Ky Changers, Calloway County

IMG_3642200 students, leaders, and a host of volunteers are working with Kentucky Changers this week in Calloway County. Our thanks to Tim Cole, director of missions for Blood River Baptist Association, and all of the host churches.

Students arrived Saturday and got settled. Most have brought air mattresses to sleep on the floor at the high school for a week. A few cots are here, and there may be a few hardy folks in sleeping bags on the floor. After a great meal we began with team assignments, worship, and church group time.

IMG_3690On Sunday, teams attended worship with their host church, had lunch, then prayerwalked at the site where they will be working.  In the afternoon, after starting to learn some team skills, everyone participated in a class on “How to Share Your Faith.”

Nick Stamps, pastor of Post Oak Baptist Church in Russellville, is the pastor for the week, preaching nightly to help students grow in their faith. Our prayer is that many students will be saved this week and that believing students will make a deeper commitment to Christ.

IMG_3726Pray for Kentucky Changers this week as they work on projects all over Calloway County. Pray for the homeowners as well. Pray that the students will have a bold witness with the communities where they serve.

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Reflections on the 2016 National WMU Meeting and SBC

 

WMU 2016 mtgI recently went to St. Louis for the National WMU Missions Celebration/Annual Meeting, followed by the Southern Baptist Convention. I started attending national meetings with my parents as a child and have been going ever since. I always enjoy these gatherings because of the inspiring speakers, music, and other presentations. I also enjoy reconnecting with friends from across the country and sometimes, from around the world.

Attending a national meeting reminds us that no matter what size church we attend, what we do together is significant. The SBC is comprised primarily of small churches so the praying and giving of small churches who work together is making a huge impact. Likewise, the efforts of larger churches is also needed and provides leadership and resources for our joint efforts.

WMU meeting 2016 missionaries 1Hearing missionaries say thank you for praying, thank you for giving, thank you for caring for our families always touches my heart. I thrill at the stories of people who have been saved because a missionary we sent and supported shared the gospel. In this year’s WMU meeting, we heard from one missionary who is serving today because a missionary came and shared the gospel with his great grandfather. Every generation since in his family has produced pastors/church planters.

Just before we went to St. Louis we received the report that Southern Baptists had given the largest Lottie Moon Christmas Offering in the 127 year history of the offering – $165.8 million. This offering, begun in 1888 by the women of a fledgling organization we know today as WMU, continues to make an impact around the world.

The letters WMU mean a lot to me. W is for woman’s (spelled with an A! – singular, possessive) because of each individual who identifies with the Missionary purpose. U is for union because together we can do more.  Thus, when I attend a WMU meeting, it is not about the meeting. It is about the outcomes. What happens in my life and around the world because we in WMU learn, pray, give, serve and support missions.

Wanda Lee Joy BoltonThe 2016 meeting was one of mixed emotions for me. I am so grateful for the 20-year ministry of Wanda Lee as a national WMU leader – 4 years as president, then 16 as executive director-treasurer. She has been a mentor and friend. Yet Wanda has identified that this is the time for transition to a new leader and several months ago, I was named by WMU president Linda Cooper as chairperson of the Search Committee.

WMU Prayer for Search CommitteeIn a devotional and update shared with the WMU Executive Board in General Session, I shared the spiritual journey of the search committee. We have an enormous task but we serve a God who is able to do more than we can ask or imagine. When the time is right, the committee will make a recommendation. Until then, we have asked everyone to honor the confidentiality of the process. Serving on this committee is a high calling and we all are grateful for the prayer support and kind words of so many.

UnscriptedAt the WMU meeting, the preaching of Dr. Jeff Iorg, president of Gateway Seminary, was challenging. His book, Unscripted, is the 2016-17 WMU emphasis book. In challenging us to do be on mission, no matter what our circumstances, Dr. Iorg said, “Circumstances refine the mission, but do not define the mission.”  In speaking of the organization he works with, Dr. Iorg said that is what is most difficult for him is not administration, fundraising, or the myriad of things to be done. He said “What is most difficult is keeping the organization focused on its mission.” Our mission is to proclaim the gospel. What would happen if WMU members embraced the three simple words: as you go. Imagine what would happen in the lives of individuals or families, in cultures, or to political and economic systems if believers embraced and lived those three simple words and shared the gospel “as you go.”

