Posted in Caring | By Shades Staff | Posted on Wed Nov 21, 2018
Editor's Note: There are currently 1,067 foster children in Jefferson County and more than 1,100 throughout the state of Alabama. Birmingham is one of the five most churched cities in the nation. If one family from a third of the churches in our city would engage in foster care, there would be no more foster children in Jefferson County.
We're in the midst of Shades' Orphan Care Ministry's annual Backpack and Christmas Wishlist drive supporting the foster care systems in Jefferson and Shelby Counties. This is a guest post by Shades members, Eric and Monica Moses, who write about their interaction with orphan care.
Fostering and possibly adopting has been something that Monica and I have always had an open dialog about and something we have both considered. We just feel like there was no greater representation of the gospel in our own lives than taking care of “the least of these.”
I guess our first exposure to the foster system was through Monica’s work. She was an attorney in private practice and was involved a lot in the juvenile court system. Advocating for these children was the thing she enjoyed the most. She wanted to be the one to fight for them when no one else would. About a year-and-a-half ago she was presented with an opportunity to practice with DHR for the state of Alabama. This new opportunity would afford her the opportunity to advocate these children on a daily basis and fight for what is best for them.
Things really started hitting close to home last year when Shades did the Christmas wishlist for the Orphan Care Ministry. We always loved doing the backpack drive for DHR so we decided that we would participate in the Christmas wishlist drive last year.
As the service ended, we made our way out to the Christmas tree in the lobby where the names were. We finally made it up to the tree and when we got there, it was empty. As we walked away slightly disappointed, another couple offered us one of the tags that they had gotten. As we were walking away, Monica looked at the name and stopped right where she was. This person had given us the name of a child that Monica was in court for just the week before. What are the chances? 100%!
We viewed this as God opening the door for us to take advantage of this situation and possibly move forward in our journey. We are not sure where this road may take us, especially with the role that Monica plays in DHR, but we are excited to see where God will show up and guide us as to what he wants from us.
Posted in Caring | By Shades Staff | Posted on Thu Aug 31, 2017
Thank you for your interest in helping in the Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts. The North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention has created a website as a means to keep their SEND Relief efforts and volunteer efforts in one place. For the first time, NAMB is also accepting non-skilled volunteers for relief efforts. Click on the button for more information and for giving opportunities.
Posted in Children, Students, Adults, Worship, Caring, Community Life | By Jacob Simmons | Posted on Mon Dec 19, 2016
You guys, Christmas is great.
What’s not to love?! It gets a little cold, but not too cold (I see you, January.) so you have a chance to pull out your best jacket and drink warm drinks. There are lots of parties, so you get all caught up on the happenings and the goings-on. There are some great things on TV. It’s a season with it’s own music that you already know the words to. It’s a perfect opportunity to take a tree that normally goes outside, and put it inside! Seriously, what’s not to love about Christmas?
I’m writing a bit tongue-in-cheek, of course, but these parts of Christmas truly are fun and something to look forward to. But without the Christ-child, they’re meaningless. They’re window dressing. They’re liquid butter without the popcorn. They’re a parade without purpose. They’re an appetizer without a main course.
The Christmas season is a season of anticipation and remembrance. If the object of our anticipation is wrong, our celebration will be misguided. And if our remembering is weak or fuzzy, our worship is miscalibrated.
It’s tempting to only anticipate the “season” of Christmas instead of the event. And it’s tempting to remember the Christmases of years past and their memories instead of the original Christmas and the hope that comes with it.
But succumbing to those temptations leads us down a road of misguided praise and misplaced worship. We become the misinformed child who becomes enamored with the cardboard box and unaware of the treasure inside.
So this Christmas season, practice ways in which the coming of Christ (and his coming again!) is more anticipated than the coming of Santa.
Read the Christmas story together as a family. Talk about who the Biblical characters were and what they would have felt like. Name out loud how your life would be different in the Christ-child hadn’t come.
If the Christmas season is about the presence of God with us, practice presence with your family. If the Christmas season is about God’s greatest gift, consider making a gift to someone in need.
Find a baby, hold him, and think about him as the savior of the world. Consider putting that baby in the dog bowl and ponder the humility of Christ.
Whatever you need to do to focus your soul on Jesus, strive hard to do that thing. You were created by the Almighty God to worship Him and know Him.
Let Christmas be the season for you to do what you were created to do.
Posted in Adults, Caring | By Jordan Cox | Posted on Tue Apr 19, 2016
“What I say won’t get you through the next week, but the stories of the ladies around you can get you through seasons.”
That’s a profoundly humble, startlingly self-aware statement from a guest speaker.
It’s what Lisa Harper told a room of 300-plus women last weekend during Adopted, Women’s Conference 2016.
One of those stories is Holli Parker.
Posted in Caring | By Jordan Cox | Posted on Mon Jan 18, 2016
Last weekend at Shades brought the introduction of a new vision; the early writings of the next chapter at Shades.
Pastor Danny introduced our new mission statement:
Sending transformed people to influence their world for Christ.
This statement embodies what we love and who we want to be.
Perhaps no man lived this mission more than Jesse Martin. Never married, Martin invested in the lives of numerous people at Shades; the net of his influence casting wider as those whom he discipled began creating disciples themselves.
Click the photo above to hear how Martin touched the lives of two people. Click here to watch Pastor Danny's sermon.
Posted in Caring | By Shades Staff | Posted on Fri Jan 23, 2015
Posted in Missions, Caring | By Ashley Hill | Posted on Thu Jan 22, 2015
"Adoption was not even in our radar five years ago much less having a third child."