He executes justice for the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, he lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves those who live justly. The LORD watches over the immigrant and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. -Psalm 146:7-9

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Lord.. I hear you

" What happens when our dreams don't seem to fit with the reality of our lives? What do we do when we feel that a promise God has given us will never come to pass?...... What mattered to God was my trust and obedience right now in the midst of the situation. .....I've come to believe that God's promises is usually reasonably clear, but it's the plan- the outworking of the promise-that makes me stand at attention and takes my breath away. We all walk an appointed way with events and circumstances often not of our choosing, but only He knows the way that we take.
A promise is a pledge of God's divine intentions for our lives...His plan is the process He chooses to fulfill His promise..."

-Jan Beazely
cofounder of All God's Children International, a licensed non profit Christian adoption and relief ministry


Monday, April 28, 2008

Feeling a little faint??

I sure am.. and the LORD used a friends blog tonight to encourage me..grab a cup of coffee and take a visit
I am sure you will be glad you stopped by..

(Crystal is a stay at mom of 4, who about a year ago ( i believed) adopted their son from Liberia,West Africa. Read about the beginning of their journey here.

Have a renewed day friends!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Quotes of the Week

“Our announcement of the Gospel of the kingdom is to be accompanied by physical signs of the Kingdom.”
-J.D. Greear, The Summit Church

It is practically impossible to do effective wholistic ministry apart from the local

-Dr. Wayne Gordon

"If in thinking through the revelation of God (the Bible) it stays in our heads and doesn't pass through to the heart unto the hands and feet, how will anyone know it has affected us?"
-Rev. Randy Nabors, New City Fellowship

“We have to do more than just get people saved. We need to disciple them wholistically so that they can be good stewards of what God has entrusted to them.”
-Dr. John Perkins

"The question arises as to what the response as Christians will be to the troubles of the poor and the inner cities today. The desperate conditions that face the poor call for a revolution in the church's attempts at a solution."
-Dr. Wayne Gordon

The Word became flesh… and moved into the neighborhood."
John 1:14 (MSG)

New Every Morning

Father, I am a mess. I feel like alot of times I just cant get it together.. I can't, am I even supose to ??
It's times like this I am reminded why I cant keep it together. Why I have competing loves in my heart and why most of the time I chose them over you. I have at times chose the TV over you, my computer time over you, my own desires, hobbies and wants over you. Yet, you still stay around, you never leave me, you never close the door on this relationship. You promised that you would NEVER LEAVE me nor forsake me. In Christ, I have the promise of never being an abandoned child..YOU have promised to be a FATHER TO THE FATHERLESS... In Christ, I have the promise of being forgiven, to not have my offenses brought back up again to myself, others or you. In Christ, my sins are forgotten and I am capable of living a NEW life with mercies that are NEW every MORNING..WHo am I that you would love me so deeply?? Who I am that you would even recognize my name??? I cry out to you LORD, help me to walk in the spirit and not satisfy the lust of the flesh.. Thank you, Thank you so much for your grace..Would you please pour it out amongst all those on my street and abroad..Life is Hard, but GOD you are sooooooo GOOD. I praise you because In Christ, ALL YOUR PROMISES to us are true..

20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why we utter the Amen through him, to the glory of God.-2Cor. 1:20

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. (Psalm 103:8-14)

This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions [mercies] never fail. They are new every morning;Great is Your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I have hope in Him." - Lamentations 3

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Hospitality Tips

Romans 12:13: "Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality"
1 Peter 4:9: "Show hospitality to one another without grumbling."

Talk about convicting..I have delt with this in my heart . those around me may not witness it outwardly..but I have been battling this thang greatly in my heart..I am fighting to set it straight..

Here is what I thought was an encouraging blog post about hospitality.. I know for me there are times when I just want to close the door on the world..but then i hear that sweet whisper reminding me, who it is that I am serving.. who am I kidding..thats just my husband trying to be junior holy spirit..(*thank you baby, I hear you*) In any case, I am encouraged, convicted and provoked to open my home

Enjoy my sweet friends.. and have a God fearing, thankful weekend!!

