Have you ever gone to the store or gas station and grabbed your favorite salty snack only to open the bag and find that it’s half empty? You thought you paid full price. You didn’t crush the bag. But what a disappointment to see that it looks like someone else helped themselves to your Cheetos! Or maybe you bought something online and it looked amazing. It was an impulse purchase. You saw it. You didn’t know you needed it until you saw it on your screen and then you just “had” to have it. You clicked “buy now” and it came like magic the next day. The box was smaller than you anticipated but they are amazing packers, right?! You picked up the box that has a smile on it, and you tore it open. The excitement you felt was almost comparable to Christmas morning. But when you opened that small box, the amazing item you had to have barely took up half of the space and looked nothing like what you thought you’d get. You had been duped.
I’m so glad our God doesn’t give us gifts like this. He doesn’t give you a half-full bag or a poor imitation of the real thing. He promises that as we give, He will give more:
“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
Over the past month, I have seen God’s people here at NCCOC give BIG and I’ve seen God pour even more into their laps. As you know, we received such big donations to send kids to camp and Impact. God blessed these donations and multiplied them in many ways. He even added a sister into the Kingdom through baptism (Savannah McKinney)! Kids were blessed with powerful teaching, heart-felt worship and they witnessed 1200 other Christian teens living out Christian community. I saw people giving their time to sort clothes and toys and to bag food. You know what our Father did? God sent a warehouse full of new clothes (like brand new jeans, pajamas, towels, bedding, shorts, and shirts) to bless hundreds of families.
I saw folks who are struggling with their own hard things make time to listen and pray and love on others. I witnessed God send unexpected blessings into their lives to remind them that “their labor in the Lord is never in vain.” I saw people who needed community step outside of their comfort zones to attend our summer socials. They brought food, cleaned up and served. God brought encouragement and friendships that they didn’t expect. We have a good Father who makes sure our hands and hearts are full to the point of overflowing.
Have you been feeling empty lately? Disappointed in what you’ve been investing in? Ask God where He wants you to give generously. Let Him guide you to where there is a need. Then give whole-heartedly and see what God does. If you train your eye, you can see that God is pouring out blessings into your lap each day! We’d love to have you join us in “managing the floodgates of Heaven”(as Rod would say). Ask how you can be involved.
This past month…
· Savannah McKinney was baptized into Christ
· 83 seniors got food boxes
· 317 families were served at the clothing giveaway
· Our food giveaway served 726 families
· 145,000 pounds of food was given out
· 16 people attended Impact in Nashville TN and were blessed by worshipping with 1200 other Christians
· We have 41 campers signed up for camp so far
· The ladies’ class reunion was well attended with over 30 gals
· The Water Day made a splash and bike day for our kiddos was so much fun
· Our Summer Socials have been encouraging. Many families are getting together for fun, food and fellowship! We even had 12 dogs attend!
· 76 backpacks of food were given to local schools each week this month
· Several Bible studies and small groups met each week at NCCOC
“Glorify God and Show Him to Others”