‘Remodeling’ Your Service [v157]

MARCH 2012

‘Remodeling’ Your Service

Last month I discussed “serving” others—and how helping another person, even in small acts, adds up to creating a better, more generous you, and improving the quality of your life. It was said that, “Kindness is compassion in action.”

There was also a list of “100 Ways To Serve Others,” and there happens to be a ‘movement’ that I am involved with, called “Life Remodeled,” that directly addresses over a couple dozen of the suggestions—all at one time!:

3. Help someone get where they want to be
7. Mow Your Neighbors Lawn
10. Help someone achieve a goal
17. Volunteer in your community
19. Donate money to a charity
20. Pick up loose garbage
21. Be a mentor to someone
27. Help to organize charity event
29. Encourage people
31. Be a friend to those who don’t deserve it
32. Support mission and aid workers
34. Promote someone else’s idea
48. Inspire others
50. Share gratitude in life
55. Clap and cheer aloud
57. Magnify someone’s kindness
63. Be a change agent
65. Live with purpose
83. Communicate in person
85. Use your talents
91. Be enthusiastic
95. Give anonymously
97. Say hello often to strangers
99. Let love for others drive your life


Life Remodeled” is a non-profit that builds houses for struggling families in troubled communities. But what good is a new home, if you can’t keep it?

Life Remodeled recognizes that people in need of shelter also need essential “life skills.” In addition to building modest homes, Life Remodeled counsels all families in personal money management, careers, diet/good health practices, spiritual guidance, and psychological issues. Extensive counseling is provided for free for at least one year upon completion. Similar to “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” houses are built in six days—but “remodeling lives” takes a little longer.

Life Remodeled has already built one home and helped remodel the lives of a family of five in Westland, Michigan. Igniting a spark within the community was an energetic contemporary pastor, Chris Lambert.

The Life Remodeled team enlisted hundreds of contractors, local businesses and neighbors to donate materials, labor and dollars. Life Remodeled videotaped the process, capturing enough footage to create a 45-minute “Reality TV” show ‘pilot’ of this first project.

Trailer:
http://liferemodeled.com

Entire Show:
http://liferemodeled.com/tv-show


Based on the success of the new house, “Allied Building Products” has committed to becoming a cornerstone sponsor for the next few years. This national chain will perform much of the “heavy lifting” by donating certain building materials for 12 houses in 2012 and 52 houses in 2013!

We currently are in process to build 7 NEW HOMES THIS SUMMER in the Detroit, Michigan Metro area  (in Detroit, Farmington Hills, Hazel Park, Macomb, Pontiac, Redford, and Southfield). Teams are already in place and have started to work with communities, businesses, and government to select a neighborhood, a property, and a family. The Life Remodeled team is also investigating the idea of creating a Reality TV series.

Life Remodeled remodels lives…one family at a time.  Each family selected will receive the following, free of charge:

– A Brand-New Home (Built in only 6 days!)
– Financial Training/Personal money management
– Spiritual Guidance
– Psychological Counseling

To many who were involved in our first ‘project’, Life Remodeled is more than just a public service. “It’s a ‘movement’,” says Chris Lambert. “It’s something that has already had tremendous success, and now we have the means and passion to remodel the lives of more families”—and YOU ARE INVITED!


The neat thing about all this is that ANYONE can help—you don’t have to be a “builder” or “tradesman.” Teenagers can ‘babysit’ while their parents are helping on the site (must be 18 to be on-site); 80-somethings can bake cookies or make sandwiches; and everyone ‘in-between’ can coordinate hospitality, provide security, beautify the neighborhood (cut lawns; plant flowers, paint, trim trees, etc.), haul gravel, lumber and drywall, place sod and plant trees, help furnish the home, and a variety of other ‘jobs’ that vary in the amount of physical effort required.

Here are the locations that are ‘set in stone’:

Detroit (April 9th-15th)
Pontiac (April 30th-May 6th)
Hazel Park (May 21st-27th)
Farmington Hills (August 6th-12th)
Redford (August 20th-26th)

[So, visit the Life Remodeled web site and find out what ‘jobs’ are available, and sign up for as many of the locations as you would like: http://liferemodeled.com/getinvolved/ ].


Sound like a PRETTY COOL WAY you can “give back,” “pay it forward,” or just “serve” someone in need? Even ‘better’ than that, the Bible tells us that God looks ‘favorably’ on these who serve unselfishly—and even more so of those who have chosen to serve others as a LOVING ‘SERVANT’ of His!


