Back-to-School Prayer Service – Hope You Can Come!

Neighbor 1: Hurting

One thing I have learned recently is that most of my posts have been WAY too long, and I am going to work on that.  So, keep me honest…and help me keep these short.

This is the first post in a series that I wrote about called who’s ur neighbor?.  I am reading  who is my neighbor?  by Wayne Gordon and exploring just one chapter a day. In addition, I hope to post on each chapter each day…starting today…no promises, though.

Chapter 1 answers the question with…’My Neighbor is Hurting’.  Hurting is defined by physical, emotional, and spiritual pain. I could offer up many examples of hurting. I see it lots and am sure that you do to.

The Father-Wound is one that comes to mind today.  Saturday, Louis attended a gathering of men who were discussing the Father-Wound, what that looks like and how to be healed of it.  We hear of fatherless children, abused children, but many also have fathers who are physically present, but are emotionally detached, others who are deceased.  All of which creates a deep wound in the hearts of boys and girls~and then you grow up with that hurt still present.  In the spirit of keeping this short – to learn more, check out Fathered by God by John Eldredge and Healing the Father-Wound by Bishop Steven W Banks. People experiencing Father-Wounds is just one example of hurting people.

So, I challenge us today…look for people who are hurting, and see if there is a way to help your neighbor by easing their pain.  What does that look like?  It looks like sacrificing time to…

  • be a father-figure for a kid, young adult, or even a mature man who needs a father.
  • visit, call, write, etc. when the person or a loved one is sick or dying.
  • be present…sometimes without saying a word.
  • listen
  • hug them or hold their hand
  • cry with them
  • kiss a skinned knee
  • babysit…for no charge!
  • if you worship at Commonwealth Chapel, note who lights a candle, and pray for them throughout the day/week. (or however your church takes requests)
  • what else?
Gordon writes on page 19…
We can’t love our neighbors until we recognize them. So look around you.  Be sensitive to those who are suffering — who are hurting — sometimes in silence.  They will not be hard to find.  And remember, that hurting person is your neighbor.  Like the Good Samaritan, we have the option to walk away and the opportunity to love.
What will you and I choose (and I do mean choose…because we have a choice!) to do today…and every day? to walk away? or to love?  Let me hear how this works out for ya’…
Lord, you are “Jehovah-Rapha’ – God the Healer.  We worship and adore you. You don’t need us to be your hands and feet here on earth Lord, but you choose to use us. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and others. Humbly, I come before you to ask you to give us eyes to see those who are hurting.  Teach us how we can help ease their pain.  Show us how to be good neighbors.  Give us the courage to act on what you tell us to do. For those of us who are hurting, Lord, bring a loving neighbor our way, one who will bring light into our darkness.  May your name, Jesus, your name alone, be glorified. Thank you, Lord.  In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Mom….I’m bored!!!!

Mom....I'm bored!!!!

I was talking to a couple of parents and grandparents about activities their kids could get involved with this summer.  So, now…we are making a list of activities to keep kids from getting “bored” this summer!   Let me know if you are aware of other activities.  Be sure to provide the details.  A detailed list will be provided…Dates, Time, Location with address and phone number, and other comments (like snacks, transportation, etc.)  If you want a copy of the list, just subscribe to the blog…and you will get a copy when it’s posted!

These free or very affordable activities need to in a healthy and safe environment that fosters inclusion, encouragement, with high morals/values.

Here’s a sampling of the list for Northside kids.  It’s still a work in progress.

  • 6.27-7.1                 9a-12n            VBS Triumphant Baptist on Lamb  (provide snack)
  • 7.5 – 7.29              8:30a-1p        Mega Sports Program Triumphant Baptist on Lamb  (provide breakfast and lunch)  (need to get in early…it’s fills up quickly!)
  • 7.11-15                  3p-6p              VBS STEP @ Eternity Church on Chamberlayne ( provide snack and I am working on transportation if kids will go)
  • 7.18-22                 9a-12n            VBS Commonwealth Chapel (my church)  (provide snack) (last year we had transportation.  i am verifying for this year.)
  • Monday                TBD                Weekly Missional Community (bible study, crafts and service component)
Thanks everyone!!!
Peace, Miss Marti

Weekly Thursday Gathering

I just love our weekly gathering.  Some would call it a small group….others….a bible study….more might call it a missional community or a life group.  Whatever you want to call it…I LOVE it!  It started as a group of people from Commonwealth Chapel who met together for what we call Missional Community…where we did fellowship, read the Bible and prayed together.  In addition…we would do things to meet the needs of our community.  In this case, Southern Barton Heights.

