The Joy of Not Complaining

You are now entering the Mission Field

How derogatory and negative does something have to be to merit the term “complaining?”

Our church will soon embark on an eight-week period when all the sermons, class lessons, small group discussions and personal devotional readings will be focused on one topic, that of dying to self and living for Christ.  Each week one practical activity of self-denial is suggested.  I was intrigued by the one week where people are going to be asked to fast from (i.e. avoid) complaining.  It immediately made me watchful of what complaining sorts of thoughts, attitudes, and words I noticed in myself.

Again I ask, how derogatory and negative does something have to be to merit the term “complaining?”  I knew that the Israelites in the wilderness were clearly guilty.  They berated Moses for not giving them a more certain water supply and a more interesting diet (Ex. 14, Num.20 & 21).  They even grumbled against the leaders God had given (Num.14,16, 17).  They were clearly not content with what God had arranged for them.  Moses at times reminded them they were complaining against the Lord.  Some of God’s greatest displeasure was focused on their complaining!

Further understanding comes from Philippians 2:14 & 15.  When it says “Do all things without complaining…”.  It seems to refer to having a negative attitude or words about the things we have to do.  But I think it could be extended to include anything that happens while we are going through life, even when the toast burns.  The word for “complaining” is further clarified by the Greek lexicon meaning of “secret displeasure” or “querulous discontent.” We may not say anything, but could be grumbling in our minds and think that doesn’t count.  God hears, and sooner or later what’s in the heart does come out.  A grumbling attitude usually doesn’t show up as a cheerful face.

I began to notice little things like the displeasure I felt against myself when I splashed dishwater down the front of me, or when I forgot something and thus wasted time, etc.  I would usually utter a mental exclamation expressing displeasure or frustration.  (One my father used a lot was “Oh, brother!” It can be said with such a tone of disgust.)  Sometimes it’s brought about by displeasure against the tool/appliances I’m using because they don’t work as well as I’d like or they go out of order.  Our displeasure could be directed toward a coworker, family member, or even the weather.

How can we counteract those moments of negativism and discontent?  I found it works to think of something positive concerning that event or something related.  Instead of complaining against the weather, be thankful how often it’s good, and that we don’t have blizzards and tornados. Do you feel like grumbling about being too busy?  Be thankful you have work or purpose so you can be busy.  Feeling displeasure about the slowness of your computer?  Think of three things to thank God for while you’re waiting. Yes, thankfulness is the God-given antidote to complaining.

Think of how God would be pleased if we could, with his help, eradicate complaining and grumbling from our lives.  Paul says that will go a long way to helping us be “blameless and pure, children of God, without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe” (Phil.2:15).  This is one way people would be able to see we are different; it’s one way we can shine.

As B2H mentors we are often called to assist our B2H mothers or even other B2H mentors in seeking thankfulness, which in essence helps us eliminate complaining in our own lives.  For this I am thankful.

Written by B2H mentor Barbara Wibberly

Help Keep the Light of God on at The Bridge to Hope!

Fund a Need: Keep lights on for B2H and share the light of Christ with a homeless single family.

When a mother enters she receives light to her path, a path moving her family from Homelessness to Wholeness.

The Bridge to Hope is a housing ministry for homeless single mothers in Phoenix, Arizona.  

Our yearly budget for utilities is $720.   

We are asking you to join us in “lighting the way” for these moms and their children, as we help them progress from homelessness to wholeness.

Please Join The Bridge to Hope in  KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON !  

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.  
Psalm 119:105

Is it Worth It?

Is it Worth It?

Have you ever wondered if one church can make an impact on homelessness?

I have been asked these questions regarding The Bridge to Hope:  Is it worth it?  One church, coming around one homeless single mother and her children, is it worth the time, worth the cost, worth “it”?

During our B2H dinner on February 5th we heard from a B2H participant what it means to her as she introduced her Pastor.  When I say “her” Pastor, I mean the pastor from the church that is sponsoring her family while they are at The Bridge to Hope.  She spoke warmly of how he had ministered to her and how much she felt a part of her spiritual family.

“I knew I was in the right place, where I belong.  My church family and my B2H family are filling the Jesus hole shaped in my heart that I never knew was there. “  

Such testimonies show how God’s love has changed lives, restored families, and put them on solid ground spiritually, emotionally and financially.  Children who had been removed from them have been not only restored to their mothers but also have come to personally know God’s love for themselves. The school age children of our present B2H mothers not only love going to children’s church every Sunday, but also look forward to the mid-week opportunity to attend Pioneer Girls.  How does one measure the worth of these!

Since Valentine’s Day was at hand, at our dinner Pastor Freddy T from First Southern Baptist Church of Scottsdale spoke on love.  Real Love, God’s Love. God’s love, he said, is Personal, Proven and Permanent.  He shared it is because God knows us.  Truly knows us and still loves us.  He knows our hopes, knows our fears.  He shared that to know someone fully and still love them is a manifestation of God’s love.

“While we were yet (worthless) sinners, Christ died for us” We were all “worthless” before coming to know Jesus.  However, we were never worthless in God’s sight; He valued us enough to even die for us.  Thus we have come to personally know God’s love.

Through B2H we have such an opportunity: to come to deeply know and show that love to a mother and her family, to show them that in God’s sight and therefore in ours that she has worth, and because of this we are glad to invest ourselves, our love, time and energy, as well as our resources to help her discover her worth in God’s sight.  A mother does not have to earn the love of her mentors.  This result in a homeless mother, who felt worthless, rejected, and miserable, coming to feel loved, accepted, and having worth.

I was humbled and moved that evening to know that I was in a room with a pastor, as well as  teams of mentors from churches, who truly knew a homeless single mother, and have made their mother feel accepted and loved.  This young mother making the introduction had expected to be rejected, she wasn’t, she was embraced and loved…and valued!

I knew on this evening, it was worth it and I was blessed be a part of it.

Thank you for giving to The Bridge to Hope, and showing us through your faithful giving that you too feel it is worth it.

I welcome you to hear the introduction in full.

The Power of Purpose

The Power of Purpose

Heart

Some people refer to “purpose” as “finding your why”.  The power of purpose is similar to the energy of light focused through a magnifying glass.  A clear sense of purpose enables you to focus your efforts on what matters most, compelling you to take risks and push forward regardless of the odds or obstacles.

One of my favorite stories in the Bible puts Jesus and his disciples in a boat, and a great, powerful storm threatens their lives.  It can be found in the Book of Mark, chapter 4, in verses 36-41.

Now we know many of these men were fishermen, and this would have not been their first storm.  Verse 38 tells us something about this storm.  In this verse they ask Jesus if he cares they are about to perish.  Considering these men were fishermen, and it was not their first storm, it must mean this was one whopper of a storm.

Something else jumps out in this message.  Though the Disciples were afraid of the storm, they had more fear when they realized who Jesus was.  Their Master had just caused the sea and wind to cease.  Now that’s power.

But the power of purpose was on display here as well.  Consider this…Jesus knew he came to earth to die on a cross, as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind.  It was prophesied in Numbers 21, Isaiah 53, Zechariah 12 and Psalm 22.  This knowledge of His purpose would permit Him to sleep peacefully in the stern of the boat.  While all others were in chaos, He slept, knowing He was not to die at sea. That’s what having a powerful purpose can do for one.

At Bridge to Hope we are trying to instill a sense of purpose for the single mothers we are trying to help. They, like Jesus’ disciples, have very strong fears from having struggled against life’s storms and they know what a shipwreck is like. In fact, many are still struggling. We at B2H are seeking to point them to the One who has the power to quell life’s severe storms and give peace of heart and strength of purpose. Pray with us that we will succeed and they will be able to meet anything that life throws at them confident that Jesus walks with them to deal with any storms that may arise.

You too may be involved in such a search. We wish you the best in your quest to discover your purpose. Just know that whatever the purpose we have One who is able to help us fulfill it.

Written by Board Member, Pat Harter

God reveals His goodness

I will restore you

As we began the New Year we took account of the ways God has been showing his goodness and provision towards The Bridge to Hope and the families we serve in just one month.

One 4 year old boy saw his mother for the first time in over 8 months.  This visit took place in her new home provided by the supporters of The Bridge to Hope.  It is our prayer his mother will be fully restored from her lifestyle that caused him to need foster care, and he will be returned to her care and the B2H apartment will also become his new home.

Leah, a Bridge Graduate, began leading a Staying Sober group for our current Moms.  It is a gift when a mother returns to share what she has learned, supporting others in recovery.

Our newest Mom selected Leah as her 12 Step Sponsor.  Who is better to walk a mother through navigating the 12 Steps of sobriety than a mother that has successfully completed The Bridge to Hope and is still maintaining her sobriety?

Our Moms are being mentored and discipled by team member Barbara Wibberly in a weekly Bible Study.  We celebrate the mothers bond and that they look forward to each Wednesday afternoon when she teaches them about God’s word and His deep love for them.

We received a generous donation from a First Southern Baptist Church of Scottsdale Bible study class, committing $25.50 to fund one day a month for a B2H mother.

The Bridge to Hope has begun utilizing Volunteer Match an online website to share in our volunteer opportunities.  We have gained several amazing, new volunteers.  Their excitement and desire to learn more about B2H is a gift.

Pastor Freddy T. Wyatt, of FSBCS, has been promoting our ministry within FSBCS and has agreed to come and speak at our February B2H dinner.  Having a Pastor take a vested interest in the ministry of The Bridge to Hope is God driven!

Faith Bible Church is featuring The Bridge to Hope as a focus ministry this month and is hosting a luncheon on Sunday, February 8th, during which we will be sharing our ministry in hopes that they will create a team and we can accept a new Mom.

La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church is promoting The Bridge to Hope with an informational table on Sunday, February 15, 2015, to challenge people to join their committed mentoring team.

God continues to provide for the needs of our families through donations of clothing and we have created a partnership with Savers who has also stepped in to fill the needs of our families.

Bright Horizons at Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network donated many new toys for our birthday bin and snuggly new jammies, hats and scarves for our kiddos.

We have found an appropriate afterschool program for our oldest boy and he comes home all smiles and giggles.

Our 3 older girls are now attending Pioneer Girls at Bethany Bible Church and they are coming home and telling their Mommas the verses they learned.

As you can see our blessings are overflowing and for it all we give Him praise.  “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think!

Join us in the thanksgiving and celebration of God’s tenderness toward those finding hope at The Bridge to Hope.