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, March 30, 2010

Sho Baraka Lions and Liars In Stores Now!!!!!!



* had to come back and post this GREAT news I read from the Reach Records website this morning



The Revolution is here! Thats right Sho Baraka's Lions & Liars is available in stores now! Featuring Lecrae, JAMM, Trip Lee, Tedashii and many more. Pick up your copy at Walmart w/bonus tracks for only $9.99


Get digital versions of Lions & Liars on itunes:


For the full album go hereFor the full album w/bonus tracks go here


Deluxe versions are also available here.


There are five versions to choose from.



"Lions & Liars" cd- Special edition laser engraved journal - Special edition of the "Crowns" shirt design, exclusively available with the deluxe package.-Download card that includes MP3's of the entire album, instrumentals & acapellas, and the official Sho Baraka music video and promo videos.- 12" vinyl version of "Lions & Liars." Includes four album tracks, plus four instrumentals.- Two exclusive Lions & Liars stickers




"Lions & Liars" cd- Special edition laser engraved journal -Download card that includes MP3's of the entire album, instrumentals & acapellas, and the official Sho Baraka music video and promo videos-Two exclusive Lions & Liars stickers



"Lions & Liars" cd- Special edition of the "Crowns" shirt design, exclusively available with the deluxe package- Download card that includes MP3's of the entire album plus instrumental & acapella tracks, as well as the official Sho Baraka music video and promo videos- Two exclusive Lions & Liars stickers



Lions & Liars CD with stickers



four album tracks, plus four instrumentals. - Digital download card to receive MP3's of the full album, - instrumental and acapella tracks



Purchase the Ultimate Deluxe or Deluxe w/journal packages and support Myles-A-Part, an organization committed to supporting families living with autism. For every deluxe version purchased, $5.00 will go towards therapy scholarships awarded to families for medical and therapy bills not covered by insurance or Medicaid. This is a very important partnership and cause that has very special place in Sho Barak√É¢'s heart. For more information visit http://www.mylesapart.org/



"When my son was diagnosed with Autism, I learned first-hand that there's not enough support out there for families who have kids on the spectrum. Myles-A-Part is committed to connecting families directly with the resources they need to help our kids, a mission that means a lot to me."- Sho Baraka



Track Listing:

1. Extinction Intro

2. Lion's Anthem

3. Famous ft. Erica Cumbo

4. Shut Us Down ft. Lecrae, After Edmund

5. We Can Be More ft. J.R.

6. Mercy On Me ft. Chinua Hawk

7. I'm Black (A word from Tom Ason)

8. My Life (Nice Aim) ft. PRo

9. Me, Myself and I

10. Liar's Anthem

11. BOYS!!! (A word from Propaganda)

12. Revolutionary Died ft. Trip Lee

13. Oh Well

14. The Rising ft. Trip Lee, Erica Cumbo

15. I.T.W.N.O.I. ft. Tedashii, R-Swift, Benjah, Honey LaRochelle

16. Half of Me ft. McKendree Augustas, Muche

17. 4ever Is 2morrow ft. JAMM

Bonus:

18. Word

19. Kobe Bryant On 'Em ft. K-Drama

20. Feel So Alone ft. BenJah, Miss LuLu, Conviction

21. I See The Lord (Remix) ft. Quiana Fields




With his sophomore album, Sho Baraka gives us a clear picture of what it looks like to be a "Lion" in this culture and master ones domain for the glory of God. We can only be Lions if we negate the lies that this culture bombards us with and gives us a distorted view of what success is.


Sho collaborates with Lecrae, JAMM, Trip Lee, Tedashii and many more to help remove "Lions" from the endangered species list. With production from Dj Official, Cheese Williams, Alex Medina, and G-Rocc Lions & Liars promises to be a sonically diverse journey that will encourage believers to be a "Lion" in this culture.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Taking A Break(well....maybe)




I'm back!!!!! Not that you noticed I was gone. (lol) I left this past Thursday with a group of staff as well as neighborhood moms to attend the True Woman '10 Conference.. Boy oh Boy, do I have some things to write here. But...not today. I am going to use this week to chill with my man and my daughter and I promise to come back and share some nuggets with you. It was amazing! I love my God, I am encouraged to pursue Him with all that I have. I am experiencing TRUE freedom, GRACE, and joy in my walk with the Lord (FINALLY!!!!!!!!) and I am loving every bit of it. Trials and all!!!! To God be the Glory!!!


** oh, and with the permission from those at revive our hearts. I plan on selling(half of the price) a ticket that can be used at one of the TWO True Woman Conferences that are coming up. If you are interested leave me your email address (mrsnicolek!yahoo.com) and I will contact you. Proceeds will go to our ministry. :)



Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dabar (Promise) Psalm 92:12-15


Today''s Promise Comes From
Psalm 92:12-15

"....The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;planted in the house of the LORD,they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age,they will stay fresh and green,proclaiming, "The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him"



The neat thing for me in posting these promises is that I am actually, unintentionally finding them in my time alone with God. I never know what promise He will reveal to me from day to day. Its been encouraging to look for them as I am reading. I love this verse. I am encouraged to know in spite of my sinful heart, Gods grace tells me through this verse that I am a tree planted not just in any ol soil, but in the House of the Lord. By his grace, by His word, and spirit I receive all the sap (as Matthew Henry says) and virtue that keep me alive and make me fruitful. Bearing not just any ol fruit. But fruit that will honor the Lord and bring Him glory. One commentator says, we are to fix ourselves to Gods holy ordnance's, take root in them, abide in them, to bring forth much fruit. Matthew Henry in his commentary brings out the point that "A palm tree the more it is pressed down, the more it grows, so that is with us as believers, we flourish under affliction, the more we are afflicted the more we shall multiply."


