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

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Girls Just wanna have fun!

Psalms 78:1-8
1 O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. 2 I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old-- 3 what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. 4 We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done. 5 He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, 6 so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. 7 Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. 8 They would not be like their forefathers-- a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him.




Thanks again Shaunta for all your help! Would you all please pray that the girls respond in faith to the truth of the gospel.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Reach Life Unashamed Tour






Okay!!! I love music!!! Kaiya and I were in the car today with one of the teenage girls from the neighborhood and we just got really "crunk" ( that's the hood word for excited) about what we were listening to. The young girl in the car even started to nod her head. She later asked me was this dude going to be at the concert next month, I excitedly told her yea.... Next month kevin and I ( and hopefully the Kellys) will be taking a group of kids to Birmingham to Reach Life - Unashamed Tour. We are sooo excited about exposing the kids in our neighborhood to a REDEEMED FORM of RAP music! In the hood rap artists are serious role models and gods... Our prayer is for our kids to see that rap music is not a sin in and of it self, but it's all about what you are talking about and who you are glorifying. Pray with us that the LORD use this concert to draw many unto him self. Click this link to find out if Reach Life -Unashamed Tour is coming to a city near you
Enjoy the music and lyrics below, and have a great weekend!!!


After the Music Stops - Lecrae



Lecrae - After The Music Stops lyrics

Artist: Lecrae
Album: After The Music Stops
Year: 2006
Title: After The Music Stops


Yeah, I got a question, after the show, after the set, after the music stops, what's next? Are we just writing songs or are we concerned with uniting a people to follow the great commission of Christ.
Yeah let's get it, let's go...

Back in the day I was a lunch line rapper, after that I guess I was a punch line rapper, then I got saved and sometime after, ya boy came back as a frontline rapper, and when I say the frontlines, that's not a frontline, I’m out here preachin’ Christ on the frontlines, and no it ain't about rockin' stages ‘coz some of my engagements are out on the pavements yeah.
I'm out to take the bible, create disciples, who make disciples, disciple-cycles, that's why I want the beats to knock so after the music stops you can meet the rock i pray, that you would know him well, this is like show and tell, it's more than a show, I'm showing you Emmanuel,
So yeah I’m hopin’ that you're likin' the flow but it's only so you could know that God I’m writing it for let's go...

After the show, after the set, after the music stops what's next?
Will there be fellowship, prayer, disciples, will you open your bibles after the music stops.
After it’s over, after it ends, after the music stops, what then?
Will you understand that Christ is King? Or will you just like the words we sing after the music stops.

I recorded a couple songs some fast some slow, so the listeners would know the importance of the show, the importance of the show's not to excite these folks but make God's truth relevant, ignite these folks.
Discipleship is our call but we make disciples, this is not a suggestion, create disciples. The teachin' is a process, it's not over night and it’s not a stage and a mic nah, it's life on life Christ -
Walked with twelve, ate with twelve, talked with twelve, shaped the twelve, invested in 'em well you could say that he made the twelve. Who made many more, who made plenty more, now it's on you and me if there's anymore.
1 teach, 2 teach, 3 teach, 4 teach, 5 teach, 6 teach, 7 teach more, this is what we've been commissioned, it's the reason why I write, so that you could hear the truth, not so you can say I’m tight whoa...

After the show, after the set, after the music stops what's next?
Will there be fellowship, prayer, disciples, will you open your bibles after the music stops.
After it’s over, after it ends, after the music stops, what then?
Will you understand that Christ is King? Or will you just like the words we sing after the music stops.

So, we write this for the right the speaker was righteous, and then we might check for a culture who likes the hypeness. Some say we keep it crunk, some say we hype man; we just wanna pump the resurrection of the Christ man.
We in the -burbs and the hoods that's hostile, we share a common view like synoptic Gospels and you know we keep a couple young dudes around us and teach 'em the same truth God used to ground us.
This is a lifestyle so, when the mic's down I pray people follow Christ when they turn the lights down. I pray that everybody playin’ this song will be challenged by everything I had to say in this song.
I don’t do this for the money, I don’t do this for fame, I don’t do this so the industry can know my name, I do this and host to glorify Yeshua the King, if you’re feelin’ me you know you should be doin’ the same let’s go…

After the show, after the set, after the music stops what's next?
Will there be fellowship, prayer, disciples, will you open your bibles after the music stops.
After it’s over, after it ends, after the music stops, what then?
Will you understand that Christ is King? Or will you just like the words we sing after the music stops.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Quote of the Day

“The relief of poverty, hunger, and injustice”

God created both soul and body, and the resurrection of Jesus shows that he is going to redeem both the spiritual and the material. Therefore God is concerned not only for the salvation of souls but also for the relief of poverty, hunger, and injustice.

The gospel opens our eyes to the fact that all our wealth (even wealth for which we worked hard) is ultimately an unmerited gift from God. Therefore the person who does not generously give away his or her wealth to others is not merely lacking in compassion, but is unjust.

Christ wins our salvation through losing, achieves power through weakness and service, and comes to wealth through giving all away. Those who receive his salvation are not the strong and accomplished but those who admit they are weak and lost. We cannot look at the poor and the oppressed and callously call them to pull themselves out of their own difficulty. Jesus did not treat us that way.”

- The Gospel Coalition’s “Theological Vision for Ministry” (2007), Section 5e

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

More, More, More

Lord, I am so thirsty for you.. I am so hungry for you..
Please forgive me for thirsting after other things. You mean everything to me. I am so thankful, and humble when I look back on my life on think about where this girl from chicago could have been doing.. Your grace has covered me, oh, how your grace have covered me.. why me LORD, why?? How do you love that way?? Please continue to use my life for your glory. I pray all those around me SEE YOU, AND NOT ME!!!

