The Hope and Reality of Building Hope’s Community

Jesus prays, “I pray also for those who will believe in Me through [the disciples’] message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so the world may believe that You have sent Me.” John 17:20,21)

This incredible prayer by Jesus shows His heart’s desire for community. True Christian community is unified and walks together. That is why the early Christian church sold their possessions and gave to those in need (Acts 4:32-37). They also believed that a community built in the LORD was powerful for the LORD. Signs, wonders, and miracles (2 Corinthians 12:12) accompanied such communities and the Word of the LORD spread rapidly. People transformed from within by the Spirit of the LORD, lived in community, and as the world witnessed this community they came to know Jesus.

I often wonder what the power of community means to Building Hope. What does it mean to open our doors in the community of Beverly and invite people in? Many that come to Building Hope are not practicing Christians, but the effects of Christian community are still powerful.

This past week we had a barbeque at Building Hope. Over 200 burgers were served and it was an extremely busy day, but as the day winded down 2 people came in and sat down. I felt Jesus lead me to the table and we talked. I had many “Martha” duties to perform, but I felt the LORD holding me to this table for discussion. After an hour of discussion, Scripture, and prayer we parted ways. I am unsure how the LORD used that event, but the community created at Building Hope really impacted someone that day.

I dream of a Christian community that lives together and shares what resources the LORD has given them. A community that does life together, a community that encourages one another to take larger steps of faith in the LORD, a community that prays together, a community that believes in miracles, a community that shows the world the love of Jesus in action. Building Hope is closer to this vision than many communities in North America I believe. At Building Hope, people lack the material possessions that often distinguish us, we share what we have and we pray for provision, many are hurting so we pray for healing, and Building Hope shows the community that the church cares for the needy.

Building Hope is a community with a foundational Mission Statement: “In the Name of Jesus, we will love.” Our teachings come from Jesus, our strength comes from Jesus, we pray in the Name of Jesus, and we are hoping more will come to know the love of Jesus. Please consider supporting our vision for a deeper level of community at Building Hope.

“In the Name of Jesus, we will love.”

“In the Name of Jesus, we will love.”

The simple Mission Statement of Building Hope often has me focused on what I must try to do, but when I really consider the statement, it is the power of Jesus that really empowers my action. As a frontline worker for Building Hope I must solely rely on Jesus and His provision for the ministry, not my ability to love. This Christmas season Jesus has reminded me of where the power of Building Hope comes from.

Let us start with the 2015 Christmas Party held at Beverly Alliance Church. Building Hope, A Nazarene Compassionate Ministry, together with Beverly Alliance hosted a remarkable event. Two different denominations, came together around the name of Jesus and blessed over 200 people. People who may have little family, or few friends came together to eat, fellowship, celebrate, and build hope. The details have been written in the December 2015 Newsletter but I must add.

Over 450 gifts were handed out during the Christmas season. So 200 people got personal gifts, but above that, 250 gifts were given so that some may have something to give on Christmas Day. This year I got involved with the Christmas gifts a little (thank goodness for gift bags J) and I started to imagine the joy of having something to give and the sorrow of not having anything to give. You have to think about it, imagine the difference of having one gift to give your loved one verses having no gift to give your loved one. Jesus thought of each person of this world when HE came from HIS throne in heaven to earth and HE sacrificed for each person to have eternal life (1 Timothy 2:4). I believe it was this personal sacrifice that inspired Darlene and her team of volunteers to bless so many individuals with the ability to give to others.

The second miracle I witnessed was Jesus providing through much needed funding. At a small compassionate ministry centre there are times when your faith is tested with financial support. You believe in what you are doing through the Word of GOD (Isaiah 58), but we often wonder where the funds will come from. This Christmas season Jesus was faithful. At Building Hope we are trying to build up our monthly donors so that we can more effectively plan our budget. By having a base each month to work from we can more effectively plan our fundraising schedule. As a fundraiser all you can do is place the need and the vision in front of people and the response is up to the LORD. The goal to 100 monthly donors is still distant, but there was a good response and we are more than able to continue the mission of GOD in Beverly. The Word of GOD tells us about GOD’s faithfulness when we are doing GOD’s work, but when the reality comes, it really grows our faith in HIS Word.

As Christians, Jesus lives in us (Ephesians 3:17) and the power of the resurrection is available to us (Ephesians 1:19). So when I consider the Mission Statement of Building Hope my greatest strength would not be my ability to love, but actually my ability to have faith in the power of Christ. Jesus loves each person more than I can and HE can provide better than I can. HE will stretch our faith, but that is what continues to keep us dependant on HIM and that’s what keeps us searching for HIS leading hand. It is here that we must all live so that our lives reflect Christ not only in love, but also the power of Christ.

Focus

Thursday, May 20, 2015 @ 5:07pm @Schmidts’

Focus

 

Individual killed in Abbottsfield (Beverly) by policeman

Low-Income individuals in Alberta being housed in rancid conditions in city motels

  • Metro Tuesday, May 19, 2015 – “Albertans in financial distress are being housed in substandard conditions at discount motels on the province’s dime with the government unaware of the squalor, a year-long police investigation revealed.”
  • This Blog cannot cover my thoughts, but I think you know how I feel

NDP being sworn in Sunday. Budget in the fall.

  • Rachel, not on Sunday please. You are excluding us Christians who like to rest on Sundays. Maybe avoid Fridays (Muslims) and Saturdays (Jewish) as well, as they like to rest too.

Letterman after 33 years says, “Good-bye.”

