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

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Reason To Be Thankful

I remember growing up and telling myself I would never get married or have kids. The things I did as a child were definitely not something I would want my daughter to engage in. I wanted to be the next Oprah. Having a live in man with no attachments and no kids and LOTS of MONEY. God changed my heart. He clearly has other plans for my life. Many that will bring Him glory and draw many to His name. I am thankful that He chose me, called me and gave me a new heart.
My husband and I celebrated 9 years of marriage on Wednesday! This weekend we leave to celebrate our anniversary at a Family Life Marriage conference. That's all I wanted for my anniversary and my husband made it happen! I am so thankful for him.
Today, our daughter celebrates 8 years of life. Today is always emotional for me, because I am reminded of the infertility battles, the stress of going through a 'high risk" pregnancy and then slammed with joy unimaginable when finding out we were prego. God is good! I could not ask for a better life. His sovereignty always blows me away!!

I am the LORD, and there is no other;Besides Me there is no God.I will gird you, though you have not known Me; That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun. That there is no one besides Me.I am the LORD, and there is no other, The One forming light and creating darkness,Causing well-being and creating calamity;I am the LORD who does all these.
- Isaiah 45:5-7

Enjoy ya weekend!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Greater City

Greater City isn't just a song. It's a calling. A burden for the city and a cry out to the ONLY one who can be a refuge for us during times of pain, hurt, and violence. God is in my city, I believe that with all my being! Why else would I be here. No matter how hard, and discouraging life around me is, at the end of the day my husband and I are here because GOD is here and was here before we got here. I love my city and believe God has a plan for this city. Please listen closely to this track written by Christian hip hop artist Thisl.

Greater things are yet to come, greater things are STILL TO BE DONE HERE....
This song is such an HUGE encouragement to me. I pray it encourages your hearts as well.
Love ya city to life!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday- Life In The Building On Wed. Nights

Real Life

I've been silent. I've been doing a lot of pondering and I have been very busy. It seems I don't have as much time for blogging as I use to. We are coming to the end of our 2nd year of homeschooling and I am praying the Lord help us make it through. *sighing* That definitely hasn't been the easiest thing. God always provides grace through an encouraging husband, girl friend and associate pastor. I am confident and thankful that my daughter and I are right where we need to be. I love the body of Christ!

We just completed our 4th year as urban missionaries last month. I remember Kevin and I saying "15 years, we will commit 15 years to this ministry before we go before the Lord and inquire on what we should do next." Stay here or go else where?? I cant believe its already been 4 years! It went by soo fast. As I have been thinking what to blog about, my mind mostly just ends up blank. Its not that I don't have anything to say, its just that the question(s) I end up asking myself is, "Do I really want to share that?'... "How would it make my neighbors feel if they read this?" "Will this point those who are reading this blog to Christ?"

My whole reason for wanting to blog about our ministry was to give people an "up close" account to what life is like as an urban missionary. Now I just kinda feel like, its just life. That's all we are doing. LIFE on LIFE. Nothing radical about what we are doing. I say that because if we read the scriptures, we will see many people before us have done the very same things simply out of obedience and love for the Lord and the plight of their neighbor. Nothing radical about that. That's just simple obedience. It just burdens me that we have resorted to calling obedience "radical" simply because many are choosing not to live according to the scriptures as we should. (this including myself) Lord have mercy on us all!

Many times when I come to blog I don't and wont have "deep, frightening" stories about living in the hood. I won't come with a sob story all the time about some girl in the hood who is just running wild and crazy, or some boy caught up in local gangs.

We are simply doing LIFE. Does it get hard? Heck yea! Frustrating? Uh yea! But even in that, there is confidence and a reassurance that can only come from the LORD. That assurance for me is that we are right where we need to be. So, I do plan on blogging more in the future, (starting this week). It's just right now, I have so much to think through and focus on that I can't even begin to get what I want to say down in writing. The ministry is adding more options for the kids in our after school program. Our community garden is well underway. Our church plant is in full effect and the official launch is late summer. The Purity Study begins TODAY, and our cheer team is blooming with confident girls who are learning what it means to cheer for the glory of God. The 13 Letters Wednesday night bible study is amazing, and the kids seem to really understand all that is being taught from week to week. I don't want to use this blog to boast or brag about my own abilities or what "I'm doing" (unless its in the NAME OF THE LORD OUR GOD), but my hope is that whatever you read here, it provokes you to faith, in our Savior and that faith shows it self through the works you accomplish here on earth.

Phil. 2:16 "...As you hold firmly to the Word of Life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain."

