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Catalyst 2.0 Prayer Guide : Thailand, Coffee and Catalyst by Bryan and Sabra Boyd

Thailand, Coffee and Catalyst

by Bryan and Sabra Boyd

Matthew 22:37:   Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”   

There are some things that just transcend the many differences that separate us in this world:  COFFEE is one of those things.    

Our language, ethnicity, culture, geography, and religion all seem to conspire to move us into our own little compartments of life where we feel comfortable and safe and with people who are like us. But get a few folks, no matter where they come from around a table with a cup of Joe, and conversation begins as you share the warm goodness and joy of that black brewed gold.   

I cannot help but think of coffee every time I think of Thailand.  We visited many a coffee shop throughout our mission trip in June. Our leader at the Upland Holistic Development Project (UHDP) Tui, knew where all the great coffee places were. In those coffee houses I was so profoundly reminded how similar we are as a human race. We all long for community and fellowship around the table.    

Starbucks has a special Thai blend of coffee that is named “Muan Jai” and this means “wholehearted happiness.” In all the places we ministered in Thailand and were ministered to, we were met with the wholehearted happiness of the Thai people.  Thailand is after all, known as the land of smiles.    

Our journey to Thailand was amazing, inspiring, convicting, and challenging (all in a good way!).  From our experience, we are centering in on living life wholeheartedly and looking expectantly to sharing a cup of Joe with new friends here in Liberty and beyond!  Thank you 2BC family for your gifts to the Catalyst initiative!           

What transcends the differences between you and others: coffee, a soccer ball, a bicycle?  Ask God to show you a way you can cross boundaries to be Christ’s presence in the world. 
Posted by Terri Soper at Thursday, October 9, 2014
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Catalyst 2.0 Prayer Guide : A School With a Church by Ellen Gregory

A School with a Church  

by Ellen Gregory

Matthew 11:25:  At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.   

From a different perspective . . . driving Second Friends Preschoolers back from Science City last spring, I heard a little voice behind me say "Is this a church bus?” The teacher replied "Yes, it is.” Then I heard, "Oh, does our school have a church?” and I had to smile. Since then, I have reflected over that short conversation many times.   

One of the things that drew Larry and me to Second Baptist over 20 years ago was the number of young families with small children and the importance Second places on nurturing, education, and the security of even our littlest ones.   

We have raised two daughters as part of this church family and our girls have grown into women of strong faith with a passion for service to people needing help. There is no way to put a price on this, yet it is due to programs that are still going strong and are funded by the Catalyst.  Sunday School ministries, Wednesday night mission programs, the youth program, choirs from children through adults, handbells, orchestra, Vacation Bible School, mission trips, children and youth camps. And we can’t forget Second Friend Preschool. Although it has become a ministry that is self-funded, it began 20 years ago as part of our church budget and has grown into a successful ministry to our community.   

We are a church of vision and passion with the knowledge that we must raise our future generations to develop their own vision and passion through deep relationship with the one true God.   

I come back around to the conversation on the bus. Yes, indeed. Second Friends Preschool has a Church.  A Church that values them, prays for them, volunteers when needed, and is just plain proud of them. What more can I say?     

Thank God for the impact Second Friends Preschool has had on countless children and families over the years.

Posted by Terri Soper at Wednesday, October 8, 2014
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Catalyst 2.0 Prayer Guide : The Habit of Tithing by Greg Duncan


The Habit of Tithing

by Greg Duncan    

 Mark 12:17:  Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” And they were amazed at him.    

When I first started mowing lawns and walking home with crisp bills in my hands, my parents unabashedly explained the tithing concept to me – and promptly made change for my earnings so that I would have the right amount of dollar bills to put in the offering plate. Not optional. It certainly wasn’t a foreign concept. I knew that my parents gave to the church every month. It was fun to be a copy-cat giver.   

When I graduated to an actual job with an actual uniform (brown, pink & orange striped shirt complemented by brown baseball cap) at the local Baskin Robbins, I got my first actual paper paycheck! Having calculated the hours I worked times $2.10, I was shocked that my check was less than what I had earned. What’s a deduction? And who’s this FICA guy and why does he get some? I explained to my parents that I could no longer give 10% to the church now that I was only getting partially paid. Wrong. As a dishwasher, a pizza driver, a recreation assistant, a clothing salesman, a paralegal wannabe, the checks gradually got larger, but so did the deductions, and so did the things I “needed” the money for.  But I was in the habit of tithing, I knew it was right, and I simply did it.   

Fast forward to marriage, mortgage, children, medical expenses, and all sorts of grown-up things that compound financial pressure. As our incomes have risen (and fallen) and as our financial security has strengthened (and faltered) our commitment to a 10% tithe has remained steady. Sometimes it’s tough to write that check. Sometimes “joyful giver” is a real misnomer.   

But looking back over more than 30 years of consistent tithing I’m grateful for parents who instilled a value and cultivated a habit. I’m grateful for a wife who shares the belief and reinforces the commitment. I’m grateful for the ability and opportunity to continue to give to my God and my church through the Catalyst programs. With time and space it would be easy to enumerate all the reasons why, but suffice it to say, I can’t imagine not!   

 Are you a habitual tither? What steps, with God’s help, could you take to develop the habit of tithing?

Posted by Terri Soper at Tuesday, October 7, 2014
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