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

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Unashamed Tour 2008

I talked about this tour in a older post. Just wanted to post some pictures from that night! These guys encouraged the mess out of my faith! My husband attended college with Sho and they became really close friends. Its so encouraging to see HIM on stage reppin for the LORD. Kevin and I love just love him and his wife so much! She is especially dear to me because she was my first discipleship experience and she was in my wedding. Lewis if you ever read this, We love you and we are so encouraged by your lives, as well as the humble submission to the work that the LORD is doing through your marriage. Kevin and I are officially 116 Groupies!
ha!







Before you Die


The picture to the right of this post is a gospel track created by( you already know.. clearly, I need to call Reach for a job!) Reach Records for (you alread know) your urban city kids and or adults. Here is a brief description of the track:

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” -Act 4:12 Have you ever wanted a resource to help share the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is relevant to today’s culture?“Before You Die” is written and designed to speak into the hearts of the urban and hip hop culture who are not followers of Christ. One of the challenges of sharing the gospel with others is presenting it in a culturally relevant way to the listener. This tract was designed to do just that.
By taking the reader through a graphic representation of the gospel with clearly written text, we pray that the Lord will be pleased to use this resource in a way that brings others to Christ and glorifies His name.
Also, a CD is attached in the back of each booklet with a collection of evangelistic songs to share with the listener. I am just amazed and in AWE of the LORD in the WISDOM HE has provided the staff at Reach Records with. Please check out more at www.readthisbeforeyoudie.com and or purchase the track here. Praise God, for he cares about reaching everyone with the gospel! i pray this blesses your ministry greatly!!




Father in your word you clearly said that you have given us EVERYTHING pertaining to LIFE and GODLINESS! Oh, how I know that is true. I pray that many would come to the faith through the helpful resources you have provided through Reach Life. I pray that many would fall on their knees in humble submission to you,knowing and seeing that you had them in mind when you created something such as this. Your hearts desire is to see all come to repentance. Oh, father, I pray that many will be added to our family daily. Amen

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Just Hanging Out

Today was like any other day for us here on Westcott. My husband woke me up this morning to inform my that my cell phone was ringing like crazy..I almost got a little aggravated because he usually lets me sleep in on Saturdays from such a tiring week.-I know.. I need to get it together, the brother just wanted to tell me that one of the teenagers and her mom was attempting to remind me that OLD NAVY was having their 50% off summer sale..along with Flip Flops for $1!!! I looked at the clock and it said 7 something.. that's all I could read..Old Navy didn't open till 9am. ha! What in the world.. It was so neat, they wanted to see if I would join them for a day of shopping. I called her back and told her yes, I was getting up and getting ready, They assured me that they would grab some flip flops in my size so that I wouldn't miss out! Love it!!

Anyway, it was a MAD HOUSE!!! Women were pushing, and yelling at one another..

"Aye, you see my size in porple( purple)"!!!!

"NAW, I see a 10 in green"!!

"AYE, why dont ya'll get some more shoes from the back!"

" limit 5 pair per customer...shoot, Imma send my babies up there wit some money in their hands so that I can get more"! ( uh, did I mention this customers children were at least 2 and 2 1/2.. what in the world...

There were 6 of us in total that were out together today, and I must say, it was so much FUN! I love how the LORD gives me those times to just to hang out with my neighbors outside of the 'hood'. It's like, when we are on westcott I sometimes feel as if they are like..people i minister too, and they are, but.. at the same time, when we are outside of that, I really feel as if they are my FRIENDS, and I praise GOD for that is exactly what they have become.

After old navy madness, I took kaiya and a one of her friends down the street to a birthday party. "S" turned 4 years old today! The girls had a blast!!! When we got there we found the birthday girl, showered her with hugs and kisses, and I then proceeded to help her mom serve all the neighborhood kids with hot dogs, chips and cookies. yum! Moments later, it was "on and popin" ( that just means the party became real exciting and action filled) all the kids jumped in the pool, and some decided to slide down the huge water slide over and over again! It's days like this I am reminded as usual why we are here and that this thing is a LIFESTYLE, No 9am-5pm... No weekends off, no breaks in between. The LORD in HIs mercy and GRACE will provide for us time to time those breaks, or weekend getaways, and we are forever grateful.. but I was just so humbled and thankful that HE gave me a heart today to not mind that I was out again being used in the harvest.. Maybe it had something to do with my sweet husband doing all my laundry today!! I love my man, He's such a humble servant!

Father thank you once again for the calling you have placed on our entire family. I love that Kaiya is being exposed to what it means to give your life way to many. What a privilege it is to serve you and not grow tired or weary. You have given me some serious grace today. I just pray that you continue to give us a heart to serve and GIVE. I pray that Kaiya, sees you in all that we do. I pray that when she gets older that she too is called to serve, and glorify you through missions. I pray that her hearts desire is to see the nations worship you, for this is why missions exists. Lord, thank you as well for the special times you give me with my neighbors, please help me to take advantage of every opportunity to share my life with them. I praise you for such a loving husband, who used this day to serve me. Thank you for how you use Him to spur me on. Amen

What an Honor


" Discovering and collaborating with the Holy Spirit in witness would revolutionize our sense of authority we ourselves have as a witness. God goes before us. God is there with us. God remains with us God remains after us. God redeems and God intervenes.
Our authority as witnesses emerges out of our union with Christ through the Holy Spirit. Whenever you speak of Christ with another you are not alone. God is with you in front and behind, before and after. We can rest in authority and be secure in God's presence with us to convict, to heal and to save. Witness is not about us. It's about God, and God's presence in the journey of others."




I bought the book above at a CCDA conference last year. I read most of the book but I haven't finished yet. ( I am a sucker for READING!!) The LORD brought it to mind this evening as I just smiled and thought deeply about our FIRST bible study we had wit the teen girls. Oh, guys, thank you so much for praying for us!!! Like ....I was about to cry all over again on what i witnessed the LORD do. At our first meeting with the girls, we had a discussion on "The Perfect Man". As an ice breaker, Delta asked the girls to name at least 4 qualities that they look for in a man ( or their boyfriend). Delta then explained to them that tonight we are going to look at how GOD is all and more of every quality we called out. It was so encouraging and neat. The girls were so attentive. They even volunteered to read the scriptures for themselves out loud!

When we got to the gospel presentation, I shared my testimony. In one part of my testimony I shared something very difficult I had to endure as a child .this lead one of the girls to ask me "how did you get over that, and how can you say that you will forgive him" The LORD i tell you , is so good.. I begin to talk with them about forgiveness, and of course we went right into the gospel message. I am just so humbled and rejoicing in the LORD wanting to use us. This is why I LOVE that quote above, I really do feel as if D and I hearts desire was for the HOLY SPIRIT TO move mightily. God really did go before us and cause their hearts to be receptive. GOd lead us to the girls he had chosen to hear HIs truth at the time HE chose. Instead of us going out and looking for girls in our neighborhood to share CHRIST with. WE just prayed and kept our eyes open to who the LORD would send. ( please dont think I am saying that you are never to evangelize on the spot, there are many cases where you will do that. Just leave yourself open to WHATEVER the LORD decides to do) We joined Him in a journey that was already in progress, the HOLY SPIRIT was already at work in the lives of these girls.

