Archive for the ‘Giving’ Category


“Blessed are the poor in spirit…”

September 2, 2010

A throne was created deep within the heart of man upon which none was worthy to sit but God. Mankind’s woes began when we forced God from His throne and enshrined in His place were the things which He created  for and to be used by man for good and the accomplishments of God’s purposes upon the earth. The pronouns “my” and “mine” are innocent enough, but their constant and broad use with reference to things is significant. They express the real nature of man’s fallen heart. They are verbal symptoms of our deep disease. God’s gifts now take the place of God on the throne of our hearts and the result is a watering down of the words of Jesus.

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” (Luke 9:23, 24).

Jesus says that it is the “denial of self that saves life”. I believe this is what is referenced by Jesus when He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The blessed ones who will possess the Kingdom are those who have repudiated the external things and have uprooted from their hearts all sense of possessing. Though free from all sense of possessing, they actually posses all things…”theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

One of the great examples of this principle is seen in the life of Abraham. Abraham was an old man when Isaac was born. In fact he was old enough to have been Isaac’s grandfather. Finally the long awaited son he had been promised was born and no doubt became the delight of his heart. This child represented everything sacred to a father’s heart. Wrapped up in him were the promises of God, the covenants, the messianic dream and hopes of years to come. As he watches him grow up into a young man I can only imagine how close he became to his son.  What happens next is beyond our wildest imagination. God shatters the calm and blessed relationship with a command, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you” (Gen. 22:2).

Our inspired scribe spares us the agonizing response and questions that may have come in response to this most unusual challenge. I can only imagine the agony of heart and soul that must have been experienced in coming to grips with God’s will. If only the choice was his to die instead of his son, there would have been no contest, for he is now old and death would be no great ordeal, but God had said, “Take your Son, your only son…”

What is the moral of this story? God allowed this old faithful servant to go through with this intended offering of his son up to the point where there would be no retreat, and then did not allow him to continue. In effect he says, “It‘s all right, Abraham, I never intended that you should actually slay your son. I only wanted to remove him from the temple of your heart that I might reign supreme there with out rival. “…now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”

After that emotion filled experience I think the words “my” and “mine” never had quite the same meaning for Abraham. Abraham had a lot of things, but he possessed nothing. Here is the spiritual secret to self denial. Laying up treasure in heaven sounds good, but we fear what we cannot see. It is easy to trust in bank balances, net worth, the next promotion, etc. I think this is the reason Jesus says it will be difficult for the rich to inherit the Kingdom. The poor have nothing of material value to hold on to, but the rich, that is another story.

We must learn with Abraham that everything is safe which we commit to Him, and nothing is really safe which is not so committed.

A.W. Tozer said, “If we would indeed know God in growing intimacy we must go this way of renunciation. And if we are set upon the pursuit of God He will sooner or later bring us to this test. Abraham’s testing was, at the time, not known to him as such, yet if he had taken some course other than the one he did, the whole history of the Old Testament would have been different. God would have found His man, no doubt, but the loss to Abraham would have been tragic beyond the telling. So we will be brought one by one to the testing place, and we may never know when we are there. At that testing place there will be no dozen possible choices for us; just one and an alternative, but our whole future will be conditioned by the choice we make.”

“Father, I want to know You, but my coward heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from You the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that You may enter and dwell there without a rival. Then You will make the place of Your feet glorious. Then will my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it, for you will be the light of it, and there shall be no night there. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Operation Dad 2008 A “Mustard Seed” Idea Blessed By God

May 28, 2008

Operation Dad 2008

Operation Dad 2008 all started with Shannon Brown, a soldiers wife and new member at Madison, and a conversation about doing something special for Father’s Day for a few of the men in her husbands unit. That seed idea blossomed into a project that only God could bring to success…and He did.

Operation Dad 2008 was not a statement for or against the war, it was a message to the troops that you are loved by those of us who are so far away.

Tom Haddon, our Involement Minister, along with Shannon spearheaded this effort that raised over 100,000.00 in supplies and cash. People from all over Middle Tennessee set up collections boxes. Over 8000 personal notes were written to the troops, many of them by children. 6000 small denim back packs were filled with everything from eye drops, chap stick to playing cards (David Hardin, one of our members drove all the way to Tunica to pick up 6000 decks of cards). Also in each back pack was one special Beenie baby toy to be given away with the back pack to a child as a gift of love.

We thank God for all of those who gave their time, money and material gifts. We trust God will take these seeds of love and plant them in open hearts for a harvest one day of His design.

Below is a picture of our Gym during Operation Dad 2008. Click on the picture to be taken to more pictures.

 Operation Dad 2008

Picures courtesy of Todd Hibbs, Madison’s Director of Media Operations.


Operation Dad 2008 A Great Success!!!