Just as I asked last month, I have one question for you: Since everybody is going to serve ‘somebody’ (even yourself) or ‘something’, who or what are you centering your life on today?

Let me suggest the MOST LOVING ‘SERVANT’ ever—that ‘person’ that died on a Roman cross for you so that you could have the assurance of Heaven, eternal life, and a “blessed life” now. His name is Jesus Christ.

So, as we look next month to celebrate the ‘end of this story’—Jesus’ Resurrection—if you have yet done so, might I suggest that, in your own words, just ask Jesus to be your “Savior, “Lord,” and be your ‘guide’ in this life. It will be the MOST IMPORTANT DECISION of you life!

[Excerpts from: Life Remodeled ]


[P.S.: If you would like to investigate further about what the Bible has to say about the “most important decision” you will make n this earth visit the following link:
http://www.thesearchformeaning.net/sfm_pres/sp_q9_d5_1of10.html

Blessings…Mark


LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v157) for MARCH 2012 If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

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LIFE REMODELED FUNDRAISER CONCERT

[ NOTE: Get some tickets for yourself/family/friends—or if you can’t come, please consider just buying some tickets to support this great non-profit and give them away to someone else!
http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2957384617 ].

FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012
7PM – 9PM

LANDMARK COMMUNITY CHURCH

24520 N. Chrysler Drive
Hazel Park, Michigan 48030
(I-75 and I-696)

BAND: “ApologetiX”
(everything from Elvis to Eminem)

View a video with a variety of clips from previous concert:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPVotKBUmjI

MC: WMUZ’s “The Morning Light” Host Chris Stevenson

– “Family friendly” – Appropriate for all ages
– Special activities for children 5-10 years old
– Doors open at 5:30 pm (for dinner/meet the band members)

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW:
http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2957384617

[ Life Remodeled is a registered 501c3 Nonprofit Corporation, and all donations are tax-deductible].

HELP US PROMOTE THE CONCERT:
Just COPY the following TEXT, and then ‘POST’ IT via that Social Media ‘channel’.

FOR FACEBOOK and LINKEDIN:

“LIFE REMODELED” Fundraiser Concert—MAR 16, 12; 7P-9P (Doors open at 5:30P–Dinner/Meet band); Landmark Community Church, Hazel Park, MI 48030 (I-75/I-696); Band: “ApologetiX”; MC: WMUZ’s “Morning Light” host Chris Stevenson; “Family friendly”; Special activities for children ages 5-10; Funds will help build 7 NEW HOMES this summer for deserving families in struggling areas of the Detroit Metro area; INFO: http://bit.ly/liferemodeledconcert

FOR E-MAIL:

LIFE REMODELED FUNDRAISER CONCERT: Come one, come ALL!—Invite a friend!

– MARCH 16TH; 7P-9P (Doors open at 5:30P–Dinner/Meet band)
– Landmark Community Church, Hazel Park, MI 48030 (I-75/I-696)
– Band: “ApologetiX” (everything from Elvis to Eminem)
– MC: WMUZ’s “Morning Light” host Chris Stevenson
– “Family friendly” (Special activities for children ages 5-10)
– Funds will help build 7 NEW HOMES this summer for deserving families in struggling areas of the Detroit Metro area

MORE INFO/GET TICKETS:
http://bit.ly/liferemodeledconcert

FOR PROMOTIONAL IMAGES, CLICK THIS LINK:
http://liferemodeledfundraiser.wordpress.com/help-us-promote-concert/promo-pics-location-info/

For more information about Life Remodeled, click this link:
http://liferemodeled.com/

For more information about Landmark Community Church, click this link:
http://www.landmarkcc.org/

[Mark Besh – Life Remodeled]

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REBUILDING YOUR LIFE
When you want to rebuild your life, where do you begin? I imagine that each one of us has reached a point at which we wanted to turn around, start over, and begin the journey back home. Perhaps you were kicked out of school or out of your home; perhaps you were fired from the best job you ever had; perhaps you found yourself waking up in a hospital after some disastrous drug experience; perhaps you were arrested for theft when the money ran out; or perhaps that pivotal event in your life was as simple, yet life-changing, as an unexpected pregnancy.

