Monday, 13 July 2009

Woodlawn Summer Festival

Join us on

Saturday, July 18th

for a


Summer Festival

located on 1st Ave N and 57th St N

9am-12am: RCC work projects at

Cornerstone Christian School

135 54th Street North Birmingham, AL 35212

12-4:00pm: Festival activities including:

free lunch, art walk, games, prizes, music,

professional advice and DIY help,

yard/clothes sale, and more!

-RCC needs volunteers to help with balloon

animals and face painting in the

front yard of Woodlawn High School!

Email ( if you want to help

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Fear and Mercy

I have recently been working my way through a book by Tim Keller called Ministries of Mercy: The Call of the Jericho Road. Actually, I started the book quite a while ago and after a bit of a lapse, have just picked it back up and am really digging into it. The book is based on the "Good Samaritan" passage in Luke 10:25-37 and is a fantastic discussion of what the Bible says about a believer's role in helping the needy, poor, and "least of these". Keller addresses all of the very tough questions and circumstances that are common to "ministries of mercy", including how we balance our responsibility to help those in need with their level of responsibility for their own circumstances. Having read many books on this issue, I feel that this one (at least through the 1st half that I have read) really looks at the heart of the issue, allowing the wisdom of Scripture to shed light on what is often a very difficult mandate for believers to both understand and to obey.

As I was reading in Chapter 8 today, I was reminded of the one of the greatest hindrances to reaching out to those in need: fear. While some of us can immediately identify the presence of fear in our hearts, others are far less aware that this is what cripples us from action. I truly believe that behind all of our excuses and busy schedules and reservations and dormant intentions lies fear. We all have asked the questions: How do I know that what I am doing will actually make any difference? Will this guy go spend this money on alcohol or drugs? Is it even safe for me to go in that area? How am I supposed to give to others when I barely have enough money for myself? What do I really have to offer these people?

Even when we are aware of our responsibility and do see the great needs around us and do desire to help, we often ourselves doing nothing, because we are paralyzed with fear. Why is this? Keller points out that two of the biggest hindrances to action are that we don't know how to make contact (we are afraid of breaking the ice) and we don't think we have the resources to help (we are afraid of failure). As I reflected on these two statements, I realized the truth in them, and how these very fears so often keep me from fruitful, joyful obedience. And yet how silly these fears look in light of how much greater our God is! Even when we feel totally inadequate to respond, it is in our weakness that His Great Power is made perfect! Next time you see someone in need and you feel the Spirit prompt your heart to respond, take a moment and ask the Lord to reveal your own heart to you. See what the real fear is behind your hesitation, and ask the Lord to help you overcome this fear. He is faithful to supply all of our needs, to enable us to do what he calls us to, and to do more than we can even ask or imagine!