Cityscape 3What is your favorite scripture verse? If you’re like me, it’s hard to choose, because depending on the time or season of life you’re in, different verses become your life line. We all know and love John 3:16,

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

When I first stepped out into ministry, the verse that served as my anchor was 2 Timothy 3:16,Anchor

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,”

When my children were little and I was trying to make decisions for and about them and trying to learn to hear Family 3God’s voice, 1 Kings 19:12 is the scripture that settles my spirit,

After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”

When I feel beaten down by life and like there’s no direction for me, God reminds me of John 10:10,

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

And as I struggled to write Rescuing Hope, I clung to 1 Thessalonians 5:24 for dear life,Rescuing Hope at OOD

The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.”

As I was launching into the world of nonprofit and trying to find the place of Rescuing Hope in that footprint, I came across Philippians 2:3-4,

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

When I read those verses, God told me to put on the breaks and camp out there for a while, to chew on them, meditate on them and discern what that should mean to me in this new venture.

Puzzle pieces connectedIt’s easy for people doing nonprofit, or charity, work to get tunnel vision. They can get focused on their agenda, their yearly plan, their budget, their volunteer base, their staff, their needs. The danger in doing that is failing to see that we are only one piece of the big puzzle God is putting together.

If we do believe that all scripture is God breathed, then we don’t get to pick and choose the verses we pay attention to or abide by, because they all have something to teach us. We must wrestle with each and every one God brings to our attention until we’ve gleaned what He’s trying to communicate to us.

Philippians 2:3-4 is telling us we are to be encouragers of one another [1 Thessalonians 5:11]. We are to recognize the glory in one another and call it forth [Genesis 1:26]. We are to put others first.

It was this mindset that birthed Circle Atlanta for Hope, a prayer initiative that highlighted front line organizations (nonprofits) in the Metro Atlanta area who were already in the Anti-trafficking footprint, before Rescuing Hope was a thought.

Now, before you say,

Susan, I’m not in nonprofit world, so I don’t see how this applies to me.”


Think again…

  • How many of you celebrate when a coworker gets a pay raise or a promotion that you hear about?
  • How many of you are genuinely happy, not just for the sake of being politically correct, when a friend gets a new house or a new car?
  • How many of you are thrilled when you learn a friend is expecting (and I don’t mean a friend who is over 40 or who said they never wanted children)?

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. We are all called to look for opportunities to highlight others, promote others, celebrate others, and praise others. It may not be easy at first, but if you will strive to do it and ask the Lord to take over when the flesh wants to step in, you’ll be blown away by the joy that comes back to you.

This past weekend for the first annual Circle Atlanta for Hope. People prayed through 15 different organizations or people groups as they circled Atlanta on I-285. It was one of my favorite days in the anti-trafficking movement to date. It was about everyone in the fight, linking arms and crying out to God on one another’s behalf. It was powerful and I can’t wait to start planning it for next year.

What about you? Who can you elevate today?