Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Don't forget this Friday is our Good Friday Cross walk, benefiting the First Christian Church Food Pantry.
Our goal is to bear a burden for the community by carrying a cross in witness of the sacrifice of Jesus, but also to bear a burden for those in need in our community by partnering with a sister church to care for those who need food.
We're leaving from the Tyson parking lot, across from Goodson's drug-store around 4:00 pm, so you might want to be there by 3:30 if you can come. See the map on the left for last year's route, which we'll be following again this year.
ALSO, if you have your cross-walk T-shirt from last year, you should bring that--we do have a couple of extras as well.
I'm looking forward to this event again, perhaps even more so this year as I've learned so much more about what it means to be a follower of Jesus. What I'm really looking forward to though, is bearing our cross together as a community of believers, sharing in fellowship and worship, taking communion together--I'm looking forward to our time together this Good Friday as we commemorate the death of Christ and prepare to celebrate his resurrection on Sunday!
See you Friday!
Monday, March 29, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Just a reminder about the cross walk. We're planning on walking our cross on Good Friday, April 2, at 4:00 pm. I hope several people will be able to find time to do that with us.
Please let me know by responding to this message whether you'll be able to attend.
Don't forget to continue bringing canned food and non-perishable food items for the food pantry at First Christian.
Also, if you missed church this weekend, the message was especially relevant to our cross walk. Please go back and check that out on our podcast.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
A dear friend of ours that used to go to First Christian Church, Tina Vanderhoff, has melanoma. It began in 2006 and was gone in 2008, but they just found 2 more spots so would you please ask our church family to pray?
Monday, March 8, 2010
Thank you to Aaron and your family, as well as the Kreutz's for being open God's leading and for taking the risk of forgiving and loving and healing. This is what the Kingdom of God looks like! And thank you Gary, for sharing with us on Sunday.
Click HERE to read the story from the St. Louis Post Dispatch on the St. Louis Today website.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
As I got up and was getting ready for church this morning I was overwhelmed with a feeling of stress. I started thinking about my Africa trip and the stress came from wondering how I'm going to pay for it. I started thinking about fund raisers that I could do, garage sales that I could have, how much I could take out of every check to put away for it...and the stress increased. So, to take care of it like I usually do, I burried it knowing that there would be another day for me to worry about it. I do have until June
I walked into church and warmed up with the choir, well, I was late so I only practiced some of the songs with the choir and went about my business. Our worship service started and, true to Mt Paran form, was great. Then...the song that would change the whole service, and I felt like it was just for me. "Jehovah Jireh my provider, you are more than enough for me." Ok God. I think I get it. Stop worrying and trying to figure it out myself. Apparently I didn't because the hits kept coming. Special music "I AM hope, I AM peace, I AM joy, I AM rest...I AM your comfort and relief from your stress"...Ok God...got it. Apparently not because the hits kept coming. As I sat through the service with tears running down my face (I know that suprises most of you), the pastor stood up and conveyed to us that as we were singing, he felt that there was someone who needed to hear the words "GOD WILL PROVIDE". He didn't preach the sermon he prepared. He spent the next 30 minutes talking about how God is always providing for people. We keep stressing...and He keeps providing. I know this. I have seen His hand pour out provision on me time and time again.
This will be my 5th trip to Africa. All five times I have stressed about "HOW". Many of you have been the "how" that He has used. For that I am eternally greatful. I'm sure that you are all waiting for the sales pitch because most of you have heard it all five times! Well, of course, if you want to give toward my trip I would be blessed, but that isn't what I wanted this letter to be about. God will provide. He told me this morning. Whether it is through ya'll or some other miraculous way, He will provide. Maybe some of you are going through some kind of financial crisis or some other situation where you need some kind of provision. The last song we sang today said this..."He's already provided, He's already provided. Anything that you need, He's already provided. Every promise you can claim, just ask it in His name. Anything you need He's already provided.
If you are interested in helping financially, you can make checks out to Visiting Orphans and send them to me at 4842 Liberty Plaza
&a mp;n bsp; Acworth Ga. 30101
Thank you for being willing vessels. Whether you have given money toward this in the past, will in the future, or are people who pray for our me, God has provided through you. My heart is full, and my life changed because of it.
An unworthy servant,
Friday, March 5, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
We spoke again to the people at Crossroads Ministry and they didn't have a list of anything specific they needed. All I know is we are going to be doing repairs on 3 homes and a library including painting and sheet rock. There are 7 of us driving up there in our van.
Please ask for prayer while we are there that we demonstrate Christ's love to others.
