Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekend Ministry Work

Well, this weekend was Courtney's 13th birthday, so we definitely had some birthday festivities :)

But we were also able to get in some wonderful ministry work.  Saturday I delivered some clothes and bread to an elementary school boy in a neighborhood.  I also went by and checked on our favorite Hispanic know, the shoe boys, the no power boys, etc.

I wanted to ask their mom if a friend, Angela Battle, could pick them up and take them to the Stem parade that afternoon and bring pizzas home for dinner. 

Praise the Lord they had power :)  And the mom allowed Angela to pick up the boys and take them to the parade.  But not only did they get to go to the parade, they got to be IN the parade!!!

Angela said they had such a blast!!! 

Then Sunday Dean picked them up for church and they went to Open Arms Fellowship with us for Sunday morning service where they got to witness a baptism and communion.  They did look a little confused at the whole communion thing...but never fear...they will be getting a lesson on it from me soon :)  I want to have the time to explain it in depth where they can understand. 

(Funny that the Lord had already told me about 3 weeks ago that I needed to be thinking about explaining and having communion out in the trailer park one of the nights when we go out.  So now it's a definite lesson in the works.)

After church I took them back to our house for some playing in the yard time - and they also came in and watched a movie and had a little popcorn with my kids and my sister's kids and Dean's brother's son.  They were just a normal part of the family!  Before they left I was able to give them a garbage bag and a half of some donated boys clothes.  They were so very excited and grateful to receive these items.

Open Arms Fellowship is going to be sponsoring this family for Christmas and has a list of immediate needs and Christmas items needed.  We are so very thankful that the Lord has allowed us to be a bridge between this family and local body of Christ!  They have stepped up without any questions asked.

My main concern with this family, and with any family, is this.........I do not want to begin overloading these families with toys and material things to the point where they think that stuff is actually important.  This is a major problem in America, and the American church unfortunately.  We have allowed material things to be more important than our relationship with Christ.  Our household is very much included, but we are trying daily to repent of this and change our ways!

God calls us to make Him #1....and that is a big deal.  Please pray that above all else we will remain in Him and make this work His.  He doesn't want these children to be happy with the things we give them....He wants us to give them HIM!  We don't want to make a name for ourselves....we don't want to cause people to become members of a specific church....we want them to become our true brothers and sisters in Christ and become members of His Kingdom.  And we hope that the love we display to them will show them just a part of how Christ loves them, and will cause them to ask "why do they do this?  why are they different?  why do they even care?"  IT'S ALL BECAUSE OF CHRIST!!!

Also this weekend Dean was able to take a mattress to his brother that is paralyzed from the waist down.  This was a used mattress, but I was friends with the lady who had it so I was sure it was okay for him to use.  Big thanks to Deborah Reliford and Dean's mom Marcia for putting in some money to buy the mattress.  Dean's brother Tommy was very grateful for the mattress and said it was extremely comfortable!

Then last night I was able to meet with Elizabeth Allen...a lady from Roxboro who has been collecting donations for her family members that lost their home and all of their possessions in a house fire in Halifax, VA recently.  I was able to provide some clothes and bed linens from our ministry donations, and I also went to WalMart to buy some necessary toiletries for them to use.  Some of the family members are still in the burn unit at the hospital awaiting please keep this family in your prayers.  They have a long road ahead for recovery - but with the help of some local believers and family members, they can get through it.

I almost forgot that on Saturday I went to an outreach at Morreene Road Apartments in Durham.  Frontlinez Outreach Ministries headed this up.  I had a wonderful time serving the folks out there and met a new buddy - Ricky.  I can't wait to team up with Frontlinez again soon, and will probably be doing so next month.  Frontlinez goes out a Durham community on the third Saturday of every month.  Next month it will be at Hoover Road Apartments.  I was so excited to hear this because I give bread donations to Mr. Michael Harley each week in Hoover Road Apartments - and he keeps saying that we need to come and do an outreach there :)  So now we will be!

I've posted a few pictures below from the outreach....sorry for their lack of quality - they're from my Blackberry.