So here we are…a couple of years later…and our group now consists of mainly our friends from the community…and just a couple of people from church.  We experience real life together.  We have gone through really hard things together…unemployment, drug and alcohol addictions, family “stuff”…and we have gone through the good things as well…employment!  New cars!  Sobriety!  New people and friends!  New homes!  I can’t imagine life without my Thursday night gathering of friends…my Spiritual Family, who encourage me from one day to the next, who call me out when I’m not being real, who love me even when I mess up!  I could go on and on!

We meet every Thursday night from 6-8pm.  Or…something like 8pm.  We are guilty of going til 8:30 or later…becasue we enjoy each other so much.  But, people are free to scoot if they need to.  If you want to come…and join us in real talk…real life….and learn about Jesus…we welcome you!  We eat together (covered dish style) at 6-7p…while we also talk about what is happening in our lives.  Then, we spend time talking about what God has to say to us through the Word…also known as the Bible.  We close with some prayer…for our concerns, our community, and our city.

Starting the first week of January, we will be talking through the Seven Signs in John. Come and  join us and bring a friend!

Update: Happy Birthday, Jesus!

This past Saturday, we threw our first annual Birthday Party for Jesus at All Souls Presbyterian in Barton Heights; Richmond, VA!  We had a GREAT time! Jesse the Juggler wowed us all with his juggling expertise, while telling us the story of Creation and the birth of Jesus.  Some of the kids got in on the juggling action as well!  I think at least one of them has a future in juggling…at least we know the Isaiah has quite an arm!

The story of the Birth of Jesus was read to the kids…taken from the Bible… Luke 2:1-20.

Then, Santa showed up to celebrate Jesus’s birthday; and he even brought gifts for kids of all ages!!!  After singing Happy Birthday to Jesus, we had cake, candy canes and cookies with our lemonade.

In addition, we had a chance to color…although I didn’t realize that we had been given “Multicultural” Crayons, which had no bright colors like…blue, red and green!  So…after a quick run to the Family Dollar (Thanks, Lauren and Rush!!!) we were in business.

Another big hit was the guessing game!  Clint was the closest (without going over!!!) with his guess of 87…when there were 89 mint patties in the jar.  I hope it’s all good at home…with all that chocolate in the house!  Congratulations, Clint!

We all had such a terrific time!  Thanks to all who helped!  You guys totally rock!  Special “shout out” to All Souls Pres, Commonwealth Chapel, and WEAG.  Thanks for the support! In addition…major thanks my loving and supportive hubby, Louis, and the rest of my elves…Terence, Abbie, Paul, Lauren, Rush, Bishop, Jesse, Vashti, Gloria and my sweet, sweet Mom!

Last note….

What great news to know that Jesus didn’t stay a little baby.  I have peace, hope and joy in knowing that He grew up, died on the cross, rose from the dead (Easter), and will come again!  THAT is the Good News of Jesus Christ!  Who do you know that needs to hear that part of the story this season?

Joy to the World…and Peace on Earth.

ComChap Youth Group ROCKS!

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This evening a group of middle and high school youth from Commonwealth Chapel took their Sunday evening to selflessly serve Southern Barton Heights by picking up trash around the community.  Rondell even jumped in to help; and neighbors came out to welcome and thank them!

In John 13, Jesus says…

12When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.13“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

These servant youth and their leaders were being the hands and feet of Jesus and will be blessed for their servant’s heart.  Louis and I appreciate their giving spirit, and we had fun getting to know them better!  Thanks again, ComChap Youth Group!!!

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I’ve got a lot of catchin’ up to do!

So…it’s been a minute since I last posted.  Lame…I know!  But we have had LOTS going on!!!  VBS Arts Camp Closing Ceremonies, Aunti Patti’s visit from Oregon (including a trip to Busch Gardens), a trip to Charlotte to visit Louise (Louis’ mom) including meeting Richard (Louis’ roommate in Charlotte when they served an inner city project, Piedmont Court) and visiting some Charlotte work friends!!!, and lastly, my sister Rebecca and nephew Nat’s visit from Houston (including my First Squirrel’s game and a trip to Water Country yesterday).

Coming up this weekend, we have Everett’s Birthday Pancake Breakfast, The Walker’s visiting from Panama and Commonwealth Chapel Youth Group Service Project in SBH on Sunday evening!  Always something good going on at Miss Marti’s House!!!

So…I will be posting again soon!!!  Not to mention, I have Deshawn and Bishop’s words to post!  So…stay tuned…I’ll be back before you know it!