On Tuesday of the SBC, I took my seat and stayed in place all day except for meals. There were reports and sermons, motions and resolutions. I’ve not always been comfortable with everything that happened at a SBC meeting, but there is no doubt that this year’s convention will stand as a high mark for years to come. I say this for several reasons. One was that the Tuesday evening session was devoted to prayer. This time of prayer spoke to my soul, especially during a video reading of the Ezekiel passage about dry bones. We were challenged to persevere in ministry because the dry bones will live again.

For me, the apex of the meeting came when, after a problem with 108 ballots, one presidential candidate withdrew so that the convention would be unified. J. D. Greear will long be remembered for his statesmanship in that moment. It must be noted that Steve Gaines was willing to do the same thing and in prayer these men came to the decision of who would withdraw. Greear’s announcement was followed by a timely sermon by Dr. Ted Traylor which drew from Psalm 133:1 – Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity.

There were many other great moments during the convention. Due to other commitments, I could not stay on Wednesday, but through the wonders of technology was able to tune in during the meeting, and even go back to parts I missed. You can listen to the entire SBC, from gavel to gavel, at www.sbcannualmeeting.com. Just click “Watch Live” and you will find recordings of all the proceedings.

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EBO gifts at work this summer

Summer is upon us with all of the wonderful ways that Kentucky WMU involves children and students (youth) in missions.

Mission Adventure for Kentucky Kids will take place June 16-18 in Richmond and June 23-25 in Bowling Green. Red House Baptist Church will host in Richmond and Calvary Baptist Church in Bowling Green. Each three day mission trip includes prayer walking, worship, Bible study, mission projects and Kentucky Kid fun! Ministries include sorting, organizing donations of food and clothing, home meals delivery to the homebound, games with children at a shelter, making cookies for international students, and more.


Equipment TrailerKentucky Changers
will do home repairs for low-income home owners in Hopkinsville (June 11-17), Calloway County (June 18-24), Greensburg (July 2-8), and Frankfort (July 9-12).  Building on the 2016 theme, “Stay Connected to the Source,” students will be challenged through nightly worship to stay connected to Jesus in all of life. Volunteers of all ages assist with teaching construction skills, supervising projects, cooking, checking out tools, and many other tasks to support the students as they serve.

Overnights for Mothers and Daughters and Girls in Action will take place at Cedarmore (July 1-2) and Jonathan Creek (July 8-9). Participants will meet a missionary and enjoy summer fun while they learn. Acteens Quest, our newest overnight, will be held at Jonathan Creek (July 8-9) followed by a state Acteens Activators Team trip (July 11-17) to New Orleans to work at the Baptist Friendship Center.  Acteens Leaders are invited to their own event, Acteens Quest for Leaders, August 5-6 at Liberty Baptist Church, Campbellsville. This will be a time for leaders to get acquainted and share ideas.

Camp Courage, a campout for boys will be July 29-30 at Laurel Lake Baptist Camp in Corbin. Boys will participate in a variety of outdoor activities while learning about missions.

We are most excited to report on the completion of a new Kentucky WMU storage facility at Cedarmore. With the addition of Kentucky Changers to the WMU family, the need for adequate storage of all the required equipment was huge. We are grateful to Mercer Baptist Association for the use of their storage building for the past two years. We also appreciate the partnership with Crossings who allowed us to construct a building at Cedarmore.

Whether supporting summer activities led by Kentucky missionaries, helping with WMU sponsored ministries, or funding outreach by church planters, EBO is at work all summer long!

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Tote Bag Sunday

ToteBagSunday-page-001Newsletters from association and church WMU groups always bring a smile. I so enjoy seeing the creativity and commitment to missions. A recent newsletter from Christian County Association WMU announced “Toilet Paper in a Tote Bag Sunday” and invites all of the churches to collect donations of toilet paper and tote bags to be distributed at Impact Ministries for families in need.

What is more basic than toilet paper (and milk when it snows!)? Filling a tote bag with toilet paper on February 14 for Focus on WMU is a great way to involved many people in a local ministry. This collection meets a real need and will be distributed by Kentucky missionary Arlene Miller and volunteers as they share Christ with people who come for assistance.  I can’t wait to hear how many rolls and the number of tote bags that are collected.

What local ministry can your WMU help during Focus on WMU.  However, don’t just collect – go visit the ministry! Spend some time there.  Help with the work.  Meet people who benefit from the ministry. Share Jesus with someone!

