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700 Club Interactive - December 8, 2017

Do you get caught up in the activities and stress of Christmas that you forget to invite Jesus to His own party? Speaker and author Melissa Spoelstra shares how to keep Him at the center and celebrate with purpose. Read Transcript


POVERTY IS A NASTY

MENTALITY.

I DON'T THINK WE KNEW THE

REALITIES OF HOW DEEP

POVERTY CAN RUN, AND HOW

IT CAN TWIST OUR MINDS.

Gordon: SEE HOW THIS

MINISTRY IS MAKING AN

IMPACT.

I LOVE THAT PEOPLE ARE

DREAM, AND WE'RE SEEN AS

SOMEBODY WHO MIGHT BE ABLE

TO HELP BRING THAT DREAM

INTO REALITY.

Gordon: PLUS...THE

HOLIDAYS LIKE YOU'VE NEVER

SPENT THEM BEFORE.

GET READY FOR A TOTAL

CHRISTMAS MAKEOVER AND

LEARN WHAT IT MEANS TO

TRULY CELEBRATE THE

SEASON.

ALL ON TODAY'S "700 CLUB

INTERACTIVE."

> WELL, WELCOME TO THE

SHOW.

IT'S CHRISTMASTIME, AND

MANY CHRISTIANS STILL FEEL

THERE IS A WAR ON

CHRISTMAS.

BELIEVERS HAVE SPOKEN OUT

ABOUT THE USE OF HOLIDAY

IMAGES AND PHRASES THAT DO

NOT CONTAIN CHRIST.

AND A MAJORITY OF STORES

REFUSE TO USE THE WORD

CHRISTMAS.

Terry: RECENTLY WHEN

CATHOLICS WANTED TO PUT A

CHRISTMAS AD ON PUBLIC

BUSES AND KIOSKS IN

WASHINGTON, D.C., THEY

WERE TOLD NO.

THE AD BEARS THE IMAGES OF

STARS, SHEPHERD AND SHEEP

WITH THE TEXT, "FIND THE

PERFECT GIFT."

THE ARCHDIOCESE OF

WASHINGTON IS SUING THE

TRANSIT AUTHORITIES,

SAYING THEY VIOLATED THE

FREE SPEECH OF THE

CATHOLIC CHURCH.

THEY SAY IT ENCOURAGES

PEOPLE TO GIVE TO THE

NEEDY AND TO PARTICIPATE

IN THE CHRISTMAS SEASON.

A METRO SPOKESWOMAN SAYS

THE AD VIOLATES ITS

GUIDELINES BECAUSE IT

DEPICTS, QUOTE, "A

RELIGIOUS SCENE, AND THUS

SEEKS TO PROMOTE

RELIGION."

THE TRANSIT SYSTEM CHANGED

THEIR POLICY TWO YEARS

AGO.

Gordon: THIS IS

MISGUIDEDED.

I AGREMISGUIDED.

I AGREE WITH THE LAWYER

FOR THE CHURCH ON THIS

ONE.

THIS IS ABSOLUTELY A

VIOLATION OF FREE SPEECH.

THIS ISN'T SOME PRIVATE

METRO GROUP.

THIS IS THE DISTRICT OF

COLUMBIA.

THAT'S WHO OWNS THIS, AND

SO IT IS GOVERNMENT

ACTION, AND IT IS NOT

GOING TO STAND.

Terry: BUT I'M GLAD

TO SEE SOMEBODY TAKING

LEGAL ACTION, RATHER THAN

JUST LETTING THIS SLIDE BY

AND SAYING THEY'RE OFF THE

TARGET ON THIS ONE.

THEY'VE GOT TO STAND UP.

Gordon: THEY'VE GOT

GOOD LAWYERS.

> AN ATHEIST GROUP

RECENTLY LAUNCHED A NEW

BILLBOARD CAMPAIGN,

ENCOURAGING AMERICANS TO

SKIP CHURCH.

THE SIGNS WERE PUT UP BY

THE GROUP "AMERICAN

ATHEISTS," WITH ONE

BILLBOARD FEATURING A

MANGER SCENE, CALLING IT

THE ORIGINAL FAKE NEWS.