If anyone would like to donate gift cards for gas money or maybe Subway for our trip up there and back, they would be IMMENSELY appreciated.
I'm thinking that when we go up there we will get a better idea of the needs of the people and maybe we can provide support to them once we better know their needs.
We originally thought we were leaving Sunday after church, we just found out that we are leaving at 6:00 a.m. on Monday. We are supposed to be there Monday at 4:00 p.m. We work all day Tues. Wed. and Thurs. Then we have some activity on Friday morning and we'll be heading back.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
So reading these books has sparked a memory that I've been meaning to share. It's about Noah...
For about 3 weeks last summer my sister kept Noah during the day so that I could get my office hours done. For some reason, all of my sister's kids go through a mean stage around 4 years of age. (Seriously, it must be some genetic thing! I can hardly stand to be around them but they usually end up at "Camp GiGi" to get some Jesus and have it exorcized from their little hearts at some point during this year). My nephew turned 4 last March, so he was in the throes of his meanness last summer. Each day when I would pick Noah up he would be quiet but nothing really concerned me until the end of the first week.
I got out of the car and could hear my sister screaming at the top of her lungs from the pool in the backyard. "Do it Noah! I said do it!" I ran to the back wondering what on earth Noah had done to make my sister go over the edge and found her holding her son down and Noah cowering 5 feet away. When he saw me he immediately ran and threw himself into my legs and began hysterically weeping. Because language is hard for him, I just got him over the dry heaves and sent him into the house to get a cool drink of water. I asked my sister what happened and here is what she said:
"Grady (her little boy) has been mean as a snake all week long. He has been merciless to Noah. He has hit him and bit him and kicked him and yelled at him and made fun of him and I've had enough of it! So when he tried to drown Noah in the pool and was beating him up I wrestled Grady to the ground and told Noah to hit him back! Enough is enough! I must've confused Noah because he didn't know what to do. Explain to him that I am not mad at him, but that I am trying to help him take care of himself."
So I went into the house and it took me 10 minutes to find Noah. He was under my sister's bed weeping into the carpet. I couldn't get him out so I just laid there beside him until I could get him to the point where he could talk. I finally asked, "Grady has been pretty mean hasn't he?" Noah answered, "yes ma'am."
I reasoned, "Aunt Stephanie was trying to teach Grady a lesson. She was trying to help you defend yourself. She isn't mad at you. She just wanted to give you a chance to hit Grady back."
At this, Noah became completely hysterical again. Finally, I asked, "Noah what is wrong?" He said, "I can't."
I said, "Can't what baby? What can't you do?"
Noah cried, "I can't hit Grady. Please don't make me. I can't hit Grady!"
"Why baby? It's okay. Why can't you? You are 8 and he is only 4. You are so much bigger than he is? Why can't you hit him? Why do you let him beat you up?"
The next words would stop me in my tracks and become a matter of serious debate in my family for weeks.
"Because I love him," and Noah began to weep even harder.
The idea of striking Grady cut him to the core not because he was afraid of doing it, but because he loved him too much to retaliate. The debate that ensued is something that grieves me now. Had I read these books last summer, I could've stopped it. But instead, I just let the family carry on their debate which went something like this: "This is why Noah will always need someone to take care of him. Aren't you afraid of what kind of person he'll become when he grows up? He'll never make it. Poor Noah. Poor you. You'll be caring for Noah for the rest of your life. Autism has done this to him."
Autism has done this to him. Huh?
Autism cleared his neurologically deformed brain of pride long enough not to think of himself but of someone else. Autism convinced Noah not to consider his own injuries but to see the person who was injuring him as one in need of patience and compassion. Autism stopped him from perpetuating the cycle of violence. Autism caused him to love someone else more than himself. Autism made him more like Jesus. Maybe we need more autistic people in this world.
Strangely enough, Grady stopped being mean to Noah that day.
After all of this reading (I'm almost done and will get your books back to you soon:), I remembered this horrible day. When I picked Noah up on Friday of last week I asked him if he remembered that day. Tears sprang to his eyes and he said "Yes ma'am. I still love Grady but I want to be a good boy but please don't make me hit him." I pulled the car over and climbed into back seat. I held that neuro-diverse little person in my arms and told him that he was right and everyone else was wrong and that he had soon what Jesus would have wanted him to do.
I guess Jesus was neuro-diverse too.
Monday, March 1, 2010
In the past, they have asked that you NOT purchase LARGE or MEGA packages of things, as it is much harder to distribute them.
Some items that are always in need ----
mac and cheese