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If you haven’t had a chance to read up on Bushel and a Peck’s December’s challenge, you can find Christie’s challenge HERE.

Have you ever heard of the Bible story where Jesus feeds the 5000?

You can find it in each of the four Gospels of the Bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I think Mark 6:30-39 (NIV) is an interesting version of the story because I can relate to how the disciple felt. As a matter of fact, here is how it translates in my head:

Jesus is teaching to a HUGE crowd.

Disciples: “Uh, Jesus…it’s getting late and we’re kinda hungry. I bet everyone is hungry. Why don’t you call it a day so we can go to Five Guys.”

Jesus: “I’m good. Why not just feed them and I’ll keep doing what I’m doing.”

Disciples: “Uh, yeah, Jesus…we don’t have that kind of money. Surely you don’t expect us to find enough food to feed this crowd.”

Jesus: “Surely, I do.”

Disciples: “Um…yeah, Jesus. That is a LOT of money and well, we just don’t have it.”

Jesus: “What do you have?”

Disciples: “We don’t know.”

Jesus: “Well go find out.”

Disciples: “Ok, this kid has 5 loaves of bread. Oh and 2 fish, which we didn’t realize earlier. But that is not enough.”

Jesus: “Isn’t it?”

Jesus then prayed, giving thanks to the Father and divided the loaves and fish. There was enough to feed the 5000 men {and the women and children.}

I’ve had this story happen many times in my own life {minus the fish and loaves}.

In my case I would stomp and whine like a child when God asked me to give something that I was not willing to give up. Mature, I know. The conversation with God usually continues the same way it did with the disciples:

“God, why are you asking me this, you know I don’t have that?!”

“How much do you have?”

“I don’t know.”

“Go find out.”

Inevitably, this instruction to go count my blessings leads me to a heart of gratitude and ultimately, generous obedience. It’s not an easy journey, though. It has taken quite a few years for me to accept what I call “God-prompts” with maturity. {I may give a deep sigh of resignation once in a while…maybe.}

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This Christmas our church, 12Stone, is going to feed 5000 Unemployed Families.

We are fortunate to be a part of a church that not only pours into their congregation, but they reach out into the community. Our church felt God’s prompt to reach out to unemployed families and not only give them a Christmas meal, but a week’s worth of groceries as well.

How are they going to do it?

In the Bible story, a little boy shared his food and God blessed it and it was multiplied. People like us are going to share what we have {time, money, gifts, etc} and the blessings will be multiplied. God does wonderful things through people.

How do I know? 

Our church did this last year. 12Stone was able to reach out to 5000 unemployed families and give them Christmas dinner and a weeks worth of groceries. It was pretty amazing. I remember when our pastor talked about the God-prompt last year. He honestly said that he didn’t know how it was all going to come together, but he was just following what God was asking our church to do.  In the end, the church acted in faithful obedience and God provided the extra “fishes and loaves”. The Honey Baked Ham company jumped in and provided hams and other tasty dishes to all the families. Kroger Supermarkets stepped in with a huge donation of groceries. In the end, well over 5000 families were fed. What is most amazing is seeing it all unfold when our human minds can’t even fathom how it was possible.