When you go to the ministry site, take pictures of your visit and share these at your church as soon as possible.  Plan another project and enlist more people to be involved!  Let your church know how their donations are being used. Share testimonies of what it meant to be there.

As you observe Focus on WMU, this is also a great time to receive the Eliza Broadus Offering, especially in your Women on Mission and other WMU groups.  EBO helps Kentucky WMU do our work, especially with children and students, providing funds which allow us to keep fees low for events. Receiving the Eliza Broadus Offering at this time is a great way to show your support for Kentucky WMU as well as missions across Kentucky.  EBO gifts may be sent to Kentucky WMU, 13420 Eastpoint Centre Drive, Louisville, KY  40223.  Notate on check: EBO.

Let me hear from you! What is your church doing this year to Focus on WMU?

 

 

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The heart of the story

EBOHeartOfStory2015TextColorThe Eliza Broadus Offering includes allocations for Associations and Special Ministries. This year $130,000 has been designated to provide grants of $500 each to our seventy Baptist associations ($35,000) and a variety of grants (totaling $95,000) to ministries across Kentucky which apply to Kentucky WMU for funding.

Please pray for the Kentucky WMU Finance Committee which meets next week to discuss the  applications and prayerfully help as many ministries as possible.  100 applications have been received totaling $235,053 in requests.  Pray for wisdom in this process.

Each ministry that receives EBO funding is required to complete an accountability form explaining how the funds were used.  No ministry can apply for a subsequent grant without completing a form for the previous grant.  We are grateful for your generous giving and consider this to be an important part of being accountable to the Lord and to you for how EBO funds are used.

I always enjoy reading the applications as well as the accountability forms.  I am challenged by many of the applications and the vision for ministry that each one represents.  I wish we had more funding available.  The only way this will happen is to see a significant increase in our state missions giving.  The offering goal has stood at $1,250,000 for several years. Will you increase EBO giving this year?

Let me share a few of this year’s stories. A woman was saved on a camping trip through the work of Land between the Lakes Area Ministry. When she went camping again, she made a point to share with the chaplain how she had been baptized, was now attending church, and how happy she was.

A woman who had been raped went to the Life House Pregnancy Center for information on abortion. After a lot of prayer and several visits, she decided to carry the child and place it for adoption.

An inmate wrote to HR Ministries to thank them for the Rubies for Life material and for her mentor, Becky. She said, “I got saved while attending her parenting class and had the opportunity for her to mentor me…If I could be like any one woman after my incarceration, it would definitely be her.”

Please pray for these ministries as they share The Heart of the Story!  Give now to help us keep telling the story!

 

 

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2016 Missions Celebration & Annual Meeting

WMUAnnualMeetingPostCard2016corrected-page-001One of the most exciting times of the year for me is when we are preparing for our annual meeting. This year is no exception.  Here is a little of what is in store, April 8-9 at First Baptist Church, Madisonville.

Our 2016 theme is The Heart of the Story and will focus on how we share the heart of the story, Jesus, through missions around the world. We have a great program line up and we want to encourage you to make plans now, including hotel reservations. Hotels space is tight this year and you will want to make your reservations early. There are additional hotels within an easy commute to nearby towns if rooms fill up.

2016 Schedule. The two-day event begins on Friday morning with an opening session at 9:00  a.m. (Central Time). A parade of flags will begin with the prelude music. See the detailed time schedule for conference and general sessions times.

PROGRAM GUESTS:
Linda Cooper, new national WMU president from Kentucky, will share theme interpretations. Join us in congratulating Linda on her election as national president.
Wayne & Barbra Myers, Swaziland, will tell about their work and how Hospice Care Buckets are being used to share the gospel. Plan to bring a bucket!
Terry Sharp, Urban Mobilization Strategist, International Mission Board will share insights on reaching the nations in our midst.
Meet Ron and Marilyn Leonard, along with Molly the Therapy Dog, as they share about their ministry to military men and women. The Leonard’s are NAMB MSC missionaries living in Hermitage, TN.
Ruth Ripken will be with us for a special preview showing of the new “Insanity of God” movie. If you read the book, you will not want to miss hearing Ruth and seeing the movie on Friday evening. This brand new movie will be released later in 2016. We are showing it by special arrangement with the IMB.
Benita Decker, Minister of Music, Farmdale Baptist Church, Frankfort will lead the music for our missions celebration.  Melody Stafford will be our pianist.
The Childress Family singers will present a gospel concert at 6:30 p.m. on Friday evening. Come for a time of  worship and great music by this family group from Madisonville.
Kentucky missionaries will be featured through conferences on both Friday and Saturday. The Missionary of the Year Award and commissioning service for new Kentucky missionaries will take place in the Saturday morning session.
Donna Fegenbush will be on hand to portray Eliza Broadus! Get your picture with “Eliza.” There will also be a photo booth at registration with life size pictures of Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong. Bring your camera (or smart phone).

