Life Dominating Behaviors – His Oaks Ministry

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Behaviors are a difficult thing to change at any age. Our behaviors come from instinct, environment, experience, culture, biology, etc and have the ability to control our lives in positive or negative ways. Life dominating behaviors such as depression, addiction, anxiety, PTSD, mental illness, along with life circumstances keep many people from living a healthy and productive life and often times are a path to prison. They wear us out, break us down and make life feel hopeless which leads to more addiction. However, vicious cycles of life can be broken off through an encounter with Christ!

This June, we are partnering to break off life-dominating behaviors!

His Oaks Ministry was birthed in 2011, with a vision and passion to reach men who are stuck in these cycles and need help finding their way out. Serving men 18-35 years old, this transition home and unique program provides the help men need to rebuild their lives, restore relationships with God and families, while entering back into society.

Most of the men who enter this program come into it beaten down by sin and life in general. This Christ-centered, residential, discipleship environment gives men an opportunity to break free from the strongholds that have sabotaged their life. They enter His Oaks dead in sin but wake up to a relationship with a living Savior while discovering their identity in Jesus. Joy and hope fill their lives and dominating behaviors are crushed under the cross.

Solid biblical foundations and the authority of the scriptures is used to teach Godly living. Residents participate in Bible studies and training sessions throughout the week, as well as work duties around the house, in various community/neighbor services, and eventually in their own jobs. By living, studying, and working together in an atmosphere of Christian love and understanding, each man is given the opportunity to walk in victory!

Checkout their ministry to learn more! www.hisoaks.com

His Oaks is fully funded by the faithfulness of God and the charitable giving of others. Most men who enter this life-saving program are unable to fund their own stay. It’s because of your generosity that we will be able to come alongside them to help continue their amazing work with the men God brings!! Thank you for all your prayers as we continue to help others.

BLESS SOMEONE TODAY… just because you can! 🙂

 

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Each month, Be a Blessing looks for opportunities to bring opportunity! We strive to be a part of what God is doing across the world through established faith-based non-profits. We partner with His vision to transform hearts with the Gospel of Christ. Each donation brings hope and love to hurting people and encourages organizations as they serve others.

Golan Ministries – a Migrant Aid Effort

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It’s human nature to survive and refugee crisis’ are happening all over the globe. Migrants that come from southern countries toward the U.S. border are nothing new. The sheer numbers as of late are looking for a new life. That has brought emergency humanitarian need and a lot of opinions. As the government and organizations try to handle the influx, it’s imperative that we do not forget that these individuals and families are loved by God. If I was in their shoes, I would probably be doing the same for a chance at life.

Jesus walked in the midst of turmoil to bring love and peace and then called us to do the same.

In the meantime, I believe we should be the hands and feet of Christ to bring the hurting to God’s love and salvation. Pastor Navarro from the West Brownsville Baptist Church in Brownsville, TX and his congregation are doing just that.

Golan Ministries, a branch of West Brownsville Baptist Church, was formed last April. The Mexican Consulate in Brownsville, TX contacted Pastor Navarro for assistance with the summer 2018 border crisis. They converted half their church into a respite center for asylum-seeking immigrants. They serve Guatemalans, Salvadorans, Hondurans, Nicaraguans, Cubans and Venezuelans. Golan Ministries provides monthly financial assistance to their church plant in Chiapas, Mexico, where migrants have been flocking for help. In addition, they distribute goods at a local immigration center and travel across the border with backpacks of supplies to Matamoros. Golan Ministries just received the opportunity to manage a 40-bed Brownsville shelter, no longer subsidized by the city. The shelter will temporarily house migrants as they enter the U.S. from Matamoros to apply for political asylum.

Setting aside political complications, Golan Ministries’ mission is to extend love, dignity, respect and compassion to all asylum seekers and refugees.

 

Pastor Navarro and Golan Ministries certainly have their hands full! THIS MONTH we have the privilege to extend our support to partner with Brownsville and I can’t be more excited! It’s been on my heart for months to find a ministry on the front lines helping migrants physically and spiritually. The biggest needs are for practical items such as: clothing, toothbrushes, sanitary supplies, towels, Tracfone’s, activities for kids, serving utensils/plates, hair brushes, diapers, Spanish Bibles, etc. We get to purchase items from their wish list on Amazon to help fill these continual needs as people keep coming.

Check out this News clip: RESPITE CARE CENTER in BROWNSVILLE

Join us for just $5 a MONTH … you’ll be blessed all year-round!

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Each month, Be a Blessing looks for opportunities to bring opportunity! We strive to be a part of what God is doing across the globe. Supporting and encouraging faith-based non-profits and participating in their visions to transform hearts with the Gospel of Christ. Each donation brings hope and love to hurting people.

