Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I'm sitting here with a restless heart tonight. Not only restless, but pained as well. I would go into details, but lets just say there is a lot of fighting going on between some of our neighbors. People have gotten hurt, including a kid in our program. And my heart is broken. I am in prayer for my neighbors and I wonder, what else can we do? I pour my heart into these kids, I pray over them, I encourage, discipline and love them daily. Yet, when violence and fighting between families happen, it reminds me of how much more needs to be done.

I really have little to say beyond the fact that this is the lives my children live in every day. They deal with things that would break most people, yet God gives them the strength to get through it everyday. Its interesting to me when people tell me they are "proud of me" or whatever. Although I thank anyone who is "proud" of me at the same time, it breaks my heart to know that so many people in this world are oblivious to the pain that so many children live through everyday. So many people don't care, they are too worried about their own lives to realize that God has truly called us to serve the poor, love the poor and take care of the poor. See, I know that I was born into a loving family, privileged to live in a community that believed in me and had many opportunities that most do not get...all that for one reason, one reason at give back what I have been given.

So as the fighting rages on, I grab one of our girls, pull her close and tell her how much she means to me and how much God loves her. I remind her that no matter what, she has got to walk away, for I truly believe that God has a bright future for her and her little brothers. I made her promise me she'd walk matter what. And then I pray, for protection for her and her family, for my child with the stab wound, for the other family members who have been jumped and I pray that this problem will be resolved and that someday, they would recognize that God loves and cherishes them and that He desires a different life for all of them...a life full of hope and joy.

It makes me laugh when people ask me what I do. I wonder, how do I explain it? How can I explain something that no one who doesn't live here or work in this sort of job can understand? How can I say that sometimes I come home and feel so broken and in despair that I wonder how I can go to work the next day? How can I say that there are times when I see the real potential of a child and just want to grab a hold of it and bottle it, knowing that more likely than not, they aren't able to live up to that potential? How can I explain the joy I have when I see children actually be children, laughing and playing without having the weight of the world on their shoulders? And I don't, I just say something lame like I work in a non profit with urban youth. Thats a lot easier to say and it makes people a lot more comfortable.

So, I sit here. Praying. Believing that God is in control. And knowing that my work is never in void and that as long as I live, I will continue to pour my heart and life into these children, knowing that is exactly what God created me to do. Praise God!

God bless you all!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Current Events

I'm thinking about teaching a current events class to 6th-8th graders this summer... any great, creative, fun ideas for me? The kids get bored easily so it has to be more than "read the newspaper" or something like that...


God bless you all!

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Decision

In September, I am moving back to the south, not sure exactly where, just closer to the fam.

That is all...

God bless you all!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Creation and Grace

We get so preoccupied with ourselves, the words we speak, the plans and projects we conceive, that we become immune to the glory of creation. We barely notice the cloud passing over the moon or the dewdrops clinging to the rose petals. The ice on the pond comes and goes. The wild blackberries ripen and wither. The blackbird nests outside our window, but we don't see her. We avoid the cold and the heat. We refrigerate ourselves in the summer and entomb ourselves in plastic in winter. We rake up ever leaf as fast as it falls.

OUR WORLD IS SATURATED WITH GRACE, and the lurky presence of God is revealed not only in spirit but in matter-in a deer leaping across a meadow, in the flight of an eagle, in fire and water, in a rainbow after a summer storm, in a gentle doe streaking through a forest, in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, in a child licking a chocolate ice cream cone, in a woman with windblown hair. God intended for us to discover His loving presence in the world around us.

For the eyes of faith, every created thing manifests the grace and providence of Abba.
(Written in "The Ragamuffin Gospel" by Brennan Manning)

How often do we just stop and look around us at the amazement and beauty of creation?

"So mighty is his power, so great is his strength that no one fails to answer" (Isaiah 40:26).

The older I get, the more amazed I am at how fast time seems to fly by. Yet, there are nights when I go to bed realizing that I never stopped once, all day. I never really took in all the beauty around me. I never grasped God's grace and love that were all around me that day.

So, I pray this prayer...and I not only pray it for myself, but I pray it for all of you:

"Dear Lord, grant me the grace of wonder. Surprise me, amaze me, awe me in every crevice of your universe. Delight me to see how your Christ plays in ten thousand places, lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his, to the father through the features of men's faces. Each day enrapture me with your marvelous things without number. I do not ask to see the reason for it all; I ask only to share the wonder of it all." (Rabbi Joshua Abraham Heschel)

God bless you all!