Tag Archives: support

What’s Next? "Un-divided"?

Where Did THAT Go?

Anyone ever tell you “it goes by so fast” and you look at them like “you don’t even know the half of it!”? So, you when I tell you – this first 5 years of ministry has absolutely blown by as a vapor, you just GET it, don’t you?
Five years, hundreds of 1-on-1 conversations, dozens of group and micro-group settings, weeks of study, performances of “That Day” [impacting hundreds directly and thousands by extension], DivorceCare and DC4Kids, and so on. The result – men and women walking in deeper intimacy with Christ, producing greater witness in the marketplace, wrinkle-free marriages (okay, how about “wrinkles that get ironed out quickly and regularly”?), crises averted, men living free from porn addiction, etc.
Glory to God, glory to God, glory to God.
This month, we were riveted to an eye opening documentary (which we highly recommend you watch, too, at www.dividedthemovie.com) that’s radically shifted our perspective on family discipleship and widely exposed to us a unique opportunity from God to make an impact in that direction. Specifically, we will be empowering fathers to disciple their sons and it’s all about relationship with Christ.
We’ll be posting more information on our blog and Facebook page in the coming weeks and months about how this environment will work and the new reality that will be created in the church as a result. But, we have never experienced a greater need for fourfold support (see below). 
For more information on
The Uprising, click here.
This month, as we ramp up for this new program shift, our financial need is roughly $2,850 higher than expected (calculations updated 8/31). To help bridge this gap, we have about $750 in matching funds committed in a dollar for dollar scenario. Yes, we’d love your prayers. Yes, we’d love to hear your story as we continue the curriculum/content development. But, right now and through the remainder of 2012, we greatly need your prayer and financial support to bring this to fruition.
So, I’m inviting you to do one of four things:
  1. Support urgently – online or by check (see below)
  2. Pray – for us to remain obedient in our calling and faithful servants with this opportunity
  3. Share “Divided: The Movie” w/ friends
  4. Volunteer – if you’re a dad, a son, or you and your son would like to share your story for our research project (anonymously or publicly).
I’d love to talk with any who have questions about this new step as soon as you let me know who you are. I’ll be interviewing about 50 men by the end of this year as we continue our due diligence. Message me if you’d like to be one of them. Otherwise, keep us in prayer and send support either through our website at http://www.seasonsoflifeministries.org, and via mail at:
Seasons of Life Ministries, 2659 Freedom Pkwy., Suite 285, Cumming, GA 30041
Thanks, for your readership & support!

AP

Shifting Gears? Need New Tires.

Speed read: We’re shifting gears, taking steps to develop intensive family/leader training that makes discipleship so simple you’ll have no excuse but to start doing it. We have some financial resistance, but would like to make a mass appeal for immediate as well as long term support. – Oh, and until an iWeb problem is solved, our website cannot be updated. (So, keep your eyes on the blog, Twitter, and Facebook instead, for now.)

Changing Traffic Light:
     Last week, Cristine and I watched a movie called “Divided”. As we watched, God made very clear it was a flashing road sign we needed to obey, immediately. Written by Philip Leclerc, it shines painfully bright light on the fact that the body of Christ has made a tragic departure from the biblical model of family discipleship, leaning toward an outsourced model in a surprising place with terrible results – 80%+ teenagers are abandoning their faith by college.

     The family has abdicated its most crucial role in God’s plan. A growing movement in discipleship training can turn this around.


     The information in this documentary was so compelling and convicting to us, we immediately agreed that not only was something to be done about it, but that we are uniquely called to join the movement God has already initiated in turning the tide. In the coming months, I believe you’ll begin to hear stories on our blog (and Facebook) of men and women who are intentionally discipling their children and strategies for discipling your co-workers, children, and others around you.

    By the way, make sure you’re friends with us on our Facebook fan page.

Click here for original link.
Warning:

     This will require a commitment, accountability, and will be highly opposed by many local churches who have bought into a carnal, worldly model of discipleship. There. You’ve been warned. Rocky road and traffic ahead.

