Plentiful

 

harvest field

 

Matthew 9: 36-38  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then he said to his disciples, The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

Eastside Mission had it’s kick-off community block party outreach yesterday.  I must say it was absolutely amazing to be back on the streets after 8 months of “being still” and waiting on God.  During the 8 months God was growing, stretching and preparing us as He was about to expand our borders.  After 4 years of inner city street ministry on Main Street in Hamilton we thought God had really given us a HUGE mission field.  Now, reflecting back we realize that was our time of preparation.  

Back to yesterday, we had all kinds of fun activities for our introduction into the neighborhood. Pastor Felix and I spent the time by getting to know our neighbors, meeting their families and talking about their needs and the community needs.  At one point, I remember standing a midst all the busyness of serving and lovin’ on people I had a count of 175 people that we were blessed to serve this day.  We have approximately 1700 people within immediate radius, we passed out 560 total flyers and served 175 men, women and children.   As I’m standing there and process all of the conversations I was having, watching the kids playing I am feeling overwhelmed with all the needs.  Trust me, the needs in this area are many!  As we suspected there is a lot of heroin and addicted mommies and daddies.  Many generations living together in small houses and not being able to make the ends meet.  

For some time leading up to the kick-off and even more today we have been posting pictures, sharing needs, asking for volunteers and I’m starting to feel myself getting stressed about how in the world are we going to accomplish this.  This is 4x what we did and served over on Main Street.  God what in the world are you thinking?  So as I’m starting into that familiar tailspin I pick up my bible and I start reading about Jesus going into a city and Him telling the disciples that the harvest is plenty but the laborers are few.  Man God is so awesome 2,000 years ago He knew that there would be a great need for workers in the harvest field.  God knows we are facing many needs financial, volunteers, supplies, etc. but God ALSO knows that the laborers are few; therefore, as He is guiding me in His word to ask Him to send out workers into His harvest field.  Because bottom line – He has given Pastor Felix and I the charge of stewardship over this mission and building His church among these un-reached people and whether He sends us 2 or 20 we are going to praise Him, serve others and glorify our God as we pray for God to send the laborers.  Won’t you take a minute and join us in praying for this harvest field and the workers to serve in it!!  God might also be calling you to take a step out, he may be calling you to step outside of the church you are comfortable in with the friends and family you love and do some water walking!

Praise Him!!

Living The Dash

1358203043_grave_dash2

 

Hubby and I just finished watching a movie, unfortunately, the main guy died in the end.  I said to Felix if I would have known it would have been about dying I would not have watched it.  He said, “Honey it’s not about dying it’s about how you live your dash.”   On June 15th my 57 year old brother died and on July 10th my 72 year old aunt died.  Our family has had a great deal of sorrow in this last month that I can’t really remember smiling this past month at all.  Ok so now the dash.   Since hubby said it’s not about dying it’s about living.  I got to thinking about how much time is actually wasted each day on pointless meaningless activities or just sitting in a recliner and watching television.    The dash – – –

What would you do if you were told you had only one day left to live; what would you do?  Who would you see?  I know I would not be sitting here in this recliner watching television.  I know I would not be wasting my days being lazy, worrying, stressing or being mad at someone.  So with the last month in mind and the pain and sorrow of losing my brother and my aunt I can’t help but think of family.  Under less than desirable conditions I’ve seen my cousins and had some good times just remembering the “old days”.   We have such a large family.  My granny had 13 kids and we have so many cousins some old and some young; some first cousins some fourth cousins but it never mattered to us … we are family.  We were close family.  So why do we allow the mundane of life keep us from spending time with family?  Why do we allow ourselves to become so busy that we don’t try to get together with those that we love?

Most of our days we live like we don’t have an end day that is going to come at any given time.  When God created us He gave us a purpose; are we living out that purpose?  What excites you deep inside?  What stirs your heart?  Lots of questions but do you have any of the answers.   I know I need to do a real spirit check.  I know in my heart that I am to live my life as full as possible.  I know in my heart that I am supposed to love on the broken and wounded women that God allows to cross my path.  I do hesitate.  I don’t think I live up to my full potential.  I sometimes worry too much.  I allow my physical body to wear down.  I sometimes want to crawl in bed by 9pm.  I allow my weariness to keep me from spending time with family.  I allow my broken past to keep me from making lasting friendships.