Feeding the Forgotten, leper communities

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You might think Leprosy, an age-old disease, has been cured. However, over 100 countries, including the USA, still report cases each year. Although a treatment exists, many people do not have access to such life saving measures and the disease continues. Often exiled to separate communities, they live in a poverty state without hope.

ENTER… APRILS’ BLESSING! Our blessing this month has opened their heart and compassion to leper villages in India, along with other programs in over 16 nations. They won over my heart just by reading their website and Facebook page. The door opened after the 2004 tsunami in southeast Asia. As a result, God began to pave the way to touch far more lives than they could have ever imagined!

WATCH THIS! …. SUPER SWEET VIDEO of their full ministry! https://vimeo.com/287399689

 

“Although we are doing a lot of humanitarian targeting right now – our greater vision is long term. By long term, of course, we mean eternity. We want to connect with the Christians of Asia and bring them a sense of freedom and a greater understanding of who God is.”

HUMANITARIAN RELIEF  –  TRAINING INDIGENOUS LEADERS  –  SHARING THE HOPE OF CHRIST

Their ministries across multiple Asian Nations include: Disaster Relief, Children’s Homes, Evangelism, Building Homes / Emergency Shelter, Sanitation Projects, Feeding Programs, Rice Distribution for Lepers, Bible School Ministry, Drilling Water Wells, Leadership Training and Development, Pre-schools and Education Initiatives, Church Planting.

We will purchase bags of rice this month to be distributed between 5 leprosy villages! This food is more than just food, it represents hope to the lives of those that society wants to forget. We thank them for their obedience to what God has called them to do, for their obvious love of people, and for their passion to change the world around them!

Please note: Due to security concerns, they have asked us to be careful in presenting their organization. I’ve included an awesome video but I did not want to make too much mention of their information on social media. So… check out the quick video!

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Each month, Be a Blessing looks for opportunities to bring opportunity! Striving to be a part of what God is doing across the globe through established faith-based non-profits. Participating in Gods’ vision to transform hearts with the Gospel of Christ. Each donation brings hope and love to hurting people and encourages organizations as they serve others.

Join us for just $5 a MONTH … and you’ll be blessed all year-round!

Homelessness in America

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Have you ever imagined yourself walking through a period of homelessness? Everything you own packed into your car or in the backpack you’re wearing. No where to wash your face, no table or couch to eat your dinner, no way to bathe your kids. How do you tell your kids that you have to move around every day because we can’t afford a place to live? Maybe some of you have been or are homeless.

The book of Acts talks about the early church and how they brought food, goods, and supplies together to help each other out. No one ‘went without’ it says. I believe Christ established the church to take care of the homeless and broken and to give a hand up out of love… not to pass judgement, not to critique ‘The why’ of someone being homeless, nor to stand by in silence. Compassion is what Christ modeled for us.

I wondered what the data might say regarding homelessness in America, so I did some searching and here’s a bit of what I found from www.endhomelessness.org.

January 2017 Homelessness

  • A majority of the homeless lived in some form of shelter or transitional housing
  • 34% lived in a place not meant for human habitation
  • 7% of all people experiencing homelessness were single individuals
  • 3% were people in families (adults and children)
  • 2% of people counted were veterans
  • 4% were unaccompanied children and young adults

The good thing is that since 2007, homelessness has decreased overall and across every sub-population nationally by 14.4%. However, between 2016 and 2017 the number of people experiencing homelessness has increased nationally by 7% percent. The largest increases in that time period (2016-2017) were among unaccompanied children and young adults (14.3%), individuals experiencing chronic homelessness (12.2%), and people experiencing unsheltered homelessness (9.4%).

This month we are supporting a super cool idea called ‘Connections Shelter that’s being coordinated by multiple churches. Since finding permanent building space can be tricky, these churches came together and established a system where by each facility rotates weeks of caring for the homeless population in their city. I had the privilege to volunteer this week at one of these churches and I was so impressed with their organization and flow of the evening. From volunteer scheduling, to food preparation, to their hospitality towards their guests; it was an honor to watch and do my small part with them.

Check out their site: www.connectionsmankato.org

Here’s the thing – these churches are from different denominations, their theology beliefs are different, they have different opinions about stuff but they found a way to brush that aside and focus on the needs of people. They provide beds, food, games, friendship, and safety to those who need it most. I can’t say enough about the amazing coordination and love they have exhibited together over the past few years. Hats off to you guys and Thank You for following the Lord’s direction to serve others!

 DONATE TODAY… BE BLESSED ALL YEAR LONG!

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Every month, Be a Blessing looks for opportunities to bring opportunities! We strive to be a part of what God is doing across the globe through established faith-based non-profits and to participate in His vision to transform hearts, so that they may know Him! Each gift brings hope and love to hurting people and encourages organizations as they serve others.