For the Road Ahead –
     This summer, we’ve experienced many great one-on-one, group, and couples discipleship moments, our own personal losses, a move to North Forsyth, and both some wild financial ups and sobering downs. The way forward will demand much of me as a husband, father, and discipler of men as well as an increased need for financial support from those who appreciate our calling and this ministry. Wild terrain will demand great tires…

     
     Overall, some hard-knock financial surprises have Seasons of Life facing a $4,102 need for the month of August, but less than $21,500 for the remainder of the 2012 support year. If you’re considering some end of summer giving, or are already (wisely) reviewing and planning for year end or 2013 giving – one time support could use a big boost, effective immediately.

     However, thanks to a boost in quarterly giving, we currently have a $500 matching gift to help raise some of the funds for August.

         
     Until a glitch in Apple’s iWeb can be circumvented, our website will remain time frozen in June or July. So, in this post I’m including links that will help those who are called to support Seasons of Life.

Support Monthly-

     If you’d like to join a few dozen faithful monthly supporters, click a below link to do so:
  • Monthly Support – $25
  • Monthly Support – $40
  • Monthly Support – $50
  • Monthly Support – $70
  • Monthly Support – $100
  • Monthly Support – $200
     If you need a custom link for a dollar amount above, below, or between the listed amounts, email me here. Also, we highly recommend anyone consider using their bank’s online bill pay service (most often free for you and for us) and setting up a regular check to Seasons of Life Ministries, 2659 Freedom Pkwy., Suite 285, Cumming, GA 30041. Seasons of Life is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit and also can be supported through the National Christian Foundation.
Support Just for Now-
     If you’d like to simply jump in with some one time support, click any of the following links and you’ll be taken to our secure online giving portal. Thanks, so much!!!
  • One Time Gift – $25
  • One Time Gift – $50
  • One Time Gift – $100
  • One Time Gift – $250
  • One Time Gift – $500
  • One Time Gift – $1,000

Designation:
Secure Merchant Account Credit Card Processing.Merchant Account

Thanks, for your prayers, readership, and support!!!

in Christ,
Aarron & Cristine Pina 

Speak Life – What Can a Little Sunlight Do?

Covered Up
     This morning, our young daughter, Presleigh, went outside with Mommy to water some flowers in our yard and tend the garden growing in several 18 gallon plastic bins we’ve planted. When I followed up on their work, I noticed there were a few leaves on a sweet potato plant that were turning yellow. Not cool. However, with just a single lifted finger, I was able to move the soil off the leaf and expose it to the sun again. Tomorrow, I expect to see that leaf thriving and in a few more weeks, producing.

     After several phone calls and a bit of prayer, I finally got to meet “Alex”. He called us yesterday after searching the internet for ministries in this part of town. Frankly, I was skeptical even getting the call, as we’ve never had someone just “look us up” on the web like that. After his wife, had suffered a hernia, she
missed a lot of work and found themselves in a very hard place. About a week ago, they found help from St. Vincent’s. He and his family of 3 had been put up at a local extended stay hotel for the week while they tried to get back on their feet. He seemed a little frantic when he called, explained his story, and asked if we could help.

     I did a little asking. He did some more explaining. They had been covered by the soil of circumstance and turning a bit yellow, like my sweet potato leaves. But, there was still life in them. They still had hope – in the Lord, in the work they were already doing, and in the belief that with a few fingers lifted on their behalf, they would again see the same vibrant life my flimsy sweet potato plant is destined to produce.

Their Story:
     They’re both employed right now, her here in Cumming and him about 20 miles away at a fast food restaurant. With a 6 year old son, they alternate work while the other is watching him. But, because of her physical limitations and his time taking care of her while she was injured, their checks for this past week were about $60 each after taxes. Alex had already begun looking for work that would lower their gas consumption. For now, he’s remained faithful to his employer while battling the uncertainty of “how” God would bridge the gap between now and next paycheck.

     “I’ve got to get to work today, but I just don’t know where the gas is going to come from to get me from Cumming to Gainesville and back…” A little soil, a little yellow, but a lot of hope on the horizon: today when we met, he was back from an interview for a second job, here in Cumming. He was completely overwhelmed and noticeably choked up when we handed him the gas card you supporters provided him. “When God does something for you [in Christ] that you can never repay, it’s just really humbling.” I was unsure whether the tears were because of what he knows in Christ or the gift he’d just received. Neither was he.

