Kiss Dayton

7 years... that's a long time...every Valentine season for seven years we've Kissed Dayton...

My friend Scott, says, ‘Agape love revealed… means my love is demonstrated as I serve others through the choices I make, and by the actions I take.’

This year we will have hundreds of small packs of Hershey Kisses, with our You’ve just been Kissed connect card, placed at the exits the weekend leading up to Valentines day. As people leave they will pick up a few of the packs and then Kiss people they contact during the week.

A couple of years ago I went to the gym on one of my usual gym days. (My wife tells me it’s a good thing.)

When I arrived I asked the receptionist, ‘Have you been kissed today?’ She smiled and said, ‘Nope, not today.’ I then gave her a pack said, ‘Well you’ve just been kissed.’ She laughed and exclaimed, ‘You’re from the Vineyard right?’ I replied, ‘Yep. We are kissing people all over the city this week.’

On Valentines Day we’ll head out to a couple of strip malls near the Vineyard. We take the packs of kisses, and several buckets of carnations. We pop into the businesses and head to the customer service desk and ask, ‘How many ladies are working today?’

We then count out the flowers and Hershey packs…and say, ‘We are from the Vineyard and you’ve just been kissed.’

Usually some of the other assistants are around and join in the exchange. Often, a male worker will ask for a carnation for his girlfriend or wife. Some guys say, ‘Thanks for the reminder.’

Most people are open, curious, laugh and catch the vibe.

One Vineyard group went to a high end Spa/Hair place, all of the working ladies gathered to receive their flower. ‘Who are you guys? Others exclaim, ‘This is so cool.’ Or sigh, ‘This will be my only present today.'

Flowers and kisses were also handed out to the ladies who were becoming beautiful-er.

One of the team noticed one of the ladies getting her hair cut didn't receive a flower. So being the sensitive, thinking person she is, made an extra special effort to find another team grab a flower and run back to the shop...when she gave the lady the flower, the surprised and delighted lady exclaimed, 'You've just made my day! Thank you.'

Really? Made her day? Makes me wonder what one of her days looks like? Makes me wonder if she was ever loved, or had a caring boy friend, or had husband, or is now connected to an uncaring guy?

What's in a gift of a small flower and a pack of kisses?

I think serving others in a fun, creative way sends an upbeat message to the people in our stressed out world.

Serving others often is a small action that sends a signal that says, ‘Hey, someone cares for you.’ The action preformed with genuine love somehow touches the heart.

My friend Scott, says, ‘Agape love revealed… means my love is demonstrated as I serve others through the choices I make, and by the actions I take.’

Process for Kiss Dayton:
4 weeks out: have connect cards printed (www.marketplaceprinting)

4 weeks out: order Hershey Kisses (snacc foods Cincinnati)

4 weeks out: order 4”X4” zip bags (BGR bags West Chester OH)

4 weeks out: order boxes of Carnations for pick up (Cleveland Plants and Flowers Dayton)

2 weeks out: have kids or teens pack the bags
Week of: have packs placed at all exits

Valentine Day Outreach
3 days out: pick up flowers, cut stems and place in buckets of water so they will be open on the day

3 days out: design maps with instructions and contact phone numbers

3 days out: make name tags
3 days out: gather Kiss packs and place in a larger bags for transport or containers

Day of Valentines Day Outreach (Saturday Before Valentines Day)
Gather at 10am

Give Instructions: go to shops, go to check out or customer service, ask, How many ladies are working today, count out Kisses packs and flowers give to workers, Say,
‘We’re from the Vineyard and you’ve just been kissed.’ Also, be open to need and pray with people if *God space is created.

Divide up into teams Load up and head out.
After project head to Caribou Coffee, or Starbucks for download and great java.

Haiti Vineyard Response

Vineyard Response to Haiti.
This is what we have decided to do at this time. As the recovery process goes on we will up date our response to the greatest need.