Until next time :)

Loving Radically Through Christ,


Free From Bondage

Over the past week, the Holy Spirit has really been ministering to us (me and Dean's mom, Marsha) about being free from the bondage of the law and sin....

When we met up last Thursday at our house for weekly prayer meeting, we both had the same message from the Lord.  Mine came from the first chapter of Galatians - hers from Colossians.

Little did I know that the Bible study I would be working on this past weekend would just happen to be in Acts 15 and all of Galatians.

What wonderful confirmation that we're in the right spot and listening to what the Spirit wants us to hear....not just what we feel would be good for "Bible study and reading" this week.

I'm excited to see what He reveals to us this week :)

I truly value my mother-in-law.  She is a true joy and has so much wisdom.  She has a wonderful heart and loves people to no end.  And for the Spirit to put our hearts and mind on the same page for over a month now is so very exciting!!! 

Galatians 1:3-5 - Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Colossians 2:6-23
Spiritual Fullness in Christ
 6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
 9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
Freedom From Human Rules
 16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. 19 They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
 20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

Loving Radically Through Christ,


Friday, November 18, 2011

Gas Cards

If anyone has been considering how they could donate to the ministry - we would really appreciate gas cards.  We do so much running back and forth to pick up food and donations - and then to deliver them to the needy families.

We love every minute of it and wouldn't change a thing :)

You can mail them to us at:

P.O. Box 128
Stem, NC 27581

Even a $5 card helps.

Thank you so much in advance :)

Loving Radically Through Christ,


Monday, November 14, 2011


During the 80's and 90's I remember going to the movies to watch the latest sci-fi adventure.  Like Star Wars..."A long long time ago in a galaxy far far away."  Then the music would start and a large paragraph of words would roll up the screen like a space ship.  How cool was that?  I would pretend to be a Jedi Knight and use a stick as my lightsaber.  I mean, who didn't want to be a Jedi?!?  Unless of course you were a girl.....then you wanted to be Princess Lea. 

I must admit though when I was a kid I dressed up like Darth Vader one Halloween.  I know what you're thinking, "Wasn't he the bad guy?"  Yeah but I really liked the red lightsaber better than the green one.

Then there was Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  Everyone was humming that tune...DA DA DA DA DA DO...or something like that.

And who can forget the little cute and lovable alien....E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, with his glowing finger and illuminating red heart.....running around on a strange planet getting into trouble.  And his famous line, "E.T. PHONE HOME!"  All he wanted to do was go home.  Remember at the end how his body turned all gray from being on a strange planet. 

These were just a few of  the many Sci-Fi/Alien movies that have been produced over the years. 

Then there's the mysterious Area 51.  Some say it's a cover up for a top-secret military intelligence project.  For others it's an intergalactic face-to-face encounter with alien life forms.  Scores of alleged UFO sightings and alien abductions have cropped up. 

There are many that truly believe there are aliens among us.  What do you believe?

Whether you believe in aliens or not, these stories are very intriguing to say the least.  Just for a moment, close your eyes and visualize a night sky with thousands of stars. 

"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.  Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Psalms 19: 1-3"

I would like you to take a journey with me into a world where the things seen become unseen and the things unseen become reality.  A place where our faith is established upon a truth that will set us free from the world as we know it.  Imagine if today you left this world to live on another inhabited planet.  Your life would most undoubtedly never be the same.  You would be alien to everyone around you.  You would probably get quite a few strange stares, and some would probably even run away from you because you are so different.  Then others would probably be intrigued by you.  But some would probably even want to kill or torture you because you don't fit into their normal way of life.  This is exactly the way believers in Christ were and are treated today.  Hebrews 11: 36-38 says; Some faced jeers and floggings, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword . They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated....the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.  Who were these people?  The Bible says in Hebrews 11: 13-16...All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country...a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

