Lent is a season for personal transformation, but it is also a season for us to do all that we can to help change our world. In my church, one of the ways we do this is by participating in a "Change Our World" love offering. Jars are placed throughout the church in which we can place our "change," (along with folding money and checks). All of the proceeds go to help various mission projects supported by the church. But in addition to giving, there are many ways we can be at work to help bring about change in our world...
One of the things that is clear, as we study the lives of those who followed Christ, is that, over time, their lives were changed. Consider the amazing transformations: Peter, who was impulsive and denied the Lord three times, became the apostle of steadfastness. (The theme of steadfastness under trial is the main focus of the epistles he penned). John, who was known as a "son of thunder (a man with temper management problems) became the apostle of love (as evidenced in the epistles he wrote). And Paul, who at first was a persecutor of the church, became one of the church's great apostles and missionaries. In each of these cases (and in many others) through their relationship with Christ their lives were changed. As we continue our journey through the season of Lent, I am convinced that our lives can be changed too...
I was so happy for my son and his family this week. Because of hectic schedules, covid, and calendar conflicts, it has been two years since they have been able to take a family trip together. But this week, they found the opportunity and took a four-day family outing to the Sipapu Ski resort. The fact is, over these past two years, many families have had difficulty being able to coordinate any meaningful family time. But having a "break in the action" is not only important for us as individuals, it is essential for family health. Not every family will be able to go on several-day ski trip, but hopefully every family can find some time to "get away" in some fashion and spend time together. I'm thankful for this opportunity for my family and I'm praying for others that times of family rest, renewal, and recreation might come.
Not every family (child) is able to take a vacation (or go on a ski trip) during Spring Break. So, this year my Director of Children and Family Ministries decided to have a Vacation Bible School in March. By recruiting volunteers from our church and joining forces with the ministry team of Shoulder to Shoulder, coupled with workers from the Salvation Army, we were prepared to host 60+ children from our community.
Dr. Allen Schneider is a United Methodist pastor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist presently serving the Sapulpa and greater Tulsa communities.