Friday, February 4, 2011

Standing In The Gap (Ez. 22:30)

We covet your prayers. Please, as much as your can remember, stand in the gap for us. Here are a few prayer request:

1. Housing for staff. LORD PROVIDE! This is SUCH A HUGE NEED!!! We still have staff members who are not living in the hood. Some are waiting for their current homes to sell, others are awaiting for homes to be available in our hood.( renovation, funds, title issues,ect..) Please pray for both! We want all of our staff settled in the hood by the end of the summer.

2. After School Program. We are desperately in need of many volunteers for our kids. Many of our kids need one on one help and we cant offer it to them until more people sign up to serve. Please pray the Lord will send more workers into the harvest. Greatly needed!

3. Support. It takes a lot to keep a ministry like our(and others) running. Please pray the Lord continues to provide the funds we need to stay operating.

4. Purity of our kids! Keep those knees ashy for this one! lol

5. Our marriages. Date nights have been fabulous! Please pray that our marriages will stay a priority and we never forget the most important ministry we have...the home.

6. For our single staff. Purity, contentment, Joy in their walks with God, and that we will love them well.

7. Unity amongst our staff. I am so thankful my husband and serve along side some of the BEST people!! All of them are amazing. Please pray God's grace keeps us humble and loving in solving conflict that may arise.

8.Strong Tower at Washington Park (our church plant) Those of you who are church planters, you already know what to pray. lol Others, please just pray we are a church who loves God and loves people. Pray for the purity of the church as well.

9. Pray for our children. Pray that we would parent them well. That the Lord would give us wisdom in how we raise them. Pray that they would hunger and thirst for righteousness.

10. That God would give us favor with those in our hood and that we would LEARN just as much as we came to SERVE those around us. Please pray that we would be full of humility and desire to give NO ONE glory but the LORD.

Thank you for laboring along side of us through your prayers. They are needed! Have a great weekend!

*please note the prehistoric Nokia in the pic isn't mine... I have a prehistoric BlackBerry.. don't judge me.

Ongoing Battles

For the past week, I have been so stressed out and discouraged about my homeschooling. It seems these emotions always happen during our second semester of school. I begin to become anxious about whether or not we will finish all our work before the summer, should I continue to homeschool after this year, is Kai really learning as much as she should, am I cheating her out of an education because my homeschooling efforts don't look remotely close to all the blogs, books and friends I know. *sighing*. I have been crying out to God often, asking Him to lead me and guide me. I've been asking Him to help me be content with where I am and not to covet my neighbors "oxen or sheep". I know my life will never look like the next person because God has blessed us all with different gifts, has given us all different callings, and all of our kids are different. So why do we go through this never ending cycle of comparisons? Why do we not trust that we serve a God who is in control and knows whats best for our kids and for us?

Tonight I will fight to TRUST in Jehovah Shalom- God of Peace.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these thing and the God of peace (jehovah Shalom) will be with you - Phil.4:6-9

At the end of the day, I have to tell myself, Kai will be exactly all that the Lord has ordained for her to be, nothing MORE nothing LESS. He is in control, all I can do is try my best and honor Him with my efforts.

Lord, please bless me with your shalom!

Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do. -Isaiah 46:9-11

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

To Know Him

I heart Kay Authur! This inductive bible study I've been doing authored by her has been soo good for my soul. This week I haven't been doing so well.What I thought was depression, was really discouragement about my circumstances and God has used the scriptures out of this study as well a good one from a close friend of mine to restore my soul. Life is so busy, confusing at times, overwhelming, draining; yet, exciting, and adventurous. Many days I wake up and wonder if I am bipolar, urban ministry will have you like that at times. LOL!
I am learning so much about WHO GOD IS. I don't have an "older"women pouring into my life, so with all the ministering I do, in my home and outside, things can become very difficult for me to handle. The Lord has provided Kay and I am so thankful. The Lord is using this devotional to help me see and understand Him more clearly. Its been so encouraging to study the names of God. So much of our confusion, our pain, our indecision, and our wrong decision come because we don't know God. As Kay says in her book, " we may know about Him- we may know what others know- or say about Him- but do we know what God says about Himself? Do we really know for ourselves who He really is, and therefore, how He conducts Himself in the affairs of mankind?"

...but the people who know their God will display strength and take action.-Daniel 11:32

I am learning when I know God for who He really is, there is power in my life. Today I give praise to El Elyon for governing all the affairs of my life and everything else around me. I give thanks for Elohim for creating me in His image and all things for His glory. I am in love with El Roi, the God who sees and knows all my circumstances as well as all of the happenings of those in my hood.
Lord, I Want To Know You is changing the way I see life, and I know I have my God to thank for that.

Let's seek him diligently!

O LORD, our Lord,How majestic is Your name in all the earth,Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!-Psalm 8:1

Some boast in chariots and some in horses,But we will boast in the name of the LORD, our God.-Psalm 20:7

RELOAD - Youth Ministry Beyond the Walls: Overcoming Injustices and Rebuilding Communities

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