It wasn't anything that we did, it was all GOD. These girls did not come into the faith that night , but we can still have HOPE because the LORD will still be at work in their hearts. All we have to do is pray, wait, and share truth and the LORD will take of the rest. It was such a sweet time of laughter, tears and love. I cant wait till next week!! Please continue to pray for our time together. I do believe that the LORD heard the cries of you all on our behalf. What a blessing it is to be apart of the body of Christ.

Friday, June 27, 2008

13 Letters-The Curriculum



Finally, its done!! My husband and I are always researching music, and different bible study's that would be relevant for today's urban kids.
If you are involved with urban ministry, we would higly recommend you look into this one. ReachLife ministries has just begun to advertise their new bible study for today's urban youth called "13 Letters"-The Curriculum.The 13 week media experience is based of off the Pauline Epistles with a little dose of hip hop. In this curriculum, you journey through God's Word, unpacking Paul's letters and see how it applies to life in today's urban culture. Kevin and I cant wait to get our hands on this. Available Fall 2008.

13 Letters | The Curriculum Trailer from ReachLife Ministries on Vimeo.

oh, did I forget to mention that 13 Letters is also a CD that gives you a hip hop overview of Paul's letters in the New Testament. This is something I am sure your urban youth will highly enjoy! You can preview it below.



13 Letters-A 116 Compilation Album
Artists: Lecrae, Tedashii, Sho Baraka, Trip Lee, Json, Flame, Shai Linne, 1-Lyfe, and Dillon Chase.


13 Letters


Track Listing:
1. Begin with the End
2. Dig In
3. Gospel Music (Romans)
4. Break it Down (1 Corinthians)
5. This is my Heart (2 Corinthians)
6. Justified (Galatians)
7. My City (Ephesians)
8. To Live is Christ (Philippians)
9. Let No Man (Colossians)
10. Keep the Faith (1 Thessalonians)
11. Stand Strong (2 Thessalonians)
12. Instructions (1 Timothy)
13. It's Yours (2 Timothy)
14. Sound (Titus)
15. Take Em Back (Philemon)
16. Get Loose
17. Evolution
18. Carry Mine

New Blog

Yes, I have started a new blog about my struggles with infertility. It's private so, if you would like to read, please leave your email here or send to mrsnicolek@yahoo.com

May we all continue to HOPE in the LORD as HIS transforms us into the image of HIS SON!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Only Hope, is to cling to You

Cling To You Ft. Shai Linne - Trip Lee



This is what am thinking and feeling at this time in my lfe.. God is indeed a HELP to all who call unto HIM

Trip Lee" Cling To You" Lyrics:

Verse 1 - Trip Lee: Lord, I'd like to start by saying I can hate where I'm at When this life is hard and situations take me aback The fight is hard and I can hardly face it in fact In life it's hard to get up like a bar with weights thats attached It really seems the situations that I'm facing is wack I been awakened but now I'm feeling forsaken and trapped With no hope and I'm broken open for Satan to trap I been bothered since You Father put this weight on my back So please erase it's wack, cause when this pain it attacks My weakness is at it's peak and I'm feeling strained and I lack The trust in You I struggle through the ways that I should come to You Lord, what am I gonna do? It's true this pain it distracts But I see my only hope when my backs on the ropes Is in You so I read through the facts that You wrote The pain may fade away, but if that's my only hope Then You don't get the glory alone not even close

Hook: Lord, it may get better but it may not So when I pray God, I pray I Would trust You whether or not the pain stops So when the the pain falls, coming down like rain drops I just gotta cling to You

Verse 2 - shai linne: Heavenly Father, in Your Word You say we can build Because of Jesus and the blood that He graciously spilled Lord, I thank You for real, cause my Dad's always there I can cast all my cares plus the weight that I feel My situation is ill, I ain't asking to be making a mill But is all my money for paying my bills? It gets crazier still, my soul's on dangerous hills A target for the world, flesh, and Satan aiming to kill While the wicked who be hating your will Sit by the lake as they chill, taking in sensational thrills Lord, Your Son I admire, He's the one I desire I'll run through the fire if You say it's Your will But at times it's hard to hear You, the world doesn't fear You Lord, give me a clear view Your face is concealed Help me to be patient until Your grace is revealed And in the mean time, between time, be praising You still

Hook

Verse 3 - Trip Lee: Lord, You know I'm hoping that my situation will switch That You'll show me You're amazing by erasing it quick But I've noticed that my hope was in You changing it quick Instead of knowing You're enough Lord I was chasing Your gifts But then I opened up Your text and looked at David and them Their situations was grim, but it ain't change them within They prayed You'd take it away but sought Your face in the end And found comfort in Your justice and the grace You extend So in this life full of strife if my days get grayer I'm content with the fact that You'll stay my Savior No change in my King, man, it ain't no greater Comfort than what's found in You that's so major So in this life full of strife if my days get grayer I'm content with the fact that You'll stay my Savior No change in my King, man, it ain't no greater Comfort than what's found in You that's so major So in this life full of strife if my days get grayer I'm content with the fact that You'll stay my Savior No change in my King, man, it ain't no greater Comfort than what's found in You that's so major



** LORD, please help me to cling to you.. just as we discussed with the girls last night, you are a jealous GOD and you will remove any other idol that I have sat on the throne..Please help me to cling to you during this time of temptation and pain. I love you Jesus.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My Power Source



Isaiah 40
25 "To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One. 26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God"? 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.



Isaiah 50:4-9


4 The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. 5 The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back. 6 I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. 7 Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. 8 He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me! 9 It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me. Who is he that will condemn me? They will all wear out like a garment; the moths will eat them up.



Matthew 11:28

28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.


Jeremiah 31
5 I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.

