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

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Then Sings My Soul Saturday= Beauty Of The Cross




Its always good to remember the beauty of it all. I am praying for a revival within my soul this morning. My prayer is that the LORD would revive his church the same way her did more than 100 years ago! (be sure to read the history section on that link) I do believe that is the same God we worship today! Do it again , LORD!!
I pray we never forget the beauty of the cross.

Friday, September 25, 2009

"Albertine"

This song reminds me of all the kids that I've had the privilege of being in contact with while during Urban Ministry. Listen as it plays on my music player and read the lyrics. The chorus pierces my heart so.


Albertine Lyrics:
I am sitting still
I think of Angelique
her mothers voice over me
And the bullets in the wall where it fell silent
And on a thousandth hill, I think of Albertine
there in her eyes what I don't see with my own
rwanda

[CHORUS]
now that I have seen, I am responsible
Faith without deeds is dead
now that I have held you in my own arms, I cannot let go till you are

I am on a plane across a distant sea
But I carry you in me
and the dust on, the dust on, the dust on my feet
Rwanda

[CHORUS]

[BRIGDE]
I will tell the world, I will tell them where I've been
I will keep my word
I will tell them Albertine

[CHORUS]

I am on a stage, a thousand eyes on me
I will tell them, Albertine
I will tell them, Albertine

The Lord Giveth, The Lord Taketh Away And The Lord Giveth Back!

The following story was posted on the facebook page of the Founder and President of our ministry. (Bryan Kelly) I love how the Lord gives us opportunities and WILD intorductions in becoming apart of the lives of our neighbors. Thanks for your prayers!!
**********************************************************************

So we are in the last stages of getting our building done and it will be done this week. More than one thing has disappeared from the building over the last 6 months, but nothing too big until……….

Two days ago the cable folks came out to install our internet and phone. They informed me they needed a computer to check it out. I say ‘sure, use my laptop, but PLEASE hand to it our administrator who is doubling as a painter upstairs because if you don’t it will walk off!” They laughed…we laughed, and they said ok. Two hours later they leave. An hour after that I am giving a tour of the building and see my charger plug sticking out of the wall… and nothing else. After a search of the building and a quick interrogation of our Administrator/painter I realize I am in trouble.

I question about 10 kids standing out front of our building and realize there are two others who left ‘in a hurry with a bookbag’ and that it had to be them cause ‘those two steal all the time’. I pile some kids in my truck and go straight to the projects behind our building to the home of both boys. Only one mom is home. I explain to her that I got no proof who did it, that my computer was stolen, and that her son is one of two I haven’t gotten to question about it yet. She informs me that she is ‘gonna beat his ass if he took it’. I then come back toward our building and see this boy walking down the street. I pull him off to the side and tell him that my computer disappeared, that I really need it, tell him there is a reward for it, then ask if he will help me find it. He first tries to tell me he wasn’t in the building, then that he was for a minute, then that he will ‘help’ me.

That night three older friends tell me that they will get the word out and find that computer. It begins to get really funny to me cause I start to wonder if someone is really ‘gonna get a beat down’ or worse when someone discovers who did it. The ‘right’ people are now using some interesting avenues to look for this computer ( I would say ‘if you know what I mean’ but I am not sure I know what that means! ) Well, anyway, a 6 foot 4 dreadlocked ‘brother’ of mine goes up to the middle school and gets the word out to the principal also about what had happened who promises an interrogation of about 12 of the boys. So, at this point there are all types of various investigators, with various backgrounds and various sources of income all trying to get my laptop back.

Then at 3:30 a bunch of small children try to descend on the building to run around, beg for “fitty cents” and disobey all attempts of ours to keep them out of the building until its complete, etc, you know, like any other day. Well as we are ushering them out of the gate one of the guys working in the building tells them in passing ‘until you help get the computer that was stolen back you can’t come in’. Most start jabbering “I aint seen no computer”. But after begging for a peppermint from me, two of them say, “does it have an apple on it with a bite out of it?!” I say ‘yes, have you seen it?’ (dangling peppermints! Ha!) Then they say, “and some pictures of you and your kids at a birthday party on the screen?’ I am now stunned (and dispersing peppermints like there is no end). ‘Where did you see it?’ “It’s in my house right now. (I am now making it rain peppermints) My brother stole it! (The same boy I asked about it on the side of the road, and whose mom I had talked with). I load them up and return to the same projects again. We knock on the door and the mom answers. I say, “I know my computer is or at least was in your house, these boys just told me what pictures were on it”. She started to pace around talking about severely injuring the boy who stole it and saying that she was asleep when the 14 year-old got home last night and hadn’t spoken with him yet. As the cussing and fuming intensified I looked to the little boy and quietly tell him to go up to where he saw it hidden last and get it. He disappears. I wait while the mother is still expounding on how she is gonna woop the older boy in very creative terms. A minute later I hear ‘here dat man’s commuter!’ and the little boy comes running out with it! I told the mom, “I hope you don’t mind, but I am going to take care of these little dudes… can I do something nice for them?” She said yes.

