28 August 2007

Cool Book

Our book club just finished reading this, but I'm just getting started (long story):

The Revolution: A Field Manual For Changing Your World

So far, I absolutely LOVE it! It addresses all those issues that "comfortable Christians" find distasteful...
Capital Punishment
The Environment
Fair Trade
Gang Violence
Women's Rights
Clean Water
Human Trafficking
War & Peace
Yeah, I know; the fallacious misconception is that if you are a Christian, you don't care about such things. For too long now, we have let the secular world take all the responsibility (and the credit!) for addressing these issues.
This book is a small, collaborative effort by several Christian writers to address these important issues and to show that there ARE Christians working quietly to make a difference. Broken up into short, concise essays, this book offers insight into the problems as well as practical suggestions that ANYONE can do to help in the struggle to alleviate these social issues.

It's true that we should worship the Creator, not the creation, but this has been taken to the extreme by far too many Christians. We have a responsibility -- indeed, an OBLIGATION, to take care of the planet that is entrusted to us. More importantly, we must speak up for those who have no voice and provide help and assistance in ANY way we can to those who need our help.
I encourage you to check out this great book and
get inspired to just

26 August 2007

Elevate Rotation #1

This morning, my team (Elevate) served at the Donaldsonville Dream Center. The Pastor, Mark Stermer is currently helping out in Peru after their devastating earthquake, so Pastor Dino filled in at the D.C. The service was AWESOME!
Today just happened to be the 3rd anniversary of the Donaldsonville Dream Center/Church so there was a huge celebration following the service. Barbeque, volleyball, space walks, etc! Classic HPC style! I loved Donaldsonville and definitely plan to go back again after rotations end.
Here are some pics from the day...

24 August 2007

Baton Rouge DREAM CENTER Pics


*Craig & the guys filling sacks with rice and beans.*

*Cooking For Christ -- getting ready to serve us lunch!*

*Mrs. Margaret & Mrs. Susan, Nadia, Carole, John Austin, Natasha, Israel, Evangeline & all the kids from the BRDC "Jump Start" dayschool!*

*Pastor Alliece telling it like it is!*


*My dear, sweet friend, Lorri holding a CUTIE PIE*

*ME & a FABULOUS group of ladies @ "Ladies Thrive."*

*Israel, Natasha, and Evangeline (holding a sweet baby)!*

*One of our guy volunteers handing out groceries after the meeting...*

*Carole doing her best impression of J.P. =)

*What it's ALL about!*

23 August 2007

Tomorrow is....

my FAVORITE day of the week!
Tomorrow is Friday, the day the girls and I go to the Baton Rouge Dream Center. On Fridays, BRDC holds LADIES THRIVE -- a Bible study/prayer group for the ladies in the neighborhood. I have made some wonderful friends at the Dream Center -- volunteers and attendees alike!
Basically, Charity and Donna usually go around with the HPC van and pick up any ladies who need a lift to the Center. Once they arrive, we have snacks provided and we sit and chat until everyone has arrived. Then Pastor Alliece reads a short scripture and talks about how it applies to our daily lives. It is always so thought-provoking and I find that I get just as much out of the "lesson" as the ladies do! After some serious, "in-your-face, no-beating-around-the-bush straight-talk, we break up into small groups and get to know each other a little better. We go around the circle and ask each of the ladies if there is anything they are going through that they need special prayer for. Sometimes, they just need someone to listen or a shoulder to cry on.
Other times, we do what we can to get them some real help, directing them to people/places who can aid them in their current predicament. Then we pray over them and for them.

Afterward (if we're lucky) COOKING FOR CHRIST team comes and serves a hot meal. And can these guys COOK! They are SO awesome!! We love the CFC team. =)
The ladies are then taken home (or leave) with a bag of groceries and (usually) a jug of tea or something similar.
I truly do look forward to every Friday and when I have to miss (sick child or vacation), I'm so sad. I know some of the ladies have gotten attached to me (and I to them!) because when I'm gone they fuss at me wantin' to know where I've been!
I'm going to try to take my camera tomorrow and take some pictures to post here of my amazing Fridays at the BRDC...

22 August 2007

A Method to My Madness...

