3 Steps in Becoming a Mouthpiece for Truth and Justice

Have you ever wondered how you might become a mouthpiece for Truth and Justice?  The idea can be intimidating, to say the least.  I mean, how do I:

  • know where to start?
  • know what to say or do?
  • conduct myself so that Christ is glorified?

Or maybe you’re not convinced that you need to be a mouthpiece for Truth and Justice.  If that’s your starting point, perhaps you’d like to listen to this sermon from Pastor Bill on this very topic.

But let’s just say you believe that we should connect our faith to everyday life, and that the world needs to hear from the Christ in you.  And let’s just say you’re not alone.  With a powerful community and The Holy Spirit, you’re more than equipped to make a significant impact in the world.  So let’s get started! Continue reading

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Authentic Relationships

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WordServe is amazing. It’s a small church with a family feel, and a big reason for that is community groups. Community group is where we have experienced the most depth, challenge, and growth in our faith. We have learned two big lessons in our five years at WordServe for thriving in community.

First, we had to have realistic expectations for authentic relationships. Sometimes the impression can be that as soon as you enter a community group, you will have an instant, fully-invested community. To be honest, we were not always perfectly thriving in our groups. Groups, like friendships, can be tough and take time to grow. Brand new groups, especially, struggle at first to find their groove. We were in a few different community groups, and while they were each wonderful, they were not yet home.

During this time, God worked on our hearts and developed us in exciting and unexpected ways. Meg, for example, works in a male-dominated field and was more comfortable talking to men than women for years! Through community group she formed strong bonds with the women she met and learned that her true home was with these wildly wonderful, faith-filled ladies. Through their support, she gained the courage and vision to begin attending seminary at Houston Baptist University. Matt entered community group young in his faith walk. When he started engaging with other men, especially in men’s group, and receiving the loving accountability, support, and encouragement that comes from their camaraderie, he made great strides in his maturity and his faith. Through their wisdom and support, he gained a stronger faith foundation and greater courage that ultimately led to him stepping into his role at WordServe as youth leader.

Our second big lesson… we realized we have to be courageous enough to ask for help when we need it. A dangerous, unwritten expectation can be that if we have a prayer request or discuss a need, people will automatically assume we need help and offer it. When we needed help the most, we were so busy trying to survive that we failed to ask for help from those who would’ve been most willing to give it. Outside looking in, we had it all together! This left us floundering instead of diving deeper into what community means – asking for help and being there for one anther in all of life’s circumstances in both struggles and celebrations.

God finally led us to our homes in the men’s and women’s groups. While these groups have grown and changed, their hearts for God and for each other have stayed the same. Even when we have had to step back from attending the group, we have kept our relationships with members and continued to engage them in our faith and personal lives. These men and women are people we feel we could reach out to with any need and receive support.  They are the body of Christ to us.

-Matt & Meg Lewis

 

Build-A-Bear Compassion

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Earlier in February, WordServe had the opportunity to bless Texas Children’s Hospital with custom-created Build-A-Bear gifts. The bears will be given to children who are battling illness and injury and face an extended hospital stay.  As WordServe values elevating others as God’s masterpieces, we hope that the children receiving these bears will find comfort, joy, and encouragement from these tangible displays of compassion. People of all ages and walks of life–young children, moms, dads, youth volunteers–gathered at Guardian Tae-kwon-do and assembled the bears and stuffed animals with clothing, accessories, and love.

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Texas Children’s Hospital was delighted to receive the bears and wrote:

“Because of donors like you and with the support of our community [we are] better able to alleviate stress and anxiety, promote positive coping, and create special moments for our patients and families.”

Thank you to all who participated in this awesome Compassion event!  Stay tuned for more upcoming service opportunities.

Schools Helping Schools through FaithFULL Kids

For many high school students, taking part in community service is a meaningful way to give back to others and gain skills and experiences valuable for future pursuits.  We are blessed to live in a community where high school students are passionate and proactive about serving others.  Seven Lakes High School’s National Honor Society, a chapter with close to 600 members known for its enthusiastic community service efforts, adopted FaithFULL Kids as its Fall 2014 service project.