Children/Students are especially invited to attend on Saturday morning for a special time with the Leonard’s and Molly at 9:00 a.m.

A boxed lunch will be served on Friday. Preregistration required.  Cost $9.00.

Missionary Parents are invited to gather in Room 113 during lunch for a time of sharing. If you are a missionary parent, just bring your boxed lunch and join the group.

Baptist Nursing Fellowship will have a supper meeting on Friday at 5:00 p.m. This is open to all nurses and medical professionals. At the same time, current and former members of the Kentucky WMU Executive Board will gather for a special meal. Preregistration required for both groups. Cost is $12.00.

An offering for Kentucky WMU ministries to missionaries will be received during the Missions Celebration. We receive the offering in the Friday morning, evening, and Saturday morning sessions. NEW this year: If you are not able to attend the Annual Meeting, please consider sending a $10 gift for the offering with someone else who will be attending. You may also mail in your offering or give online: www.kywmu.org/givenow.

There are two ministry projects this year.  First, fhe Bucket Project returns! Kentucky Baptists collected over 3000 buckets in 2014 and will collect hospice care buckets for Baptist Global Response again in 2016. Bring completed buckets to our Missions Celebration. Disaster Relief volunteers will load the buckets onto a truck for shipment to the port selected by Baptist Global Response. Note: Please use only the updated bucket shopping list which has changed. Also, a $10 donation per bucket is requested to help defray shipping costs.

A collection of needed food items by Breaking Bread Ministry will also be received during the meeting.  Help meet the needs of people in the Madisonville area.

There will be a special Heritage Fund mailbox on site where you can leave Heritage Fund donations and a card to be sent to the person you would like to honor with a gift or to the family of a person you would like to remember through your gift.  Bring your address book!

For Registration, a printable information piece, and other information, go to: www.kywmu.org/annualmeeting

The Kentucky WMU Missions Celebration/Annual Meeting is the gathering place for people who care about missions. Join us!

PS: If you would like to receive other information from Kentucky WMU by email and are not already signed up, please subscribe. kywmu.org/subscribe

KY_WMU_notag_large   Kentucky WMU – Helping churches learn,pray, give, go, and send!

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Kentucky WMU Report to 2015 KBC Annual Meeting

In addition to our written report for the KBC Book of Reports, I am invited to bring a brief oral report each year on behalf of Kentucky WMU. The report is often a time to highlight some significant area of our work or to promote a new missions initiative. This year’s report was different and I share it here in hopes that you will share it with others.

WMU Report to KBC Annual Meeting – November 10, 2015

In my report today I would love to dwell on the great things that have happened this year such as having 979 participants in 4 weeks of Kentucky Changers doing 76 projects, with 101 decisions made by students, adults, and homeowners. Or I could tell you about how excited we are about Mission Adventure for Kentucky Kids, a mission trip experience for children in grades 4-6 and their leaders. How we saw children learn to lead and share their faith. Or I could focus on the re-launch of Creative Ministries Festival and how students not only learned skills in creative arts, but how they met missionaries and learned ways they can use creative arts in missions and evangelism.

But my heart has been broken since we received the news that due to revenue shortfalls, that 600-800 missionaries serving with the International Mission Board will be coming home. While this has worked out well for some, it is still not what they had planned on and all are grieving the closing out of their ministries far too soon. Our prayer is that national believers and missionaries still on the field will be able to carry on. We also pray that those returning home will find new places of service here and that the tremendous language and cultural skills that they bring will indeed help us to reach the nations in our midst.

At the Kentucky WMU display we have a handout that says at the top, Revenue shortfall will bring 600-800 missionaries home. On the left side, there is a list of ways you can help returning Southern Baptist missionaries. On the right side, there is a list of ways you can help ensure this never happens again.

