We like to be comfortable. We fill our calendar with all kinds of things from getting our spiritual ‘needs’ met at church to connecting with all our ‘feel-good’ friends – to heading to the gym. Not bad things, if that’s all you’re aiming for. Then every day our culture prods us to pursue success, wealth and power like they should be our primary targets. More comfort, more status, more stuff. What’s not to like about having it all?
The truth is, all these things can consume us and often lead us away from the heart of God. A heart that loves, a heart that makes sacrifices, a heart that serves without reward. A heart that knows this life is not all there is.
We were created for more.
When we focus on serving others, we shift our attention away from ourselves and towards the needs of those around us. We become more compassionate, more selfless, and more like Christ. Out of that will flow great opportunities to demonstrate and share the good news about Jesus – and it’s then we begin to see the world like He does. The target worth living for comes into view…and with our cooperation, God makes it crystal clear.
Your arrow will hit the mark.


Our mission here at the Olive Branch is “To build a community of people transformed by the Good News of Jesus and committed to having a transforming impact on our world – being Good News wherever we find ourselves.” It all starts with transformation.
Giving doesn’t just come from our hands – it comes from our heart first. When we give out of a transformed heart, we are giving back to God. Not to earn anything, but out of gratitude for what HE has given us. It’s only then we can begin to see the bigger picture. That it’s NOT just about us. Surprised? Every soul on this planet matters to God. And here’s some more good news. While we’re in the process of changing our hearts – we get to join Jesus in HIS mission! Sound a little scary and overwhelming? Sometimes it is… but that’s when we can lean into Him – trusting that He already knows the person we will become and what our impact will be. So… are you ready to trust Jesus? Are you ready for a change of heart?


In the story of the Good Samaritan, the Samaritan stopped, he served, and then at a significant cost to himself, with no praise or reward from the victim’s family – uses his own supplies, his own vehicle, and his own money to love this guy from near-death to health. After a night of taking care of him – he pays more for him to stay a few more nights. Two silver coins – two full days wages. And he promised more money if the need arose. We often have no problems being generous with ourselves. We buy things – houses, cars, clothes, vacations – tattoos, hair stuff – even education to fit in or feel good. But true generosity? As in, “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, I was naked, I was homeless, I was sick and in prison…”? It’s often in the back of our minds and in the secondary columns of our budgets. Through the story of the Good Samaritan Jesus is calling us to be part of His movement of generosity. Calling us to have over-the-top love which moves us to generously serve and give financially to others in need.


If the Samaritan had just stopped – pulled out his iPhone and taken a pic (#sadstories) and then moved on, the effort would’ve been pointless. The Samaritan’s next move was the hardest – cuz it was the messiest, most exhausting – and the most dangerous. As a Samaritan, many would’ve made him the prime suspect in the attack. But when you’re suddenly human to human – close enough to smell someone’s breath and their BO – and get contaminated with their blood – the reality of serving is painfully clear. Suddenly your knowledge of first aid is called into use. Your full strength is needed to put him on a mule. And your nurturing instincts, as you care for him overnight, are greatly needed. There would be lots of reasons not to act, but God is calling us now to to love our neighbour as ourselves and to serve others generously. Mom’s especially know all about this.


It seemed like Jesus always had people (especially the religious ones), trying to trip Him up. The day Jesus told one of His greatest, most memorable stories, was no different. Three men saw a guy beaten on the side of the road. The road was narrow – he was hard to miss. The first two – religious professionals – left this guy to bleed and likely die where he lay. Then a Samaritan, a supposed enemy of the Jews came along. He stopped – unlike the other two who saw who passed by. This was compassion in action. Right in the busyness of life. Right when you have lots to do – and would rather not get involved. Love – generous love – causes you to stop. Generous love causes you to get involved.