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".






12.24.2013

What Christmas Means To Me [A Group Project]

Feeling the urge to do something more collaborative for a Christmas post this year, I asked a few friends of mine for the help by sharing what Christmas means to them.  Thank you each for your help on this, I appreciate each of you very much!

What Christmas Means To Me
By Aubrey, Destinie, Gina, Spencer & Yvonne

I've been thinking about this a lot: there are so many contemporary songs out there that pine away longing for the joys of Christmases past. From memories of lost love, to wondering why Christmas isn't the way it was when we were children, to longing for loved ones who have passed. I don't mean to be critical, because those feelings are very real. I could and do feel the same way for any number of reasons. Missing my mom. Missing my dad. Even missing friends that I enjoyed celebrating Christmas with last year.

However, I also rejoice over watching my children grow, seeing Wesley for the first time truly excited about Christmas, his understanding growing because he remembers last year. Remembering my beautiful baby girl last year, and now seeing her, a toddler, not understanding and yet enchanted by all the beauty of the glistening lights and the joyful church music which radiates the same spirit of joy which God has placed within her. It was last Christmas that God began to show me that "joy" was going to be the word He would give me for her.

But I have really been thinking about how God never changes. And how often we forget because we get focused on how things have changed, or how we are in the midst of change, or how big changes lie ahead. Even Christmas, that special time that comes around every December, changes with every year that goes by. This beckons to us, to bring the focus of Christmas back to God, not just to Jesus coming as a little baby but everything before and after that moment in time, because Jesus, being God, is eternal and immutable. The great mystery of Christmas is how all that holiness and glory and eternity came clothed in the helpless human form of a little baby.

Another thing about Christmas that is mysterious to me is how everyone, believer and non-believer, seeker, atheist, and skeptic alike, we all feel something special this time of year. People's hearts are open. Differences are, at least for a moment, overlooked or even reconciled. And yet Jesus wasn't even born on December 25th.

I'm striving with my kids to keep the focus on eternal things as much as possible. People probably think we're miserly because of how little money we spend on our kids at Christmas time. They probably also think we're party poopers because we don't want our kids to believe in Santa Claus. Maybe we are those things, but it also helps steer the focus away from the presents and back toward what is really important: the only part of Christmas that will never, ever change, and will even outlive the very need for Christmas itself. Jesus is called the Word because He communicates to us everything that God, the incomprehensible, Holy, Perfect Being that we cannot see, wants to show us about Himself. Jesus came as a baby to communicate that to us on a level that we could understand. He lived among us so we could see firsthand all that God is in a way we could comprehend. And so that He would feel and experience everything we do, yet without sin, making Him the perfect sacrifice to reconcile us to God, and also the perfect High Priest to stand before God and intercede for us, because He experienced firsthand the pain of being clothed in this frail human flesh.

We definitely decorate our house and have big family gatherings and enjoy some of the more secular trappings of Christmas. We play Christmas music, secular and Christian, from Thanksgiving to New Years. We LOVE this time of year as much as any other family. And I think that many of those things can and should be enjoyed in their rightful place. It just breaks my heart when those are the first and only reasons for celebrating this time of year. – Aubrey (Rochester, NY)

Christmas means family: lots and lots of family. I have over 20 first cousins, so whatever house we've chosen to gather in is always full. To me, Christmas has never really been about gifts and lights or physical things, but about coming together to fellowship with each other in memory of Christ and what he did, and still does for us. And of course, no Christmas is complete without coma-inducing, rich foods. – Destinie (Planet City, FL)

There is something very magical about Christmas. The hope of our Savior coming to dwell with us, the opportunity to bless others, the anticipation of a day filled with warmth & love. Many complain that it has become materialistic or that it has become a secular event. I don't feel that way though. I believe many still hold on to the true meaning of it. You see it as you pass people's houses and churches, and the nativity is on full display. You see it as you scroll down social media pages and people are celebrating Advent, stirring themselves up. You see it as people make the effort to volunteer at shelters or rush to an angel tree to pick out a child to bless.