At any given time on any given day any single one of us could be living our last day, our last hours; what do you want to do with that time.  I feel it is time to call the ones that we love and make sure they know that they are important in our lives.  I feel it is time to start getting together with family members that we have allowed time and distance to separate us.   It’s time to learn a craft or play a sport we’ve always wanted to do.  It’s time to pursue a career path we may feel we’ve missed out on.  It’s time to forgive … let it go, get over it.  Has someone hurt your feelings or treated you badly; well, it’s time to move.

Out of the big family of 13 kids there are now 2 sisters left.  On Monday life support was withdrawn from my Aunt Lavene and she remained unresponsive until she passed at 5am on Thursday.  So in the evenings it would be hard to leave her even though she wasn’t awake.  She was so special to all of us.  Every niece and nephew was her “favorite” and she told us each time she saw or spoke to us.  She loved openly and didn’t once judge us.  She was the aunt we could tell all of our secrets to and she would never tell.  She was the aunt that would bluntly tell us what she thought regardless of the outcome.  She was definitely a feisty fireball and I am proud to be her “favorite” niece.

This Sunday my family will be saying goodbye to our “favorite”.   Even though the movie brought a lot of tears it has inspired me to live.  Not just live but leave a dash so big that a tombstone cannot contain it.  I want to make sure each and every member of my family knows how much I love them and want to be with them.  I want to love on the broken and wounded and show them the healing that comes from God.  I want to live with the freedom that Jesus died for me to have.  I don’t want to waste one second of the dash.  I’ve wasted too much.  It’s time to just do me, loud and proud of the woman God created me to be.  Sharing my life to bring hope and healing of Jesus to the broken and wounded.

Friends, it’s not about money, it’s not about fame … it’s about living to the full potential of your calling.  It’s about kissing your babies, loving on your spouse like it’s your first date, calling your friends, spending time with your family.  It’s about doing you and living that dash to the fullest.

Praise Him!!

Love

women in flowers

Good Morning Beautiful Women of God!  This blog is especially for you today.  My daughter had a couple of unpleasant conversations with two “Christian” women this morning and it caused me to start thinking about women of God.  Oh, how precious we are to our Lord!  He loves us so much.  When we were created God said it is good.  As I look out this morning I see the sun shining brightly through the trees.  I can feel the warmth on my skin and I smell the most beautiful aroma from flowers growing nearby.  Then a thought hit me; Wow!  I am being loved on this morning by my Lord.  I’m not certain that I actually pause long enough to notice that God is loving on me with all the beauty that He surrounds me with.  Sometimes as women life can really knock us down.  There are so many varying degrees of who we are supposed to be.  We have the feminist movement that tells us we can do anything that men can do; sometimes even better.  Then we have some ultra conservative movements that tell us we can’t even make a noise without our husband’s permission.  What are we to do and feel as a woman living in today’s messed up confusing world?

As I’m soaking in the beauty of God’s creation around me I am thinking about how as women of God we live out being not only God’s ambassadors but that we were actually created in His likeness.  We have the attributes of God within us.  When He created both male and female we were both created in God’s image.  Do we display this image to other women?  Are we being the best women that we can be?  Are we honoring God with our speech; our actions?  I told you that I have a lot going on in my mind today.

This blog’s point is leading me to the heart of a woman.  We can tell what indwells within a woman simply by the words that come out of her mouth.  We can tell who she is spending time with or who she is NOT spending time with by the way she treats others.  How do you measure up today in comparison to His image today?

I agree that we have a special set of struggles and circumstances that we go through in life as women.  Some women are widows, single parents, divorced, broken and wounded.  Some women are in abusive relationships because they don’t see any other way out.  Some women are very happily married and are thrilled to enjoy the life that they have.  Whichever situation you find yourself in today I implore you to take the time to stand outside and feel the love of our heavenly father.  Stand for one moment and soak in the warm sun on your skin.  Take a deep breath in and enjoy the fresh air or maybe some glorious scents from flowers close by.  Women we are a special created being.  Step into all that God has created you for today.  Find rest and peace knowing that God not only has you wrapped in His loving arms but that everything around us speaks of His goodness.