In a recent address to the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, Wanda Lee reminded us of the words of Annie Armstrong who said “After study of God’s Word comes study of the fields. Then people pray. Then they give.”  Wanda called us to account for the fact that many of our churches, including churches in Kentucky, have abandoned the part of what Annie said between study of the God’s Word and praying and giving – that is the study of the fields.

Wanda correctly pointed out that mission study is the driving force between how much we pray and how much we give. She said, “We can lament the churches that haven’t given, we can lament many things….But one thing we have failed to do in our churches is to embrace the missions assignment of helping our children and our youth understand God’s field.” As Wanda rightly pointed out, when there’s no understanding of the depth of lostness, there’s no passion to give and when a church tilts toward entertaining their children and youth, or abandons Wednesday missions night activities in deference to other programs or sports, we have let that overshadow the priority of equipping the next generation for missions.

I cannot tell you the number of times I have received calls from people who are upset because their church is cutting the Cooperative Program because whoever was elected treasurer or another key leader did not know what it was or why we support it. Study of the fields not only includes a study of lostness, but it also includes teaching our children, students and adults the ways we send and support missionaries so that they can go and push back the darkness.

I am a blogger and a few weeks ago I shared an email from a missionary who will becoming home from a warm weather climate. In response to that blog, I received this note:

Dear Joy, I appreciate getting your notes from missionaries who are going to have to “come home”. What a TOUGH DECISION TO MAKE.  I have been praying for them ever since I heard about it happening…… I REALLY FEEL FOR THEM AND PRAY FOR THEM IN SO MANY OF THE SITUATIONS THEY FIND THEMSELVES IN, ESPECIALLY THEIR CONCERN FOR THEIR MISSION FIELD AND THE LOST ON IT. I would be willing to share my winter clothes, which are nice, with someone who is returning and has no winter clothes and I am sure other Baptists would do that. I am so old (92) there are not any more missionaries on the field that I knew as they have “all retired, Ha!” or they are deceased. I just want the missionaries to know I pray for them having to leave just like I prayed about them going over there to serve the Lord, and their safety while they were there and their work with the lost. I WILL CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR THEM DAILY.

 As Wanda said to the SBC Executive Committee, “we can’t go through this again.” In WMU we invite you to go with us. Quit entertaining children and young people. Lead them to study God’s Word and then expose them to the lostness of the world. Our children and youth long for deeper meaning and purpose and they will commit their lives to service and the call of God to the fields that are white unto harvest if we teach them. And when we do, money and needed resources will follow.

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WMU needs to hear your voice!

National WMU is in the process of evaluating missions resources for children and students. We have been asked to enlist as many people as possible to participate in the surveys as WMU seeks ways to enhance materials for children and students.  There are separate surveys for the leaders of Girls in Action, Royal Ambassadors, Children in Action, Acteens, Challengers, and Youth on Mission. If you work with one of these organizations, we ask that you would participate in the appropriate survey by October 30. As a thank you for your time, you will find a promotion code at the end of each survey for 20% off your next purchase of WMU, New Hope, or WorldCraft products.

To make participation in the survey’s easier, Kentucky WMU has placed the links for all the surveys on one web page.  Please visit kywmu.org/surveys.

Your input will help national and state WMU leaders as we seek ways to improve missions materials and enhance learning for children and students.  Thank you for taking one or more of the surveys and letting WMU hear from you.

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Tell Your Story!

TTell-Your-Story.logo_-300x192his past summer in preparation for an overseas mission trip, I spent time on the phone with my cell phone provider arranging for international coverage for the time I would be away. The representative was chatty and asked about why I was going to Malawi. I explained and we began to talk about church. She told me a little of her story but could not spend much more time on the phone, as she had a job to do. So I asked, “Would you listen to my story?” and then gave her the web address for TellYourStory.today where my testimony is posted under Joy B from Shelbyville. A few minutes later I received a text that someone had listened to my story.

Tell Your Story and other evangelism efforts of the Kentucky Baptist Convention are funded in part through the Eliza Broadus Offering. When you give to EBO, you are helping us tell the story of Jesus across our state. You are helping us provide evangelism training. You are helping to provide various opportunities for evangelistic outreach.