Serving Seniors

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They give more generously, donate the most volunteer time, have lived through some of the hardest economic times in the US, served their country unwaveringly, and contain enormous amounts of life wisdom. Our seniors are the heroes of our time and have paved the way for many of us to be where we are.

However, aging is not an easy road to walk and many times our seniors can eventually become the ‘forgotten ones’. Even in the best facilities, loneliness, anxiety and feelings of neglect are a primary cause of poor health among our older adults. No longer being able to choose what they want to eat, where they want to go, and many times what they want to do. This loss of freedom and independence can cause them to lose self-esteem, dignity, joy and love.

Jerry & Dorphia David

This months’ blessing devotes their time and energy giving back to our beloved seniors. Sharing the love and gospel of Christ to a segment of society who is nearing their time of departure. Matthew 20 illustrates that it’s never too late to know Christ and His plan of salvation, comfort and love.

Gentle Shepherd Ministries visits senior care facilities on a weekly basis where they provide one-on-one visits, church services, Bible studies, and grief support to those who struggle with despair, uselessness, or spiritual emptiness. They create a Christ-centered community and provide support, relationship and joy to many of them. The team of GSM reach 70 senior living communities, approximately 700 people a month, and has 70 volunteers ministering to the residents’ spiritual, emotional, and societal needs.

During the middle of last year, God had placed ‘seniors’ on my heart. I’m so pleased to bless this organization and be a part of what God is doing for our beloved elders.

Remember that one day; you will be a senior too 🙂 Lets’ show extra love and care!

God Bless your January, Sandy

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Every month, Be a Blessing looks for opportunities to bring opportunities! We become a part of what God is doing across the globe through established faith-based non-profits. We participate in His vision to transform hearts and bring them His love! Each gift brings hope to hurting people and encourages organizations as they serve others. We are blessed by blessing them!

The Blessing Tree

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“EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE A BLESSING TO SOMEONE.” This sign was sitting on my friends’ shelf and I thought it very fitting during the month of December. It’s a great reminder that it’s not only Christmas that should give us the desire to show kindness and generosity. The birth of Christ was the greatest gift to humanity. It’s out of gratefulness to our Savior that we extend love to others all year long.

I tend to write messages on my mirror as reminders to how I want to think and things I want to learn. One message awhile back said “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” We all have battles, we all struggle, we all get frustrated, especially when God doesn’t move our mountains in our time frames and we can find ourselves in unexpected situations.

Christmas is a great time to remind us that everyone is going through something. It’s a time where we can extend additional thoughtfulness and patience to people around us or to those we don’t even know.

We have had an amazing year blessing people in so many ways and you are all to thank for that! This month we want to spread the birth and love of Christ tangibly and with our hearts to single moms and their kids. So we teamed up with ‘The Blessing Tree’ to adopt 10 people by purchasing gifts to brighten their day. We plan to also enclose cards with encouraging message that share about our great and very personal God.

There’s still a few weeks left in 2018… lets’ find ways every day to bring a smile to someone’s life! You may be the only Christ they will ever see.

God’s favor and blessings to you… See you in the New Year!!

Sandy

 

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Every month, Be a Blessing looks for opportunities to bring opportunities! We strive to be a part of what God is doing across the globe through established faith-based non-profits and to participate in His vision to transform hearts, so that they may know Him! Each gift brings hope and love to hurting people and encourages organizations as they serve others.

JOIN US TODAY!

Abuse & Trauma Recovery

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God reminded me earlier this month that He is looking more for our heart, than our sacrifices. A grateful heart in every circumstance trusting in Him for guidance, provision, acceptance and every good thing. It would be fairly easy for me to journal one grateful thing each day and I probably should… but that might not be so easy for someone else.

You see, I’ve been blessed with a great family, a protected childhood… an abuse free life to be honest. Oh, I have my issues but a ton of people can’t say they’ve had an abuse free life. They go through life very differently than I do and many times they hide what they have been through. They don’t know how to work through it nor do they have anyone standing with them. This morning as I was thinking about being thankful, my heart went out to all those who are struggling to see the goodness of God.

This heartbreaking reality is our focus for September. Recommended by one of you, I want to introduce you to Door of Hope. Diane founded this organization 4 years ago after surviving 25 years filled with every form of abuse. That experience gave her a unique understanding of the needs of abused women and children. Door of Hope equips people to live free from abuse and trauma through safe housing, education, support groups, trauma recovery, parenting classes and prayer ministry. It’s a safe place for women, men, teens and children to find God’s healing to overcome the trauma they have experienced.

A neat thing about Door of Hope is that not only do they care for people on an individual basis, but they also hold conferences and workshops to educate and train pastors and ministry leaders to know how to help. It’s difficult to know what to do or say, or how to really help, so including that in their vision makes perfect sense and helps tackle a wide spread concern.