     Thank you, to those who are helping.

     We talked about faith, God’s ability to provide, and His amazing track record in “Alex’s” family up to now. With one eye looking up, he remembers God is faithful. But, with the other eye on the clock he knows that tomorrow morning at 11AM if he hasn’t paid for another week or even another day, they’ve got to move out of the hotel and into their minivan. Today’s interview went well – good chance he’ll get hired within the next few days. But, that doesn’t bring a paycheck in for another few weeks.

Speak Life:
     Speak Life is the part of this ministry that provides food for families like this in situations just like this one. It’s also the initiative designed to help people to recover financially, emotionally, and relationally from challenging seasons of life by bringing enough “sunlight” to their situation to help them thrive on their own again. As of this morning, Seasons of Life has about $140 in matching funds committed to raising funds to help Alex’s family get back on their feet. This means: for every dollar given to Speak Life this month up to $140, a matching dollar will go to help this family – give $10, they get $20. Give $140, they’ve got $280 – enough to buy them another week and almost enough time until their next paycheck(s) – this time, full week’s work of paychecks.

     The cool part about this family is that when they discovered how deep the hole was that they were standing in, they looked up. They also “looked up” ministries and churches – members of the body of Christ that were designed to help people get up and over. They realize they can make phone calls, get interviews, fill out applications, and all the rest. But, ultimately, the outcomes and help is from the Lord.

     Would you consider helping this family out on a deadline? Yes, gas cards are still a great gift to help them out. Food is taken care of. But, if you would consider them in your financial support – they would greatly appreciate it. If you or someone you know would be willing to take in a family of 3 for a few weeks or even a month, we can tell it will make a world of difference. In the meantime, we’re only $140 away from buying them the breathing room [or sunlight] of another week in their extended stay, but this is a pretty time sensitive situation. Help us keep them indoors.

     To participate in this project, go to http://bit.ly/solmsupport and designate your gift “Speak Life” or “Where Needed”.

Big News: (2 of 2)


Update and Upfront

     Life happens. Trials are here to make us perfect and complete, lacking in nothing, right? Ever think “if that’s true, then this year, I should be pretty close to perfect“? 2011-2012 has been the most challenging on the job training we’ve ever received. Despite the fact that I’ve had time to send out ZERO support letters in 6 months, God has provided between 60 and 80% of budgeted support in some way or another – almost twice our normal program funding level. The Lord has been wildly faithful and we are extremely grateful! More on that and some BIG NEWS below.

Earlier this month, Aarron was asked to stand in for ministry
leader Casey Sanders at Gwinnett’s Men Step Up.

For first quarter, 2012, alone – 

  • Men have received regular 1 on 1 encouragement, wisdom, and discipleship from God’s word, dealing with everything from pornography addiction, blending families from a biblical perspective, deeper quiet time with God, to “pastoring your wife’s heart”.
  • DivorceCare leaders have been equipped and have run for a full quarter reaching a dozen men, women, & children directly and dozens beyond that where they work, live, and recover.
  • Couples have received couple on couple discipleship, wisdom, and encouragement and even been sent to a local marriage conference followed by one on one or couples’ “debriefing”.
    Through a partnership with another local 
    ministry, God has provided food for a dozen 
    families a year with about 6 of them on a 
    weekly basis.