What a promise this is. Even to old age, we shall never perish, unlike the wicked who is like grass that withers, but we shall live long, stay fresh and green as this verse says. May your hearts be filled with Gods unfailing love today.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

CCDA-Single In Ministry

Dabar(Promise) /Trusting God


Today's Promise (Dabar) comes from

Isaiah 58:11-12

"......The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. "


Just when I think I cant go on the Lord comes along to reveal his faithfulness. Last night I witnessed this verse happen before my eyes. To be honest, I see it almost everyday I walk into our ministry building and hear the the stories of the kids, their parents, their grandparents. I watch the Lord work in my husband life as well as my daughters. Last night I sat in on Keisha's bible study where the topic was Gods Sovereignty. The question raised was "Can I trust God?" and "What does that look like"? Oh it was so encouraging, women sharing real life struggles dealing with parenting, marriage, friendships. It was perfect and so intimate(there were only 4 of us there) God showed up and reminded us of His love, grace and mercy. He convicted us as well over our unbelief. Yet, we all left with this sense of freedom and confidence in knowing our God is in control. Keisha taught that there are many reasons we can trust God, and she gave us three to look at- 1. Because He is in control. 2. Because He is Good. 3. Because He is faithful. Here are a few of the verses we looked at last night:


Then Job replied to the LORD :"I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. -Job 42:1


"....also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will" -Ephesians 1:11


"...The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him.."- Lamentations 3 (we read the whole chapter)


"The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made." -Psalm 145


" And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers." -Romans 8:28


"Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked? When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future." -Ecclesiastes 7:13-14

and many more......

This bible study was so on time. So many people around us are struggling it what this looks like to walk with the Lord during hard times and distress. The Lord used my sister last night to be a restorer of broken walls, restorer of streets with dwellings...As I was driving home, my daughter wanted to know about those persecuted for their faith. In our home we receive a magazine about the persecuted church that she and I read from time to time, and just recently (call me crazy) she and I sat down and watched a video of our brothers in the faith over in India get stoned,trampled and beaten for believing in Jesus. Last night she asked me in the car "mama, those people who don't love God that killed the people who really love Jesus, why do you think God allowed that to happen? What didn't He save them?"

What a perfect opportunity I had to share with her what faith was and what it meant to TRUST the LORD. Most of what we had just discussed in Keisha's bible study. God does not waste anything we go through. Even the things our children see, hear or experience, all of it can be used to point them back to a loving, merciful Savior. I choose joy and gratitude for where I am today. I am confident as a family we are dead smack in the Lords will.





*that has gots to be one of my most favorite pic above..I am so in love with the kids!!*

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Dabar(Promise) 2 Chronicles 7:14



God's Promise for me today is
2 Chronicles 7:14

"if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."



My pride always gets in the way of me knowing and remembering the benefits of obedience. I am encouraged tonight to remember the good that comes with true genuine repentance. God gives grace to the humble. The same God that made this promise thousands of years ago, is still the same God today. He is ready and willing to heal me of all of sins shame and guilt.

Amen.


New Video from Sho Baraka- We Can Be More ft. J.R.

I am loving this song. It celebrates Christ like love in a culture that loves sex,money,cars and video chicks.I cant wait to share this song with the girls in my purity study. This song will be a great discussion on just how NO MAN can love a woman like this unless His is in the Lord. In case you don't catch it the video has a Hitch(the movie) influence to it. :) Don't forget Sho's new album will be out this month. 3-30-10! Pre order yours NOW!!!




Sho explaining new Album Lions and Liars:

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Dabar (Promise) 1 Corinthians 10:13


Today's Dabar comes from:

1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.


I am so thankful for the reminder and promise that God NEVER asks anything of me that He does not provide the GRACE to do. In terms of ministry, I don't have to fear my neighborhood, the children my child is around, the crime, and all other unknowns that can be out there. God has promised me where I am HE will provided grace to endure. In terms of my personal walk with the Lord, no matter how strong the bondage of sin or how long I have been involved in it , God can DELI EVER ME (YOU) by HIS GRACE!!!!! What a promise! I mean for real, we serve a God is who is committed to us. He is so faithful. I pray your hearts are encouraged, and that this post leads you and me both to repentance, freedom and FAITH!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Dabar ('Promise') : 2 Peter 1:3




*Dabar (daw-bar) is Hebrew meaning Promise


I got this idea from a blog I read today. Every week (it looks like) this blogger post a Promise from God to remind herself. I love this idea. So, here, starting today, I will post every day after my time in the scriptures, a promise from Gods Word. Where I am right now in my life I need to read and remember all the promises I can get.



Today's Dabar(Promise) comes from:

2 Corinthians 9:8

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work


In my life many times I feel overwhelmed with the things I do. Being a Wife and a Mom are so important to me, yet I feel like such a failure all the time.(which I know I am because I CANT DO IT IN MY OWN STRENGTH) I love the kids from my neighborhood who are in my life as well, and even when it comes to them, I feel like a failure. I'm not perfect and I am not going to get it right all the time. I am so thankful for grace. Its during those times recently when I have failed, I hear the Lord offering me so much Hope through Jesus. The Lord providing for me what I need to make it through the calling He sets forth for me. God promises me that He will provided all of the grace I need for future purposes. His grace will be there for me as a wife, mom, missionary,friend, bible teacher, sister and daughter. What Hope, I don't have to get it together, I don't have to know all the answers. Jesus, our Great Shepherd has done it all! I live victorious through Him. As John Piper once said, the battle is to believe. "Faith stands on the promise of God and waits and hopes in weakness and peace. And, of course, that waiting and hoping is part of today's mercy. Part of today's mercy is the ability to trust that there will be sufficient mercy for tomorrow. And we trust in that because God promises it in 2 Corinthians 9:11.(and Lamentations 3) But in spite of all the peace that faith can bring about today, it is not yet tomorrow's mercy or tomorrow's power. There's a difference. And that's why there is such a battle that goes on. We want the feeling of adequacy today for what we will have to go through tomorrow. But God says, Trust me. I will give it to you when you need it. "
I pray God uses this simple truth to encourage you as He has done for me this evening.


