Category: Give Away Day (Page 1 of 3)

Give Away Day Still Going

Right at 160 total families, including more than 500 children, were given blue jeans and sweaters and coats and pillows and shirts this past Saturday as Legacy took Give Away Day to Siempre Familia and the Rosemont neighborhoods of South Fort Worth. Estimates range from 150 to 200 actual volunteers who worked the event. Of course, the numbers of those who built racks, transported equipment, served food, sorted clothes, and cleaned up afterward go way beyond even that.

People were served in the name of Christ. God was praised. Our Lord was given glory and honor. People who don’t know Jesus were shown his love and mercy.

And then Give Away Day ended.

But God’s work and the work of his church at Siempre Familia did not.

At least seven families who received assistance at Give Away Day showed up for Sunday night’s combination Spanish/English song service where they received even more compassion and grace; where they received an even bigger sense of community; where they made even more connections. The names and contact information for each of the families who were served were tacked up on a cross at the front of the worship center. The congregation was asked to take one of those cards, to adopt one of those families, to make phone calls and visits, to commit to taking care of these families through the rest of the year.

And by the end of the service, all the cards were taken. By the end of this week, every family will be contacted by phone or personal visit. By the end of this month, I anticipate sharing with you stories of Bible studies and baptisms.

There’s something very powerful about reaching out to people in our own zip codes, about jumping in to our own communities with the truth of salvation from God in our risen Savior. Those of us who were there Saturday understand that much better now. There were connections being made in every conversation. There were friendships being formed and fostered with every interaction.

I walked a few people to their cars with a Christian volunteer named Raul. I don’t know how long Raul’s been a part of that Siempre Familia church. I have no idea. I’d never met Raul before. But Raul asked every person he met where they lived. Where do you work? Where do your kids go to school? How long have you lived here? And with every answer, Raul would exclaim, “I know somebody who lives on that street!” or “My cousin works there!” or “Do your children know so-and-so? Their kids go to that school, too!”

See, that kind of thing never could happen with Give Away Day here at Legacy. The people who came to Give Away Day didn’t live here. The people who live here don’t come to Give Away Day. But it’s different now at Siempre Familia. There’s already a level of trust between the church and the people. There’s already a bond there. There’s already a strong sense of community there. And our God is using it to expand his Kingdom in those parks and streets around Rosemont.

Thank you to all who gave of their time and energy and money and emotion. May our God continue to use Give Away Day to his eternal glory and praise.


I feel sorry today for Wade Phillips. I feel sorry for Jason Garrett. I feel sorry for Paul Pasqualoni. I feel sorry for Chan Gailey and Dave Campo. I feel sorry for every head coach and coordinator who has had to work for an owner who is also the general manager. It’s not fair.

I’m not sure how Jerry Wayne can keep going the way he’s going. I don’t know how he can break from a meeting about the boxing match at Cowboys Stadium to run to the coach’s offices to mandate a lineup change to answer a phone call about a merchandizing deal with an auto parts chain to sprint down to the film room to evaluate the upcoming draft. It just doesn’t work. This 51st season of Cowboys football will go down as the most bitterly disappointing in franchise history. Does Jerry Wayne need more proof that his way won’t cut it?

One playoff win in 14 years. They’ve missed the playoffs seven times in eleven seasons. How does that make the Cowboys any different than Seattle or Carolina or the Cardinals? Oh, yeah. Those teams have all been to Super Bowls since Dallas.

I feel sorry for Wade and Garrett. And Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden. Or whoever’s going to coach this team next. It’s not fair.



Give Away Day 2.0

I’ve got at least one more thing to say about yesterday’s topic, Knowledge Puffs Up. Seriously, it’s beyond me how men and women can argue and debate and complain about each other and about the Church in the name of Christ. In light of Holy Scripture and salvation from God in Jesus, I don’t get it. And, quite frankly, it’s easy for me to understand why people are leaving the Church. And I completely understand why outsiders don’t want any part of it. But let’s save that for Monday. Today, I want to write about something I’m really excited about.

Not this open letter from Sports Illustrated football expert Peter King to Jerry Wayne. This letter is excellent, yes. And I have enjoyed reading it. But it’s not today’s main topic.


For 27 years now, Give Away Day has been the highlight of Legacy’s outreach and benevolence ministry. We do many other things in the areas of outreach and benevolence. But Give Away Day has always been our signature event. Our mission identity is wrapped up in Give Away Day. It’s almost become who we are.

And that’s a good thing. It’s a very good thing. It is certainly something to be proud of. I tell people all the time about our Give Away Day. I think it’s tremendous. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people lined up for hours around our building. We love these people. We pray with these people. We fall in love with these people. And we help tons of people. Over the years, we’ve helped untold thousands of people with food and clothes and household items and mercy and love and compassion and grace. It’s wonderful for the people who are helped. It’s an incredible blessing for Legacy. And our God is glorified.

The problem is that we only see these people once a year.

The people who come to Give Away Day don’t live here. They’re not a part of our immediate community. They all drive 30-45 minutes to get here. I invite these people to worship with us knowing that it’s all but impossible. I ask for their phone numbers, only to learn on Monday that it’s a wrong number or it’s been disconnected.

That’s always been the frustrating part of Give Away Day. We’ve never been able to achieve our ultimate goals of bringing these people into our community of saving faith.

Hundreds and hundreds of the people who need Give Away Day and who need to come to God in Christ live in the Rosemont neighborhoods of South Fort Worth. That’s where they are. By God’s grace, our brother Manuel Calderon and the Siempre Familia Church of Christ are right there in the heart of that mostly Spanish-speaking segment of our county. Those 240 brothers and sisters live on the same streets as these people who drive 25-miles to get to Legacy’s Give Away Day. They work with them. Their kids all go to school together. They play ball together. They attend the same civic events. They are already a community with these people.

So tomorrow, we’re taking Give Away Day to the people. Instead of asking people to drive to us, we’re taking the clothes and diapers and coats to them. We are partnering with our God and with Siempre Familia to make Give Away Day bigger and better and more Kingdom effective than it’s ever been before!

There will be 100% follow-up with every single person we serve tomorrow. There will be Bible studies and prayers and ministry. Meaningful conversations. In-depth interactions. No language barriers. No long drives to a place that doesn’t seem like home. There will be baptisms. Souls will be saved and hell will be robbed!

My prayer is that we at Legacy can experience what it’s like to reach out into a local community with the love and grace of Jesus. My hope is that we feel deep inside us the joy of getting involved with people who live in our own zip codes. We’re doing that already in bits and pieces with a couple of the elementary schools around Legacy. But Siempre Familia does it on a grand scale, on a Kingdom-worthy, gargantuan scale! And I want us to catch that same Gospel fire.

We are thrilled to be partnering with our church family at Siempre Familia and joining God in the great work he’s already doing there in South Fort Worth. We are grateful to be counted worthy as our God’s co-workers in this salvation mission. And we humbly pray for his continued blessings as the powerful heritage of Legacy’s Give Away Day tradition enters this exciting new phase!

“May he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” ~Hebrews 13:21



Living Sacrifice

LivingSacrifice“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship.” ~Romans 12:1

Think very carefully about the times you have completely abandoned yourself into some act of service for others in the name of Jesus. Think about the times you’ve totally given yourself to God and to others in some act of kindness or mercy.

Recall the joy you feel as you walk a family of five through Give-Away-Day, the way you experience the mercy of God as you hand a brand new toy to a seven-year-old girl who’s never had one. Think about the new life you feel as you pray with your brothers during the 24 Hours of Prayer, the way you bond with your Lord and your Christian friends and the ones for whom you pray. Think about sacking groceries in the church pantry, visiting a sister about to go into surgery at the hospital, delivering a casserole to the family who just lost a loved one. Remember the fullness of life you discovered in that offering. Remember how it feels to put to death your own needs and fears and find a source of peaceful and joyful existence in God. It’s unexplainable.

Scripture calls us to remember those times and to be even more willing to make that total offering, that holy sacrifice, over and over again. That is our act of worship. It’s our act of service that, by the grace of God, he makes holy and pleasing.

Think about those times. Remember and repeat. And find real peace and joy in your Lord.


A couple of entries in the Legacy “Caps for Tags” contest. Click here for the full scoop.

Jalayna&Kelsa&Melissa@the park    Phillip@PizzaGarden   WrayGrier@gas pump

Keep those pictures coming in. Email them to



The Wrecking Ball Outside Your Window


When a Christian yells or screams at somebody or bosses somebody or gossips or uses foul language or acts in other un-Christ-like ways, we can’t ever say, “Well, that’s just the way she is” or “he’ll never change.”

Wait a second! He’s been baptized! That’s NOT the way he is! She has to change!

The whole point of submitting to Christ, to having your life hidden with Christ, is to be changed. Radically changed. Dramatically changed. It’s never, “He’s always been that way, he can’t change.” Instead, it’s always, “Wow! Remember when he used to be that way? Now, he’s a brand new person. It’s not even him anymore. He’s so different.”

Sometimes we act like that, when we become Christians, God walks into our house and begins rearranging things. God comes in and looks around and starts making changes. You know, he starts cleaning up. Let’s get rid of these magazines. Let’s move this couch. We need to throw out that table. These three walls need to be repaired and painted. You think that’s what’s happening.

But just look out your window. Look out there. God has this huge wrecking ball out there poised to demolish the whole thing. The reality is that God believes your whole foundation is shot and you need to start over from scratch. Everything needs to be destroyed. New creation. New order. New self. New nature. New everything.

When we submit to Jesus, when we’re baptized, our old nature is not renewed or reformed. Our old nature, our old self, is not restored or fixed. It’s not even saved. It’s destroyed. It’s gone. It’s dead and buried. Baptism is never an overhaul of our sinful personalities. We don’t add Christian values and practices into our old worldly values and practices and then get really good at acting better and better. We don’t put our new clothes on over our old clothes. The old clothes are stripped off and burned!

Baptism’s never a minor adjustment or a legal formality. It’s death. The key element to living in Christ is, first and foremost, dying with Christ. It’s submitting to that wrecking ball. Come and demolish all of this. Create in me something brand new.

Scripture always focuses on what a believer is instead of what a believer does. And what a believer is, is a brand new creature.


GADI told our church Sunday that every single person in the pews could get up and preach the morning’s sermon, based solely on our experiences together at Give Away Day. At the very least, we each had brought with us our own sermon illustrations. Steve Prescott emailed his sermon to me yesterday:

“As I collapsed exhausted into my recliner after Give Away Day, my three-year-old granddaughter asked, ‘Where have you been all day, Papa?’ I replied, ‘I’ve been working at church all day.’ She said, ‘No, Papa, church is tomorrow.’

It occured to me that Saturday we were being the church as we served others. On Sundays, we often are just doing church instead of really being church seven days a week. I am resolved to do better.”

Amen, Steve. Me, too.



3,228 People, One God

“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” ~Colossians 4:5

JorgeOur God brought 571 families through the doors here at Legacy Saturday during our 23rd annual Give Away Day. 3,228 men, women, and children were given clothes and socks and shoes and blankets and diapers and groceries and coats and toys. They came from all over. The Lord brought them here from Bedford and south Fort Worth, from Haltom City and Watauga, from right here in our neighborhood and from as far away as Irving. People without jobs. People without money. People without hope.

We did what we can. And we trust our God to do the rest.

We prayed in the parking lots with all of them. We prayed for broken families and broken dreams. We prayed for lost jobs and lost children. We prayed for spouses and cars and houses. We prayed for healing. We prayed for forgiveness and comfort and peace. We pointed people to Siempre Familia at Rosemont. We invited people to become a part of Legacy. We hugged. We shook hands. We cooked and served hot dogs and drinks. We laughed. And a few of us cried.

We did what we can. And we trust our God to do the rest.

We planted the seed. And our God promises to provide the growth. Even now he is working in the lives of Sofia and Gabby and Jorge and Maria and Axle. Even now he is comforting Loretta and Kimberly and Brian. Even now he is drawing these people to himself because Christ was lifted up to them.

The Legacy church family is to be commended for all the time and energy and money and hard work that went into yet another glorious Give Away Day. But above all, our God is to be glorified. He alone is to be praised for giving us the great privilege of joining him in his work and for allowing us to participate as he redeems the world.



God Will Be Praised

QuiltsIt’s 4:00 Friday afternoon. And for the first time in about a month, the Legacy church building is relatively empty and quiet. Ada and Dianne are still working on some tables and boxes on the north end of the concourse. Katie is stacking a few more quilts. Bill is here and Quincy and Kent are visiting in the hall. But, for the most part, it seems as though we’re ready for Legacy’s 23rd annual Give Away Day tomorrow. Blue Jeans

The hallways, the classrooms, the concourse, the lecture hall, the fellowship hall, the kitchen, every single square foot of space here at Legacy has been transformed. Racks and shelves and tables and chairs. Hundreds of boxes of clothes and linens and towels and toys and shoes and coats — new and used. It’s huge. You can’t believe it.

ShoesAnd I’m fully aware of the vision, the faith, and the guts it takes as a congregation to pull this off.It’s big. It’s almost overwhelming. And I’m so grateful for those who had the vision and faith and guts 23 years ago when this all started, and the ones who keep the vision alive with their own faith and guts year in and year out. Give Away Day is part of our Gospel story at Legacy. It is one of the biggest ways we, as a church family, join God in his work of reconciling creation back to him by reaching out in love and compassion to his people.Giving away food and clothes and household goods to people who so desperately need them certainly benefits the people in our community. Surely it communicates to them the love and grace of the God we serve. It has to show these people that they are loved and cared for by their Creator. But I wonder sometimes if it doesn’t do us at Legacy even more good. Give Away Day appeals to our common memory and connects us to those who went before us, those on whose shoulders we’re standing today. Keeping and repeating this particular tradition reminds us that it’s so much bigger than “me,” that our God was working in his world and in this church long before I got here and he’ll be working in his world and in this church long after I leave.It’s barely more than controlled chaos. But it’s shared by little kids, teenagers, young adults, singles, marrieds, whole families, newly retired, widows, and the elderly. We’re all in it together. And it’s beautiful.

Toys   Socks   Clothes Racks 

Over 3,000 people will be served tomorrow. This church family will be brought closer together. Give Away Day will transform us as we are “being saved.” But, above all, our God will be praised. May he receive all the glory forever and ever.



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