  • Weekly food runs through Divine Resourcing have brought food to more than a half dozen families as part of our “Speak Life” programming.
  • We’ve run a panel discussion for divorced men on “Single Sexuality”.
  • Men have been encouraged to “think out loud” at ONE TH1NG, (a separate ministry led by Ron Dunn designed to “Spur men to walk with God”). Aarron and other men have led dozens of micro group discussions as part of their “ministry within a ministry” environment. 
  • Aarron also recently led a conversation at Men Step Up, Gwinnett, on Friday, 5.11.2012 (see photo above) regarding contentment in current circumstances in light of present and eternal rewards. It hit home for a great majority of the men in attendance.
  • The SOLM blog & Facebook page have been enhanced and regular content added, reaching an audience in the hundreds, soon to be thousands.
  • Our skills have been sharpened through both counseling and impartation through Trinity Psychological Services, Free Chapel, and Jesus Spoken Here Ministries.
  • Aarron has begun preliminary preparation for a “That Day” performance in October and is in talks about another engagement before then.
Argentina?
     Recently, supporters of Seasons of Life and followers of our Facebook Fan Page helped a friend of ours take an unexpected “mission” trip to Argentina. We hope to have an official update from Lily Chauvin soon, but we can tell you it was a heartbreaking trip. While there were some who received her well, she found others to be hostile to her as well as the gospel. We know from scripture that God prepares the heart to receive the gospel, but gives man the opportunity to accept it or reject it. We’re grateful for all of you who jumped at the chance to help her in her calling and honored to have participated.

Fiscal Forecast – Sunny?
     Financially, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by God prompting a number of supporters to step up their giving, completely unsolicited. (In fact, whereas normally we’ve sent out support letters once or twice per quarter, it’s been almost six months since we’ve sent out a “make the need known” letter. Glory to God.) 


    As we approach the summer there are a few transitions on the horizon and we’d like to inform everyone of the possibilities ahead for 2012, 2013 and beyond. The Lord is broadening our territory in Gainesville, GA, where the harvest is plenty, but the workers are few. This could mean carrying a wider load for Free Chapel’s DivorceCare program but also bringing Seasons of Life discipleship to a community lacking in a detailed one-on-one discipleship plan and budget to sustain it, yet rich in a deep and abiding need for it.    

     We are prayerfully moving forward one step at a time, one relationship at a time, one conversation & prayer at a time.


To help us capture a $2,500 matching
donation for 2nd quarter, click here.

The Big News:

    This presents a fantastic opportunity for people with a passion for para-church ministries, pastoral care for the hurt, broken, and addicted, as well as those who love to support missionaries in general. Currently, we are less than $3,000 from meeting our support need – for the quarter – this is a big deal for three reasons:

  1. This is the shortest distance we’ve been from the mark, ever. And this is for the quarter, not the month. Wow, praise GOD!
  2. Summer is historically one of the driest “seasons” of the year for many non-profits and ministries like Seasons of Life, yet this!
  3. God has dropped a (ridiculously timely) $2,500 dollar-for-dollar matching gift on the table for 2nd Quarter!



What You Can Do:
     Your giving power is officially doubled. Anyone who supports Seasons of Life Ministries in new giving, whether one time, “seasonal” (once/month for three months), or joins as a new monthly support family member, will help us not only capture the funds needed for the quarter, but definitively help set us up for a smooth 3rd & 4th quarter and balance the scales moving into 2013. WOW, is right!

     Pray it over, (as always), and consider whether this is the “sign” you’ve been waiting for: the need is great where we’re “growing to”. You may never personally experience the work God’s called us to do all the way up in North Forsyth and Hall Counties, but your giving will make a bold impact on men, marriages, couples, children, and disciples of Christ there. To help capture this timely gift, click here or enter “http://bit.ly/solmsupport” in your browser’s address bar.

Moving Forward
     Thank you, thank you, to all who are still lifting up this ministry, our family, and those we serve in your prayers. Great things are in the rear view mirror and on the horizon. Your “vertical” support has not been wasted. Please, keep us in prayer, join us in prayer, and tell anyone you can to follow us, fan us, like us, and pray for us.

in Christ,

AP

Newsletter Update (1 of 2)

What Happened to Spring?!

     As transplanted Northerners, spring in Georgia is a strange phenomenon for us. It comes with little warning, a month (or two) earlier than we’re used to, and turns into summer even faster. Brown, crunchy lawns in our neighborhood turn verdant almost overnight. It’s almost as if a glacier melted and dropped a new terrain on top of the old, barren one. From a practical standpoint, that’s what it looks like when Jesus drops His abundant life into the life of the broken. Dry, crusty life doesn’t just “perk up”, it thrives.

     This past year has been one of the most challenging seasons of our own lives personally. Yet, we have clearly seen God use it to transform our hearts and refine His ministry through us. Call it “on the job training”, but the trials He’s delivered us through in 2011-2012 have been no different than the dramatic winter to summer transition we’re growing accustomed to here in GA. We’re already seeing the results of it bear fruit in the lives of others.

