Exchanging Our Plans for God’s

20140726-090400-32640068.jpg

For months the Special Events and Fundraising Team and I had carefully planned every detail of the Taste of Love INC fundraiser. There would be a pie tasting, a pie auction complete with pastries baked by local pastors, a silent auction, a classic car show and outdoor games. Tents were borrowed, a restaurant sized mobile refrigerator ordered; the only thing we hadn’t planned on was three inches of rain.

Looking out my office window that morning, my eyes threatened to pool over like the parking lot down below. Basements had flooded. Streets were impassable. It looked like our outdoor event was a washout. The board president and I had a decision to make, should we cancel? Thirteen churches had joined efforts to bake pies, collect silent auction items and plan this event. Our annual budget depended on its success.

Luckily, the church who had originally offered their parking lot, offered their building (despite the fact that their basement was flooding). A new plan was formulating. Because when the enemy comes in like a flood, God raises a standard. An army of volunteers appeared and began moving tables, setting up chairs and working together. Someone got word that the nearby “Taste of Chicago” event had been cancelled that day, but the show would go on in suburban Tinley Park!

A few minutes before the event officially started, the troops gathered to thank God and pray. Somehow we did it! We set up inside for an event intended for outdoors, and in a fraction of the time we had originally planned. But would anyone come? Sewers were overflowing and backyards had become lakes.

20140726-090508-32708971.jpg

Visitors began to trickle into the church until the entire Fellowship Hall was filled with smiling faces. Guests were tasting pies and exchanging narratives about sub pumps and downed power lines. Over the past six months there had been struggles. Disagreements and disappointments had seeped in here and there. Yet on this day, the Body of Christ worked together, looking past denominational differences and beyond differences of opinion. In fact, at our followup meeting we all agreed that God had a greater plan. His had been far more successful than anything we could have thrown together.

20140726-090607-32767207.jpg

20140726-090740-32860332.jpg

20140726-090933-32973295.jpg

Looking back, I realize that the whole experience captures the core of what Love In The Name of Christ is all about. As a nonprofit organization Love INC strives to mobilize the local church in order to transform lives and communities in the Name of Christ. We empower our volunteers who are predominately from our participating churches with opportunities to reach out to those who are hurting in our community. In order to accomplish this, we listen to the agencies that we partner with to determine what needs are not being sufficiently met. After we decipher these “gaps” in service, we rally our churches by collecting product and training volunteers to fill in those voids. Thus far, our affiliate has started four gap ministries: an adult coat closet, a personal care pantry, a bunk bed and bedding ministry and finally a fresh start kit for those in need of household items.

Just like our fundraising event, there are daily struggles. Working interdenominationally can be a challenge at times. We often misunderstand and miscommunicate with one another. Many times the enemy tries to divide and conquer us. He knows that a house divided against itself can not stand. However, when we are united under the common cause of showing Christ’s love in practical ways the Body of Christ is a force to be reckoned with. This work of administering the Father’s love is common to every Christian and in the end is the one thing that matters more than anything. What a privilege it is to be entrusted with the job of provoking others to love and good works in this way.

Kim Sullivan is the executive director of Love INC of Tinley Park, IL, a non-profit service organization that brings together local churches, volunteers, and community agencies to help people in need. Kim began this new career in 2012 after “retiring” from home educating her three children. Kim’s passion for writing began as a child with her love of reading, and her first manuscript was a children’s picture book. She blogs at Journey to Epiphany. Kim has been married to Steve, her best friend and biggest supporter, since 2000 and together they have reared a happy blended household of five. As a Christian, Kim believes that her relationship with Christ is the most important thing in her life. He is all that matters and she is very grateful to be His girl. Kim loves finding the extraordinary in the ordinary and finding lessons in unexpected places.

Sharing over at the High Calling.

Finding Me at Finding Heaven


I’m over at Jen’s place today talking about breaking the tape that has played over and over and over again in my head. Replacing my words/the enemies words with His Words changes me from the inside out. I’m so glad that I have amazing friends like Jen who spur me on to love and good works. Come and find out how to overcome when Someone Calls You A Loser.

What To Do When You’re Facing A Giant

Today I have my first grown up interview. All of my other jobs have come to me. I am pitifully under-qualified. They would prefer someone with a degree. I have none. The only place I’ve ever worked is Dunkin’ Donuts and church, unless I count that short stint at Casual Corner and the bank. I haven’t worked in an office in twelve years, but that is what makes the whole thing so exciting. I’m in way over my head. That’s always been the best place for me, the deep. Most of the time I haven’t chosen to go there, but rather, have found myself under stormy waters against my will. However, this time, I’ve chosen to wade into the deep.

This morning, I was reading I Samuel and the story of David and Goliath came alive in a whole new way to me. I noticed seven things I could use to face the giant of “what should this former home school mom do with her life, now?”

1. Find out what the benefits are to facing your giant. David asked to hear the reward for killing Goliath. He wanted to hear it a second time. Maybe he already had his eye on Saul’s daughter, or maybe he was excited about his family being tax exempt, but something in that list inspired him and (en)couraged him to overcome the obstacle set before him.

2. Resist the temptation to fight your giant with the weapons of others. God has made you uniquely you. When we try to do things the way other people do, it just doesn’t fit right, just like Saul’s armor didn’t fit David. In fact, in the New Living version, David says, “I can’t go in these,” he protested to Saul. “I’m not used to them.” Then it says that David picked up five stones. This was a weapon he was familiar with.God has equipped you. Use your equipment.

3. Notice how God has been training you.God doesn’t leave His children hanging. David wrote a poem about this in Psalm 144:1 (NLT) “Praise the LORD, who is my rock. He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle.” David realized at some point that all of those years protecting those sheep were useful for something even more significant. They were training his hands for this battle. The assignment that God has given you may seem everyday and mundane. But the truth is that this very thing may be your training for an upcoming battle! I have long lived by the mantra, “Do what is in your hand to do, today.” When I do this, I know that I will be prepared for the future because of my obedience and action today.

4. Recognize the battle as the Lord’s. You are not strong enough to beat your giant, but God is. And perhaps, unbeknownst to you, He has been preparing you for this day. David did not have an armor bearer. He didn’t have any armor! But he had something so much more powerful, He had God on His side.

5. Be confident. David talked trash to Goliath. He told him exactly what he was going to do to him in no uncertain terms. He could do this because the Lord was his confidence. Proverbs 3:26, says, “For the Lord shall be your confidence, firm and strong, and shall keep your foot from being caught [in a trap or some hidden danger].”

6.Run at your giant!Stop avoiding it, run at it! David ran toward Goliath as fast as his legs could take him. Sometimes if we take our time, we’ll talk ourselves out of it. Go for it!

7. Reach into your own skill set. When the time came, David found himself “reaching into his shepherd’s bag.” David was able to pull what was familiar and practiced out of himself when he needed it most. He was prepared. He could pull a trick out of the bag. What skills has God trimmed you with? What can you pull out of your bag in time of trouble? Don’t believe that His preparations haven’t been enough. You were made for this!

I’m thrilled to be at this place in my life. The position that I’m applying for isn’t my giant, but trying for the position is! I know God has a future for me one way or the other…after all, how could I write so much if I’m working all of the time!

What is your giant?

Sharing with my friend Jen today:

and dear Shanda: