Sorry for the very late note. Been gone all day. It's Friday, yeaaa! We made another fast moving week. For those of you who have a superstitious nature, it's the 13th also. So watch out for the black cats, broken mirrors or leaning ladders!
What a treat we had last Saturday. As I got out of my truck Saturday morning at the center, out of the Bright House comes our favorite person from Kansas City, Kelsey! What a blessing to get a hug, see her smile and hear about all her adventures. Lots going on in her life, especially in July when she will be getting married. Later on in the morning we had the opportunity to meet her finance Jon, and both the moms. How special it was for us, that they would take their time and energy to drive nine hours down here, so Kelsey could introduce her Shreveport family to her Kansas City family. Very special.
Mr Scott took us around on our visits. Turner is fine. As we were walking with him, I said, man it's cold this morning. Turner said, isn't it Easter tomorrow? I said, yes it is. Turner said, this is our Easter cold weather. I said, I guess it is. We need to bring Turner Easter eggs next year! Our next stop was to visit with Richard. He had a husband and wife with him. Not sure how they ended up there, but they were waiting for us, to see if we could take them to find a place to stay for the night. They had been in a car accident, the man was in a wheel chair, his wife had a neck brace on. They had been turned away from one organization, but had found a room at the Salvation Army. Thank goodness, Matt had brought his truck, so we loaded up the couple and made our way to the Salvation Army complex. All the way there, they kept saying how grateful they were for us to be taking them to the shelter. You just never know what surprises you will find each week. Smokey and Leroy are busy, blazing a new entrance to their camp. They have completed half of their front walkway. Lots of brush to be cleared and poison ivy to get rid of. Tim was in the camp by himself. Dale was released last week but the next day, went back to flying the sign and was arrested again. Tim is worried Dale has given up and does not want any part of the new camp. Tim, who is working regularly now, is trying to get an apartment so both he and Dale can move into. Tim is hoping that will make Dale feel better.
Sunday morning, we gathered for our Easter tradition of hiding Easter eggs around the neighborhood. This year, with the chapel being open, we started our fun by gathering in the chapel for a devotional time hosted by Momma T. We had our own Sunrise service, awesome. As Momma T said, she had all her peeps with her. She had Kelsey, Krysten and her special peep, Georgette. Great to see Georgette. We had a great group of crazy people join in on the fun. It was awesome. As we were walking back to the center, with our empty bags in tow, Kelsey's mom said, I've waited for this day for so long, to be with you all and now it's over! I text Sione Sunday morning, saying we missed him and he said, he started his sermons Sunday morning telling his church about how we start our Easter Sunday. Can't wait until next year! Wonder what God has in store for us?
Krysten planned some indoor activities for the children Monday and Tuesday. Not sure the moms liked it, but on Monday they made slim. They put their creations in bags to take home. On Tuesday, they conducted a science experiment, mixing, baking soda and vinegar in a bottle and shaking it up. Wow what a mess that makes! But the balloons were beautiful! Who would have thunk it, the children had a great time and didn't realize they were learning something at the same time.
We got a report from Dan Poole, who is the contractor helping Dr Phil with the Building of Community. Dan went to the Metropolitan Planning Commission hearing about our application for changing the zoning from commercial to residential on two lots. The application was approved. Now the signs go up for 6 weeks for neighborhood comments. Then the application goes before the City Council for final approval. We contacted our City Councilman, Oliver Jenkins to let him know of our plans and asked him for his support. Once the Council votes, then we can begin building. Do I hear patience being said for us all!
Another great evening at our mens Bible fellowship. What a great atmosphere the Holy Spirit and Matt has created. A place where men can come together and share what is going on in their lives. The struggles that is facing them, knowing this is a place where they will feel lvoe and encouragement.
Wednesday, John met with the plumber and they were able to iron out the plans for the new kitchen. Need to take more pictures, but our sinks are gone, in fact everything is gone except the walls. All the demolition is just about completed. The plumber made the job sound pretty simple. A big relief to John. He also said he has a sink and stainless steel counter he will bring us for the new kitchen.
