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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Why Blog?

I discovered blogging by way of a niece-in-law who helped us out with our web site for the mission. Let me just say upfront, I am not web savvy. I am learning as I go and still have so much to learn. I told her that I may be interested in writing about what happens around here on a daily basis. She told me to check out some free and easy to set up blog sights, so I did and all I can say is WOW!

I had heard of a blog but had never really given much thought to the idea. Blog is such a new concept and word that you cannot find it in
the dictionary but after checking out other blogs I was sold. How awesome is it that you can go to cyber space and express yourself. Blogging for me is a time that I can express myself freely. I can share my thoughts, frustrations, views, recipes, pictures, ideas, and even my faith. For me it is as if you are in a place and time that you can say what you want, how you want to say it and when you want to say it. There is no set schedule or set of rigid rules (just keep it clean). It is just you and the keyboard. How good is that? It is as if you think no one is watching or reading and yet, it is open to the whole world.

Since I began blogging I have met some awesome people. The blogs that I read and follow have introduced me to some of the most productive, wise and thoughtful women I have ever met. I have seen them overcome depression, illness, death, stress and Satan's daily attacks. I have been ministered too through insightful Bible studies, challenging words and just seeing the love they express in their daily lives whether through a recipe, a funny story, a picture of something they love or just a simple Scripture. I know Satan uses the web many times for his realm but I truly believe that God is using it for His good also.

So, for someone who spends much of her time ministering to others it is refreshing to be ministered to by the women who share in the blogs I follow. You might say, this is my small group and I enjoy each of them. A big thank you to each of you who take time to express your feelings, hurts, homes, your faith and your great recipes. I really, really appreciate it!

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
I Thess. 5:11 NLT

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Question that changed my Life.....

Lately I have been experiencing the "Mully Grubs" for those of you who do not know what the mully grubs are; mully grubs- the blahs, the down and outs. Scott and I have been ministering to women off the streets for about 12 years now. I remember the first time I brought a women to our home from jail. I knew God had spoken to me about her and I knew what I had to do. For those who have never heard my story let me share about the question that changed my life.

I had been invited to go to the local jail with a women who went to the church we were pastoring at the time. She had been given the opportunity to do a Bible study on Monday nights and wanted another women to go with her. When she made the invite I quickly acknowledged I would love too. I had never been to a jail. I had never even visited anyone in jail, yet Mat 25 ;42-44 clearly says, "when I (Jesus) was in jail you came and visited me and what you have done to the least of these, you have done to me".

I remember going to the jail for the first time. I was so scared. The check-in, the locks, the slamming doors. I was wondering what I had gotten myself into? When we finally made it to the area where we were to do the study, I thought great a chapel or private room, No! The door opened and we walked into a 10-15 size room filled with about 15 bunks. I remember the door slamming behind us and turning around to see women everywhere, they were even sleeping on the floor. A voice came through the call box on the wall that said, "when you are finished just push the button. I begin to panic, when we are finished! You just dropped us off in a room full of criminals and you want us to call you when we are finished? We may never make it out alive! As frightened as I seemed, I can remember looking into the faces of those women and feeling safe. I actually felt as if I was home. I knew then, this is my nation of people!

I ministered in that jail for many months until one night a young women asked me "the question". It was after the usual Bible study. We would always give the women an opportunity to ask questions. In the corner on a lower bunk a young women raised her hand and said, "I have a question?" I replied, "sure go ahead". Now that night I had taught on a very simple scripture; John 3:16 or I thougth it was simple. Many of us just take that scripture for granted. We assume that everyone understands but her question took me off guard. It really was a simple question but the answer would change not only her life but mine too. This is what she asked, "I want to know what your Jesus can do for me"? Now, I had just spoke on John 3:16. Duh! He can save you (salvation). He wants to save you! He loves you. Little did I know how God was going to use this little 24 year old women and her simple question to change my life.
After going through my little spill of how Jesus died for us and wants to save us and wanted to save her she said this, "you do not understand, I get out of here at 12:00 midnight and at 11:45 a drug dealer will be waiting for me and by 12:15 or by 12:20 I will be higher than I have ever been in my life. I need to know what your Jesus can do for me tonight?" You see her salvation for the night was coming in the form of a drug dealer with exactly what had taken her life away-drugs. She had no place else to go. The drug dealer was offering her what she needed---shelter but it came with a price. I had told her Jesus loves her but she needed to see Jesus love. She needed someone to show her that love in more than words.

BAMMMMM! There it was the question that would forever change my life. At that point, I felt as if She and I were the only people in the room. I could feel the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking so clearly; What now? You have faithfully shared my Word. You have faithfully prayed. You have been faithfuol to come and share, but she needs a place to stay. Will you be me in more than word? Will you be me in deed? WOW! What to do, what to do? Me, her and the Lord all alone

I have to admit, I thought I will just pray for her and then tell her I will continue to pray for her. I will tell her, "I hope all goes well. Sorry you won't be here next week for Bible study. Call me sometimes!" But the Lord just would not let me go. I knew what I had to do. I knew what He was asking me to do. Would I be willing to do it? Could I do it? What would my husband say? What about my kids? Oh Lord, help me not only to be willing to do it but to actually do it! So I did it, it came out before I could harness my tongue to stop it. "you can go home with me", I blurted out! a huge gasping noise filled the room as every women in the house sucked in the air of shock. It was done! Too late to turn back now. "I will be back at 11:59 and you are going home with me.

I quickly left and prayed all the way home as I still had to face my husband. Lord, please help him(my husband) to understand what you have ask me to do. Help him to not think I have lost my marbles. I remember saying to him, "we need to be back at the jail before 12:00 midnight". He asked, "why"? I replied rather low, "I need to pick up one of the women". He asked, "what are you going to do with her?" I replied timidly, "I am going to bring her home". He asked again, "what are you going to do with her"? I replied, "I do not know". We picked her up at 12:00 midnight and brought her home (my husband is so great). She spent the next 6 months in our family room with a sheet over the door for privacy. I did not realize at that time that the Lord would spend those 6 months teaching me and preparing me through a girl off the streets for the ministry that He was getting ready to take me and my husband into. It all begin with one question asked one night in a jail by someone in need that forever changed my life. When I think about it, it was not only the question, but it was also the answer that changed my life.
If you want to hear the rest of the story you will have to tune into my blog and see what the Lord did next. Thanks and God bless all for reading.

Correction: The scripture above should be Matt 25: 35-36 as that states the fact that Jesus is saying these were the opportunities we had to serves. Matt 25: 42-43 are the verses of which Jesus says we did not take advantage of those opportunities to serve him. Thanks sto Lewis from Ky. Thanks Lewis.