The Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition has been chosen as the recipient of this year's Lenten Offering. The work of Ten Point has been credited as playing a significant role in preventing and reducing crime in the city of Indianapolis and helping to change lives. Their target neighborhood is the United Northwest Area (UNWA) which surrounds Barnes United Methodist Church. Not only do we wish to support the work of Ten Point with our finances, we wish to support them with our prayers as well. Please join us in praying for Ten Point and the work they do over the forty days of Lent. Each week will have a theme and each day will have a different prayer. These prayers will be available here on the ZUMC website as well through the messaging feature of the mobile app.

Week 1 - Encouragement

March 1 (Ash Wednesday) -  “Lord Jesus, cover the Ten Point Coalition with your power for their work to change lives of young persons in Indianapolis and surrounding areas. Let your Light shine in the hearts of those they reach. We stand together for Christ in this mission.”  Amen 

March 2 - Pray for the Ten Point Outreach workers who walk through the darkness to bring the light to others. “Let us not become weary doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  Galatians 6:9    

March 3 - Be the touch of Christ to someone this week. Pray for families who grieve the loss of a family member through violence. "Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." - Leo Buscaglia

March 4 - "Teach the children so it will not be necessary to teach the adults." - Abraham Lincoln “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”  Romans 15:4

Week 2 - Light/Darkness

March 5 - Ten Point brings light to the dark streets of the neighborhood. “Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens; Your faithfulness to the skies; Your righteousness is like the highest mountains; Your justice like the great deep; You, Lord, preserve people and animals.  How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!     People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life in your light we see light.  Continue your love to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart.”   Psalm 36:5-10

March 6 - Ten Point walks can bring one from darkness into the light of Jesus. “Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the Light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the Light, before Darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the Dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the Light while you have the Light, so that you may become Children of Light.”  2 John 12:35-36

March 7 - TEN POINT TEACHES ABOUT JESUS – THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the Light of the World. Whoever follows me will never walk in Darkness, but have the Light of Life.” 3 John 8:12

March 8 - Ten Point knows that with God's strength behind you and His arms beneath you, you can face whatever lies ahead of you. “The Lord is my Light and my salvation – whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1-4

March 9 - Ten Point promotes living for Christ among neighbors. “You are the Light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” Matthew 5:14-16

March 10 - Ten Point believes forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a permanent attitude. “Anyone who claims to be in the Light but hates a brother or sister is still in the Darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the Light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.” 1 John 2:9-11

March 11 - Ten Point encourages God's truth to be shared among the neighbors. “But if we walk in the Light, as he is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

Week 3 - Courage

March 12 - Thank you for those currently living out true courage on the streets of downtown Indianapolis through the Ten Point Coalition. Help us support their "Feet on the Ground" Ministry. "When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.” Joshua 2:11  During MGM's 1939 movie, "The Wizard of Oz", The Cowardly Lion said: “What makes a King out of a slave? Courage." This line exemplifies Christ for us today. While on earth, part of Christ's job was to show us human beings what God was all about! When Christ the slave or servant lived on earth, he chose to stay connected; will we choose to do the same?

March 13 - God does call each of us to have courage in our daily lives. What does that look like? Maybe it means participating in the Ten Point Coalition or prayer that violence will end on the streets of Indianapolis as well as around the world. “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or death.” Philippians 1:20)

March 14 - Thank you Ten Point for making our streets and our city safer and for bringing more people to Christ by having the courage to demonstrate His love even in dangerous places. "David also said to Solomon his son, 'Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.'"  1 Chronicles 28:20             

March 15 - “It was Preparation Day, (that is the day before Sabbath). So as evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council of the Sanhedrin, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body.” Mark 15:42-43 (NIV). What made a man so bold to approach Pilate? My belief is that he loved Jesus so much it compelled him to do this last thing for him, not considering what might happen to him. As Lent is a time of self-examination, help me examine my heart during this time, to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to put my love for Jesus in action. How can I help serve and support the Ten Point Coalition?

March 16 - Ten Point is helping people find second chances. “Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the LORD gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or discouraged.” 1 Chronicles 22:13 Our God is a God of second chances and forgiveness.  Even though we may have strayed and done wrong against other people or property, God will always forgive us when we repent and ask.  If our courage falters, God’s strength, love, and compassion is forever ours. Help those in downtown Indianapolis who live in fear for their lives, or shame for their past…to see that you are the God of second chances.  

March 17 - “So, friends, take a firm stand, feet on the ground and head high.  Keep a tight grip on what you were taught, whether in personal conversation or by our letter.  May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work and enliven your speech.”  2 Thessalonians 2:15-17  These verses resonate with the work being done by Ten Point Coalition.  A group of caring individuals, taking a firm stand, with Christ as their cornerstone, to turn neighbors and neighborhoods back to the unity and love offered by God our Father.

