How can a goat change a life? Each year, Pursuit holds a fundraiser called the Holy Goat Awards. Teens dress up and have dinner together to raise money to purchase goats for families in Jamaica. Then in the spring, a Pursuit team travels to Jamaica to give the goats to families in need.
We work with Pastor Clinton and Grace Community Fellowship who identify families who could benefit from receiving a goat. A few years ago, Lascells and Patsy were one of the first families who received a goat. They had been together for a while before he proposed to her at church on Valentine’s Day. Soon after they got married, they received what they considered a wonderful wedding gift: a goat from Team Church.
They cared for the goat and it soon multiplied. Grateful for what they had received, they wanted to give back, so they donated one of the kids to share with another family.
What a story of love and generosity! Not only do goats change lives by providing food, but they are also an opportunity to show God’s love to our neighbors in need.
HOW TO MAKE GOOD MEMORIES WITHOUT GRUMPY SIDE EFFECTS
We wanted to be the fun parents. And to create memories. I wanted us to be able to look fondly back on weekends like this and hear my kids say things like, “Thank you!” “That was awesome!” I didn’t want us to be grumpy and short with each other. But with so much “fun” planned, we started running on less and less, our fuses getting shorter and shorter until it didn’t matter what we were doing. We were too exhausted to enjoy it.
And that’s when it hit me. When it comes to making memories, my kids are cataloguing more than the experience itself. They are taking note of the emotions that come along with them.
Have you ever wondered if there is more to following Jesus than what you’re experiencing right now? Because it’s pretty easy to look like you have it figured out. Post a quiet time pic, put a verse or “~*<In Love With Jesus>*~" in your bio, and talk about how absolutely LIT the church service was on your snap story and people will probably assume you have it together as a Christian. BUT, looking like you’re doing things with your faith and actually doing something with it are very different things. For example, how we interact with our unsaved friends.
Did you know that you how you behave is important in showing your friends the type of person Jesus is, but that actually TELLING your friends about Jesus is WAY better? The Bible teaches us that telling our friends about Jesus is a big deal. Romans 10:14 says, “But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him fi they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?” Your friends can’t respond to Jesus trying to save them if they don’t know He’s trying to save them. Jesus was really clear that our job on earth is to show people around us how to follow Him.
Most of the time though, we look like these people called the Athenians. The Bible talks about them in Acts 17. The Apostle Paul goes to talk to the people in Athens on Mars Hill where they get together for meetings. These meetings don’t sound too productive because Acts 17:21 says, “all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.” I think that sounds a lot like us most of the time! We sit around and talk about how Christians are messing up in trying to witness to people and spreading hate and not love, but then we never go out and try to witness ourselves. We talk about the latest song that dropped this week, or the new episode of Big Bang Theory with our friends but we won’t take time to talk to them about the most important decision they will EVER make.
If you are more comfortable sitting in church and thinking about evangelism, or talking about how you don’t want to “offend anyone,” then what you have to ask yourself is do you really believe that your friends feelings are more important to you than their eternity. Because their eternity is absolutely what hangs in the balance. We aren’t playing a game, we are fighting a war! The amazing news is that in Jesus, we are on the winning side!
So you could definitely decide to sit back and not bring your faith up to your friends but remember that the Bible says in Matthew 9:37, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” Be one of the few and fight for the eternity of your friends!
1) Be excited about Jesus! If you’re bored with Jesus, you’re doing it wrong!
2) Invite them to Pursuit! Sometimes the easiest way to get started is to bring them to church with you!
3) Just ask them what they think about Jesus! Everyone has an opinion about Jesus. See what your friends’ are. It will start conversations that could lead to a chance for you to lead a friend to Christ, which is the best feeling in the world!
Jesus made you on purpose, with a purpose, for a purpose! He doesn’t make mistakes or screw ups. He made you just the way He wanted you because He loves you. He wants you to do incredible things in this life for Him! He wants you to dream BIG dreams! But we can only accomplish those dreams in a relationship with Jesus! We have to be connected to Him.
John 15:5 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Without Jesus we can’t do anything that actually matters in this world.
BUT, here’s the thing. Having a relationship with Jesus is more than doing the right thing. Having a relationship with Jesus can seem hard, or even confusing, at times. So here are five true statements you can remember as you try to connect to Jesus more:
Prayer is powerful! You have access to speak to a limitless God! He is always available to listen to you; and, if you remove distractions and ask Him to speak, He will speak back to you. Not audibly (though He could), but by pressing on you, giving you a gut feeling, or maybe an idea that suddenly jumps into your mind. Make no mistake, if you aren’t hearing from God, your dreams won’t have power behind them. He will guide you and give you what you need to accomplish the purpose He has for you!
Every day you should have a special time that you devote to reading your Bible and just sitting, listening, and talking with Jesus. This is like food for your soul. You eat to stop from being hungry, so eat to not be spiritually hungry! And what you fill your soul with matters! If you stuff your face with moldy pizza when you have Chipotle available to you, you are going to get strange looks from people. So don’t fill your soul with sin, fill it with Jesus! READ YOUR BIBLE! If you don’t know where to start there are plenty of plans, and version of the bible available here.
The hard things in life seem more possible when you have a friend pushing you to keep going. Afraid to go on a roller coaster? Your friends encouraging you to be brave will get you strapped in and having fun. The same is true with your relationship with Jesus. You will get discouraged, sad, upset, and busy. When those times come, it will be easy to stop pursuing Jesus. But if you have friends, they can see where you’re at and help keep you pushing to have a relationship with Jesus. Dealing with a sin you can’t seem to shake? Friends will hold you accountable! A great place to start finding a family of faith you can count on is at Pursuit, in Hometeams, and at Launch. You can find a Hometeam here.
Some things that get me excited and thanking Jesus for His goodness? BreakAway, Unleash, Pursuit Days, CrossFit, my quiet time with Jesus, good friends, pizza with sriracha on it, playing board games with my wife, and seeing students take next steps in following Jesus. What are the things that get you excited about Jesus and about following Him? You’ve got to hang on to those things and fill your life with them!
We have a real enemy. His name is Satan and he hates us, wants to destroy us, and will stop at nothing to get us to waste our lives on sin. SO, kill the sin in your life. Use extreme measure if necessary. But get rid of it. If that means for a while you get off of Snapchat and Instagram, then hit that uninstall button. If it means that you break up with that cute boy/girl, then you know what you have to do. But that sin is going to stop you from achieving the purpose and dream God has given you. It will kill your potential. As the old saying goes, “be killing sin, or it will be killing you.”
If you want to live a life that is unlike anything you could EVER imagine, you’ve got to be connected completely to Jesus. Without Jesus you will see the things that you can’t accomplish, but with Him you will see nothing you can’t accomplish!