On the way back, I see one of the thieves. I pulled over, held up the computer and said “look what I just found. You and me, we are going to talk later. You understand?” He just stood there, a little stunned.

Think and pray with me about how I am going to use this situation in a redemptive way with these 2 boys. I think that we have a golden opportunity here, and I don’t want to miss it.

P.S. this is the best thing I have ever typed on this computer! It feels that way anyway after having it back!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Blogs For A Cause

Hey Friends!
I would like to introduce to you Nikki. Nikki is a University student living in Canada. In the past she has raised funds through her blog business (Blogs for a Cause) giving her the opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Ethiopia to do volunteer work. She is now raising money to head back to the Dominican Republic. She will be there for 2 weeks over Christmas. In May of 2010, she will be moving there to do longer term work. To do this, she stylizes blogs for $30 each. Of this cost, $25 will go towards funding her work and $5 will go to a Charity of the Month. Isnt that great?!! Even beter news, she is running a special during the month of SEPTEMBER ONLY where all you have to do is write a blog post including a link to her site and receive a blog makeover for only $20!!! Check it out here. Please go over and help this sweet girl out. She has designed two amazing blogs for me in the past for which I have been thankful and happy that she uses her funds to further the Kingdom of GOD.
So, go on, scoot ya tail on over and support a missionary!! :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New Music




Many of us got to hear this song from Sho Baraka this summer on the Don't Waste Your Life tour. I am excited to announce that Reach released today on their website the mixed and mastered studio version of this song. This is a little taste of what's to come on his upcoming album "Lions and Liars", due out spring 2010. You know I don't listen to wack music, so check it out!




Check out the latest from Sho on his Twitter page

Monday, September 21, 2009

Jonah and Your Next Door Neighbor


I read this post this morning from the True Woman blog posted by Paula Hendricks.
The LORD gave me just what I needed to hear for today. Remember registration for this conference is going fast! Register today if you haven't already. See you there :)




You’ve most likely heard of Jonah—you know, the guy who spent three days in the belly of a big fish before being vomited out onto land. But do you remember how he found himself in such a predicament in the first place?
It all began with God’s orders to Jonah to travel to the great city of Ninevah and warn the people of His coming judgment.
Jonah wasn’t excited. In fact, he took off in the opposite direction.
If you’d sat down to dinner with Jonah and asked him to tell you about the city of Ninevah, he’d have had nothing good to say about this wicked, pagan city.
“So,” you ask, “Why wouldn’t Jonah have been overjoyed to proclaim God’s impending judgment to Nineveh?”
Because he knew his compassionate God well:


That is why I was so quick to flee … I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity” (Jonah 4:2).


Where is God calling you? Maybe the people you’re called to are nothing like you. Maybe they disturb your peace by playing their music a few decibels too high and a few hours too long. Maybe they’re antagonistic toward your faith. Maybe they have a different skin color. Political party. Income level. Maybe they just let their grass grow too long.
Would the word “compassion” or “contempt” better describe your feelings toward these people?
If you’re like me—in need of a serious dose of compassion—would you join me in asking for more of it from the One who,



“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36)?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Then Sings My Soul Saturdays-Everyday Process-Grace



I hung out in the local projects today with a friend, celebrating her daughters 2nd birthday. It was fun, yet by the evening the sin in many of her unregenerate neighbors began to come out. I watch this babe in Christ struggle, yet obey her Christian beliefs amidst her peers. As I watched sin run rampantly in the projects all I could think of was this song. I will share more of the story later. I pray you remember the LORDS GRACE upon you tonight. What I saw tonight COULD have been many of us.