Monday, March 15, 2010

I Hate You Crack


Oh, this is exactly how I feel when I look around my neighborhood. Thisl, is a brother who grew up in very similar situations as a lot of our kids here. His testimony of Gods grace is amazing. What I love about this artist is his honesty (from what I have read and heard in his lyrics) and transparency in His walk with the Lord. Its soooo refreshing!! Those in our neighborhood need to see cats like this, whom the Lord has redeemed for His Kingdom. It shows that change is possible through Christ Jesus. Hope, is the key word here people, HOPE!! (lol) I am encouraged every time I play his cd in my car. I must add the kids and adults here play it out. LOL
Check it out below after listening to this song written by him. Please pray with me that God would raise up other indigenous leaders such as Thisl in hoods everywhere.Pray as well for Thisl and other Holy Hip Hop artist that they would continue to grow in wisdom, stature and favor with both God and men as they preach the gosple through their music to a dying world!





Sunday, March 14, 2010

What About The Kids?



*sighing*. Being a mom and parenting in the context of urban ministry is so frustrating. You always have to go through the draining question of "how are your kids handling everything?" or " I don't know how you do it, I would be so scared for my kids to have to be exposed to what you all do everyday" . Once a sweet lady said, "oh, I know that must be hard for your daughter to be around "those kids"! At the end of many of these conversations I am questioning whether or not what we are doing is the right thing. I mean, just how much time around "those kids" and outside the home should I really allow my child to engage in? What do I do with my child when she is having some character issues that may have a lot to do with what she hears and sees through out the day or week?? One of my biggest fears ( uh and I have lot of those I must say) is that I will fail in my parenting and over expose my daughter too much. She will just become one of the most wildest children you could ever meet and it will be all my fault.

What bondage that is. After a long conversation with a dear friends as well as my husband tonight. I am walking away with this perspective....


For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. - Romans 12:3


According to the grace and faith that could only come through Jesus Christ Kevin and I must remain humble and be confident in that we are fulfilling Gods calling for our family. It will not look like what others are doing, and as a friend reminded me tonight that is so okay. God has different plans for us all and according to what is in our hearts, he is chisling us in different ways. Just because we are not all doing the same thing does not mean one is in error. What we all do should be DONE IN FAITH. Anything not done in faith is a sin.


But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. - James 1:5


God has promised Kevin and I that He will give us wisdom, when we dependently rely on Him for it. That means we MUST ASK HIM. He promises to fulfill His promises. So when I find myself doubting and leaning on my own understand and strength of things... I can remember that God promises to give me wisdom, to give us wisdom in knowing how to handle our child being around "those kids".


Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you. -Hebrews 13:17


As wife God calls me to submit myself under my husband loving protection. One way for me to find out quickly if I am over stepping my boundaries is to ask Him. But, in my asking, I must not be manipulative, fearful, or deceitful. I must ask with all honesty, humility and respect. One of the reason is because if what I am asking him about is something I really want to do, the temptation would be for me to convince him that what we should do as a family. I want him to lead me. If I am praying for him as the leader of our home then I can trust the Lord will use Him to give me wise counsel in what I(we) am doing.


I don't have all the answers. But I know the One who does. I know I am going to fail in my parenting. I must accept that. But, that's why I need Jesus. Jesus knew I would not get it right, he knows the mistakes I will make, and He covered those things for me, past, present and future. Last night my husband says as hard as it is, I must do this thing knowing that it will give us more opportunities to see Jesus and train our daughter. Practically what that looks like is I must always be on guard to make sure she is with me at all times. (i.e. not allowing her to go all free willy with whomever she wants) After three years we are still trying to figure this out. The crazy part .....we will still be doing this for years to come. We wont ever have it all figured out, there will be other things we have not thought of come up. I am so glad I know the LORD who is so wise, gracious and generous.


As far as my child being around "these kids". That's not how I look at them. Every little girl (or boy) that comes into my home is looked at as my own. I will definitely train them in the same way I am training my own. Its work, but its worth it!!!


I would love to hear the thoughts of those of you who are in full time ministry. What ways have you been in encouraged in your parenting while ministring to those around you?





Lesson Learned from Veteran Urban Youth Worker



Adapted from “Indigenous Leadership Development” by Wayne Gordon in Restoring at-Risk Communities: Doing it Together and Doing it Right, edited by John M. Perkins, pp. 181-193.


Question: How well does your youth leadership development program incorporate these key elements proven effective by one of the country's most successful urban youth leaders?

1. Look fifteen years into the future. Fifteen years is the amount of time it takes to raise up a generation of leaders among urban youth. Leadership training at its most effective is life-on-life discipleship, beginning when the youth are just beginning school and continuing on into adulthood. Start with youth as young as you can, and continue working with them until they become the leaders you want them to be.


2. Never go anywhere alone. Since so much of leadership development happens spontaneously in the everyday happenings of life, take youth with you wherever you go, whatever you are doing--the grocery store, ballgames, going to the bank. Many youth are looking for something to do--use this to your advantage. Spending time with an adult who cares about them can be a life-changing experience for youth.


3. Be available. Be accessible and available to talk to them whenever they want to talk; sometimes the most teachable moments are not the most convenient moments! It is important that youth know that you value them, and are available to them.


4. Expose them to role models. Kids need heroes. They need to see what others have done with their lives in order to get a vision for their own lives. Bring in leaders of all races and ethnic backgrounds to expose your youth to new people and new ideas.


5. Make your family a part of your ministry. Having kids over for dinner or a slumber party exposes youth to a healthy family environment, and communicates strongly to them that you care about them. Dinner table discussion can be a powerful time of discipleship. And not only does it benefit the youth you serve to have them in your home, it benefits your family as they become involved in the ministry--they learn from others, and learn to serve and give to others.

6. Travel with them. Long car rides and cramped, uncomfortable sleeping quarters help develop deeper relationships. Also, many of the youth you are working with would find a long car trip to a neighboring city or ministry a life-changing experience.


7. Love! Love! Love! Kids need to know that you love them--through word and deed. Never pass up an opportunity to really love a kid who probably does not have many loving adults in his or her life.