More, More, More- Joann Rosario

More, More, More - Fred Hammond

LYRICS:
Chorus
I need more, more, more
Jesus more of You
I need so much more
Jesus more, more, more

Verse I
When I have been all used up
Fill me like an empty cup
And when it seems I have had enough
I still need more, more, more
The hunger inside of me
My spirit and soul agree
I've tasted and now I see
I need more of You

Chorus

Verse II
When I'm in the desert place
Or dry as an empty vase
Fill me up 'till it's to the top
I'll still need more, more, more
Like numbers go to infinity
Or an endless eternity
Like the universe just goes on and on
I need more of you

Spanish Chorus
Quiero mas, mas, mas
Christo mas de Ti
Quiero mas, mas, mas
Christo mas de Ti

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Thinking Biblically about Beauty

"I believe that when we are set free to love God and love our neighbor, we are far more inclined to have a balanced view about all these things. Christian women, of all women on earth, have the capacity for the most loveliness, hands down. And why? Because they are forgiven, and they don’t carry around a load of guilt. And that is a beauty product that cannot be found behind a counter." -Nancy Wilson

Read this article on Modesty in its fullest here

The following podcasts have encouraged me greatly in my journey to think biblically about food and loosing weight.
Enjoy!!!

Dr Ed Welch's "Does Thin Equal Beautiful?" is well worth a listen,
Q & A session from his church series on "A Biblical Vision of Beauty."







"For most people, to be loved is to be made much of. Almost everything in our Western culture serves this distortion of love. We are taught in a thousand ways that love means increasing someone's self esteem. Love is helping someone feel good about themselves. Love is giving someone a mirror and helping him like what he sees.

This is not what the bible means by the love of God. Love is doing what is best for someone. But making self the object of our highest affections is not best for us. It is, in fact, a lethal distraction. We are made to see and savour God- and savouring him, to be supremely satisfied, and thus spread in all the world the worth of his presence. Not to show people the all-satisfying God is not to love them. To make them feel good about themselves when they were made to feel good about seeing God is like taking someone to the Alps and locking them in a room full of mirrors."
--John Piper -Dont Waste Your Life

Monday, May 26, 2008

Girls, Girls, Girls



“Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes - The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.”
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Well, the summer has begun for us! yay!!! our little one is out of school and so is every other kid on westcott.
The past couple of weeks have been so encouraging and fun. I have REALLY enjoyed spending time with all of them. After a couple of weeks of living here I was a little shaken that all I saw were little boys.. I always found myself wondering, now who will kaiya play with.. my close friend with a little girl her age is 30 minutes away. Not that I dont want her to play with boys, I just think its good for her to have some girlfriends around from time to time. You know, to do girly stuff.. Well, child.. the LORD did not wait to answer that prayer... For the past couple of weeks I have had a house full..at least 7 at one time...

Anyway, it's been fun to watch them play dress up, dance, sing, argue, paint nails, ect.. I left home to run to the store one evening, and I walked in the door and my husband had them all in a circle having bible time. It was so encouraging to see. Now don't get me wrong, there has been some challenging times where I get the mouth that is disrespectful & flippant or the eyes that have a tendency to roll..but even in that as I struggle to not get angry or hurt ( as I have) I have to remind myself that this is an opportunity to train and I have to be patient with them..
But the coolest thing one of my BFF's from down the street (LOL..she knows who she is) reminds me is that in every person , even in those that are hard to be around, I am able to use those times as an opportunity to remind myself of who the LORD is. In God's word we see all men and women were created in God's image, but we also see that this image is distorted due to sin. Though that is true, we have the privilege to see the LORD through the life of a sinner because of God's grace & the vision the Holy Spirit has given us to see him in all things. Would you please continue to pray for all the little girls that are in my house everyday? Pray as well for me as I prepare to host a sleepover for kai this friday which will include MANY of the girls from our block! (smiling)

I am thankful, I really am. Here's to a great worshipful summer

Father, you are truly amazing.. I just dont know what to say, you have me at a lost for words. Your wisdom, and love over me and those around me has me tongue tied. I love you...
Thank you for creating "k" Lord, for it is in her that I am reminded that you are omnisapient ( all wise)
Thank you for creating "a", who from 2 weeks old have been placed in the most difficult living situation.. its in her and her circumstances I am reminded that you are a great shepherd who lovely takes care of all his sheep from now unto eternity
Thank you for creating "s", for in this little girl I am reminded of your compassion and love in her hugs, kisses, and affectionate rubs to my face.
Help me to see you daily Lord, please keep me from sin that blurs my vision

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Carry you to Jesus

1 Thessalonians 4:15-18:

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.


Please remember to pray for the family of Steve and Mary Beth Chapman as they grieve the death of their daughter Maria Sue, who died from an accident on Wednesday at their home.









A VIDEO by Chapman that the LORD used to draw my heart to adoption:



The Chapman's founded The Shaohannah’s Hope Ministry after bringing their first adopted daughter, Shaohannah, home from China. The ministry’s goal is to help families reduce the financial barrier of adoption, and has provided grants to over 1700 families wishing to adopt orphans from around the world.


2 Corinthians 4:16-5:10

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven; inasmuch as we, having put it on, shall not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed, but to be clothed, in order that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord—for we walk by faith, not by sight—we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. Therefore also we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Is your vision blurred ?? Trip Lee 20/20


"20/20 vision is a term used to express normal visual acuity (the clarity or sharpness of vision) measured at a distance of 20 feet. If you have 20/20 vision, you can see clearly at 20 feet what should normally be seen at that distance. If you have 20/100 vision, it means that you must be as close as 20 feet to see what a person with normal vision can see at 100 feet.

"20/20 does not necessarily mean perfect vision. 20/20 vision only indicates the sharpness or clarity of vision at a distance.- American Optometric Association

My husband and I are HUGE, HUGE Christian Hip Hop fans. Its so cool to see the LORD's hand in different genres of music.
Reach Records artist Trip Lee has just dropped his sophomore album titled 20/20 and this album for me is going down as a classic! This morning, as I was spending time with the LORD and listening to this album I found myself getting a bit teary eyed, why??.... well, #1 because the theology on this album is so SOUND provoking you to FAITH, #2 it encourages the listener to really examine themselves in the faith as well as, challenges you to think more about if your vision of GOD is align with scripture.

i.e. "Inexhaustible" is the title of one of the songs on the cd.
In this song you will hear Trip graciously proclaim -"Whatcha know about this God?/He’s way too great, homie/I can’t grasp Him/Hey, what you know about this God?/He’s so complex my mind can’t fathom/Whatcha know about this God?/He’s amazing, behold Him, I praise Him, He’s golden/Hey, whatcha know about this God?/He’s inexhaustible, I’m amazed just to know Him. "


I highly encourage you to take God outside the box and see Him in a whole different light as you listen to this album..

Here is a video of Trip explaining why he titled the album 20/20:



I would just like to say to Trip.... We praise the LORD brother for comforting you with His Holy Spirit which helped you to write all the lyrics for this project..( our eyes are not on you, we know that it was the LORD in his GRACE giving you this type of insight)
I truly believe that God is exalted and many are encouraged in their faith through your rhymes .. May we all see God for who He is and not what we make him to be

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ministry Weekly Update



Thank you for your prayers! God is indeed at work! We marvel at His faithfulness!
***********************************************
New bible studies….

We have spoken in various ways in past email updates about three teenagers that have come to know our Savior in the past six months. Kevin and I are working towards seeing them grow in the Lord in the context of church worship and family, weekly bible studies in our homes, one-on-one devotionals and bible study, and through sharing our lives with them as we seek to follow our King amidst circumstances we encounter daily. We are committed to this ‘life on life’ example of training. We trust that the Lord will use this as apart His plan to conform them into the image of Christ (as Romans 8:29, and 12:2 allude to). God is blessing in many ways. Lately, other younger boys have taken note.

A few weeks ago a number of 11-13 years olds who have spent a lot of time with us over the last 6 months asked if they could begin coming to the bible study with the older boys. I told them that it wouldn’t be the best idea to jump in after all this time, but that we would start one for them if they were serious about it. Later, while playing a neighborhood street baseball game, they decided to run down to my house for the bible study. We will meet for our third time this upcoming week. There are now 12 boys interested in attending this weekly bible study. This group has the potential to grow significantly throughout the summer. There are boys everywhere around our neighborhood in this age range. The first two bible study times were a lot of fun and very insightful for all of us. As I was dropping everyone off at different homes, I met all the mothers and Grandmothers that I didn’t already know. All gave their blessing concerning the weekly bible study and one asked if she could begin to send snacks and drinks. Even better, the ‘buzz’ on the street about it led 2 younger boys (7 and 8) to ask if they could come to the bible study with the older boys… (you see where this is going don’t you?!?!)

I began the bible study for boys 6-8 years old two nights ago. We had 5 boys attend the first bible study at my house (including Bryce, my own six year old). After our time of food, fun, and an explanation of the ‘creation’ and ‘fall’ account in the bible, they told me that they wanted to get some more of their friends to start coming. None of the four boys had ever heard the creation account. We had a great time. Later that evening after dark, Bryce and I walked the four boys down to the other end of the street to their houses. Two of the boys ran up to their mother who was sitting on the street corner waiting for them. “Momma, Momma…God made the first man and woman, Adam and Eve was they names…. And that snake tricked them, and they disobeyed God… and we disobey God too, and that God’s heart hurts when we disobey him…”. I was stunned. She just looked at them and smiled as they excitedly told her about what they had learned. She looked at me and told me they could come every week.


Loving and Praying for the downcast….

A young woman who is addicted to drugs was chased from the house she was living in last week. The house is three doors down and across the street from ours. Her boyfriend chased her down the street yelling at her not to come back again. Neighbors told me about the incident when we returned from my son’s tee-ball games. Later she came onto my porch and sat with me. She asked me for some money for food saying that she hadn’t eaten in a couple of days. We fed her lunch and I sat on the porch and listened to her evaluation of the conditions of her life.
In her mind, the real issue was that her boyfriend ‘kept bringing in all these other women right in front of her face.’ She told me of the four children she had that lived on another street in the neighborhood that she couldn’t bring around her house because of all the drugs being used daily. The deep pain and destruction that comes with being separated from our Lord: the constant domestic violence, the ravishing drug dependence, the poor physical and emotional health resulting from self abuse and constant crisis, the starvation and the filthy living conditions that come from neglect of working, buying food, basic cleaning, and paying power, gas, and water bills in lieu of buying drugs all seem to be secondary issues to her.
Many days she is a walking ‘Zombie’. It’s common to see her and many others stumbling up and down the street. She looks much older than her actual age – 27 years old. We talked for a long time about her pain, and I asked a lot of questions so that I could hear her story. When I got too close to underlying causes she quickly decided it was time to go home again and end our conversation. I asked if I could pray for her before she left. She allowed me too and I prayed that God would show Himself to her and that he would redeem her life… the very life that she feels like she threw away a long time ago. I prayed that she would clearly see her worth as someone that He created in His own image. As I finished she wept openly and thanked me and walked away.

