Archive for April, 2011

Image Gives Back Stories – Part 5

April 27, 2011

Here is the story that was shared on Easter Sunday…

My husband and I were speechless as Pastor Chris started explaining the “Image Gives Back” project at the Year 5 Birthday Celebration.  (We’ve never been a part of a church that “pays it forward” so much!)  We already knew that we were called to be bold before we even checked underneath our seats.

Our prayers led us to do something big and creative.  Something that would glorify God through Jesus Christ.

We received $25.

Soon after the Gathering, we received news that a friend of ours who moved to New York City less than a year ago was really struggling. My friend and her husband got rid of their car and moved to NYC with plenty of dreams and aspirations. Months later, her husband still hadn’t found work, and their small, expensive apartment was infested with bed bugs.  When I called to check on her – while we were on the phone – she received a letter in the mail stating that she was terminated from her job.  I felt so helpless.  They felt “stuck” in NYC – knowing that they had to get rid of all of their infested stuff and move out with no money, no savings, no vehicle and no bed.

It was difficult, but my friend and I talked about how God can be glorified through this mess – that through this experience, God was revealing answers to her prayers.

Then I had an idea. I called my husband and explained what I wanted to do with the $25. He agreed! (I went back and forth on this – it was almost too bold and didn’t make any sense!)

I went to the gas station and filled my car up with $25.00 worth of gas (well, $25.01 – it’s so hard to get right on the dot these days!)

And then we called my friend and said, “We have a car for you!” We shared the joy of the “Image Gives Back” project and how much God loves her and her husband.  We wanted to give her and her husband our vehicle – my daily vehicle.  But I can get another one, right?  God will work it out!

All she could say was “thank you” – and they started making the plans.

Just a few days ago….

They pulled out of our driveway in my little car.

And as they were leaving, I told them that the car came with one stipulation – I told them that when they turned the corner financially and got their feet back up under them, they had the responsibility of paying the car forward to someone else in need.  What a blessing!

Advertisements

Image Gives Back Stories – Part 4

April 27, 2011

Here are a couple more stories…

1.  I have always loved the story of Ruth and Boaz from the Old Testament.  In that story, Boaz is a rich landowner who allows a destitute Ruth to glean from his fields.  He sees how hard she works to provide for her widowed mother-in-law, leading him to speak this prayer over her:  “May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.”  Little did Boaz know that HE would be used by God to answer that very prayer!  He would later marry Ruth, and together they would have a son.  Their firstborn, Obed, would become the father of Jesse and the grandfather of King David.  Quite a reward indeed!  For a while, I’ve been praying that my daughter would find a good friend who follows Jesus at her public high school.  As it happens, one of her classmates is realizing that she is in need spiritually … and recently voiced an interest in reading the Bible. With the give back money, we bought that young lady a Bible and gave it to her.  She was so happy to receive it!  Perhaps, like Boaz, God will somehow use me and my daughter to answer our prayers for a believing friend!

2.  I’m going to use the ten dollars, plus a few of my own, I received to help a disabled person at work setup their computer at home.  I feel that I might be able to share some more with her while I am setting up her computer…on Good Friday, no less.  I’m excited!

KEEP THE STORIES COMING!!!

Image Gives Back Stories – Part 3

April 20, 2011

Here are a couple more stories…

1.  I just want to give you a quick report on how my friend and I invested our Image “5 year B-day” money. My friend suggested pulling our resources together and adding a little extra of our own cash for a woman that we know. The woman is essentially living like a single Mom and taking care of her children by herself. Since she is taking classes to finish her degree, she is unable to work and struggling financially to make ends meet. We decided on getting a gift card that the Mom can use, maybe to get the children something for Easter.  The money/gift card will be presented to the Mom tonight.  Thank you for sharing the gift, so that we could enjoy the blessing of passing it on to another.

2.  As part of Image Gives Back, our family had a total of $50.00 under our chairs.  We prayed about what to do with these funds to support others and decided as a family to combined our money and purchase a gift card to a local grocery store.  We then sent that gift card to someone we know is in desperate need to continue to put food on their table for their children.

