A few days ago, I shared about our Spiritual Family in Spiritual Family: Where We Are the Church and Do the Bible. In addition to that gathering, we have a weekly gathering for the youth as well called HIS kids where we focus on 3 things…
HOPE – The hope of Jesus Christ.
INSPIRE – Encourage and inspire the next generation.
SERVE – Giving back to the community through serving- like assisting neighbors and picking up trash.
These kids decided that they want to raise money for other activities throughout the summer The first thing they want to do is buy and cook dinner for our Tuesday Night Church gathering. Typically, we have a covered dish, but they want to make dinner and serve it their Spiritual Family. Please join us in supporting their servant’s heart by buying a cup (or 10 cups!!!) of lemonade on Saturday between 11a-2p. And you can also donate online on our link to the right!!!
Do us a favor, please. Share this with your friends!
I was reminded recently that I don’t write as much as I used to. Not sure why, really. Mostly because we are spending time doing life and not writing about it. I was encouraged to write more because people are watching us and are encouraged to live like us, as we attempt to live like Christ. So, I’m going to try and make writing a priority again. First topic – my Spiritual Family. Since Louis hasn’t been pastoring a traditional church since his time at New Hanover, people have wondered where we have attended church.
Following 2 knee replacements and 1 hip replacement in 2013, in February 2014 – Louis, a few other friends, and I gathered to talk about what it would look like to start gathering weekly as an Acts 2 expression of the church, where are not simply going to church and reading the Bible. We ARE the church and we DO the Bible.
Acts 2 The Fellowship of the Believers
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
- Divine Truth – Where we are focused UP – our relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit. We are called to love God. The creator of the universe wants a relationship WITH US, and that’s pretty amazing. (vs 42) On Tuesday nights, we study God’s Word together – where everyone can offer what God says to them through the scripture. We rarely have traditional sermons. (vs 42 – they didn’t have Bibles back then, so they learned from Apostle’s teaching). Throughout the week, we are reading and discussing the Word with one another as we get together outside of Tuesday nights. Each Tuesday and the rest of the week, we are in prayer for and with one another and our neighborhood and city.
- Nurturing Relationships – Where we are focused on being IN relationship with others. We are called to love our neighbor as ourselves. So, we focus on building relationship with one another…encouraging and loving in a familial kind of way. On Tuesday nights, we gather around the table to eat, laugh, eat, talk and eat, but also sharing life throughout the rest of the week – in person, via text, phone calls, etc. – (vs 46). We have traveled with one as he spent 4 months in jail and welcomed his mom and family into ours. We have cried together as family members have passed away and diagnosed with cancer, dementia, and more. We remind one another of the TRUTH and not the lies of the deceiver. We have celebrated marriages, new jobs, and new schools together. We like to party! We sent one to the military and another one on the road for a job. We have pooled our resources to repair homes, yards and cars. We have found new homes for washers, dryers and more! They will know we are followers of Jesus by our love for one another.
- Apostolic Mission – Where we are focused on going OUT into the community in our everyday walk around lives. We aren’t meant to be in a holy huddle sequestered away from everyone else. But, called to be in, but not of the world. Sometimes we do this as a group – like at our annual Memorial Day cookout or last year’s National Night Out in Highland Park where we set up a prayer tent. Today, it happened to be with my friend Karen who lives a few blocks away. We ate lunch at a new restaurant on Brookland Park Boulevard getting to know the owner and other employees. We bought and moved a piece of furniture from another neighbor who is moving because his wife had just died of cancer. We encouraged him and prayed for him. I got to meet 2 of her neighbors – 2 young men who said they wanted to come Tuesday night. Karen used her arboring skills to teach me how to trim a bradford pear tree beside the house. And the evening ended with passing on 5 white polo shirts to a neighbor who is starting a new job tomorrow. (Special thanks to friends who lovingly donated them!!!) So, as you can see… this isn’t a project or a specific thing we did. It was in the everyday rhythms of life that we were OUT and about looking for opportunities to love and serve. People aren’t projects. No one wants to be someone’s project. We just love people where they are.
- Beyond – Prepare and Equip – We spend our time preparing and equipping others to live a life following Jesus on His mission, who will then prepare and equip others to do the same. We aren’t meant to do life alone, but are meant to do so with others BEYOND ourselves.
One of favorite gatherings!!! Every year on Memorial Day you can find folks gathered in the backyard… eating, playing games, eating, laughing, eating, talking, and eating!
So, grab a covered dish (with some food in it!!!) and come on over! We supply the meat (chicken), drinks and dessert… you supply the rest… veggies, chips, bread, salads, fruit, beans, etc.
Monday, May 25th
4p – 8p
Please note: There is NO rain date for this event. But, the weather is looking GREAT!
It’s been while since I have written. Living life sometimes just gets in the way of writing. And writing sometimes gets in the way of living life. Life won out over writing. Many of you have asked why I’ve been radio silent lately. This will give you some insight into what we have been up to and why it’s been a bit quiet. So…here’s what’s been happening since I really spent some time putting words to paper.