The Apostle Peter knew about starting over. He was a follower of Jesus, and he thought himself to be a very spiritual individual. But Peter is well known for his denying that he knew Jesus. Just when things got bad, he failed miserably out of cowardice. Yet, Jesus forgave Peter and welcomed him back. Peter went on to do great and heroic things for the Lord. And Peter wrote a letter to us, telling us how to rebuild our lives in the Lord. Notice what he says in II Peter:

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins” [II Peter 1:3-9].

What a great thing to remember! God gives us life and godliness. He gives us the power to escape the corruption in the world caused by our sinful desires. Think of being given the key to unlock the prison you have gotten yourself into.

We don’t accomplish dramatic changes by ourselves. Sometimes people talk about turning their own lives around. Others say, “You have to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.” But that’s like taking your car back to the same repair shop that just ruined your transmission. Before you can get in gear and get headed down the right road, you will need an overhaul. Getting things fixed right starts with God’s divine power, and it rests on God’s great promises.

What is a promise? A promise is a commitment God makes to us that comes from His mercy, love, and grace. It is not something God owes us, and it is not something we deserve or can earn. It is freely given by God and must be freely received. What promises does God give? He promises life forever to those who believe in the Savior Jesus [John 3:16]. He promises the privilege of becoming sons and daughters of God to those who receive Jesus Christ [John 1:12]. He promises to be with us and never leave us [Hebrews 13:5]. In fact, He promises to give us everything we need for life and godliness [I Peter 1:3].

When we recognize our sin and our helplessness, we are in the right place to turn to God through Jesus Christ and find the forgiveness of our sins. Through faith in Christ, we can be confident that God’s promises apply to us. That becomes the starting point for a life of faith, which begins to rebuild our lives. The Apostle Peter describes that life-rebuilding process. After talking about God’s great promises (verse 4), he goes on to talk of the kind of effort we should make in the Christian life. “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love” (verses 5-7). Notice how this works in our lives. It is not that we are to add one thing after another, but that we are to add all these things together as part of our life of following Jesus. It begins with faith and ends with love. How great to have a life which is wrapped around with faith and love.

How can you take that first step when you feel so uncertain and weak? It’s an act of faith. Since we know of God’s great power and promises to us, we step out in faith. When most of us reach rock bottom, we wait until we feel strong enough to take a step. But real faith is expressed at the time that we feel weakest and still decide to step out. We must then put into practice goodness, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. We know our faith is small, we know it is weak, and we know it is awkward. But our confidence is not in our power, but in God’s power. We find that each little step builds on the last and prepares us for the next. We find ourselves walking the kind of life that gives God the glory and makes us grow. Our lives are rebuilt by God when we start with His promises and take small steps in faith, knowing He has provided all the power and grace we need.

[David J. O’Leary]

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”REBUILD YOUR LIFE” QUOTES
There are times in life when we just need a fresh start and inspirational quotes can really help us along the way. This month [June] is “Rebuild Your Life” month. If you could use a little life renovation of your own, these 16 inspirational quotes can help put everything into perspective.

1. “Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true” [Leon J. Suenes]

2. “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense” [Ralph Waldo Emerson].

3. “Eagles come in all shapes and sizes, but you will recognize them chiefly by their attitudes” [Charles Prestwich Scott]

4. “You cannot tailor make the situations in life, but you can tailor make the attitudes to fit those situations before they arise” [Zig Ziglar].

5. “The world is your mirror and your mind is a magnet. What you perceive in this world is largely a reflection of your own attitudes and beliefs. Life will give you what you attract with your thoughts think, act and talk negatively and your world will be negative. Think and act and talk with enthusiasm and you will attract positive results” [Michael LeBeuf].

6. “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it” [Johann Wolfgang von Goethe].

7. “There is no security in this life. There is only opportunity” [Douglas MacAurthur].

8. “Don’t limit yourself to the possible when you can reach for the impossible” [Kim Trinh].

9. “The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win” [Roger Bannister].

10. “One’s best success comes after his greatest disappointments” [Henry Ward Beecher].

11. “Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently” [Henry Ford].

12. “When one door closes another door opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us” [Alexander Graham Bell].

13. “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no help at all” [Dale Carnegie].

14. “Sure I am of this, that you have only to endure to conquer. You have only to persevere to save yourselves” [Winston Churchill].

15. “There is no failure except in no longer trying” [Elbert Hubbard].

16. “Accept the challenges, so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory” [General George S. Patton].

No matter what has happened in your past, remember that it is the present and the future that matter most. Everyone can start over. It’s just a matter of deciding to do so. These inspirational quotes will help you remember that nothing stands in the way of you and your future success.

[Famous-Quotes-and-Quotations.com]

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REBUILDING YOUR LIFE
A survey was done recently about the rebuilding of the Twin Towers. In that survey, roughly half the people said, “I believe the towers should be rebuilt just as they were. Maybe one story higher.”

Another 25% said, “I believe that a different set of office buildings should be built on that same location.” Another 25% said, “I believe we should build a memorial park in that location.”

The point for me in that survey was that virtually one hundred percent of the people said, “We need to rebuild! Whatever it is, we need to rebuild something. There’s something in all of us that says that we have to rebuild.”

That’s the message of our scripture reading. The Jewish city of Jerusalem was destroyed in 586 BC. 140 years later, God raises up a Jewish man in southwestern Iran named Nehemiah. And he says to the Jews, “With the help of God, we can rebuild this wall! We can rebuild this community! We can become a great nation once again! Together, we can do it!”

Have you ever heard of the Christian singer Renee Bondi? Well, neither had I. Until Amy Jandrey told me about her at Evening Guild. In 1988, she was a music teacher. And a terrific Christian singer. And she was happily engaged to her fiancée. Mike. Her wedding was just two months away.

But in a freak accident, she fell out of bed. And she broke her neck. And the 4th vertebrae of her spinal cord. They took her to the hospital. And the doctors told her, “You’ll never walk again. And you’ll never sing again. You’ll only be able to whisper.”

But while she was in the hospital, one song kept going through her mind: “Be not afraid. I go before you always. Come, follow me. And I will give you rest.” It was God’s way of telling her, “I’m going to help get you through this. You’re going to be all right.”

And she got out of the hospital. And she married her fiancée. And she worked hard at her therapy. One day a musician friend came over. And said, “Renee, try singing along with me on the piano.”

And she started to cry. She whispered, “Jim, I can’t do it.” But Jim started playing, Be not afraid. I go before you always. The same song God used to comfort her in the hospital! How could he have known about that? So she started singing! And by the end of the song, they were both sobbing. God had given Renee her voice back!

Since then, she has made 4 albums. And in 1995, she became one of the few quadriplegics to give birth to a son. And she travels all over the world. And tells people that God is the God of the impossible. And that he can rebuild broken lives.

Perhaps you are in the middle of a rebuilding project right now. Some of you are trying to rebuild the trust in your marriage. Or you may be trying to rebuild your career. Or your finances. Or your sense of confidence. And you’re starting to wonder if you’re dealing with an impossible situation. But Luke 1:37 says “NOTHING is impossible with God!” God specializes in impossible situations! Remember Acts chapter 9. Ananias was saying, “Lord, Paul is a very evil man! He kills Christians! There’s no way he’s ever going to become one!”

But God made the impossible possible. And on the road to Damascus, he brought that evil man to his knees. And he became a Christian. And Galatians 1:17 says that he retreated to the land of Arabia. Where over the next few years, God rebuilt his life. And he went on to become perhaps the greatest Christian leader the world has ever known.

Just as God rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem. And Renee Bondi. And the apostle Paul. God can rebuild the ruins of your life. And our passage in Nehemiah shows us the way. First of all: You have to want to rebuild. You have to say with conviction, “I want this part of my life to change! I’m not satisfied with the direction my life has been going. Things could be so much better! And I’m ready to start rebuilding now!” That’s the point where Nehemiah is at. In Nehemiah 2:3-5, Nehemiah said to King Xerxes, “I feel sad every time I think about my city lying in ruins. I want to rebuild the Jerusalem wall. This is in my heart more than anything else.”

Do you guys remember Donna Rice Hughes? She was the political aide that had an extramarital affair with former Presidential candidate Gary Hart. When the story of that affair hit the front page of the Miami Herald, it ruined her career overnight. She was labeled by the press as a bimbo. Many expected her to disappear into the woodwork of society forever. But she started going back to church. And she rededicated her life to the Lord.

She married a good Christian man. And now she’s an activist speaking out against the evils of pornography.

When Christianity Today interviewed her, they asked her,

“What would you say to someone who wants to move on from the pain of their past?”

And she said, “God is the Great Restorer. He doesn’t always remove the consequences of our actions. But he heals the pain. And allows it to become a door of hope for others dealing with the same thing.”

Donna Rice Hughes didn’t want to be remembered as Gary Hart’s bimbo. She WANTED to rebuild her life. And with the help of God, she did! And so can you.

The second thing you need to do is to do whatever it takes to rebuild. Nehemiah had nothing when he started this project. But he was willing to do whatever was necessary to get the job done. He had letters written to heads of state. Asking for donations of timber. He asked the king of Persia for a calvary of officers and horses to come with him. And he vigorously recruited the help of the Jewish people.

How much effort are you willing to give in order to rebuild your life? When the Rev. Gordon Macdonald had an affair with another woman, he lost his job as a minister. And he almost lost his marriage. But he said to his wife, “I will do whatever it takes. For however long it takes. To rebuild out of the ashes of my life. I love you. I can’t do it without you. And I desperately need your forgiveness.” She forgave him. But the road back was long. It took three years of agonized counseling. Prayer. And accountability support. Finally in 1988, Gordon Macdonald was re-ordained to the gospel ministry.

I know there’s probably people out there who will say, “Hey! That guy should never be allowed to be a minister ever again! He has compromised his moral authority!” I’m not going to argue with people who feel that way. Life’s too short. But I will say this: I have nothing but respect for a person who rebuilds their life from the ground up with the help of God. And makes something beautiful out of his once fractured existence. It takes a person of great strength and determination to do something like that. And I have to take my hat off to them.

Proverbs 24:26 says “Though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again.”

Praise God for fallen Christian warriors who are determined to rise again. Praise God for people who say, “I’m not quitting! I refuse to give up! I’m going to pick myself off the ground. And rebuild my broken world with the help of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!”

The third thing you need to do is to trust God. The Kings of Persia were very strict. If you went in and made a request of the king, and he said yes, that was great. But if the king said no, he’d cut your head off. Right there on the spot. That’s why in Nehemiah 2:4 when the king asks him what he wants, Nehemiah prayed before he makes his request. I’d say that was a good move. If there was a 50/50 chance that I was going to get my head cut off, if I never prayed before, I’d become really good at it for that one minute!

But Nehemiah trusted God. There wasn’t a doubt in his mind that God was gonna pull some strings. In fact, in verse 20 he says, “The God of heaven WILL give us success!”

I think it takes great personal courage for someone to stand up in the face of skepticism. And say, “I believe in the power of God. I believe that God can do this.”

When I was in Ladysmith last month, I took lots of pictures. But my favorite one was a shot of a wrecked house. It had Isaiah 52:10 scrawled on one side. Which says “The Lord will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all nations. And all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.” I took that to mean that God is going to do great and mighty things in the town of Ladysmith in the coming days. And on a sign on the front lawn, there was another sign that said, “We will rebuild!”

Those people had great faith in the God who rebuilds broken communities. And broken lives.

The truth is that everyone in this room has been broken by sin. Guilt. Tragedy. And personal failure.

But praise God, that’s not how the story has to end. In chapter 8, the people come together after the city wall had been rebuilt. And Ezra led them in worship and said, “Praise the Lord! Praise to our great God! And verse 17 says that their joy was very great!

That’s what it’ll be like when you surrender to Christ and let him rebuild your life. Luke 15:7 says that there is more rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents than over 99 persons who do not need to repent. No matter how bad you think your life is, there is no one in this room that God cannot rebuild. My nephew’s grandpa had a beat up old 65 Pontiac GTO. Before he started working on it, it was a total piece of you know what. But after 4 years of rebuilding and painting and waxing and tweaking, now the car looks awesome. Jesus Christ can do the same thing for you life. Give your life to Christ. And let him rebuild your life. Let’s pray.

[Dr. Marc Axelrod]

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DEEP THOUGHT:

”The resurrection is God’s dramatic ‘infomercial’ for dreaming godly dreams! Jesus was dead. The stone sealed the tomb. It was over! But, god rolled away the stone and raided Him to life! God ‘imagined’ a new ‘life’ for Jesus—just as He can for you, too!”

[Harry G. Winsheimer]

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“This is the answer they gave us: ‘We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago, one that a great king of Israel built and finished…So this Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundations of the house of God in Jerusalem…The temple was completed on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.’” [Ezra 5:11-6:15].

Mark

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Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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