Testimony – “How hard life is after being attacked and abused from age 5…dirty, unloved, not accepted, alone and asking myself, “Why me?” This conference showed me that I am worthy, innocent, valuable, clean, and most of all, loved.”

I can’t even imagine what that person went through but I know that God saw it all and it broke His heart. I love when people take their pain and turn it into a rescue for someone else. So I encourage you click the link below and take a look at this ministry. If you know anyone who may benefit from their services, share it with them. Life is too short to live broken and hurting when God has so much freedom available for you. Find the right people to help and these guys are a great place to start!

I appreciate you guys listening to my heart every month. Most of all… I love that we get to bless people and be a part of what God is doing…. just because we can. See you next month.

Please check out their ministry!

 

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Every month, Be a Blessing looks for opportunities to bring opportunities! We strive to be a part of what God is doing across the globe through established faith-based non-profits. To participate in His vision to transform hearts, so that they may know Him! Each gift brings hope and love to hurting people and encourages organizations as they serve others. Join us today!

Nigerian Christians being Persecuted

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All across America our land is filled with ranchers and farmers working hard every day to raise animals, grow food, produce textiles, provide employment, and care for their families. They celebrate holidays, they educate their kids, they attend gatherings, they help their neighbors, they support their country, they cry, they laugh, they do their best to live life peacefully and wholly. Now imagine hosts of attackers coming night after night to raid their land, steal their animals, burn their buildings and take their lives. Americans would be OUTRAGED!! Nothing would stop the people and the government from rising up and coming down hard on them and persecuting to the full extent of the law.

That’s normal… That’s right… That’s justice… we say. We defend our own, our land, our people because we have been given the blessing and the opportunity to do so.

This month’s blessing is facing this scenario and they can do nothing to fight back, nothing to stop it. It’s a horrific story of slaughter, mayhem, brutality and carnage against civilians just like us. People with jobs, families, homes, neighbors, churches… they are no different than us in humanity but completely different in justice and opportunity.

Nigeria is a huge country and the most populous in Africa – a nation of over 140 million people, predominantly Muslim in the north and Christian in the south. This persecution has been going on for years. Christians, especially, are being targeted and annihilated by the Islamist Fulani Herdsman in conjunction with Boko Haram in some areas. They are coming to steal their land and destroy their livelihoods. One report I recently read said that up to 6000 Christians have been killed just in 2018 alone, another one said 8000. Concentrated attacks are taking place in the Plateau State around the city of Jos.

Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi

The brother of a good friend of mine lives in Jos. He is the Anglican Bishop of Jos who I have met on a number of occasions and who was just recently here in Mankato, Mn. His wife runs an orphanage and has taken in countless numbers of children over the years. They have worked tirelessly to protect and give opportunity to the people and children around them. They’ve experienced over many years a level of trust in God that we can’t even possibly imagine in America. Their stories would break your heart. On June 29, his ranch too was raided and cows stolen in the night as one of the members of his congregation interrupted the rustlers and was killed.

This tragedy is happening all over the country and their Federal government is doing nothing to stop it… in fact, a number of news articles state that they are in agreement with the raids and of the Islamists. This is happening now in Nigeria, India, Pakistan and numerous other countries… but DO NOT be deceived… this is going to come to America! Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not in 5 years but Islamists have been very clear for many years that their goal is to convert the world to their ideology or die. Look it up if you’re not aware because there are videos of these confessions all over the internet.

So… what do we do? That’s a tough question and the best answer I have is that we need to pray for our brothers and sisters but we also need to do something to help. If we don’t defend those being persecuted now, who will be left to defend us? We think we are safe, here in our ‘land of the free and home of the brave’… but will it always be like that? I don’t think so. There will come a time when the tide will change and we will face what millions of others have been facing for generations.

This month we are supporting Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi’s ministry. The conflict being faced is at his doorstep and in his community every day. Him and his wife are remarkable and have a mandate from God to serve and love people and help in every possible way. We want to do our part, however small it might be in the grand scheme, to show our support beyond just our prayers. Prayer is good, it’s needed, and I believe God hears and acts accordingly… but… God needs us to step up. Just like the song says… we ask God why he doesn’t do something and I think He responds to us by saying “I did… I created YOU!”

I encourage you to read the articles below and learn what’s happening… ask God ‘what can I do’?

Clergy Killed, Archbishop Kwashi’s Home Invaded

Jos killings are an attack on Christendom

6000 Christians killed by Islamic Herdsman

Help Protect Christians in NigeriaJoin us today!

 

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Every month, Be a Blessing looks for opportunities to bring opportunities! We strive to be a part of what God is doing across the globe through established faith-based non-profits and to participate in His vision to transform hearts, so that they may know Him! Each gift brings hope and love to hurting people and encourages organizations as they serve others.