Terry: AND THERE IS A

SKYLINE WITH SANTA'S

SLEIGH FLYING OVERHEAD

SAYING, "JUST LIKE SANTA

CLAUS, THE ATHEISTS ARE

COMING TO TOWN."

THESE BILLBOARDS WILL BE

UP IN A FEW CITIES ACROSS

THE UNITED STATES.

H'MMM.

GOOD FOR THE GOOSE, GOOD

FOR THE GANDER?

Gordon: I'M ALL FOR

FREE SPEECH.

IF PEOPLE WANT TO ATTACK

RELIGIOUS SPEAK, WELL, WE

LIVE IN A FREE COUNTRY AND

THEY'RE FREE TO DO THAT.

SO GO FOR IT.

AT THE SAME TIME, I'M

ABSOLUTELY AGAINST LET'S

REMOVE THE REASON WE HAVE

THIS WINTER HOLIDAY.

IT IS CELEBRATING THE

BIRTH OF CHRIST.

AND IT'S A KEY MOMENT IN

THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.

AND TO IGNORE THAT OR TO

PRETEND THAT THAT DOESN'T

EXIST OR THAT THAT'S NOT

THE REASON, COME ON, GIVE

ME A BREAK.

WHY CAN'T WE SAY MERRY

CHRISTMAS?

THAT'S THE REASON WE'RE

HAVING THIS.

Terry: IT IS KIND OF

THE ULTIMATE INTOLERANCE

TO ME.

THE BILLBOARD THAT THE

CATHOLIC CHURCH WANTED TO

PUT UP WAS SIMPLY ONE OF

HOPE AND A MESSAGE THAT

THEY HOPE WOULD BE

ENCOURAGEMENT TO PEOPLE,

TO BE BLESSED AND TO

BLESS.

Gordon: AND POINTING

BEYOND THE MATERIALLISM MATERIALISM

THAT WE'VE DESCENDED TO.

WHAT A GREAT MESSAGE TO

SEND, THAT THERE IS A

GIFT.

AND WHEN YOU GIVE, YOU

KNOW, IT'S PART OF THE

GOSPEL.

GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD

THAT HE GAVE.

WHEN YOU GIVE, YOU'RE

ECHOING WHAT HAPPENED IN

BETHLEHEM 2,000 YEARS AGO.

Terry: BUT WHY THE

NEED TO PUT DOWN SOMEONE

ELSE'S POINT OR FAITH,

INSTEAD OF JUST SAVING

YOUR OWN?

BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT THE

ATHEIST SIGNS REALLY ARE.

Gordon: EVANGELISTIC

EIGHTATHEISM IS THE THEME.

THEY'RE TRYING TO CONVERT

PEOPLE TO THEIR WAY OF

THINKING.

[LAUGHTER]

Gordon: I'VE THE GOT

TO GET THE TRADEMARK ON

IT.

THE T-SHIRT IS COMING

SOON.

Terry: THE PERCENTAGE

OF BORN-AGAIN CHRISTIANS

IN AMERICA SADLY CONTINUES

TO DECLINE.

AND ONLY A MINORITY OF

THEM BELIEVE THEY HAVE A

STRONG PERSONAL

RESPONSIBILITY TO EVEN

SHARE THE GOSPEL.

Gordon: THE RESULTS

COME FROM A MONTHLY

NATIONWIDE SURVEY WITH

RESEARCHERS STATING THAT

THE DECLINE IS LARGELY DUE

TO ATTITUDES TOWARDS

EVANGELISM AND SALVATION.

THEY WARN THAT AMERICAN

PARENTS ARE FAILING TO

ENGAGE THEIR CHILDREN IN

THE FAITH.

AND FEWER CHURCHES

EMPHASIZE AND EQUIP PEOPLE

FOR EVANGELISM.

AND THAT IS A VERY

DISTURBING TREND.

THAT IS WHAT THE GOSPEL IS

ALL ABOUT.

THAT IS OUR COMMANDMENT.

YOU CAN'T CALL THE GREAT

COMMISSION THE GREAT

SUGGESTION.

IT IS GO INTO ALL OF THE

WORLD AND PREACH THE

GOSPEL.