Ladies you are each beautiful wonderful women created for a specific plan and purpose.  Are you walking in all that has been prepared for you today?  What is coming out of your heart?  Rest in Jesus and His love.  Allow Him to consume you to your very core ladies.  Take time today just to spend time with Him.  Love on Him and allow Him to love you back.  Ladies, others will know if you have been with Him.  Ladies, others will know where your heart is and who you keep company with just by your words and actions.  So take the time out from your busy day spend some of it with God then take that love, that peace, that warmth to someone else and give it to them.  Praise Him Today!!!

My Identity in Christ

My identity is in Christ

On June 15, 2014 my “bruncle” brother/uncle passed away.  He had suffered with illness for many years until this week his liver finally gave out and he left this earth.  This has caused great sorrow for our family, especially my precious mom and dad.  Please continue to lift them up in your prayers.

By now, I know you are thinking bruncle; why brother uncle.  This is a story I do not tell.  As a matter of fact, I have always hidden my true identity . . . until now.  I was born in September 1970 to 15 year old Juliette Alice and 17 year old Bobby Joe Roberts.  By the age of 9 months both of my biological parents gave me to my paternal grandparents, Ron and Geneva Stewart and I was raised as their daughter.

I cannot even begin to describe how incredibly blessed I was to have been gifted two of the most amazing people that God ever created to be my mom and dad.  I am so blessed!  I didn’t always see it that way.  As I grew up I felt abandoned by both my biological parents – given away.  My biological mother was totally out of the picture and my biological dad had another family and had 2 other children.  I always felt lost; without belonging.  I didn’t fit in with my biological mom’s life because she just took off.  I didn’t fit in with my biological dads life because he had another wife and two other children and I didn’t feel I fit with my grandparents family because they had 4 other children all grown and out of the house but one, Tommy who lived with us until about 1979 ish.

So here I was growing up feeling I did not have any belonging, any identity.  My biological father may not have meant harm but he once heard me call my grandparents mom and dad and proceeded to tell me that he never wanted to hear me say that again.  They are my grandparents.  Meaning harm and causing harm is two very different things.  My life was negatively shaped by my circumstances that were totally beyond my choosing or control.   I felt alone.  I lived most of my life with a negative self view.  I was wounded.  Right or wrong – I was wounded.

I ran away from home when I was 16 years old with my high school sweetheart.  I was in love – or at least what I thought was love.  When this boy came along I felt like I belonged to someone.  I felt a since of place and identity.  Eventually we divorced and I was off and running again.  Looking for love in all the wrong places.  I was looking for someone to fill that void in my life.  Someone to love me and fulfill my longing to belong.  Friends, I now know people, jobs, money cannot do that – only God can.

Ok, so four years ago standing in a little café that God had given us stewardship over we had had a music service and my wonderful husband Felix was sharing about the ministry and he asked me if I had anything to say.  At that moment, with a full house I heard God tell me … it’s time, your freedom is now.  I took the microphone and shared my testimony and my hurt and proclaimed my identity in Christ.  As I was speaking I could feel the chains that had been wrapped around me so tight begin to break and fall to the floor.  With each statement a link would break and I could breathe a little easier.