"I think probably the bottom line of most of these challenges is one little word that I don’t like to admit, but I have to say it’s been true so often in my own life. It’s the word selfishness. In fact, let me read to you what one author wrote. He said, “Selfishness is single greatest enemy to hospitality. We do not want to be inconvenienced. We do not want to share our privacy or time with others. We are consumed with our personal comforts. We want to be free to go about our business without interference or concern for other people’s needs. We don’t want the responsibility and work that hospitality entails. We are greedy and don’t want to share our food, home, or money. We are afraid that we will be used or that our property will sustain damage.”
So when it comes down to the heart of hospitality, when I exercise hospitality, I’m running head-on into the selfishness that often defines who I am. I’m saying I’m not going to live as a selfish single woman or as a selfish married woman. I’m going to run head-on into the face of that and give. As I give, I find that God deals with the root of the selfishness in my heart. I find that selfishness being replaced by genuine giving, sacrificial love, and that’s the heart of hospitality.
" --Nancy Leigh Demos
( of course)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Common Ground Weekly Update-April 25, 2008

As you will read, things are quite busy here.. please keep our neighborhood in your prayers.. TO God be The Glory!!

Grooming for destruction…or transformation?

An eleven year old on our street has been suspended from school a few times in the last couple of months for various behavioral issues. Kevin dropped him off at school early this week and he was sent home within hours. His teacher contacted his aunt about artwork on his paper that consisted of local gang signs and claims. He and some other kids we know have been spray painting abandoned houses and street signs in the same fashion. These are the young disciples who are on a fast track to self-destruction. In the mean time, they will be mighty weapons of terror to our community and Montgomery as a whole as they progress up this well-worn path.

Kevin is sharing his faith with the 20 year-old cousin of this young boy. Almost daily the young man comes over to Kevin’s house for bible study. They are studying the “test of true belief”, which is a bible study tool we use. He has already realized that though he was somewhat religious, and has been baptized recently, that he does not know the Lord Jesus, according to what the scripture teaches concerning salvation. He is deeply interested and excited about what the scripture has to say about our God. Just a year ago Kevin tried to shield other teenagers from this young man because of the wild things he would say around them. He has changed drastically and now he is the one hungering for something with real meaning and power. Please pray for Him.

We have an inroad into many of the lives of these boys and girls, as well as their families and some other current and former gang members. Hours doing the following have given us this doorway : having them in our homes, at our baseball camp, playing basketball in the front yard, dealing with family crisis, feeding them, taking them to movies, taking them to the park, providing ways for their guardians to buy Christmas presents, spending time in their homes, etc. Please pray with us for these young boys and girls. By being in their lives and by having them in our lives we are postured to love them.

A 16 year old girl walked into my yard the other day, pushing her 8 month old baby in a stroller and said, “I heard your wife helps people get back into school.” Now, this was an interesting comment because Kevin has been working with other kids in this way, but Delta has not been involved in any of that process. She said her older brother told her we would help her. But the fact that this girl recognized us as someone who might care was very encouraging. We found the information needed and she will be moving forward with re-entering high school in the fall. She came over the next day and her son played on the floor with our nine month old for a long while. Please pray for us as we build a relationship with her, her son, and her older brother, who is 18. He has been hanging around more and more. We will be going to eat lunch together this week. May the Lord bless them, and may we be able to build deep friendships with them.

As I have said before, patterns of generational poverty, sin, and hopelessness reign in our neighborhood. While writing this email, I received a call from Delta that a neighbor is crying on our doorstep as she, her daughter, and three week-old baby have been put out on the street. The issues leading to this latest ‘crisis’ and many like it are complex and no simple answer exists. Please pray that our King in Heaven will move in such a way that His reign is poured out on our streets. No social-service or self-help strategy holds the power for the kind of change we are trusting for.

Thank you for your prayer and partnership. ‘His word will not return void’ (Isaiah 55).
My hope is in the Lord.
Psalm 34:3
Bryan Kelly

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Life under the Son

"Urban ministry is: The effort in the name of Christ, by the strength of Christ, for the glory of Christ,to waken in people of all ethnic groups , transforming faith in Christ, and the fruit of obedience to Christ, by proclaiming Christ in the gospel and by showing Christ in acts of practical, persevering, sacrificial, courageous, liberating, stabilizing, burden-lifting, productivity-enhancing, family-strengthening, community-building, Christ-celebrating love, in the face of the peculiar concentration of pain
and poverty and sin and brokenness and dysfunction
that all come together in the urban centers of the world....
"-- John Piper

We love our neighborhood!! Really, it is such fun living here! Sure, everyday has its challenges, but it's days like this that remind me why we are here.. It's all for His Kingdom and not mine... Here are a few pics of Delta and I hanging out with our neighbors.. Can't wait till the summer!!!

"Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it,
because if it prospers, you too will prosper."- Jeremiah 29:7

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Quote (s) of the Day

Benjamin Warfield:
"In the infinite wisdom of the Lord of all the earth, each event falls with exact precision into its proper place, in the unfolding of His eternal plan. Nothing, however small, however strange, nothing occurs without His ordering or without its peculiar fitness in the working out of His purpose. And the end of all shall be the manifestation of His glory and the accumulation of His praise."

"God sees in me His Son. God loves me enough to use any chiseling instrument—it could be cancer; it could be rejection; it could be loss of a parent; it could be my singleness and never having children—but God’s purposes are not about my personal happiness or comfort. They are about making me look like His Son, so I can reflect His glory in a lost world.
That God would invest that kind of suffering in me means He loves me."
-Margaret Ashmore (breast cancer patient)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Common Ground Weekly Update-April 2008

To read our latest ministry update visit Delta's blog

Have a great day & Thanks so much for praying for us!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Body Parts

" For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly"
- Romans 12

1 Corinthians 12:21-27
"And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body, which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our unseemly members come to have more abundant seemliness, whereas our seemly members have no need of it. God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, that there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it"

This past Thursday I was working out and somehow I did some damaged to my shoulder.. I spent Saturday morning in the emergency room and left feeling like I was floating on a cloud due to the heavy pain meds and shots they gave me.
Today(Tuesday) I will see an orthopedic to take a closer look at it sense my x-ray came back showing no broken bones.
I tell you, it has been a difficult, tiring, task to try to move around( and type) and do things with one arm. I was talking to my sweet husband( who has graciously taken it upon himself to cook, clean, and take care of Kaiya for me as I rest from this injury..THANK YOU BABY! ) and explaining to him how, it's amazing that EVERY part of our body is important.. One is not better than the other, one is not of less importance ( no matter color, background, age, or gender)

He says, " you are right baby, what you are experiencing now, is how it feels to have DISCORD in the body of Christ..the kind of discord that causes that member to not function properly in the body due to whatever ( mainly sin).. to the point that the rest of the body is affected and cant function, the whole body then suffers."
My heart just sank... at that moment I started to pray for God's church and its UNITY.
WE really do need each other, no matter what.. I began to ask the LORD to help us see the significance of one another, I ask that He would help us to see our own sin that causes discord amongst the brethren as well as satan lies that tempt us to blame the person and not attack the problem itself. My sin not only separates me from God, but at times can tempt all of those around me to be separated as well ... Same goes with my obedience
What a loving, gracious reminder from GOD to use this trial to remind us the importance of CHRIST Church.. It really convicts me to think differently about my brothers and sisters in the LORD...

Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10 says, "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up."

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Content Mom

Royalty-free Cartoon-styled Vector Clipart Available at Illustrations OF.com
I thought all of us MOMS could use this great dose of encouragement.. I love to read the Girl Talk blog written by Carolyn Mahaney & her daughters. Here is a post by her daughter Kristin Chesemore

Have a Great Weekend!!
The other day I was walking through a furniture store with my three boys (not something I do very often, but I was inspired on this particular day – call me crazy!) when an older man passed by me. He smiled, looked at my three boys and said, “That is a full time job.” I looked at him, smiled back, then replied “Yes, but I love it.”

I do love it. There is no other job in the world that I would trade for being the mother of my three little guys. But if I were to be completely honest, there have been many days in my short career as a mother when those “I love it” thoughts were replaced with “If only…” thoughts or “I’ll be happy when…” thoughts.

It’s on those particularly tough days—when the boys arguing seems constant, when juice spills all over my freshly mopped floors and laundry is piled high—that I find myself fighting for a biblical perspective, fighting to love the season the Lord has me in, fighting to be content in every situation (Philippians 4:11).

Recently I read the article "Learning Contentment in All Your Circumstances" by Robert D. Jones in the Journal of Biblical Counseling, which I highly recommend. In this article, he describes the attitude of contentment that I should have every day:

“What is contentment? It is having a satisfied mind in any situation. It is finding inner satisfaction in God alone and in His provision for you. It is experiencing His peace and confidence in difficult times. It is consciously enjoying the fact that God is good, even when your circumstances are not.”

