Posted in Worship | By Jordan Cox | Posted on Sun Jul 31, 2016
We're proud to announce Shades Stories, a campaign telling the stories of 50 people whose lives have been sent, transformed, and influenced.
The men, women, children, and families we will introduce to you during the coming months aren't special. They've been obedient to the work God has done and is doing in their lives. For some, it's been through tragedy. For others, triumph. Some may seem completely normal, but God is in the midst of each story.
As you'll see in the promotional film above, these stories will take place in a variety of different mediums: from print to film, art installations to posters.
No person is the hero. Shades isn't the hero. Our prayer through these stories is that you'll sit back and say, "Only God."
In a couple weeks, Shades Stories will have a new home on this website. There, you'll find a form through which you can submit your story or the story of someone you know. We'd love to tell yours or theirs.
You have a story. Every story matters.
Posted in Uncategorized | By Bradley Patton | Posted on Thu Jun 30, 2016
The Fourth of July weekend is upon us. This calls for charcoal, meat, ice cream, lemonade, friends, family, fireworks, and America. Put on your red, white, and blue, and get ready to celebrate the long weekend!
Celebrations are good. There is value in gathering together with other people to celebrate a common interest. The Fourth of July is especially unique because almost every American citizen can appreciate this holiday. For this reason, Christians should be especially thoughtful in how they celebrate this weekend. As followers of Christ, we should let him be our guide for thoughtful celebrations (consider: the Lord’s Supper and Baptism for starters, alongside many other celebrations in Scripture like the wedding where he turned water to wine in John 2). That said, here are several ways to be a thoughtful neighbor over the July Fourth weekend:
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 Shades Staff | 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.