Though the season begins with a Black Friday, the true spirit of Christmas is alive & well in the hearts of men. Let us not become discouraged or doubt motives, but remain focused on the lights in the world that are shining brighter in the dark. – Gina (Plano, TX)

What Christmas means to me is a time for miracles and a time to fall in love. Christmas brings people together and makes the impossible possible in some way shape or form. People say Santa isn't real but I believe he is real still to this day. The only difference from when you were a kid to now is that if you're good he'll bring you a miracle. – Spencer (Lawrenceville, GA)

It's another year gone by and the anniversary of our dear Saviors birth comes around again. Growing up in a large family (there were 8 of us kids), was always fun and innovative. Christmas was no exception. Today, I hold dear those many memories. Both secular and religious. I am so glad I went to Sunday School as a child. My parents did not attend church but they made sure us kids went every Sunday. But they always came to the Easter and Christmas programs our Sunday schools put on. The early foundation of my church years gave me the promise that Christ was born for a reason. I learned that early and know today that many people celebrate for different reasons. But not me. Jesus is the Reason for the Season!. The Christmas Carols in the hymnal, remembered forever on my mind will never fade. Today in the hustle and bustle of Christmas as the commercialization takes a front door. I read the gospel over and over. I sing the hymns over and over.( I can't sing on tune so I sing by myself.) and I keep adding to my nativity collection. I also keep some of the fun stuff, Santa Claus, Frosty, and Jingle Bells. This year, I am keeping Christmas simple. Easy on the gifts, lots of family, and comfort foods. Fellowship with friends and remembering good childhood memories. Midnight Church service on Christmas Eve. How can I forget? Candles lit each window in the church with a calming glow. Silent Night, Holy Night. Sung by the choir in perfect pitch. The Christmas tree all lit aglow under twinkling lights. Christmas to me is all these things. I have taught my children that Christmas is Jesus' birthday, a day to celebrate the wonderful gift from God to us.  That we have a way to come to him for an eternal life and Jesus is the answer for the world. Merry Christmas! – Yvonne (Vancouver, WA)

12.12.2013

I Am Second - Anne Rice

If you knew me during my teen-age years then you knew one thing about me for sure, I loved Anne Rice. I consumed her vampire novels one after the other, having my parents sometimes pay top dollar for the hardcover version the first day it was released. To my delight today I found that she made a "I Am Second" video. While listening to her, as she speaks about what it was she was going through while she penned down her famous works is quite interesting and amazing. They are both of those (interesting and amazing) as I recollect what I was going through, what I felt and was dealing with in my own life at the times when I read them. Not to mention as I near my 30th birthday, and it was been almost a decade since I have picked up one of those books (albeit I have read her Christ The Lord novels since). It is when we look back, we can see how far we have come ... how far God has lead us into the greatness He has in store. 

I recommend you to listen to her story, if you have a spare ten minutes or so. 





Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:37-39





11.14.2013

Mother Teresa [Let's All Take Some Notes]


It doesn't take a Catholic to realize that Mother Teresa is/was the BOMB DIGGITY! I admire her faith and her service. So in honor of the legendary lady, here are some of my favorite quotes from her. 

  • If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
  • I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.
  • I know God won't give me anything I can't handle. I just wish He didn't trust me so much.
  • Intense love does not measure, it just gives.
  • It's not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.
  • Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.
  • I'm a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.
  • I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.
  • The fruit of faith is love, and the fruit of love is service.
  • The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.










11.11.2013

Gift This.

While recently doing some of the LoveIs work stuff (God has given us second location to start helping – YAY) a young girl gave me a gift in return for us coming out. It was a gift I most assuredly already had (of sorts) but by her giving it to me brought some sort of full circle significance to all that God has made real in my life over the past almost three years … it was a Bible. How funny that she, this girl who I have never seen - never had very any conversation with (other than the chat about 15 minutes before about who we are and the work we do in L5P), before I left to leave ran to give me a KJV Bible and speak with me on the comfort of Crocs (admittedly, I just don’t get them people.. but are they REALLY as cloud-like as everyone says?).

It reminded me of the scripture in Isaiah …



The word had been given out through-out the years to the people on the corner, and it was coming back to me in a simple gesture by whom might all accounts be an angel is disguise (yes, I totally believe in that sort of thing) by someone in locale 2 (it was our third time serving there).

We, as believers of Yeshua, all have been given a gift and have therefore have a gift to share …






So, Merry Christmas, as those who see me on the day to day hear so often. You’ve gotten your gift, now it is time to share it with the world!