Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Night and Day

I have been so encouraged in my faith this year as I have really meditated on Heaven and read several books on the subject. One of the truths about heaven is that we will no longer need a sun because the Glory of our Lord will provide all the light we will need. It is very strange to think about an alternate universe, where things will be so different, but trying to imagine it has made me long for it even more. I was thinking the other day about how even most literature uses day/night as symbolism for good/bad, righteousness/evil, etc. , and I think the Bible does that as well. I believe this world has been set up by the Creator to teach us so many things about Him and the way He wants us to think.

So my big revelation the other day, is that I think we have Day and Night consistently every day to remind us of the inevitable good and evil that we must deal with in every 24 hour period. We cannot escape it. Just as sure as the sun will rise in the morning and then set, and night will fall, we are promised the blessings of the Lord as well His grace in the midst of this sin/curse-saturated world.
So, I long for Heaven, where the sun will never set, for His presence will not only bring light, but fullness of JOY.
I do believe, most assuredly, that I can experience Him here, even though night still exists. In fact, when I walk with Him, sometimes it is in the night that He shines the brightest.
His love, His wisdom, and His sovereignty all work together perfectly - ALL THE TIME, so that NO circumstance is void of any of those attributes. I believe that is what it means that God is Good.
So last week,
When I was in a small accident that did mucho damage to Bryan's truck - He is still good.
When Bryan can't find his wallet - He is still good.
When the digital camera and i-pod are both missing - He is still good.
When Levi has a high tepmperature and is very fussy - He is still good.
When there are mustard stains on my new couch after a "sleep-over" - He is still good.
When a sweet woman down the street is in tears over her son in jail - He is still good.
When children are left to fend for themselves most of the day - He is still good.

Lord, You are Good, and your mercy endures FOREVER! Remind me each day to long for Heaven and to remember that my life is but a mist that will vanish like the shadows. I can't wait to see you and know finally the FULL story!

post signature

Proverbs Study

I wanted to share a resource with all you busy women out there!

A counselor at Eastwood Presbyterian Church, Brenda Payne, has been sending out a printable study for the book of Proverbs that is so simple, yet such a great plan for busy women. It gets you in the Word everyday, using a lot of the principles that Campus Outreach taught me/us. It is especially wonderful for me during this high-training time with my young kids.

If you are interested, please e-mail me and I would be happy to send you the e-mail with the attached study. deltakelly78 at yahoo dot com

Please do this if you have been putting off time alone in the Word~ I know I have!

post signature

Monday, June 23, 2008

Common Ground Ministry Update June 23

WHAT’S IN A NAME? Camp “Washington Park” has just completed its 4th full week! The boys decided we should have a name for our summer adventure, so this is the name they chose. Washington Park is the unofficial name of our neighborhood. It is home to the “Washington Park Gangsters”, a loose neighborhood gang. Many of our young boys and older teenagers derive much of their identity from being associated with this neighborhood and this gang even if they aren’t really involved. I have learned much about the ‘loyalty’ of such identity from those in our neighborhood. It is remarkable to me that people can pride-fully claim and defend a territory and yet care very little about the people who suffer in that territory. We wanted to continue to give the boys ownership of the camp and neighborhood through naming the camp and creating their own ways to serve those who live in it. But, our deep desire is that these boys eventually identify with Christ and his ‘body’ above all other ties. What an amazing grip Satan holds when he can deceive many to love and defend a neighborhood (through violent gang fights, drive by shootings, and vandalism) but not the very ‘image of God’ living in that neighborhood. As you know, our vision is to see this grip broken and see the Kingdom of God demonstrated through our boys and girls being redeemed and becoming transformative leaders in our community and in others like ours.

CAMP LIFE!!!We have settled in with 30 boys from our neighborhood from age 6-12. We plan to continue the camp for 6 more weeks, with the last week being a full week of camping at Arrowhead in the mountains of North Carolina. We have five components to our camp: Fun, Food, Bible Study, Community service, and character development. Throughout the week we do a LOT of fun things (skating, swimming, sports, movies, interact with church youth groups, and go on various other field trips). We have become a usual fixture at Ryan’s, Ci Cis, McDonalds, and other kid friendly restaurants during the week. Our bible studies focus on the Creation Story, how sin has affected our neighborhood, families, world, and us personally, and Jesus’ place as Lord and Savior. We split the boys up into two groups for the bible studies (age 6-9, and 10-12).

HERE COMES THE GIRLS!!“Camp Washington Park” just extended to include the girls. As I write this there are 8 young girls back in my living room participating in bible study and some creative arts with Nicole and Delta. They went to the Zoo and to the Planetarium over the last two days. The girls are learning about the creation story in the bible, so they visited these places to help spur their imaginations about God! They have planned two days a week with the girls as a starting point for this phase of our ministry. Please pray for these girls and for Delta and Nicole. They are also beginning a teenage girls and women’s bible study next week.

TRANSPORTATION AND VOLUNTEERS STILL NEEDED!!We still need to find access to another 12 passenger (or more) van. We are willing to rent a van from someone who has one to spare. We also need drivers and help in the camp. If you have some spare time throughout the week and want to come help us, please let us know…

post signature

Friday, June 13, 2008

Lessons I am Learning

“Transcendent living is Christ-centered living. Living for Christ is the only way you will ever be liberated from your bondage to the overwhelming tendency to shrink the size of your life to the size of your life. The only way to spin free of the narrow confines of your little cubicle kingdom is to live in the big sky country of Christ-centered living. You will never win the battle with yourself simply by saying ‘no’ to yourself. The battle only begins to be won when you say ‘yes’ to the call of your King, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
- Paul David Tripp, A Quest for More (Greensboro, NC: New Growth Press, 2007), 99.

