I’m not a big fan of big blowout events to prove we can do something. The real test of anything is longevity. Especially when it comes to serving others. Anyone can do it for a day. But, can you make it a lifestyle? As a follower of Christ, that is what He asks of us. Jesus told those who wished to follow him to daily deny themselves, pick up their cross and follow Him. I don’t know about you but that is very humbling for me. Now, none of us get to serve on a grand scale everyday. But, we can serve our spouses, our children, our colleagues, our friends, our neighbors, those in lines at stores or a random person you meet on a walk. Each day will present an opportunity to serve. The question for me is, “am I willing to deny myself, my comfort, my calendar, my money, my agenda, my opinion, my time….my life to do it?” That’s my prayer heading into the day. God, will you help me to see those areas where selfishness abounds and selflessness overcomes.
To that end, we participated in a big blowout event that serves the community of Little Rock each year. Through a consortium of churces and organizations we hold a Sharefest event that originated in Little Rock and is spreading around the country and world. It’s truly a great event. However, as you read in my opening paragraph, participation in this kind of event, though needed, can often prove to be a salve for those who have spent most of the year focused on themselves. That’s me, too often. So, the issue is not to do away with the big event like a Sharefest, because it’s a blessing to the city and to many people. The real challenge is to cultivate that attitude of sacrificial service as a lifestyle throughoutthe year!
Well, here are a few photos of the project our community group helped with. We were at Arkansas Baptist College which is in the early stages of renewal. As the only black, Baptist college west of the Mississippi, it has had an historic significance over it’s 164 year history. Just a few short years ago its enrollments was down to about 150. Dr. Fitz Hill, former football head coach of San Jose State, was called by God to invest his energy, passion for students and love of Christ into this ailing college. A very LARGE challenge. But, since his arrival as President of Arkansas Baptist College, enrollment has increase fourfold and he’s making a difference in a very rough part of the city. It’s being transformed one life, one student, one home at a time. Our service project was to help them restore a pretty tired old school that has been in decay for years. It’s on the rise and the main building is slated for complete renovation in the next 12 months! I was part of a deck building group. We added a deck to the dining hall to give them a place to enjoy fellowship around a meal outdoors (weather permitting :-). We also built a couple of benches for them to use. There were many other projects going on around the campus and around the city of Little Rock. It was a pleasure to participate. Here are some of the photos of the weekend: