Happy Caffeinated Randomness, Friends!  As you know, I love to join this meme each Friday because I do feel rather random on Fridays.  Welcome if you are visiting for the first time!  Click here for more Caffeinated Randomness with some wonderful ladies you will just love.  I know you will.

This week I have been talking about some pieces God has placed in our lives recently that have forced us to assess the way we are living and determine whether or not we are in alignment with the way God would want us to live our lives.

We feel that in some areas, we would indeed hear”Well done good and faithful servant” and in others, not so much.  In those “other areas”, we are really focusing on what we can do to eliminate the existence of well…”other areas.”

Our church has recently brought the Loekken family to us and we have been privileged to learn greatly from them – ironically enough, their mission is exactly along the same lines as Same Kind of Different As Me and One Million Arrows hence why we are noticing a theme at work in our family.  A few of them.  But more about that next week.

In the meantime, I would love to introduce you to this amazing family that traveled to Africa for a mission trip a few years ago with their three oldest children (their youngest was not yet old enough).  They returned to their beautiful Atlanta area home and decided they could no longer continue to live the way they had been living after they had seen so much suffering first-hand.

They sold their gorgeous home.  They bought an RV and are now traveling around the country equipping congregations to serve in their community.  To be the hands and feet of Christ.

When I read Same Kind, I was ready to start getting out into my world and working to make a difference because after all, faith without works is dead (James 2:20 KJV).  It’s virtually impossible to possess a strong faith and not include it’s partner – works.

Then I read One Million Arrows, which discusses preparing our children to make a difference in our world – through faith AND works.

And then the Loekken’s show up at our church.

Which, may I add, is a story within itself.  My friend, Jen, was waiting to get her eyebrows threaded when she picked up a copy of Ladies Home Journal that was randomly lying on the coffee table of this primarily Indian establishment.  It was one of the only publications in English, so she casually picked it up and began to leaf through the pages.

She found an intriguing story about a family that sold their home and is traveling the country with their four children in an effort to equip others with the confidence and inspiration to serve.  Of course, it was the Loekkens.

Jen contacted them to offer free Creative Memories software (she is a consultant) so they could document their experiences.

Amazingly enough, they discovered they would both be in Florida at the same time.  20 miles from one another.

They met.  Jen and her husband Brian were inspired and motivated our church’s leadership to bring them to us.  The rest is history.

Isn’t God so good?

Can we really say this is just a coincidence?  I think not.  A special thank you to Pro Eyebrows for playing their part.

For the record, they were also featured on the “Today” show.  You know you have arrived when you are asked to be on the “Today” show so I had to add that little tidbit.  For those of you with a favorite, they were also on “Good Morning America” this past fall.

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know this precious family and am so inspired to get off my rump and serve.  It’s great and all to worship in the pews and go to Bible study but if that’s all we’re doing?  Then I think we can say we’re not applying what we are learning and at the end of the day, what’s the point of studying anything if we’re not going to at least attempt to apply it?

I was particularly intrigued by a story Jay Loekken told the other day and I know you will find it eye-opening as well. He said that while they were serving the “people under the bridges” in Atlanta (the homeless often congregate under highway overpasses) they met a man who was sipping on a rather large beer and resembled a character from “Pirates of the Caribbean”.  He was a little intoxicated but still spoke words that are chock-full of wisdom.

“Show me what you say,” he stated.

Isn’t that what we are supposed to be doing?  Showing everyone what we say?  I know I am.  But am I doing it?  I sure have a ways to go.

Please, please, check this amazing family out.  You will be inspired.  You will want them to visit your own congregation.  You will want to set the world on fire.

They call themselves “Passion to Action” and their passion for serving is well…motivating to say the least.  Tomorrow we will be spending the day, as a congregation, working on a community within our city that is for men recently released from prison.  We’ll be doing menial tasks – painting, planting, fixing – as well as not-so-menial tasks. Offering hope.  Loving.  Opening arms.

I’ll be posting pictures and thoughts from our experience on Tuesday.  Until then, beloved friends, I’m going to enjoy this holiday weekend.  I hope you do the same.

Click here to visit Passion to Action. WARNING:  You will get sucked in.  In a good way.  Grab a coffee.

Enjoy this 3 minute video about their mission!  NOTE:  The Loekken’s used to call their mission “Crazy Love” – it has since changed to “Passion to Action.”