Pep Talk: “Vessels Of Hope”

November 12, 2017

It was a real joy to recently host the third Denver Dream Center gala showcasing the loving and important work this community outreach church provides in underserved parts of the Mile High City.
Throughout a spectacular gathering (one social worker called it, “Life changing”) there were many videos and testimonies to the value DDC delivers in trying address Denver’s growing need for services to rescue people, rebuild lives and restore dreams. Good stuff.
During the event your knucklehead scribe had the pleasure to comment about the DDC’s “Sports” program. It offers a variety of sports camps for underserved kids and is an effort to use athletics as a magnet to spark dreams and unite communities. Sports. What an awesome equalizer and connector.

The guy running the blossoming program is Rodney White. The Pennsylvania native was the ninth-overall selection in the 2001 NBA Draft. The engaging man played briefly with Detroit, the team that drafted him, before joining the Denver Nuggets for a good stint, then Golden State for less than a season and finally, finishing his professional career with several seasons overseas. That was then and this is now.
Today the father of three has devoted his life in faithful service to others. The articulate man always talks about being a “vessel” of love, kindness and encouragement. Right on dude. Can you imagine? What would this world look like if we all focused on being vessels of love, kindness and encouragement to others? Holy smokes. Be still my heart.

It’s certainly the mission of A Stronger Cord through all its activities, especially Service Saturdays. Whether supporting the Denver Dream Center and its “Adopt A Block” program or Bessie’s Hope and its wonderful efforts with elderly residing in assisted-living (60% NEVER have visitors), the Knuckleheads are devoted vessels. People from all walks of life, whether black, white or brown, living in a mission, mansion or on Main Street encouraging others to become more fit, connected and giving. All the while offering love, kindness and encouragement to our communities’ isolated, vulnerable and displaced citizens. Join us. The effort is fun and rewarding.
The mind wanders to a young man standing before a Jefferson County, (CO.) magistrate judge. He’s a U.S. military veteran, a participant in Jeffco’s “problem solving” courts (ASC is involved too) and, admittedly, has struggled since leaving active duty. The handsome young man is not alone. As he conversed with the judge, several volunteers from the Vietnam Veterans of America were present in the courtroom in support a fellow soldier. Older men in their late 60’s to early 70’s, with personal stories of dealing with war’s lousy aftermath, present in providing love, kindness and encouragement.

Each of us has a chance to be a vessel of hope. Look around. In all likelihood, you will not have to look far to see opportunities. Like many points White scored in his long pro basketball career before turning to ministry? Investing time, talents and treasures in others is a slam dunk. 

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