Posted in Missions | By Jordan Cox | Posted on Mon Jun 20, 2016
If you’ve been a part of the Shades family, you likely know this. If you’re new to Shades, you’ll find out quickly:
Living a life on mission is the core of who we are.
Summer is a great time to leverage our resources and gifts for the Kingdom of God. We send out more teams during the summer months than at any time during the year. We also see generations spanning one another to impact our world for Christ.
Through mid-June, we’ve sent out eight teams. We’ll commission and send out five more through August. 13 teams in the span of four months. Missions isn’t a value or call we’ve had to buy and sell; as a church family we’ve heeded the importance God placed in Scripture of taking the gospel to the nations.
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 Missions | By Shades Staff | Posted on Sun Feb 28, 2016
Editor's Note: This is a guest blog post for our Global Impact Celebration 2016. Due to security purposes, the author must remain anonymous.
I have a passion.
I love to fly. I especially, like to take people flying that have never flown in a small plane before.
Normally, I will take them with me as I walk around the plane and do the pre-flight checks showing them all the things I am doing to make sure the plane is in good shape to fly.
Next, as we get into the cockpit, I describe to them the sequence of events that are about to unfold as we take flight.
I will be talking on the radio to make sure that other traffic know what we are doing and to keep aware of other traffic around the airport. We will then taxi to the end of the runway and I will point the plan into the grass and give it power.
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 Worship | By Logan Creasy | Posted on Wed Dec 16, 2015
Below is the written poem of the narration from our short film, "Kingdom Come."
This, is my little kingdom. Fit with princesses, a queen, and a small territory of love and happiness.
And within this modest castle I’m called Daddy, not king. And the joy within this place would make angels sing.
And I can’t help but remember a story; familiar and true ... Of a greater One called father who by love His Kingdom rules.
Whose reign gave birth to affection. Whose mouth spoke kindness and grace. His Kingdom expressed in love. His rule our joy and strength.
For within His heart we see a love so true. The One who created this miracle, whose tree always bears fruit.
Towards you and me with every increasing zeal. Like a Father and His baby, his love for us is real.
And though King of all Creation, yet he bends his ear to hear. The voice of son and daughter, as His Kingdom draws near.
Posted in Uncategorized | By Jordan Cox | Posted on Thu Dec 3, 2015
It's 8:50 on a Tuesday night. A volunteer sits behind a rented lighting desk in the technical production control room on the fifth floor of the Worship Center. Color swells over the stage as two men sit relaxed in the blackness of a dark room, the subtle hum of equipment accompanying their discussion.
Art Davis presses a few buttons and looks up, eyes staring observantly through the glass to examine the lighting designs he and Mark Sims, minister of student music and the arts, create.
Rehearsal for Christmas by Candlelight has just ended, but the night is just beginning for Davis. He, in tandem with Sims, will spend the next two hours writing cues for each song in the show.
"I got part of one song last night," Davis says. "We had 40 or 50 cues last night, where we just did 10."
Posted in Uncategorized | By Kim Hancock | Posted on Thu Nov 19, 2015
Do you feel guilty if you’re having fun?
Perhaps we need to define “fun” but in the world of church volunteering, people sometimes gravitate toward things that make them a little miserable as if having too much fun might make God frown.
Is this who you really think God is?
Someone who wants you to be miserable as you serve? Of course it isn’t! So why do we choose to live our life with this philosophy of service?
I remember a conversation with a woman about 40 years-old who was struggling to identify how God could use her. Our discussion led to a simple question:
“What do you enjoy doing?”
Without hesitation she shared that she loved taking pictures, but - and here was the kicker - she said, “God would never use that!”
What she didn’t realize is our church is always in need of volunteers who have the ability to capture “a thousand words” in one image. An amazing worship-filled moment happened when she realized God placed the love of photography inside of her as a way to draw others to Him.
Can you relate to her?
Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
The word translated “delight” comes from a core word that means “to be brought up in luxury" or "to be pampered.” On rare occasions when I’ve been lucky enough to have time at a spa, the pampering provided mental restoration.
Imagine pampering yourself daily by spending time with God. Being in His presence provides spiritual restoration that stirs the deepest desires within us and then something beautiful happens … those desires bubble to the surface in the form of joy-filled purpose.
So what do you enjoy doing?
Digging in dirt? Decorating? Working with data? Organizing? Building something out of nothing?
Spend time pampering yourself in God’s presence, and ask Him to show you how to have joy in serving Him. You’ll find that He will open your eyes to ways to combine what you love to do and draw others to Him.
Posted in Missions | By Shades Staff | Posted on Thu Nov 5, 2015
Posted in Uncategorized | By Cynthia Moss | Posted on Tue Nov 3, 2015
As a young couple, Jim and Frances Sharman settled into Vestavia Hills in 1963 and set their eyes on a nearby church - Miller Chapel.