So what do I do when my circumstances in mothering seem “not good”? I know I am supposed to be content, but how do I get there? The answer, says Mr. Jones, is in the verses that come before Philippians 4:11 which he’s arranged into a helpful acronym, “PTO”:

-Pray (vv. 6-7)
-Think godly thoughts (v. 8)
-Obey God’s truth (v. 90)

These three simple steps offer a clear path out of discontent, regardless of whether my circumstances change or not. As Mr. Jones points out, “If you seek God’s face, renewing your mind with His truth and walking in His ways will produce inner peace amid circumstantial problems.”

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Kevin and I from the begining of our marriage have opened our doors to TONS of college students in the area..
We have had so much joy and fun in how the LORD has brought them into our home and taught us soo much about ourselves.. One who is VERY, VERY special to us has now graduated and is a biblical counselor..Meet Keisha! She is now serving over in South Africa her ,job description includes but is not limited to counseling,loving and playing with children at an HIV/AIDs orphanage. She will also have an opportunity to aid in ministry developmental projects in the township of Katlehong. In addition, she will counsel, lead bible study and LORD willing even disciple some of the women there. She has asked us to pray for the kids who are getting very sick..Please click the link above to find out more.. WE LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU KEISHA!! All PRAISE TO THE MOST HIGH FOR THE WORK HE IS ACCOMPLISHING THROUGH YOU FOR HIS KINGDOM!

Thanks friends!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Relying on the Spirit

"No one but the Holy Spirit using His Word can teach you about the way that God thinks. Godly authors and Bible teachers can endeavor to explain God's truth to you, but only the spirit can bring revelation and conviction. Only the spirit can write His law on the tablets of your heart and make you long to know and obey it.....
You will have light, restoration, wisdom, and understanding as you meditate on His Word under the anointing of His presence. Bible reading is important, but reading page after page of the bible won't change your heart. That's why people in universities can study the Bible as a historical document or work of literature and never be influenced by it at all. You must not only read, but also pray for wisdom as you read each passage and ask God to send His Spirit to enlighten your understanding so that you can know what God meant in a particular passage... Daily bible reading does absolutely nothing for me if I don't take time to pray and ask God to open His Word to me. Then I must think about ( meditate on ) what I'm reading and try to grasp how it applies to my life. The Holy Spirit accomplishes all that for me"
--Elyse Fitzpatrick

"The commandment is a lamp, and the teaching is light"...Prov. 6:23

"The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple" ..Prov. 19:7

"The unfolding of thy words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple". Psalm 119:130

Monday, April 7, 2008

Philippians 4:8-9 for the week

1 Cor. 11:8-9 " For man was not made from the woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man"

"....we were created to be our husband's helper not our children's mother. Certainly we are to love, care for, and nurture our children..but this love is to flow out of a lifestyle that is first and foremost committed to helping our husbands. Our husbands should always remain first in our hearts and in our care. In fact, one of the most loving things we can do for our children is to prize our husbands. It provides a wonderful security in their lives, and it presents a biblical model for them and their future marriages"

taken from The Feminine Appeal by
-Carolyn Mahaney

Sunday, April 6, 2008

For the sake of the KINGDOM

"From the beginning, God has called us to tend the culture as we would tend a garden. He defined the parameters for Adam and Eve and gave them a mandate: God “took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” He commanded them "to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it."
Just as God brought order out of chaos during creation, He commanded this man and this woman, made in His image, to pursue and maintain order as they established their family, who eventually would populate the earth and create culture.
We were never called to merely focus on ourselves in a pietistic ghetto. Man’s responsibility was to tend creation, so that it would be fruitful, and for man himself to be fruitful. When they were planting seeds, digging irrigation, creating economic systems, or establishing governments, they were fulfilling their calling as men and women made in the image of God and called to create and “subdue.”
So it is today. As we are fruitful, we must tend to our families and society at large, just as Adam and Eve were to tend to their garden.
Abraham Kuyper, one-time prime minister of the Netherlands and founder of The Free University in Amsterdam, brought great clarity to the meaning of this mandate: “In the total expanse of human life there is not a single square inch of which the Christ, who alone is sovereign, does not declare, ‘That is mine!’

