Monthly Archives: August 2015

Faith In Action

What Faith In Action means to me

Emma Loyless

 

2015- The year in which the headlines included things such as Planned Parenthood, ISIS, Ferguson. The list could go on and on. So much despair and hopelessness. But, Jesus. He came to bring hope to the hopeless. He came to bring salvation to sinners like me. He came to bring the life to those living in despair. I ask myself often why things as evil as ISIS happen. But some of these questions are too complicated for someone like me to comprehend. Only a God who weaves intricate stories of love and hope can understand the complexities of this world. Only a God who set into motion the earth while the morning stars sang can rescue me from myself. But I do know this: my response to all this evil in the world should not be to turn a blind eye. It should be to be to do good in this world, to bring hope to those who have none.

 

As a believer and follower of Christ, this hope and love that is offered in Jesus Christ is too powerful not share with others. I want others to see how BIG my God is, that he is writing a story for me that is just as important as the story he wrote for Abraham and Sarah, or Paul, or Moses, or Noah. I want others to know that there is no judgement in Christ Jesus, only love. How will people see this love and know who Jesus is if the only time I confess my faith is on Sunday when I listen to the sermon and sing a few worship songs? Those are important, but even James wrote this about works: “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead .” James 2:14-17

 

The more I get to know Jesus and learn about what he did while he was here on earth, the more that I realize that he didn’t come to be served, but to serve others in selfless love. As I grow in my faith, I strive to be more and more like Christ in everything I do. I want to meet people where they are just like Jesus did. I want people to know about the hope that I have found in Jesus Christ. Paul encourages us in Philippians 2 to “have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross!” (v. 5-8).

 

Faith-In-Action is a time where I can get out of the physical building that is the church and actually BE the church. Church should be something we do, not just somewhere we go. Faith-In-Action is a Sunday where I can serve others just because. It’s a Sunday where I can show others the love that Christ has so graciously shown me. It is a Sunday where we can bring the hope of the Gospel to those who might be searching for an answer.

 

Join us Sunday, August 30, as we begin our Faith-In-Action journey to love on others in our community. We are kicking off our first Faith-In-Action Sunday by serving at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo. We will be helping to bring back life to this area of our community that so desperately needs some TLC. We are starting small and will have bigger projects at future Faith-In-Action days. If you know of someone in our community such as a widow or elderly couple who could benefit from our help, please contact David Loyless. Below are links to other posts from pastor Lane Corley at Bridge Church in Madisonville, LA (where they have been doing Faith-In-Action for about 5 years now) as well as pictures from Faith-In-Action days that David and I have been able to be apart of.

 

Related Links:

http://lanecorley.com/2011/05/23/faith-in-action-sunday-2/

http://lanecorley.com/2010/01/30/faith-in-action-sunday-this-weekend/

http://lanecorley.com/2012/10/01/faithinaction-sunday-recap/

 

 

Power washing, mowing, raking, and cleaning up the yard of a widow in the south Louisiana area

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Installing a ramp in an elderly widow’s home in Madisonville, LA

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Anyone can serve! Young or old!!!

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Jumping In

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I don’t know if it is engrained in me from all my school years including the ones where I was the teacher, but I still view every August as a beginning to something new.   It is almost like I have a second January 1st where I set new goals, schedules, or even workout habits. Sitting in church this past Sunday, I allowed myself to reflect on where I was a year ago at this time. A year ago, I was in such a place of limbo and uncertainty. Cody and I had been working towards finalizing all our adoption paperwork which had taken up most of my summer, and Henry Todd was about to go to school for the first time. I felt like everything that I knew that was true and our previous way of life was about to change.

 

While I have been in a small group with Portico for the past 12 years, this time joining a small group felt overwhelming to even think about adding another thing to my plate, much a group that Cody would lead and prepare for each week. I also remember wrestling with our decision to be a part of a group in which we weren’t really that close to anyone in the group. Thoughts like “There are no small children in this group, so what will Henry do?” and “No single person is in the same life place as us right now, so what will we have in common?” made me dread our first time meeting. It felt like I was jumping into the deep end with no plan!

 

Even looking back on that makes me feel so ridiculous for worrying about things that seem so petty now, because truly, our life group became our second family this past year. They were the second family that we would desperately need to keep us a float. I had no clue that God was up to BIG things for all of us in the group (which appears to be his MO) so I don’t know why I am still at age 32 still surprised by that. We were a group that saw: job changes, family members battling cancer, eviction notices, loved ones pass away, adoption fails, tough family dynamics, depression and anxiety, miscarriage, and on and on. While that list looks scary typed out and placed together, when I look back all I can see is how my small group changed my perspective and became the church to me as we walked through this season together.

 

When Cody and I went to Utah this past December to adopt a little girl, our life group helped prepare and pray for this quick trip. BUT that doesn’t even touch what they did for us when our adoption did not go through. Instead of coming home to a decorated nursery and Christmas décor that would be hard to face, we came home to a clean house, baby things quietly put away, and verses that covered our home with reminders of God’s provision and faithfulness to our family. I do not know if I have ever been so grateful in my entire life.

 

I could have the absolute worst week, go to our life group on Wednesdays, and come home a changed momma. I saw people in our group who genuinely cared for each other and would drop their own agenda to help each other weekly. It wasn’t just one more night of something to do. It became my night that filled me so I could live on faith for the rest. Our life group, time and time again, helped me to choose joy despite our circumstance.

 

ALL this to say, take the time this week to decide on joining a small group! It is a decision you will never regret. Don’t do it with dread or anxiety, but with excitement of who God is going to weave into your quilt of life for this season. This type of relationship building is hard to accomplish just on Sunday gatherings, but it easily done in the intentional settings of Portico’s small groups. Just jump into the deep end because it might just be the best decision you make!

 

Leslie Bauman

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