AND TO LOSE A

GENERATION -- AND I THINK

WE HAVE ALREADY LOST A

GENERATION IN AMERICA, THE

GENERATION THAT GREW UP IN

THE 1970s WAS LARGELY

UNCHURCHED.

AND NOW THEIR CHILDREN ARE

HAVING THE SAME

EXPERIENCE, WHERE THEY

JUST DON'T KNOW THE

STORIES OF THE BIBLE.

THEY JUST DON'T KNOW

CHRISTIANITY AT ALL.

Terry: AND HOW CAN

YOU SHARE IF YOU DON'T

KNOW?

Gordon: AND ON TOP OF

IT, THEY'RE RAISING

CHILDREN AND IT IS NOW THE

THIRD GENERATION.

SO HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE

FOR A CULTURE TO LOSE ITS

ROOTS?

WE'RE SEEING IT UNFOLD

BEFORE US.

AND IT IS ALARMING.

AT THE SAME TIME, LET'S

ENCOURAGE CHURCHES, AND

LET'S ENCOURAGE CHRISTIAN

FAMILIES TO TAKE THAT ON

AS A CHALLENGE.

HOW CAN WE PROPERLY TRAIN

THE NEXT GENERATION?

HOW CAN WE GIVE WHAT HAS

BEEN GIVEN TO US, TO THOSE

WHO FOLLOW?

AND THEN ENCOURAGE THEM.

IT IS ONE THING TO SAY

THERE IS A REAL PROBLEM;

IT IS ANOTHER TO DO

SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

SO LET'S ALL DO SOMETHING

ABOUT IT.

Terry: SPEAKING OF

DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT,

KATHY LEE GIFFORD HAS BEEN

A REGULAR FACE ON MORNING

TELEVISION FOR YEARS.

RECENTLY SHE HAS BEEN VERY

OUTSPOKEN ABOUT HER FAITH.

Gordon: WHILE HOSTING

THE 95th ANNUAL

NATIONWIDE CHRISTMAS TREE

LIGHTING IN FRONT OF THE

WHITE HOUSE, THE CO-HOST

DELIVERED A POWERFUL SONG

WITH BRETT JAMES.

KATHY LEE CO-WROTE THE

SONG.

AND HERE IS A CLIP.

* LET THE LIGHT SHINE IN

THE WILDERNESS *

*

* CHRISTMAS DAY

* AND JESUS IS HIS NAME

[APPLAUSE]

Terry: THE SONG IS

CALLED "JESUS IS HIS

NAME," AND IT IS AVAILABLE

ON iTUNES.

Gordon: THAT IS A

WONDERFUL THING.

Terry: TAKING

ADVANTAGE OF AN

OPPORTUNITY TO REALLY

SHARE SOMETHING THAT CAN

CHANGE LIVES.

Gordon: SPEAKING OF

SONGS AND PERFORMANCES,

THE GROUP PENTATONICS WITH

JENNIFER HUDSON WENT VIRAL

WITH "HOW GREAT THOU ART."

Terry: WHEN SONG IN

THE PRESENCE OF CHRISTMAS

TREES AND SEASONAL

DECORATIONS, THE SONG

BECOMES AS FESTIVE AS IT

GETS.

TAKE A LOOK.

*

* HOW GREAT THOU ART

* HOW GREAT THOU ART

[CHEERING]

[APPLAUSE]

* HOW GREAT HOW ART

[CHEERING]

[APPLAUSE]

* HOW GREAT THOU ART

* HOW GREAT THOU ARE

Terry: WHEW, I'M OUT

OF BREATH.

Gordon: BUT SHE'S

NOT.

SHE COULD HOLD THAT NOTE

FOREVER.

Terry: SHE'S

UNBELIEVABLE.

JUST HITTING IT --

Gordon: AND TO

SUSTAIN IT.

> WITH CHRISTMAS ALMOST

HERE, MANY ORGANIZATIONS

AND MINISTRIES ARE LOOKING

FOR WAYS TO HELP THEIR

COMMUNITY.

ONE ORGANIZATION IS MAKING

SURE SENIOR CITIZENS ARE

WELL-TAKEN CARE OF.

