What Is Normal?
Posted on 12/13/2013
What is normal? No matter the state of our relationships, our possessions, or our wellbeing—everything seems normal. And yet, every now and then, an unexpected teachable moment occurs and we gain someone else's perspective on our situation and we grow, realizing that our normal is not so normal after all. I wonder how many people live in an unhealthy state and have never experienced a teachable moment like this? Take, for example, the mother who is under daily stress trying to handle her children's behavior problems. Their normal day is strained by power struggles and a lack of trust and structure. Or the family whose everyday environment is one of clutter, disorganization and generally unsanitary living conditions—though unimaginable to many of us, they may view that lifestyle as the norm, never considering an alternative. Or how about the father working three jobs, missing out on family time yet still finding it hard to meet his household’s material needs—though he and his family may hate their predicament, they may think that’s just normal everyday life. And how many are living in a very blessed state, but haven’t had the opportunity to share those blessings? For example, the family with an abundance of resources, who go to church and know about God's love and desire to relate to us—by not expanding their reach beyond their own social network, their normal life is heartbreakingly isolated. Let’s say that each of these families hears about Baptist Family & Children's Services (BFCS) and each one acts on the opportunity to link with the Good Samaritan Network (GSN), the “family stabilization” arm of BFCS which provides community-based services that lead families in crisis or distress to self-sufficiency and spiritual and physical well-being. What if the families in need and the families who are blessed are linked? The result? They are challenged to look at their normal lives differently and begin to make changes—to their relationships, toward their possessions, for their own wellbeing, and to consider the plans God has for them. In short, they would be challenged to grow! GSN (a) builds on strengths, (b) creates ongoing support for the family within the church and community, (c) educates both the family in crisis and those who work with them, and (d) ultimately enables those that are helped to help others. Imagine that. Just as God intended, our paths become unique, which makes the world a very special place—for the client, as well as the volunteer. So, what part of your normal is God calling you to change today? And who will God put in your life to help you make that change? Helping to build families out of love, faith and community, we are here to change normal for the better. Will you take on the challenge?
BFCS to Expand
Posted on 11/07/2013
You may have seen the recent article in BaptistLife, the newspaper of the Baptist Convention of Maryland / Delaware, regarding the BFCS Trustees' request for a "change in status as an Agency of BCM/D to an independent, faith-based nonprofit with its own 501(c)(3) status." As we expand beyond denominational lines, it is important for our donors, volunteers, service providers, and other stakeholders to know that this transition would provide a context in which our agency, local churches, and ecumenical associations engage cooperatively in addressing the challenges of today's family. And while all organizations change incrementally over time -- adapting to the environment in which they operate -- much of our work would remain the same. The focus would remain: family stability with continued services offered through the Good Samaritan Network including Safe Families for Children; and CHOSEN Treatment Foster Care. We would remain a Christian nonprofit organization, true to its founding principles. We would continue to honor our history as a Baptist entity with a defined Baptist heritage. The Board of Trustees would continue to be made up of a majority from Baptist churches and the Executive Director would continue to be a professing Christian with a strong faith commitment. BFCS would continue a commitment to and a strong working relationship with BCM/D and its member churches. So, "What would change?" Here are a few things that are anticipated to change: Nomination and election of BFCS trustees would cease to be a BCM/D function, but would be an internal process. BFCS would develop a more ecumenical approach to ministry by expanding services to and through evangelical churches. In order to apply for an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, a change in name is required. Our new name would be: Building Families for Children (BFC)...serving out of love, faith & community. Please pray along with us that, as "we expand services and move forward under God's direction, the arms of Jesus will continue to touch lives and reach souls in distress."