My Confident Hope

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Mess up to step up????

It doesn’t matter how tough we are, trauma always leaves a scar. It follows us home, it changes our lives. Trauma messes everybody up, but maybe that is the point of all the pain, the fear, and the crap. Maybe going through all that is what keeps us moving forward. It’s what pushes us. Maybe we need to get a little messed up before we can step up.               ~Grey’s Anatomy

My friend and I were watching Grey’s Anatomy last night and this quote was at the very end of the show. It was one of those moments when it hit me that maybe all I have gone through the past little while is just moving me forward to another place. My friend kicked me and said “That is so you” and we had a good laugh about deep moments on television shows. I guess through this whole process I have tried to keep moving forward, it is the only way I am going to get out of it, and believe me I want to be done with this season as quickly as I can!! Hopefully this particular mess I find myself in will help me step up to be a a better person, to be more compassionate, to be a better friend, to be a healthier person, physicaly and emotionally. I do not want this experience to be in vain, so I am trying to learn all the lessons that I am supposed to learn from this event. I pray that one day, my experiences will be able to help someone else going through similar circumstances.


Sunday Setlist for 11/30/08

Sunday Setlist for House of Worship and Ministries Jesup, Ga

Today we were a little thin on muscians. Our bass player was out of town and both of our pianists were out. Dawn led from the piano and overall it turned out well. We did short sets in both services today. Our pastor’s brother, who pastors a church in Dalton, Ga spoke today. He played and sang some hymns and then spoke on Psalms 27. It was a very encouraging service.

Sunday AM

I’m Free-Newsboys

I Could Sing of Your Love Forever-Martin Smith

Free to Worship-Eddie James

Holy is the Lord-Chris Tomlin

Sunday PM

Friend of God-Israel Houghton

Arise

Holy is the Lord-Chris Tomlin

Freedom Reigns-Jason Upton

This is a part of Sunday Setlist.


Don’t Just Live There…..Do Something!

During the month of September, Mandy has used her blog as a forum to push us all out of our comfort zones and to DoSomething in the communities where we live. When she asked for volunteers, I jumped at the opportunity to talk about what I DO to make a difference in the lives of children who have been abused, neglected, and abandoned.

Right now there are over half a million children in foster care in the United States. 15,000 of those children are from the state of Georgia. 38% of these children in Georgia are considered special needs. 2500 foster kids live in group homes or institutions. This is what I DO. I work in a residential treatment center for kids that are mentally retarded ( this means that they have an IQ of 70 or below) and have severe emotional and behavioral disorders such as ADHD, PTSD, ODD, Conduct Disorder, Bipolar, and Schizoaffective Disorder. We also deal with Reactive Attachment Disorder and Spectrum Disorders such as Asperberger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Development Disorder, and Autism.

We are one of few facilities in the state of Georgia that deals with this population of kids. Right now we have 55 children, both boys and girls ranging in age from 11-18. All of our kids are in the custody of the Department of Child and Family Services. These are children that have been abused, neglected, and bounced around from placement to placement. The average child has been in about 19 other placements prior to coming to Morningstar. This includes relative placements, foster homes, group homes, and psychiatric hospitalizations.

One of my favorite stories of Jesus is His response to the disciples after they tried to send the children away because they thought Jesus was too busy to deal with children. He rebuked the disciples for sending them away and gathered the children to Himself and blessed them. This clearly shows the love that Jesus had for children. He saw them as the key to His kingdom and not troubled, neglected, abused, or delinquent. My prayer everyday as I go to work is that I will see these kids through the eyes of Jesus, Especially the more difficult ones. I pray that these kids see Jesus in me in everything I Do. Like when I offer a shoulder to cry on when images of past abuse haunt them. When I walk down the road hand in hand with a child as she dreams about belonging to a family someday. Even as I sometimes sit in silence with a child who is not able to verbalize how they feeling but they just know they are sad. When being silly and laughing gives them an opportunity to regain some of their lost childhood. By offering support when a child meets his biological mother for the first time, since he was removed from her care as an infant. Showing unconditional love no matter how many times I have been cursed at or threatened. Sometimes I feel as if these children have touched my life even more than I have touched theirs. It is the child who runs with arms open wide to hug me like a three year old would, except he is seventeen. It is the child that told me one day that he prayed for me last night. It is the hugs, the laughter, the tears, that keeps me Doing. This is where God has put me to Do something that will make a difference in the life of a child and ultimately the kingdom of God.