IF YOU'RE IN YOUR HOME

AS A SENIOR, ALL DAY, AND

NOT INTERACTING WITH THE

OUTSIDE WORLD, I IMAGINE

THAT CAN GET LONELY.

THIS IS WHAT I SEE IN SOME

OF THE CARDS -- THIS IS

THE FIRST CHRISTMAS I

RECEIVED SOMETHING, AND

I'M THRILLED WITH THE IDEA

THAT SOMEONE THOUGHT OF

ME.

THAT FEELING OF BEING

RECOGNIZED, THE THOUGHT OF

I AM HERE, I THINK IS SO

IMPORTANT.

> MY SENIOR THIS YEAR,

ALL SHE WANTS IS SOUP, AND

IF POSSIBLE, SHE WANTS

DOVE SOAP BECAUSE IT IS

SOFT.

AND MY CLOSET IS FILLED

WITH DOVE SOAP.

> YOU SEE THIS ROOM THAT

IS EMPTY IN THE BEGINNING,

START TO FILL UP, AND BY

THE END OF THE DAY, THERE

ARE ABOUT 5,000 PRESENTS

THERE.

A LOT OF SENIORS ARE

ASKING FOR BASIC THINGS,

LIKE TOILET PAPER OR CAT

LITTER.

SOME ASK FOR THINGS LIKE

JOHN WAYNE D.V.D.s.

> WE INCLUDE BLANK THANK

YOU CARDS WITH EVERY

SINGLE PRESENT.

AND WE'VE SEEN A LOT OF

THESE CARDS, AND THEY'RE

BEAUTIFUL MESSAGES FROM

THE SENIORS BACK TO THEIR

SECRET SANTAS, FOR THINGS

THAT I THINK A LOT OF US

TAKE FOR GRANTED.

I HAVE A GRANDMOTHER THAT

IS 101.

I WOULD WANT THESE SENIORS

TO GET THE AMOUNT OF LOVE

THAT MY GRANDMOTHER

RECEIVES FROM ME AND MY

FAMILY.

THEY CAN BE OVERLOOKED.

IF WE MAKE IT EASY FOR

PEOPLE TO RECOGNIZE THE

NEED THROUGH A PROGRAM, I

THINK IT RAISES AWARENESS

TO SHARE THE KINDNESS THAT

ALL OF US HAVE INSIDE OF

US.

Gordon: THAT IS A

GREAT IDEA.

Terry: A GRAD GREAT IDEA.

Gordon: I LOVE THAT

PROGRAM.

YOU LOOK AT HOW IT HAS

GROWN.

IT CERTAINLY SEEMS HUGE.

THEY'VE GOT TO RENT U-HAUL

TRAILERS JUST TO GET THE

PRESENTS TO THEM.

BOY, OUR SENIORS,

PARTICULARLY THE

LOW-INCOME ONES THAT DO

NOT HAVE FAMILY AROUND

THEM -- YEAH, THE

HOLIDAYS -- CHRISTMAS CAN

BE A VERY LONELY TIME.

JUST TO THINK OF THEM...

Terry: I JUST WENT

HOME TO VISIT MY MOM WHO

IS IN A MEMORY CARE UNITE

UP IN THE NORTH, AND ONE

OF THE THINGS YOU COME

AWAY WITH IS JUST HOW

LONELY PEOPLE ARE.

THEY'RE ALONE A LOT OF THE

TIME.

AND TO JUST THINK THAT

SOMEBODY IS THINKING OF

YOU IS SO SIGNIFICANT.

IT'S A GREAT IDEA.

Gordon: JUST A SIMPLE

BAR OF SOAP.

Terry: COMING UP, ARE

YOU TIRED OF BEING ON THE

HAMSTER WHEEL AND GETTING

SWEMENSWEPT UP IN ALL OF THE

THINGS YOU HAVE TO DO FOR

CHRISTMAS?

WELL, GET READY FOR A

TOTAL CHRISTMAS MAKEOVER

AFTER THIS.

Terry: WITH ALL OF

THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE OF

THE HOLIDAYS, IT IS EASY

TO GET SWEPT UP AND THEN

OVERLOOK THE REAL REASON

FOR THE SEASON.