  • Long-time Dave, but we are going to focus now (Jesus, Love, and Serving the poor)

My anxiety continues to linger

  • We all have things that trump the on-goings of our environment; this is my pain, but Jesus trumps.

5-27-2015 11-53-16 AM

So, what am I saying? I am saying this, people are getting shot at and killed because we are not taking care of our poor. Jesus will protect us if we take care of the poor; focus.

“Is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter – when you see the naked to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.” (Isaiah 58:6-8 – all of 58 is AWESOME)

I am saying, we want to talk and work with our new government. We have over 10,000 visits a year at Building Hope Compassionate Association on a budget of less than $100,000; that seems pretty reasonable, but I am worn out and I do not meet on Sundays. Time to slow down everyone; focus.

I am praying this is a new era for us all. In the Name of Jesus, I love you all. jay

As Individuals We Live in Community

Saturday, May 9, 2015 @ 5:00pm @Schmidt’s

As Individuals We Live in Community

  • So the NDP are getting ready to lead Alberta after 44 years of PC reign
  • The Oilers are picking #1 again; “Come on Connor, it will be fun!”
  • And the Beverly Christian Revival is now the Building Hope Beverly Christian Revival

Things are changing in the City of Champions and I am pointing the finger right back at me.  It often amazes me the unique lives we live; but on the other side of the coin, we are all connected. I often think, “I am a part of a community, if I change, then the community changes.” This thought challenges me to live a “better” life in order to live in the best possible community, but what is “better”? And how do I get to “better” when life feels crappy?

In the past two months we all have had some highs and lows. In the past two months since my last Blog entry I have moved twice, felt the pressure of planning an event (BCR), and touched the emotional low of depression. How have your two months been? How do I affect community when darkness oppresses me? Where is my Jesus and my love, when the events of my life begin to crush me? Depression thrives in isolation, and it hates healthy community.

We in Edmonton are going to experience the NDP and probably Connor, but will revival touch our collective lives?

This revival will promote three things:

  1. Jesus
  2. Love
  3. Serving the Poor

I pray revival will be a part of our community.

When we stand together in community, in the unity of the Spirit of Christ, and attempt the love that He commands, we will find healing.

Our Philosophy calls for this revival

“Building Hope requires a firm foundation, and Jesus Christ is our cornerstone. By bringing the compassionate and needy together into community and encouraging all to love in the power of Christ, Building Hope believes that both the needy and compassionate will heal, strengthen, and gain direction.”

I pray revival will heal our community

In the past two months I have been a weak member of my community, but the Christian community has rallied around me through prayer and love. Jesus confirms that He walks with me in the valley of darkness (Psalm 23) and I am trying to rest in Him and trust that His power will see me back to strength. His Spirit guides me, and should I trust His leading, I believe I will know how to be a “better” member of community.

I pray revival will strengthen and guide our community

Clear it Out and Love

Monday, March 16, 2015 @ 16:29 at Building Hope

Inspirations: Red Bull Crashed Ice in Edmonton (14th), Movie – “About Time”, Sermon – “Clear it Out and Love”, Building Hope (obviously), and Beverly Christian Revival

Wow! Another month has passed since the last post – Beverly Christian Revival. I have had a lot to write about along the way, but at times I do not feel I have the words and I do not want to bore you, and other times I am busy. This past weekend I preached a sermon on Jesus cursing a fig tree, clearing a temple, and telling us that we are capable of powerful things as well (Mark 11:12-26). I believe this passage is a call to truth (holiness and love) and grace (forgiveness and love); and the power that is available to us should we commit to Jesus (truth and grace) and love with all our heart, mind, and soul.

Jesus NextBeverly Christian Revival planning has been ongoing since February 20 (4 weeks) and things seem to be coming together. Nine of us are committed to teaching people about Jesus, promoting unconditional love, and serving the poor; but we have run into barriers. As we were trying to book R.J. Scott school grounds we found out that the City of Edmonton has a policy in place where “no religious services” can be performed on the grounds. They also want us to make presentations to the Beverly Business Association and the Beverly Heights Community League; two organizations that have expressed concern with Building Hope being in their community. So basically the City does not want our Jesus and the community does not want our service to the poor, but we all believe in love.

This is the problem I believe, we all want love but we have no idea how to define it and how to live it. Jesus Christ walked in love and He was crucified by this world, and His example must serve as an example to Christians. We are called to love and the greatest love is one who is willing to lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13). Jesus lived His words and sacrificed for us, and a Christian is called to the same sacrifice. We are called to give everything we have, but do we come even close to this call. How much do you think Jesus would have given to avoid the cross? Everything in His bank? Yeah I think everything, but how much do we sacrifice for those in need? We continually put our money in the bank while people sleep in the streets. We avoid contact with the poor by living in our safe neighbourhoods, but Jesus came from heaven to rescue us. We think the poor are detrimental to our businesses, but Jesus said, “you cannot serve both GOD and money.” (Matthew 6:24)

We put on an event like Red Bull Crashed Ice and what do we gain? Entertainment and revenue. But consider investing in (or even allowing) an event like the Beverly Christian Revival. We are trying to serve a group of people that are normally cast aside, we are trying to teach about a Man who walked on the earth and sacrificed Himself for love, and we are trying to encourage people to love. We all want love, but are we willing to sacrifice for it? We all want love, but do we even try to understand what that means before we cast the problem aside. For the City of Edmonton and the communities of Edmonton I pray we are willing to invest in an event like the Beverly Christian Revival. Jesus is watching and should we fail to commit to these types of events what are the consequences, but imagine what could happen if Jesus really does empower revival.