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

Friday, December 26, 2008

Deja Vu

Yes...its 4:48am and I am writing a blog...
you know its crazy how you wake up in the morning with all your plans and preparations for the day...you already have it set in your mind what your day will look like..you take that scripture that says a man plans his ways and you just leave it at that...LOL
OH I know friends... I have done it waaay to many times.

Today was our first Christmas in the hood, and it was a very busy one at that... Let me make something clear...when I write my blogs I am in NO WAY wanting to brag, boast, or put myself on display...please friends, I beseech you to see the CROSS, to place your focus there as you read whatever it is I am writing about...
Kevin and I had a total of 20-30 people in our home today..In and out the doors were revolving with neighbors wanting to get a taste of some fried turkey and my husbands famous mac and cheese..yes....The LORD brought them in by the car full

It was fun, exciting, all that you could ever expect when you know that you are doing what the LORD wants you to and in the manner in which he has called you to do it.
Well, things begin to go in a direction I was not expecting this day to go... Around 8 or 9 oclock tonight..one of the teen girls that we are VERY CLOSE with went to the bathroom..( okay..this thing with teens and bathrooms is REALLY starting to freak me out..why???? read this story here )

Anyway...next thing I know some of the smaller boys that Kevin and BK have bible study with started to yell and tell me that the girl is in the bathroom yelling for me. I leave the room to see what is going and my husband is picking her up from off of the floor..there is vomit everywhere in the bathroom..from the walls to the sink....she faints.....i smell blood....he scoops her up to the car and they race off to the nearest hospital... what in the world JESUS!!!!???????

I decided then to clear out my house, which is a wreck and full of guest so that I can be with them and her mom at the hospital...i get a phone call from Kevin and that when I feel as if I am living in a dream...Kevin begins to explain to me that the doctors seem to believe that this girl is having a miscarriage...she tells the nurse that she had not had her period sense October..... what???? It makes sense now...the stomach pains...the abnormal eating habits....the vomiting..... I just lost it.. i think I had a panic attack on the phone...the tears begin to flow....

Her sister and my self rush to the hospital to find out that she was having a ectopic pregnancy and had to be admitted for a emergency operation..her stomach was full of blood..this girl should not have survived the condition she was in....they told her due to previous miscarriages that after this surgery that it would be VERY difficult for her to EVER have children....
I lost it again.....

You know I have been praying constantly for the LORD to shake the world of these girls...to bring them to their lowest for them to see their need for him... JESUS this is not what I meant.....I am so burden this morning friends.. I just walked in my door at 4:15 this morning...I was at the hospital waiting for her to come out of surgery..she was sooo afraid..she just kept saying to me " Nicole I am soo scared, I am scared" I told her that I would be here praying for her until she came through..

the baby daddy...NO GOOD!!! His response was to her mom " I thought she was on her pills, what happen to her taking her pills??" He came to the hospital for 10 minutes and then left to go to a night club with his buddies.. are you kidding me??? SERIOUSLY????
foreal, I have to move on because anything after this will be slander....

One of my friends that came by to keep kaiya for me to go to hospital was struggling with the fact that the younger sister was not effected by all this...she was showing no emotion...I begin to weep and tell her that its sad because there is no connection for this kids...there is a mental block on things like this and more because it is such of the norm for them.. how sad and scary at the same time....



WE need your prayers.. WE need the LORD to show us how to be here yet again for this same family the same way were were when this happen the first time with the younger sister.....I am drained...emotionally this one was the hardest..#1- because this young girl is in love with a man that will never love her as CHRIST does...she does not get it...she kicked us out of the hospital room because she said he was coming back to stay there with her..her mom and I get to the elevator to call him and he is still at the club and says that he told her he was not coming because she needed to go to sleep..she lied to us to get us out the room to call him to come...she was trying to convince him to be there for her...#2- there is a relationship now that has become deeper between us all....

Pray that the LORD uses this to draw her..