Under the pastorate of Dr. Carl Giers and during Miller Chapel's early beginnings, the Sharmans raised five children; three girls and two boys. Throughout their early family life, Frances and Jim found joy in serving. Jim taught adult Sunday School and served as a deacon and chairman of deacons, while Frances found her place teaching first grade children.
Today, a well-loved lady of 92 years, she taught first grade Sunday School at Shades for 52 years.
Even before coming to Shades, Sharman taught children at Lakewood Baptist Church and Woodlawn Baptist Church. From the first year she and Jim were married in 1941, she taught Sunday School for 74 years.
Just this past May did her family feel she needed to relinquish her weekly presence, yet she continues to serve from home -- and her computer.
Elaine Todd, who served alongside Sharman for many years, said the best way to communicate with Sharman remains to be email.
“In addition to connecting with other teachers, Sharman emails each absent child the weekly Bible verse to keep them current,” Todd said.
Sharman continues to help Todd with class bulletin boards, teaching, Sunday School activities, printing Bible verses, titles and wording from her computer. She is reportedly a big believer in always having a presentable bulletin board. Being very patriotic as well, she makes the most of red, white and blue decorations for Memorial Day and the 4th of July.
Kay Wood taught with Sharman during the 8:00 a.m. hour and said the children always come first with Sharman.
“If a child ever has a question or wants to say something, Sharman will pause to give them her full attention,” Wood said.
She also sends birthday cards, and each month the class celebrates birthdays with a plate of brownies. A picture of each birthday child is taken and developed the following week. The picture is then posted on the classroom door ready for the child to claim his or her picture and take it home.
Although she may not recognize it, Sharman is a teacher of teachers serving as mentor in the joys of teaching while modeling faithfulness and integrity in sharing the love of Jesus to children.
Teaching for well over a half century, Sharman has compiled a wealth of teaching tools, books, supplies and activities. Known to have a keen sense of organization and ability to compartmentalize all the resources she's gathered over the years, she willingly bequeaths those resources to future teachers securing her influence for generations.
Asking Sharman why she has taught children as long as she has, she simply says she “loves Jesus and wanted to teach young school children they could love Jesus too."
Averaging eight to 12 children each school year, Sharman has touched the lives of hundreds of children teaching the beloved stories of the Bible.
As a teacher friend lovingly expressed, "God is certainly going to say 'well done good and faithful servant.'" But until that time, Sharman will be sending emails and birthday cards, creating bulletin boards and sharing the love of Jesus every chance she gets.
Posted in Children | By Lauren Beck | Posted on Wed Oct 21, 2015
The Lord’s hand is clearly evident in Mary’s journey.
When you meet Kay Ferguson, you immediately feel the love of God. When you hear her story about her daughter Mary, you feel the depths of God’s grace and mercy and see a wonderful testimony of His faithfulness and sovereignty.
In April of 1996, Kay was going about her normal duties at school. She spent time with kids at school, at church and at home with her two daughters.
During what seemed like a normal Friday afternoon, she received a call from a friend at Children’s Harbor Family Center. She was asked to come spend time with a baby in the local hospital that she knew nothing about but was in need of comfort.
There Kay and her eldest daughter Andrea found a fragile three month old baby, who bore battle scars from physical violence. Later they would learn that the boyfriend of the baby’s mother was responsible for her current state. While he claimed the baby had fallen from the sofa, doctors said the injuries that she bore were more reminiscent of a high-impact accident. The injury was so severe that part of her brain had to removed.
Andrea wanted to stay the night to care for the baby named Mary. Andrea ended up holding her all night because she was afraid that if she put Mary down, she would disconnect one of the many cords that were attached to Mary. Little did Andrea know at the time, some of the sores on her Mary’s body caused her to be unable to moderate her body temperature. By holding her all-night, Andrea helped Mary regulate her temperature by providing her comfort through physical contact. The doctor was amazed when he returned in the morning because he had not honestly expected Mary to live through the night.
The Department of Human Resources was not sure what should happen to Mary. Ideally, they wanted Mary to return to her hometown of Anniston, but her known family members didn't want her and the identity of her biological father was unknown.
Care for Mary was difficult; she had many doctors visits throughout the week. Early in her recovery, she was on a feeding tube and was completely blind. Mary had a strict regimen of medicine to help with her various medical issues, especially seizures.
Mary needed constant care which her biological family would not provide. Without anyone willing to care for her, DHR was looking to institutionalize Mary, meaning a loveless existence for Mary.
While DHR tried to decide where Mary should go, they allowed the Fergusons to care of her.