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Weekend In Review: Pass the Baton

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This past weekend we had the honor of having Samuel Orlando, Guest Speaker from Compassion International, sit down with us. He shared his experience with Compassion and how he became sponsored. Samuel stated that he was blown away that someone would act so selflessly to give to him because he was in poverty. He said the women that wrote to him and helped him became like a second mother to him. Samuel’s story is such a beautiful representation of how someone took personal responsibility in their life and made a change in his life.

As Pastor Rick spoke in the beginning of the service, growing in personal responsibility is directly linked to our responsibility or others. The more we serve others, the more responsible we become of ourselves. He shared in 2 Timothy 2:2 that,

 You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.”

When Pastor Rick read that, I was struck with a few thoughts: “How am I passing the baton to others younger than me? How am I helping the next generation?”

Samuel’s story and the main talking point Pastor Rick spurred a desire to pass the baton to the one’s who are in need. Whether those needs are financial or emotional, serving others is the way we can take personal responsibility for ourselves. Instead of being in a generation that is lacking, let’s help others continue to grow in their lives. Pass the baton to others that need our help.

From opportunities to invest in others, check out our website at east91st.org/serve.

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The Unsung Heroes of Our Faith

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Memorial Day is soon to arrive this weekend. It’s easy to forget why this is a holiday for us. Most of us have time off work to relax with the family, entertain with a cook out, and enjoy summer activities. However, this day is a time to remember the sacrifice made for us by the men and women serving in our Armed Forces. Take some time this week to reflect upon their sacrifices and honor them on this holiday.

This holiday is also a reminder that the freedom we have to express our faith was not always free either. There are some unsung heroes in the Bible that made sacrifices that have paved a way for us. Story after story, there were many people that were bold in their faith. Jumping to the New Testament, Hebrews 11 chronologically goes through these stories. From Abel and his righteous sacrifices to Noah, Abraham, and Moses and their remained faithfulness to God. At the end of the chapter, we move to a paragraph that mentions the unsung heroes of faith that aren’t mentioned in Bible. In Hebrews 11:35-40 it says,

“… There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”

These men and women were persecuted, suffered hardships, devastation and more because of their faith. Their sacrifices and their boldness paved the way for us to have the freedom to express our faith in Christ and have courage in that. While they did not see all of what God was doing, they knew that they were paving a way for us in the present day and in the future.

This holiday weekend we have so much to be thankful for, let’s carry that this week in remembrance to honor those who have gone before us.

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