Monday, December 13, 2010

Amazing God

It's Monday morning and I'm sitting at my local Starbucks reveiwing the past few days. What an amazing weekend! Friday night we did Midnight Outreach and took roses to the clubs for the ladies. One of the clubs (which we only recently got into, after nearly 2 years of prayer) told us how much it meant to us that we decorated their dressing room for Christmas and brought roses to them every month. The manager said that they wanted to give something back; that the girls wanted to collect money to help us buy toys for the poor. HOW COOL IS THAT???
The dancers want to help the poor. The people we have been reaching out to want to reach out and help others. Amazing. At another club one of the women told a volunteer that she had had a horrible day, but when she walked into the dressing room and saw the gifts from Healing Place her whole attitude changed. A small gift, delivered with love, changed her whole day. Amazing.

When we went north-side the streets were absolutely barren. A volunteer checked the news on her phone and found out there was a recent prositution sting and 19 men and women were picked up in the sweep. I believe God Himself is intervening in their lives to create opportunities for change. Lock-down can be a rough place for prostitutes and cross-dressers so please pray for their protection and salvation. I believe that God will use this for their good.

Saturday morning we had our special needs Christmas outreach. What a party! Bounce houses, face painting, manicures, crafts, popcorn, pizza and more; everything designed with special needs kids in mind. The activities were great, but our guests of honor were what really made the day a success.

I met a young man named Landon who was there for the festivities. We had an interesting conversation:

Me: Hi there, my name is Donna. What's your name?

Him: Landon. When is your birthday?

Me: October 27th. When is your birthday?

Him: Thursday.

Me: Your birthday is Thursday?

Him: No, yours.

Me: Pardon? (looking to his mom for direction)

His mom: He means your birthday is on Thursday. Next year, Oct 27th will be a Thursday.

Me: Seriously? Is that right?

His mom: 99% of the time he's right. You can look it up, but he's usually right.

I looked it up later. Next year my birthday will be on a Thursday. Incredible. I couldn't tell you when my birthday was this year, never mind next year. How does he do that? Incredible young man.

My buddy this year was named Ian. He and his mom came to the party and I got to hang out with them. I like a person who knows what he wants; Ian is that person. House of balls? Yes. Crafts? No. Face painting? No. Pizza? Yes, with a coke. Definitely my kind of guy. His friend Luke was there too so Ian and I played football against Luke and his buddy. It was a tough game, not just because it was full-contact but because the ball was imaginary. I'm so glad that our church is big enough to play invisible football in the entrance. I'm not sure who won, but it was a hard-fought game.

I chatted with a woman while Ian was eating his pizza by the haircut booth. She told me that her husband was having a mid-life crises, that he had told her he didn't love her anymore and that he was leaving her. I didn't know the woman, but I assume she has at least one special needs child, as she was at the outreach as a guest. She said they had been married for 9 years and he was leaving. She asked if I knew what she should do. I listened more that I talked, and I told her about our divorce care group for people walking through tough situations. I gave her the number for the church so she could get connected. As she walked away I wondered what other parents were carrying when they came through our doors. Realizing the weight that others carry often puts my life in perspective. Please pray, not just for this woman, but for all of the parents and caregivers who are laboring to raise their gifts from God.

It was an awesome party, an awesome day. Thank You God, for my awesome church!

Sunday morning I was absolutely stoked. It was finally here...Miracle Offering Sunday!!! I went to the 9am service because I couldn't wait to give. Since the day I got saved I've wanted to build the church; what a great opportunity to be a part of what God is doing. A large part of Miracle Offering will be used to finish building our children's space upstairs in the arena. We get to give our little bit to God, watch Him multiply it, and then see generations of kids find the hope and truth of Jesus Christ. It doesn't get any better than this! If you missed Sunday, don't sweat it. I think you can give to the Miracle Offering until year end.

So, that was my weekend. Amazing events, amazing people and my amazing God. All glory to Him!

Another exciting website is finally up. Check it out and lemmino what you think. Thanks for your interest and your prayers. God bless you all.

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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Shame Vault - my new book releases today really happened. My new book, The Shame Vault, released today on Thank you for your prayers, your support and for believing in this project. My website hasn't launched yet but if you want to buy the book or just check it out, you can go to this link.

Again, thank you for everything. All glory to God!


Thursday, December 02, 2010

Thanks and mercy

I've been thinking about my last couple of weeks and decided to make a list of things I'm thankful for. In no particular order, here are a few recent experiences:

The night before Thanksgiving I was standing in an apartment in New Orleans with a single mom and her disabled son. We had taken them a ham and prayed for them, leaving them with hugs and smiles. Less than a week later a man knocked on her door, waited for her brother to answer and then shot him dead.

I saw a young woman panhandling at the intersection. I can't be positive, but she looked like Tree (a woman we met months ago at New Beginnings who chose to return to the streets of New Orleans).

Friday night a drunk girl at church told me that she was going to smash my head into the concrete wall.

A few nights ago I sat with a group of friends giving the Gospel to a drug dealer in some one's living room.

What I'm thankful for:

- Single mom and disabled boy were not home. The murder is still a tragedy but not what it might have been. As we speak they are being relocated to another home.
- Tree is still alive. The night Preston and I drove her to New Orleans and watched her walk into the night I was afraid her pimp would kill her. Apparently, he did not.
- Sunday morning the drunk girl apologized profusely and stayed for church service. She is seeking help for her addiction.
- Drug dealer said he's going to come to New Beginnings on Friday. He wants a new life.

I am so grateful that God is so merciful towards us. Without us deserving it, earning it or even wanting it, He extends His love and grace to the unworthy.

He saved me...from most of the list above. He saved me because He loves me. He saved me because He is good...not because I am good. All glory to God.

I love my God, I love my church and I love my life.

What are you thankful for?