These people of old considered themselves aliens, strangers to this world.  In our American World we have created a life that revolves around things, and doing things, and being entertained, and even doing church and family activities that totally consume our much that our spiritual vision is all but blind to any other world but our own.  What drove these people with such passion and determination that they would endure shame and torture and even death?  First of all, they caught a vision of a better world.....a Heavenly World and they desired it and went after it.  Secondly, they left their old lives and confessed and lived their lives as aliens and strangers on earth.  In the movie the Matrix, the world had become a wasteland and machines had taken over.  The machines created a world in peoples' minds that seemed real, called the Matrix.  Everything looked and felt the same, but it wasn't reality.  So Morpheus and a band of his followers would go inside this Matrix computer-world to offer people the truth.  What was the truth?  That the Matrix was not real.  So if you chose to explore the truth your mind was freed from the Matrix and driven into reality.  One particular man named Neo was freed from the Matrix and soon discovered that he could do incredible things inside the Matrix.  Once he discovered the truth, he could do things that were miraculous. He could fly, move faster than humanly possible and defy all the natural laws.  But he was only able to defy all these laws because he was not bound to them anymore. 

When we have an encounter with God Almighty and discover the Truth, we are free from the law of sin and death, and we are free to live in heavenly places with God.  The world no longer has a hold on us, therefore we are free from it's laws.  We live under a new law in Christ, where all things are possible to them that believe.  Jesus was free from all of the laws of this world.  He defied the natural law of gravity by walking on water.  He could control the atmosphere with just a word and the winds and rain would cease their raging.  He raised the dead to life.  When was the last time you have seen someone raised from the dead?

Then there was his power over the flesh!  He lived a sinless life and conquered every obstacle the evil one threw at him.  And finally he demolished death by rising from the grave.  Does that sound alien to you?

Yeah it does to me too. 

What we deem normal, Jesus calls temporal and fading. What we deem strange or alien, Jesus calls eternal and lasting.

Listen to what Jesus says to his disciples in Matthew 17:19 & 20 after they tried to cast out a demon and failed. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?" So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, move from here to there, and nothing will be impossible for you."  Did Jesus just say nothing will be impossible?  But how is that possible?  I have no doubt that Christians don't doubt that God can do the impossible.  But I have no doubt that Christians doubt that God can use them to do the impossible.  The only thing that limits the impossible from becoming possible is our doubt.  But where do we begin?  Is salvation the beginning of the end, or is there more?

Some of you may know the comic book story of Superman. And how he had to leave his planet Krypton that was destroyed to seek life on another planet.  On Krypton he was just a mortal, but when he came to earth he gain great powers through the energy of the Sun.  You remember how the theme song goes.  "Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, it's a bird, it's a plain, no it's Superman!!!"  He was the man of steel, nothing was impossible for him.  Oh but remember he did have one weakness, Kryptonite.  Kryptonite was a green rock from his old planet Krypton, that he had left behind.  If he were to come into contact with the rock it would make him weak like a normal man, and if exposed to it too long he could die.  We have a power in Christ if we live in His World. If we desire anything of our past life it will weaken our faith and make us of no effect on this planet.  If you are a believer in Christ, you are an alien, you are not of this world.  You are a new creation, old things have passed away.  Listen to the words of Jesus again in John 17:16: "They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world."  God wants us to move in a way that is not natural to this world.  But we have to set our hearts on things above and not on things of this earth. 

We need a Close Encounter of the God Kind!!!



New Need: Sick Child

A friend of mine notified me of a new need for a child in Durham.  The child's teacher is the one who is now my contact. The child is sick with Sickle Cell and Turner's Syndrome.  She lives with her (single) mother and 4 other children.  The mother has been laid off from Glaxo for two years now and is having a hard time finding work that will allow flexibility for taking care of the children.  The teacher specifically informed me of clothing needs for the little girl:  7 slim pants, small shirts, size 4 shoes. She did not have a list of the other kids ages and sizes at this time.  Please contact me if you can help!  I will update with more info as I get it.

Loving Radically Through Christ,


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Needs Revealed - Needs Met - God is Good and On Time!