8. Major on encouragement. The rule of thumb is: for every one word of criticism, offer ten words of encouragement. Most kids know, and are often told, all the things that are wrong with them. Be a safe refuge of encouragement and affirmation. Choose to believe in kids when no one else does. Help them see they are important and significant.


9. Give them responsibility and let them fail. A crucial aspect of leadership development is allowing people to make decisions, and letting them take responsibility for those decisions. Be clear about boundaries, set limits on responsibility and then step back and let go. Youth need the freedom to succeed or fail and learn from the experience.


10. Having an education is not the same as being a leader. Encourage youth who show potential to pursue a college education, but help them understand that education alone does not make a person a leader. Conversely, if someone is not college-educated, that does not disqualify them from leadership. Education or lack thereof should neither qualify nor disqualify someone from leadership.

Friday, March 12, 2010

True Woman Devotions -Day 14


Scripture Focus: 1 Chronicles 16

Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! —1 Chronicles 16:11, ESV



The English Standard Version adds an exclamation point to the end of this sentence, underscoring the intensity of this exhortation. Seeking God is not a suggestion or a helpful hint for believers to follow. It is a command.

Although this verse contains the English word “seek” twice, the Hebrew language, in which this verse was first recorded, uses two different words. The first word translated “seek” has to do with rational, cognitive inquiry, while the second word suggests begging, pursuing, desiring, or pleading.

This command is one we should be wholeheartedly running to obey, eagerly and intentionally pursuing a relationship with God. Psalm 16:11 tells us that “fullness of joy” is found in God’s presence. If this is true (and it is), then why would we do anything
but seek His presence?

In
Seeking Him (a 12-week study on personal revival), Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Tim Grissom write, “God wants to reveal Himself to you; He wants to fill your heart with Himself; He wants to set you free from every unholy passion; He wants you to drink deeply of the joys found in His presence; He wants your service for Him to be the overflow of genuine love and an authentic life; He wants you to be a reflector of His glory in our dark world. He wants you—and His entire church—to be revived!”*

So, if God’s presence is as delightful as this sounds, why are so few actually seeking Him?

Perhaps one reason is that they’ve only “nibbled” around the edges of a relationship with God, taking a crumb here and there, sipping a drop of His presence occasionally, but they’ve never really tasted deeply of Him! “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!” (Psalm 34:8, ESV).

Another reason might be that they are hiding, as Adam and Eve did after they sinned. When we’re more comfortable “hiding” in the dark than walking in the light, we’re not motivated to pursue Him.

Is there anything keeping you from seeking Him? Don’t settle for less than the “times of refreshing” (Acts 3:20) and “fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11) to be found in His presence!



Take Time to Reflect
Are you “nibbling” at the things of God or tasting deeply of the spiritual feast He has prepared for you? Ask Him to increase your appetite for His presence.

First Chronicles 16 contains the psalm of thanksgiving that was to be sung as the ark entered the tent that David had prepared for it. You may recognize familiar words, as several psalms are blended together in this one (Psalms 105, 96, 136, and 106). Use the psalm in 1 Chronicles 16 to express your praise today.

Don’t wait to experience God’s presence—pursue Him today! Let Him speak to you through His Word. Consciously allow His Spirit to direct your thoughts and activities throughout the day. Ask Him to reveal any hidden areas of sin that might be robbing you of your appetite for Him.

_____________

*Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Tim Grissom with Life Action Ministries, Seeking Him: Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival (Chicago: Moody, 2004), xii.



Happy Friday! Dont forget to turn your clocks up this Sunday!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Keep Sowing!!


God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.- Hebrews 6:10-12

Here I am back at this verse again. Yesterday was one of the most hardest days I think I have ever had within urban ministry. It was totally chaotic!!!! I just broke down. I had forgot in the moment why we were here. So many discouraging lies began to flood my head. At the moment, its like I forgot all the Truth I had ever known. I cried out asking the Lord to please show me again "why we are here", why is it important for us to preserver through all the persecution, drama, hearts that are rejecting the Truth over and over and over again?? Little did I know, the reminder I was looking for was right around the corner. Last night after bible study, an 11 year old past me a note asking could she come stay at my house because she got into with her step dad. I told her we would talk about it after the kids left and that I would call her home to see what happened. I was thinking maybe she was making something up just so she could come stay at my house.( believe me, they do this alot, you should here some of the stories they come up with..LOL) She was telling the truth. It wasn't good. She goes through verbal abuse and only God knows what else. Her mom wanted her to come to my house. (did I mention in the note one of her parents told her that they wanted her to leave) I told her we would look after her tonight and make sure she got to school on time in the morning. After dinner I made sure she and my little one both showered and got ready for bed. We sat down to pray and She begin to explain to me why she felt it was important that I pray with her to become a Christian. She begins to confess her sins before me and her heart was just broken over the things that she has done. I am again humbled by the Lords faithfulness. I know I wont see things like this all the time. The Lord may decide to go years before he shows me something like that again. I know that even in the midst of not knowing if what we are doing is having an impact, God, because of His faithfulness and how he has ALWAYS kept His word towards me, I must persevere. She understood every thing about the Gospel. As I listened to her talk, I begin to think about how she has changed sooo much within the past couple of weeks. I shared with her what I had noticed about her in my bible study and in her interaction with other kids at the ministry building. We prayed and prayed, and talked and prayed. It was so encouraging. One of the girls I disciple was here as well and she was just in tears. I was thankful she had been with me all day to see Gods face in a profound way.

As I was reading my bible this morning God gave me this Psalm to pray through and OH! how fitting it was to the day I had.



Psalm 71
In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness; turn your ear to me and save me. Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of evil and cruel men. For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother's womb. I will ever praise you. I have become like a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge. My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long. Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone. For my enemies speak against me; those who wait to kill me conspire together. They say, "God has forsaken him; pursue him and seize him, for no one will rescue him." Be not far from me, O God; come quickly, O my God, to help me. May my accusers perish in shame; may those who want to harm me be covered with scorn and disgrace. But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. 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. Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things. Who, O God, is like you? Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again. I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I, whom you have redeemed.My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long, for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion.

