On the right foot

Brittany & I got up early this morning to load up the care packages our StoryGROUP packed last night for the staff at Atwood Elementary. We dropped them off to the principal, along with breakfast, before the staff reported for the day. 

We want the staff to get started on the right foot for the new school year. We want our relationship with Atwood to get started on the right foot.  We pray they're blessed by these gifts of school supplies & other practical things, believing it's only the beginning for our partnership with Atwood! (Special thanks to Arrow Office Supply). 

All to Him,

PsB

Affirmation

Even after you take a step of faith, just one step, there's still an unsettling feeling. The enemy strikes the hardest in the midst of that first step because he begins to play the track "are you sure you did the right thing?" We've all heard that one. And that track BLARES when we are in the midst of the first step of faith. 

I remember a period of time, around middle school, when I started listening to some music that was questionable to my parents. There'd be times I'd be in my room, stereo CRANKED while I was off in my own little world. Occasionally my parents would bust in and turn the music down and say "what is this garbage you're listening to?" That's exactly what God does. He kicks down the door, turns off that track that the enemy is blaring in our ears and says "what is this garbage you're listening to!?"

We stepped out in faith to partner with Atwood Elementary last week as a church. Within a few days, God provided the most comforting affirmation saying to us "you're exactly where I want you to be. I got this!"

So here's the update. A local office supply company that I reached out to is donating THOUSANDS of pencils to us to divide up among the classes. They are also letting us purchase, at cost, dry erase markers, clorox wipes and tissue (which are the items the principal said the classrooms are constantly in need of). But the principal told us the most immediate need was regarding technology. She was able to use a grant to purchase iPads for two full classes at a time. But she doesn't have a way to mass charge them and none of them have cases. Storytellers is taking care of the charging situation but with a shout of affirmation, God used another resource that we reached out to. Jillian's Coney Island (Chesterfield, MI) has stepped up to donate HALF of the money we want to raise for those iPad cases! (Dick Vitale's voice: "Are you serious? That's awesome baby!")

In less than a week, we're seeing God move in this thing in ways we could never have dreamed. You know why? Because it's His thing! Not something we planned or created. It's His! And just like that, the enemy has retreated and God once again tells His kids "stop listening to that garbage. It's no good for you."

His voice is the only one that mattes. It's up to us if we're going to make sure it's the loudest voice in our lives.

 

All to Him,

Bryan Ball 

Moving Forward

Sometimes people will try to impose their plans for your dream. Often it's with the best intent but it still misses the mark. Why? Because it's not their dream. It's not their vision. Too often we allow the input and opinions of others to become a greater influence in our lives than the one voice that matters more than anything: God's. 

We launched Storytellers Church on January 19th, 2014. What we knew from the very beginning was that we wanted to be a church that veered from the typical church format. One of the areas particularly was outreach. I knew from the day God birthed the vision for Storytellers in my heart what our outreach would look like. But I couldn't quite figure out how to get there. And as the days and months have gone by, I began to wonder if it was a vision of what would be or just an up in the clouds dream. 

People began to ask why we weren't doing any outreach. How did we expect to grow if we were doing any outreach? When were we going to start doing events? I know. I always said I didn't want to be just a Sunday Morning church. Yet here we are. 

So do we throw some flyers out, blow up some bounce houses and throw some hot dogs on the grill? 

It's easy to walk the road that's paved, with signage and books about others who have walked the same road before you. What's not so easy is believing that the road that God is asking you to walk, though it's unpaved and seems to have incredibly difficult terrain ahead, is the road you're definitely supposed to be on. 

The outreach structure for Storytellers Church is based all around the public schools. But I never knew how to make that happen. But God did. 

We are now going to be partnering with Atwood Elementary for the 2014 - 2015 school year to help them in whatever (yes. Whatever!) they need. I met with the principal last week and was blown away by how incredible this woman's heart for her school was. We want to support her and equip her! And guess what? THAT'S THE VISION! It always has been! We will be volunteering at events, providing supplies for teachers, volunteering in the kindergarten classes and so much more! All to help the principal equip her staff. All to help the teachers do their jobs and pour into these kids. Will they ever come to Storytellers? I don't know. But I know that loving people is what we're called to do and this is how Storytellers has been called to do it. 

Great days are ahead! We've seen God honor our patience and He has opened a door that only He can open. This partnership is not only going to be a game changer for Storytellers but for this community as well. There's no better time to get involved than right now! 

All to Him, 

Bryan