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

 

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Finally Friday – It’s Time To Come Undone!!!

needle

Compassion – suffering with someone with the desire to help them, this is what my husband told a youth group we pastored 16 years ago.  I thought I understood the meaning of compassion back then but I had not even begun to comprehend it’s depth of meaning.

Life for us has been crazy this last month with the closing of the café, my diagnosis of fibromyalgia and the experimental medications the insurance company has made me go through before I can take the one my doctor actually thinks will help me.   So for me, this week wraps up a four year long journey as we will lock the door to Offerings Holy Grounds Café for the last time this Saturday.  What a journey it has been.  Just penning these words springs up a well of tears filling my eyes.

We have met so many people.  We have seen the good, the bad and the truly ugly.  I have so many stories that it would take me all month to share.  One that comes to my mind to share is of a blonde haired woman that lives a life of prostitution and crack addiction.  I had only known “Misty” for about a week when I found her crouched out in the back parking lot trying to smoke crack out of some kind of make-shift pipe.  She was frayed from end to end, disheveled and rocking back and forth.  I remember walking up to her and standing there for minutes with her never even looking up to see what I was doing.  My heart was feeling physically heavy as I lowered myself to my knees in front of her.  All the while she never once looked at me; she continued to try to put crack in this so called pipe while she continued to rock back in forth.  I can still feel the pain deep inside of me this day as I recount this story. I sat there for a minute or two and just watched her not knowing what I should do.  With a deep breath I stretched my arms toward her and I cupped her weary face into my shaking hands.  As I cradled her face her eyes met mine and at that moment I had become totally undone, never to be the same again.

Have you ever had an encounter with such suffering that it totally rocked your world?  I did that day.  That day I felt so much suffering and pain that I began to understand the meaning of compassion.  Right there that day it hit me; compassion feels bad.  It hurts, it’s dirty, it’s messy, it’s . . . awful.  Compassion is walking away from an encounter that you know has changed your life forever and you realize that life as you knew it would never be the same.

Friends, we live in a world full of pain; do you feel it?  Or have we become so desensitized by all the news stories and so self-centered that we will walk right past a person begging on the streets.  Or as we pass the poor we drop our eyes so that we don’t have to look at them.

By now, most have put in at least a 40 hour week already work.  So now we can have this weekend to enjoy and kick it up as we please.  I understand this; I lived it for most of my life.  I worked long hard hours at a job that was okay just so I could pay a mortgage on a house that I no longer live in and travel to a tropical state for a two week vacation once every year.  I was living the dream; right?  No, I had bought into a lie.

After four years of street ministry I have got to admit it’s dirty, it’s hard and it’s painful.  But my friends, I could not go back to the comfortable life that I once knew.  I have been called to follow Jesus, the one who gave up the comfort of heaven and had compassion on me.  As I was holding Misty in my arms Jesus was holding me in His.  Jesus was whispering into my ear, He was saying, “Kimberleigh lay down your net and follow me.”  Suffer with her, have compassion “with” her, feel it.  He showed me in that very moment that I would shed many tears for the little children that I would see running around in the alleys barefoot, dirty and hungry.  He showed me that I would feel the deep heart wrenching pain of holding a drug addicted prostitute in my arms.  He showed me that the road that I had stepped onto was narrow and the path that I was about to take is dirty, full of busted beer bottles, heroine needles, crack pipes and cigarette butts.  Sitting in a little church, pastoring teens I would never have imagined that I would be here today serving the poor and broken in my community I would have avoided it at all costs.

Before you approach your weekend and all the activities you have planned I ask you to spend some time alone with God.  Listen for His whisper.  It’s there.  Your path and purpose have all been laid out before you were even created.  Turn the world down for just a little while and turn off its lies of if we work hard enough, make enough money, and buy all the latest and greatest gadgets that we will be happy.  What is He calling you to do, where is He calling you to go?  We live in a world full of pain and suffering but few have actually engaged it.  Most of us, walk past the beggar and the drunkard and lower our eyes.

Four years ago, I had an encounter with my Savior that caused me to become radically undone and since that time I have held many women while they cry.  I have seen pain and hopelessness in their eyes.  For me, I know that my life will never be the same.  There is no way to put those pieces all back together, the dirt has been under my nails for so many years that OPI can’t cover it.