Christina Zapalac, who serves as SLHS’s NHS sponsor, heard Rachel Dillon speak about the vision and mission behind FaithFULL Kids at during a recent service at WordServe.  Moved by what FaithFULL Kids is accomplishing in the community, Christina quickly mobilized students from SLHS to volunteer for the Sunday afternoon packing parties at Guardian TKD. Students jumped at the chance to earn service hours and help others, and packing parties soon became full.  But NHS didn’t stop there.  Every fall, the organization promotes a school-wide service project to benefit the surrounding area.  The students who had already served with FaithFULL Kids knew of the weekly food needs and could think of no better way of helping out than to conduct a food drive and donate the collections to FaithFULL Kids.  Over the course of several weeks, SLHS NHS collected 50 boxes of non-perishable food to restock the FaithFULL Kid shelves.

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WordServe is so excited to have SLHS NHS join our efforts to ensure that no child from Huggins Elementary goes hungry.  Right now, pray blessings for every child receiving food backpacks from FaithFULL Kids, as well as every student who provided a simple food item for the drive!  Thanks, SLHS NHS!

Habitat for Huggins Update: Moved In!

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It’s official:  the Habitat for Huggins house can once again be called HOME! After an entire year of prayers, love, and hard work, the house is occupied. Move-in day has been described as “Simply AMAZING. Holy. Truly beyond words.” Thank you to everyone who had a hand in this transformation; you have truly done God’s work.

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If you didn’t get to help out as much as you had planned or hoped, don’t worry. This mission has just begun! WordServe Church is already saving funds for the next family in need.  The entire offering collected at WordServe’s Community Candlelight Christmas Eve service was donated to Habitat for Huggins!

To learn more about Habitat for Huggins visit wordserve.org/habitatforhuggins.

Back to School Sunday

Whether you were ready for it or not, school officially started again this past Monday!  At the beginning of the fall semester, many students, teachers, and parents set goals and routines for the new school year after having a busy, lazy, or restful summer.  At WordServe Church, we believe that a huge part of having a successful school year means focusing on spiritual preparation and priorities, not just excelling in academics and sports.

Every year, one of our favorite Sunday celebrations is Back to School Sunday.  This past Sunday, we set the tone for the new school year by introducing our latest sermon series, The Happiness Project.

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Parents, grandparents, and friends also had the incredible opportunity of praying over their students through the Blessing of the Backpacks.  Each student brought his or her school backpack and received prayers and blessings of encouragement from the congregation.

 

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We also had three very special guests in attendance:  Doug Waddill, principal of Huggins Elementary, and Fred and Patti Shafer, namesakes of Shafer Elementary.  These people clearly love students–they allowed them to make ice cream sundaes on top of their heads!

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We hope that as you begin your fall semester, you make a relationship with Jesus a vibrant part of your daily life.  We have many opportunities for you to grow your faith and put it into action–FaithFULL Kids, Community Groups, WordServe Youth, Habitat for Huggins, and of course, Sunday morning worship.  We pray this is the best school year yet!

 

 

Living Water International Trip to Honduras

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Over the summer, WordServe participated in several activities and projects that built relationships with members of the community and met needs, like FaithFULL Kids and Habitat for Huggins.   Though our mission focuses on reaching our own communities for Christ, we believe in the calling we have as Christians to reach the nations for Jesus.  From July 26-August 2, a team of servants from WordServe traveled to Honduras with Living Water International to help drill a water well for a community that lacked a source of fresh, clean water.  Through meeting a physical need for clean water, the team was able to introduce the community to the source of living water that will never run dry–Jesus Christ.  When the team returned, each member shared testimony of how they saw Christ at work during the time in Honduras.  In case you missed the Celebration Service, you can check out the videos below:

Chad Yelverton’s Christ Cam

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Bill Hogan’s Christ Cam

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Jason Zimmerman’s Christ Cam

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Kasey Hogan’s Christ Cam

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Leslie Wakefield’s Christ Cam

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Lisa Harp’s Christ Cam

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Marcus Dillon’s Christ Cam

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Matt Lewis’ Christ Cam

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 As you can see, this trip was truly life-changing for all who were involved.  If you have questions about the trip, please ask one of team members.  If you are interested in going on a short-term mission trip of your own, contact Nolan Donald or Bill Hogan for information about future trips.

Habitat for Huggins Update

Since December, WordServe has been involved in an on-going project called Habitat for Huggins.  WordServe was contacted through our adopted school, Huggins Elementary, about a family in need of major home repairs. The family has eight children, four of whom are currently attending Huggins. After meeting with school leaders, counselors, and other city officials, WordServe decided to commit to rebuild this house and make all the necessary repairs so that the family can return to their home.   Going into the project, we as a church realized that this was a great undertaking that could take up to a year to complete.The following video highlights the vision for the project, as well as showing the “before” condition of the home.