Something In Common

I tell you, urban ministry (just like any other ministry of course) can be really draining. I was sharing with some friends today just how tired I have been, I really feel worn out and just out of it. I am sure later on it will be so much better. I just want to take it moment by moment. Anyway, one of my sweet friends Ella, was telling me about her sister in law that lives down in lakeland florida who happens to live in the hood. Trish and her husband (from my understanding ) and a few other couples from their church have decide to move into this improvised neighborhood to see it won for Christ. They are not on staff with any ministry, the LORD has just given them the desire to relocate and live amongst the poor. I just finished reading some of her blog post and I was greatly encouraged! Check it out for your self!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Common Ground Weekly Update- June 20,2008

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

Camp “Washington Park” has just completed its 4th full week! The boys decided we should
have a name for our summer adventure, so this is the name they chose. Washington Park is the
unofficial name of our neighborhood. It is home to the “Washington Park Gangsters”, a loose neighborhood gang.
Many of our young boys and older teenagers derive much of
their identity from being associated with this neighborhood and this gang even if they aren’t really involved. I have learned much about the ‘loyalty’ of such identity from those in our neighborhood. It is remarkable to me that people can pride-fully claim and defend a territory and yet care very little about the people who suffer in that territory. We wanted to continue to give the
boys ownership of the camp and neighborhood through naming the camp and creating their own ways to serve those who live in it. But, our deep desire is that these boys eventually identify with Christ and his ‘body’ above all
other ties. What an amazing grip Satan holds when he can deceive many to love and defend a neighborhood (through violent gang fights, drive by shootings, and vandalism) but not the very ‘image of God’ living in that neighborhood. As you know, our vision is to see this grip broken and see the Kingdom of God demonstrated through our boys and girls being redeemed and becoming transformative leaders in our community and in others like ours.

CAMP LIFE!!!

We have settled in with 30 boys from our neighborhood from age 6-12. We plan to continue the camp for 6 more
weeks, with the last week being a full week of camping at Arrowhead in the mountains of North Carolina. We have five components to our camp: Fun, Food, Bible Study, Community service, and character development. Throughout the week we do a LOT of fun things (skating, swimming, sports, movies, interact with church youth groups, and go on various other field trips). We have become a usual fixture at Ryan’s, Ci Cis, McDonalds, and other kid friendly restaurants during the week. Our
bible studies focus on the Creation Story, how sin has affected our neighborhood, families, world, and us personally,
and Jesus’ place as Lord and Savior. We split the boys up into two groups for the bible studies (age 6-9, and 10-12).



HERE COMES THE GIRLS!!




“Camp Washington Park” just extended to
include the girls. As I write this there are 8 young girls back in my living room participating in bible study and some
creative arts with Nicole and Delta. They went to the Zoo and to the Planetarium over the last two days. The girls are learning about the creation story in the bible, so they visited these places to help spur their imaginations about God! They have planned two days a week with the girls as a starting point for this phase of our ministry. Please pray for these girls and for
Delta and Nicole. They are also beginning a teenage girls and women’s bible study next week.




WOULD YOU CONSIDER DONATING A CAR TO CGM???

There is a young man involved in our ministry who is 17 years old and has just completed training at Job Core for
building maintenance. He received Christ through our ministry back in October. He is presently looking for a
job in maintenance and we would love to bless him with a used car in good condition. His family is also considering
donating some land to us as part of the land for our new ministry building. They own a vacant lot due to their
house burning down 4 years ago.

TRANSPORTATION AND VOLUNTEERS STILL NEEDED!!

We still need to find access to another 12 passenger (or
more) van. We are willing to rent a van from someone who has one to spare. We also need drivers and help in the camp.
If you have some spare time throughout the week and want to come help us, please let us know…

Sunday, June 22, 2008

LIES vs TRUTH-The great Tug of War

"So many of us just go through life taking things in and not evaluating what it is that we are being exposed to. We do it through the music we listen to, the books and the magazines that we read, the television programs that we watch, the radio programs that we listen to. You can go in a Christian bookstore, you can turn on Christian television and radio today and find various forms of deception. Now, it's not all deceptive. There's a lot of truth out there. But we need to start being rigorous about evaluating, is this the truth--rather than just sitting and soaking and taking it all in, without asking "What is the message that's being communicated here? Is this true, or am I being hoodwinked? Am I believing something that's contrary to the truth?"
( from LIES WOMEN BELIEVE by Nancy Leigh Demoss)





Father, I need you to help me with this battle I am having in my mind. It's so hard to fight off the TRUTH against the LIES. Help me to run, pant, and cling to you whenever this battle becomes more intense. YOU ARE GOOD, YOU have given me all that I NEED to be a godly mother, a faithful disciple and a excellent wife. I pray, I rely on the HOLY SPIRIT to get me through these thoughts. Thank you that your word is sharper, and powerful than any other sword ever made. Even if the pain never gets better or go away i pray that i lean and continue to TRUST in you for the life that you have ordained for me to have. I dont NEED AnYTHING ElSE!!


"You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32)
PRAISE GOD for in CHRIST the battle is over...TRUTH SHALL ALWAYS PREVAIL!!

My 5 word Meme

(smiling) boy I tell ya, thsese tags just get better and better.

My wonderful friend Crystal tagged me..Here goes.....

This meme originated over an idea that was prompted by the book written by Larry Smith & Rachel Fershleiser, Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure. It’s a compilation based on the story that Hemingway once bet ten dollars that he could sum up his life in six words. His words were, “For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.”

1. Write your own six word memoir.

2. Post it to your blog including a visual illustration if you would like.

3. Link to the person who tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blog sphere.Find Crystal's Memoir here.

4. Tag 5 more blogs with links

5. Don’t forget to leave a comment in the tagged blogs with an invitation to play


SO, here is mine: Submerged in God's FUTURE GRACE
that's the best way to describe this radical life the LORD has called us to..grace is the only way i make it through the day



I TAG:

Melissa

Shaunta

Zinnada

Emily

Ella

Friday, June 20, 2008

Camp Westcott has begun!

Genesis 1:1, 21,27

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them



Today was the end of our first week of camp with the elementary school aged girls in our neighborhood. Delta and I are so beat! In case you dont know, on Thursdays and Fridays we meet with the girls at 10 am and take them to some fun activity, we then proceed to lunch and then we end around 3 with a bible study lesson. It was been really good. The have really responded well to the bible lesson, and they REALLY ENJOY the hymns that delta teaches them. This week our theme was on creation. We took the girls to the planetarium where they received a lesson on all the planets, stars, and earth.On thursday, we visited the Zoo to take a closer look at all the animals that the LORD created. Each bible lesson fit so perfectly along with what we saw for the day. On friday, our lesson was about God creating the earth. We talked about how God spoke the world into existence and how everything he created was good. Today our lesson was on God creating us in His image. WE talked about how Adam was created as well as Eve. Delta and I then had the girls to look into a mirror and notice how GOd created them. We talked about how each and every last girl in the room was created differently, and that there was no such thing as ugly, because GOD created everyone fearfully, wonderfully , and perfectly. We then had the girls to draw self portraits of themselves according to what they saw in the mirror. We had so much fun!! Please continue to pray for us as we ask the LORD to use to give these girls a biblical portrait of creation.

Pray for energy, ( we are so tired at the end of the day) and pray for wisdom for delta and I as we seek the LORD's wise counsel on how to handle those challenging conflicts that may arise with the girls during the day. Pray as well for hearts that respond to the gospel message. NEXT week we will discuss modesty and more on beauty.. WIll post pics later :)

Please know there is NO way that D and I could ever do any of this in our OWN strength.. GOD has amazingly given us GRACE beyond our understanding.. WE blog our experience so that many are provoked to FAITH and TRUST in our FAITHFUL GOD. The miracle is not just the work the LORD is doing in our neighborhood. The miracle as well is the fact that GOD would want to use two sinners like us in the lives of these girls..I pray he grant us wisdom beyond our years...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I can TRUST GOD!

"Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, 'My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure" - Isaiah 46:9-10

"His Sovereignty rules over all." - Ps. 103:19

"Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand" (Isa. 14:24)

"My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure" (Isa. 26:10).


"There is no attribute of God more comforting to his children than the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe troubles, they believe that Sovereignty hath ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all. There is nothing for which the children of God ought more earnestly to contend than the dominion of their Master over all creation - the kingship of God over all the works of His own hands - the throne of God, and His right to sit upon that throne. On the other hand, there is no doctrine more hated by world-lings, no truth of which they have made such a football, as the great, stupendous, but yet most certain doctrine of the Sovereignty of the infinite Jehovah. Men will allow God to be everywhere except on His throne."
- C. H. Spurgeon






I have been so convicted today over the amount of complaining I do. (clearly, this is where Kaiya i gets it from) Delta and I have recently began to read Jerry Bridges book Trusting God Even When Life Hurts..( I have read this book like 4 times) Clearly, I am not getting it.. I know that until I see Christ my faith will be tested through various circumstances, and I know that the LORD will use those circumstances to teach me to trust him ( or to reveal to me that I dont) My prayer is that after reading this book again that I will TRUST in GOD's Sovereignty and not just say it all the time. That I will be honest with the LORD that whatever I am going through is hard, but it's ok, because He is GOD and He does what ever pleases Him.
This can be such a HUGE killer for anxiety..I can't wait to really dig into this book!


Who is like the LORD? Father, there is no one like you. I pray that in the next couple of months I will grow in learning to trust your sovereign hand over my life. Please forgive me for complaining. Life is hard and it's not meant to be easy. Help me to accept that so that those around me may see a spirit of thankfulness and worship you. May I never cause these little ones to stumble because of my attitude. Amen.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Lord have mercy!




Taken from Randy Alcorn's book: Pro Life Answers To Pro Choice Arguments


"...the quotes are directly from original publications, which I held in my own hands while researching this in the early 1990's.......

Planned Parenthood’s abortion advocacy was rooted in the eugenics movement and its bias against the mentally and physically handicapped and minorities.

Margaret Sanger was the direction-setter and first president of Planned Parenthood, the world’s largest abortion promoter and provider. Although in her earlier writings she condemned abortion, ultimately her organization ended up viewing abortion as just one more means of controlling the birthrate of those con?sidered inferior. I have in front of me a stack of Sanger’s original writings, as well as copies of her magazine, Birth Control Review. I encourage readers to review these writings and decide for themselves the beliefs and attitudes that gave birth to Planned Parenthood and the American abortion movement.

Margaret Sanger spoke of the poor and handicapped as the “sinister forces of the hordes of irresponsibility and imbecility,” claiming their existence consti?tuted an “attack upon the stocks of intelligence and racial health.” She warned of “indiscriminate breeding” among the less fit that would bring into the world future voters “who may destroy our liberties, and who may thus be the most far-reaching peril to the future of civilization." She called the less privileged members of society “a dead weight of human waste.”

In a chapter called the “Cruelty of Charity,” Sanger argued that groups dedi?cated to helping pregnant women decide to give birth to their children were “positively injurious to the community and the future of the race.” She claimed, “the effect of maternity endowments and maternity centers supported by private philanthropy would have, perhaps already have had, exactly the most dysgenic tendency.” Her use of the technical term dysgenic clearly indicates her belief that these woman-helping efforts violated Darwin’s doctrine of the sur?vival of the fittest, by which the weaker were naturally eliminated by virtue of their inferiority.

This same spirit permeates Sanger’s magazine, Birth Control Review. It is full of articles with titles such as “The World’s Racial Problem,” “Toward Race Betterment,” and “Eugenic Sterilization: An Urgent Need.” The latter article was written in 1933 by Dr. Ernst Rudin, a leader in the German eugenics movement that was at the time busily laying the foundation for the Nazi’s acts of “racial improvement” and “ethnic cleansing.”

Elsewhere in that issue an article titled “Defective Families” calls the “American Gypsies” a “family of degenerates” started by a man and “a half-breed woman,” and warns that “their germ plasm has been traced throughout seven middle-western states.” Also in the same issue, in his article “Birth Control and Sterilization,” Sanger’s companion and lover, Dr. Havelock Ellis, stated, “sterilization would be... helpful, although it could not be possible in this way to eliminate the mentally unfit element in the population. It would only be a beginning.” Students of history know where that “beginning” ended only a decade later, under the leadership of a eugenic devotee name Adolf Hitler. (Though Sanger did not write these specific articles herself, as founder and director she was responsible for the ideas promoted by the magazine.)

In fact, the international eugenics movement, of which Margaret Sanger was inarguably a part, was openly praising Nazi racial policies at least as late as 1938. Sanger gave the welcoming address to a 1925 international eugenics conference. According to Marvin Olasky, Margaret Sanger’s “Negro Project” of the 1930s was “hailed for its work in spreading contraception among those whom eugenicists most deeply feared.” When it became evident that contraceptives were not sufficiently curtailing the black population and other target groups, the eugenicists turned to abortion as a solution to the spread of unwanted races and families.

In Margaret Sanger’s own words, to help the weaker and less privileged sur?vive and to allow them to reproduce was to take a step backward in human evo?lution: “Instead of decreasing and aiming to eliminate the stocks that are most detrimental to the future of the race and the world, it tends to render them to a menacing degree dominant.” These “stocks” were the poor and uneducated, a large portion of whom were ethnic minorities. Sanger was more interested in “aiming to eliminate” these “stocks” (read people) than in helping them.

This history helps to explain why to this day Planned Parenthood does virtu?ally nothing to promote adoption or help poor and minority women who choose to give their children life rather than abort them. Planned Parenthood has even brought legal action to shut down alternative pregnancy centers that give women other choices besides abortion.

Though I have read many Planned Parenthood materials, I have never seen any that renounce or apologize for Sanger’s blatant eugenicism, her bias against the poor and the mentally and physically handi?capped, and her implicit racism, all of which characterized Planned Parenthood’s philosophy from its inception. The fact that there are some highly visible blacks and other minority leaders in Planned Parenthood does not change its heritage or philosophy. It simply makes it easier to carry out its policies among target groups.

I do not believe Margaret Sanger was insincere or incorrect in everything she said and did. Nor do I believe most people who support abortion rights are racists, any more than I believe there are no racists among prolifers. I do believe that regardless of motives, a closer look at both the history and present strategies of the prochoice movement suggests that “abortion for the minorities” may not serve the cause of racial equality nearly as much as the cause of white supremacy."


