Access-Life “3 in 3”: November 30, 2022 – THANK YOU!

Ok. Our Access-Life “3 in 3” for November is here! As you would suspect it is about being thankful but maybe not in the way you might think. So, check it out and may God bless you richly in this wonderous season of gratitude to God for His many good blessings [THANKSGIVING] and giving from God of the very best gift [CHRISTMAS].

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Access-Life family and friends. We hope your day has been filled with thanksgiving to our heavenly Father for the many good gifts that he has bestowed upon us this year! We pray that you all enjoyed time with family and/or friends being blessed by each other’s company. Plus, of course some wonderful food. :-) Please know that Leanne and I are so thankful for each and every one of you who are involved in the ministry through prayer, giving, serving, and participating. We are all blessed to be a blessing to each other and that is a truth regardless of your abilities or disabilities. May God bless each of you richly in this holiday season of Thanksgiving and may we all continue display that spirit of gratitude to our heavenly Father for all of the good gifts that he has given us [“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17]. We hope this simple picture I drew back in 2019 along with the eternal truth of the verse included will rise up hope in your heart of all of the blessings that are being poured out upon us daily. :-)

Access-Life Presents “Real Life” by Chad Van De Griek: November 22, 2022 – Enjoy God’s Blessings

“There, in the presence of the LORD your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the LORD your God has blessed you.” Deuteronomy 12:7

There is something beautiful about knowing that you are seen and wanted, and when I look at the verses surrounding the verse previously emphasized, I hear God communicating that very idea God has a deep desire to be with those that are near to God’s heart, both back in antiquity and today as well. God wants to be with us! 

However, the conversation doesn’t end there. Not only does God want to be with us, but God also wants us to reflect that same type of love and generosity to those around us. As followers of Jesus, we have an opportunity to be people who walk alongside others, love them deeply, and always point back to Jesus and what God has done in our lives. When we are in community with others, we are able to have moments like one that is described in Deuteronomy 12. We are able to thank God for what we have and for the people that have been placed in our lives. As a community, we can celebrate together and point each other to the God who loves us, blessed us, and wants to be with us.

I did want to make sure that I took the time to say that I know that there are many parallels between this conversation and upcoming holiday celebrations, especially Thanksgiving. The fact is that for many of us, the upcoming holiday season can bring forth a lot of emotions, many of which aren’t incredibly positive. If you find yourself reading a verse that discusses topics like eating and rejoicing with family and find yourself struggling, know that you aren’t alone. God sees us where we are and wants to be with us even in the midst of incredible difficulty. Not only that, but God has also placed people in our lives to help us feel loved and understood. 

Access-Life Presents “Real Life” by Chad Van De Griek: October 20, 2022 – There is Always HOPE with God

Romans 12:2: Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

As I write this blog post today, I find myself reeling after a couple of really difficult weeks. Difficult losses, unmet expectations, inconvenient logistical changes, and other unfortunate circumstances have left me in a really tough place physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. All of these realities have made writing a difficult endeavor. I was unsure of what exactly I wanted to say or how I wanted to say it. But, as I reflected on the highlighted verse from Paul’s letter, I realized what I wanted to talk about.

When I would think about Romans 12:2 in the past, I would usually view it as a commentary on how we, as followers of Jesus, should interact with temptations or desires that go against what God has asked of us. And, while I don’t view that as a wrong interpretation, I will say that the past few weeks have made me look at Paul’s words in a bit of a different light.

When dealing with things that weigh on our minds and hearts, I believe that followers of Jesus have an opportunity to be different. When we have a down week, or multiple down weeks, we can trust that we are still held tight in God’s steady hands and that there is hope even in the darkest and most difficult of circumstances. To be sure, this doesn’t exclude us from feeling grief, or deep sadness, or any other emotion, but rather, walking with Jesus helps us have the confidence to face those feelings and emotions and trust that we are not alone in the fight. It’s not up to us to carry all of these emotions ourselves. We have hope when there seems to be no hope and a firm identity when everything that we cling to seems to be fading. So, even in the midst of the hardest challenges, we can have hope and face it all because of the God that is in us and the people and resources that God puts in our lives.

Access-Life “3 in 3”: September 26, 2022 – Get some Sonshine!

Fall is here but never fear as the Access-Life September #AL3IN3 video is here, too! Enjoying some Florida Sunshine in our yard under the trees with a great Sun joke, verse on good things from God and update on the good things God is doing thru the ministry. Check it out and we pray you are encouraged and blessed. :)

Access-Life “Fall Farm Day” and “Belize Storage Move”: September 17, 2022 – A Saturday Double Header

God was on the move this past Saturday as we had ministry going on in two different places on the same day. That’s right, in East Tennessee Shady Grove Methodist church and New Freedom Missionary Baptist church came together to lead our East Tennessee Access-Life Outpost team to host our first but not last Fall arm Day. In Central Florida, we had a group from Live Oaks Community church help us transfer our 15×15 storage unit full of mobility and medical supplies for our annual Belize mission trip [we actually have not been able to go since 2020 because of medical challenges] into one of our ministry trailers. This not only saves us monthly fees but take the first big step in us going back to Belize!

Now there were both two totally different types of ministry work but both important works for God’s Kingdom. In East Tennessee, the goal was to share the love ad gospel of Jesus with individuals and families living with disabilities. We wanted to bless those we attended with respite, fun, fellowship and hope, all in the name of Jesus. There were animals including horses, archery, arts, crafts, games, airsoft, hay rides, candied apples, food and more. It was a real Farmabalooza!

In Central Florida, we were preparing to share the love and gospel of Jesus with individuals and families living with disabilities by moving and staging mobility items and medical supplies that will be shipped to Belize and fitted and distributed to those in need at the Hearts of Christ mission. Two totally different types of work but both with the same goal: sharing the love and gospel of Jesus with individuals and families living with disabilities that are in need.

So there you have it. Sweaty, fun, hard, hopeful, engaging, fruitful God blessed ministry work in two different places on the same day and even at the same time. NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL A REAL HEAVENLY DOUBLE HEADER! Special thanks goes to Kenneth Graves, Karen Stryker and Hannah Spalding for seeing that God work got done as He worked through the hearts and minds of His people to do amazing things. We hope you enjoy the pictures and see you at another Access-Life activity soon. :)

Access-Life Presents “Real Life” by Chad Van De Griek: September 15, 2022 – God is Running After You!

Surely your goodness and faithfulness will pursue me all my days, and I will live in the LORD’s house for the rest of my life. Psalms 23:6

Verse six of Psalm 23 is a passage of scripture that I often forget about. It’s an aspect of this well-known Psalm that I overlook. When reading King David’s words, I find myself focusing on the other verses in Psalm 23 that talk about God being my shepherd and how God is with me as I walk through the darkest valley, but verse six feels different  

I love the idea of God’s goodness and faithfulness pursuing me. It’s a different thought process than I am often used to. When I think about my relationship with God, I often view myself as the one who pursues, I am the one who has to earn God’s goodness and faithfulness. But, this is, of course, an incorrect and unhealthy view of the Good News of Jesus.

God pursues me. It’s never been the other way around. God shares goodness and faithfulness with me, not because of anything I have done, but of God’s consistent character and vast love. It’s all because of Christ. 

Sometimes when writing articles like this, I try to have deep and profound statements to share. But the beauty of the Gospel is its simplicity. Because of Christ, we can come boldly before God and experience an unending amount of goodness, faithfulness, and love. 

God pursues us, God loves us, and God wants to be with us. That’s the Good News. King David worded it better than I ever could, surely God’s goodness and faithfulness will pursue me all the days of my life. I never want to forget that, and I want to always be someone who reminds others of it as well It’s simple, yet profound. It is the Good News.