Down2EarthDezign’s

Over the years, I have become quite dependent on prayer.  As a child, prayer meant grace before we ate dinner or nightly prayers before going to bed.  Now, prayer takes on many forms.  Yes…still grace before meals, but it’s also time of adoration, praise and worship, intercession, weeping, petition, love, and/or contrition ~ just to name a few.  More often than not, I find myself with my list…checking it off…with a bunch of my needs, wants, and desires, leaving little time for love, praise and adoration.  And virtually no time for meditation, reflection and listening to what God has to say to me.  I want and need to get better at that.

Adrianne Shires, Prayer Bead Extraordinaire

I like learning new ways to pray and using new tools, like prayer journals and my alarm on my phone to assist me.  So, meet my sweet and talented friend, Adrianne Shires.  She shared her Anglican Rosary aka Christian Prayer Beads on Facebook.  She makes them all by hand…and prays through each one of them to make sure it ‘feels right’ in your hand.  Well…she came to visit me on Saturday and brought a selection of her lovely Anglican Rosaries with her.  I had a hard time selecting just one!
So….here was the final decision…isn’t it beautiful?!?!?!?

So, I found myself asking…what does one do? how does one pray with Christian Prayer Beads?  Adrianne provides instructions and a sample prayer, too!  She takes care of it all!  I will start off with the prayer I chose from her selections, but will eventually write my own.  Looking forward to giving it a try…and developing a new prayer discipline.  Thanks, Adrianne, for sharing your wonderful God-given talents with the rest of us.

If you want to check Adrianne’s Anglican Rosaries out or order your own creation…check out her Etsy shop: Down2EarthDezign’s.  

Julian of Norwich Prayer

Praying with the Beads


Being the Mission

You know….for the last 6 years I have loved and served my neighborhood friends.  What a joy it has been!  I love my community!!!  I am often a ‘go-to’ person for a lot of people.  My neighborhood has been my ‘mission’ and way of life.  Now, it was time for Louis and me to be their mission.

A month ago, Louis had emergency surgery due to 2 massive kidney stones drop about the same time jeopardizing function of both kidneys.  They are too big to pass. Although the doctors created a temporary fix, Louis had 3 additional procedures to go through.  One down…two more to go!  The kidney stents relieved the emergency, but he is still extremely uncomfortable and still can’t do a lot.  When he does, he suffers for it later.

On Friday, I had some outpatient abdominal surgery and have spent the last few days laid up in stretchy pants.  Our neighborhood and community friends have been nothing short of amazing.  Visits, flowers, food (and ICE CREAM!!!), dishes, carrying out the trash, prayers, phone calls, etc.

At times, this has been difficult for me….more so than Louis, actually.  He does a much better job of ‘receiving’ than I do.  Louis likes to remind me of Jesus’ words…

Acts 20:35  New International Version (NIV)

35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

Louis tells me, ‘don’t steal someone’s blessing’.  That when I don’t accept someone’s help or gift, I could be robbing them of a blessing.  So, I pray the Lord pours out his blessings on all who have helped, visited, gave or will give and especially on those who have offered, but I was too prideful to receive!  Pour it out, Lord.

Although Louis would probably disagree, I think we both have problems with asking for help, but are more willing to receive it when offered. Why is it so hard for us to ask? For me, I guess this is still an issue of pride getting in the way.  A facade that it’s all good. I got it all under control.  When in fact, I don’t have it under control at all, and need the help of friends and family.

I need to keep this in mind when I give and help…or offer.  Some of my thoughts since I’ve been chillin’…How can I reach through or around other’s pride to reach real areas of need?  How can we assist people and still maintain their dignity?  How can I show my own vulnerability in a real and humble way?  How can I expose my needs and still feel OK about it?  What am I really worried about?  What keeps me from doing that?

Thanks again to everyone who has played a role in our care!  We love and appreciate you greatly!

Gratefully yours….Marti

ps.  I’m now off pain meds and about it get behind the wheel of my car!  YAY!


Great Reasons to Come To MC This Thursday

Woke up way too early this morning…and thought I would play around a little bit.  Some of you have asked what we do at Missional Community.  This is poking fun at our group.  One of the things we definitely like to do is LAUGH! and have fun. Click the link below.

Great Reasons to come to MC this week by missmartishouse

Contact us if you want to learn more about Missional Communities.


who’s ur neighbor?

While attending the CCDA Immersion training, we had the opportunity to spend time with Wayne “Coach” Gordon, author of who is my neighbor?  This is an important question that we need to ask ourselves in light of what Jesus shares with us in Luke 10 ~ love God. love your neighbor as yourself.  But, how do we define ‘neighbor’?  The people who live next door to us?  on the block?  down the street?  While studying the story of the Good Samaritan, you learn who Jesus says is your neighbor.  This book helps define that.  I started reading it, and realized that it will be best read one chapter at a time.