March 18 - We do not walk alone when we work with Ten Point. “Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage, be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (KJV)  We are to push forward and not be discouraged. Satan will blow and blow, but there is nothing he can do, providing we will continue to trust the Lord and continue to press forward. There will be trials and temptations, but don’t let them deter or even slow you down. And, since the Lord will be with you, and we are to be obedient to the Word, Satan is then defeated and prosperity of every stripe is guaranteed.  

March 19 - God's love in our hearts gives us a heart for others. “Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the LORD is good; his love endures forever.”  For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before, says the LORD.”   Jeremiah 33:11

March 20 - If we read and study the Scriptures we will have hope and be able to endure our life situations. “ For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.    May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had”    Romans 15:4-5   

March 21 - Folks continue to be strengthened by God's glorious power so you can endure all you encounter. “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 “being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience. Colossians 1:11

March 22 - Lord, we thank you for the gift of hope, in Christ Jesus, that allows us to endure through all times. “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Thessalonians 1:3

March 23 - “But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.” Hebrews 3:6

March 24 - When we have trials, it is possible to use them as an opportunity for spiritual growth and great joy. These are definite times of learning - it can teach us perseverance. It is easy to be kind to others when something is going well, but can we still be kind when others are treating us unfairly? God wants us to make us mature and complete, not to keep us from all pain. “because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:3-4

March 25 - It must surely be difficult to understand and why we need the Ten Point Coalition. For those who are part of this, may you receive God's blessing for your endurance. “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12

Week 4 - Brotherly Love

March 26 - Recently my husband and I were invited to a Very Important Person (VIP) Day at our granddaughter's kindergarten. As the children played with their VIP and introduced their friends I found my granddaughter alone reading a book. I sat down and finished reading the book to her when she walked into another room. She said her friends had been mean to her and had not wanted her to play with them. I explained that they were with their VIP and were excited and probably did not mean to hurt her feelings. As I later considered my not so convincing answer I thought about the many times Jesus helped, befriended and saved so many that had been rejected. His example of forgiveness and unconditional love is one we must keep with us at all times when we face difficult situations so that we can forgive and love others. He is always our Very Important Person!

March 27 - God is not unjust. He will not forget your work, and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them. Hebrews 6:10 We continue to lift the Ten Point Coalition as they serve the Lord.

March 28 - Christians sometimes take for granted how wonderful the unconditional love God has for us.  Unfortunately many people have never experienced unconditional love.   Sharing your prayers, resources, and time with others less fortunate exposes them to the unconditional love of God. Beloved, let us love one another,  for love is from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  Where Charity and Love Prevail.  1 John 4:7

March 29 - “Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment?   He said, Mark 12:30-31 –  Love the Lord your God with all your heart  and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.   The second is this -  love your neighbor as yourself.   There is no commandment greater than these.” Who is my neighbor?   My neighbor is anyone of any race, creed, or social background. To love others as oneself is not a request but a commandment given to us by Jesus Christ.

March 30 - “Love Your Neighbor as Yourself”  Matthew 22:39

The 2nd commandment does not mean love just the people in the house next to you, it means love all mankind,  whether of our religion or another, white, African American,  German,  Russian,  or Syrian,  and on and on ...ALL MANKIND

Romans 12 through 15 speaks of God's grace and love.   Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.  Honor one another above yourselves. (12:10)  Live in harmony with one another. (12:16)  Love does no harm to its neighbor (13:10)  Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another  (14:13)  Accept one another,  then just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God (15:7)

Dear Lord, let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.      

March 31 - "To be faithful disciples of Christ requires constant care and attention to our connection to God and to our family of faith "  Floyd Tilly (from the Upper Room devotional. ) Thank you Ten Point for making the connection!    

April 1 - "Today's Encouragement…Just when you think there is no hope, God reaches down and says: Take my hand and let me lead the way.  Be still and Know that I am God.  We can do this together.   Amen"

April 2 - “…not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25 NIV

Everyone seeks unity.  With our friends, our family, maybe at work.  We've all seen examples of people that have achieved a high level of unity and wish that we could magically have that same level.  What we see is the product of a lot of work.  The author of Hebrews knows this. They also know that this work has to be inclusive and not exclusive. You have to be "meeting together" and "encouraging one another".  There are countless examples of Jesus doing this same thing, particularly with his disciples. In this Lenten season when we are being encouraged to be more like Christ.  Take a cue from Christ and the author of Hebrews.  Look for opportunities for unity by meeting and encouraging.

April 3 - “Unity is strength... when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” Mattie Stepanek

Teams may have great individual players, but nothing is achieved without a whole team.  Not only does it require great players and those who surround them, but everyone must understand and agree with the goal, to win.  The goal has to be clearly stated, as well as the path to achieve it.  But none of this can happen unless we are willing to humble ourselves and become part of the team. Christ put together a winning team 2,000 years ago.  And that team is still winning.  You can be a part of it as well.  Look for your opportunity to be a player on Christ’s team.