I have no more words...I cant even keep my eyes open to finish typing this
I will leave you with this verse from colossians that keeps coming to mind :


Colossians 1

5He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.....


CHRIST reigns SUPREME over this situation as hard as it was..it has not taken him by surprise.... To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What Jesus Wants For Christmas

A friend of mine told me that while they were looking at Christmas lights her five year old said, " Momma, Jesus doesn't want toys. He wants us"....

perfectly said... I pray that not only do i remember this, but I pray as well that many of my neighbors will be set FREE by this remarkable truth....

Have a Merry Christmas friends!
John 17:4-Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am

Luke 9:25 -"What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?"


"What Jesus wants most for Christmas is that his elect be gathered in and then get what they want most - to see his glory and then savor it with the very savoring of the Father for the Son"- John Piper

SLAM! Christmas Pictures

Okay, foreal...we had such a great time at our Christmas Party! Really, We just wanted to keep it really simple. A good number of moms and one grandmother came so we were really excited about that. We prayed and served the girls and their moms dinner. It was just a neat time to sit back and look and think about where the LORD had brought us as neighbors in this community. We had earned the right to be trusted and heard...The girls were all SOOO THRILLED over their bibles..one of the teens took the camera and was in my hall by herself taking shots of her self with her bible (LOL) it was sooo cute..
We ended the night with loud music and a whole lot of dancing..what fun! YOu know I was killing it on the dance floor!!



Enjoy the pictures!





The cute 4th pic on the slide show is of my friend Shaunta who was prego with Twins and was due to have a C-section the next day..The girl was looking good and she delivered two healthy twins that Friday! Welcome Maxwell and Mariah!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What I Didn't Know


In her book A Thousands Resurrections..Maria Garrett, in the introduction, speak about the things she didn't know she would learn while being involved in urban ministry....Here are mine:

I didn't know that I would live among people who spent most of their time smoking drugs, & being incarcerated. That I would spend many nights cooking dinner for teenagers whose parents are either on drugs, dying of a decease, or just don't have money themselves to feed their family. That my heart would be drawn so deeply for the adoption of a little girl who bounces around from house to house because her mom is involved heavily with drugs and prostitution...That I would watch young girls search for significance in sex, and babies and not understand that at the end of the day their hearts would still be empty.... That many bullets would be shot in the back of my house and not one ( yet) would hit my house... That my heart would be filled with such love for those whom i have never met.....

I didn't know that I would joyously watch my husband and BK follow the Lord's calling to serve their neighbors and become apart of their community and then be called "cops", "fake ni**a", "who don't really care about how others feel" by one of the teenagers who was upset because he could not drive our car....
I didn't know I would see Jesus in the Hood... I didn't know that I would witness my own resurrections...that teens would count the cost and trust Christ to be the treasure that He is..That my neighbors would teach me humility, love, and compassion through their own lives... That children as young as 5 would rejoice in knowing that they were created in God's image, and that they too could have eternal life with our savior...That a 16 year old would miscarriage in one of our homes and the LORD would use that circumstance to begin a bible study with 10 other girls...

Life..Life is what the Lord wants and will bring back to our hood, I am such a believer of that..Addictions will be broken, fathers will return to their homes, young girl will remain pure, young men will learn to lead with justice and compassion, those that steal will steal no more but work, those that lie will begin to speak the truth, instead of being lovers of self, people would be lovers of Jesus...
Romans 11:33-36 have been my meditation for the past month or so, I have struggled and struggled with this verse, mainly because my flesh did not want the LORD to be responsible for all the depressing things I see go on around me from day to day..

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! 34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” 35 “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.


John Piper in his sermon on the scripture above states:

"All things are from him and through him” means that there is no explanation for what is or what happens that is deeper or more decisive than God. This is what we mean when we say that God is absolutely sovereign.