So, starting August 1st…for 40 days….I’m going to start reading it….meditating on it…..thinking about a chapter a day.  I hope to post my thoughts each day…but, not sure that will happen.  I’ll have good intentions though!!!

Wanna join me?  Get yourself a copy and join me in the conversation.  Let me know if you do!

In the mean time…let’s take another look at Luke 10 (NIV)…The Parable of the Good Samaritan

 25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

OUCH!  That kinda stings….


Spontaneous Growth

If you know me at all…you know I love to putz in the yard.  That’s all it is really…is putzing.  I have dreamed of having a garden…flowering and edible good things!  I have also desired to do a community garden in one of the vacant lots.  But, you know what?  I know NOTHING about gardening, and I HATE to do it alone.  Louis hates it period!  Thankfully, Everett is willing to take care of our grass for a nominal fee.

Earlier this year, our beloved next door neighbors and sisters, Ami and Nichelle, bought a house and moved a short distance away, taking their wood frames for their raised beds from their vegetable garden.  After receiving permission, we used their dirt to fill in a hole where a tree trunk was decaying.  Who knew what would spontaneously grow just a few months later?!?!?

Cherry Tomatoes

Collards and Black Eyed Susans

Yes!  Cherry Tomatoes and Collard Greens!  They have gone crazy!!  I had some lettuce earlier this summer as well.  Surprisingly enough, this is all producing on the north side of the house…..the shady side.  We even have a few Black Eyed Susans in there, too.  What a treat!  I was happy to give some greens to Ellen from our Missional Community.  And the tomatoes are just now ready to start eating!  I ate my first one today.  That bright red one there in the picture is now history!!! There are TONS of them!  I am so thrilled that Ellen knows about gardening and is willing to help me!  She says that it’s almost time to grow our fall crops!

OK…so, then….Terence looks up in the vines that I planted 5 years ago at the base of my pergola.  I knew that the vines were fast growing and flowered for about a month each spring.  Then…these strange pods showed up…this year…..for the first time.  Take a look…

Terence and I were fascinated…and again, I was overwhelmed with excitement.  Needless to say, I got busy checking it out…what is this plant?  I only remember the garden guy at Lowe’s recommending what he called a “Five Finger Vine”.  After my research (thanks, Google!), I have learned that we have an ‘Akebia Quinata’ aka ‘chocolate vine’ growing….and that is the what appears to be a rare fruit.  As it matures it will turn into a 5 inch ‘purple sausage’, and in the fall will split open when it’s fully ripe.  That is the time to eat it.  Not sure what I think of it, but we will be sure to give it a try.  I’m not really thrilled about what I’m reading…sweet, but yucky jelly type goo. Anyone have an experience with the Akebia fruit? Not finding much online re: recipes or ways to eat it.

I’m not having to do a thing for this little growth spirt…it’s just happening, spontaneously! Who knew? I can’t help but think there is something God is trying to teach me/us here. Something is definitely percolating…seeds, fertile soil, spontaneous growth, nothing that WE do….yeah….definitely something.

More to come…both on the growth of my ‘garden’ and in the analogy…for sure.  Stay tuned and be blessed.


CCDA Cafe

On Wednesday night, we had a wonderful time at the CCDA Cafe where over 90 people from all over the city (plus Annapolis, MD and Tidewater) heard from Dave Clark…and from one another.  After a time of fellowship, Dave talked with us about the CCDA philosophy, consisting of…

8 Key Components:

  • Empowerment
  • Relocation: Living Among the People
  • Indigenous Leadership Development
  • Reconciliation: Bridging the Racial Divide
  • Wholistic Ministry
  • Redistribution: Working Towards a Just Distribution of Resources
  • Listening to the Community
  • Church-Based Community Development
Upcoming Training:
We plan to bring speakers back to discuss these in greater detail.  After taking a quick survey, the top 3 choices turned out to be:
  • Indigenous Leadership Development
  • Reconciliation:  Bridging the Racial Divide
  • Listening to the Community
Follow-up Opportunities:
  • If you would like to become a member, see this link….Membership.
  • If you missed the gathering and would like to receive the materials or a copy of the CD, please contact me and we will make arrangements to get them to you.
  • If you are interested in helping us plan, communicate and organize these trainings or other networking opportunities, please contact me as well.  Thanks!
Special shout-out to East End Fellowship and Making a Melody for co-hosting with Miss Marti’s House.  And huge thanks to Northminster Church for allowing us to use their space!

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