Monday, March 24, 2014

When You Can't Forget. . .

          When you can't forget the faces. The stories. The smiles and tears. JESUS. . . You go back.

             This month, my youth group and I were able get in our big white van and go back and serve with 7 Bridges for a third time.

                                      All pics that are not other wise marked photo credit: Gus ( my youth pastor)

                    We go under the bridges and in condemned apartments and pray with the the homeless. We give them lunches and listen to their stories, because it is really only by grace that we are not in their situation. It's different every time. You see some familiar faces and some new ones. 

                   This time my friend Claire and I met this man named John and he made me smile extra big from the first moments. He smiles and comments on my abnormal shortness ( I don't mind at all) and I compliment him on his rings. He says they hold memories and show love for the people who gave them to him. I know what he means. How a little thing can mean so much more just because of who it came from. The smile when they gave it to you. I like Mr. John even more and I wish I could get a picture with him.:) 

                    The group leaders call us to group prayer over the area and Mr. John doesn't come. He asks me to come back after and pray with him alone. I am happy to! He asks me to pray for joy and happiness in his heart. I do and I am SO thankful for this opportunity! He tells me he loves me and will never forget me and I tell him the same. How could I forget him? I don't ever want to! 

                I share this not to make myself look great but to show how amazing our God is! Who could form a friendship neither will forget between an older homeless man and a sixteen year old girl in less than 10 min?! Only our Sovereign God, you guys! He has greater plans than we could ever imagine! How freeing would it be if we remembered that every day! 

Here are some more pics from our day. We don't get to take pics with the homeless but we took a few side adventures. :) 

                                   Love!                   Photo credit:Tyler :)

        And then we found a cow and named her Timothy! You read it right! hehe  

Exploring the awesome little fake town of Morrow, Ga. 

Only by Grace, 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

~Bought Back~

               Ok, so I am really not a great blogger, but I try. . . or try to try. :P Honestly there has been so many things on my heart the past few months that I kind of gave up on putting it in words. ..  But I want to try to share a little bit. . .

              I have, in the past, chose a word at the beginning of the year and just watch to see how God works and how He uses that word through the year . . . Almost every time God has amazed even in how He shows me what word He has for me! So this year my word is

                 It's a word I have grown up, known since I was little, but I never really knew what it meant until a few months ago when I looked up it's meaning. BUY BACK. That's what it means. To buy again something that was once yours. Pretty amazing, right?! So I write it down.

               At the beginning of the year I went to "Move" conference in Macon Ga. Ed Newton spoke on verses in Titus and there was that word. . . So I wrote it out to the side in my bible,"Bought back", and listened as Ed Newton shared this amazing, beautiful gospel of redemption. How a perfect God sent His only Son into this broken world to buy back His prized possession with His own blood.

            We get into the church van and turn on music. . .


               I'd heard this song before, but not in the same way. It had a new meaning, and I had an idea of what my word was for 2014. 

                So now my mom and I are following the Compassion Bloggers in Uganda, which I strongly encourage you to too, and I read this post today. I smile big at the little girl's shirt. 

              All this to say, this year I am going strive to, and hope you do too, to live REDEEMED! We were ONCE slaves, stolen by sin, but JESUS, in His love, bought us back and made us HIS! His sons and daughters!! 

           We are free, are chains have been broken and now we can live in the JOY of HIM! We can share the love that we have been given! We can serve as He served! We can have bad days too! We can fail!! I know I do miserably! Because of Jesus, Grace covers us! 

"But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
    he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
         I have called you by name, you are mine." Isaiah 43:1

Sponsor a Child and live redeemed!