Strive For More

Well hello there dear reader! It has been a while since the last time we spoke, but life can sometimes get a bit crazy. Now that I have you, I have been thinking about a few things and if you don’t mind I’d like to share them with you. So much has happened in the past couple of months. Another Fx came and went, Live Up weekend was a gigantic success, the LIFE retreat at Daystar Church just finished, and Vert just had its last Reach event this year. All of these things required many hours of planning and preparing, but most importantly, they all took the hard work of people. These people saw the vision for what God had planned and they ran after it, even when it wasn’t easy. In all areas of life, if we aren’t willing to go through the tough times, we will never experience the reward. In every one of the events I listed above that happened, people gave their time and energy to pull together and create a place where life change could happen. So many people were saved and set free, yet, often times we don’t want to put in the work and just show up for the experience. Why do we do this? Why do we just want to see the change and not help in its preparation? Well I’m glad you asked, and to put it simply, we are all selfish. And no I’m not singling you out, we all do this. We live in a society that is all about instant gratification and consuming as much as we can. We become trapped in wanting others to serve us and forget to give back.

December is the month that people get into the giving spirit, and that’s good, until we stop after the 25th. In Daystar Kids we have been going through the virtue of generosity, and our memory verse is quite applicable to what I have been noticing. 1 Timothy 6:18 says, “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” This verse is not only talking about giving gifts like the December syndrome, but our time and deeds. Deeds meaning the things we can do to help others. Every week, at each of Daystars 4 campuses, volunteers show up ready to make the Sunday experience as good as it can be, all to make an environment for people to come and worship the king of glory. They are selflessly giving their time and putting in hard work to make a difference to change lives, I don’t know about you, but that fills me with so much joy. I get to serve alongside of some of the greatest people I know and I am so thankful that I am able to praise God in the giving of my time and effort. Daystar has six core values that direct the church and they are the way I try to live my own life. The first is to love God, he is the number one priority in our lives and he should always come first. The second is to honor people, putting others first above your own wants and needs. The third is pursue excellence, do all that you can to the best of your ability. The fourth is to have fun, this creates a welcoming environment and God wants us to laugh (I mean he made flamingos, and those are the funniest things ever). The fifth is to go first, leaders should never tell others to do something that they are not already doing, which creates a spirit of integrity. The final value is to live generously, God gave us so much so we should give back just as much. This is the solution, the way to get rid of that consuming attitude. When you look at life through these values, you look at the world differently. When you see stacks of chairs and want to just let someone else do it for you, you stop and say, I’ll help them out so that they don’t have to do it all. Or when you are feeling tired and don’t want to stay for the clean-up, you can stop and say if I help we can finish this even faster. You look at things that seem to be tedious and view it as an opportunity to help others.

To bring this all together, God has called us to be generous, not just with money, but with our time and our gifts. Look at the hard work as an opportunity for someone else to experience the gift that God is giving to us freely. Remember the core values. Love God, honor people, pursue excellence, have fun, go first, and live generously. So this week when you feel tired or feel like someone else will do it, remember to strive for more and be the best you can be.
Thanks for reading.
With love,
-Joshua Thomas

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