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Share em’ – Infuse Week 3

October 20, 2008

 Week 3 of the DNA series took us to the place of The Bridge’s greatest strength, I think.  We talked about the radically relational way in which followers of Jesus lived in the New Testament, especially in Acts 4 and 2.  Anyone that’s been around The Bridge knows that relationships are one of The Bridge’s greatest strengths – when we gather the love is thick and people have always been willing to do whatever it took to meet the needs of the people around them.  What scared me this week was the thought that because we’re good at living relationally, we’d settle for how we’re doing instead of seeking to be great at living relationally.  I don’t want to be a church that just… settles.

So, here’s how we can keep moving forward.  At the end of Acts 4, Luke tells the story of Joseph selling his field to help some poor people as an example of how to live what he talked about in verses 32-35.  Our stories about people sacrificially loving us are powerful things to be shared.

If there’s been a time when someone from the family of God has helped you, you’re the teacher this week.  Honor them and challenge us by sharing the story of someone modeling radical relationship by intentionally helping you in a time of need…

13 Comments leave one →
  1. October 20, 2008 9:10 am

    – Tammy and Keith VeerSteg are constantly asking questions to anticipate needs they can meet. They have given countless baby supplies to help the Wandells with their little ones, and I know they have supported other expectant parents in the church as well.
    – The Slacks – every week Sue is finding new ways to bless the Wandells. If she is out running an errand, and she sees something that we might need, she will pick it up for us. She also gives of her time and energy by preparing meals, anticipating a need again.
    – The Riffes opened their home (in the middle of construction!) to throw a double baby shower, and many Bridge people came to celebrate and help with meeting needs there.
    – Josh and Jana Howerton occasionally drive all the way to Bellevue to give us the gift of fellowship and community.

    This is just for starters… I’ll try to think of some more throughout the day and share more.

  2. howertonjosh permalink
    October 20, 2008 9:26 am

    Since we’ve gotten here, so many families have invited us to hang out with them for friendship – the Slacks, the Halls, the Simmons, the Hoods, the Riffes, the Ver Steegs, the Goodwins. Dennis Knisley and Dave Malin have continually offered rounds of golf with them. Dave and Debbie Hall offered to let us keep ALL OUR STUFF in their barn if our Condo sold and we hadn’t found a place yet. Mom and Dad have let us stay in their house for almost three months now to give us the ability to be here with The Bridge while our Condo is on the market. Philip Gasser has offered to look at/work on my car.

    The list is long already and I’m sure I’m forgetting things.

  3. Sue permalink
    October 20, 2008 10:58 am

    Men from The Bridge coming over to our house to replace the siding after the hail storm a couple of years ago.

  4. Mary Bea permalink
    October 21, 2008 1:37 am

    This is what happens when I try talk to all 3 children, answer the phone and type on the computer all at the same time…I put this on another day’s entry…so anyway…here’s me…putting it in the correct spot :-p

    Julie Howerton weeded my yard the day McKenna was born…Scott Shoopman mowed for us on the same day…KEEP IN MIND…The Bridge was only about 4 months old…and we had only known them that long…it was overwhelming to us the loved that was poured out…Becky Riffe gave me a car load of baby stuff for McKenna clothes, toys, high chair, tons of stuff…and I had only known her about 2 weeks!! Tammy Ver Steeg, & Becky Riffe have offered to babysit my 3 kids (added to their already full houses) on nights Ken was out of town and I would clearly have a late rehearsal…Kathy & Jeff Hollandsworth offered to keep the kids for us so we could have a date night…just out of the blue…it was awesome!! Sue Slack seems to have a holy hotline or something in her house..cause she always knows when to email with a bible verse or two that totally inspires or knows just when to check in and give you some support and offer her prayers…I’m sure I’m forgetting someone or something wonderful…because little things happen all the time…I’ll be walking along…just having a day…and WHAM!! Somebody from my awesome church family will smack me with some love!!

  5. Jim permalink
    October 21, 2008 6:00 am

    I could talk about many times that people of the Bridge have stepped in when I needed them most. I should point out at this point that I am not an easy person to help!

    When our family moved to our new home there were several men that showed up to help load the truck. Many were coming late in the evening after a very long day at work. They also showed up the next day to unload the truck. I am guessing that no less than 30 people helped us that day. We also had families stop by both days to bring us food and watch our kids which was a huge help.

    Altough I could go on about many physical needs that have been met, I would be missing a big piece of the puzzle if I didn’t mention spiritual needs. If you don’t already know it, the elders (past and present) at the Bridge are some of the greatest men I have ever known. After a meeting with these guys I want to be a better person. Rick Howerton is a great encourager. He is one of the primary reasons why I am pursuing God’s call to the ministry. He always has a positive word to say about the future of my ministry. Dennis Knisley is always available to talk and show me what it means to be wise. I think my kids think Dennis must be related to them because he loves them so much. Scott Shoopman does not know the meaning of the word “no.” He lives very sacrificially with his time. He will often just show up at my house to help without asking. Josh Howerton has an energy and enthusiasm that makes me want to change the world. I feel like I could bring any need or problem and they would do their best to help me through it.

  6. Scott Shoopman permalink
    October 21, 2008 11:20 am

    To turn a phrase; “…how much do they love…let me count the ways”. I feel fairly certain that The Bridge family wishes we would stay put and quit moving, because every time we move to another home, it seems more people show up to help – like Jim, I think we had 25 or 30 people involved in our last move. One of the greatest parts of this was the youth moving the single mother into our home in Lexington Farms AFTER helping to move us into our home on the ridge!