The devil is not co-eternal with God, and he is not ultimately independent of God. His existence and all that comes from it—so much of the evil in the world—depends on God’s willing him to exist and allowing him moment by moment to do what he does. God sees it coming and he permits it to happen. And since he does nothing aimlessly or capriciously, there is always a purpose for what he causes to happen directly and what he permits to happen indirectly. So in that sense we can say that even the evil and the calamity of the world (e.g. Romans 11:7-10) are included in verse 36, “All things are from him and through him.... ( except sin: Sin can be from God and through God in the sense of ultimate and decisive cause, but not in the sense that sin comes from his nature or character)

So though, I know that we have stepped foot onto Satan's play ground...he still has not power over what the gospel is doing around us and through us...
It blows my mind to know all that we have seen in our hood was under the Lord's sovereign hand...it will be a year sense we have lived on westcott and really it seems as if it has been years. What resurrections will the new year bring?? What lives will be changed for the glory of the Lord?? I don't know... but I am certain that he who began a good work in me will complete it, as the ones that I came to serve show me things about the savor that I have yet to see.






Lord, show me your glory, and help me to live in such a way that makes others see you as the treasure you are. I pray that the goepel is soo appealing to all those around me that they cant help but find themselves drowning in the security of it.
Amen.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

SLAM! First Annual Christmas Party



Heey Friends!
Tonight is our first Christmas Party for the girls..I asked them to bring their moms and grandmothers so that we could share a little about why this bible study...why these girls...why it is good to walk with the LORD..

Please be in prayer for all who come..we start festivities at six.
I am thankful for the gift cards to walmart that were donated to us to feed the girls...I am thankful for the study bibles and bible dictionaries that were given as well...I will wrap those today to give as christmas gifts to the girls...We even had the girls names printed on the bibles..they are going to love it!!!

I will post pics and update soon!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Crossover

A friend of mine found this video on youtube...you know we love us some lecrae here in the hood.
This is a pastor and his son rapping at their church revival! I love it!!

Have a great weekend!! Click here to listen to the real song by Lecrae :)

At our last bible study this past Wednesday the girls heard this song and we had such a GREAT discussion on sin and not choosing CHRIST as your savior! Will post something about that next week! :)



Friday, December 12, 2008

Word Of The Day (and for my life)



"In every situation, in every circumstance in your life [think about what you’re facing right now, and just apply this], in every situation, God is always doing a thousand different things that you cannot see and you do not know."
-John Piper




Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
"Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?"
"Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay him?"
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Romans 11:33-36

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Man, Tired Is Not Even The Word






Seriously, my feet are killling me!


It is 12:34 am and a sister is BEAT!!! I just got in what..30 minutes ago dropping off one of the girls that is apart of our bible study who DOES NOT live in our hood...It was a great evening..just a bit overwhelming...and very looonnnggg


The younger girls did not have a good night..they were a little rowdy which caused a little interruption with our study in the other room, we are loosing girls in our study due to babies and boyfriends...then one of the girls that is apart of our study brought her baby, which is usually fine, it's just that she was very fussy, sleepy and kept spitting up her milk..poor thing...

I have the worst headache EVER..I tend to get them alot when I am stressed or tired...I am VERY thankful for the LORD and the grace he provided even in the midst of challenging ministry opportunities...two of the women from out church made casseroles, bought cookies, bread, and salad so that Delta and I could be free from cooking for the girls! ( or using the general budget from the ministry to buy food) so that was AWESOME to have that..there was sooo much left over we have food for this weekend and the beginning of next week..depending on how many kids are in my home this weekend :)

All this evening as I was teaching bible study this verse came kept coming to mind:

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. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 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 40
praise JESUS for giving me that because I am not GOD and I was out of it tonight...

I got to thinking.. "LORD this is hard, I am tired, I am weary, I dont understand what you are doing week to week..help me to hang in there.. help me to be patient, help me to be gain strength from you.."