Ok, without getting all "preachy" or weird on you, I have to say, there is a *reason* why I am doing Elevate. This was not a whim or a passing fancy. I wasn't bored or looking for MORE things to fill up my time (God knows my calendar is already over-filled!). Some of you won't understand what I say here; it will be as though I am speaking a foreign language... you'll think, "She's lost it. The stress finally got to her; she's gone off the deep end." =) I assure you I am in full control of my sensibilities... (I think)

About a year ago, God showed me a vision He had for my life. I am very excited about this vision and fully believe it will come to be. That m
ay sound crazy to some of you -- especially if you are not a Christian. I had a dream about something very real to me and I felt commissioned to do something about it. No, I didn't "hear" God's voice in the literal sense of the word, but I had this dream that I could not shake and then the strangest thing happened... Over a period of about 3 months, I had this vision reinforced or re-revealed to me in various ways that, even now, amaze me.
So, Ok, I thought; I'm supposed to do this thing. Now what?
I knew that I had a LOT of work to do before I could complete the task. I will be the first to acknowledge that I am not perfect. I know some of you will be amazed to learn this about me, but trust me, it's true.

I have issues with trust and anger and I struggle with my weight and self-esteem... and well, you get the picture.
I want so much to help others, but as they say, you can't help anyone until you help yourself.
Anyway, I have been volunteering down at the Baton Rouge Dream Center for about 8 months now and it occurred to me as I was praying with these precious ladies that I needed healing as much as they do. Some of these women have been through hades and back... there are stories of drug and alcohol addiction, homelessness, abuse, prostitution, abandonment, hatred, and neglect... some of their stories will break your heart.

But how could I minister to them when I had not dealt with MY OWN baggage?
Obviously I couldn't, so I began praying for my own healing and peace about things that had happened in my life. That's when I felt God nudging me toward Elevate and I just knew that I was meant to do this. I'm not doing it with any motive other than to seek God's will for my life and to grow spiritually. I have no pre-conceived notions of what lies beyond Elevate and I have no pretense of being anything more than what God wants me to be.
But I figure: you get ONE LIFE.
It's up to us how we spend it and at the end of my life, I want no regrets.

I want to live my life with VISION and with PURPOSE and not feel that my days were wasted or that I am leaving no legacy behind...

So, I ask you to consider this:
What will be YOUR legacy?

21 August 2007

First Day of School!!!

This is too funny; I am like a giddy schoolgirl! Elevate classes start TONIGHT and I am so wired -- and I haven't even had my Red Bull yet today... ;)

Remember when you were little and your mom took you shopping for new crayons and notebooks and pencils for school? Remember ho
w excited you were seeing all the new things -- fresh and ready for use -- still pristine in their boxes...? That's how I am right now. Last night, I packed up my old leather backpack (leftover from Graduate School 10 years ago!!) with my Elevate binders, my new notebooks, pencils, and pens. And I've been so antsy all day today; I can hardly get any work done.
I think it's weird that I would be this way; I hated school until I got to college. Really; I never enjoyed school; dreaded it every year. When I got to college, my trepidation turned to JOY when I realized it was NOTHING like school and I loved it so much, I spent 6 ye
ars getting my undergraduate degree. :) Of course, changing my major 3 times didn't help, either. Anyway, I will post tomorrow about my *first day of school*. Maybe by then I can actually FOCUS & tell you what it is I'm doing and why. :)

19 August 2007

Hey, I'm blogging here!

Well, here goes nothing... for years, I've thought about doing a blog... I've talked about doing a blog, I even started this account about 8 months ago!
Obviously, this is the first thing I've written and I know my friend Carole over at
The Wardrobe and the White Tree will be so proud of me and she'll probably say, "
Well it's about time!!!" =) So, what inspired me to finally start blogging?
I am a brand new student of my church's ministry internship called, "Elevate."
Basically, this is a program for anyone who has felt God's calling on their life to SERVE -- whether it be through missions, pastoring, feeding the poor, or any other area of ministry -- whatever each individual feels called to do.

NO, it doesn't mean that I'm going to be a preacher, or a missionary, or a tv evangelist -- it means that I feel God is wanting to use me to reach hurting people and to show His love to them in ways I can't even imagine right now...
It's not a cult or some freaky-weird, hyper-religious thing.
It's about doing what Jesus told us to do:
It's about SERVING and becoming a servant for God.
Uh, Oh; Someone's been drinking the Kool-Aid!
Well, if
feeding the poor, reaching the lost, and
comforting the sick & hurting is considered "drinking the kool-aid," th
en I say: Pass the pitcher! =)