Interesting comments….

“does Levi have his contacts in?”… An eight year-old girl asked Delta if our 10 month-old son had his blue contacts in. We laughed with her mom about this, and her mom said, “Everyone she knows with eyes that color has contacts!”


“you are light-skinned right?” – One little six year-old girl asked Delta this the other day. She said people on the street have been saying we are ‘white’ but she told them we were ‘light skinned’. She said she didn’t want to offend us and call us ‘white’. Delta told her it didn’t offend us because we are ‘white’. She crinkled up her nose and looked a little confused. Delta asked her what it meant to be ‘white’ to her. She said that ‘all white people hate all black people’….’all white people are rich’…and ‘all white people get everything they want’. Delta asked her if she thought we didn’t like black people. She said no. I am sure that you would interpret her comments based on all kinds of personal experiences and thoughts, but one thing is obvious here. When a six year-old girl has a world-view includes ‘all white people hate all black people’ there are some serious problems in our city. While this may seem merely anecdotal, you would be shocked at the many comments like this one that we get. The fact is that she doesn’t know any white people. Many ‘white’ children in our city don’t know any ‘black’ people. She hoped that we were just ‘light skinned’ because that is the only thing that would make sense of us entering into her world.

We are extremely thankful for your prayer and your love for us and our neighbors. It is deeply encouraging to know that you are genuinely concerned about us and about so many growing up in the tough environment on our city’s west side. May the Lord bless you for the deeply needed support he provides for us through you!

Psalm 34:3,

Bryan Kelly
Common Ground Montgomery

Sunday, May 18, 2008

By way of reminder Pt 3


Redistribution


Economic Development and Stewardship
When the body of Christ is visibly present and living among the poor (relocation), and when people are loving their neighbor and their neighbor's family the way a person loves him or herself and family (reconciliation), the result is redistribution. If God's people with resources are living in the poor community and are a part of it, the skills and resources will be applied to the problems of that community.

Redistribution brings the principles of Justice back to the underserved communities. Justice has left communities of color and lower economic status, leaving an unjust criminal court and prison system, unjust hiring practices, unjust housing development and injustice in the educational institutions. Justice has been available only to people with the economic means to acquire just treatment.

Redistribution brings new skills, new educations, new resources and puts them to work to empower people in a community of need. This is redistribution. Christian Community Development ministries find creative avenues to create jobs, schools, health centers, home ownership, and other enterprises of long-term development. Helping people help themselves, that is redistribution
.

Strangers Bring Us Closer to God

Please take the time to listen to this
thought provoking essay by Sara Miles.

Matthew 5:16 “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

. 2 Corinthians 9:12, “The ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.”

1 John 3:17, “If anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?”

Luke 12:33-34. “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail. . . . For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

( all verses taken from the ESV-English Standard Version)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

10 Ways To Help Kids Love Missions

There are things we can do to help our kids love the nations and the cause of Christ, even though a heart and calling for the Great Commission is ultimately something only God can grant. Here are a few ideas from Ryan and Anna, who are currently preparing to serve in Asia with their two young daughters.

1. Pray for missionaries as a family. We keep a stack of prayer cards on the dinner table and rotate through them during mealtime prayers.

2. Read missionary biographies to your children. The stories of Hudson Taylor, Adoniram Judson, William Carey, Gladys Aylward, and other missionary pioneers are captivating ways to orient a child’s heart on the most important things in life.

3. Draw the whole family into supporting missionaries financially. Teach your kids from a young age that being a good steward of their money involves channeling resources toward the the cause of Christ in missions. Older kids can donate some of their lawn mowing and babysitting money. Younger children can earn money doing chores around the house which can be set aside for missionaries.

4. Find your child a missionary kid pen pal. Many children of missionaries around the world would be delighted to get mail from a child their age in their parent’s culture. Your child (and the whole family) will learn valuable insights about living abroad through the eyes of a child. Additionally, when the missionaries visit your church, your child will already have a relationship with the MK and will be able to include them more easily.

5. Entertain missionaries in your home. Inviting missionaries over will be as much of a blessing to your family as to the missionaries. Host them for dinner or for a whole furlough. Build or buy your house with this in mind.

6. Take risks as a family. There are ways to live life which help children grasp the reality that discomfort and suffering are normal and rewarding parts of the Christian experience. Volunteer at a rescue mission; house a single mother; move to the inner-city.

7. Affirm and nurture qualities in your children which could serve them on the mission field. As your children grow in knowledge and skill, encourage them to think about how they could use their gifts in missions work. Then, if God says, “go,” release them to go!

8. Teach your children to be world Christians. Don't expose them to only the American perspective on news and realities around the world. Go out of your way to make them more aware than the average American Christian about geography, world history, and the plights and perspectives of people across the globe.

9. Read missionary prayer letters to your children. Ask them questions about the content and look up facts about the missionaries’ location on the Internet.

10. Use missions fact books and resources such as Operation World, the Global Prayer Digest, the Joshua Project, and Voice of the Martyrs (VOM). Kids of Courage is the youth-oriented arm of VOM and offers activity books, spotlights on the persecuted world, and more.

Most of all, pray every day that your kids will develop hearts that mirror God’s compassion for the nations and love for his glory in them!


