

“…yield yourselves unto God…” Romans 6:13

I heard about a man who entered an interstate from a side road and did not even slow down. A big eighteen-wheeler pulled over, almost wrecking him. The truck driver leaned out of the window and yelled, “Hey, didn’t you see that sign?” The man said, “What sign?” The trucker said, “That sign that said, 'YIELD'.” “Oh,” the man said, “I opened the window and 'yield' as loud as I could.”

In the matter of victory, it is not your ability or your responsibility that counts. It is not even your response to His ability. You must choose to yield to Christ. You are to yield with all of your heart to the power, the presence, and the provision of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Look up the definition of “yield”. What does it say about the right of way? Who has the “right of way” in your life?

Bow before the Lord and surrender all of you to all of Him today.

February 21, 2010

Jesus Beyond the Walls?

If this is not your first visit here, you'll notice this site looks different.  We've changed some of the display colors, added and subtracted some links, but most significanly we've changed the name.  What does that mean?

Well, we've heard the Lord speaking to us for well over a year about the concept of moving Jesus out beyond the walls of His church and presenting Him to people in a very personal way.  At one point, we were ready to start a sister website to this one, but instead we incorporated the Matthew 25 Resources and LGBT Helping Hands within the framework of Straight Not Narrow.  Jim in particular has felt a call into evangelism and heard very clearly from the Lord today it was time to broaden the focus of this website beyond the LGBT community to include all those who are treated as outcasts by "the church." 

We want to emphasize that we are in no way diminishing our focus on ministering to LGBT people.  We have both been called to this field and feel blessed to have this opportunity.  However, there are others who have the pain of being shunned and having "the church" turn its back on them regardless of sexual orientation.  Those who are poor, homeless, divorced, battling addition problems, victims of abuse and/or abandonment, and other issues the mainstream church is often ill equipped or uncomfortable in helping with.

We are pledged to follow this passage from Matthew 25:31-46:

31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

As always, if you know someone who could benefit from the content we publish on this website, please refer them.

We are glad you visited Straight Not Narrow.  God bless!