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

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Here and Now






Many times in urban ministry I have this belief that the 'evil' one is succeeding in all his ways. Many times I feel as if we are alone and the LORD for some odd reason does not hear the intercessory prayers of his saints below. This past weekend the drug dealers hosted an Easter Bar-B-Que. There were games, prizes,a space walk, you name it, they pulled no punches for this party. Lets not forget the alcohol and hundreds of drug money that was thrown out into the crowd for the little kids to catch. I am sure this was their way ( as well as Satan's) to lure these kids into believing that this drug dealing life that they live is one to chase after. It makes me sick!!

As I opened my computer this morning the verse on my desktop reads:

"Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes."

Be still....Be still...exactly what does that mean??( in some translations the word here is 'Rest')
The Hebrew word there is 'damam' (daw-mam)- to be dumb; to be astonished, to stop, also to bear, hold peace, quiet self, rest, be silent, keep (put to) silence, be (stand) still, tarry,wait.

Simply put, I am to TRUST the LORD and believe in what HE can and will do in the months/ years to come for our neighborhood. ( and my family) I am to arm myself against distrust and discontent when it comes to the possibilities and character of the LORD.Matthew Henry in his commentary on Psalm 37 says this:

"Let us compose ourselves by believing in God: "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him (v. 7), that is, be well reconciled to all he does and acquiesce in it, for that is best that is, because it is what God has appointed; and be well satisfied that he will still make all to work for good to us, though we know not how or which way.’’ Be silent to the Lord (so the word is), not with a sullen, but a submissive silence. A patient bearing of what is laid upon us, with a patient expectation of what is further appointed for us, is as much our interest as it is our duty, for it will make us always easy; and there is a great deal of reason for it, for it is making a virtue of necessity. 2. Let us not discompose ourselves at what we see in this world: "Fret not thyself because of him who prospers in his wicked way, who, though he is a bad man, yet thrives and grows rich and great in the world; no, nor because of him who does mischief with his power and wealth, and brings wicked devices to pass against those that are virtuous and good, who seems to have gained his point and to have run them down. If thy heart begins to rise at it, stroke down thy folly, and cease from anger..."

That has brought much peace to my soul. At that moment I began to think about the other verses that talk about the wicked not prospering in their ways.

Job 20:28 A flood will carry off his house, rushing waters on the day of God's wrath. Psalm 73:18-19 Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!


I
am thankful for the NEW MINISTRY partners that will be joining us over this summer and fall (possibility) We have just hired two families,- ( one husband will oversee our community development and the other will have a role in the leadership of our future church plant)
two singles(Joshua- who will minister on a local college campus and bring students to help minister in our hood; Keisha- who will head up our Women ministry, as well as offer biblical counseling to those hurting around us. I will give you a more detailed introduction of them later this week) All of the mentioned above have decided that it is BEST to relocate from where they are and live with us here in our community. We are thrilled about that!

I am thankful for the reminder that CHRIST death has defeated all evil, past, present and future!!! I am thankful and was very overwhelmed with joy this morning as I met with a mother and daughter team that will help me begin a community garden on the property of our NEW ministry space. This garden will house green beans, okra, field peas, and an array of herbs! In the future we are also looking to began a strawberry patch! What I love the most about having the opportunity to tend a garden is, the beauty of what and how this will help transform our neighborhood and minister to the WHOLE person. This garden will teach and train many of the benefits of eating healthier, many families and singles will have the opportunity to have fresh fruits and vege's without having to break the bank to afford them, lets not forget the lessons in Math, Science and most importantly the GOSPEL that could very will begin in that field. We talk a lot about the gospel being holistic and this provides the opportunity to show many what that looks like as well as what it means, all for the GLORY of the LORD!

The Scripture above says to WAIT, to REST, to BE STILL...as I think about all the new and exciting changes CGM is going through it brings tears because I see the LORD moving. I am witnessing what waiting and being still brings..whether the LORD decided to make it happen here on EARTH or in HEAVEN, waiting and being still before the LORD brings good news for all those who TRUST in HIS HOLY NAME.