Our Honor, His Glory
     Recently I had coffee with a guy whose wife is being crushed by the grinder of life. Pain and brokenness from her past is gushing out of her heart, subsequently, her mouth – and that hurts. But, to watch this guy “get vertical” and follow Jesus despite the (tongue) lashing he takes for hurts he didn’t cause, is such a sweet honor.

     I’ve got three or four guys across the table from me this year going through the same thing, and God continues to speak to us all through His word. I’m invigorated to watch them stumble at times, but get up and walk on in the footsteps of “forgive them Father, they know not what they do”. Love, love, awesome, godly love. Masculine, yet submitted to God. Wow.


     Just today, we got an email from a woman that Cristine loves very deeply and has walked with from time to time over the past few years – 

“[My husband and I] are proof that one on one discipleship truly helps (well, some days we’re better proof than other days) in our walk with Christ.” 

    What an awesome, transparent, clear encouragement: we all fall down. We must get up, but never by the flesh, only by the Spirit. Discipleship isn’t the fix-all for everything: Jesus is. But, walking with someone, arm-in-arm, as you walk with Christ can make such a huge difference, no?

The New Adventures of Old New Cristine:

Cristine Pina looks nothing like Julia
Louis-Dreyfus, but she once drove away with her
coffee or purse on the roof and I like the tag line.

     Cristine has transitioned to volunteer status, stepping back from discipleship quite a bit this year and taken on a God given (long story) part-time job to fill in part of a gap in support. As for her discpleship, she is “picking her spots” as God would have her, and we are mindful to guard her bandwidth as God directs. 

     To watch her embrace her role as a mother and discipler of our children out of obedience to the Lord rather than by the force of her husband is an awesome sight. As a husband and father, it is so comforting to know that I don’t have to pressure her to lean this direction, rather just get out of her and God’s way and watch them collaborate for this season. 

     While our oldest daughter, Brianna, has been walking through her own dark season of life, God has used Cristine’s heart for prayer and burden for the next generation to forge a new ministry effort – Mothers In Prayer. 
     This is a once per week environment, where women – whether mothers, grandmothers, or childless – are now gathering to make their prayers and petitions known to the Lord. It is not a curriculum-driven environment, small group, nor networking organization. It is not a place for platitudes and shallow, “proper” prayers. It is solely focused on lifting up the cares and concerns one generation has for the next, honestly, transparently, boldly. To find out more about Mothers in Prayer, message us on Facebook through either Seasons of Life’s fan page or the new Mothers in Prayer page at http://www.facebook.com/prayingmothers.

     Hey, while you’re at it, go to our fan page, click “like”, and then share it with your friends!

The Way Forward for Discipleship

     As a couple, we are still seeing other couples through seasons of turmoil. This has always been a part of the DNA of Seasons of Life and we can see it continuing as God conforms us and them to the image of Christ. We are certain of our involvement with Free Chapel’s DivorceCare program, just uncertain what that looks like as their org structure and implementation strategy changes this month. We would ask for your prayers that we be continually prayerful and open to God’s direction as we stand in the flow of His ministry to the divorced in that territory.

“Like” us on Facebook for
up to the minute news!

Socially Acceptable Behavior

     If you’re on our email newsletter list, you’ve noticed your inbox has been pretty quiet. This is because we’ve been leaning much more heavily on Facebook, Twitter, and the blog for public updates. Social media has grown more and more effective, and we’re pleased with the results. As we track with this trend, you will likely see less from us in your inbox and more consistency on the blog and other outlets. Tune in.


     To connect with us on Facebook, click here. To follow us on Twitter, click here. If you’re just tuning in, God’s impressed on me the idea of staying consistent (again, with exceptions at His direction) with a weekly devotional published Mondays, here on the blog.

Would You Rather?

     Would you rather give your time, energy, and financial support to an organization that gets children out of sex trafficking or an organization that prevents them from being sold into slavery in the first place?
If you heard Andy Stanley’s recent message “An Ounce of Prevention“, you’d know that it’s a trick question – the answer is both, isn’t it?