    This type of help is much easier to accept than what I am about to share. Many of you know that I am a Realtor by trade and am part-time at The Bridge. Real Estate has been quite slow the past 2 years and as such has caused our ends to not only have trouble meeting, but at time they don’t even see each other! God does provide in many ways, inside The Bridge and outside. In one way, I hope you never have to experience the difficulty of accepting money from your friends, but as Josh put it to me – I had to step up and allow others to give to us – and us accept that gift – so we could be an example to The Bridge. It hurts, it causes tears, it humbles, but it also blesses the heart and spirit.

    I hesitate to list names, but that was the request. I know these people will not want their names mentioned, but… thanks to Rick and Julie, Josh and Jana, John and Eva, Curtis and Barbara, Jeff and Jordan and the other anonymous gifts that have been passed our way. This list doesn’t even include the people that have trusted me with their Real Estate transactions, trusted me with referrals or helped with encouragement and prayer.

    I still hesitate to hit the submit key – vulnerability is very hard for me. The Bridge is such a great blessing to me and my family, I must share that others may be blessed as well.

    Marianne, I apologize for not discussing this with you before I sent…

  7. Jana Howerton permalink
    October 21, 2008 1:03 pm

    The Bridge is truly an amazing group of believers. It is more like the early Church mentioned in Acts 2 than any other Church I’ve ever been a part of. Josh and I had a deep love for The Bridge even before were called here and it is because of each and every one of you who are a part of it. I remember visiting The Bridge on several Sundays and longing to be part of it. Josh and I were always excited to get phone calls from Mom and Dad Howerton telling us what you all were doing, and how God was using you all in Spring Hill.

    Josh and I have felt an overflow of love from you all like we have never experienced before. I have made friends faster here than anywhere I have ever lived before because you all are not only doing Church, but you are being the Church.

    I hope you all know how much Josh and I love you, and how blessed we are by knowing each one of you.

  8. Marlene permalink
    October 22, 2008 9:53 am

    I have been blessed to part of the Bridge these past few months. The church is focused on doing God’s work not just talking about it. The love of Jesus is evident in the small group we attend on Wednesdays at John & Eva’s. When you are going thru a divorce, the changes you face can be overwhelming and discouraging. This group of people (John & Eva, Ben & Serena, Sherri, Jack &Patti) truly desire to show God’s love to others. John and Eva have been there to provide Godly advice and encouragement to both of us(day and night-sometimes really late at night).

    Josh and Jana – I thank you for your encouraging words and your willingness to serve God. Your bright smiles and enthusiasm are contagious!

    I always feel welcome on Sunday….thanks for being such a friendly group of people.

  9. Becky permalink
    October 22, 2008 1:15 pm

    I wasn’t quite sure where to start when I first thought about this question. I’m afraid I will leave someone out and so I’ll apologize ahead of time.

    I feel like Sue is my personal prayer warrior! Knowing she is praying for me and my family is such a blessing. I keep her busy! ;0) She has also brought us meals when we’ve had new babies…bought countless items for Emma as she sees them and thinks of us…kept Abby and Levi overnight when we were at the hospital having Emma…keeps our kids every year so we can go out for our anniversary…and the list goes on with her.

    MaryBea has also taken care of the kids while we were in the process of closing on our house and moving. And brought a ton of pizza to feed everyone since we were so busy. I also have to mention that I was so happy to see the whole Johnson family come to visit us in the hospital literally just minutes after Emma was born. The fact that they were willing to bring the entire family all the way up to Centennial to see us meant so much.

    Dennis and Beth took care of Emma for me one night while Jimmy and Levi were out of town so I could take the older girls out for some alone Mommy time. She was still very young and they took her out to dinner and kept her way past bedtime. And I’m sure she was loved on every single minute! Beth also came in the middle of the night to sit with the kids when Jimmy had his last kidney stone. Now that’s showing some love!!

    When Jimmy was working out of town and I was extremely pregnant with Emma, I had Sue and Audrey both just out of the blue say hey, I’m taking the kids for you tomorrow so you can be alone for a while. I am SO grateful for that as I would not likely ask for the help, but they just told me they were doing it. And you should have seen the plans Audrey had for the kids…crafts, snacks, etc. Just like you would expect from her!! I had others offer to help with the kiddos as well…

    One day while Jimmy was out of town (again, still very pregnant) the kids and I had to venture up to Sam’s for groceries. I hadn’t been up there in months so you can imagine with our size family that I had a ton to buy. Ran into Scott and Marianne Shoopman while in the checkout line and they didn’t hesitate to unload all my stuff onto the belt thingy and then load it all into my truck for me. They tried their best to help us at home as well but we managed to hurry and get it done quickly…guess I should thank my kiddos for that one!

    Just last Sunday Lora Nethercutt kept the kids so Jimmy and I could go to a small group meeting together. With him working most Saturdays lately we didn’t want to be apart yet again all Sunday afternoon so Lora stepped in when we needed her…and for nothing in return.

    I’m sure there are things I’m forgetting, but this is a good start!

  10. October 22, 2008 1:27 pm

    I echo all that Josh has said about our elders! Great men of God I admire and respect! The Bridge is a great place to worship and grow and so much of that has to do with these great men. Thanks so much!!!

  11. theophilogue permalink
    October 28, 2008 11:39 pm

    Hey dude … I really enjoyed your comment about “The Shack.” Hope you notice I posted your comment on my blog.


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