MARCH 2020 Newsletter
Pastor Jim Chapman
GIVE IT UP FOR JESUS
What would you give up to follow Jesus?
The rich young ruler had everything by human standards. He was good looking, smart, rich and well educated. He may have been married to the most beautiful woman in the city. He was a man of prominence, but something was missing in his life. In Mark 10, scripture records him asking Jesus what he needed to do to gain heaven. Jesus simply directed him to give away his earthly possessions and riches, and then to follow him. The young man couldn’t do it. It was too much, and he was too entangled in their value to him.
Every human has a choice: to either follow God or to follow their own will and plan. In Mark 8:35, Jesus stated that “whoever saves his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” Jesus adds this powerful postscript in verse 8:36, “for what does it profit a man to gain the world but lose his soul?”
For many, this is a paradox which is counter intuitive. Which of us would willingly give up this world’s riches, success, happiness and power for the unseen? Yet, this is precisely what Jesus wants for each of his disciples, to be ready to give everything up for Him. This choice has eternal ramifications. Either you live this life for this life. Or, you give up this life for Jesus’ promise of eternity.
At Christ’s Body, we walk this difficult line with many of our guests. For them, this life has been a cruel master. Drugs, homelessness, mental health and crime has ruled their existence for many years. Yet, to surrender away what most of them hate is impossible. The challenge is to encourage them to see beyond the short game they live, and to see the long game of eternity. Only an encounter with Jesus changes their minds.
Jesus spoke much about forsaking this life for eternity. Jesus knew a little secret: when you trade away this life for his kingdom, you gain eternal incomparable riches. Here’s the rub-you cannot have both this world and heaven.
Perhaps the opening question should be re-phrased: will you give up everything to follow Christ?
BURSTING AT THE SEAMS
We were again amazed at how many new guests we had last month! We served over 5000 meals. This increase in guests is wonderful news! As we continue to serve increasing numbers of people we can also expect to see an increase in opportunities to reach people for Christ.
This upward trend in the number of guests served has brought a lot of new faces to Christ’s Body Ministries. As a result we’re seeing an increase in aggressive behaviors from guests during our operating hours. This can be expected as we flex the muscles of change and is a reminder that the safety of our guests, the safety of our volunteers and the safety of our staff is always a top priority.
Jerry, our operations director, estimates that we’ve seen a 20% increase in guests and meals served compared to February of last year. He continues to get our month's food and supplies inventory early to keep up with the demand.. If you are able and God puts it on your heart, please donate a few extra dollars this month to get all the hungry, hurting souls fed. Please pray for the safety of our guests, volunteers and staff. Pray for God’s healing power on our guests and that we may be effective in sharing the gospel with them as well.
Ministry of Prayer
Please come and pray with us!
Tuesdays: We meet regularly every Tuesday from 12:00-12:30 and invite anyone who feels called to join us. We specifically pray for the church. We are a church to the homeless and we lead many of our guests to the Lord.
Help. Hope. Rise March luncheon
Join us for some fun, food and learn more about our "Help. Hope. Rise." Campaign to purchase the land next door and build a new campus.
To join the party Wednesday, March 18th at noon click on the link below and RSVP.
Want to do more to help Christ Body?
Consider sponsoring a table for one of our upcoming luncheons and invite your FRANs "friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors" to hear about the transforming work being done at Christ's Body Ministries.
Table Sponsors cost $250 and your table will seat 10, the food is amazing and catered by Biscuits and Berries. You can sign up to sponsor a table using the link above.
DECEMBER'S HELP. HOPE. RISE LUNCHEON
GUEST SERVICES AT CHRIST'S BODY MINISTRIES
At Christ’s Body Ministries we have the privilege of feeding the hungry, giving out clothes to the naked, and giving shelter to our cold homeless neighbors in Denver. This gives us the opportunity to build relationships with the lost, broken, and wounded men and women who visit us at 850 Lincoln St.
We can’t share God’s truth with them until they know we care. As we get to know the stories of our homeless neighbors, we realize they are struggling individuals who have been severely traumatized when they were children. A very high percentage didn’t have a father, never had a healthy father figure, and some were physically, emotionally and sexually abused by their father.
We get to know them by name, listen to their incredible stories, cry with them, pray with them, and then let them experience God’s grace first hand. We have learned when someone experiences God’s love, compassion, and mercy, it will be received better than if they just hear about God’s grace.
We have learned it’s dangerous to judge someone because they have addictions, fly a sign on a corner asking for money, or they are swearing and acting out their anger. A large percentage of our homeless neighbors are disabled either physically, mentally or emotionally. Sometimes all three. We have learned many of the homeless population struggles with depression, anxiety, and are suicidal.
My name is Denis and I have been given the title of "Pastor of Guest Services" I see myself as a friend to our homeless neighbors and I get to hang out with them. It’s a privilege to serve the lost, broken, and wounded at 850 Lincoln St. I don’t always do it right, but we are beginning to learn what it means to love people as ourselves.
PASTOR DENIS AND GUEST
Volunteer of the month
JOHN ANDREWS AND WIFE DONNA
John Andrews has been serving at Christ’s Body Ministries for over three years. What started as John serving chili every other Thursday grew into John becoming a member of our Board of Directors and since landing as Vice Chairman of our Board. Still, John continues to serve chili to our guests and interact with them on the front lines for which we are so grateful. “It only takes a small taste of Christ’s Body to keep you wanting to come back” says John fondly.
About 15 years ago, Pastor Jim had the privilege of meeting John during a Pro-life, Pro-family event where John was serving as a member of the State Senate. Shortly thereafter they became friends and the rest is history. When Pastor Jim joined our team at CBM, he invited John to see first-hand “God at work” at Christ Body Ministries. John still recalls his first visit and watching Pastor Bruce interact with guests and seeing a unique flow of love and goodness that traveled through the food line. John has been hook line and sinker with Christ’s Body ever since.
When asked how he’s seen God working through CBM, John paints the beautiful picture of “the human chain” in a riptide rescue. Ever heard of how beachgoers, time and time again, can rescue a struggling swimmer whose caught in a riptide and is being helplessly swept out to sea? The rescue lies in forming a human chain! This chain of people reaches out to someone struggling and together they are able to bring the swimmer safely to shore. John recalls a human chain here that started with Pastor Bruce’s rescue into Christ’s Body Ministry. Bruce reached out to Jerry, then Jerry reached out to Larry. All of these children of God will continue to reach out with love, provision and the Good News to others. Such is the body of Christ, to reach out to the lost while God brings them safely into His family, ashore. Let Jesus Christ be the anchor from which we start our human chain!
John continues to bring friends, colleges and church members to see God at work at Christ’s Body Ministries. We are thankful for John’s warm smile, loving heart, and faithful service here at Christ Body Ministries!
A FULL CHAPEL IS A GOOD THING TO HAVE!
THEME OF THE MONTH - FASTING
Ezra 8:23, "So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and He answered our prayer."
Every month our pastors choose a theme for staff and residents to think and pray about as well as study. We use the theme in the church services for the homeless and in schoolhouse sessions for residents. We want to share the theme with our friends and supporters as well, so we can all grow together in faith. This month’s theme is fasting. All staff members and residents have chosen two days out of this month to participate in this spiritual discipline and are hopeful to draw closer to God. We encourage you to join us in this month’s challenge.