Wow! Isn't the Lord good. God also revealed Himself and our calling though this short story I read last night. Its the story of
Peter ten Boom who was the cousin of Corrie ten Boom. For those who don’t know the story of the ten Boom legacy, their family was instrumental in saving the lives of Jews during the holocaust in World War II.


"At the age of sixteen, Peter defied the Germans by playing the Dutch national anthem in their church and the entire congregation stood up and sang. For this act of defiance, Peter was imprisoned. After World War II, Peter traveled the world with the same message as his aunt, Corrie ten Boom. During his speaking tour in Israel, Peter had a heart attack and needed surgery. The night before the operation, the cardiologist asked Peter, “Are you by chance related to the ten Booms of Holland?” Peter replied, “Yes, that’s my family!” The doctor responded, “I’m one of the babies that your family saved!” The next day the man whose life had been saved forty years earlier, repaid the debt by saving Peter’s life. We are called to sow seed not knowing where it might spring up!! It’s amazing how God has a way of doing that. Let’s keep sowing, because we shall certainly reap if we faint not!"

I could not AGREE more! Amen.

Rain,Rain




Today was actually a fun, and very good day of homeschooling. It RAINED ALL DAY!!! As we begin our day, I started to think,
Okay Lord, I have gots to make this interesting, fun, and very educational for her (the day that is) I tend to want to do school and get it done QUICK!! Which has left me frustrated and kai discouraged. No more of that. (Lord willing) I sat at the computer with my little one and we found this great website called Weather Wiz Kidz. She sat next to me with her Science folder and a pencil and baby she begin to read and write all the facts she saw about the rain. How does it form? What causes it? During this lesson she begins to explain to me how she is frightened of storms and lighting. The Lord helped me to bring it back to Him, we proceeded in our lesson to read the following verses:

God's voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth,'and to the rain shower,'Be a mighty downpour.- Job 37:5-7

He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. -Psalm 147


Her face just lit up. I asked her who is in control? Who can we go to when we are frightened, who causes all of this to happen??? God, she says . This wasn't the only lesson we had for today but it was the most important. Here I had the opportunity to train/encourage my child in her fears as well as educate her on what was happening outside our door.I learned a lot myself about the weather. I am so thankful. God is in control. This lesson today reminded me of how important it was for me to not complain about the weather. The Lord is simply fulfilling all his promises by taking care of all of creation. I love it!! He is so Faithful!!!!



By the breath of God ice is given,
and the broad waters are frozen fast.
He loads the thick cloud with moisture;
the clouds scatter his lightning.
They turn around and around by his guidance,
to accomplish all that he commands them
on the face of the habitable world.
Whether for correction or for his land
or for love, he causes it to happen.

Job 37:10-13

Monday, March 8, 2010

Are You Willing To Give Up Anything?


"Are you making any sacrifices? Does your religion cost you anything? I put it to your conscience in all affection and tenderness. Are you, like Moses, preferring God to the world, or not? Are you willing to give up anything which keeps you back from God, or are you clinging to the Egypt of the world, and saying to yourself, "I must have it, I must have it: I cannot tear myself away"? Is there any cross in your Christianity? Are there any sharp corners in your religion, anything that ever jars and comes in collision with the earthly-mindedness around you? Or is all smooth and rounded off, and comfortably fitted into custom and fashion? Do you know anything of the afflictions of the gospel? Is your faith and practice ever a subject of scorn and reproach? Are you thought a fool by anyone because of your soul? Have you left Pharaoh's daughter, and heartily joined the people of God? Are you venturing all on Christ? Search and see."

—J.C. Ryle, Holiness



Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.- Matthew 7:12-14

The Corageous Heart-True Woman Devotions



So everyday in my inbox I receive a devotion that will help me to prepare my heart for the True Woman Conference at the end of this month. I am behind in some of my reading, but here is what I read today. After last nights post this was so right on time, again, so like the LORD giving us exactly what we need to hear. This encourages me in EVERY AREA OF MY LIFE. I pray it does the same for you.......



Scripture Focus: 2 Corinthians 4
We do not lose heart. —2 Corinthians 4:16, NASB

“So here we all are, 150 years after feminism began to profoundly affect our culture. We have the highest number of single adults ever recorded in our nation’s history, in the church and outside of it. We have nearly the same rate of divorce in the church as outside of it. And we have several generations of confused men who have been told their masculinity is the very reason for women’s oppression—exactly the opposite of what the Bible teaches about the complementarity of the sexes and the Christlike model of servant-leadership that men are to cultivate for the benefit of the church, their wives, and their families .” —Carolyn McCulley



Do you ever find yourself feeling discouraged by the darkness of the culture around you—maybe even by your own surroundings at home or in the workplace? Often it appears that we Christians are so behind in the culture war that we might as well throw in the towel.
Paul may have been tempted at times to look at the hedonism of Rome and wonder if the little band of new Christians could be any match for the godless culture of the most powerful empire known to man. Did his heart ever tremble with fear or discouragement? Twice in 2 Corinthians 4 Paul exhorts the believers living in the sexually immoral culture of Corinth to not lose heart. What was the source of Paul’s courage?The English phrase “lose heart” in today’s key verse is translated from a strong Greek term that refers to losing courage or even cowardly surrender. Admittedly, for Christian women living in a predominately post-Christian world, this is a common temptation. But we must not give up; we must not lose heart. Too much is at stake, and our Captain is worthy of our undying service. How can we find courage in such hostile times? Paul gives us the answer in the final verse of chapter 4. “Look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (v. 18, NASB).Living with an eternal perspective, focusing on God’s kingdom, knowing that earthly life is temporary and that He has called us to reflect His glory in our world—this perspective infuses us with strength and courage to persevere, even in the face of great darkness.

Take Time to Reflect
Meditate on 2 Corinthians 4. Have you grown weary and become discouraged in your Christian walk, your marriage, your parenting, or any other area of your life? Use this passage to focus on the truth. Ask God to give you His eternal perspective on your situation. And remember that it is in His power, not your own, that victory will be achieved

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Hope For Tomorrow


(*this picture was taken 2 1/2 years ago...)