“Only love for Christ has the power to incapacitate the sturdy love for self that is the bane of every sinner, and only the grace of Christ has the power to produce that love.”
- Paul David Tripp, A Quest for More (Greensboro, NC; New Growth Press, 2007), 105.

"So remember that whatever evil surfaces in this world and in your life—in your world, in your workplace, in your home, in your school—remember whatever evil it is—against God, against His people, against you—you may be sure that not only does God know it before it happens, but He has ready the instruments to overrule that evil in His way and in His time.
So ask yourself, as a servant of God, “For what purpose has God placed me here in this position at this time?” God may have you in a classroom with godless professors, or in a workplace with profane co-workers, or in a home with an ungodly husband.
Ask yourself, “What is God’s purpose? Why has God positioned me in this place, at this gate, in this palace, in this circumstance, at this time?” "
Nancy Leigh DeMoss http://www.reviveourhearts.com/radio/roh/today.php

post signature

A Summer Day in the Life

A Day in the Life of Yours Truly

I thought a few of you may appreciate what a typical summer day for me looks like these days. Although many days are not this dramatic, most of them are!! I think I will go hour by hour to give you a little glimpse into my life.

6:30 am – What is that noise? Oh no. It’s the baby. I really should put up the block-out shades in his room! A bottle for him in bed buys me a few minutes to read my daily reading from my One Year Bible. Of course I am wishing I was already on my second cup of coffee with hours of prayer behind me. Oh well. Time to get this day started.

7:00 am – Breakfast for all my precious boys, and finally a cup of coffee and bowl of cereal for me!

7:30 am – Doorbell. A little boy is here hoping that coach won’t forget to pick him up for their day-camp today. Don’t worry, they don’t leave until about 10:30. Ok. He’ll be back!

8:00 am – you all know the drill… have kids make beds, clean kitchen, spank a child for fighting, laundry, get baby out of the light socket, get everyone dressed, spank a child for not obeying the first time, wipe down the bathrooms, put child in time out for anger…

9:00 am – I am already exhausted. Time for Levi’s nap, thank goodness!

10:00 am - The doorbell has been ringing consistently now through out the morning. All 30 of the boys who participate in the day-camp will gather at my home until all have been picked up. They love the computer and playroom. I see some of them eating a bag of chips or a handful of “chewies” (candy) and I wonder if that is their breakfast.

11:00 am – By this time Bryan and Kevin have taken everyone in the ministry van and my or Nicole’s minivan for a day of fun, food and bible study. They have been swimming, golfing, skating, bowling and so much more!! What a wonderful experience for these kids.

11:30 am – Baby Levi is ready for lunch and so am I! On an ideal day, Nicole and Kaiya have made their way down here to “chill at the crib” with me and my boys. Oh how I love those days! My doorbell may also ring because one of the little girls in the neighborhood is bored. I can’t wait until we start our own little 2 day/week camp for these precious girls. It is so sweet to see Kaiya befriend these girls and to watch them begin to learn from Nicole what it means to be obedient and respectful and not manipulate to get what they want. Absolutely precious.

1:00 pm – After spending the last couple of hours being housekeeper, disciplinarian, judge, and secretary it is finally time for rest time!!!

1:15 pm – all kids are finally down and Nicole and I are able to start talking through the bible study we are starting next week for the teenage girls we have built relationships with.

1:20 pm – Doorbell. The man down the street wants to know if he can fill up his water bottle since he doesn’t have utilities. Of course. No question. It is a direct command from Jesus. Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to live here. The lessons I am learning are so simple and yet so deep.

2:00 pm – Finally a time to read, and perhaps to shower!

3:00 pm – Everyone up from naps!! The Party Starts once again!!! See the entry from 8 am for details.

4:00 pm – Kevin and Bryan have dropped everyone off at their houses, but within 30 minutes a handful will have walked all the way back over to play basketball outside or hang out in our cool home. The teenagers are all home from Job Corp and have decided they need to check their MySpace account – guess where?? Nicole and I put a big pot of gumbo on the stove because Kevin and Bryan are supposed to have bible study with the teenage guys tonight.

4:30 pm – A HUGE thunderstorm hits. It is hailing and so a group of about 4 more kids run in the house because they had gotten caught in the storm. (So much for my swept floor –ha ha!!)

4:45 pm – Power goes out! Guess we won’t be having Gumbo.

5:00 pm – Conversation with the teenagers about why it’s wrong to call the power company and tell them Levi is on a breathing machine and needs his oxygen just to make them come faster to fix our power lines. That would be a lie. No, really, please don’t call them!

6-8 pm – Bryan and Kevin are outside after the storm surveying the damage and enjoying the hangout time since no one has power. Everyone is outside and the air is relatively cool. Ethan is dressed in his Power Ranger suit and having the time of his life in the muddy yard with Kaiya and many other kids. Bryce is playing basketball with the older kids. Levi is being held by the grandmother across the street who simply adores him.

Nicole and I just take it all in and can’t believe we have the privilege of living here.

I guess we’ll be ordering Pizza. Then going to pick it up - since they won't deliver to my neighborhood after 5. :)

post signature