AUTHOR MELISSA SPOELSTRA

SAYS BETWEEN PARTIES,

BAKING, WRAPPING AND

DECORATING, WE SOMETIMES

FORGET TO INVITE JESUS TO

HIS OWN PARTY.

TAKE A LOOK.

Reporter: IF YOU'RE

DREADING CHRISTMAS BECAUSE

YOU'RE TO-DO LIST KEEPS

GROWING AND YOUR

PRIORITIES ARE OUT OF

ORDER, THEN IT IS TIME FOR

A TOTAL CHRISTMAS

MAKEOVER.

FOCUSING ON THINGS INSTEAD

OF THE REAL REASON FOR THE

SEASON CAN LEAVE US

FEELING EMPTY.

IN HER NEW BOOK, MELISSA

SPOELSTRA SHOWS US HOW TO

PUT CHRIST BACK INTO OUR

CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS.

Terry: JOINING ME NOW

IS AUTHOR AND SPEAKER

MELISSA SPOELSTRA.

THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

I WANT TO MENTION YOUR

BOOK BECAUSE IT IS

WONDERFUL AND FILLED WITH

GOOD THOUGHTS AND THINGS

THAT WE NEED TO

CONTEMPLATE DURING THIS

TIME.

IT IS CALLED "TOTAL

CHRISTMAS MAKEOVER."

YOU SAY IN YOUR BOOK THAT

IT IS EASY FOR US TO

FORGET TO IN VIOLENT JESUS

TO HIS OWN PARTY.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?

WE JUST GET SO BUSY,

WRAPPING, SHOPPING -- WE

ALREADY HAVE A BUSY LIFE,

AND SO CHRISTMAS ADDS ALL

OF THESE EXTRA THINGS ON

TOP OF IT.

WHAT A WAY TO SAY HAPPY

BIRTHDAY TO OUR SAVIOR --

I HAVE NO TIME FOR YOU.

SO WE HAVE TO SAY, HOW CAN

WE RECOGNIZE AND REMEMBER

CHRIST, WHICH IS THE

WHOLEPOINWHOLEPOINT.

Terry: HOW DO WE STAY

FOCUSED ON JESUS?

LOOKING BACK ON THE

BIBLICAL CELEBRATIONS IN

THE OLD TESTAMENT --

BECAUSE WE HAVE NO MANDATE

THAT SAYS, HERE IS HOW TO

REMEMBER CHRISTMAS.

BUT WE SEE GOD

ORCHESTRATING BIBLICAL

CELEBRATION THROUGHOUT THE

OLD TESTAMENT.

IN THAT, WE SEE RITUALS,

AND WE HAVE SOME OF THOSE

FOR CHRISTMAS.

BUT THERE IS A BIG

DIFFERENCE PUTTING UP MY

TREE TO GET IT DONE, OR

SAYING, GOD, YOUR LOVE IS

THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

IT ISN'T A BEHAVIOR

MODIFICATION, BUT IT IS A

HEART CHANGE, THE FOCUS.

THERE IS THE RITUALS, AND

THE FOCUS ON

RELATIONSHIPS.

THIS IS WHERE GOD SAYS,

TELL YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT

WHO I AM --

Terry: WHAT WE JUST

SAW IN THE STORY ABOUT THE

ELDERLY, AND ABOUT PEOPLE

MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN

SOMEONE ELSE'S LIFE.

AND FOCUSING ON PEOPLE.

PEOPLE CAN BECOME

MACHINERY AND SCENERY,

WHERE THEY'RE THE PERSON

WHO BRINGS MY COFFEE OR

DELIVERS MY PACKAGE.

BUT PEOPLE ARE ONE OF THE

GREATEST GIFTS IN OUR

LIVES.

Terry: AND SOMETIMES

WE DON'T REALIZE THAT

UNTIL THEY'RE NOT THERE.

> FOR SOME PEOPLE, THE

HOLIDAY SEASON CAN BE

DREADFUL BECAUSE MAYBE IT

WAS DIFFICULT AS A CHILD,

OR THERE WAS SOMETHING

MISSING.

WHAT IS YOUR WORD FOR

PEOPLE WHO FIND THE SEASON

DIFFICULT?