     For years, we’ve been talking to people about the value of discipleship and I’ve personally struggled with the question: “how do we show people the measurable results of discipleship?” As of today, I’m breathing a sigh of relief. Why? Because “crisis averted” or “divorce prevented” is immeasurable. From time to time, God has given us measurable items – dollars worth of food distributed to at risk families, leaders trained for DivorceCare, participants enrolled in events – but the primary work we do in one on one discipleship is something I’ve wasted weeks of time trying to measure when it cannot be measured.

     I highly recommend listening to this message as soon as you can, but from a discipleship standpoint, let me give you a testimonial: the wisdom, counsel, and biblical truth given to me from my mentors during the darkest times of our marriage, our ministry, our family crises has prevented metldowns, explosions, and generational dysfunction that would otherwise have left a terrible mark on our children and their children yet to come.

Who am I to think I could measure that and report 

it back to you with a neat, little bow on top?

     Two men got together every week to listen to what God is doing in each others’ lives, point out scripture that deconstructs the lies they believed (about their wives, their boss, their co-worker, their kids, their God, their addictions). Over the course of years their faith was built up, maturity hastened, and perhaps – just perhaps – their marriage was saved from a divorce, an affair, a financial crisis, a lifelong wedge of misunderstanding and hard heartedness. How does one measure that?!

     Two women got together over coffee to talk about one’s divorce, the lies and accusations satan reinforced in their self concept, shared truth from God’s word, prayed for each other, and that divorcee found second marriage grace with her new husband, learned step by grueling step how to “blend” families with her new son in law as God healed old hurts, exposed her to new ones, and proved Himself worthy as her protector, healer, and deliverer. Today, her two sons know that while their biological parents are no longer together, their future is secure because God is the head of their new household and Mommy & Daddy now bring all of their baggage to the cross recreationally.

How do you 
measure
that?

     A husband and wife on the verge of divorce sought counsel and help outside of Seasons of Life, but know the value of what this kind of “personal pastoring” had on their marriage, so they joined us in support at $50 a month. They get it. Many of you do, too. You knew it was coming, right? End of year giving appeal? But, this is precisely the point that I, now with Andy’s help, have been trying to articulate for years now. Prevention giving versus intervention giving.

    So, if you’re a supporter of Seasons of Life, this article is for you, too. You’ve understood what Stanley tells us is the difference between “intervention giving” and “prevention giving”. Seasons of Life was born out of the overflow of DivorceCare – clearly an “intervention” environment. But, the Lord, who is the ultimate Interventionist, has used many of you at $20, $50, to $400 a month to “keep the lights on” for others who don’t, and hopefully never will, need intervention.

     Bottom line – prevention giving is neither emotional nor measurable, but it’s necessary and far superior to intervention giving. Thank you. If you’ve responded to this call through giving or prayer, we’re so very grateful. I

Where Does it Hurt?


Preview/Buy on Amazon

Pain Takes Many Forms
     In discipleship as well as DivorceCare groups, we spend a good amount of time talking about the places in our lives where God wants to bring truth to counteract lies, comfort to the wounded, discernment to the naive. The question “where does it hurt?” is part and parcel of the calling. Often, those in pastoral ministry, counseling, and other helping vocations have a tendency to take great care of others and terrible care of themselves.

Guilty as charged. “Healer, heal yourself!”

     Two months ago, I began reading “Leading on Empty” and “Soul Custody”. Our staff quickly realized we had been ourselves approaching burnout and needed a day off, a week off, perhaps even a month. Last month, we each scheduled a day at a local monastery where we knew we could be in silence long enough to silence every voice in our heads but God’s. After these days of solitude, silence, and simplicity, it was clear that July would be a wise time for us to “come home from the mission field”. Kind of hard to do when your home is part of the mission field.

     With that in mind, we found a compromise. For the month of July, we’ll be out of our normal discipleship schedule with no extra classes or involvement, so that we can recharge and renew our minds. We’ve invited a handful of people to come by for a low-key “grill and chill” and will maintain an open door policy for the month to fellowship with some people who’ve fallen off the radar of our lives. If you feel like we’ve fallen off your radar since we got married, stepped out into ministry, and had a bunch of babies, send us an email or give us a call and we’ll save some space on the couch, pull up a chair in the backyard, and lay out a burnt offering on the grill!

