7.17.2014

I may not be perfect, but my Savior sure is.


I grew up with a military dad. What exactly does that mean? While although he did not enforce a super tidy space (it would have been futile to try anyways, clothes belonged on the floor back then after wearing them), he did expect the best from me in regards to my grades. Of course, best might be slightly skewed as bringing home a 97 (A) was not acceptable. He beckoned for something over 100, which meant I had to knock out some extra credit questions/tasks. This repeating occurrence through-out school, in conjunction with a few other life events and seemingly pre-disposed traits (displayed at a very young age), has shown and echoed through-out my life, I extremely dislike to fail.

This desire for perfection gives a doorpost for attacks, as no one is on point 100% of the time.

None, but God come in human form as the Son, Jesus Christ that is.

It is written in Psalm 51:5, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” And Ecclesiastes 7:20, “Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.” But for the betterment of all mankind we know the truth of Yeshua, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21.

Of course, reading the verses are all well and good; it is coming to the true understanding of this fact and applying it that sometimes takes a bit more tick-tock on the clock. If you are like me, you may have struggled or perhaps are currently struggling with the idea that God is mad at you. This is in part result of the mind of an attempted perfectionist. If we harbor negative emotions within and towards ourselves for not being “on-point” of course (we think) our Creator would think the same thing right? FALSE! He knows the very number of hairs on our head, and knew us before the foundation of this world, and totally sent His son to die on our behalf BECAUSE of ours sins (past, present, and future), in which we might be reconciled back to Him, so ...

You, nor I, nor anyone else will ever be “good enough” to get into Heaven. It is a free gift, as written in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

May we remember, “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 
God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—  he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”
Romans 3:22-26

So perhaps instead of us trying to be some unattainable version of ourselves, we should start to see the world/people around us that is in need.  Embark upon the call that has been given to us all, the Great Commission perchance?


Additional Reading -> Romans 5:12-21


❤ Psalm 103 ❤

Psalm 103
Of David.
Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
    his deeds to the people of Israel:
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
    they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
    and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
    the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
    and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
    and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
    and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the Lord, you his angels,
    you mighty ones who do his bidding,
    who obey his word.
21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
    you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the Lord, all his works
    everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, my soul.


6.20.2014

Poor & More

Two thought provoking articles from Relevant/Reject Apathy: Unconventional Ways to Fight Poverty by Elsie Amyx and The Wrong Way to Approach The Poor by Chase Miller.

As I look upon today's society, seeing people that spend their time solely on the streets, and others that spend the majority of their time at their jobs so they can make ends meet, there is a voice that asks "What is poor anymore? What is considered to be poverty?"

It seems that the official word is an income at or less than $23,850 for a family of four. This accounted for nearly 15% of Americans in 2013 (46 million). The top 1% of makes over $500,000k yearly, where-as I am now learning middle class can range from $35k to about $100k. 

I am reminded of a time when I had my first car, a white Geo Storm in which was decked out with bright colored embellishments and Power Puff Girl novelties. I could fill up the tank for about $15. My tank now would laugh and me and beckon for more in two or three days. Of course that is nothing in comparison to the age in when my mom was raised where she could get a moon pie and a coke for .15 cents. 

With the above just being merely facts and figures, I transition into this, the Bible tells us in Deuteronomy 5:11, "There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land." 

It is by God's grace alone that neither you nor I are in such a situation.  For example, one of the people from L5P has a story that could happen to any of us. He had a home. He was living paycheck to paycheck. He got let go. His house insurance lapsed. He house caught on fire. BAM! As such he then ended up on the street with no friends or family to turn to at the time.

It's my belief that we all are lacking and need help from others in one way or the other (whether it be food, compassion, instruction, etc). Not to mention that we are constantly needing help from God! As written in the book, we are a patchwork quilt, made up of all different people, in various places, spaces and backgrounds but all stitched together - meant to work together, in hope of a better present and future for all.

In conclusion I would like to say a little RIP for two people from L5P that have passed away in the last two weeks, Big John (Bones) and Nancy, you will not be forgotten, but we all know where you are now! See you one day again, where there will be no more sorry and no more pain! 

6.04.2014

Christmas Possible 2014



It's here! It's here! Christmas Possible 2014 has begun. Year 3 hopes to be just as awesome as the first, but with a few modifications which includes a special guest and brunch/lunch.

Check out the fundraising page for more details @ https://www.youcaring.com/CP2014

*Many thanks to corporate sponsors so far for the one-for-one youth raffle*



4.04.2014

Better Off Said

[Person] Hi.
[Me] Hi, do you know God loves you?
[Person] So how are you doing?
[Me]I am well, yourself? Do you know that Jesus died and rose again, so that you might be reconciled back to the Father?
[Person] The weather sure has been crazy.
[Me] It has, do you know that we are all going to end up in one of two places, either heaven or hell?
[Person] Well, it was nice talking to you.
[Me] Likewise, just be sure to be on the watch, have you noticed no one really talks about the antichrist anymore?

