To God’s People: In Times of Gloom… Shine!

No Snow, Just RainbowsEarly mid-morning yesterday, reports began trickling in from various sources that Walmart was laying off people from the home office (located here in Bentonville, Arkansas). By day’s end, I think the number was around 850, maybe more. Walmart, McDonald’s, and Dunkin’ Donuts were three of the only companies that I had read about in the last month or two that seemed to be doing well in the midst of the recession.

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shoe giveaway

Stories About Giving… Starting with Shoes

Shoe GiveawayThis past Sunday, I talked about giving. Toward the end of the message, I challenged people to take off their shoes and leave them at church. We give away shoes several times per year and hundreds of people come with a need. As people walked out of church barefoot across the cold, hard concrete, they were to feel just a bit of what it is to be homeless and shoeless. So dozens left their shoes and our lobby is now covered with them!

What has really encouraged me is the stories I’ve heard since Sunday. I wanted to relay a few that might encourage you also…

Everybody's Got Shoes

Everybody’s Got Shoes, My Lord!

Everybody's Got Shoes

That’s a lyric from an old gospel song about needing new shoes to walk around heaven someday. Well today, we gave away almost 500 pair of shoes at Bethel Baptist Church. Two news crews even showed up and we’ll be on the evening news on 2 channels (and I wore horizontal stripes!) – KNWA and 4029. I’ll see if I can find news stories about it later to post, and I’ll also be posting a couple of photos on Bethel’s web site in the next day or two.

This happens to be a difficult time economically in Northwest Arkansas (everywhere in the USA for that matter) and with school starting back, families were in need. It’s an exciting thing to watch kids put shoes on and run around in circles.

In the Beginning

This week is very monumental for me. I am preparing to begin preaching through the entire Bible this Sunday morning. It has been a ministry-long dream. Since reading the autobiography of Dr. W. A. Criswell, who preached through the Scriptures over an almost eighteen year period at First Baptist Church in Dallas, it has seemed an unreachable and impossible task. I can’t tell you how much I’ve thought and prayed about this assignment.

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