-- By Tia for Desiring God

Friday, May 16, 2008

A sense of Community



Meet Mrs. Ethel.. I have grown so fond of her..
She and her daughter are out with me everytime crank I up my car. From walmart, to Eastchase( local mall), to my daughters graduation from Pre k..so sweet of her to come!
Mrs Eheltherrrrr ( as delta and I call her) is what we would call the neighborhood grandmother.. She sits out on her porch daily, and watch after every child that runs, and walks up and down our block... If she catches the local kids fighting, or stealing, or walking in the street. she is going to say something to them about it. She may even grab a switch and discipline them if there parents are not around. You cant be a sensitive parent living on our street with her around, you child will be corrected. (smiling)

I love that about her. I love the fact that she loves us and our children that she is willing to correct them, and protect them, even when she didn't know us that well. Sitting out on the porch with them from time to time, reminds me of the stories about community life that took place before they started building homes without porches. The life when you knew everyone around you, when you were yelling from your house over to your neighbors asking about their day at work or school, or for some good recipe. I remember growing up in a neighborhood like that, were everyone knew my parents and if i did something I wasn't suppose to, you best believe my grandmother would know it before I hit the door.. What accountability!!!!

It saddens me we dont live like that anymore..now we build privacy fences to keep others from being in our business or we use them as a excuse to get away from sinful fear and say." we are using wisdom"
by no means am I saying it is a sin in and of it self to have those things..its all about the motives of our hearts. I see more, and more as we live here how the LORD has designed for us to live in COMMUNITY with each other.. TO be so closely involved with the lives of those in the body that it makes it more and more difficult to get a way with sin..

I love how the CCDA puts it into words.. "God’s intention for every community is that His shalom would reign. Can you imagine neighborhoods with secure streets, healthy relationships, effective and affirming schools, clean air, and a thriving local economy? Can you picture neighbors sharing meals together, children laughing and playing freely, and the elderly being valued, honored and cared for as the norm in our communities? Can you fathom vibrant churches in every neighborhood being beacons of light and hope because of their deep concern for the well being of all community residents, not just their members? Can you envision people being drawn to the love and power of God because of the clear witness of Christians fully committed to Jesus Christ?
We can! In fact, CCDA exists to see this kind of impact in the poorest communities in our nation and world. Our passion and commitment is to be a voice of challenge, equipping Christ-followers who are ready to step forward and see the shalom of God become a reality in under-resourced communities. To this end, we pray boldly and confidently, as Jesus prayed, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”



I know and I must say, the only reason I am able have such a RENEWED way of thinking ( and child, it is renewed because I KNow I never thought like this before Christ) is because of #1 the GRACE that has been given to me..#2 because of the measure of FAITH that He has allotted to me in accordance of His will.. (Romans 12:1-3)

I have to give GOD the glory and boast ONLY in the Cross for all that HE is doing around me.. Would you join me in praising and thanking Him today for opening our eyes to see wonderful things in His teachings (psalm 119:18,34)

Have a Thankful and Humble weekend!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Quote of the Day

I said, that I wasnt going to do any quotes anytime soon..but dog on it.. this one was great!!! I love it!
I have been thinking about this a lot lately..THE LORD Is so good...I pray I continue to pick up my cross and follow him daily





"A friend recently asked me, "What would be some of the characteristics of the life of a person who is bearing their cross? (Matthew 16) What does this cross-bearer look like?"
It got me thinking. I'd love to hear some of your thoughts in the comments. Here are some of mine:

Single-minded devotion to the Lord, focus on the calling to follow Him above all else.
Jesus first, others second, self last.

Lack of self-indulgence and self-pity; he does what he does gladly, following his Master by choice, not just as demanded by circumstance.

Because the church is to be a community of cross-bearers, there is interdependence, casting your burdens not only on the Lord, but on each other, supporting each other, helping each other carry the load which at times will be too heavy.

The cross-carrier is a servant. He doesn’t look for others to serve him or baby him, he goes out of his way to serve them.

When he sees the poor and the needy, he releases his grip on money and things, realizing they belong to his Master, and the way of the cross is cheerful giving of money and time and skills.

A parallel passage to Matthew 16 is Luke 9:23, which reads:

Then Jesus said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

The “take up his cross daily” brings a new dimension, very significant.

It means carrying your cross is not just one big sacrifice that you make, then you’re done with, like giving one of your kidneys, or selling your house and giving to the poor or that time you ran out in traffic and pulled the kid back from the bus.

This is something you do every day. So it’s a thousand or ten thousand daily sacrifices, a lifetime of little loving acts, which cumulatively become huge. It’s a man who loves his paralyzed wife for forty years by saying no to his sexual desires every day, and dumps her bag of urine three times a day, to the glory of Jesus.

It’s a mother who cares for a son who never gets out of bed, day after day, and does it without complaining. Not just the person who dies in the coliseum in one triumphant hour, torn apart by lions because he refused to deny Christ.

It’s saying no to sleep to get up and pray and read the Word day after day, saying no to living in a mansion and owning a nicer car even though that might be fun but not as fun as giving to keep a child alive, of living more simply so that others may simply live, day after day. It’s doing the humble job that nobody applauds, but needs to be done, and which is seen sometimes by no one but the Audience of One.

Really, what carrying your cross daily is, is being humble, a servant, God-centered and others-centered, not self-centered. Yet, ironically, to be a servant is ultimately in your eternal self-interests."-
-Randy Alcorn

By way of reminder Pt 2

Remember what I told you I did on sundays?? In case you missed it here it is. I am once again thankful to the our LORD for the grace to be reconciled in this relationship with Him
Enjoy your day!!

Reconciliation

People To God

Reconciliation is at the heart of the gospel. Jesus said that the essence of Christianity could be summed up in two inseparable commandments: Love God, and love thy neighbor. (Mt 22:37-39) First, Christian Community Development is concerned with reconciling people to God and bringing them into a church fellowship where they can be discipled in their faith.
Evangelism is very much a part of Christian Community Development. It is recognized that the answer is not just a job or a decent place to live but having a true relationship with Jesus Christ. It is essential that the good news of Jesus Christ is proclaimed and that individuals place their faith in Christ for salvation. Christian discipleship is very much a part of this philosophy also.
The gospel, rightly understood, is wholistic. It responds to people as whole people; it does not single out just spiritual or just physical needs and speak to those. Christian Community Development begins with people transformed by the love of God, then respond to God's call to share the gospel with others through evangelism, social action, economic development, and justice.