This past week has been an emotional roller coaster ride with the passing of our beloved friend and mentor, Eileen Shuff.  I can't tell what the days ahead will hold for us, her husband Terry and Bull City Outreach Ministries...but there are two things I'm certain of...God is in control and Eileen is in a far better place.  The hole left in our hearts right now is very real...but so is the presence of the Holy Spirit as our Counselor and Comforter...and to this promise we will cling!  Sometimes by choice...sometimes by necessity...

In other news this week, we had a couple of needs brought to our attention.  Each week we continue with our regular food outreach and fellowship in the local trailer parks, but we also had some calls/emails this week for additional needs.  We always love to get those requests and see God use His body to meet those needs.

Our food pantry was pretty bare for food that could be used in family food boxes - but when we received the requests we responded in faith that we would have something for both of them within a few days.  And of course we did :)  Super big thanks go out to Lindsey Newsome and Denise Watts for their gracious food donations that allowed us to make these two family boxes.

We also were made aware of a need late Saturday afternoon for one of our regular Hispanic families.  This is the one that we just bought the shoes for.  They had moved out of the singlewide that they had been sharing with the other family - and into their own place.  However they just did not have the $400 cash that was required for the electric and water deposits.  When we went by Saturday night, Dean found them all in the living room surrounding a camping burner of sorts - and they were running a light with an extension cord that had been wired to their truck battery.  What a sad sight :(  Praise Jesus that almost as soon as the need was put out there, Ronald Perkins responded with a donation of kerosene heater and gas can full of kerosene for the family!!!!  We went to Timberlake and picked it up and took it over to the family in Butner.  They were very happy to have the heat!  (If you are able to give a donation of $20 for the electric/water service deposits - please see our paypal donation link on this website.)

Angela Battle, of Open Arms Fellowship in Creedmoor, went and talked to the family and was taking a couch and some fried chicken today - and also told them last night that they're church would be sponsoring them for Christmas!  Another Praise Jesus report! 

I am just so thankful that the Lord has entrusted us to be used to reach out to these be a light in their match them up with local churches that can serve their needs.  Next Sunday we have promised the 4 boys that we will come and pick them up and take them to Open Arms for service and Thanksgiving meal afterwards.  I am already very excited :)

Also on Saturday we were able to hand out bread and donuts in Twin Circles and also in Morning Glory (elderly apartment complex).  Angela Battle joined us to hand out bread in both areas - and she also brought two pairs of shoes to the little girl that we inadvertently missed the last time we gave out shoes.  This little girl was so very happy to have those shoes :)

And we were so very blessed to be able to fellowship with Miss Ernestine in Morning Glory Apartments.  What a blessing she is to us with her words of encouragement.  When we pulled up at the apartment complex, Courtney was adamant in saying that she would help take pictures and walk with Angela some and us some, but that when it came time to get to Miss Ernestine's apartment, she wanted to make sure she was there.  The lady just exalts the Lord with every word and every smile.  We were able to lay hands on her and pray with her over a sciatic nerve problem, and in return she spoke some very encouraging and applicable words over Dean and I, and we knew they were of the Lord.

To put the cherry on the top of an awesome weekend, we went to Working Faith Ministries this morning for service.  Pastor Trey is always a huge blessing to us.  We know that we never go wrong by attending there on a Sunday morning.  Trey allows the Lord to speak right through him and we are able to leave full and refreshed, knowing that what was just spoken was Truth.  I keep getting this feeling that I never even made a post of the pictures of the bookbag outreach that Working Faith Ministries did with us at the beginning of the school year in here they are :)  We are so thankful to have found like-minded, Spirit-led believers like Trey and his wife, and are excited about what we know God will do with us together as long as we keep His plan first.