May 27, 2008

Tommorrow Is Packing Day

May 21, 2008

1500 boxes each containing 4 small back packs filled with goodies will be packed and made ready to ship on Friday. Each of the 6000 back packs will contain a small stuffed animal to be giving to a child. Over 31,000 dollars has been given to pay for the shipping and even the Post Office is finally on board. They will come to our building to do the paper work and then provide a truck to take all the boxes to the shipping point. Praise our Father who provides! Channel 5 did an on location shoot for their 6:00pm broad cast. Here is the video.


Final Push For Operation Dad 2008

May 17, 2008

WKRN Channel 2 in Nashville joined other media outlets in promoting Operation Dad 2008. After listen to the video below please read a personal message from Tom Haddon, our Involvment Minister (featured in the video) whose message is listed below.

5/17/08 Good morning,

We have one week to go – This is sorting and packing week. We have enough money to ship just over 4000 packages! That’s 2/3 of the way there.

Individuals: We need shipping on 2,000 more packages. Can you go to your friends and neighbors today asking them to contribute $ 5.00 to ship one box. The $ 5.00 covers the cost of the bag (small backpak with nothing in it) and the cost to ship it. For every $ 5.00 that you raise, that’s one more bag going to Afghanistan. Individual donations, for tax purposes, are treated like a donation to any qualified ‘church’.

If you own a business or know someone who does, can you ask for a corportate donation? Remember – every $ 100.00 sends 20 packages. Remind them that we will be sending out tax receipts to them the first part of June. Corporate donations are tax deductible.

Together, with our community, we can get over the hump. I thank you all for what you have already done. Let’s work together to make this happen for our men and women.

Thank you,

Tom Haddon for Operation Dad 2008



Steve Gill Takes His Show On The Road For Operation Dad 2008

May 16, 2008

Will You Be A Drop of Rain?

May 15, 2008

Operation Dad needs 25,000 drops of rain. One drop won’t accomplish much, but enough drops can turn a desert into an Oasis. We need 25,000 people to give 1 dollar by May 21st. It will cost a little over 5 dollars to send each package. (Yes we have checked with the Post Office and they won’t, and we have checked with the Military and they don’t have a plane).

Side Note! 500 of the 6000 packages being prepared with be for the ladies in the 506th Combat Brigade.

Here is the Fox Channel 17 report from last night.



The Need For Seed

March 13, 2008


Maiduguri Nigerian is about to enter the rainy season. A period of plenty of water followed by up to nine months of drought. Thanks to the skills of drip irrigation and the new well just drilled at the farm crops can now be grown year round. The skills to do this are being taught to the poorest of this region. This wonderful opportunity to show the Love of Christ to the Islamic population has created a tremendous NEED FOR SEED!

If you would like to help meet this need here are a few ways you can help:

  • Set up a seed donation box at your congregation/Bible Class/Place of work/School and start collecting garden seeds of all types.
  • Children love a challenge. Let them be creative and allow them to share their ideas about seed collection, and then help them follow through.
  • Talk to your local store about a matching gift of seed. For example: for (x) number of seed packs purchased, the store owner would donate a pack of seed. Local stores love these promotions that bring people in and increase their store traffic.
  • Don’t forget to spread the word at your office or place of work. Who knows where the domino effect might lead.

If you will ship the seed to us, we will be responsible for shipping it to Nigeria.

So mail your seed to 118 Wessington Place, Hendersonville, TN 37075

Got questions? email me at

Here is a list of seed that we need:

Sweet Corn
Green Beans
Green Peas
Bulb Onions
Green Pepper
Red Pepper
Chili Pepper
Brussel Sprouts
Collard Greens
Turnip Greens
Honey Dew Melon

Please pray for the Lord of the harvest to be glorified as we plant these seeds of faith.


Turn your everyday shopping into contributions for Arewa Aid!

January 11, 2008


How would you like to start earning money for Arewa Aid everyday – just by shopping? Now you can! We have enrolled in the OneCause Shop & Earn™ program, a year-round shopping program that allows you to earn contributions for Arewa Aid through everyday purchases. It’s absolutely FREE! In fact, you can even save money on your purchases with One Cause’s weekly merchant specials and seasonal promotions.

It’s so simple!

All you have to do is register with OneCause and start shopping online at with hundreds of your favorite leading merchant websites, select stores, and catalogs. Up to 36% of each purchase goes right back to Arewa Aid!

Here’s how to get started

1. Go to and click Join. Choose Arewa Aid to receive the contributions from your purchases.

2. Fill out your Profile Information and choose your Preferences.

3. Opt-in to receive emails about purchase confirmations, new merchants, special promotions, and extra bonuses. Be sure to add to your address book.


Remember, the more you shop through OneCause, the more you earn for Arewa Aid!

I believe that the ONECAUSE program has tremendous potential. If you have questions concerning this program, how to register, or anything else, drop me a note. I will be more than happy to assist you. Remember that once you are registered you must reach your favorite merchant by going through the ONECAUSE site for your purchases to count for AREWA AID. Also, encourage others to sign up. It is just another way to support AREWA AID.


Some Thoughts About Giving

November 24, 2007

There is a new direction for my life that I will be speaking about a little later, but for today listen to these thoughts about giving.