I am so thankful, I really am ya'll at the way the LORD just continues to reveal himself to all of us. Today kevin and I began the beginning of what we would call "intentional kingdom living" amongst our neighbors. This past week we were greatly challenged by Richard Pratt at our annual missions conference to not be ashamed of this POWERFUL GOSPEL we preach as well as to live out side of our "Christian Ghetto's"... you know, hanging out with that same ol christian crowd, inviting those same ol christian friends over for dinner night, after night, after night, then waking up and thinking, " how did I take part in advacing the LORD's kingdom today"? ( ok..maybe you dont think that..same point)

We invited our neighbors over today for some good ol cooking after worship service. In my crock pot there was roast, I made homemade mash potatoes from scratch ( WATCH OUT NOW!!), fresh salad, mixed vegetables, some yummy Sister Schubert rolls, and yes, fried chicken ( for those that were not crazy about having roast)..and ladies and gentleman, no cook out is complete without my husbands homemade MACARONI AND CHEESE ( you would not believe how many ask us to come over for dinner only to have him cook this!! seriously, the crowd goes wild over this!) For dessert there was brownie pie topped with cool whip ( thanks morrisons for this idea!! )

I can tell it was different for them( our neighbors) to all be at the dinner table eating together.. I can tell that they were trying to figure us out.. kevin has mentioned to me how one teenager would make comments about me cooking for him, and just serving him. When I mentioned to the mom today how I cook for my family all the time she kinda gave me that look like "sista you have lost ya mind cookin for that man like that.." ( i know the look, I have witnessed it in my family growing up..better yet, I am sure my husband has witnessed it coming from me those early years of marriage, THANK YA JESUS for sanctification! ) :)

As the day progressed I had a total of 14 people in my home today! The family went home and told other memebers that came by our house how good the food was and how I cooked, so they decided to come over as well !
THe LORD I tell ya, all for the kingdom is all I could think about.. How this is all for the kingdom. That brought me so much Joy, I had so much peace, and love in my heart having my neighbors over. I pray they saw Christ, I prayed that the time that they had with us provoke them to faith in GOD . I listened to the stories they had to tell about the crime and abandonment that goes on in our neighborhood. I was able to see their hearts. It was real. No pretending, no automatic answers because you grew up in the church and you know what to say,, no flattery of the lips. SOME REAL TALK from real people. The best thing for me about this afternoon was that I sat and looked in the face of other IMAGE BEARERS of GOD. The ones that we forget about as we care only about our own schedules , children, place of worship, marriages, failures, hurts and our own needs. I love Pratt's view of KINGDOM THEOLOGY..
God created us in His image, COMMANDED us to be FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY to raise up other image bearers to build/ advance GOD's kingdom here on earth.. Kevin and I wanted to start this in our home, by sharing the gospel in word and deed with our neighbors in hopes of them becoming christians and one day continuing on the legacy of preaching the gospel to all the nations. Please pray for all those that were in our home today, as well as for those that we plan on having in our home every sunday. God is at work here... and I cant wait, for the opportunity to share with all those that don't know him, that HE has promised to restore all that locusts have eaten, the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm..( Joel 2)! May we all preserver in this great battle for God's kingdom here on earth.

Father, who would have thought that I would know you this way. I had heard of you in the past and I just did'n believe that you were who they said you were. Now, look at me, I am apart of your kingdom, looking at others in the face who believe the same lies I once did. This compassion I have gives me HOPE in how POWERFUL your GOSPEL is. IT CAN TRANSFORM the HEART OF ANY KING! Oh, how I pray you would call them out of darkness and into the light. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you through serving my neighbors. What an awsome thought that I could have just entertained an angel. Give me more opportunities that would bring you GLORY and not myself.

"Whenever you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers, or your relatives or your rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and it be a repayment for you. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For it will be repaid to you in the resurrection of the just." (Luke 14:12–14)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

How Not To Be A Mule

Father my heart is deceitful..please show me over time what is in it
please show me your glory......

How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered!
How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not
impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit!
When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away
Through my groaning all day long.
For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was drained away as with the fever-heat of summer.
I acknowledged my sin to Thee,
And my iniquity I did not hide;
I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord';
And Thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin.
Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to Thee
in a time when Thou mayest be found;
Surely in a flood of great waters they shall not reach him.
Thou art my hiding place; Thou dost preserve me
from trouble;
Thou dost surround me with songs of deliverance.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding,
Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check.
Otherwise they will not come near to you.
Many are the sorrows of the wicked;
But he who trusts in the Lord, lovingkindness shall surround him.
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice you righteous ones,
And shout for joy all you who are upright in heart.