-Randy Alcorn



**Lord, my heart aches and longs for the day we are all free from deception and lies. I long for the new heaven and earth where TRUE racial reconciliation abides. Thank you for brothers like Randy Alcorn that encourage me to stand for truth no matter what earthly consequences may come. Help us not to be afraid to embrace truth as you reveal it to us, but help us to humbly accept it and live according to the spirit and not the flesh as we share it with a dying, unbelieving world.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

What's with that dark cloud over your head?



"Sometimes the darkness of our souls is owing in part to the fact that we have drifted into patterns of life that are not blatantly sinful but are constricted and uncaring. Our world has shrunk down to mere prudential concerns about ourselves and our families. Ethics has diminished from global concerns of justice and mercy and missions down to little lists of bad things to avoid. We find ourselves not energized for any great cause, but always thinking about the way to maximize our leisure and escape pressure.Unconsciously we have become very self- absorbed and oblivious and uncaring toward the pain and suffering in the world that is far worse than our own....."- John Piper

Isaiah 58:10-11
If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. "

Summery from Pipers book : When the Darkness Will Not Lift

Bill Leslie- the pastor of LaSalle Street Church in Chicago, Illinois, from 1961 to 1989. He died of a heart attack at the age of sixty-one in 1993. His ministry was marked by concern for the whole person in the context of Chicago urban life. Bill spoke about a near breakdown he almost had and how a spiritual mentor directed him to Isaiah 58. He says the verses above rescued him from a season of darkness marked by feelings of exhaustion, burnout, and a dead-end ministry.

Piper:
"What struck Pastor Leslie so powerfully was the fact that if we pour ourselves out for others, God promises to make us like “a watered garden”—that is, we will receive the water we need for refreshment and joy. But even more, we will thus be “a spring of water” that does not fail—for others, for the demanding, exhausting, draining ministry of urban self-giving. He saw that
God’s way of lifting gloom and turning it into light was to “pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted.” This gave him a pattern of divine life that got him through his crisis and kept him going for the rest of his days.
God has made us to flourish by being spent for others. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Most of us do not choose against this life of outpouring; we drift away from it. We confuse pressured family life and stresses at work with Christian sacrifice, when in fact much of it has little to do with meeting the needs of the hungry and afflicted and perishing. My point is that one of the causes of some people’s darkness is a slowly creeping self-absorption and small­
mindedness. And the cure may be the gradual embrace of a vision of life that is far greater than our present concerns. Some things may have to be taken out of our schedule. But as health and joy return, we may be capable of more than we ever dreamed. "

------
Earlier as I sat at Delta's house she asked me was I ok?? I told her 'yes' then 'no'..then I said something about 'i dont know' ( D, hope i am telling this correctly, you know how my mind is). I couldn't put my finger on it, but it was like all of a sudden I wasn't feeling myself.. Honestly, I haven't been feeling like myself for the past couple of days. I don't know, sometimes, I am here sometimes, I'm not. Lately, its got a lot worst. I am trying not to make this a long post, so sorry for the long intro, but it just nailed exactly what my issue is. I was sitting her, not able to sleep, listening to a little praise and worship music and praying..asking the LORD to please show me what is going in with me. Why do I feel so empty, sad, like I don't have any hope in my circumstances ( I know you just read earlier post and I seem so happy, happy, joy, joy..sorry, it be's like that sometime with me) but I really do believe my sadness, moodiness is stemming from my selfish heart. Ok, yes, we are living in an area where there is a lot of drugs, prostitution, gangs, ect, ect, and what..it's supose to be understandable that i feel the way I do?

Like, I know that where we are, I am and will be tried, and challenged, (with my child and those in the neighborhood) and I am going to get depressed at times as we take on the sufferings of others. But, i can't help but think about all the verses in the bible that can comfort me if I would submit, trust and allow them to. It's me, I have allowed my selfishness and unbiblical thinking determine how I act, and rob me of my JOY in my walk with Jesus. I am trippin right now because i was not feeling like this..umm two days ago.. i don't even think I was feeling completely like this last night..wow...sin

I'm always preaching to others ," you were not meant to ride to heaven on a feather bed" ( quote a friend sent me).. it's time I take my own counsel and fight hard for JOY.. my prayer tonight is that I would claim the promise that the LORD says in Isaiah 58, that if I just focus on GIVING ( first and foremost to my HUSBAND, and CHILD) then I will be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail...
LORD, help me please.

So You Think You Can Dance

Everyone knows I have a huge love for dancing and one of my FAVORITE shows is back on!! I am so excited because one of Montgomery, Al own has made it to the top 20~~ Stephen "Twitch" Boss..

I have known about him for a while now and have heard nothing but great things about his talent in dancing.. One of my church member's daughter took dance under him and I tell you she is the best at what she does. If you happen to catch this show on tonight or watch it regularly, please vote for him!!





Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Why I believe the Bible



2Peter

1 "Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: 2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.
16 We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.
19 And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."



"I choose to believe the Bible because it is a reliable collection of historical documents, written by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses. They report supernatural events that took place in fulfillment of specific prophecies, and they claim to be divine rather than human in origin."
--Voddie Baucham


AMEN!! I could not have communicated that better!

Perspective

The LORD is so good!! I have yet, found another blogger who does inner city ministry.. Please read this encouraging post by her here.

I am overwhelmed with encouragement.. This life is very hard and challenging at times, yet, I am so thankful for the testimony of others..What a blessing to be apart of the body of Christ..

Enjoy! ( and do read some of her other posts..sooo good!)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Titus 2 at work


I am so excited that the time has finally come where we will start our girls camp/bible study!!
Starting next Thursday and Friday, Delta and I will take about 10-15 girls out of the hood to learn and experience different things around montgomery. ( we will meet two days out the week) Our first week we will focus on Creation and the Gospel. The first day we will take the girls to the Planetarium, then on Friday we will visit the Zoo. Each day will end at my home with a bible lesson and discussion. Other topics we will discuss are beauty/ modesty, making healthy choices in our eating habits( lesson on our body being created for worship not harm) , temptation/sin (based off of Matt. 13- taught along with a homemaking skill on gardening),and ect.

In addition, starting next wednesday night, we will begin our teen girls bible study. This one we have PRAYED down the heavens for, and we are just cheesy with grins thinking about what the LORD can accomplish through this. Two of the girls I have mentioned in a old post, read it again ( or for the first time) here. I cannot begin to tell you how the LORD has just kept this girl and her family around us after all that has happen. Delta and I have caught a glimpse of God's redemptive work in this situation, and my friends it just keeps getting better and better. Please pray every Wednesday night for these girls..Pray for their salvation as well as humble, receptive hearts. Pray for our camp as well, though this will be a younger group of girls. we know the LORD can draw them to give their lives up in worship to Him.






