Where’s the Peace?

On Thursday, June 30 our teens got to visit Holiday World in Santa Claus, IN. This was part of their week-long bus trip the middle and high school YLIFe Program takes every summer. We take them out of the city to explore the possibilities of a world beyond what they have grown to accept as “normal.” We want to give them the opportunity to see HOPE. This year, touring rural southern Indiana was a big piece of the trip.

Unfortunately, after a long day at Holiday World Thursday evening, the trip took a sad turn. Our students and adults were forced to evacuate the amusement park because of a bomb threat.

Fear and panic set in.
Frantic phone calls and text messages.
Struggling to find all the students in a sea of panicked people.

Thankfully, there was no bomb and everyone was safe, but they were left with fear and uncertainty.

We took our teens away from the inner city to experience life in a different place, but is it that different anymore? Everywhere we go fear seems to rule. Everywhere we turn evil, terrorism, and the enemy want to take away our safety and security. They want to take away our peace.

Wherever you live, in the inner city, suburbs, or deep in rural America there is a chance for peace – the Prince of Peace. It is His love that brings peace despite circumstances.

Will you be an agent of peace? Will you help to bring Shalom to your neighborhood and ours?

Peace be with you.


A tremendous gift

We recently received a tremendous gift at Shepherd Community.
No, it wasn’t a large amount of money or a large quantity of stock.

It was a few pieces of gardening equipment.

Now, you may think, “That’s tremendous, Jay?” You bet! Because the gift came from one of our neighbors who has so little, yet, she wanted to be a part of what we’re doing at Shepherd.

Riches she doesn’t have. But she gave what she could.

What gift can you give?


The Challenge

Quietly, on Friday April 29th at 1:27pm a life passed on to eternity with his Heavenly Father. The world is consumed with hopelessness, bitter political debate, and emptiness of wealth. Yet, there was a man, named Norm Sharp, who changed the world with no acclaim, with no glory, and no fanfare.

This man was like my second father. In a time when the world is ravaged by children without fathers, I had the privilege of having a great father, and a second amazing God-father.

I often say, “Every child will be mentored, the question is by whom?” I was mentored by great parents, and so many others, especially Norm.

So I mourn his loss, but rejoice that he is Home.

And I take the challenge: Who will I mentor? Who will I invest in?

Like Norm mentored and invested in me, I want to do the same with the children and families living in poverty in our neighborhoods. Won’t you join me?