People To People

The most segregated time of the week in our nation is Sunday morning during church services. American churches rarely are integrated and weaken the gospel because of this practice. Christians pray in the model prayer that the Lord taught: "Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Mt 6:9 Churches should reflect heaven on earth, and heaven will be the most integrated place in the world. People of every nation and every tongue will worship Christ together. This is the picture of the church Christ presents to his people.

The question is: Can a gospel that reconciles people to God without reconciling people to people be the true gospel of Jesus Christ? A person's love for Christ should break down every racial, ethnic and economic barrier. As Christians come together to solve the problems of their community, the great challenge is to partner and witness together across these barriers in order to demonstrate our oneness in Christ. Christian Community Development recognizes that the task of loving the poor is shared by the entire body of Christ, black, white, brown, and yellow; rich and poor; urban and suburban; educated and uneducated. While the Bible transcends culture and race, the church is still having a hard time with living out the reality of our unity in Christ. Christian Community Development is intentional about reconciliation and works hard to bring people of all races and cultures into the one worshipping body of Christ.

This comes not so much through a program but through a commitment to living together in the same neighborhood. This is why relocation is so important and how each of the other principals builds upon it.
This is where what Dr. John Perkins calls the felt-need concept can be so helpful for individuals seeking to establish authentic cross-cultural relationships in under resourced neighborhoods. In order to build trust with people who may be suspicious about our motives for being in the ‘hood’ because of negative past experiences, stereotypes, or ignorance, we must begin by getting to know people right where they are at. As we listen to their stories and get to know their hopes and concerns for the present and future, we also begin to identify one another’s deepest felt-needs; those hurts and longings that allows us opportunities to connect with people on a deeper level, which is always necessary for true reconciliation to take place.
The power of authentic reconciliation between us and God, and between people of every culture and race is an essential component of effective ministry in our hurting world.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Heartbreaking Turn

Romans 12:12
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.


Romans 5:2- “Rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

"This is the ultimate experience that will wipe away every tear. This will rectify every wrong. This will make you say that it was all worth it, no matter what you suffered. Listen to the way Paul put it in 2 Corinthians 4:17, “This slight momentary affliction [=all this life’s afflictions] is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” This was the hope that sustained Paul’s joy in affliction. He preached to himself (and we must): this affliction is not meaningless, it is not absurd, it is not cruel, it is not pointless. No, it is working for me an experience of the glory of God that will outweigh every moment and every degree of suffering in this life.
That is our hope. Its ground is the blood and righteousness of Christ by which we are justified through faith. Its goal or object is the glory of God that one day we will experience in the face of Jesus Christ."
- John Piper

Please be in prayer for my sweet friends over at Soli Deo Gloria
They were in the process of adopting two precious kids from ethiopia and get wind today that they may not be able to come home to their family..my heart hurts for my friends..please stop by and let emily know you are praying for her and her family during this time

Ps._ Emily, I love you and Thank you for your constant encouragement... I dedicate these song to you( hugs)
"Carry you to Jesus" is my favorite



In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, as was necessary, you have been grieved by various trials” (1 Peter 1:6

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Hillsong- Social Justice and Worship

Lord, I am naturally selfish. Please forgive me for not choosing to die to myself.. I pray that believers everywhere would experience your love to the point that we all are loving others in the same way you have loved us. Help us to not forget about the poor, the fatherless, or the orphans. Please cause our ears to hear the commands to love justice, show mercy and walk humbly with you




But you, O God, do see trouble and grief;
you consider it to take it in hand.
The victim commits himself to you;
you are the helper of the fatherless... The LORD is King for ever and ever;
the nations will perish from his land. You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.
-
-Psalm 10 :14, 16, 17-18

Friday, May 9, 2008

New Ministry Song

Here is our new song written specifically for Common Ground Montgomery..
This song was written by one of my husband close friends..Amesho Lewis (Sho Baraka) He is apart of a sound, talented, God exalting group called the 116 Clique ( which also includes, Lecrae, Tedashi, and Trip Lee) you can find out more about their ministry here. We are so eternally grateful to Sho for taking time out to write this song for us.. Listen closely to the lyrics and Enjoy!


**please note, its christian hip hop (also known as Holy Hip Hop) God is in the business of redeeming the arts as well (smiling)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Quote of the Day



"If you are chosen in the heart of God,
you have eyes to see the chosenness of others"

"Where are the men, women and children who are waiting for us to reach out to them? Poverty in all its forms, physical, intellectual, and emotional, is not decreasing. To the contrary, the poor are everywhere around us and beyond--more than ever. As the powers of darkness show their hideous intentions with increasing crudeness, the weeping of the poor becomes louder and louder and their misery more and more visible. We who yearn for peace must strive to keep listening and to keep looking. We must not run away from this painful sight."
We must "trust that God gives us what we need to truly care for the poor that are given to us. We choose to trust that we will have the financial, emotional, and physical support we need, when we need it, and to the degree that we need it. I am convinced that we are people who are ready to help with money, time and talent. But we are often afraid to enter into the chaos surrounding situations of poverty, and we will remain paralyzed unless we dare to take new risks. If we need to have all our bases covered before we move into action, then nothing exciting ever happens, but if we dare to take a few crazy risks because God asks us to do so, many doors that we didn't even know existed open before us."
-Henri j.m. Nouwen

"Dude, where's my phone??"