KEEP THE STORIES COMING!!!

Image Gives Back Stories – Part 2

April 12, 2011

Here are some more Give Back stories…

1.  It was pretty cool getting an under your seat Oprah SURPRISE as part of our Year 5 Celebration.  Our oldest daughter used her $20, that we matched, so she could buy 14 bibles to pass out to her friends  at her high school which she has told about Christ.  These kids that she knows don’t have much of a clue about salvation or God.  She amazes us with her boldness.  Our youngest daughter took the money she received and gave it to Chris.  She told us that she loved Pastor Chris and wants to be bathatized (translation – baptized).  There is something amazing happening within our walls at Image that is spreading to the outside.  Hopefully it will infect the world!

2.  I took the $10 from the service on Sunday and purchased donuts/bagels for my office.  I then wrote with a marker ‘Courtesy of” and taped an Image Church impact card to the box.  I was able to share how God is working through our church with a few folks in the office.

And check out this video testimony…

KEEP THE STORIES COMING!!!

Image Gives Back Stories

April 7, 2011

Check out these stories which have been shared this week…

1.  Happy birthday, Image! It’s been a privilege to worship, serve and do life with the people of Image for the last 14 months!  Our money is going towards diapers and baby clothes for a coworker who had an unexpected pregnancy and gave birth two weeks ago. Praying it will bless her, her baby, and her family.

2.  I just wanted to let you know that I’ve already invested the money given to me.  It was incredible to be given so much money – I was completely taken off guard, so I was glad to pass it on to someone else. Despite the temptation to get something like Chipotle with it, I put it all towards a charity that supports struggling families worldwide. I personally support a family in Guatemala with a dollar a day, which isn’t much all considering. I’ve been doing it for a few years now, so getting something extra to give them was an incredible blessing.  Thank you so much…I hope I was able to invest wisely.

3.  I received a large amount and so was able to split it and help my children bless someone else in a large way by combining our funds.  With one gift, we helped a struggling college/seminary couple that is training for the ministry.  With the other gift, we helped a needy family pay for cancer treatment bills.  This was a very COOL idea that the church had, and I loved the experience for my kids and myself.

4.  I received a gift from the “Image Gives Back” – a great idea!  I wanted to share the testimony unfolding right before me and share it with the church. I have a friend who is struggling in his faith.   This past Friday, I talked to him for three hours – witnessing, encouraging and giving testimony of what God has been doing with me.  I told him much about Image Church, and he wants to come. He also has a friend who is an Atheist that keeps putting doubts in his head.  His friend is open to dialogue and has agreed to meet-up with me this Saturday.  So the give back money not only came along at the perfect time, but it will be used to spread the Gospel. It has a two-fold purpose – the bulk will be used to get the boys lunch, and what’s left will be put towards my friend’s ticket for the CRASH event.

KEEP THE STORIES COMING!!!

Show Your Faith

April 6, 2011

Contributed by Brian Shifflett, Worship Pastor at Image Church

Our pastor has recently been challenging us to wrestle with a question; what has Jesus said to you lately?  Undoubtedly, we are only going to hear from Jesus if we are spending time in His Word and in prayer.  I would like to share what Jesus said to me while studying the Gospel according to Mark.  Mark chapter 2 inspired me to ask a question similar to the one our pastor has been asking.

According to Mark, when Jesus returned to Capernaum, many were gathered to hear Him preach the Word.  So many people were gathered and while there, four men resorted to lowering a paralytic through the roof so that Jesus may heal him.  Mark 2: 5 then says, “And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘My son, your sins are forgiven.’”

Notice what happens here.  Jesus saw their faith and then forgave sins.  He saw their faith and then did what only God can do.  So the question that this passage inspired to me ask is this:

Has Jesus seen your faith lately?

I ask this because, in this passage, God did the miraculous when the men showed Him their faith.  I am convinced that God will blow our minds with what He will do when we step out and trust Him.  This past Sunday was an amazing celebration of the first 5 years of our church body.  We’ve seen many lives transformed by Jesus in the life of Image Church.  So as we move forward, let’s daily allow Jesus to see our faith and watch Him do the miraculous!