FOR SOME PEOPLE, IT

COULD BE FACING THE

HOLIDAY WITHOUT A LOVED

ONE OR THEY'RE FACING AN

ILLNESS.

WHEN WE STRIP AWAY THE

TRAPPINGS OF CHRISTMAS,

ALL OF THOSE THINGS THAT

CAN POINT US TO HIM,

RATHER THAN THE HEART

BEHIND IT, WE FIND

OURSELVES WITH CHRIST.

HE IS THE ONE WHO CAN

REDEEM THOSE DIFFICULT

THINGS IN OUR LIVES.

Terry: THAT'S THE

PROMISEMENT.

>PROMISE.

THAT'S WHY HE CAME.

Terry: WE HAVE

RITUALS THAT WE HAVE THAT

WE DO DURING THE HOLIDAY

SEASON.

YOU SAY WE SHOULD EXAMINE

THOSE THINGS.

HOW SO?

I THINK WE NEED TO LOOK

AT THEM AND SAY, ARE THERE

SOME WE'RE DOING BECAUSE

WE FEEL WE HAVE TO.

FOR ME, I LET GO OF

CHRISTMAS CARDS YEARS AGO.

I USED TO STRESS MYSELF

OUT, TRYING TO GET THE

WHOLE FAMILY TOGETHER FOR

THE PERFECT PICTURE AND

THE PERFECT CARD.

AND THAT'S NOT A RIGHT OR

WRONG.

SOME PEOPLE LOVE DOING

THEM.

FOR US, I STOPPED SENDING

THEM WITHOUT GUILT AND

WITH FREEDOM TO SAY THAT I

HAD MORE TIME TO PRAY OR

DO OTHER RITUALS WE ENJOY.

Terry: TELL ME HOW

YOU SLOW DOWN IN THE

CHRISTMAS SEASON BECAUSE

SO MUCH OF WHAT YOU TALK

ABOUT IS TAKING TIME,

TAKING TIME TO REFLECT AND

TAKING TIME TO BE WITH THE

SAVIOR.

I THINK IT IS A VERY

INTENTIONAL THING.

I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT

HOURS A DAY.

I LIVE THE LIFE THAT

EVERYBODY LIVES, I'VE GOT

FOUR KIDS AND I'M MARRIED

TO O A PASTOR.

WE'VE GOT A LOT GOING ON.

BUT MORE TAKING JUST FIVE,

10 MINUTES IN THE MORNING

OR THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

THAT'S WHY GOD GAVE US

HOLY DAYS AND HOLIDAYS.

SO WE CAN STOP AND

REFLECT.

HE SAID, STOP ALL OF YOUR

ORDINARY WORK, AND THAT'S

SO HARD FOR US IN THE DAY

OF OUR PHONES AND --

Terry: WE EVEN MOVED

AWAY FROM THAT ON THE

SABBATH.

IS THAT WHY YOU DID THIS

IN A DEVOTIONAL FORMAT?

IT IS.

BECAUSE I DON'T THINK WE

HAVE A LOT OF TIME TO TAKE

IN LARGE CHUNKS OF

INFORMATION.

THAT'S MY HEART, TO HAVE

PRACTICAL THINGS TO SAY

TODAY.

MAYBE JUST FOR THE

CHRISTMAS SEASON, YOU FIND

A SPECIAL PLACE, A CHAIR,

AND JUST FOR THE CHRISTMAS

SEASON, THAT'S WHERE

YOU'RE GOING TO SPEND

FIVE, 10 MINUTES A DAY

LISTENING TO GOD AND

REMEMBERING GOD.

Terry: WHAT ARE SOME

OF YOUR TRADITIONS?

WHEN MY KIDS WERE

LITTLE, WE STARTED WITH

THE JESSE TREE.

WE HAVE SOME FUNNY TODDLER

STORIES ABOUT THAT.

AND IT GAVE US A READING

OF SCRIPTURE EACH NIGHT.

NOW THAT MY KIDS ARE IN

HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE,

MY KIDS ARE NOT AROUND

EVERY NIGHT.