Father, what a humble calling it is to serve you. What a privileged to be able to be around long enough to watch you work in the lives of others. I can't even get close to telling others what a joy you bring to my heart. My heart is just so full of joy when I think back to how we meet all these girls and what they were doing.. now look were you are drawing them too. Thank you so much for just over, and over again confirming to us, that we are right where you want us to be. I pray that these girls find out that you alone are the ONLY perfect man on earth.. having all wealth, wisdom, beauty, and perfect love.
May we speak truth to this generation in hopes of the next generation being blessed.
Amen

Humility: Coming to God on His Terms

Proverbs 6:16–17 says, "There are six things which the Lord hates, seven which are an abomination to him . . . " and the first one mentioned is "haughty eyes."

Psalm 101:5 David speaks for God and says, "The man of haughty looks and arrogant heart I will not endure."

Proverbs 16:5, "Every one who is arrogant is an abomination to the Lord."

Isaiah 2:11, "The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the pride of men shall be humbled; and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day."

Jeremiah 50:31, "Behold, I am against you, O proud one, says the Lord God of hosts; for your day has come, the time when I will punish you."

Luke 16:15, "What is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God."

Acts 12:23 it says that an angel of the Lord struck Herod so that he was eaten with worms and died because when he received applause from the people, he did not give God the glory but took it for himself.


I have just been so convicted on the amount of pride that is in my heart... Its so sad how subtle/deceitful sin can be.. PRIDE is hidden behind every sin we could possibly think of.. I am just so thankful that the LORD has reminded me what I am to "put off" and" put on'.. Its always been my downfall to make it seem as if things are all about me when they are not.. How unloving and selfish I have been. I know there are many people that read this.. I just want you all to know I am not PERFECT.. Woe is me, for I am a woman of unclean lips. I pray that everything you ever read from me causes you to cling to the cross and not look at me.. please keep your eyes on him and off me. I don't ever want anyone to get the picture of me being a super saint.. whatever good that happens is only through this AMAZING GRACE I am still trying to figure out..

Here is a Pride Test by Nancy Leigh Demoss taken from her book Seeking Him-Experiencing the Joy Of Personal Revival
This is my ongoing reality check in this area.. I pray you are challenged for the sake of seeing Him more clearly

A PRIDE TEST:

"Number one, do you look down on those who are less educated, less affluent, less refined or less successful than yourself?

Do you think of yourself as more spiritual than other believers you know?

Here's another one. Do you have a judgmental spirit toward those who don't make the same lifestyle choices that you do? Dress standards, how you school your kids, entertainment standards. If you wonder on some of these, you might want to go ask somebody who knows you really well, "Do I come across that way?"

Here's another one. Are you quick to find fault with others and to verbalize those faults to others? Do you have a sharp, critical tongue? We would call it discerning, analytical but fault-finding.

Jonathan Edwards, by the way, wrote a powerful convicting piece on evidences of spiritual pride and this is one of seven that he listed, fault-finding.

He said, "Spiritual pride causes us to speak of other people's sins while humility disposes us either to be silent about them or to speak about them with grief."

He said, "The spiritually proud person shows that in finding fault with other saints, "They're low in grace, how cold and dead they are, how quick to discern and to notice their deficiencies."

And we can do that and sound so pious, so spiritual. "People in my church, they're so cold; they're so dead." Is that a reflection of pride in our hearts?

He says, "Christian humility causes a person to take notice of everything that is good in others and make the best of it and to diminish their failings."

He said, "The truly humble Christian has so much to do at home and sees so much evil in his own heart that he's not apt to be very busy with other's hearts" - fault-finding.

Here's another one. Do you frequently correct or criticize your mate or your pastor or other people in positions of leadership to them or to others?

Here's another one. Do you give undue time, attention and effort to your physical appearance?

Are you proud of the schedule you keep, how disciplined you are, how much you're able to accomplish? You're a real producer, a real performer. Is that something that you're proud of?

Are you driven to receive approval, praise or acceptance from others?

Are you argumentative? You have to have the last word. Think about what it's been like in your home for the last day or two.

You know Proverbs tell us that only by pride comes contention. So where does contention -- "Yes," you say, "my husband, he's a proud man, that's why we have so much contention in our home."

No, it takes more than a proud husband to have contention in a home. It's a proud husband and more often than not, a proud wife, too. Are you argumentative?

Do you generally think that your way is the right way, the only way or the best way?

Do you have a touchy, sensitive spirit? Easily offended? Do you get your feelings hurt easily?

This is another one of the evidences of spiritual pride that Jonathan Edwards talked about, people who take offense easily. He said, "Spiritual pride takes great notice of opposition and injuries that are received and is prone to be often speaking of them.

"Humility, on the other hand, causes a person to be like his blessed Lord when reviled, quiet, not opening his mouth but committing himself in silence to Him who judges righteously."

How about this one? Are you guilty of pretense? Trying to leave a better impression of yourself than is honestly true? Here's a way to go about seeing if you have that one. Would the people who know you at church be shocked if they were to come and discover what you're like at home?

Another one, do you have a hard time admitting when you are wrong?

Do you have a hard time confessing your sin to God or others? not just in generalities.

We all say, "I need to be a better woman. I need to love the Lord more. I need to read my Bible more." But when it comes to the specific issues: I'm in love with food, I'm in love with television, I love entertainment more than I love God. I mean the specifics. Do you have a hard time confessing those?

Do you have hard time sharing your real spiritual needs and struggles with others?

Are you excessively shy? You say, "shy," that's pride? Excessive shyness, what is it? Self-centeredness, what do other people think about me? That can be an evidence, a subtle form of pride.

Do you have a hard time reaching out and being friendly to people that you don't know at church? Do you stick to your own little group there, hard to reach out to new people? That can be pride.

Do you become defensive when you are criticized or corrected? That anger that wells up, what is that? That's a fruit that grows on the root of pride. Why do we get angry when somebody criticizes us? We may not express it outwardly but inwardly because our pride gets hurt.

Are you a perfectionist? Here's another evidence of pride, perhaps. Everything has to be just perfect and you get impatient and irked with people who aren't. That can be an expression of pride.

Do you tend to be controlling of your mate, of your children, of your friends, people in your workplace? Always trying to control, manipulate, manage the people around you?

Now you probably don't do it consciously. That's why we need to ask the Spirit of God to plow up the ground of our hearts and show us what's really under the surface, and He will do that for us.

Do you frequently interrupt people while they're speaking? The Lord really spoke to me about this one as I was working on this list. I realized what I'm saying when I interrupt you when you're speaking is, "What I have to say is more important than what you have to say."

Does your husband feel intimidated by your spirituality, quote "spirituality"? How well you know the Bible? How easily you can pray? And he feels, I have to go to seminary to measure up to that woman.