With the help of many volunteers from WordServe, a host of handy “Mikes”, generous donors from the community, and God’s gracious provision, much progress has been made on the home!  The house demolition and clean up was completed on May 10 and we have turned the project over to a contractor for flooring, framing, drywall, roofing, electrical, and plumbing.   Check out the current transformation!

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We are excited about the challenges still left before us and feel that this project is clearly in line with our vision of “transforming communities one relationship at a time.” This project is a direct link to our adoption of Huggins Elementary and represents our focus on changing the community through the schools. It is our hope that every person connected to WordServe will play some role in bringing this project to completion. We know it will take skilled workers for much of the construction, but it will also take people willing to serve through clean-up, painting, prayer, food for the workers, and in any other way that God might lead someone to serve.  We will provide updates when the contracted work is complete and we are able to schedule our regular Saturday workdays again.  We hope you will take part in what God is doing to transform our community one relationship at a time, through one hammer and nail at a time!

FaithFULL Kids Celebration

On Sunday June 8, 2014, WordServe celebrated the first anniversary of the FaithFULL Kids program.  God has blessed us and provided not only what we have needed–a meeting and storage location, food and monetary donations, and an abundant harvest of workers to serve–but He has also provided physical and spiritual nourishment for kids in our community.  Because of God’s goodness, we were able to meet (and exceed) our goals laid out for the first year of FaithFULL Kids.

Here are a few ways we have seen God at work this year:

–96 kids have received meals each week.

–In the 37 weeks of this past school year, 3,552 backpacks have been filled.

–This adds up to over $8,500 worth of food.

–There have been over 518 volunteer hours this year alone with an average of 14 volunteers each week.

–More than 220 people have been involved with an average of 6 new volunteers per week.

–Approximately 40 boxes of food were distributed during Spring Break.

–Over $23,000 has been raised to fund the program.

Our vision for FaithFULL Kids isn’t stopping with just these statistics–we have a dream to expand this program and impact even more children and families in the coming year.  This Summer, join WordServe Kids each Wednesday from 10:30-11:30 AM, as we pack meals for FaithFULL Kids at Guardian Taekwon-Do and deliver to Huggins Elementary for pick-up by our FaithFULL Kids families.  During pick-up, we have fun and faith-filled activities planned to help deepen our relationships with these children.  This is a great way for your kids to share their faith and serve the community during the summer months!  To sign up to serve or for more information, click HERE.

 

Lavi–a FaithFULL Kid in Action

Lavi Schwartz, son of Sabrina and Haim Schwartz, is one of our precious WordServe Kids who recently decided to take an active step to help others and demonstrate his faith.  Sabrina said,

“About two weeks before school let out for the summer, Lavi came to me and said “Momma, I want to do a lemonade stand for charity!” Surprised, I asked him “Why?” He said, “So that people who don’t have anything can have something!” Still curious about what he wanted to do, I asked “When?” and of course as expected from an impulsive young boy, he replied “Right now!” I explained to him that I didn’t even have a lemon to squeeze into a glass, so he would have to wait for me to get all the supplies. Lavi was not pleased with that answer and continued to beg. As a compromise, I asked him to start a shopping list and design some sketches for signs. When I saw his sign sketch, I noticed he was asking $40 for lemonade!   When I told him “Lavi, no one is going to pay $40 for lemonade!”, he simply replied, “Mom, it’s for charity; sure they will.”
Once I found a free Saturday morning, we made signs and prepared a table on the corner in front of our house. I posted Lavi’s stand on Facebook and friends, family, and neighbors came from all over–and you know what? Lavi was right!  Within three hours, he had raised $160 to donate to FaithFULL Kids.

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I can honestly say God was at work through Lavi with this because I can’t think of anything that could have sparked this idea. Not to say Lavi isn’t a giving child. He is. I just don’t know where or how he got the idea to do a lemonade stand to raise money for charity. In fact, while people were flocking over to him, he leaned over to me and whispered “I’m so glad I started this business!”

Lavi took a risk–most people really wouldn’t pay $40 for a cup of lemonade even on the hottest Katy day–but his faith that God could use him and his desire to serve others showed that even the smallest acts of service can have a great effect on the world.

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