We have another God story concerning our kitchen. John has been concerned about providing support in the ceiling for the new air conditioner and the new range hood. He was planning to run three ceiling support beams, at a cost of around $1500. Not sure where the money was going to come from, God stepped in. One of the cooks from Brookwood, comes into the kitchen last week to wash his hands from all the chicken he had just finished grilling. He starts to look at the construction and says, do you need some structural beams for the remodel? I said, I think so but let me have John call you. So John and Sheldon have worked out a deal, where we will get three 19 foot beams, normally costing over $1500 for $275! Is that amazing or what! God is good.
At some point on Wednesday, Ms Lisa gets a text from a lady who is wanting to bring a group from Kilgore College on Thursday to work. Gus had gone to talk to a group of nurses at the college during the fall semester and he told them about us. The group of nurses was needing some community hours for one of their classes so they thought about us. They showed up Thursday morning at 8 am and worked all day long. Ms Patty met them in the garden and she kept them busy most of the day. They also went with Joey and walked down 67 st visiting with our neighbors. Great group of young people. We are hoping they will come back again.
Joey calls me Thursday afternoon and asks, where is the sound system for the chapel. I said, why Joey, he says his group is coming to lead worship. I had forgotten about it, but Joey asked a couple of weeks ago, if his long time friends could come. Heather and Derek came and what a time it was. Heather sang and Derek played his guitar. Then Derek's dad, Richard got up and shared a few words with our community. The chapel was rocking with, arms waving, Amens going on, Halleluias being shouted, it was great. Everybody commented how much they liked it and want more! The only problem, the chapel is packed, we need more room! Ms Lisa, is the Sanctuary ready yet!
Thanks to Ms Sarah and her boldness to change the way we serve our food, as the folks left the chapel they made a line and got their own plates. Some of the older folks, go and sit down and the plates are brought to them, but it seems to work out pretty good this way. We had Summer Grove Baptist supplying the meal with all the trimmings. It was really great. In fact this month, we have a different group serving our meals each week. Pretty amazing, thank you God.
Ms Abbie handed out her groceries and we also got another donation of milk, which she gave away. I talked to one of our friends who was catching their breathe from their long walk to us. I said to them are you alright, they said, fine, just my pressure gets high from walking. They said, you people are so nice, you give us such a nice meal and you give away such good food, I need to come every week because I really need it. Wow, often you forget, I forget, how much God has blessed us with. I forget how much our community really appreciates what God is doing through us.
Joey led us in our Bible study as we finished reading Chapter 5 and all of Chapter 6 of Ephesians. Talking about husbands and wives and the armor of God. God lvoes His church more than anything, the way a man and a wife should love each other. The tools are provided for us by God to defeat evil. We need to use them to do so. It is the only way we can defeat Satan and his attacks on us.
Prayers for Beth and Charley as they prepare for the Fair Trade day on Saturday. If you want a cool looking t-shirt, go by and visit them downtown. William and his struggles with life. Lomax on his journey. He has a new installment on his blog. He got to visit the Dream Center. Prayers for Ms Sarah and Mr Scott as they travel back home from a week of work on the slopes of Colorado. Prayers for U2 Saturday this Saturday, as we hope for more participation from the community.
Don't forget, Brookwood will be joining us again this Saturday.
Prayers for mr brian for Monday at 5pm. Got a phone call Thursday afternoon from Laura Vaughan. She is a longtime friend of Common Ground, from Centenary. She has been the leader of the Christian Leadership Center. She asked if I would sit on a panel talking about homelessness. Never done that before, so don't know what to expect. They are calling the event, "Living on the Streets – Called to Care". One of our Centenary students, Jeremy will be the host. You all are invited, Monday 5pm at the Shell (the outdoor Amphitheater) on Centenary's campus.
I am truly amazed how God continues to bring folks and opportunities to our community. We do not have to go out and seek folks, they are coming to us. Why, because you all are living a life worthy of being called a follower of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately in this day and time, that is something the world is not use to seeing. You all are the Body of Christ. You are all the Church. You are all special to God because you are living out your gifts. He is honoring us because we continue to be obedient and faithful in our journeys. Thank you all, you are very special people. Please know that. Please know God is proud of you for who you are.
See you Saturday at the center. Have a great week. Amen.