Can you believe 2014 is almost over? Where did the year go? I’m not sure where it went, but I know how it went – just like we hoped it would – it went in love.

About this time last year, we began to look at 2014 with big hopes and dreams! We knew we had some transitions ahead of us, as well as some new faces and new friends. We also knew we have some great opportunities and some challenges. But most of all, we knew we had hope.

BoysWe’ve always had hope, even before we launched 6 Stones. Hope for those in need. Hope for those who just needed encouragement or a hand up. Hope for our community. But what we definitely have learned over time is to have hope for people and in people. Ultimately, though, we have hope that God will chart our course and give us the provisions and resources necessary to do something incredible, meaningful and even miraculous.

Last year at this time, we were full of hope from the previous four years of experiencing the incredible, cherishing the meaningful and even frequently witnessing the miraculous. As great as the first 4 years were, we knew that 2014 wasn’t necessarily going to be about hope or our faith that has continually been built over the years. You see “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  So we’ve hoped, we’ve had faith and we’ve seen the miraculous. But what became clear was what the “catalyst of hope” truly is – it is love.

So, we kicked off 2014 with the love project!  We would continue to do what we have done and more, but we challenged you to love your community, to love others and to commit to doing random acts of kindness. The challenge was to love, without an event or cause – just because.  And you did!  As a matter of fact, only weeks into 2014, a friend excitedly told me how she had heard that same message at church and had taken the challenge to do at least one random act of kindness a week. She had already started, and you should have seen the joy in her face.

I’ve seen that joy all year long!  We see it weekly in the New Hope Center when a mom heads home with groceries, clothes and some extras for her kiddos. I have also seen it in the cities of Euless, Hurst, Bedford, and now even in Watauga (after a Community Powered Revitalization Blitz).  I’ve seen the joy at Operation Back 2 School and again at the Night of Wonder.

But, the greatest joy I’ve had this year is to see it in your face!

We’ve all heard the phrase, “It is better to give than receive!”  But really, Kevin Ball said it best at the end of the Spring Blitz: “Usually I think I’m going to be the one blessing someone and it’s me that really gets the blessing!”  I could not agree more!

I would ask that as we close 2014 and head to 2015 that you finish strong. What if you took time to love and show kindness everyday for the rest of the year? I’d love to hear how that plays out for you as I did with my friend. I would also ask that you would also prayerfully consider 6 Stones in your year-end giving.  Please use the enclosed envelope or online at Help us hit the ground running in January and see where 2015 takes us.

So, thank you for your support and your love this year. It has grown our faith, increased our hope and given us all the ability to bless others. My Christmas wish is that the Lord will surprise you with great joy! I look forward to 2015!

Scott Sheppard
Executive Director, 6 Stones