Jesus is (Still) Our Hope

NewLife is celebrating 40 years in business! We’re looking back to our history, and have re-released our classic “Jesus is Our Hope” design – one that means a lot to us as a company, and especially to our founder.

Shop Jesus is Our Hope T-Shirts »

Below is the story of this design, as told by the founder’s daughter, who now manages our company operations.

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“Jesus is Our Hope” was sort of the start of it all for what we know NewLife to be now – the flagship design, you might say. NewLife had been in business for 10 years, but by that point, it was really struggling – Dad had been doing sports apparel, parks, and just about anything. He had tried multiple times to sell Christian apparel because that was where his heart really was, but it never would take off. One design, “Christ is Alive”, had some very small success, but anything he pursued in the Christian market never really did well.

Dad had been praying for direction on what to do. At this time, God told my Dad that he needed to leave the other accounts. As you can imagine, when you have tons of inventory and they’re pretty much your entire business, that seems like a pretty crazy notion of what to do next. As Dad was praying and arguing with God about this, he said the Lord spoke to him and said very clearly, “The damage is done, move on.”

He said it was so absurd and he knows these weren’t his own thoughts – it HAD to be God because it was the total opposite of what he would be thinking to do! He continued questioning, and there it was again, “The damage is done, move on!” He said he knew then that this was the direction he was supposed to go. And so he did, not knowing what would happen next.

The next few months were terrible – the lowest point in the company. He had loads of debt, no sales, and a failing business. One day, Dad was sitting in his office reading his Bible and praying about how he was supposed to get out of this mess. He opened his Bible, looked down, and read the scripture of Acts 20:22 where Luke tells of Paul saying, “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.” That verse was so meaningful at that moment because he related to the situation – prompted by the Spirit to do something without a clue what awaits you next. At that time, he looked up from his Bible and saw the “Christ Is Alive” shirt hanging on a mannequin across from his desk. His heart jumped; he pointed to it and said out loud, “If I’m going under, I’m going under doing something I believe in!”

He pursued the Christian market again from there, but this time, God saw that it succeeded. They created the design “Jesus is Our Hope” to mail as a campaign theme, and it KABOOMED. Within 6 months, they were beginning to turn things around, and in just a few years, they had paid off all the debt.

So while it seemed like the craziest possible direction that he could take, leaving everything else and pursuing Christian apparel was God’s salvation of NewLife!! But only because my Dad listened and obeyed, despite all the odds and everyone telling him he was nuts! God has always provided in every circumstance that has faced NewLife through the years, and as long as we stay faithful to the commitment my Dad made – that God owns this business – I believe He always will!

So all that to say, the first design we ever had success with, which was the start of what NewLife is today, was “Jesus is Our Hope”. He was our hope when my Dad and NewLife literally had none.

Sow generously: How to share God’s love through service

 

The first time I met him, I had a trunk full of groceries and two babies on my hips. He saw a stranger with a need and reacted with generosity. Unloading my bags was a simple gesture at the time, but has since resulted in the unexpected blessing of a second grandfather figure. One seed planted produced a treasured relationship for both of us.

 

I’m not the only recipient of Jim’s generous heart. He is such an extraordinary giver, the children in our congregation even believe him to be the owner of our church. While knowing better, their parents would agree. Jim is present, selfless, and active. His seeds of generosity planted through the years bear lasting fruit.

 

When we plant seeds we have no idea if they will take root, how they will grow, or even what seeds they will someday sow themselves. But what we do know is that we have a role to play in the spreading of the seed. Our responsibility is to offer what love we have and let God produce the outcomes.

 

During this Thanksgiving season, we count every blessing of harvest. We celebrate the extraordinary givers who have sown seeds in our lives from which we still are reaping the benefits. We reflect on our own seeds sown. Are they worth reaping? Will they continue to bear fruit for generations to come?

 

The Scriptures tell us in John 15 that loving each other produces fruit that lasts. I want to sow this kind of seed that reaps a plentiful harvest year after year. Meaningful fruit. Lasting fruit. I suspect you do too.

 

That is why I created The Love Offering. It is a servant-minded approach to living, focused on sharing God’s love with those around us. Each day provides an act of love to sow into the life of another with a corresponding Bible verse. Our combined effort can create a chain reaction of loving service that point people to Him.

 

The Bible encourages us in 2 Corinthians 9:6, “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” God has so bountifully blessed us and to much is given, much is expected. Join me as we pour out our blessings as love offerings to the world in thanksgiving to the God who is the most extraordinary giver of all.

 

Download your free Love Offering calendar and begin sowing the seed of extraordinary giving. Together we can change the world, one love offering at a time!

 

Rachael Adams is the founder of The Love Offering and the author of Fisk’s Fishing Adventures: The Best Catch. She is currently working on her first Christian living book for women. Her heart’s desire is to encourage women to realize their God given purpose and to embolden them to move into the world through compassionate action. Connect with Rachael at rachaelkadams.com.

Round-Up Campaign

NewLife Shopper is excited to announce a new opportunity for customers! Starting June 26, 2017 we are offering a Round-Up campaign for our customers to take part in. When you go to checkout, you will have the chance to round-up your order to the next whole dollar amount, and then choose one of three organizations for your round-up to be donated toward. Below is a brief “About” for each of the three organizations featured in our opening Round-Up Campaign! Feel free to visit the websites and see where your round-up can go to help reach people with the love of God. Check back often, as we plan to cycle through different organizations every few months.

Although there are many organizations and ministries from which we could choose, we have selected these because we are familiar with the values and core beliefs that each organization operates with and we are confident that the affect of your donation will be maximized (the financial statements for each can be found on their websites and show that the majority of donations received go towards actual ministry expenses).  We are excited that your change will go towards making a change in the hearts and lives of those around the world. Thank you for participating!

Samaritan’s Purse (www.samaritanspurse.org)
Mission Statement: Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ. The organization serves the church worldwide to promote the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Source: www.samaritanspurse.org)

Compassion International (www.compassion.com)
Mission Statement: Our mission is to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. It’s a mission about love. We love God, and we demonstrate our love and live out our faith by extending care to others. We offer our programs to the poorest of the poor, to the children in greatest need, without ulterior motive. We devote ourselves to helping children of all faiths, cultures, backgrounds and race — without imposing any religious obligation or conversion requirement upon them. We simply aspire to be like our Savior, Jesus Christ, in who we are and what we do. (Source: www.compassion.com)

Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) (www.fca.org)
Your donation will go to the Southeastern KY Chapter of the FCA.
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is touching millions of lives… one heart at a time. Since 1954, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ. (Source: www.fca.org)