Since that night I have never looked back . . . until this morning.  This morning, I was sitting on the patio at Innkeeper drinking my coffee, talking with the Lord and I decided to look at facebook.  I seen my brother, Tommy’s obituary.  I love the picture he looks so handsome as all my parents kids do. (smile)  I began to read and when it came to the family left behind I seen my mom and dad, his wife and kids, and his two brothers then I seen two sisters.  I can’t begin to tell you how I felt I got a big smile on my face I felt a sense of pride when I read “sister Carol Mckee” and I just knew I would see “and Kim Russo of Cincinnati, Ohio”.  That is not what I read, I read another name.  Tommy’s wife’s sisters name.  I immediately felt crushed.  I immediately felt that negative self image that wounding from childhood.  I began to cry – not over his death but selfishly for myself.  I sat there a few minutes kind of shocked by my feelings when I heard my God say to me.  You are my precious child, your worth is in my son’s shed blood for you.  Your have been adopted into my family.  Galatians 3:26, “ For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”  I am not defined by this my true identity is in God and in that I have total freedom.  I am exactly who God created me to be.  I lived the life that I was meant to live and on September 24, 1970 God placed me into the loving arms of two amazing people that I call mom and dad, Geneva and Ron Stewart.

As I sit and share this with you, my hope is that by me sharing a bit of my story it will touch someone in such a way that perhaps if you are dealing with some kind of bondage or “identity” crisis that you will stop and read Galatians chapter 2.  My prayer is that you remove all negative thoughts from early on in your life or even perhaps circumstances that may have happened just last week and focus on your true identity which is in Christ alone.  Allow your identity to be in Him and His in you and your faith will grow, and your wounds will start to heal.  For me, I now realize that I have an ugly scar from that wound.  I allowed it to remain open for far to long.  But now, today as I look upon that scar I see that God is pleased with me, His creation.  I am not defined by my childhood, my feelings or my emotions.  The opinions of others and how they label or not label me does not define me.  I am exactly who God created me to be and who God says that I am.

2 Corinitians 1:22, “who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.  Ephesians 1:5, “having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself according to the good pleasure of His will.  Romans 15:7, “Therefore receive one another just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.  Colossians 2:9-10, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.”  Amen!!!

Today, I am allowing that last chain to break and fall to the floor.  I am claiming that I am a child of the most High King!!  Jesus Christ willingly laid His life down so that I can be with God and live with them in eternity as God’s child and a joint heir with Jesus Christ.  I am worthy because Jesus’ blood has made me worthy.

I will wipe the last tears from my eyes that the false beliefs caused me to live in bondage.   My name is Kim Roberts (Stewart) Russo.  My biological parents are Bobby and Juliette.  My mom and dad are Ron and Geneva Stewart.  I have 3 half siblings, Lisa, and B.J. – children of Bobby, and Karen a child of Juliette’s.  I also have 2 bruncles – my brothers Jonas and Tommy Lee.  I have 1 sister / aunt Carol.  And today I am walking in my identity of who I am in Jesus Christ!  A child of the most High King!  Praise God!!

 

Rest in Peace my sweet brother:

Tommy RTommy Leeoberts, of Liberty, KY passed away Sunday, June 15, 2014 at the Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital in Somerset, KY. He was 57.

Born March 3, 1957 in Cincinnati, Ohio, he is the son of Geneva Smith Stewart and Ron Stewart of West Chester, Ohio.

In addition to his parents, survivors include his wife, Della Wilson Roberts, whom he married September 1, 1979; a son, Dakota Roberts of Liberty; two daughters, Angela Seig of Warsaw, KY and Beth Allen of Cincinnati, Ohio; eight grandchildren; two brothers, Jonas Roberts of Mason, Ohio and Bobby Roberts of Cincinnati, Ohio; and two sisters, Carol McKee of Cincinnati, Ohio and Debbie Wilson of Jacksonville, Florida.

 

Blessings in the Toilet

toilet

 

This past week my hubby and I have been serving at InnKeeper Ministries while Bob & Jan are out of town.  Over the last 10 years we have stayed here many many times, we even renewed our vows for our 15 year wedding anniversary here.  We have been guests and we have been workers.  However, this time has been different.  As we were cleaning rooms after the last guests left I was cleaning in the bathroom and became so overcome with emotion.  I realized that after all of these years this time we are here serving other servants of God; God’s shepherds.  As I was cleaning the toilet of all places I prayed and thanked God for this blessing.  I have such an amazing feeling and such deep gratitude for the honor of being able to serve in this place and to be able to help two of the most selfless, wonderful people we know.  I can certainly say that over the last 10 years of knowing the Hartenstein’s that they are a family after God’s own heart.  They love God, their family and others with such a willingness to be and do anything that God calls them to.  I am thankful for the many years that this couple, Bob and Janet Hartenstein have poured into us.  Janet is certainly the entire package of what a godly woman is, she is my mentor and I know hubby feels the same about Bob.