April 4 - “Look out into the universe and contemplate the glory of God. Observe the stars, millions of them, twinkling in the night sky, all with a message of unity, part of the very nature of God. “ Sia Baba

Man was created in unity with God.  The universe was created with the premise, unity with God.  Through our own free will and choice, mankind fell from the grace of God.  But the universe that was created to house that original unity remains to this day.  We can see it all around us.  In the heavens, the oceans, the seasons, the cycle of life.  Everywhere there are reminders of what God had originally intended.

April 5 - God recognized the split between us and built a bridge for our safe return to him.  That bridge is Jesus Christ.  Through the grace of Christ we are reunited, reunified with God in that place, that perfect universe designed and developed at the beginning.  Just as our fall from God occurred through free will and choice, the path to unification is made through free will and choice.  What will you choose?    

April 6 - “The essence of the beautiful is unity in variety. “   Felix Mendelssohn Imagine

30 different instruments, from a piccolo to a string bass.  Now imagine each instrument with a different set of sheet music, a different song to play.  That would sound horrific.  But give them the same song, the same sheet music and it can be incredible!  Each instrument alone can be amazing, but without being unified by the sheet music, the plan - it is chaos. However, together, working in concert, working in unity they make beautiful music that inspire us, make us laugh, cause us to smile, react in a way that nothing else can.  The variety of different instruments coming together make something that each individually could never hope to achieve. Each of us is an instrument.  We have massive variety between each individual.  And we each make our own sound.  When we come together, with the right “sheet music”, or plan, we can unify into a great symphony.  Will you join our band?

April 7 - “I think family is key, and if you have love for family, then you have love for others - and you have unity as a people. “    Marlon Wayans

We are family by chance, but friends by choice.  None of us had the opportunity to pick the family they were born into.  None of us got to choose our parents.  Totally the luck of the draw,  right?  Or was it God who chose these things for us? The family is where we learned to be patient, forgive, fight fair, love, be kind, share, learn, basically live life with others.  We may have fought like cats and dogs, but God pity the fool who tried to come between me and my family. This is our first real taste of unity.  We may be able to choose our friends as we go through life, and sometimes our friends are our family.  It is so amazing to see the bonds between siblings when that works out. Are you friends with your family?  Do you love your family?  It may be a work in progress, but it is definitely worth the effort.  God loves a unified family as it destroys Satan’s work.  Work hard to unify your family.  The Bible will help you.  

April 8 - Do you know who you are?  What do you believe in?  What do you stand for?  What would you be willing to give your life for? What motivates you?  What is meaningful to you? Who are you? If you don’t know the answer to some of these questions, don’t worry.  Many people can’t or won’t answer them.  But they should be lingering in your thoughts regularly.  Because without knowing the answers to these questions how can you commit to anything?  How can you become a part of something that will be greater? Man was never intended to be a lone wolf, lost in the wilderness.  Wondering what his purpose is.  He was intended to walk with God in a paradise.  The Bible is the blueprint for answering the questions in your life.  Once you come to some conclusions you can take your identity out to experience the world, working to make it the place God had envisioned, “on earth as it is in heaven”

April 9 - “Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17  A result of ZUMC's Mens' group working together with Barnes UMC's Mens' group has been the softening of biases and perceptions. Through dialogue and fellowship, God has helped men from both churches grow stronger (and sharper). Just another example of what God does when we take the time and effort to love one another.

April 10 - PRAY FOR TEN POINT MENTORS TO SHOW GOD’S PLAN TO THOSE WITH NO HOPE. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

April 11 - PRAY FOR HEARTS TO BE OPEN TO CHRIST’S DIRECTION “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your path straight.” Prov. 3:5-6

April 12 - LENDING A HELPING HAND TO THOSE IN NEED TOUCHES THE HEART AND HELPS THEM SEE BEYOND THEMSELVES. Hope is the belief something good is about to happen…

April 13 - TEN POINT HELPS FAMILIES OF HOMICIDE VICTIMS BY SHOWING THEM THE LOVE OF CHRIST WILL HEAL THEIR HEARTS. “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, Be uprooted and planted in the sea, and it will obey you.” Luke 17:6

April 14 - BELIEVING THAT PEACE CAN BE BROUGHT TO THE STREETS IS THE STARTING POINT FOR CHANGE. “All things are possible for those that believe.” Mark 9:23

April 15 - REMEMBER --- YOU MAY BE THE ONLY BIBLE PEOPLE SEE THIS WEEK! “No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1John 4:12

April 16 - REMEMBER MY WORDS… “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39 We hope you will join us in worship this morning at either 9:30am or 10:45am. Hallelujah -- Christ the Lord is Risen today!