Friday, April 29, 2011

Prayer Request and Story from BK

Sometimes I just LOVE how my husband is able to communicate things through his writing. He has a ministry blog, but instead of posting a link, I am going to copy and paste here for you to read. It was a shared experience one afternoon, and a lot of what he feels, I feel too. So here it is...
by: Bryan Kelly

I am at the end of myself.... again. I have been involved in some pretty big interactions lately where things didn't go the way I would have wanted them to go. People I am trying to love don't seem to see eye to eye with other people I am trying to love. I feel a little sorry for myself, sorry about myself... and tired. There seems to be a lot of loose ends, many that I have created, many that I haven't, and some that I can't even imagine what resolution looks like. I say that on this format mainly to try to figure out what's going on inside of me and to solicit any of those reading to pray for me.

I am asking the Lord to rescue me from many things. I need Him to rescue me from the place of shame and insecurity that I tend to stumble into. Also, I want Him to rescue me from the place of me playing the martyr... where i seek affirmation and people on 'my side' to the point of me not being honest about my addiction to and contribution towards the chaos around me and in me. I need to be rescued from my 'fix it yourself' mentality and my 'shut down and act paralyzed' mentality all at the same time!

Pray for me that I would find my affirmation in God, that I would trust Him, and that I would find true direction, take healthy responsibility, and live out of real repentance right now!

Now for an anecdotal story... I offer a situation I faced last week that seems to define how things are going.

I returned home the other day to see a lady resting on our porch and talking with my wife, Delta. We have had many interactions with her over the last 4 years. She is mentally ill and is the butt of many jokes as well as mistreatment in our neighborhood. She is highly emotional and suffers from many severe mood swings, often in the middle of the same conversation. We have never had any disagreements with her. We thought we had always treated her kind and with dignity.

The conversation started nice enough. We caught up a bit, Delta responded to her requests for food and some finger nail polish (don't ask, I couldn't do the scene justice!) then she looked at me and yelled, "Give me some money for a whopper!" It was kind of funny. I told her she was welcome to eat with us but that I didn't have any money on me for a whopper. She then said, "You never give out money!" That is actually kind of true. That's a long conversation on what actually helps and what doesn't. She then said, "You are supposed to give from the heart!" What a loaded accusation.... And according to who said it, what they meant, who received it, and what one might be thinking it is challenging! It's like throwing out a political talking point, or a racially charged statement that lands hard.

What can you do with a tough accusation like this? "You never give out money... And you are supposed to give from the heart?" It is connecting two truths... Yet can be true or not according to the day, the person, the motive, the situation, etc. It is complicated! As she made the accusation, I began to justify myself in my head, recounting all the things we had done for her, especially when all of her own family had not done so. I then thought about the people that I refuse money to EVERY day that ask for it up and down our community streets.

She then dropped her second bomb: " What you think I am going to do, smoke it up or drink it up?" That's exactly what I thought, honestly. There was good reason to think it. I had seen her at the crack houses on many occasions. It all comes flooding in... stereotypes, real life history, odds, prejudices, pride, confusion, frustration, inability to know what's right in the moment, more pride, selfishness, inconvenience, did I mention pride?

She then began to spew out rants as she made her way up the block. "y'all just think you can move into our neighborhood and post up on our block! Y'all wouldn't stand for us to come live in your neighborhoods! You are either a drug dealer or the police! We don't want y'all here. White people! Who you think you are?!?!"

In hindsight... it hit me.

I hate being accused of anything. I hate not knowing what to do. I hate defaulting into not doing anything while justifications flood my mind. I hate the feelings of frustration and insecurity. In those moments I really want to be sure, and to be affirmed. I often forget that God did not call me to Himself and here to feed off the reactions and opinions of others whether positive or negative. Events like this and the ones I have been going through lately really flush out my motives.

Frustration, for me, comes when things don't get fixed... when I don't get fixed. I have had to trust the Lord in the middle if my neighbors rants, in the middle of conflict among my brothers and sisters, and in the middle of my failures and tensions.

God must really love me to use these things to bring me back to this point: What does He really think about me, and why am I doing what I do?"

Am I his son, and am I doing this for the glory of God and for the love of people, or do I have other motives? I smiled yesterday and the weight lifted as I was enabled to remember the truth.

God is good!

(here is his blog address :

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Annex

Our latest initiative as a ministry has been to create a very unique space with a building we acquired across the street from our current facility.
It will be an place with several functions, this is quoted from the sponsors press release:

"The Annex was created by renovating an existing 4,300-square-foot building adjacent to the CGM's main facility on Mobile Street in West Montgomery. The Annex will house the Urban SEED Xchange, a program that will provide entrepreneurial training for youngsters in grades 7-12, and space for the House 2 House program, which helps families achieve the dream of home ownership. The renovation project lasted 30 days and Beasley Allen donated $60,000 and many hours of sweat equity to help bring it to fruition."

Our ribbon cutting ceremony was very special and meaningful. I can't wait to report the ways God uses this building to extend His reign in our neighborhood!

Fixing my eyes

Sometimes things seem hopeless.
There was a HUGE Easter party in our neighborhood park on Sunday, given by our "famous" local drug dealer. People come from all over the city, bringing their kids.
We drove past on our way home from my parents house and were amazed at the number of people! About ten minutes after getting home, we heard gunshots and saw people running down the street, toward our house. Somebody had fired shots into the crowd. For the next hour or so rumors flew. The final story is that 2 people were hit, but did not suffer life threatening injuries. (Thank you, Lord!)
Bk walked down there in the midst of it all to see if the people involved were any of "our" people :) I really do experience the peace of Christ in these situations, knowing that God and his angels are with Bk when he needs to do things like this.
I kept our kids inside, started the bedtime routine, and felt myself begin to feel overwhelmed. I take that feeling and transfer it to my parenting/ home, when in reality I believe it's a desire to control this community and protect it from evil.
But that's Gods responsibility.
HE IS here, and at work, and I need to trust Him and his timing.
But I also need to pray more. To fight this battle on a spiritual level. Fighting against the powers of darkness as I seek the Lord and His reign over this neighborhood.
I have tried to remember to FOCUS my thoughts on Jesus, eternity, souls of people and the sovereignty of God. This is a challenge for me, because apparently my thoughts are focused on cleaning my house, changing a paint color, yard-work, kids disobedience and disrespect, etc etc etc. As I take the initiative to refocus, I am experiencing grace.
Please pray for me! I want to truly experience victory in this!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saturday fun

There are now 5 boys that we know the Lord wants us to invest in- 3 from one family, 2 from another. We usually have some or all at some point on the weekends. They are wonderful- and wonderfully cute :)
They played outside all morning and now it's art time apparently.
Pray for these boys that God would use us to help them know Him and His love in deep and precious ways.

Bike shop in the backyard!

A party every Saturday

Deltas art class- haha - yeah right!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, April 15, 2011

maybe I can do this after all

So I just figured out an app for my phone that allows me to blog from it... Yay !
I am sorry I have been a terrible blogger but this may help- no promises!
The picture below is from spring break and whats missing is my precious sister and her baby boy. It was a crazy week, but full of fun and adventures. I have been volunteering one afternoon a week at CGM and I really so love it. I have a table full of 5th graders!
I will do a post soon about some health scares I've had lately, but just know I really am fine.
My boys are great and I can't believe another school year is almost over.
Well, I'm going to post this now and check it out. Hopefully , more to come soon :)