Good News & Bad News
     In the meantime, I’m compelled to let you know where it hurts – where we could use your prayer and support. Financially, things are tight – they always have been, but God has always provided. We’re just at one of those crossroads again where we’re looking up at Him saying “We don’t know how You’re going to pull this off, but we’re open to Your plan.” Right now, we have about $750 in matching funds available for the month of June – if you’re considering giving to SOLM, every dollar you contribute this month will help us capture a dollar of that matching gift. Overall need for the ministry is over $2,250 for June, but we’re confident that this gift can create enough momentum to exceed that, if people prayerfully engage with us in it.

     It’s always a great time to join us as a seasonal (3 months only) giver and if you give online, your gift can be designated as such. Seasonal givers will have the added bonus of counting toward the matching gift. Additionally, local “realigners” Drs. Colin & Claudia Roopnarine have offered to donate half the proceeds of all July office visits to any chiropractic patient who mentions Seasons of Life Ministries. Connect with them at www.nptcc.com on North Point Parkway in Alpharetta. Help yourself & help us! 770-993-4464

She Got the Car, Her Mom Got a Future

     “Becky” was a single mom of three working hard to provide for her kids when her own mother was told she would need to begin dialysis and may need a kidney transplant. Becky had been growing in her walk with Christ and began attending a women’s small group bible study. Her small group had been praying for her needs, but what they didn’t know was something that came to another woman in a dream.

     A friend of Seasons of Life Ministries (anonymous) had a dream about Becky’s car having trouble. She knew it seemed strange and was easy enough to dismiss it as “just a dream”, but on a whim contacted Becky and asked if she’d been having any car trouble. Becky was more than a little surprised and said “yes, I was actually going to let my small group know to start praying for me to get a new car.” Becky had also moved in with her mom, who now needed her help in the dialysis process. As a part of taking care of her mom, she’d be required to have “reliable transportation”.

     It turns out that Becky’s friend who’d had the dream also had an extra car. She explained Becky’s situation and the story of her dream to her husband, who quickly replied – “I guess the Lord wants us to give her our car.” How great is our God? Recently, Becky’s mom was told she would need a kidney transplant. By the grace of God, the help of Seasons of Life Ministries and an oddly prophetic dream, Becky now has “reliable transportation” to bring her mom to dialysis!

     What’s so amazing about discipleship to us is that God so often impresses on the hearts of believers “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. (Matthew 10.8, italics mine)” God prepares hearts, knows our needs, and provides perfectly! We are so grateful to have a ring side seat to watch God knock out the enemy and provide for His children as any good Father would. Praise God and keep “Becky” in your prayers. He’ll know who you mean!

     Seasons of Life could use your help to handle a few of incidental expenses in passing on this vehicle, but we’d also love to be able to help Becky with a gas card or an oil change. This month, if you’d consider giving to our “Speak Life” initiative, we’ll be committing a large percentage of that program’s resources to making sure Becky’s transition is a smooth ride. To help support, go to www.seasonsoflifeministries.org/SOLM/support.html!

AP

Stepping Up to Jesus

     What do you think of when you hear the words “Judgment Day”? A Terminator movie? A meanie, cosmic judge out to get you with an earth-sized gavel? A grueling grill-session where you have to “splain yourself” in front of a tribune of angels and the Trinity? A fantastic awards show leading up to a massive celebration of the glory and greatness of God?

     Only the last answer comes close to what the bible most clearly teaches that we will be “rewarded”, “repaid”, or “recompensed” for what we’ve done in the body “whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5.9-10) The bad news is “judgment day is coming”. The good news is “judgment day is coming”! For those who are in Christ, it will be an amazing day when rewards, positions, and crowns will be given out by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

     In April, Men Step Up (Gwinnett) will take four weeks to celebrate 5 years of ministry at the ugly crack of dawn in the beautiful setting of the restaurant “California Dreaming”. The night of their last day of that celebration will be punctuated by the coolest date night ever. Rock-star quality worship singer Rolin Williamson will take the stage at Crosspointe Church in Duluth, GA and play the opening song for a production of “That Day”, a 2 act, 1 man show about Dan Matthewson, a guy who gets to meet Jesus at the judgment seat.