Psalm 32

Friday, April 4, 2008

Seeing Jesus Beyond Poverty

I am always looking to be refreshed in ministry..though I am not out like Kevin and Bk. I just thinks its good to go back and listen to these sermons so that I am prepared to fight against those times when things become a challenge..you know when you want to say.."look honey, I dont think the LORD callled us to do that"... or when you think..." why are we here again?"

This video from the 2007 conference was good! I am refreshed on compassion and love, and reminded of the christian responsibility towards the social institutions of our day

The sermon starts at 53:36

A.R. Bernard: Thursday Evening Plenary:

".......for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.- Matthew 5:45b

Quote (s) of the Day

"I had come to see that the great tradegy in the church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor, but that rich Christians do not know the poor" -Shane Claiborne

"Charity wins awards and applause, but joining the poor gets you killed. People do not get crucified for charity. People are crucified for living out a love that disrupts the social order, that calls forth a new world. People are not crucified for helping poor people. People are crucified for joining them." -Shane Claiborne

Thursday, April 3, 2008

All Things New

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." -Phil. 4:6-7

No man pleasing, standing firm on Truth, Confidence, renewed covenant to love my husband and child, reknewing my mind with a fresh perspective on Kingdom theology, fighting to not grow weary while doing good...

GOd is so gracious, so much is happening in my heart right now, I cant even explain what He is doing within our family, but I am very excited about it. Kevin and I have been married for 6 years and I see so much maturity in both of our walks with GOD and I see that devotion in our commitment to one another and to the unbelievers around us.. yes, things are definitely changing in 08.. I know this is all because of HIs AMAZING GRACE...

they are not perfect by far, but GOD is being glorified and thats all that Kevin and I want..
To the challenges, trials, and persecutions, I say BRING EM On, as long as the result is us knowing CHRIST as our ultimate treasure and you knowing this mighty GOd we serve..

"Therefore, everything we aim to accomplish as a church is impossible without God's special, supernatural action. From the making of a meal on Wednesday night, to the changing of a diaper in the nursery, to the preaching of a sermon—our aim in all of it do it by the grace that God supplies so that in everything he gets the glory. And that is impossible without God's special, supernatural grace:- John Piper

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Lost and Found: Time to Teach Your Children

Here is an encouraging article on training your children..
I pray you are willing to persevere in this FIGHT on raising godly children after reading this...
pretty lengthy..enjoy!

Common Ground Weekly Update

Email Update for April 1, 2008
Thank you for your continued support of our ministry!

Walking the Streets….

I’ve mentioned a 14-year old boy in our neighborhood that walks our streets all day long in a previous update. He hasn’t attended school for at least four or five months. I’ve caught him playing basketball in front of my house a number of times throughout the day as I’ve traveled through the neighborhood. He is the same boy who flashed a gun at one of our concerned neighbors when she told him ‘get his butt in school and quit walking the streets’.

We have been getting to know him for months. We’ve caught him in a number of lies about school, his family, trouble he’s in, and violence he claims he is involved in, etc. Yet, we love this kid. He seems to be a little fond of us too. The more we have been around him the more we’ve understood the desperate nature of his family situation. He recently said “nobody cares about me in my family”. Many teenagers say such things. I know I said that when I was around his age. Some times it is teenage drama. We have all been there and had such exaggerations. He is not exaggerating. He lives in pretty deep poverty and I recently figured out that he wears a coat even when it is very hot outside because he is embarrassed about the rags he wears as shirts. I hear the other kids picking at him from time to time about his clothes.

Kevin was so grieved about what we were learning about this kid that he picked him up recently and took him to the alternative school that he claimed he attended. We found that he was no longer a student there. He has been unable to re-enroll in the program he needs in our school district. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have much contact with his mom. He has a place to literally lay his head at the residence of some of his extended family who live in our neighborhood. Kevin spent the morning with the kid at the alternative school and called the kid’s mother a few times, and finally was told by an Assistant Principal that they might allow Kevin to enroll the kid with the parent’s permission. It seemed to touch her that a concerned neighbor would take this initiative with a kid who isn’t his own. Supposedly, he started school again this week. Kevin has repeatedly told this kid and his mom that it will not be long before this kid is destroyed on our streets by the current path he is traveling. We are seeking the Lord’s leadership as to how we can demonstrate the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to this kid (and many like him). Please continue to pray for us as we seek to be available and take advantage of the opportunity to enter into the lives of kids like this one who have been abandoned in many ways… leading to an abandonment of hope and creative God-given desires.

Ministry space… direction!