Just for this weekend, before you go out to eat buy someone else a meal first.  Before you buy that new outfit you’ve been waiting for buy one for someone else.  And when you walk down the street smile at the person you are passing.  I encourage you to become UNDONE!!

Praise Him!!

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!

Ash Wednesday

 

 

It’s  Ash Wednesday!

Ash Wednesday

Today marks the 1st day of Lent leaving 40 days, not including Sundays, until Easter.  This 40 day period of Lent is symbolic of Jesus’ forty days of fasting and temptation in the wilderness (Matt. 4:2).  According to the Bible ashes were used as a way to express mourning.  Therefore, on Ash Wednesday people often observe this day as a day of repentance by placing ashes on their foreheads as a way of expressing repentance for their sins. 

 

Many people will fast a certain type of food such as chocolate or soda or perhaps for some it will be the internet.  Whatever, is chosen it is a period whereby people deny themselves a pleasure or release a stronghold as a way of identifying with Jesus’ 40 day fast.

Personally, as I enter into this time I am striving to daily spend time in quiet reflection on Jesus’ sacrifice for me.  This is a time to reflect on what matters most to Him and focus my thoughts and actions on them.  All throughout scripture Jesus has given us a model to shape our lives by and from time to time we all get off track.  During Lent I want to experience a deeper relationship and experience His presence in my life like never before.

In 40 days from today (excluding Sundays) our Savior conquered the grave and death on our behalf to unite us with God the Father for eternity.  He paid our debt and a little retrospection, meditation and study into His Word to deepen our understanding and increase our faith is worth all the time and effort that it takes out of our daily routine.

Whether you choose to observe Lent or not, I am praying for you and encourage you to spend some quality time with Jesus today and this next 40 day period.

Praise Him!

Jesus said, Whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matt. 6:16-18)

 

Monday Morning Motivation

monday morning

What a Magnificent Monday Morning.  Glory be to God!  As you reach over to silence the ringing of your alarm clock sticking your arm out from the warmth and comfort of your cozy bed your thoughts go to, “I hate Mondays”.  I’ve had such a great weekend, why does the weekend go by so fast?  You slowly and begrudgingly place your feet on the floor and start making your way to the coffee machine.

This morning, I want to encourage you as you inhale the warm aroma of your freshly brewed hot coffee to exhale and purpose in your mind that this is going to be a magnificent Monday. You can change the course of your day just by renewing the way you approach your day in your mind.

As your taste buds come alive with the anticipation of the hot, creamy, smooth first sip of coffee allow God to energize your mind.  Some of you don’t like your job, some are okay with their job but spend the week wishing it was Friday.  Perhaps you are not employed.  Whatever your circumstance may be, allow God to direct your steps today in a positive manner.  Stop your stinking thinking and your complaining and embrace this day as the gift that it is.

Serve your customers, patients and employers as you are serving Jesus himself.  Each person you encounter may be Jesus in disguise treat them as such.  Take your disappointments and renew your mind by embracing them as an opportunity to grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Savior.

Place a smile on your face by picturing Jesus lovingly looking into your eyes and guiding you as you type each letter, take someone’s temperature, assist your boss, load trucks, deliver food, fill teeth, whatever it is that you do.  He is saying to you as you do to these you are doing to me.  Love them as you love me.  Embrace your day as an opportunity to live it as fully as you possibly can.  Make each moment count, take every thought captive and bring it into line with God’s plan for us to have joy and peace.

You have a choice on how you will live today.  Embrace it with love, joy, peace, excitement and an opportunity to love and serve God and others.  What a glorious day the Lord has given us.  Let’s make this Monday Magnificent.

Praise Him!

Come on we have work to do

 

warrior woman

 

Last night we were blessed to receive free tickets to see Son of God.  My favorite part of the movie was immediately after Jesus ascended Peter stood up and said to the others, “come on, we have work to do”.  I have had that image in my mind of what those 1st days without Jesus must have looked and felt like to the disciples.

 

As I drifted off to sleep last night I was praying to have God instill even more urgency into me to reach the lost in this world.   Being street preachers, I have these names and faces of addicts, homeless, prostitutes … our friends in my mind.  I see and feel the lost hope, despair and total utter darkness that these precious friends of ours live in daily.  Actually, just a couple of days ago one of these women who had lost all hope was contemplating suicide. 