     This show has played to packed houses from Alpharetta to Gainesville and is already being looked at for later performances in the year (as far away as Dallas, TX – Glory to God!!!) It’s been highly acclaimed not only for its entertainment value, but for its impact on the faith of those who have seen it. Seasons of Life Ministries is very excited to partner with Jesus Spoken Here Ministries and Men Step Up Gwinnett to give you a look at what that day might be like when we all come face to face with Jesus. Entertaining, encouraging, exhorting… and God gets all the glory. NICE!

     Tickets are now on sale – $50 each, which includes dinner (catered by California Dreaming), the music, and the show. There will also be valuable ministry takeaway for everyone in attendance. A couple of things to know, though – this is a great environment to bring someone you know who’s “unchurched” or wrestling with their faith. It’s also an event we’re hoping to use to minister to those in ministry – a few local pastors and lay leaders from other local ministries.

     In this, we could use your help, and I know this month I’ve added a lot of “would you consider”s to the blog. But, would you consider helping us to scholarship a few people to this event? We know $50 is pretty steep for a ticket. We also know there’s a lot of value in return. But, regardless of return, if you ain’t got $50, you ain’t got it. Our hopes are to raise $400 to $500 to not only scholarship a few needy couples in the door for a great date night, but we’d also like to foot the bill for their babysitter that night (unless you’d like to volunteer – which we’d welcome you to do!). So, there it is, another “consider” for you to consider! Would you consider it?

     For more info on “That Day”, go to “www.thatday.info“. Yeah, that was easy to remember!

Send Your Tax Return Around the World?

The World Race
We know giving is important – in fact the scripture I wrestle with in writing this post is from Matthew, chapter 6. Do I talk about how and where we’re giving? If I do, what’s my motive and am I forfeiting an eternal reward at the price of a temporal one? Or, is it appropriate to tell a story of what God has prompted us to do in hopes that it serves an encouragement to others and glorifies God because He moved us to do it rather than we?

One thing is plain about the scripture – Jesus doesn’t say “if you give”. He says “When you give…” Giving was such a part of the walk with God that He threw it right in the mix alongside “when you fast” and “when you pray“. But, do we tithe on our net or our gross? Do we tithe on child support or maintenance payments? Do we tithe on our tax return – I mean, if we get a tax return it’s based on money we’ve already received and (hopefully) already tithed against, so shouldn’t we just receive it graciously?

For a time, I wrestled with that spirit of entitlement – I earned it, it’s mine. But, over time, I have clearly seen that the truth is here: none of it belongs to us and we deserve nothing. If you can turn down the volume knob on the self condemnation channel  and pump up the encouragement track, repeat that last statement. “We deserve nothing but God’s judgment.” I don’t know about you, but as that statement has settled in to a healthy place in my heart, I’ve felt less entitled to just about everything. Including that tax return.

Yes, we have debt. Yes, we’re going to use a chunk of it to pay off debt, but we sincerly feel we’d be disobedient if we didn’t do something “more direct” for the Kingdom of Christ with this year’s return. So, maybe selfishly (hopefully not), we’re helping to support a few ministries near and dear to us. One of them is Taryn Neurohr, who upon graduating from college this Spring will embark on an 11 month mission trip that will take her to 11 countries. It’s called “The World Race”.

If you’ve never heard of it, check out the video link at the top of this post – you will be astounded by what God does with people like Taryn, who love Him radically and share the gospel with vigor, candor, and tenacity in places most of us would never dare go.

While I spend a lot of time raising support for the local mission we’re on in heavily churched, yet performance based Atlanta, I’d like to appeal to you as Taryn prepares for her trip to join her in support. Not only in prayer, but in material aid. Have a yard sale. Join her at $10 a month. Or, take a big chunk of your pending IRS return and send it her way. Would you pray for her and support what God has called her to do for His kingdom?

Taryn’s blog & support page: