Looking to Lead . . .

On Saturday, April 27th, 2019, Leadership Southwest is gathering together with Mission Cedar to G.O. out into our community and lead in love. Leadership Southwest contacted us a few months back and asked us if we would like to participate in a “Treasure Hunt” exercise they were doing in looking for a non-profit to join with. We were MORE than glad to join them.

We put together a short exercise for them to participate in, giving them small samples of what we do in various home projects which built upon each other, leading to a finished project, and hopefully, a desire to know and do more. Well, what do you know? Out of the five non-profits that were hoping to recruit a team of volunteers, we won.

So on Saturday, April 27th, from 7:30 AM – 4:30 PM the volunteers from Leadership Southwest are going to take on 5 pretty healthy project. Three homes have rotted siding that needs to be removed and replaced. They then need to be caulked, primed, and painted. One home needs a whole new paint job after some old paint is washed and scraped off. It’s a big two story home, so we hope they eat theirs Wheaties. And the fifth and final home needs a new fence built. The old fence is already gone, so we need to show up, dig some holes, set some post, and then build a brand new fence.

Each of these homeowners are going to be blessed by the generosity of Leadership Southwest and Mission Cedar Hill, not only in the free labor provided by the volunteers, but by the free wood, paint, and fencing that the generous donors with these two groups is gathering together to pay for all of it. Mission Cedar Hill has never asked a homeowner for a penny, and we never will.

We would like to invite you to come work with us on that Saturday, April 27th, or just come watch us do what we do for a while so you can see for yourself what Leadership and Love can do for and in a Community. Jesus said to “Love your Neighbor” so that’s what we’re doing. You can always learn what we are doing at our web site MissionCedarHill.org, and click on “Events”. Then click on “Join Mission Cedar Hill” and G.O. make a difference in your neighborhood.

And Then . . .

And then, there was a playground.

Toward the end of February through the first of March, the City of Cedar Hill along with Mission Cedar Hill the businesses, churches, and citizens of Cedar Hill set out on quite an adventure. In eleven days we were to turn a plot of dirt into a brand new innovative, inclusive, learning playground that would invite, encourage, and enlist every kid in our city to come play and learn on its features.

The weather turned cold and wet, I mean really cold (like freezing) and really wet, like rain, sleet, and ice. Volunteers and workers starting showing up every day at 7 am, and worked until 8 PM. Tools were hard to hold, the ground was frozen, on top of being Cedar Hill stone, the screws seemed sharper in our fingertips and the post seemed heavier. There were mornings where the decks were slippery from ice and things just didn’t want to work right based on these conditions. But we never gave in, and never gave up.

People young and old, skilled and unskilled came out to work in conditions we wouldn’t normally go to the store in, And after they showed up, they went to work. They dug holes and cut boards. They leveled post and built decks. They mitered saws and routed edges, all in the cold with their friends and family, and had fun doing it. Numerous city employees came out on and off of the clock. We CANNOT SAY ENOUGH about the dozens of city employees that worked relentless hours in demanding conditions to get the job done. Our hats off to William Ford, Shawn Ray, Tia Rich, and dozens more who gave and gave, and gave. Please thank each and every one of your coworkers, superintendents, directors, and associates for a job well done.

You, Cedar Hill, showed what can be done when a Community comes together to do a job. We did a lot, we learned a lot. But we’re not done. There is still ONE MORE REALLY BIG TASK with the Virginia Weaver Playground Project, and that’s Celebrate it! So we invite you, Saturday, March 30th, from 1 – 3 PM, come help us dedicate this New Playground to a new generation of Cedarhillians that will tell its story for generations.


“Build them Up . . . “

Every once in a while an opportunity comes our way that we just have to step into. The good of the outcome, the company that is involved, the personal growth that is there to be had, there are many reasons, but we have got to join in.

Romans 15:1-6 speaks of these opportunities like this; “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Endurance, Encouragement and Hope empowered by a positive attitude, looking forward to the outcome and the benefit to others. These are our thoughts, our prayer for you. Today, tomorrow, where can you find a place to be a part of something bigger than yourself. Something positive and encouraging that will bless your neighbor?

We’ve got a place, and a time. The Virginia Weaver Playground is being rebuilt by neighbors, for neighbors. Over 25 years ago neighbors got together and built the first playground. It was the very first thing put into the park. And now we have the opportunity to do it again, with a new generation of kids, parents and grandparents. We will be onsite, building this playground from Tuesday, February 23rd through Sunday, March 3rd, from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. There are 3 separate shifts each day. Please go back to our Home page, or read more on our Events page and see how you can be inspired, encouraged, to find your endurance and hope to pay it forward for generations to come.

Virginia Weaver Playground Project

. . . and then . . .

I have been around for a while. I’m not ancient, but lets say I am a lot closer to 100 than 0. And in my nearly 60 years I have been in the service business for a very large part of that. When we start sharing stories of days gone by it often shocks me that for some to relate to a story of service they have to go back 5, 10, 25 years.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing the matter with a mission trip, or a time when a class or a group organized a time together to G.O. and serve someone less fortunate than themselves and it be memorable and fulfilling. I just find it a shame when the last time we did it was years and years ago. The need hasn’t gone away. What has?

My wife and I nearly 2 years out of our previous lifestyle, full of need and desperation were loved on by a Church led by a gentle man full of compassion and empathy. Serving as their Pastor, this Vietnam Veteran had seen ugly, he had made himself vulnerable for the sake of others, and my wife and I weren’t anything new to him.

But back to the point, 2 years into our recovery and New Life we went on a mission trip to South Korea. It was a life changing experience. Not only were we trained and prepared to go by the International Mission Board weeks and months in advance, we were lifted up and supported by family and friends as we prepared to G.O. and serve.

The reception in South Korea was overwhelming and Humbling. If these people knew who, what kind of people they were asking to pray for their family, to help their Churches really knew who we were they would probably feel different about us. But even in writing it, the Truth is revealed . . . who we were . . .

My wife and I were changed people, ever changing people. We might not have arrived yet at being all tat God wanted us to be, but we were headed in the right direction. My wife was shy and timid, especially when it came to sharing her Faith in front of crowds of people. She prayed, we prayed for Boldness, and the Lord showed up.

We went on from a one time appointment, trip, opportunity, to continuing to serve in dozens of locations and positions. Moved with a heart for others this woman has taught in both children’s and adult classes, she has worked along side of me, and completely on her own. She started an AIDS/HIV Ministry at our Church in the 90’s when it was taboo, unknown, and the world had all kinds of opinions about “those people.” She has stood in freezing snow storms to hand out food, to pray for those in need and to share the Hope that she has found to be true in Christ Jesus.

She herself, once a high school dropout, single mom, caught up in a dysfunctional lifestyle and relationship took a chance on serving someone else . . . and then . . . and then she found so much more. More to her than she thought existed, more of God’s Grace and Power living in and through her, more and more wisdom to not only see, but to meet the needs of others. And it continues today in her professional position and in her private life.

Today, as a multi college degree graduate, both in Bachelor and Masters studies she is still learning, still going, still serving. She continues to see the individual in the crowd that can use an encouraging word, a hug, a moment alone. And she still moves, acts when Given Opportunity. She has learned so much, given so much, done so much, but I know if she knew I was writing this she would say it is not about back then, but  . . . and then . . .

Maybe you haven’t had your South Korea moment where with trained and readied professionals you have stepped out of your comfort zone to help serve others. We can help you with that. Maybe you have, but it has been a while since you have re-engaged with people who could use a hand up, a kind word, a gentle ear. We can also help with that.

Maybe this is the invitation that you have been waiting for, needing. Your story can (re)start right now. “I was reading this blog the other day and I was challenged to step outside my comfort zone and serve. And then . . . . ” You can do this, we can help.

May the Lord bless you and comfort you as you Trust Him with your fears, anxieties, feelings, time and resources and take a chance. Take a chance on humanity, take a chance in your community, take a chance with your neighbor. You’ve got this,because He’s got you!

A Gift

This time of year it seems that everything we see and hear is about a gift. Buy this ring, buy this car, buy this toy. Even today’s music is about a gift. $465 Billion dollars will be spent this year on Christmas gifts in the U.S. alone, $465 BILLION. That breaks down to an average of $1,421 per person, PER PERSON! Here’s the math.

$465,000,000,000/327,160,000 people=$1,421.32 each.

Now I know some of us are saying, “That’s ridiculous, I’m not going to spend anywhere near $1,400 dollars.” But I bet we all know someone who will spend $1,400 on a single gift. But let me massage this a moment before I go off on the anti-Christmas rhetoric.

The point is, we place a lot of emphasis on “Giving” this time of year. LOTS of really good things happen during this season for many great causes. Food banks and shelters, rescues and ministries alike make up a great deal of their income during this season of giving. And as a Manager of a non-profit, I would like to say THANK YOU!

Thank you for your generosity. Thank you for your kindness, empathy, gentleness, and concern for your fellow man. Thank you for loving your Neighbor, not just the one next door that you know, but the one across town that you don’t. Thank you for trusting Churches, shelters, and ministries like ours to make a difference with your gifts. Thank you for giving a gift that enables us to not only rebuild a home, but restore a sense of dignity, security, Peace and Good Will.

That’s what it’s about isn’t it? Peace and Good Will, right? So today, in this season we would like to join in with the carol of angels and sing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” But the story doesn’t end with angels singing in the skies and disappearing into heaven. The shepherds were touched. Touched enough to change their plans and G.O. and see this revelation that had been shown to them.

So they hurry off to Bethlehem to see this new proclaimed Good News for themselves. But that wasn’t the end either. They went and “made known abroad” the News and Truth concerning this Child, this Gift, Jesus, the Savior of the world. You see this whole thing about the Gift at Christmas time isn’t bought in a store, or made in a shop, but lived out in a life.

The Gift is born in your heart and grows to maturity through your life lived out in Faith. The shepherds didn’t just “see” something, they experienced it. Coming to see the Gift for yourself, having moved on what you have been told about this Child to “seeing” Him for yourself is life changing, life Giving!

It is our pleasure at Mission Cedar Hill to be Bearers of This Gift! It is our privilege to have been trusted with the ability, responsibility, and privilege to be Givers. And one of the greatest truths of giving this Gift, is that It is never depleted, never grows old, never breaks, never is unneeded. It is our desire at Mission Cedar Hill to be able to give away MORE of this Gift, more of this Life, more of this Love, more of Jesus.

Will you join us? You can help us give the Gift that the world will never be able to give. You can help us teach, encourage, and enable others to seek this gifts for themselves, experience this life changing moment in person. You can help us change homes, hearts, and lives for eternity. Will you help us? Just click HERE to find out how?