It may not be your knowledge that he's reacting to but a spirit of pride, a superior sense that you're communicating, maybe without intending to or even realizing it. Again, you might want to ask him. Does your husband feel like he can never measure up to your expectations? Does he feel like, I just can never be the husband you want me to be?

Do you often complain about the weather, your health, your circumstances, your job, your church?

Do you talk about yourself too much? Are you more concerned about your problems, your needs, your burdens than about other people's concerns?

Do you worry about what others think of you, about your reputation or your family's reputation? By the way, that's one thing that motivates a lot of parenting, isn't it? With mothers [it can be], What are the people going to think if my child is this way? That can be pride.

Do you neglect to express gratitude for the little things, to God, to your mate, to others, an ungrateful spirit? That's pride.

Do you neglect prayer and intake of the Word? How is that pride? Well, I'm saying, "I can live my life without God. I can manage without Him?"

Do you react to rules? And who of us doesn't have a hard time being told what to do? Do we have an issue with authority? That's pride.

And you think, I'm not proud. I don't have anything to be proud of. I don't have any special gifts. I'm not beautiful. I don't have any achievements to be proud of.

You know what? If you're self-conscious about that, that can be a subtle form of pride.

For example, are you self-conscious because of your lack of formal education? You don't have a college degree and you get uncomfortable or intimidated when you're around people who are educated.

Do you avoid participating in certain events for fear of being embarrassed or looking foolish?

Do you avoid being around certain people because you feel inferior compared to them? You feel like you just don't measure up?

Are you uncomfortable inviting people to your home because you don't think it's nice enough? Or you can't afford lavish entertaining?

Is it hard for you to let others know when you need help, maybe practical help or spiritual help? You have an independent spirit. I'm going to do this on my own. I won't let anybody else help me.

And here's a way to measure your pride quotient. When was the last time you said these words, to a family member, to a friend, to a co-worker, "I was wrong, will you please forgive me"?

Let me tell you, "If it's been more than a month, mark it down. Haven't you sinned in a month?" And why is it so hard for us to say those words? Why? Because we're proud.

Let me just throw in this last question. Are you sitting here thinking how many of these questions apply to someone you know? Could that be an evidence of pride?" -- Nancy Leigh Demoss




Father, you alone are self existent. In your word I read all things are made by you, through you and for you. I cant do any of that. I totally have to depend on you for all that I have including the next eye blink. Please forgive me the pride that is in my heart. I constantly complain because I believe the lie that I deserve better. I get angry at times because I believe the lie that people owe me something, or I feel as if I have a right to get what I want. In Daniel 4:35, says...
' All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: "What have you done?' ... LORD this your kingdom not mine.. you will do all that you please. Please guard my way of thinking that give birth sinful pride.


"Pride is the first sin that ever entered into the universe, and it's the last that is rooted out. It is God's most stubborn enemy."-Jonathan Edwards

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Raising a Family in the Hood

Father thank you again for resources that encourage, & give hope . Would you please help us to keep our family a priority as we seek to serve others. Help us to not get burned out by doing this work for ourselves in our own strength. Please protect us from all selfishness, and self glorification. I pray that Christ always sits on the throne of our service.

CCDA 2005 Audio
Dr. Wayne & Ann Gordon, Austin & Angela Gordon

Living in the Hood for the Long Haul



My husband asked me last night was I going to blog about my day, I quickly told him no. I was quick to respond in this way because of this post just being very emotional for me.
This week for delta and I have been very challenging.. but I am so thankful to the LORD in how He is drawing us closer in our fellowship and friendship with one another. I love that GIRL!! Today as we were in the car together, D made the comment
" oh.. how do we survive everyday"?

I am so sure she will agree with me that its God's amazing, sufficient, faithful, perfect GRACE. I mean, I have awaken some mornings and thought.. "ok LORD, dont know how I am are going to do this again today... BUT I WILL."

Grace.....hmmmm.. yes, it's grace that would keep us from fear when we hear random gun fire from time to time.. It's Grace that would lead us to tears of compassion and mercy and not anger when we nurture the little girls around us. Who's parents, when they don't want to be bothered by them, leave them with us for hours and hours out of the day. To feed, to bathe, to train and correct. It's grace, that provokes you to want to persevere after witnessing a drug addict beat, kick, and drag his drug addict girlfriend down the street in front of many children and adults...

Please know this is not a complaint or me confessing fear of living here..It's gets rough, it gets tiring, but as I have said in so many other posts, we truly do love where we are.. for me, it's because I truly do believe that the LORD is here... "He said GO" and after that he replied.."Lo, I am with you always." good enough for us...

I am so thankful to the LORD for keeping us through all that we see and all that He uses us to do. Kevin and I have made the commitment to be here for the next 15 years.. Committing to be here for the long haul gives us HOPE of one day seeing the LORD's power at work in the lives of our neighbors. May I praise the LORD in saying by grace, He has already begun to show us miraculous fruit to the labors he has called our families to.

I just want to say THANK YOU to all of those that support and pray for us. It encourages us to hear we are prayed for and thought of. I believe your prayer support is one of the many reason why we can continue on...

Please take the time to listen to this conference audio that the LORD has used greatly to encourage us in ministry. It was recorded at the CCDA conference in 2006. FYI: #1- This audio is pretty lengthy. #2- this audio is for those who have lived in an underserved community for any length of time, Those who may have experienced both great joy and extreme challenges as they have worked to be a good neighbor to those around them . In this Panel Discussion with Noel and Marianne Castellanos, Joe and Stacy Atkins, and Wayne and Anne Gordon, they will have an honest dialogue about their experience with living in the community.



Father, thank you giving our family peace in our calling. This peace, that surpasses all understanding , encourages me to stick this thing through. Would you please reveal yourself to all those around us. Would you please save many around us from out of the pits of darkness.

Friday, June 6, 2008

My earnest prayer

The Litany of Humility

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
deliver me, Jesus.From the desire of being loved,
From the desire of being extolled,
From the desire of being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred to others,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
From the fear of being humiliated,
deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being suspected,
That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
That in the opinion of the world,
others may increase, and I may decrease,
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
That others may be praised and I unnoticed,
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I may become as holy as I should.

- Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Learning to Like your Children

Wow!! Today was one of those days.. I pray this post from my friends over at Families Against Feminism encourages you... Enjoy!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

His Love Endures Forever

Today was such a challenge for me. My head hurts just to think about how it went. To be honest, most of the challenges I faced were because of my own sin. AGH! How I long to be with the LORD and done with this wretched body!!!!! I sat in the car and just sobbed.. I just felt so convicted because I knew that the choices I had made had not been what the LORD commanded of me in Romans 12:1.. to offer my body as a living sacrifice , holy and pleasing to HIm.. so, I asked for forgiveness and asked the Holy Spirit to comfort me and help me in the future. The moment i finished praying, ( i mean literally) another temptation comes.. this time it had to do with what I saw others had and wanting the same thing.. God in his faithfulness and love met me right in that moment.. the radio, which happened to already be on , all of a sudden was louder.. and the song below is what I heard....