Tuesday evenings is usually the same for us in the King house. We take Kaiya down to the Kelly's, and we go out on our date. But, (smiling) this past tuesday, was by far the most weirdest tuesday we have had, and I am soo sure there are more coming. So, the night went like this. I left Delta's house to head home to meet kevin so that we can go out on our date. I had just talked to him on his cell phone about 20 minutes before I left D's house. As I was walking home, I tried to reach him again and I kept getting this weird message. SO I just gave up. When I got home, he was there getting ready, he informed me that some of our other friends would be keeping Kaiya for us that night, and I was excited about that , because they have always wanted to keep her again for us. Plus, kaiya loves to go over there and play "mama" to their 2yr old.
Anyway, as we were about to leave there was a knock at the door. Kevin answered it and I just happen to peek from the kitchen to see who it was.. it was one of the neighborhood drug addicts asking for some money.. I continued on with what I was doing in the kitchen. I leave out the kitchen and kevin then is like walking around asking for his cell phone.. we all begin to scramble around in a hurry in hope's of finding it.. after about 10 minutes he then ask me to call it. I grab the house phone and I begin to call his number....

A Man answers........

Man--"Hello"
Me-"uhh, Hellooo"
Man-"Hello"
Me-(I begin to call him by one of the neighborhood teenagers name) "keev" is this you"
Man-"hello"
Me-" boy, where are you"..
Man-" this aint no keev"
Me-(eyes are big..saying in my phone voice and those who know me, you know what that sounds like..LOL) "um, yes, who is this?"
Man- " I got your phone and I was just about to call you"
Me- thinking ( oh, heck naw!! let me give this phone to my husband..what in the world!!!)

I then just pass the phone to kevin and tell him it's some dude.. He takes the phone and I hear bits and pieces of the conversation....
" hello...
"who dis...."
"okay...well... how did you get my phone...."
"What...okay"
"where you at..."
"thanks man, I really appreciate this..."
Me- "babe, what happen, who was tha
t"

Kevn then begins to tell me that it appears that some neighborhood drug addict somehow got his phone and SOLD IT to a DRUG DEALER for SEVEN DOLLARS!!! what in the world!!! The drug dealer then begins to tells him that he wanted to try and call him to find out who's phone it belonged to, so he could return it to its rightful owner ( of course, not in those words)... He says that he know how drug addicts can be sometime( you have gots to be kidding me??) in selling things that dont belong to them and that pisses him off.. he, knowing how it feels because he has lost many phones, he just wanted to return ours.

We are blown away...we then jump into our car and head over to...you guessed it the dealer house or shall I say " the trap"
( that's what they call are calling drug homes in the hood).. to get my man's cell phone

I am sitting there like, okay, feeling a little, umm, weird and thinking..is he really going to give kevin his cell phone back, surely he isn't???
We pull down this street full of abandon houses and empty lots and we dont see the house the guys described........
then I look, and I see a hand waving for us... (signing) Whew....

We pull up in front of the house and about 3 guys are there posted up, the guy hands kevin the phone and kevin thanks him and says..
"good looking out man.."

the man then says .."no prob.."

my husband, just as bold as he wants to be asks .." man, i know you cant tell me this, but what did he look like..was he wearing a red hat.." ( thinking it may have been the guy who just left our home asking for money)

the guys kinda gave this one sided smile and said.."naw
"

We thanked him again and we head off into the sun set for our date..... (ha!)

We are still not sure how in the world someone got his cell phone...He is thinking he either dropped it in the yard or out in the street before he came into the house to get ready.... Whatever the case.... I saw the LORD answer, again, for me what I pray for Kevin and BK all the time..
Luke 2:52 --And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
Only God in his grace could have given my husband favor with those men that day....

Hmmm.. Now I wonder what in the world could possibly happen today (smiling..)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

An African American Vision in the PCA

YOu know I love to read!! I found this ENCOURAGING video on a friend of a friends blog.. He is a reformed pastor out in atlanta and I have heard nothing but excellent things about his church..please stop by his blog and be prepared to hear from the Lord..
I am nothing but excited and encouraged about the Lord and His work in HIS CHURCH at HIS TIMING..
God knows exactly what He is doing.. I pray we understand that more and more daily.. He is so SOVEREIGN



Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I stay on Westcott

Here are some random, funny pics I just happen to find on my lap top. This particular evening some of the kids from the neighborhood decided to teach us how to throw up a "W", which would stand for WESTCOTT( please dont be alarmed, its not a gang sign).we really do have so much fun living here..we love it
God's grace is real and we are just soaking in it!!


ps.. not sure what bryce and Ethan where doing..but, I am sure it has something to do with jacking one of the teenagers of their chains and hats.... I love it.. now smile for the camera and say.."WESTSIDE" (smiling)







Monday, May 5, 2008

Lord, not another one...

I mean come on..what is the LORD trying to say to me..clearly...this is my life


Woman to Woman: Messy House Ministry
Jennifer Dyer


The other day I heard a knock on the door and froze. I glanced around my living room. It looked like a toy store after a hurricane. How could I let someone see the house like this? After all, the house reflects the person inside—at least, that’s what the home decorating magazines say.

I considered diving behind the recliner, but resigned, I waded through the sea of clutter and opened the door to my neighbor. Strands of dark hair hung loose from her ponytail and her face looked tired, probably just like mine. With a weak and apologetic smile, I invited her inside. She waved aside my embarrassment and said she simply wanted to talk to someone who could understand what she was going through, since we both have children with special needs.