Sunday Setlist for 9/7/08

Today was a little unusual. All our muscians except our base player were gone to Rock the Universe in Orlando. We had to mix it up a bit with some soundtracks as well as live music.

House of Worship and Ministries Jesup, Ga

Sunday AM

Give Him the Glory-Clint Brown (track)

Seek Your Fce-Clint Brown (track)

I Worship You-Clint Brown (track)

We Thirst for You-CeCe Winans

With All I Am-Hillsong United

Sunday PM

Shout-Martha Munizzi (track)

Come, Now is the Time to Worship-Brian Doerksen

As the Deer-Maranatha

Freedom Reigns-Jason Upton

I am sharing our worhsip service in collabration with other worship leaders through the “Sunday Setlists” blog carnival at FredMcKinnon.com


Sunday Setlist 8/31/08

Today was the 16th anniversary of the church. It was a great day and the best part was watching people give their lives to Christ!

Opening-You Are Good-Israel Houghton

Junior Department Drama-Untitled Hymn-Chris Rice

This is How We Overcome-Hillsong

You Are Holy-David and Nichole Binion

Say So-Ricardo Sanchez/Israel Houghton

This post is part of the Sunday Setlist sponsored by Fred McKinnon


Divine Appointments

I live 35 miles from work and with this impending storm, I decided the smart thing for me would be to stay close to work just in case. I called one of my friends that I used to work with and she took pity on me and let me crash on her couch! This has been a really crazy, draining emotional week here at work, and I was empty when I got there. We sat on the couch eating Captain Crunch, catching up on each other’s lives since we had last seen each other. We started talking about what God was doing in our lives and what God has been showing us and it was amazing. The really cool thing was, we both confirmed things for each other that God had been showing us. It was during this conversation, that I knew my crashing on her couch was not a random act spurred by an impending storm but a divine appointment. It was an opportunity that God used to encourage and uplift. We both had an opportunity to pour into each other’s lives and to speak truth. We stayed up way later than I normally do on a work week, but then again this week has been anything but ordinary.

This passage of scripture in Phillipians 1:3-6 sums up our friendship.

3-6Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.(The Message)


Perfect People

I am sure that we have all met people who seemed to have everything together. They seemed to have the perfect job, house, kids, marriage, etc. How many of these “perfect” people have you gotten to know and realized they are just like everybody else, barely holding it all together. I often think it must be tough to have to walk around being the picture of perfection. These are often the people who have the nervous breakdowns. They cannot keep up the facade. I feel that is often what happens to burn people out in the ministry. They just cant be perfect all the time. The truth is, everyone one of us comes with our fears, insecurities, compulsions, and baggage. I think the difference is what we do with them. Often people do not feel like they can make themselves vunerable to other people for fear of rejection or people gossiping about them, so they plant on the smile and go on about their day. I have long accepted that I am not perfect and never will be. I have accepted my weaknesses and my prayer is that God will use these to help someone else. It is such a freeing experience to be rid of other peoples expectations. The only person I am living for is God. The song “Perfect People” byNatalie Grant off her new album Relentless hit home with me the first time I heard it. The chorus especially. There’s no such thing as perfect people, there’s no such thing as the perfect life. So come as you are, broken and scarred, lift up your heart be amazed, be changed by a perfect God.”

Never let ’em see you when you’re breaking
Never let ’em see you when you fall
That’s how we live and that’s how we try
Tell the world you’ve got it all together
Never let them see what’s underneath
Cover it up with a crooked smile
But it only lasts for a little while

[CHORUS:]
There’s no such thing as perfect people
There’s no such thing as a perfect life
So come as you are, broken and scared
Lift up your heart and be amazed
And be changed by a perfect God

Suddenly it’s like a weight is lifted
When you hear the words that you are loved
He knows where you are and where you’ve been
And you never have to go there again

[CHORUS]

Who lived and died to give new life
To heal our imperfections
So look up and see out let grace be enough