I am so thankful tonight for a blog. I have the ability to go back and read much of what I have seen the Lord do in the lives of some many children we know. (including my OWN!!!!!)
The past couple of weeks have been rough for us as a ministry. So much warfare(as it always is on any mission field) to fight through. I needed some truth last night.( I need some everyday to be honest) As I was reading old blog post I came across some old pics/blog post of Delta and I with a few of the girls in our hood. Tears begin to hit my cheek as I recall meeting these girls and getting to know them. They were really babies( I mean they still are now but...) I mean kindergarten,first and second grade, some pre school. Now we are talking junior high school. I begin to think about all the Truths the Lord used Delta and I to share with them early on. The songs we sang, the conversation and fun we had. Then I begin to think about all the teen pregnancy that is happening within our community. All the talk about sex and boys. I begin to cry of depression within minutes. Oh, God, NO MORE!! Please bring an end to all this borkeness and never ending cycles of proverty.... I prayed and asked the Lord to help these girls remember these Truths as they got older. To remind them of all that they have learned, and been taught and seen in our lives as we try to live the gospel out before them. I am so scared for each of them, I find myself in fear most nights. I know I have to TRUST the Lord, he has promised to never leave them nor forsake them. I am thankful for all the past couple of years of having the priviledge to sow seeds of hope into their lives. Our hope is that this generation will hear the call of the Lord through hearing the word preached to them consistantly. Kevin brough up a very good fact to me today, he says " babe, these kids have been with us EVVERYDAY for the past 3 years, learning about God and watching us live out our faith before them..." That brings chills to my body. There is HOPE, becaus the bible says, How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?..(Romans 10) God is planting some serious seeds in the hearts of these kids.
I am praying tonight that they call on Him as he desires to tell them great and unsearchable things they don't even know.

*(last year pic of some of the girls from the above picture*)

Please pray for these girls, that they don't end up another statistic. Pray for their purity and faith in God. Pray as well for all the pregnancies we have had to come up within the past 3 weeks. Its overwhelming. I cant even begin to explain.

Lord have mercy!!!!!!!

Teen Pregnancy FACTS:
The United States has the highest rates of teen pregnancy and births in the western industrialized world. Teen pregnancy costs the United States at least $7 billion annually. Thirty-four percent of young women become pregnant at least once before they reach the age of 20 -- about 820,000 a year. Eight in ten of these teen pregnancies are unintended and 79 percent are to unmarried teens. The teen birth rate has declined slowly but steadily from 1991 to 2002 with an overall decline of 30 percent for those aged 15 to 19. These recent declines reverse the 23-percent rise in the teenage birth rate from 1986 to 1991. The largest decline since 1991 by race was for black women. The birth rate for black teens aged 15 to 19 fell 42 percent between 1991 to 2002. Hispanic teen birth rates declined 20 percent between 1991 and 2002. The rates of both Hispanics and blacks, however, remain higher than for other groups. Hispanic teens now have the highest teenage birth rates. Most teenagers giving birth before 1980 were married whereas most teens giving birth today are unmarried.The younger a teenaged girl is when she has sex for the first time, the more likely she is to have had unwanted or non-voluntary sex. Close to four in ten girls who had first intercourse at 13 or 14 report it was either non-voluntary or unwanted.

Teenage Pregnancy Consequences
Teen mothers are less likely to complete high school (only one-third receive a high school diploma) and only 1.5% have a college degree by age 30. Teen mothers are more likely to end up on welfare (nearly 80 percent of unmarried teen mothers end up on welfare).The children of teenage mothers have lower birth weights, are more likely to perform poorly in school, and are at greater risk of abuse and neglect.The sons of teen mothers are 13 percent more likely to end up in prison while teen daughters are 22 percent more likely to become teen mothers themselves.

A Handbook Of Enemy Strategies by John Piper





This article is right on time for me tonight. So much warfare happening within and around us. So important to know WHO your enemy is..for we do not wrestle with flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places....

******************************

A wartime mindset must include shrewd knowledge of enemy tactics: Ephesians 5:11, "Take no part in unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them." Christianity stands or falls with the reality of Satan and demons. Why? Because Jesus spent his whole ministry fighting them. If they are not real he is reduced to a comic figure.
What is Satan's aim and his strategies?

1. He is the Father of lies. John 8:44His nature is falsehood! He only speaks the truth in order to deceive.
2.Therefore, his chief enemy is truth - he opposes God's word. Genesis 3:1-5
3.He casts doubt on God's goodness. Genesis 3:1-5
He destroys the obedience of faith.
4.He hinders missions strategy. 1 Thess. 2:18He opposes the truth reaching and converting people.
5.He distorts and prevents effective Gospel ministry. Acts 13:8-9
6.He avoids inner need by removing external trouble. 1 John 3:12
7.He uses the fear of death to hold men in bondage. Hebrews 2:15
The fear of death doesn't lead them to God because it leads them to get as many kicks here as possible.
8.He causes people to stumble over bad Christian attitudes. 2 Tim. 2:24-26
9.He blinds the minds of unbelievers. 2 Cor. 4:4
10.He exploits a lack of understanding. Mt. 13:19
11.He suggests ways that don't involve suffering. Mt. 16:23; Mt. 4:1-11
12.He imitates religious roles. 2 Cor. 11:14-15; Mt.13:28,30; Rev. 2:9
13.He misuses Scripture. Mt. 4:6
14.He imitates signs and wonders. 2 Thess. 2:9; Mk. 13:22
15.He offers exotic occult alternatives. Rev. 2:19-24
16.He attacks faith. 1 Thess. 3:5; 2 Cor. 11:3
17.He brings persecution. Rev. 2:9; 1 Pt. 5:8; Lk. 22:31
18.He brings sickness. Job 1:11; 2:5; Lk. 13:16.
19.He causes dissension over doctrine and causes rifts. Rom. 16:17-20
20.He tempts saints with sexual allurements. 1 Cor. 7:5; 1 Tim. 5:15
21.He takes advantage of unresolved anger. 2 Cor. 2:11; Eph. 4:27
22.He promotes pride. 1 Tim. 3:6We began with liar and end with pride.
Connection: the truth is that God is God and we are not. It is humbling. The only way to rebel against the lowliness of creaturehood is to be a liar. Therefore humility under God is the great devil resistance (James 4:6-7).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Please, Let Me Explain-A letter To Those I Love