But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.- 1 Corinthians 15:10

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— Ephesians 2:8




Lyrics:


IZ-REAL VERSE:
If it wasn't for ya grace no doubt I'd be hopeless
a schizophrenic living life homeless
paranoid thoughts every moment
in the trash with a can of OE hungry looking for doughnuts
I'd probably be depressed tryin' to mask it
on average drinking away my problems 'til the liver can't manage
news reports states and it's tragic
at twenty-six commits suicide by suffocating in plastic
man I'm quite sure I'd be locked up
a victim of the game mom ashamed to explain my illegal conduct
or matched up in the D.A.'s after line ups
on my death bed doctors report time's up
I could be hustlin' crack
known in the trap as the dope boy twisting ya cap
or I might across the map promoting sin as I act
ya kid's idol preaching death through my raps

MAC THE DOULOS VERSE:
I could have been a slave to my own lust
Hooked on drugs, sweeping it under the rug...unwilling to own up
Or maybe a pedophile.
A sadistic misfit who gets kicks out of tryin' to sex a child
I'd be who the devil's usin'. Believin' evolution
Screamin' revolution for no apparent reason
Maybe an irresponsible parent even
Or a fool grippin' a tool instead of finishin' school
My story could have come
To me livin' a criminal lifestyle slapped with a mandatory minimum
My friends would have come
To my funeral cuz I tried to be tough in a gun fight and didn't run
Instead of doin' these gigs, I might be doin' a bid
From corner biz thinking I was doin' it big
I'm thankful he hunted me down
A lost dude who ain't wanna be down is now a son who is found

HOOK:
I should have woke up in my grave
With no escape from God's wrath gotta deal with His rage
A sin slave hell's fate for the human race
But Christ saves through faith. What amazing grace!
(repeat)

IZ-REAL VERSE:
No grace scratch love and compassion
I'd no I be snapping heart cold like the winters in aspen
grudges in my heart from the past tense
living in unforgiveness tryin' to deal with pain daily through Aspirin
I'd probably be struggling bad the next dead beat dad
with hidden bags of photographs from porno ads
never seekin' help for the habit like I'm far from a addict
in denial lies killing my marriage
could be confused since the first step unstable like waves get
deceived blind chasing the same sex
never introduced to the faith yet but flying a main jet
with no clue of my after life and the plane wrecks
might steal from ya mother beef with ya brother
or pops I'd be the creep you hate too creep with ya daughter
I might be clowning Christians down with Islam
helpless like drowning victims

MAC THE DOULOS VERSE:
Minus God, I'd be somewhere on broad in a brawl over some broad
Following that road that's broad
Instead of this road that's narrow
In the path of god's wrath pulled back like a bow and arrow
Could have been slipped a bad bag loosing my mind state
Or breakin' into ya pad boostin' the crime rate
Could have been showing up in court
For turnin' someone you know into a corpse, still showing no remorse
Could have been binge drinking and vomiting
Over a toilet then drinking a Heineken again
Cuz of sin in my genes, I'd be chasing cinnamon queens
Tryin' to get in they're jeans if Jesus ain't intervene
No beats on the MPC
or emceein' with CM until the lungs is empty see
I'd be a heretic minus a savior
If not for God's unmerited kindness and favor

HOOK:
I should have woke up in my grave
With no escape from God's wrath gotta deal with His rage
A sin slave hell's fate for the human race
But Christ saves through faith. What amazing grace!
(repeat)

CHANT:
He sought us. He bought us.
He raised us from the grave plus
He changed us...rearranged us
Amazing grace has saved us
He's seeking you. He's seeking to
Raise you from the grave too
He can change you...rearrange you
His amazing grace can save you

Friday, September 18, 2009

From Enemies to Friends


I am everywhere in this season of life. I just began my first year of homeschooling and I tell you what, adding that to urban ministry puts a whole new spin on things. I felt like I was about to pass out the other day (LOL). God is good and His faithfulness and His love endures forever. There is no way I could do this in my own strength. Thank you Father.

Last night, a few of the staff wives along with two other moms and a teen from our neighborhood attended a women's dinner at our local church. It was great! As I have said in other post, having a single female staff member has been such a blessing! Keisha is available to minster and do things that me and some of the others wives don't at times have the freedom to do. I am loving how the LORD is using her to minister to sooo many of the single moms in our hood. The LORD definitely knew what we needed, and His timing could not have been perfect.

