Fellowship Deaconry Blog

Sharing Updates and Stories from Fellowship Deaconry Ministries

Vision Bits #3

I observe that atheism, agnosticism, and “unbelief” in general is based in disappointment.  In almost every conversation I have ever been in with an “unbeliever” I find the most common explanation for NOT believing in God runs along the line of, “If there really were a God there would NOT be ..” followed by a complaint: There would be no “pain,” “sickness,” “war,” “babies suffering,” and even “death” itself. While these sad things are offered as evidence of there being no Loving God, folks do not seem to ask themselves, “From where does my outrage spring?” If life is an accident, and we all are here due to an improbable series of genetic luck, then there is no injustice, there is no tragedy.

I often share with my unbelieving friends that it is only because there is a Loving God that we experience a sense of “just” or “unjust”.  We mourn someone dying because in the depths of our being we know that death should not be. God created humans to have Eternal Life, and it is only because of sin let loose in the universe that death even happens to us. The “complainers” in fact agree with God!

God hates injustice; God hates death; God hates sin, that we are oppressed, victimized and imprisoned by it, and that we cannot visually see Him because of it. If God is so loving and kind, why doesn’t He just “fix it”? Peter explains this (2 Peter 3:4-9). God is not slow, nor inattentive, God is “patient … not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

God hates the condition of our world more than we do. He sent His Son Jesus to drink from the cup of suffering and provide a way to Life. God holds off on ushering in the Final Day so that more, even more, might be rescued from the ravaging blight.

Christmas is Christmas only because all the rest is true. The Cross, the resurrection, the coming of the Holy Spirit, and our Hope in what God intended for us from the beginning – eternal joy-filled fellowship with Him.  That is Christmas.

- Rev. Joel Davis, Executive Director

 

 

 

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Vision Bits #2

To have a “vision” simply means to have an idea of what something should look like.  That can include, “Where are we going?” but it also includes practical and mundane things.

I recently visited a Bed & Breakfast in an old Victorian house: One could see the place reflected respect and dignity: “Respect” and “dignity” do not have to mean “stuffy” or “fancy.” There were no gold doorknobs, but there was order, and care taken with how things were arranged, and it was clean. These things reflect a godly view, and we find this in scripture, not only with God’s instructions for assembling, cleaning, and maintaining the tabernacle, but also in the “rules” he gave the Israelites for building and caring for their houses. In the temple the Levites were the priests who took care of the place, and God gave them a vision for what it should look like, providing specific instructions for even how to clean the utensils.

How we care for a place is a reflection of what we think of that place, but also, maybe more profoundly, what we think of ourselves in that place.  What is given to us to take care of, where we live, it should look like it is loved. We should love where we are because God has us there, and we respect God. It is good to keep this in front of us to encourage and remind us to maintain our places. We strive to do that everyday here at the Fellowship Deaconry. 

- Joel Davis, Executive Director

 

 

 

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Vision Bits #1

 II Chronicles 20:15 was sent out at the turn of the year as the Sisters’ “Verse of the Year”: “… for the battle is not yours, but God’s”. Fine and good. There are many instances in scripture where we are told how God aided, rescued or miraculously delivered Israel, and we are encouraged to believe that He is with us in the battles we face.

But what about BEFORE the battle? When Israel went out to battle they went out EQUIPPED for battle.  YES, in many instances they saw God’s deliverance. In every instance they went out to battle with arrows for their bows, spears, swords and shields, and sandals on their feet.  This means that BEFORE there was a battle, someone in Israel was making arrows! Someone was making swords! They prepared.  

I believe the Fellowship Deaconry is in a place of preparation: God has provided a time for us to regroup, rethink and repurpose. If we mistake this for a time of rest, when the battle comes – when the OPPORTUNITY comes – we may, at that time, find ourselves helpless to enter into what God calls us to do.

- Joel Davis, Executive Director

 

 

 

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Thank you, Allen Smith

On behalf of the board and staff of Fellowship Deaconry, I would like to express our appreciation to Allen Smith for his leadership efforts during the past three years. He has worked to grow programs and resources and sustain the facilities that are the heart of our ministry. Through his efforts Day Camp Sunshine has grown and improvements have been made to benefit this important FDM program and outreach. He also oversaw renovations to the Sister’s living space, which integrated special cooking and dining areas to improve the efficiency and quality of their living. Allen brought many organizational enhancements as well, with updates to our website, governance, and accreditation with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). Well done, good and faithful servant!

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