Today my blessing came while cleaning the toilet!

Takin’ It To The Streets

 

Takin' It To The Streets

Takin’ It To The Streets

 

What a heavy and heart filled weekend this has been.  Yesterday spent time working in my sewing room making new purses and bags to sell to help people on the streets while Felix has spent most of his week at the Lighthouse Church on Ridgelawn painting and cleaning.  Then we were blessed to help a young family; dad, pregnant mom and a one year old that was homeless sleeping in their car get a hotel for a week.  This was only 1 of several homeless families looking for shelter this week.

 

Then God gave Pastor Sonny an incredible message that He shared at the Lighthouse today – powerful!!  Spent some time speaking with a beautiful young woman who was trying to convince me she can kick heroine without any help.  Not gonna happen.

 

Wrapped the evening up at New Life Mission celebrating the baptism of our homeless friend that we have invested four years into.  Praise God that He never gives up on us!  This was a hard man to crack – – but he was always searching and I am so thankful for God’s faithfulness.

 

So tonight I am reflecting on this jam packed weekend and I never thought I would be a missionary in the inner city.  I can honestly say that there is no place I would rather be than loving on the homeless, addicted and prostitutes in this community.  My hubby and I have spent some hard days and nights in this ministry but nonetheless it is worth every single minute.  I love to see God transform lives!!  He is so incredible.

 

We are currently gearing up for our Mobile Ministry that takes place right on the streets, in the alleys and on the sidewalks every Sunday from 2pm to 5pm.  We need your help!  Without God’s people investing in Offerings Ministries we will not be able to continue on the streets.  Please consider a financial donation to Offerings Ministries, Inc. we are a non-profit ministry and your donation is tax deductible.

 

Every week we are taking Jesus to the broken in this city.  Two weeks ago when I was preaching to my girls in jail and I was getting wound up – I said these words to them, I was once just like you then Jesus set me free.  He picked me up, He cleaned me up then He sent me right into the pits of darkness to grab you by the hand and pull you out!!  Just thinking about it fires me up!  There was this one precious woman who looked at me and said, “Pastor Kim, you came here for me because yesterday I was going to kill myself.”  Praise God that she didn’t and He put that word in my heart and a burning desire to go into the dirty nasty places and share Jesus.
 

Time is running out – – we have got to put our busy lives on pause and reach this place for Jesus Christ!!!

To donate to this ministry and become a blessing to many please visit http://www.offeringsministries.com  ALSO like us on facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/OfferingsHolyGroundsCafe   and    www.facebook.com/JuliettesHope

 Non-Profit

Non-Profit

 

Moment by Moment

woman_in_stress

I am sitting in my sewing room listening to KLove on the radio and trying to install a zipper on a cosmetic bag that I am making.  I have only sewed one zipper before and after ripping the seams out 4 times and starting over I can say that  I am really getting frustrated.  A commercial played on the radio from the movie Son of God where Jesus was talking to Peter and Peter asked Jesus, “What are we going to do?”  Jesus replied, “Change the world.”

I know you must be thinking what does all of this have to do with sewing zippers.  Well, at that very moment, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “take a breath, say a prayer and then tackle this zipper with gladness and an opportunity to learn.”  Really?  I did just that.

Renewing our minds is not only a daily activity it can be a moment by moment task.  Therefore, I encourage you, if you are working on something at your job that has you frustrated, if you are waiting on patients or customers that are pushing your last nerve, stop for a moment, take a breath, say a prayer and then approach the situation with a willingness to learn and grow.  With each day and each obstacle there is an opportunity to glorify God.

With the remaining twelve and a half hours left in this day step outside of yourself and strive to serve others, actively go out of your way to make someone smile, speak kind words to everyone you encounter, approach your task with gladness and embrace this gifted day as an opportunity to reflect Jesus.

Praise Him!