"This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion...  Zechariah 9: 8-10


How can our church respond?
At present, we have been told that for now Haiti is not a place for non-professional staff. Please leave your relief efforts to the disaster relief agencies unless you have the special skills and training that are needed. They will let us know when teams for recovery will be needed. For now please partner with the organizations already in the country.

The greatest needs of Haiti to date are:
1. Cash is the most urgent need at present
We are partnering with other churches in the Dayton area to send a cash gift
-- Together we are going to send relief to the people we know in Haiti
-- January 23 & 24 we will take up a special offering during all our services
-- This is a time to let people experience the kindness of God

2. Gather supplies (New and sealed)
Over the next few weeks we will gather items to send to Haiti via shipping container. Collect items listed below, pack them in large Rubbermaid containers with lids with lists of supplies within and attached to the container attached.
-- Diapers -- Toilet paper -- Baby formula
-- New Blankets -- Personal hygiene -- Medical supplies, bandages
-- Clothes pins -- Rope -- Boxed cereals
-- Powered milk -- Zip lock bags -- Plastic sheeting
-- Dishes -- Forks, spoons, knives -- Cooking pans
-- Duct tape -- Socks -- Underwear
-- Flip fops -- Batteries -- Flashlights
-- Sowing items & Fabric

3. Pray
God hears good people when they pray
-- For Pastors, Missionaries, First responders
-- For the hurting and lost
-- People to find their families and loved ones
-- For those who are grieving
-- For those sick, injured
-- For Godʼs peace to rest on the nation
-- For an open door of ministry and for the gospel to be presented clearly

“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act
justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”
Micah 6:8-9

Martin Luther King Junior Marching on!

This years march will be interesting. Obama is now in the White House and MLK dream has been realized to a point.

Many people have found their way out of poverty, or have never been in poverty and are seeking to make a difference in their world.

This year while wrapping presents at the mall I had some great conversations with several young people who were on their way. Several High School honor society students helped us wrap presents. They were very sharp and know where they were heading. One young man who popped in to have his present wrapped is studying Political Science and Philosophy at Wright State. These young people give me hope for their generation.

Yes, 'some would say' there is more liberty now than then. Yes, there are barriers that have broken down. However, All Men Created Equal has still not been realized in full in the USA. Still there is prejudice, and there is a prison of poverty. One of my friends' son stated. "I'm a prisoner in my own home." The reason, they live on Main St. in a bad side of town. It's not safe.

Do Something!
We are attempting to make a difference. We serve the less served. We are there. We are not, just speaking about change, nor waiting for change but we are attempting to help people discover change through Jesus Christ and through meaningful practical service. We serve, we love, we care, we share. 

Each year we serve the marchers at Courthouse Square serving hot coffee and hot Chocolate for free.

It's a small way to say, we support the process of freedom.

When: Monday 18th
Where: Meet at the Vineyard 10am or there Courthouse Square 11am.

for further reading see Dave Workman Blog The Blind Side

2010 Regret Not!

Is it 2010 or 2000 10? It's another year. Usually I say what I'm going to be, or do this coming year. Every year there are surprises, curve balls, challenges, disappointments, encouraging events, people touched (some grateful some not), family issues (some that are good some that are not), work issues (some that are good, some that are not). It's my lot every year.

One verse does ring in my heart.

"When the son of man returns will he find faith upon the earth?" It's not the explosive gift of faith, or the dynamic healing faith, in context it's enduring(bearing up courageously) kind of faith.

I ask, "Will He will find faith in this earth?"...My earth. The kind of faith that He is looking for is the persevering type of faith. The kind of faith that simply continues.

I will be 2 years short of 60 this month, so for me, this is another year to seek to end well.

2010 I'll be venturing into the unknown, I don't know what the year will bring, but do know I want to live a life that has no regrets. So every morning I'll look in the mirror and say, "Today is a day to live with no regrets."

Hopefully, I'll have the wisdom and the guts to walk this out.

I know this will be risky and probably sometimes painful but at this stage of the game it's a must. No more woulda, coulda, or shoulda... It's do.

“Do or do not... there is no try.” yoda