SO WE WENT TO A ONCE A

WEEK FAMILY DEVOTIONAL LED

BY THEM.

AND THEY HAVE TO PICK A

DLIFORDIFFERENT AREA OF

CHRISTMAS THEY WILL

PRESENT.

AND MY SON DID THE CENSUS.

AND I LEARNED A LOT OF

THINGS.

YOU HAVE TO GO, WHAT IS

GOING TO WORK IN MY

FAMILY, NOT JUST WHAT DID

THIS PERSON DO OR THAT

PERSON DO.

I SAY RATHER THAN LOOKING

SIDEWAYS, WE NEED TO LOOK

UP AND SAY, GOD, WHAT WILL

HELP US REMEMBER YOU AND

REMEMBER WHAT YOU'VE DONE.

Terry: I WANT TO SAY,

IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR A

WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY TO

HELP YOU MOVE DOWN THAT

PATH TO BEING MORE PRESENT

WITH JESUS AND MORE AWARE

OF THE GIFT THAT HE IS TO

ALL OF US, MELISSA'S BOOK

IS CALLED "TOTAL CHRISTMAS

MAKEOVERS," AND IT IS

AVAILABLE NATIONWIDE.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR

BEING WITH US.

IT IS A MESSAGE WE ALL

NEED TO HEAR.

WE'RE ONLY IN WEEK ONE OF

DECEMBER, YOU HAVE TIME TO

DO THIS.

GET IT.

GORDON?

Gordon: STILL TO

COME, THE CHILD POVERTY

RATE IN DALLAS, TEXAS, HAS

DROPPED, BUT IT IS STILL

HIGH COMPARED TO OTHER

MAJOR CITIES.

POVERTY CAN GO AWAY.

THAT IS WHAT MY HEART

BEATS FOR, TO SEE PEOPLE

WALK ALONGSIDE SOMEBODY

ELSE.

Gordon: SEE HOW THIS

MAN IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

ONE DOOR THE AT A TIME,

WHEN WE COME BACK.

Gordon: THE SAYING

THAT EVERYTHING IS BIGGER

IN TEXAS COULD NOT BE MORE

TRUE IN REGARDS TO POVERTY

AND HUNGER.

TEXANS HAVE A STEEP CLIMB

WHEN IT COMES TO RISING

OUT OF POVERTY.

BUT ONE MINISTRY WANTS TO

CHANGE THAT.

TAKE A LOOK.

THE SOUTHERN PART OF

DALLAS IS HOME TO 45% OF

THE POPULATION IN DALLAS.

ONE OF THE THINGS WE'VE

BEEN WORKING ON IS THE

71251 ZIP CODE.

THERE ARE 681 INMATES

REGISTERED VERSUS TWO

COLLEGE-READY HIGH SCHOOL

SENIORS.

DALLAS RANKS THIRD

NATIONALLY IN POVERTY FOR

CITIES OVER A MILLION.

AND IT RANKS FIRST IN

CHILD POVERTY FOR CITIES

OVER ONE MILLION.

I DON'T THINK WE KNEW THE

REALITIES OF HOW DEEP

POVERTY CAN RUN, HOW IT

CAN TWIST OUR MINDS INTO

BELIEVING THINGS THAT ARE

JUST NOT TRUE OF

OURSELVES.

WE BELIEVE THERE IS A

STORY BEHIND EVERY DOOR,

AND WE WANT TO LEARN THOSE

STORIES.

AND THEN FROM THAT POINT

REALLY BEGIN TO RESPOND IN

A KIND AND DIGNIFYING WAY.

THE BOARD STARTED IN 2009,

AND WE EXPANDED TO A

SECOND COMMUNITY IN

SOUTHERN DALLAS.

WE GOT A GOLF CART AND

WENT TO THE CORNER STORE

AND BOUGHT FOOD AND A

BUNCH OF BOTTLED WATER AND

DROVE AROUND AND ASKED

PEOPLE ONE: WILL YOU TELL

ME YOUR STORY?

WE BEGAN TO LISTEN AND TO

LEARN AND TO LOVE.

IT SHED LIGHT ON A

BEAUTIFUL COMMUNITY AND ON

THE NEEDS OF THAT

COMMUNITY, THE THOUGHTS

AND BELIEFS THEY HAVE.