When you live in the neighborhood you minister too, at times you wrestle with the feelings of wanting to be alone. Alone in a sense of not wanting to be around the people the LORD has called you to minister to. It can get very overwhelming at times when you know that there is always going to be people around who just want to be under you or need something from you. This is why as a staff we are serious about our date nights as well as our special family nights throughout the week. This is no nine to five and work ends. Its a lifestyle. Yesterday I was thinking, "why did I invite the girls from our neighborhood to come along?"
This could have been a time for me to chill, get some me time( I know..that sounds so selfish) with others I have not seen in soo long. Now, I am not saying if I decided to take that route that I am in sin or wrong in any kind of way. I was just asking myself these questions because I really was trying to examine my heart. Then it dawned on me, these are my friends. Women who at one point, who's hearts were hostile to the gospel, and who really didn't want to hear a thing I had to say about the LORD, have opened up to me in a way I would have never imagined. We talk on the phone, they come and visit me and sometimes bring goodies when I am sick in bed. We laugh together, we cry together, we pray for them and with them, we have endless conversation at times about the Lord's forgiveness, and redemptive work in our hearts.
I wanted to spend last night with them. I wanted them to be encouraged in their walks with the LORD as well as meet other sisters who were walking out faith just as they were. As I have said many times, where I thought only I would be the teacher in these relationships, I became a student and mutual transformation began to take place. I am thankful of the reminder of how the LORD calls me, a sinner saved by grace...a friend :) I love Lord's way of doing things don't you?


Please continue to pray for the hearts of all the moms that are being ministered to. Pray for my heart as well, that I would remember why the LORD has given my salvation as well as himself. I want to share Him with everyone I meet.


Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.- John 15:13

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Co-Laborers

Our staff as you know has grown rapidly for which I am eternally thankful! Its been neat to get to know everyone and see how the LORD has called them to serve alongside of us. We are family, and we have committed to demonstrate the KINGDOM OF GOD TOGETHER! Please check out Keisha and Joshuas' blogs and let them know you are praying for them. Would you please keep them in your prayers? :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tough Pill To Swallow



Can I just say that I am upset. I am so angry with the way this world operates. My heart just does not understand, why...
Why are there millions of orphans dying in Africa and then you turn around and tell me I have to come up with all this money (which I dont have) to love and care for them. What am I suppose to do with all the verses that I read in the bible that tells me my responsibility towards them, and none of them includes being RICH!!!!

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.- James 1:27

"Whoever receives such a child in my name receives me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea." Matthew 18:3-6.

"He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing."
Deuteronomy 10:17-18

"Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed." Psalms 82:3-4

"Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow." Isaiah 1:17

"Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan." Exodus 22:23-24

"Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place." Jeremiah 22:3

"Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other." Zechariah 7:9-10

"Do not deprive the alien or fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of a widow as a pledge." Deuteronomy 24:17


I am struggling with trying to reconcile the two. Maybe it's that the LORD wants me, personally, to understand that this is not the way that HE WOULD best be glorified in my life (adoption). That's a tough one to swallow, especially when you see such a GREAT NEED. Please join me today in praying for the orphans around the world.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Breakthrough Stories

" I think in order to keep our hearts soft (being taken advantage of from Pan handling) we need to know that if we are going to air..lets air on the side of mercy, because mercy triumphs over judgement..." -Arloa Sutter Breatkthrough Ministries Chicago



The videos below just bring tears to my eyes. The power of relationships...its the heart of the gospel. The LORD does something amazing through relationships. I believe with all my heart that it's not the programs within certain ministries that change people..but the people. People who are willing to make KINGDOM INVESTMENTS to see the poor and oppressed changed forever. My word for today was Job 5:16 that says : So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth.
This is what we are about..we want to restore hope to our neighbors and our communities. Tell me what you think about the video..would love to hear your thoughts.


Part One:


Part Two:



For more information on Breakthrough Ministries click here
Visit Arloa blog here

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Poor Changed Me

indeed they have....I am so thankful for this reminder.

CCDA is right around the corner fellow Urban Ministry partners..have you registered?? Come and sit under encouraging teaching such as this.