I'll leave you guys with this...something the Lord really used to touch me this weekend during some Bible reading.  It comes from the first chapter in Titus.  Paul left Titus in area that had been evangelized and now needed a working body of Christ.  Titus had been left in charge of making sure the body of Christ had the necessary people in action and in leadership - keeping this new body of believers functioning as Christ would have them function.  To me that kinda hit home.  We're not the new church in Crete by any means...but we are taking a new, radical, different lifestyle of Christ to our local neighborhoods and into our local churches.  So as being leaders of should we also be living?  I just happened to be reading out of the NLT at the time and I really liked the way it put this if you don't find it to be an egregious fallacy, I'll replace "elder" with "leader" because in my mind as I read this section, I absolutely applied it to Dean and I and our roles, and I just can't myself an "elder"

A leader must be well though of for his good life.  He must be faithful to his wife, and his children must be believers who are not wild or rebellious.  A leader must live a blameless life because he is God's minister.  He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered; he must not be a heavy drinker, violent, or greedy for money.  He must enjoy having guests in his home and must love all that is good.  He must live wisely and be fair.  He must live a devout and disciplined life.  He must have a strong and steadfast belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with right teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong.  Titus 1:6-9

The devil came in and tried to attack this week in some of this area...but Praise Jesus that we did not let it just end there!  This is God's Word - this is God's Truth - and this is how we want to be without a doubt.  The stone was thrown in our path for a moment, but the Spirit of Truth moved it away as soon as we asked.

We would greatly appreciate your continued prayers...for our ministry, for our family, for our relationship with each other, but most importantly our relationship with Him.  As Pastor Trey reminded us today, we can get some things accomplished with just our own abilities...but it won't be His agenda until we've consulted Him and submitted it all to Him!!

Loving Radically Through Christ,


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Food Pantry Need

Our food pantry is pretty close to bare right now.  We have been getting lots of calls and emails lately for food boxes.  That is totally understandable because the cost of food continues to rise along with the unemployment rate!

I'm so sad that I missed Harris Teeter Super Double Coupons last week because I always get a bunch of free/cheap stuff during those events and we always use those for our food pantry.

I will try and stock up some during the upcoming week with coupons and sales - but in the meantime we've received an email from a single father, yes I said FATHER :).  He is on disability but his food stamps were recently greatly reduced.

I asked for a list of items that they normally need and here's what he said:

Peanut Butter
Canned Chili
Mac and Cheese
Hamburger Meat

If you can provide any or all of this within the next couple of days - please get in touch with me ASAP :)

Thanks as always for your help and support,


Monday, November 7, 2011

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Not the picture of me of these kids that we love so dearly!!!

We were able to provide this very needy family with brand new tennis shoes for all of their boys.  There are 4 of them....Jonathan was out helping Courtney deliver bread at the moment, but he came in and got his a few minutes after this was taken....

We love these kids dearly and anticipate the moments we get to spend with them and sow into their little hearts and lives.

Jonathan is always begging me to take him back to church with me.  (We picked them up and took them each night to Vacation Bible School at Open Arms Fellowship this summer - and they had a blast!)

We will next be looking for an 18-passenger van so we can easily pick these eager kids up!!

This family lives in a 2 or 3 bedroom singlewide trailer....however they share it with another Hispanic family.  Praise Jesus that I had picked up another pair of tennis shoes in size 2 - because I was able to give them to the other little boy living in the house! 

I didn't know there was a little girl there too - but I promised her I'd return with a brand new pair of shoes for her too.

I want to give a huge THANK YOU to Debbie Chambers who assisted with the purchasing of these shoes.  She is always willing to give and help out in whatever way she can - and it is greatly appreciated - more than words can express.

We have a very hard time getting donations - but that's understandable.  We're a new ministry and funds are tights for everyone.  But when God plants the outreach idea in my heart - I need to trust that He'll provide the way.

He did it this time once again :)  Thank you Lord....You alone are Worthy!

(A few more pictures follow....but the flash wasn't working at first - so they're dark and hard to see.)

Loving Radically Through Christ,


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Alien Stuff :)

Okay so I won't full disclosure yet - but right now we need your eyes :)


Now that Halloween has passed, there will be mega sales and markdowns on all the Halloween items.  If you see any great deals on ALIEN items - please text or call me at 919-224-7038!  Alien masks, costumes, decorations, party supplies, etc.

We will need a bunch for an upcoming event :)

Loving Radically Through Christ,