I THINK IT TAKES TIME TO

BECOME PART OF A

COMMUNITY.

SO WE SHOWED UP EVERY DAY.

AND WE'RE THERE EVERY DAY.

OUR STAFF ARE ON SITE ALL

DAY, EVERY DAY.

IT IS LIFE ON LIFE,

WALKING HAND-IN-HAND

TOGETHER, AND REALLY

UNDERSTANDING THAT

PERSON'S NEEDS AND

CONNECTING THEM TO

OPPORTUNITIES AND

RESOURCES THAT WOULD HELP

THEM MOVE FORWARD.

THEY WANT A SAFER

COMMUNITY.

THEY WANT GROCERY STORES

TO COME INTO THAT

NEIGHBORHOOD AND SOME

OTHER THINGS, BUT BY AND

LARGE, THEY'RE HAPPY AND

THEY JUST WANT TO SPEND

THEIR DAYS THERE.

THERE ARE PLENTY OF

CHALLENGING MOMENTS.

WE WENT THROUGH A SEASON

WHERE WE BEGAN TO SEE SOME

CRIME.

AND PEOPLE WERE BEGINNING

TO RESPOND TO THE GOSPEL

IN SOME VERY POSITIVE

WAYS.

AND AT THE SAME TIME, WITH

THIS SPIKE IN CRIME, IT

WAS KIND OF A DARK,

SIX-MONTH SEASON.

AND, YEAH, THAT WAS HARD.

ARE WE DOING SOMETHING

WRONG?

WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE?

WE GATHERED ON A FRIDAY

NIGHT AND PRAYED AND

WORSHIPPED, AND WE HAD A

MASSIVE, ALMOST

INSTANTANEOUS IMPACT.

POVERTY IS A NASTY

MENTALITY.

THE SAME REASON YOU MIGHT

HAVE SOMEBODY GROWING UP

IN POVERTY SAY, I'M JUST

GOING TO GET ON SOME KIND

OF ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AND

I'M GOING TO LIVE OUT MY

DAYS HERE.

I THINK THAT TAKES TIME TO

SAY, THESE OTHER THINGS IN

THIS WORLD ARE FOR YOU,

TOO.

THAT JOB AS A LAWYER -- OR

AS A DOCTOR THAT YOU

DREAMED ABOUT AS A KID,

YOU CAN DO THAT.

AND I WANT TO HELP YOU GET

THERE.

I WANT TO HELP YOU KIND OF

WALK DOWN THIS PATH TO GET

THERE.

I LOVE THAT PEOPLE ARE

DREAMING AND THAT WE'RE

SEEN AS SOMEBODY WHO MIGHT

BE ABLE TO HELP BRING THAT

DREAM INTO REALITY.

IF YOU GET RID OF THE YOLK

AMONG YOU, THE FINGER

POINTING AND MALICIOUS

SPEAKING, AND YOU OFFER

YOURSELF TO THE HUNGRY AND

SATISFY THE AFFLICTED

ONES, YOUR NIGHT WILL

SHINE IN THE DARKNESS, AND

THE LORD WILL LEAD YOU AND

STRENGTHEN YOUR BONES.

YOU WILL BE LIKE A WATERED

GARDEN, AND LIKE A SPRING

WHOSE WATERS NEVER RUN

DRY.

POVERTY CAN GO AWAY.

THAT IS WHAT MY HEART

BEATS FOR, TO SEE PEOPLE

GO WALK ALONGSIDE SOMEBODY

ELSE.

Gordon: THAT'S THE

SIGNATURE VERSE THAT GOD

LAID ON MY FATHER ALMOST

40 YEARS AGO, TO START

"OPERATION BLESSING."

LET YOUR SALVATION BREAK

FORTH LIKE THE DAWN.

TAKE CARE OF THE POOR AND

NEEDY.

HERE IT IS FROM PROVERBS:

"HE WHO HAS PITY ON THE

POOR LENDS TO THE LORD,

AND HE WILL PAY BACK WHAT

HE HAS GIVEN."

GOD BLESS YOU AND HAVE A

MERRY CHRISTMAS.

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