Oh, sovereign LORD there is none like you. You who know me soo intimately knows exactly what I need to hear. Thank you for calming the storms around me and giving me hope and peace. Thank you as well for sweet friends who pray for me( i love you D!) and who is there to comfort me in my struggles... Thank you for grace that is sufficient when I am weak. What a privilege to be called to serve a ALL KNOWING, WISE, & faithful God...May you be glorified in me


Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise - Out of Eden

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Food for thought


“He who converts his neighbor has preformed the most practical Christian-political act of all.”
~ C.S. Lewi

"Kingdom people seek first the Kingdom of God and its justice; church people often put church work above concerns of justice, mercy and truth. Church people think about how to get people into the church; Kingdom people think about how to get the church into the world. Church people worry that the world might change the church; Kingdom people work to see the church change the world”
~ Howard Snyder


When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.”
~Mother Teresa

“When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.”
~Desmond Tutu

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr.

“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will”
~ Jonathan Edwards

“Is life to be defined by what I pursue — or must my pursuit be defined by what life was meant to be? If the primary goal of life is a closer walk with GOD — then even the good is sometimes set aside in favor of the best. If a person does not understand that the purpose of life defines lifestyle, then the lifestyle itself is hollow and the life is squandered.”
~ Ravi Zacharias

Monday, June 2, 2008

Common Ground Weekly Update- June 2, 2008



We began our summer ‘camp’ this week with boys from our ‘hood'. Although Kevin and I didn’t
advertise and did very little recruiting to start the summer off, 20 boys showed up on the first day, and
24 on the second day. Our basic schedule is to go and do something fun, eat lunch, do something else fun, and
then teach a bible study and some type of application of God’s Word to our lives. Sounds easy enough, right?


We need your help:

This first week was a test-case to see what kind of
response we would have. We have 25 boys involved at this point, and we
anticipate this group growing pretty rapidly over the coming weeks.
We need some help with transportation. Would you, your business,
your church, or anyone else with vans or buses consider letting us
borrow some wheels for our kids? We have a twelve-passenger van and
a mini van and our space is filled. We need wheels and drivers. What do
you think?



We are now seeking to get some help to begin some opportunities for
girls. There are a couple ways you can help with this. First, if you are
available and interested in providing some assistance with the girls’
ministry this summer let us know. Also, if you know of any girls or
ladies that would consider babysitting our children (3 young boys)
throughout the week, this would free up Delta and Nicole to focus on
and minister to the girls in our neighborhood. Please also pray as we
consider getting some college interns to help us.

We need your help:

This first week was a test-case to see what kind of
response we would have. We have 25 boys involved at this point, and we
anticipate this group growing pretty rapidly over the coming weeks.
We need some help with transportation. Would you, your business,
your church, or anyone else with vans or buses consider letting us
borrow some wheels for our kids? We have a twelve-passenger van and
a mini van and our space is filled. We need wheels and drivers. What do
you think?




We are now seeking to get some help to begin some opportunities for
girls. There are a couple ways you can help with this. First, if you are
available and interested in providing some assistance with the girls’
ministry this summer let us know. Also, if you know of any girls or
ladies that would consider babysitting our children (3 young boys)
throughout the week, this would free up Delta and Nicole to focus on
and minister to the girls in our neighborhood. Please also pray as we
consider getting some college interns to help us.

IDEAS FOR RECREATION AND DEVELOPMENT

We need your help in creating some fun and developmental activities for
our kids this summer. We have gone to the bowling alley, parks, Emerald
Falls mini golf, the movies and will be going swimming at the YMCA. Can
you think of more fun and creative places for us to take our boys (and
hopefully girls) to experience? Do you own or have access to anything we
can expose them to?


THE REALITY OF SUFFERING COMES CRASHING IN

KEVIN KING:

After our Emerald Falls outing (where we rode go-carts and swung at the air instead of fastballs at the batting
cages) it was time to transport kids back home. As I drove down Holt Street to take one of the boys home we
approached a burning house. We saw that smoke was streaming out of one of the back rooms, the front door and
the attic. After having such a fun and exciting time we were not expecting to see this. I noticed two fire trucks
approaching us in front and two approaching us from behind, so our only option was to pull into a neighbors
driveway to avoid being in their way. As we sat there in the van, we witnessed this family tearfully watch their
home burn. I also witnessed the Lord’s grace as neighbors ran out of their homes to comfort them during their
time of need. As I sat there in sadness, I began to explain to the guys the truth that the things we see are
temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. I explained that the things that we see daily could quickly go tomorrow.
Very similar to this burned house, we are outwardly wasting away but only through a relationship with Christ
will we inwardly become new. By this time more people from the neighborhood gathered around to witness this
tragedy. I asked everyone to close their eyes to avoid being distracted by all of the commotion and we prayed for
that family and their neighbors. I later learned that the fire was due to faulty wiring (a common plight with older
homes in our neighborhood). After an hour of being locked in we were able to leave and get everyone home.
Please pray that these guys see the Lord even in the chaos that surrounds them. Pray as well that the chaos they
see will provoke them to saving faith. Thank you for faithfully reading our updates and praying for us.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Rethinking ministry to the poor??

Praise the Lord! I am running into some many people that are rethinking ministry to the poor and would like to know where to start. I know for us, it was all about getting counsel from those who have been doing this thing a lot longer than we have. We also began to educate ourselves by reading numerous books authored by those who are in urban ministry. Here are a list of books I would HIGHLY recommend you read:

The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical-by Shane Claiborne

Restoring At-Risk Communities: Doing It Together and Doing It Right-John M. Perkins

Free at Last?: The Gospel in the African-American Experience-Carl F. Ellis

Compassion, Justice, and the Christian Life: Rethinking ministry to the poor- Robert D. Lupkin

Going Global: Beyond the Boundaries- Carl F. Ellis


Theirs is the Kingdom-Celebrating the Gospel in Urban America
-Robert D. Lupton

A Thousand Resurrections-Maria Garriott (MUST READ FOR THE WIVES-my favorite!!)

The Heart of Racial Justice: How Soul Change Leads to Social Change-Brenda Salter Mcneil & Rick Richardson

Return flight: Community development through reneighboring our cities -Robert D. Lupton

Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America-Michael Emerson

Reconciliation Blues: A Black Evangelical's Inside View of White Christianity-Edward Gilbreath

Let Justice Roll Down- John M. Perkins

On Being Black and Reformed: A New Perspective on the African-American Christian Experiencee- Anthony J. Carter


**Here is the link to a conference that we( Kings and Kellys) attend every October. This conference is specifically for those who are considering urban work and for those who are already doing it. If you have the opportunity, please COME! The Lord used this conference to seal it for us. We knew after leaving this AMAZING time of fellowship, that this was what the LORD wanted us to do. (smiling)