ALL THAT TO SAY:
Please continue to PRAY for our new ministry space that we so desperately need..I am sure the LORD will provide it in HIS TIMING for HIS GLORY and OUR GOOD...this would help out a lot in having more space for all the kids Delta and I as well as our husbands teach bible study to on wed. PRAY FOR PATIENCE WITH THESE KIDS...foreal...are you praying...ASK THE LORD TO HELP THEM to not be blinded by satan and the pride of their own hearts

I will give you a more detailed story about bible study later..

Thanks friends! :)

Oh, one more thing.... please pray for usas we will attend a funeral service this saturday at 2pm for our neighborhood "candy man" who died of heart complications last week..BK was asked to officiate this service and my hub will be a paw bearer ..PRAY for us as we share the LOVE, and COMFORT of Christ with all those who will be there

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Just What are You Teaching you Kids??

The experiment in this video was done before by psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark over 50 years ago. A group of children are put in front of a black doll and a white doll and asked a series of simple questions.

Sadly, the results are the same today.

Apparently 4 year olds already have it ingrained in their brain that black = bad and white = good. On average when questions were asked about which doll was pretty or nice 80 percent pointed towards the white doll.
-MSNBC


Girl Like Me:


MSNBC Study: (most recent)





Interview with Dr kenneth Clark who was first to do the Doll study in the 50's:

Culture Clash?? What do you Think?

Here is a blog post by Edward Gilbreath. He's a writer, editor, and speaker mostly on issues of diversity and race relations in the church. Would love to hear your thoughts about this!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Be Incarnational



CGM Mission:
".......Our strategy is to move into and become part of the fabric of under-resourced neighborhoods in order to serve and help create, develop, and empower local leaders, and to build healthy families through biblical ‘discipleship’. We believe this includes the ‘life-on-life’ training of people to be what God has designed them to be as the ‘image of God’. This ‘life on life’ strategy is what we believe to be the pattern of Jesus as he shared and invested His time and life into real relationships with people. By sharing our lives with and entering into the lives of others we will seek to build healthy leaders for all walks of life for our communities. We will have many ministries of mercy demonstrating the care and love of God, but it is our ultimate goal to develop the godly leaders necessary to lead our communities."



It is such a amazing thing for me to look back at the vision of our ministry and to be able to tell without a shadow of a doubt that we are doing EXACTLY what the LORD had called us to because we are living out the vision that he gave the Kelly's!!!
Things can be very frustrating at times, scary, irritating, and soooo much fun and encouraging...BUT there is NOTHING like KNOWING the PEACE of obedience!!! The favor and relationships the LORD has given us through MANY of our neighbors is sooo very sweet. Over the Thanksgiving break Kevin and I visited his mom and while we were in Mobile we heard that the high school in our hood was playing a school in the area. This game was IMPORTANT because it would decided who would go to B'ham for the championship. Well, long story short, some of our neighbors who are DIE HARD CARVER FANS ( the high school name is Carver) called us because they knew we would be in Mobile and they wanted to know if we were coming to the game. WE all ended up sitting at the game together and having sooo much fun!! As I sat there, I just begin to think.." wow, LORD, these are our neighbors....they have become like family"

John 1:14:
(Message bible)
The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.


We serve a GOD who understands how we feel, who can sympathize with us in our weakness because he CHOSE to come and DWELL amongst us, not wanting to be a distant god, someplace else, just waiting up there..he KNOWS what it's like to be human..to suffer

Hebrews 12:1-3
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

One way for us and our neighbors to know GOD and see HIM is through HIS SON and his work...We are Jesus hands and feet...just as GOD was revealing himself through his son, His son is now revealing himself through the church...our neighbors have front row seats of this wonderful musical as we the church love our neighbors as ourselves...

"Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."


1 Corinthians 12:12-13
The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.


you know I am ALWAYS reading something and I came across this statement on the internet....