But you, too, must tell your story. Please visit the website and get the phone number to call to record your story. Take some time and write down what you want to say. Practice it a few times, then call the number. If you mess up, it is OK. You can stop the recording and do it again. It took me several tries before I was satisfied.

After your story is recorded, it will be reviewed and a message from Dr. Chuck McAlister will be appended. When you record your story, you will need to leave a cell phone number or email to receive messages about your story. You will receive a message when it is posted and when people listen. You can share links to your story through social media, email, and text messages.

Recording your story will also help you prepare to tell your story in person. The Heart of the Story of state missions is people. You can be at the heart of the story as you share your story with someone who needs Jesus.

Thank you Kentucky Baptists for giving $1,220,277.57 to the 2014-15 offering.  Join us as we give again for 2015-16. Our EBO goal is $1,250,000.

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Join the Voices of Recovery

SCCUAD Logo.jpgI am a part of a group called Shelby County Christians United Against Drugs. The ministry was started in response to the addiction of one of the founder’s daughter. The group prays, encourages those going through the Drug Court program, sponsors Celebrate Recovery groups, and holds activities to point those struggling with addiction to a better way. September is National Recovery Month and we held a Recovery Month Celebration on September 24 at the Community Development Center of New Mount Zion Baptist Church.  I was asked to share a theme interpretation. Because the issues of addiction affect every community, I share the theme interpretation as an encouragement to us all to keep helping people in our communities who need to experience recovery from “hurts, habits, and hang-ups.” This ministry has received several small EBO grants which have helped with materials for recovery groups and other ministry supplies.

Our theme for this gathering is “Join the Voices of Recovery: Visible, Vocal, Valuable.” The theme helps us understand why we are gathered.

First, we come to join our voices in Shelby County with the voices of others all over the country. We understand that recovery happens in community as we own up to our hurts, habits, and hang-ups. None of us can do life without others – we need each other.

In joining others, we declare that:
– Recovery brings visible change. As we let go of addictions and turn our lives over to God, there will be change that is noticeable. We want recovery to be visible in our community. We are not sweeping the problem of addiction under the rug. We are instead acknowledging that it is a problem that has created chaos in so many lives, but we are joining together for accountability and encouragement.
– We are vocal about the need for recovery and vocal about the journey. There is power in owning a problem out loud to other people. When we hide our hurts, habits, and hang-ups, those things control us. But when we vocalize it, now we are taking charge and seeking the help of God and others for victory.
– And we affirm that every person is valuable, no matter what your issue or addiction, every person is valuable to God, to family, to friends, and to this community.

On being valuable, the Bible teaches us that Jesus came to seek and save the lost. In Luke 15, it says that all the tax collectors and sinners were coming to Jesus to listen to Him. That’s us – the ones with hurts, habits, and hang-ups – the ones who know our lives are a mess and we need help.

In the passage there were some high and mighty folks who grumbled about Jesus spending time with such sinners. Jesus responded by telling three stories – the story of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Lost Son.

In the case of the lost sheep, even though there were 99 safe in the pasture, the lost one was so valuable that the shepherd went looking until he found the sheep. The shepherd brought the sheep home and called his neighbors to rejoice with him. Jesus said “I tell you, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons who need no repentance.”

In the case of the lost coin, a woman had 10 but lost one and would not rest until the house was swept and the coin found. Jesus said, “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of God over one sinner who repents.”

And in the story of the lost son, the son was lost because of the choices he made. The son wasted his inheritance with “loose living” and after nothing was left, he found himself in a pig pen, feeding the pigs just to have something to eat. But in the story, the son came to his senses and realized he needed to go home and beg for his father’s forgiveness. He planned his speech, not to make excuses, but to own up to what he had done. To his amazement, his father had been waiting and watching for him to come home. His father received him with gladness and threw a party to celebrate, saying “This son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.”

Yes, in the story there was an older brother who grumbled, just as there are some people in our lives who grumble over the mess we have made of things. But the father threw a party and welcomed his son home anyway.

Shelby County Christians United Against Drugs has thrown a party and we say to all – whether you are a lost sheep, lost coin, or a lost son or daughter, you are so valuable that God has placed people and programs in your life to help you experience recovery. And know this – that our redemptive God is able to take the messes we make and use them for His glory and our good if we turn our lives over to Him.

We are grateful to all who joined us and helped us have a Recovery Celebration. Everyone of us can be a voice for recovery – visible, vocal, valuable.

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