I am 31 years old and I already feel as if I have seen, heard, and have experienced many things waaay beyond my years. I have two stories I feel that testify to Gods grace in my life. I have the darkness that I was called out of from the streets of Chicago. Having felt the pressure of gangs, having been in jail for theft and being an accessory to murder, being in love with a drug dealer who taught me how to make it on my own. Then, I have my life here in Alabama. Which is what I want to talk about. After a conversation with a family member today, I feel I need to explain somethings, so this blog post is just that, my explanation. The reason why many people have not heard from me or seen me in years.

When I moved to Alabama with my grandmother, I felt it was the worst and must difficult decision I believe I had to make. I hated it!!! I was leaving behind friends, other family and a boyfriend whom I just knew I would spend the rest of my life with. You see when you you grow up in a single parent home without a father you use that boyfriend ( or gang) to fill that void that you really want a dad to fill. So when grandma said "we are moving to Alabama" that was it, I had to go. By the GRACE of God I was not thinking in my mind, maybe I can stay here with him.. if that had of been the case life for me as we know may would have been over. Why? Well, because months after I moved here I got a call saying that they found him dead in his home. Looks like his cousin wanted the drug money so badd that he was willing to kill for it. But anyway..thats a whole other issue.


So, I move to Marion Alabama and try to begin a new life. I am depressed, I have anxiety, I am angry to say the least. I make plans to finish school and go off to college so that I can get out of this small town ( no offense). I begin to meet family whom I never knew I had. Lots of cousins, great great aunts and uncles whom are very precious to me. Well, after a while my grandmother begin to ask me when was I going to get baptised. Not just granny but other family was wondering the same question. Huh? Whats that?? You see I never really knew or had any interest in "church". I knew there was a God but as far as him having anything to do with my life I never thought about that. (did I mention my ex boyfriend was a hard core atheist)

Anyway, I say all that to say, I didn't get it. What I started to noticed as my grandmother and I begin to go to church was that many people professed to love God. People went to church on Sunday, got dressed up in fancy clothes, sang in the choir( yes.. I said sang lol) served on the usher and deacon boards, ect,ect,ect. So, I thought okay, well if that's all you have to do to love God, then hey I am down with it. So, I was baptised. No life style change, no relationship, no genuine repentance. Not fully understanding what the gospel was. Just straight dipped in the water. I know much of what I am going to say will offend some, if not many, and I sorry you are offended, but I am not sorry for speaking the TRUTH . This is what the LORD has revealed to me and I pray, I pray that He uses it to draw someone unto Himself. So after being baptised I continue to do all that my heart wanted. I continued to live for self and not the glory of God.


Long story short, I begin to date another guy who introduced me to a campus ministry. I met a person who confessed Christ with their lips but whos heart was far from him. I begin to see where I was, people practiced religion with NO RELATIONSHIP. Now I am not saying everyone across the board did this from what I saw (including myself) just some. Anyway, the Lord used this guy to reveal himself to me. I met him at a junior college in Selma. he invited me on a Christian retreat with him and there is where I met Jesus, for real!!! I heard the gospel message and it was so clear. I prayed with two other college students and that night my life change dramatically. After surrendering my life to the LORD, I didn't have the same desires I once had before, all that tasted good to me, the partying, the drugs, the sex was not as attractive as it had been before. I even had a strong desire to end it with the guy I was dating. I begin to read my bible and it was like a light switch had been turned on. As I thought about my life and what I looked like before (post Chicago) I begin to feel scared and sad, that I had been baptised, sung in the church choir attended church every Sunday and still didn't know who the LORD was. It was all religion. People do it everyday, they go to church on Sunday and then at home in private or throughout the week they are living a totally different life. Or kids, they live off of their parents or grand parents faith. Having hope in just because you were raised in the church and attended all your life that means you are in good standing with God. I learned real quick that this was a LIE I had been believing.

As a new christian what happens is you begin to withdraw from things or people that would be would a stumbling block for you. You don't think about the effects it will have on others all you can think about is I have gots to stop doing this. Well, that's where my family come in. I pulled away from many people I loved and it hurt them. I didn't know what else to do. I didn't want to judge them, I didn't want them to think I was thinking I was better than them, I didn't want to start a big fuss, so I just decided to not say any thing and not come around. I needed to figure out this Christian thing. What I did was I begin to search for all the college students who I met on the retreat and ask them to help me grow. That summer I attended a mission trip and that is when my growth in the LORD begin to really take off. At that time our church brought in a new pastor from out of Cali. The LORD showed me through this family how he cared about my growth and my relationship with him. I was thankful I had other Christians to really fellowship with just like I had at this retreat.


God taught me what it means to HAVE A RELATIONSHIP with him, to not just fall or settle for the religion I see in the south so many times. We get so busy doing things for God, and worshiping our service that is suppose to be for Him that we miss out on just worshipping him alone. He is all we need, we really can do without the other stuff. What we do in worship service and outside is suppose to reflect our love and relationship with the Father. I want to encourage you as you read this, are you are religious person or are you someone who genuinely has a relationship with God the Father? Do you think about life from Gods perspective or your own? The bible says the beginning of wisdom is the FEAR of the LORD. Wisdom is seeing and living life from Gods point of view? Why do you go to church on Sunday? Is it just something you do as a family and have continue to do for years or are you coming to worship the God you LIVE for and fellowship with his people?? I want to encourage you to examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?

Those whom I have hurt I am so sorry please forgive me. Those were NEVER my intentions. How I went about doing what I did was wrong, and now I know better.