".....Like a body…something to add…everybody does its part…you would be acting like Jesus…you are a temple…as you act and speak…you as followers of Jesus are showing the world what Jesus is like…they would get a sense of what God is like…If you were there loving serving accepting…if they came into the group…they would see what Jesus is like…the same way that God is present in Jesus…Jesus is present in us ..That is the point of the incarnation…God came into the world and screamed alongside of us ..I’m thirsty, forsaken me, I don’t want to do this, wrestling, sweating drops of blood,God is not distant, removed, knows what its like, present God loves to show up dressed as people…and he’ll show up looking like someone you least expected…he has know concept of favoritism, status, prestige…that why we are like a temple of God…we have the potential to show the world what God is like…Jesus showed God in the flesh, now you show Jesus in the flesh…Jesus looks an awful lot like you…We don’t sit around passively…we are the temple, the body, Jesus on display, making an appearance that looks like you ...Incarnational possibilities…developing radar for when God wants to show up…they were like Jesus to me…at the moment they needed it…god showed up…If you keep the cross a one time historical event we are robbing it of its mystery and power…the incarnation…a God who shows up…and you have the opportunity to put this in action…
Be-Incarnation – God shows up as people, show the world what I am like…Jesus is teaching us Be-Incarnation…simply trying to act like Jesus in the world…orienting your life how god is…"

-B.Nockels


AMEN to that!


**Carver by the way lost the game that night :( There's always next year! :)

While the Parents are away.....LEVI comes to PLAY!!

While the Kellys are out of town with the two oldest boys... We had Levi ( their youngest) with us last night till about 9:30am this morning...He was and always is sooo much fun!!
You would not believe how many times I was shot with his pretend gun ( his finger)..oh to have a BOY in the house :)

He calls me "Tee-Tee" ( like all the rest of my close friends chilren)
I really viewed this moment to serve as a blessing and privilege. Having to deal with secondary infertility, I, at times, wonder what it would be like to have TWO little ones running around this house.... the LORD just amazes me at the opportunities he gives me around other children..keep em coming Jesus... I'll take them however you dish them out :)



Look at him!! Isn't he just the cutest little stinker you have ever seen????!!!





Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Statistics

A fourteen year old boy lies bleeding in the street
Gunned down by a classmate
At the conclusion of a quarrel,
Hormonally induced
About a girl

At the funeral, his mother's screams rend thickened air
And strangers weep
Overcome by vicarious grief

In the back, another mother cries silently
For a son now known by number, not by name
And wonders whether her pain would have been greater
or less
If the gun had faced the other way

-Alexis Spencer-Byers

Monday, December 1, 2008

From One Generation To Another




O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in parables,
I will utter hidden things, things from of old what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us.
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. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.
-Psalm 78:1-7


Kevin and I were asked a couple of months ago to be the god parents of this precious little girl. "Z" or "sumo", as some call her.. is the baby of one of the teen moms in our SLAM! group. Kevin and I do not take this thing lightly. We want to be apart of this little girl life. We want to commit to praying for her purity, salvation, her integrity, her passion and zeal for the LORD. Her mom is not a believer so of course we are going to bump heads possibly in the future over somethings...but, for the most part she is VERY RECEPTIVE to the counsel we give. When asked by her boyfriend/baby daddy as well as Kevin why did she want us to be her child's god parents and exactly what did that mean..her reply was "because I like the fact that they are walking with GOD and they can teach me and "Z" things that we don't know...I am not asking you to be the type of God parents that just buy gifts..I want you to help me raise her right"




What a privilege and a challenging task we have before us. God I know wants us to declare his praiseworthiness to this baby and the generation to come. I am looking forward to sharing with her mom the goodness of the LORD when it comes to parenting...I am humbled as well to share with her as much wisdom as the LORD gives on what it means to be a life giving nurturing biblical woman created in God's image...Would you PLEASE keep "Z" and her mom in your prayers.. Please pray continuously for Kevin and I as we humbly seek to share our lives with the two of them.



Psalm 71:15-18
My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
of your salvation all day long,
though I know not its measure.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign LORD;
I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone.
Since my youth, O God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, O God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your might to all who are to come.