“Training Up” in 2016!

In Proverbs 22:6 it reminds us how important good beginnings and valuable training are, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (ESV)

John and Logan

New friends, John and Logan.

The picture is of my new friend, Logan, who attended the North Carolina Region 8 NC OIAM 2016 training in Shelby, NC Saturday, January 9.  He is a great “poster-child” for Operation Inasmuch!  But it is because of the example and leadership of his father that he and his brother are committed participants in the Compassion Revolution.

OIAM is involved again in 2016 with NC Baptist Men and NC Baptists on Mission emphasizing “whole church and whole community” ministry through Inasmuch Days April 30-May 7.  David Crocker and John Daugherty are conducting regional training across the state in January and February “training up” folks to be effective in meeting people in their communities at the point of their needs.  Hundreds of churches across the state will be conducting Inasmuch Days and Inasmuch United Days moving from the pews of their churches into the streets of their communities as part of the Compassion Revolution being the hands, feet, eyes and hearts of Christ. [Read more…]

Operation Inasmuch and Carson-Newman University Share an Anniversary

Ten Years and Counting for Inasmuch at Carson-Newman University

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When were your values formed?  When in your development did you decide what you wanted to be involved in?  Most of us would answer these questions “in my college years.”

Knowing this, Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee, has promoted community service for all of their students and Inasmuch has been a major piece of this strategy.  October 24 was the 10th Operation Inasmuch at Carson-Newman with more than 550 students and faculty involved.  A special video was made for the occasion and it may be viewed at:  Celebration Video.

At the kickoff gathering prior to the students scattering throughout the Jefferson City area and beyond to serve
needy families and agencies, Dr. Randall O’Brien, President of Carson-Newman expressed his gratitude for the partnership the school has enjoyed for 10 years with Inasmuch.  He said that Inasmuch has been a sort of stack pole for much of what they have done in the way of community service.  It has been a way for hundreds of students to get taste of service, then move on from there to serve at other times and in other ways throughout their college experience.  [Read more…]

INASMUCH HIRES NEW ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR

Pastor John Daugherty Joins Inasmuch Staff

Pastor John Daugherty celebrating an Inasmuch Day in Fort Myers, Florida.

Pastor John Daugherty celebrating an Inasmuch Day in Fort Myers, Florida.

Years ago, when the Inasmuch ministry was first launched as a full-time, free-standing ministry, David Crocker was asked about the ministry’s fundraising strategy.  He answered:  “We will live by the belief that God provides.”

For eight and a half years now that line has been more than a sound bite; it has been rock solid belief.  God has indeed provided for Inasmuch.   The most recent example is Rev. John Daugherty who accepted the full-time position of Associate Director with Inasmuch and began working July 1.

Daugherty comes from Fort Myers, FL, where he served as Senior Pastor of City Gate Ministries, formerly First Baptist Church.  He led the church to develop a number of ministries to people in need in Fort Myers and, in 2013, led his church and half a dozen others in downtown Fort Myers to conduct an Inasmuch United event.  Their Facebook page tells the exciting story:  Inasmuch United Fort Myers.

Crocker says:  “For a year and a half we searched diligently for just the right person to join our Team, expanding our capacities and eventually stepping up to the role of Executive Director when I retire.  There were times during the search when it looked gloomy—that such a person could not be found or that we would have to settle for something less than we wanted—but God provided as He always has!”

“When I first got the call from John saying he was interested in our position, I immediately called my wife and said: ‘I just got the call I’ve been waiting for a year and a half!’  John is everything I had hoped we could find in an Associate—a pastor with a passion and proven experience with community ministry, experienced at training and giving presentations and fundraising.  In short, John is the complete package!”  [Read more…]

How to Change a Homeless Man’s Life (Part 3)

I recently read a remarkable book, one that spent more than 2 years on the New York Times’ bestseller list: Same Kind of Different as Me.  It’s an amazing story of an unlikely friendship between homeless Denver Moore and wealthy Ron Hall. In two previous blogs, I discussed what I learned from the book about “how to change a homeless man’s life,” that it takes time and a relationship of equality.

I’d like to share one more lesson I learned, one that encouraged me greatly and hopefully pointed many of the book’s readers towards God.

It takes works of God to change a homeless man’s life.

Same Kind of Different as Me is a book about a relationship, but it is also a testimony miraculous interventions that healed people and relationships. The book is filled with God’s handiwork as He answers amazing prayers, provides supernatural guidance, prompts people to accomplish the extraordinary, and alters lives dramatically.

But the biggest miracle of all is something only God can give: truly unconditional love, demonstrated by the Cross, and imparted to us by the Spirit.

It’s because of that gift that Ron’s wife Debbie touched Denver’s life so deeply and started the ball rolling in the relationship between Denver and Ron. Denver perfectly summarized to Ron how this miracle of God’s love can change a homeless man’s life:

Mr. Ron, I was captive in the devil’s prison. That was easy for Miss Debbie to see. But I got to tell you: Many folks had seen me behind the bars in that prison for more than thirty years, and they just walked on by…. I was not a nice fella—dangerous—and prob’ly just as happy to stay in prison. But Miss Debbie was different—she seen me behind them bars and reached way down in her pocket and pulled out the keys God gave her and used one to unlock the prison door and set me free.

…She’s the onlyest person that ever loved me enough not to give up on me, and I praise God that today I can sit here in your home a changed man—a free man.       pp. 179-180

Lorraine Potter Kalal

The Hard Truth

A revolution is a movement — usually a radical and exciting movement — to change something: the government, one or more leaders as we have seen in the “Arab spring,” or longstanding cultural traditions such as the Civil Rights movement in the U.S. a few decades ago.

A revolution always includes the proclamation of the truth, often hard truth or truth that is hard to hear. Dr. Wade Bibb of Central Baptist Church Bearden, Knoxville, TN, told a story recently that comes from a revolutionary and compassionate mind.

Dr. Bibb was invited by members of his church to have Sunday dinner following the morning worship service. Once they were seated at a restaurant and everyone ordered, he was asked to say the blessing. (He added > parenthetically: “We preachers are never off.”)

Here is what he prayed:

Lord, bless the food we are about to eat . . . even though we don’t need it. We all eat more than we need already. We eat way more than most people in the world. Even so, we ask that you bless this food and us with it. Amen.”

When he looked up from his prayer, everyone at the table was silent and (appropriately) confronted by the truth, the hard truth.

Bibb was never again asked to say the blessing with that group. I don’t know if he was even asked to eat with them again…!

David Crocker, Executive Director