Though this is not based on an actual conversation, it is one that portrays how I feel as of late aka ALL I WANT TO DO IS TALK ABOUT FATHER, SON and SPIRIT! Why? Because there is a world around us struggling, going buck wild if we are to get a little 90’s up on here and the TRINITY is WORTHY TO BE PRAISED!

I turned 30 in January, and honestly, I am a little shocked I made it this far. Did I test some boundaries along the way? Yes. May I test some boundaries in the future? Perhaps. #WorkInProgress Yet, I will say that this year has been the best one yet, and that is all due to the Father, and He alone is also the reason I am still here upon this planet. Never did I think I would be any way sort of evangelical, and I am keen to not use that word now, but I heard a message (paraphrased below) within the past few months and it just stuck with me.

If you had the cure for cancer, wouldn’t you share it with the world? Then why, are we as believers, who know the remedy to CURE the SOUL for ALL ETERNITY so apt to keep it to ourselves?

Well?

The speaker followed up with the notion of us being fearful, but ….




So, I am inclined to think about the disciples .. about Paul .. of all the believers (missionaries, preachers, teachers, etc)  in the past 2,000 years .. all is required of us is to be willing to be used for His kingdom .. God will handle the rest. 


2.03.2014

Christmas Possible 2013 : Let Your Love Shine Recap

This year brought the 2nd annual Christmas Possible celebration, which benefits homeless and at-risk youth (ages 17 – 21) that are being provided shelter for by Covenant House – Georgia.

A mixture of friends along with their families (and even a Covenant House board member along with her two daughters and husband), as well as, corporate supporters (Rosebud Perfume Co., The Roswell Tap and DJ Maj Pro) helped make this event even more robust than the 1st as the shelter doubled their housed youth with the move to their new location during the year with donations of time, food and/or monetary contributions (from 31 to 65 youth).

We provided male and female “care bags” filled with basic care items such as shampoo/conditioner, soap, deodorant, hair brush/combs, toothbrush/toothpaste etc., as well as special items such as purses, stuffed make-up pouches, electronic bubble wrap key-chains, hats, wallets, ties, cold gear items, etc. The Christmas Eve dinner was served up fresh off the grill, and consisted of many southern favorites like BBQ chicken, hot dogs, glazed ham, potato salad, mixed veggies, mac n’ cheese, pasta salad, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and an array of mouth-watering sweet treats. During dinner a raffle was hosted in which 10 hand-made scarves, an array of headphones, gift-cards, and a handful of miscellaneous items were given away to each of the youth.

God really showed up not only at the event itself, but also ALL throughout the year as various preparations were being made! It was wonderful seeing people from all over come together from the initial gathering stages, to the task to stuffing the bags, to day of activities all towards the common goal of showing out God’s love to the youth of the Covenant House.

Only He knows what will come about with regards to this years event, but whispers have started for perhaps doing two different organizations (Covenant House & a woman and children’s shelter). Alas the year is still young, and we serve a big and mighty God, so we will just let Him do His thing and SHOW OUT!

A gigantic heartfelt thanks from me to EVERYONE who helped either by donating time, funds or goods, and prayers. You can check out some photos of the event here.


“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Matthew 25:35-40




1.08.2014

Art4TheHomeless E-Zine [December 30th]

Hello lovely folks and HAPPY NEW YEAR! I do hope that each and every one of you who read this has started out for what many hope to be their BEST YEAR YET!

It recently came to my attention that I added a widget to the side of the page (Art4TH), but failed to mention what for - meep! Through a lovely blessing, by God and a nice lady named Johnna I will be doing a monthly column for (her) Art4TheHomeless E-zine under the title of "Coffee & Cupcakes". While admittedly I have been a little slack on writing devotionals; my craving to write is still alive and present. This will allow me the chance to expand upon something that is near and dear to my heart, service for others, specifically in the outreach of those that are homeless or in poverty stricken situations.

Art4TheHomeless Mission

The Mission of Art4TheHomeless is to unite the arts forms to provide support and awareness of non-profit US homeless shelters, to provide support for US homeless shelters, to provide support for artists involved with the Corporation, to provide a space where the artists of all disciplines create and participate organizational sponsored activities and programs working to raise awareness of homelessness, the organization will host and promote activities for integration of the presently and previously homeless, and assistance locating homeless resources and supportive services in the United States.

You can check out their website here and see below for my first column which focuses on the quote from Mother Teresa, "If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one".







Update 6/4/14 ArtForTheHomeless has changed their format and now offers a blog in lieu of a digital ezine -> http://www.art4thehomeless.org/