Thank you for praying diligently with us about some very needed ministry space for us. As you may remember, we were considering two options: One was a 4-acre piece of land the other was some land we already own that was considerably smaller. We have been praying about building some sort of community center. We are thrilled to announce that we believe the Lord has led us to a decision on some ministry space… a decision that includes neither of the previous two options we and you were praying about! We have decided to build a large house in our neighborhood a few houses down from ours. This house will be a neighborhood community house. It will possibly be used for after school tutoring, neighborhood bible studies, job development training, community meetings, summer intern housing, arts initiatives, neighborhood movie nights, dance classes, “hood aerobics (yea, you read it right!)”, and many other neighborhood inspired and created ideas. We have been asking neighbors for their ideas about what such space could be used for. The point is to have a house that would provide some smaller, less expensive, and easier managed space (than a community center). We do not want to build a big central structure that would take so many resources to build, staff, and maintain right now. Our hope is to create some space that would not be a burden to the neighborhood and that would allow for some spiritual and recreational development. The back yard of the house will contain an abbreviated full court basketball area, some swing sets, and a small batting cage net for baseball hitting instruction. We are in the process of acquiring two lots for this project. Please pray for us in this decision and in the initial planning stages. We have been talking to many neighbors about this and we have had a lot of support and excitement about the idea.

Carver Baseball update….

We’ve seen one level of adversity after another with the Carver Baseball team this year. The school did not give us any start up money to get the program going this year. Common Ground Montgomery was able to buy a good bit of game and practice gear for the kids this year. We have come to expect tough situations and self-destructive patterns among our players. God taught me a lot about that last year. I try hard not to be caught off guard by the extra challenges that come with coaching kids that grow up in dysfunctional home environments and peer groups. I felt pretty good about my expectations and hopes heading into my second season of coaching.
Two weeks before our first game our batting cage net was stolen. A generous donor provided money for a new batting cage, but there was a significant wait time. We missed three weeks of much needed batting practice because of the theft. When we were about to reorder the new net, we were hit with another blow. We found out that Carver was destroying our field within days of the notice. They wanted to begin to store trailers and equipment on our field for summer school renovations. We not only lost a batting cage, but we lost a practice field. The school promised an alternative playing field and transportation, but didn’t deliver on either. Our kids don’t have cars, and travel to distant fields to practice is not a great option. Nevertheless, we have been using our ministry van and another coach’s car to transport the 16 kids to various places to get a short practice in.
Honestly, it has been a little demoralizing to the guys on the team. We don’t get to work on and practice the things we need to compete with other teams. We had one team bible study a few weeks ago and most of the kids came. They asked sincere questions about what it meant to be ‘an enemy of God’ according to the scriptures and about the significance of Jesus’ work for and our need for reconciliation. Other than this one bible study and a few conversations we have had in the van during late evening drop offs to their homes I have wrestled with feeling like I personally haven’t been that active in sharing my faith with them. I have been so overwhelmed with rescheduling baseball games, finding practice locations, dealing with administration, and other stuff that I found myself just trying to make it through the day, honestly. This is on top of family responsibilities, fundraising, speaking at churches, studying for ordination exams, general CGM responsibilities. Throw in a steady diet of neighborhood crisis! I simply had slipped into survival mode, rather than intentional living for God’s Kingdom.
I am sure we all continually find ourselves here. Going through the motions is a tough and yet natural place to be. The problem for me is that I forgot the end goal and the power available for me in the process. Delta and I were deeply encouraged and refreshed this weekend as one of my mentors preached at a local mission’s conference. I was reminded again, at just the right time that the message of the Gospel has real power bound up in the story of Christ. I was renewed in my desire to be intentional in my efforts to further God’s Kingdom in all that I do. We are actually told that the spiritual forces at work in the world cannot prevail against OUR attacks. This means that the gates of Hades can not prevail against the church. In short, I was renewed in my desire to use this whole baseball experience, in the midst of the adversity, for the greater purpose of demonstrating and sharing the Kingdom of God with these kids. Please pray for me over the next two and a half weeks concerning these 16 boys. I want to use the time wisely for our Lord, and not get caught up in the other stuff. What an incredible privilege I have to be around these guys like this. How easy it is to forget and just exist.

Kevin and Nicole, and Delta and I greatly appreciate your support of CGM. We are able to live in the neighborhood and share God’s love with your support. Please respond with questions you may have about our activities in the neighborhood.

Psalm 34:3:

Bryan Kelly
Common Ground Montgomery