Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Make A Difference

Right before school began in August of 2009, I was asked to speak at a youth devotional in Houston. At the last minute, I was informed that I would receive $300 for the talk which centered around the work we do for others at WCS. After buying a few items of clothing, I was left with some unexpected cash. Not long before, I had read an article about an NFL player, Ryan Nece, who invited seventy friends to a restaurant for dinner in Tampa. After they ate, Nece gave each an envelope with $55 inside, 55 being his jersey number. Their instructions were simply to make a difference with what they had been given.... and they did. I decided to do the same with my senior Bible class with the exception that each student received $12 in an envelope, the 12 representing their grade...and all the money I had! The seniors were given three weeks to spend their cash to make the world a better place, followed by an oral report to the class. Their peers then chose their classmate who made the wisest use of the assets. And, as in the Parable of the Talents, the one judged to have made the wisest choice was given an additional $12 to bless others. There were a number of creative and heartwarming avenues taken. The seniors selected De Andre' Beadle as their favorite...and I heartily concurred. Here, in his own words, is how this fine young man used what he had been given. De'Andre is now a student leader at LSU and even featured on billboards around Houston! This is from September 28, 2009.

For the first six weeks, Mr. Steve Hawley assigned a project for us: to take the twelve dollars he had given us and use it in a creative way to help someone else. Many ideas boggled my mind and I was unsure of what to do. I just could not think of a way that would stand out above the other students in my class. After weeks of contemplating and asking others what would they do, I was reminded by my pastor the real reason and meaning for the assignment—to help someone else. He told me of an elderly woman that lives in a senior town home near my church. After school one day, I visited Ms. Robinson, informed her of the assignment, and told her that I wanted to use the money on her. She said, “All I want is some dominoes and a card with your picture, baby.'' So, I got it. I went to Wal-Mart the next day and bought a card, dominoes, and a small picture frame. On Friday evening, I visited her again with her gifts and spent the day with her and her friend playing dominoes. Might I add I lost nearly every game! As my time with her began to conclude, I noticed something rather disturbing. She reused needles for her insulin shots to save money on needles. This can be dangerous and unsanitary so I was able to get more needles for her to use. The Bible says, 
“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” -1Peter 4:9-10. 
I believe that this verse corresponds with the theme and message that Mr. Hawley wanted us to convey. We all have special gifts and talents that God has blessed us with. We should use these talents to spread the word of God to others in a way that we know how. I enjoyed doing this assignment and putting God's word in to practice and helping others.
De Andre' Terrell Beadle

Appropriate quote of the day:
"I will act as if what I do makes a difference."
William James

God bless,
Luke 18:1
me at


Warren Baldwin said...

What wonderful idea and assignment!! I think I will do this with my church youth group. And what a fine young man. Is the lady in the picture the one he actually spent time with? He will value that picture for his whole lifetime.

I like your creative ways to inspire youth to serve God.


Making a Difference said...

Hi Steve,

I read your blog about Ryan Nece and forwarded it to him. I hope you don't mind.

I am one of the recipients of Ryan's original envelopes with $55 that I used for someone's benefit, and I thought he'd like to know that his project has established a root and some vines in the Houston area, and about your student who did such a good job with it.

If you have the time, please go to Ryan's website to read some of the blogs there. You can also sign up to put your own post there, as well, about what you did. It isn't limited to the people he gave the $55 envelopes to, and he's encouraging everyone to sign up and post who have chosen to spread the word and take part in this very worthwhile endeavor.

God bless you.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

That's a very encouraging and uplifting story. Thanks for sharing!

Jessica said...

That's so wonderful! Thank you for sharing!

Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

This is a great idea to inspire children (and adults) to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I came here at Warren Baldwin's suggestion. Glad I did. Nice to "meet" you.

Edie said...

What a great idea! I'm always looking for ways to teach my grand-girls ways to live out scripture.

Rich blessings!

Rosslyn Elliott said...

Excellent post and story, Steve. I came here from Warren's blog. Now I have to follow your blog, as I really appreciate good teachers. I've been in your shoes, though I now teach only my own child and children at church.

Anonymous said...

Here from Warren's. I agree this post was worth reading. As a mom of six children (now mostly grown), I love hearing about people who inspire the best out of kids! They often long to know they can do things that matter.

Genny said...

I found you through Warren Baldwin's blog. What a great and touching story! So glad I stopped by!

Ugo said...

What a blessing!

Ugo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RR Mama said...

I found your site from another site I read everyday. I loved this idea and the meaning behind it. I loved how God was put in the forefront and amazing things always happen when we put the focus on Him.