I’m overwhelmed by the support of our ministry since we gathered together for Jen Hatmaker in mid-August. She was a true delight to spend time with and was a welcomed guest in our home. Thanks to all of you who have reached out and shared your experiences, thots and life changes since we heard from Jen, as well as our other friends…
- April Salvant – from New Hope Haiti Mission
- David Bailey (and the rockin’ worship band!!) from Arrabon and Making a Melody.
- Karen Rios – from The Dance Candle
- Marci and Matt Foote – from the West End of Richmond
We are so thankful for the planning team and all the volunteers who supported the effort! What a blessing!
Just as we were recovering from the weekend, Louis’s mom had several significant health issues that basically forced us to move her to Richmond (RVA) from Charlotte, NC. We are so grateful for her church family that have helped out over the years, but especially with her transition to RVA. 3 months later, we are attempting to settle into a rhythm again. Life hasn’t been easy for Mama Louise (Mama L, for short). In 3 months, she’s had a broken elbow, countless doctor’s appointments, 2 back surgeries with a total of 10 days in the hospital, multiple moves, and significant number of other changes including multiple diagnoses. We are soo glad that she was open to moving here where we can be closer to her and help provide for her care. I’m so grateful for the many friends (here and in Charlotte) who have come along side us as we continued to ‘do life’ in Southern Barton Heights and love on Mama L. I don’t know what we would have done without them. Seriously.
So, in a life where we intentionally live ‘on mission’ in our community, often times our family becomes our “mission”….our priority. This was much like last year (2013), when Louis had 3 joint replacements and I had an emergency gall bladder removal. We had to slow down significantly. Although it can be a difficult time for Mama L and for us, it is a blessing to serve her and those who take such good care of her.
We were thrilled to partner with Endorphin Fitness, who came out to hold a Bike Repair Clinic. We fixed up over 20 bikes in just 2 short hours. Not only that, we set up a circuit to got exercising as well. What a gift to the community! Truly. So thankful for our friends from Hope Church who continue to join us in a variety of ways!
We celebrated Louis’s 24 Years of Ministry as an Ordained Minster of the Gospel with food and fellowship with a side of prayer around the fire pit. We welcomed friends and stories from the past and present! Thanks to the many friends who showed up and made this possible! Mama L even made it to the celebration!
On Tuesdays at 4pm, we now host a kids club called H.I.S. Kids at Miss Marti’s House.
H = Hope Where we share the Hope in Jesus Christ.
I = Inspire Where we Inspire and Encourage the Kids in all they do – at home, at school in the present and the future.
S = Serve Where we look for opportunities to Serve our neighbors.
At our first meeting, they made a list of rules to live by…
And, we continue to meet together as a micro-expression of a missional church – Life Transformation Church – every Tuesday evening…as we fellowship together, study God’s Word together, pray together, and do life together. I love this group of friends and spiritual family!
Recently, new friends donated a minivan to our ministry! This is AWESOME news! It needs a little basic maintenance (a front end alignment and 2 new tires pretty soon), insurance, and other basic items before we can officially use it. But, we are thrilled to have an opportunity to provide tangible services to the community in the near future. We are calling this ministry – “Holy Rollers”, where we will be able to provide transportation to an affordable grocery store on a regular basis, doctors’ appointments, and jobs! We are in the very early stages of developing the plan with our community, and we are SUPER EXCITED!!! More to come!
We have some upcoming community building times coming up. Feel free to join us!
**Tuesday, 12/2 6p
Glorious Christmas Nights Christmas Program at WEAG (Limited tickets available and are required to attend)
**Wednesday, 12/17 evening
Christmas Caroling with Restoration Church Youth
**Saturday, 12/20 10a-12noon
Happy Birthday, Jesus Christmas Party for Children of ALL ages!
**Thursday, 1/1/2015 10a-2p
Annual New Years Day Open House and Pancake Brunch
Thanks for your continued support and partnership! We are full of THANKS for your GIVING! Your gifts and donations help us with these and other upcoming ministries we have planned in 2015!
Louis and I have been a bit tied up lately. 6 weeks ago we moved his mama from Charlotte to RVA. Our time has been a bit busy caring for and loving on her. What a blessing to have her close by where we can manage her care and love on her as much as possible!
Now, we are beginning to achieve some balance in our schedule and want to share our upcoming gatherings! We are super excited!!! All events are held at 2101 Barton Avenue, Richmond, VA 23222 unless noted otherwise.
Save the Dates!
4p HIS Kids Club (Hope! Inspire! Service!) for elementary age children. Middle School youth can assist with planning.
6:30p Life Transformation Church – a Missional Micro-Expression of the Church where we eat a meal, study the Word, pray, serve and ‘do life’ together.
Friday, 10/31 4p-8p Annual Halloween Party in the Front Yard!
Saturday, 11/1 12n-2p First Bike Repair Clinic in the Front Yard! Grateful for our friends at Endorphin Fitness for partnering with us! (Raindate 11/8 12noon – 2pm)
Tuesday, 12/2 6p Glorious Christmas Nights Christmas Program at West End Assembly of God (ticket required!)
Saturday, 12/20 10a-12n Happy Birthday, Jesus Christmas Party for Children of ALL ages!