Grace and peace to you all this God ordained weekend




That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."
Romans 10:9-11



This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

1 john 1:5-10

Help My Unbelief




This girl spurs me on whenever I am around her (she also makes me laugh....a LOT!!!) Please go over and read this REAL blog post by a co laborer of mine. Keisha. I am sure we all can say we have been here before.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Final Stretch





We are almost to the finish line with our first year of homeschooling....and its haaarrrd!!!!


Why in the world, would it get hard now?? ( and when I say hard I am not talking about the work, I am talking about the frustrations of parenting while trying to educate) I mean, I am not motivated and neither is Kaiya. I was just telling a friend today, I have gots to pray more and harder that the LORD would show Himself strong in these last couple of months. However,I am looking forward to homeschooling next year. The benefits far out weight my selfish motives for not wanting to continue to do this. I am committed to educating my child until the Lord speaks through my husband or me to do something different.( and even then He has to reveal it to Kevin) Until then I will choose gratitude and fight till the end to make this the most enjoyable experience ever!!!

yall pray for us..


Take My Life






I can remember clearly having lunch with author Susan Hunt and talking with her about the calling the Lord had upon our family. A calling that in the beginning I had much fear of, uncertain of. Fear of not knowing what our "yes Lord" would actually mean. She shared so much wisdom with me that day, I just remember being in tears and thankful that the Lord had given her the words at that time to give me to hold and remember. This blog was her idea. She says, "Nicole write it all down, write it all down..remember the faithfulness of God through it all ."
So, from this day forward, I want to really take the time to journal as much as I can remember. Which means some post may be shorter than others, but its a record of Gods faithfulness from where I stand.
While some people around the world are cozy in their little beds(because its after 10:30pm at night), snuggled tight, laying on a satin pillow sleeping tight(lol). Tossing and turning in their REM stage of sleep. I am still awake, folding laundry, cleaning bathrooms and answering the door to 5 middle school boys and three adults who will be spending the night with us. I never know what each day, let alone a hour at times may look like for us. But...I have no regrets, I love where we are, and what we are doing. God could not have chosen a better way to sanctify us. This life belongs to Him, as hard as it is at times. I would not change it for anything or anyone. (unless my husband says so..lol)

When I thought about writing this post (as well as answering my door..lol), here are the words that played in the back of my mind:

Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice and let me sing always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use every power as You choose.

Chorus:Here am I, all of me. Take my life, it's all for Thee.

Take my will and make it Thine it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is Thine own it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord I pour at Your feet its treasure store
Take myself and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.
Take myself and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.

Here am I, all of me. Take my life, it's all for Thee.

Lord in marriage,motherhood, and neighborhood ministry..take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to thee. Here I am take all of me!


.

What Are You Doing?




Ministry is just messy. Whether it be mariages, parenting,mission work, church body. Living in close community with others is not a easy thing. My mind has been spinning for the past week. So much going on, the world (let alone our neighborhood) is full of choas. The ministry building has become our second home, we are there all the time. I having been asking the LORD to remind me of what we are here to do. Are people listening? Are any of the truths of the gospel and the relationships we built having any kind of effect on the parents, grandmothers, kids in our neighborhood?
As I was teaching about purity last night to a group of 7-12 year olds( including my own, who is with me EVERY WAKING DAY OF THE WEEK! LOL) I begin to wonder if these girls were getting any of this. (one girl by the way became a Christian last night, she literally asked me to pray with her for over a week.. well,Keisha led her to the LORD last night!!please keep her in yoru prayers)
Last night when I came home I begin to think, and read a devotional book I own. In my reading, I was reminded that God was using me to teach a generation of girls eternal TRUTHS that will shape their lives..consequently the lives of their children and their grandchildren.So in the midst of a choatic neighborhood, God indeed was working. Calling all those whom He has chosen before the foundation of the earth unto himself. I am choosing gratitude.

"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..so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children..."
psalm 78:4,6

Any sacrifice I (or YOU) make to tell of Gods goodness to a child(even your own, you stay at home mom who is TIRED, DEPRESSED and just straight up worn out) or adult will be well worth it. All the laboring, the conflict, the pain or having to reach them will not go unoticed or FORGOTTEN by the GOD who knows and sees all that we do!

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.
Hebrews 6:10


Father, we are tired, and discouraged about all that is happening around us. Would you please show yourself to us this week. Please remind us all that we are in this thing for you, for your GLORY,for your REKNOWN. Our hearts break over the brokeness, and sin in our neighborhood. Lord we are calling you, show yourself strong. Thank you for reminding me and showing me glimps of what you are doing in the hearts of the children in our neighborhood. We are here because we know you are here, and have always been at work here. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of what you are doing. May our HOPE BE IN YOU AND YOU ALONE!

Amen

Monday, March 1, 2010

Text To Pray For Our Children(and others)



The Lord recently has awaken me to pray consistently for those I love. For my lost family members, my child, my friends children as well as those I see daily in our neighborhood. Here is a prayer guide I found on the Desiring God website that I have posted on my fridge. I have enjoyed looking at it everyday and praying for many children through this list. Parenting is hard work, my goodness and so is neighborhood ministry with children who are not yours, who are with you most of the day but then are returning home to circumstance beyond your imagination. Who then come back to you seeming worst then they did the day before. We need to pray more for these kids, and all the kids around the world. I pray the LORD hears us and we witness an AMAZING work of the Holy Spirit in many of the lives of those we love.



That Jesus will call them and no one will hinder them from coming.
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away. (Matthew 19:13-15)


That they will respond in faith to Jesus’ faithful, persistent call.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

That they will experience sanctification through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit and will increasingly desire to fulfill the greatest commandments.
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:37-39)


That they will not be unequally yoked in intimate relationships, especially marriage.
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)

That their thoughts will be pure.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)


That their hearts will be stirred to give generously to the Lord's work.
All the men and women, the people of Israel, whose heart moved them to bring anything for the work that the Lord had commanded by Moses to be done brought it as a freewill offering to the Lord. (Exodus 35:29)

That when the time is right, they will GO!
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)