We shared a lot of pain that day and have become good friends since. It was through this I learned an important lesson. By being willing to let her see my messy life, I gave her a way to connect with me on a real level. I’d done more than invite her into my home. I’d extended her an invitation into my heart.

High standards

Sadly, this wasn’t the first time I hesitated to let someone see me when I’m not at my best. For a person who used to alphabetize her pantry, I’ve come a long way. Of course, my alphabetizing days were before I had a husband and young children. So why do I hold myself to the same rigid set of standards that are not only unrealistic but also binding? What is the big deal with a little mess (or a big one, as is the norm at my home)? I suppose it’s because culture tells us external things are of supreme importance. Jesus, however, placed a high priority on people and spending time with them. I doubt he ever left a house because someone had left socks out (or Legos or Barbie’s winter wardrobe).

Under the best of circumstances, of course I would want to have my home in order with a homemade bread bowl filled with steaming dip made from artichokes I grew in my own organic garden. Who wouldn’t? There is nothing wrong with trying my best and taking care of my home. However, when my idea of perfection becomes more important than people it has moved past its proper place in my list of priorities.

Believing I must be perfect before I reach out to others leads to misery of my own making. I’ve even shied away from friendships because other women seem to “have it all together” while I can’t remember to put on lipstick. It seems this sort of comparison is one of the most difficult things for women to overcome. I do it without realizing it, and in doing so, heap trouble on myself. When I compare my situation to others, I live by the extreme standards of the world and lose sight of what is most important—people. I can’t take stuff with me when I leave this earth. Why then should I spend time worrying over things that are not eternal?

I’m not suggesting a national avoid housekeeping day—I’d probably get the date wrong anyway—but I’ve learned not to let something like an explosion of Lincoln Logs keep me from others. So what? I tell myself, as I sweep them out of the way when I walk past. Hospitality doesn’t have to look like a magazine spread. It’s more about the heart than anything else.

Perfection belongs to God

Just like I learned that day with my neighbor, I believe people want someone to be real and open with them so they feel comfortable enough to do the same. I often remind myself that perfection belongs to God. Jesus died on the cross so I don’t have to be perfect. It’s a gift of inestimable worth. So why should I hold myself to impossibly high standards?

My friend Amy suggested that I make a wreath for my front door out of those small and painful-to-step-on toys, and put a sign on it that says, “Welcome friends, but wear your combat boots.”

So, raise your glass—if you can find one that’s not filled with Play Doh—to the freedom we’ve been given from perfection. In doing so, you might find a good friend and one day discover her house is just as messy as yours—not that you’re comparing …

Jennifer Dyer is a speech-language pathologist. At the present time she is a stay-at-home mom raising two daughters, the youngest of whom has severe autism. Jennifer and her husband, Brandon, have been married eight years. The Dyers reside near Little Rock, Ark.

http://www.familylife.com

Sunday, May 4, 2008

By way of reminder




I have decided that every sunday after I have sat down and planned my menu, errands and other things to do for the week, that I will read a chapter out of the CCDA handbook to remind myself why Kevin and I are doing what we are doing.. Sunday services this morning were very convicting as we heard a sermon on one of the hinderances to holiness which was... COMPLAINING...(phil 2:14-15) reminding myself why we are here is so good for me and my complaining attitude.. Being able to remind myself that my life is to be offered up as a living sacrifice to my husband and my neighbors leave no room for selfishness.(Romans 12:1-2) Because of the mercy that the LORD has shown me I am able through Christ to live and give that mercy to others.
God is so good, I just cant even say it enough and the words themselves do no justice to explain this HOLY, Just, Forgiving, Merciful, Sovereign, willing to SUFFER for Us God we serve.. I can honestly say, again, and again, I am so glad and encouraged that the LORD laid it upon my husband's heart for us to be here and I am so glad that the LORD gave me grace to not go against him but to embrace through Christ Jesus the good works, which God prepared beforehand.

Here's to a refreshing week

Relocation: Living Among the People


Living out the gospel means desiring for one's neighbor and neighbor's family that which one desires for one's self and family. Living out the gospel means bettering the quality of other people's lives spiritually, physically, socially, and emotionally as one betters one's own. Living out the gospel means sharing in the suffering and pain of others.

How did Jesus love? "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." (Jn 1:14) Jesus relocated. He became one of us. He didn't commute back and forth to heaven. Similarly, the most effective messenger of the gospel to the poor will also live among the poor that God has called the person to. A key phrase to understand relocation is incarnational ministry.

By relocating, a person will understand most clearly the real problems facing the poor; and then he or she may begin to look for real solutions. For example, if a person ministering in a poor community has children, one can be sure that person will do whatever possible to ensure that the children of the community get a good education. Relocation transforms "you, them, and theirs" to "we, us, and ours." Effective ministries plant and build communities of believers that have a personal stake in the development of their neighborhoods.

Relocation is community based in the very essence of the word. There are three kinds of people who live in the community. First "relocators" are people who, like the project director, were not born in the inner city but moved into the neighborhood. Second, are the "returners." These are the people born and raised in their community and then left for a better life. Usually they return from college or the military. They are no longer trapped by the surrounding poverty of their neighborhood. Yet, they choose to return and live in the community they once tried to escape. Lastly are the "remainers." These are the ones that could have fled the problems of the inner city but chose to stay and be part of the solution to the problems surrounding them.


Friday, May 2, 2008

Struggling in the Kitchen??


Here are just a few of my NEW favorite cooking blogs. I am sure that not only will you enjoy them, but your husband, your budget, and even your neighbors will as well !!


PS--dont forget to check out their blog rolls for more cooking sites :)

Taste and See
Annie's Eats
Easy Meals for the Working Mom