 

I realize that a lot of my blogs sound like war cries but until the warriors for Christ come to the battlefield I feel like I am supposed to.  We have so many warriors that have not put their armor on in years and stroll into church on most Sundays and listen to a sermon to get up and leave it there.  Where have the warriors gone, where is their urgency.  Last year, I literally saw 2 people die in the streets.  There is no time for us to wait around.

 

We are living in a society that is self absorbed and independent when we come from a Kingdom that is unified and relational.  Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive – – we have lost our give and we have become hoarders.  Followers of Jesus Christ we need a revival a coming back to Him and I’m not talking about big meetings and religious excitement coming from a pulpit.  Revival is God revealing himself to us.  God revealing His glory, His love, His power to us that we run from the church buildings and abandon our programs and run straight into the darkness and grab people by the arm, lift them out of the gutter, drag them from the street and bring them

Jesus!  Now, that’s revival.  Not some emotional stirring with lots of religious excitement that goes on for days.

 

Friends, Jesus came to seek and to save those that are lost.  When we have a true life changing experience with Jesus we want what the Father wants and we do as Jesus does and we go into the world.  Where has He placed you, who are you seeking to bring Jesus to?

 

Praise Him!

Strongholds – The devil never wins unless you don’t fight!

 

I grew up in an independent Baptist church, I learned all the Sunday School Characters, the children’s choir songs and shame.  Yes, I said shame.  Although, I was in church from the time I was 5 years old throughout my life I was testing the waters of the world.  I felt the rules and regulations that were being expected of me were way too much for me to ever obtain so I thought, why bother.

 

I remember sitting in the hallway at my childhood home and fighting with my dad insistently saying I don’t want to go to church tonight.  It’s too cold to put on a dress; I’ve got homework, etc. etc.  The excuses were numerous.

 

At the age of 16 I decided that I knew what was best for my life and I ran away from home and got married.  Oh yeah, wow, there is freedom in that statement for me.  You see, I lived so many years of my life chasing the pleasures of this world only to be left with guilt and shame.  So over the course of my young life I learned how to hide many things in secret places so that no one would know about my sins.  No one would know about all of the partying; drinking and drugging and must I add the many men.

 

Later in years when I married a good man and came to Christ and I learned to hide and pretend that I had this wonderful perfect life so I hid this secret shameful life that no one must know about.  After all, my new husband was a preacher and if people really knew what kind of life his wife had years before who knew what kind of damage that could do to him and damage it did do.  To make a long painful story short, my amazing God lovin’ husband was told that because of my past that He could never be in ministry other than driving the church Sunday school bus.  Wow!  I did that to him.  I ruined his life, or so I thought.

 

Many many years down the road I was growing closer to my Jesus and falling deeply in love with His heart and learning what He is really all about.   Here’s one lesson I have learned from this time in my life.  In Matthew 12:43-45 we read about satan seeking a stronghold.  I was allowing the enemy to come into my Jesus cleaned life by keeping my past a secret because of all of the guilt and shame that I felt and I allowed the enemy to gain a foothold into my life.  I learned that whatever you hide in the dark Satan will use it to harm you; however, you must expose it to the light to allow God to heal it and remove it.

 

I learned the impactful meaning of John 8:36 – If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.  Listen friends what strongholds does the enemy have hanging over your head?  I encourage you to take some alone time with our wonderful merciful creator and sustainer and take him into those secret places that have become a stronghold that if left alone the enemy will destroy us with.

 

Two and a half years ago, I stood in our café with a packed house and with God’s voice saying in my ear; it’s time my child.  I have come to set you free.  I grabbed that microphone and gave my testimony.  And one link at a time the chains that had held me for over 20 years came clanging to the ground.  That day I learned that Jesus’ blood is enough!  His precious blood that He shed for me is enough to cover absolutely anything I have ever done.  There is power in the blood, there is freedom in the blood, and there is salvation in HIS blood!

 

Sisters, let me encourage you today that if you have anything holding you back from becoming the woman God created you to be, I encourage you at this time to take it to the cross and allow those chains to be broken.  It’s time to deal with the things that are in our lives that keeps the river of living waters from flowing in and out of our life!  Be encouraged.

 

Praise Him!

fervent-prayer