Thursday, 1/1/2015 10a-2p Annual New Years Day Open House and Pancake Brunch
Look forward to seeing you and yours!
What a terrific day for an Easter Egg Hunt!
WHY, you ask?
Sun Shining! Birds chirping! Kids laughing! Candy! Cupcakes! Friends! Games! Bunny!
We started the morning by playing a game similar to an old school Cake Walk, while we waited for everyone to arrive. Old friends and new streamed in throughout the morning. It’s always so good to see old friends and make new ones on days like this. LOVE IT!
Shortly after the Easter Bunny arrived, we had a photo shoot on the front porch. People typically keep the photos digitally these days, right? I still like my old school prints, and I have learned that the kids LOVE to have their own photos. So, we will now print out pictures for the kids to have their own photos.
After sitting still for so long, the kids were ready to go on an Egg Hunt!
Once all the eggs were found or at least we think so anyway (Bella will probably find one in the next week.), we paused to hear the Good News story of Easter, as told through Resurrection Eggs. Cherie and Ashley did an OUTSTANDING job!
And a party just wouldn’t be the same without the sweet treats…cupcakes, donuts, lemonade!
Louis and I so appreciate the donations that allow us to be able to do this. For the pictures, the candy, the prizes, cupcakes, donuts and more! For the folks that pitched in to help…we thank you…IMMENSELY. We are grateful for the quiet time of chillin’ with sweet friends afterwards. Although we don’t see them often, we thank God for the gift of our spiritual family and friends. And time to relax and catch up…picking up where we left off last…although the baby is now a toddler who walks, talks, climbs and giggles.
If you wonder why we celebrate Easter…Resurrection Day, it’s not because of the yummy chocolate candy, the good food or even the good fellowship.
We love to celebrate Easter with old friends and new.
Why, you ask?
We were created by a loving God to be in relationship with Him.
But we sinned and cut ourselves off from Him.
In His great love,
God became man in Jesus,
who lived a perfect life,
and died on the cross.
He rose again from the dead.
He calls us to trust in Him alone. If we trust in Christ,
we live a new life
and have renewed our relationship with God again.
This is why we celebrate Easter…
because Jesus lives.
Come Walk and Pray with us in Gilpin Court on Tuesday, 4/8 – be there at 2:45pm!
‘Be the Church’ and ‘Do the Bible’ with us every Tuesday @ 6:30pm ~ Life Transformation Church
Have some fun! Hunt some eggs! See the Easter Bunny! Saturday, 4/12 at 10am (4/19 – rain date)
Louis and I hosted a Memorial Service for Wesley today. If you want to read that, click here >>> How to Throw a Memorial Service for your Dog. Thanks again for the overwhelming support, love, encouragement we have received in the form of comments, emails, texts, calls, Sugar Shack Donuts, hugs, and more! We have the best group of friends ever! Thanks for loving us.
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RIP Sweet Wesley “Lover Boy” Williams
September 9, 1998 – March 14, 2014
Be sure to check out the video at the bottom of this post. And also grab your tissues.
When I married Louis, I knew that Calvin and Wesley (2 black labs…the liturgical hounds named for John Wesley and John Calvin) were part of the ‘package’. Love Louis…love his dogs. Calvin – he was nicknamed Houdini. Wesley – well…his nickname was Lover Boy, because he loved everyone very well. He never met a stranger. In our early time together, Calvin could get out of nearly any situation. His first night sleeping at my home, he combat crawled under the shed and wandered the neighborhood for quite a while before I realized it. Calvin loved to run…and Wesley, a loyal pal, would follow him anywhere and everywhere. When Calvin passed away on Veterans Day 2008, Wesley attached himself to me. He became my shadow. Wherever I went, Wesley went. Louis remained alpha of our pack, but I became Wesley’s companion, his buddy, his pal. And…he became mine.
Wesley passed on Friday afternoon after 15 1/2 years of a full life filled with love. Although I only knew him for the last 6 years, I felt like he was mine since forever. He truly was the best dog ever. If you ever met Wesley, you know exactly what I am talking about. A wonderful friend to all. He especially loved the neighborhood kids. Loved them deeply.
Wesley was an integral part of our family and our ministry in Southern Barton Heights, because he taught us all how to love deep and to love well, expecting virtually nothing in return.
I am a better person for having known and loved Wesley and to be known and loved by him. Now, I’m thankful he’s able to romp around with Calvin…and it’s comforting to know that they are both back together, pain-free in healthy bodies!
Memorial Service for Wesley
Sunday, March 16th at 2pm
2101 Barton Ave, RVA 23222
Come on by. Bring your dogs. Bella is a super great hostess…and she’s gonna be kinda lonely, too. The kids can make cards, write letters, etc. while we all tell stories and share memories of one super great dog.
John WESLEY Williams
Well done, good and faithful dog.
You loved well.
You were well-loved.
Here’s a video of my beloved friend. My way of dealing with my grief. Enjoy.
Wish I had included this picture in the video. It’s one of my faves… My 2 favorite boys, more found here… My 2 Favorite Boys in the World!!!