THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSING (Caution: FLOOD WARNING!!!)

Well here it is — day 3 of this grand experiment called blogging. This has certainly been a very good day.

Have you ever had an idea or two — really grand ones — and then found yourself almost overwhelmed by just how successful your venture turned out — almost to the point you can’t handle the blessing?? Well that is where this journey seems to be taking me.

I shared my vision for my own journey with a few preacher friends and they have chosen to join in my journey. So — Dan, John, David and I will be sharing in eating the Stop Hunger Now meals for the 40 days of Lent. John has a head-start as he is a practicing vegetarian (well, he’s been eating like that for a while so I guess he isn’t really practicing). Dan, David and I like meat. This could get interesting! (David missed our meeting due to illness today. Hope you’re feeling better my friend!)

We have been thinking of a name for our efforts. We floated a couple of ideas when we met today and one that stuck in my mind was: 4for40 (say it out loud). Don’t know what we will settle on but it does have a nice sound to it.

I had a very uplifting series of meetings today: one with our Stop Hunger Now group, one with our Connectional Ministries leader (Mike Selleck) and one with our assistant to the Bishop (Jamie Jenkins). As we shared ideas, dreams and plans, the possibilities became almost too much. We all share the belief that we serve a great God and with God anything is possible. So dream BIG!

One of the many blessings of this effort is that I have other travelers who have joined with me. Together we can do more than we can do separately. As we talk about what is possible and what can be attempted we find that the possibilities are endless and grand. And that is the part that is a little overwhelming. We are struggling to wrap our minds around exactly what we are doing, why we are doing it, how we will do it and what the end result should look like.

(l-r) The Hog Father, John Mattox, Dan Dixon w/our 40 Days of meals.

We are committed to eat the meals for the 40 days of Lent. We are committed to using this effort to raise awareness about world hunger and the solution available through Stop Hunger Now. It is not the only solution, but is the one we are working with at this time. We are committed to using this effort to generate funds to facilitate a packaging event (or 2 or 4 or more). The number and size of these packaging events will be determined by the amount of money we are able to raise.

There are dreams of a second phase that would include a motorcycle ride/carnival/education event followed by another packaging effort. And there is even a dream of a Conference wide motorcycle ride event to raise awareness and funds in the future. (I mean, just how many pastors and lay members of the UMC are motorcycle riders? I hope to find out at the 2011 Annual Conference so look for my table.)

There is a dream of a motorcycle event to raise awareness of the Imagine No Malaria mission project that is so over the top in its scope — and yet when I think about it I wonder how something this simple and basic hasn’t already been done.

Sometimes God hears our hearts cry of passion and compassion and like an indulgent parent he says yes to all of our ideas and dreams. He even adds a dose of Holy Spirit to the mix and like Mentos and Diet Coke it does something wonderful! It just erupts in effervescent power (check the internet for examples of Mentos and Diet Coke experiments) and creates a majestic, messy, exciting, awe-inspiring action that cannot be contained. Like being in the ocean, sometimes blessings can lift you up like a wave, and sometimes it surprises you with its power and just overwhelms you and sweeps you off your feet. God is SO good!

If you don’t happen to be United Methodist, don’t let that stand in your way. The United Methodist Church is the community of faith I have chosen to live my life of witness within. Christians of all expressions are welcome and invited to join us in this journey. If you are not a person of faith join with as well. After all, this is an issue of justice. Should one more person dies of hunger? Should one more person die from malaria? None of us has it all figured out. I have learned many faith lessons from clergy of many denominations. I have received inspiration, instruction and insight from lay persons of many walks of life. If you want to really make a difference in keeping people from starving to death, or from dying from malaria as a result of mosquito bites — join me on this journey. Join me in making a difference. Join me in sharing our financial resources in these efforts.

Gifts of all sizes are welcome.
To donate to Stop Hunger Now: http://www.stophungernow.org
To donate to Imagine No Malaria: http://www.imaginenomalaria.org

Of send your tax-deductible contribution to: Senoia United Methodist Church, Post Office Box 98, Senoia, GA 30276. We will add it to our particular efforts and mail you a receipt for your gift.

We need you to help. We cannot do it alone — not even the 4 of us. Want to know how big 4 over weight pastors preparing for a 40 day fast can dream? We believe through our communities and churches that we can raise enough money in this effort to package enough meals to fill a shipping container. How much is that you may ask? 280,000 meals. Can we do it? With your prayers, support, and financial support we can do it — and MORE besides.

Can we stop malaria from killing families in Africa? You bet we can. At $10 per net.

Until the next time…….The Hog Father


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