made for His glory

living in pursuit of that

Archive for December, 2006

Merry Christmas

Posted by hrgarippa on 23 December, 2006

I leave today for Phoenix, I’ll be with my entire family for a week.

Entire family includes:
Dad
Mom
Christy (sister)
Justen (Brother in Law)
Rachel (niece)
Caleb (nephew)
Malia (niece)
John (brother)
Me
Rachel (sister)
Ryan (brother in law)
Jonah (nephew)
Maddox (nephew)
Daniel (brother)
Kendall (sister in law)
Mary (sister)
Joseph (brother)
And Matt who is like adopted family.

Enjoy your time with your families, and

I wish you all a Merry Merry Christmas, and a very Happy New Year!

Posted in Mi Familia | 1 Comment »

Maddox Slideshow

Posted by hrgarippa on 21 December, 2006

Last thing for now on my new nephew. Check out this amazing slideshow of my sister Rachel’s little family.

Posted in Mi Familia | Leave a Comment »

Thank You.

Posted by hrgarippa on 19 December, 2006

Thank you my Great Lord and Saviour for your obedience.

Thank you for always existing. Thank you for assuming the body of an infant and entering this world in the most unexpected of ways. Thank you for fulfilling prophecy and living your human life perfectly. Thank you for your years of ministry and how even now, your words speak to my heart. Thank you for establishing relationships, for showing us the importance of close friends.

Thank you for your humility. Thank you for your death. Thank you that you experienced separation from the Father so that I will never have to. Thank you for rising again; for not letting sin and death win. Thank you for the apostles; commissioning them to spread the word to the ends of the earth. Thank you that you went beyond your chosen to the gentiles. Thank you that you care about your creations. Thank you for grace. Thank you that you will come again one day, and that on that day there will be great rejoicing.

Thank you that in You I find comfort, acceptance, forgiveness, love and grace – and that you are able to calm all my fears, and provide peace.

Thank you that you really are all I need but through love and grace you give me relationships and the nearness of friends and family.

Thank you for coming into this world and for Christmas.

Posted in Dear Jesus | 1 Comment »

35 Years

Posted by hrgarippa on 18 December, 2006

Today is my parents 35th Wedding Anniversary.

I am so blessed to have parents that have showed me and my siblings what it is like to be in a lasting, committed relationship. I am so blessed to have parents that still love each other and want to be near each other.

I think the most wonderful thing that my parents have shown me about living is that love is full of grace.

My parents marriage has not been easy; they have had to deal with raising seven children, many who made it as difficult as possible for them. Through every twist and turn in their relationship they have sought the Lord and they have sought each other.

I hope that someday I will have a relationship like theirs, that I will desire my spouse like they desire each other 35 years into marriage.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad.

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Me and Franny

Posted by hrgarippa on 18 December, 2006

Every morning I walk Francis, a 13 year old golden retriever. This dog walking I’ve come to enjoy…sort of. Francis is pretty old, obviously, so this isn’t your average walk it is more like a slow crawl around the block. While Francis does her thing, sniffing and thinking about the moment we reach the empty lot and I take the ball from my pocket and unleash her, I get to take in the beauty that is Highland Park. The homes are really quite gorgeous; each one unique. I wonder who lives in each house and what they do for a living, what has enabled them to be so blessed that they live on property that costs a fortune.

I’ve come to enjoy the 20 minutes I spent with Francis, we get to say hello to all the boys who are working on the three homes that are under construction. There is a very random women who drives around the neighborhood in her Buick with her vanity plate that says “I’m PC” and her poodle on her lap; when she sees us she slams on her brakes so that her dog can bark at Franny. She’ll drive slowly for a few seconds and then speed off, loop around the block and do it all over again. This makes me laugh…what could possibly be going on in this woman’s head.

When Franny and I finally make it to the empty lot, she gets excited, she definitely knows it is coming. Her tails starts to wag, and she might even smile. I don’t run her too much because she is 13 or 91 in human years. Then we head home.

I like starting my day with Francis.

Posted in Deep thoughts | 1 Comment »

Grace

Posted by hrgarippa on 16 December, 2006

I woke up this morning thinking about brokenness, a state we are all in. My brother often comments on how difficult it can be sometimes to live this side of heaven; knowing that we are fully redeemed but still trying to make some sense of the sin that presents itself in our lives.

This summer there was something semi-tragic that happened at my old church; our senior pastor made wrong choices; became addicted to pain killers. These choices have effected not just him but his family and our congregation. A friend of mine asked if I was surprised that this had happened, and I said no, really. What surprises me, I said, is when we start to see ourselves as immune to sin, when we put certain people on a pedestal and think there isn’t anyway they could fall off. When really, they are up there teetering around on the verge of a great collapse everyday. There are “great big” sins that threaten to take down you and me, things like drugs, alcohol, sex or lust; things we can put a face to and name. We can usually see them on the outside and recognize how they destroy. But what about the sins that we allow to creep in, the ones that aren’t so big and showy; like pride, envy, anger, slothfulness. How about anything that we place in our lives before our Lord and Saviour.

I go to a different church now, a church that I love by the way, where the Pastor is kind and personable (and hangs out with the so-called Singles Group when I’m sure he’d much rather be at home with his wife), and people know my name. This church has been labeled TR or Totally Reformed for those as ignorant as me, (by the way I hate labels). One of the things I have found to be so wonderful in the Reformed church is the focus on Grace, the wonderful wonderful mystery of Grace. When I mess up, not to worry, Grace is there to clean up the mess. But I struggle in a system where grace is just thrown around, too freely given. For me, a natural stuffer and avoider I like to pretend that my sin doesn’t exist, and when I focus on grace…just grace…I allow myself to do that.

Last Sunday, Pastor R said something that caught my attention, (he says a lot of things that catch my attention but this really stood out). He talked about himself, seeing his own sin and as he thought about that sin, allowing his mind to see it through to the end, seeing not just the momentary pleasure, but the lasting pain and destruction. He said it brought him to his knees, to repentance.

There is sweet freedom in repentance, and I’m afraid at least in my life I am not brought to my knees enough. Speaking the words to my Lord, asking Him for his forgiveness and grace. I think if I did this I would see grace differently. Not as a free meal ticket handed out to whomever, but as a sacred gift given from the Father to his child in a moment of intimacy.

I’m not sure that I want grace any other way than in this intimate moment. I don’t want to be absolved of my sin, just because I am a child of God. I am thankful that I am. But taking grace without first placing that which needs covering at His feet seems like I’m being cheated out of something, out of a moment with my Saviour…a moment for me to really enjoy Him and His goodness.

Posted in Deep thoughts | 2 Comments »

More Pictures of Maddox

Posted by hrgarippa on 11 December, 2006


I think this photo is so precious, the sweet guy
in the back is Maddox’s older brother Jonah.

Posted in Mi Familia | Leave a Comment »

Maddox Elias

Posted by hrgarippa on 10 December, 2006

I have a new nephew, he was born yesterday at 2:57pm in Phoenix Arizona. He weighs in at 9lbs 7oz and is 23.5 inches long. My sister Rachel was in labor for 11 hours and was blessed with an epidural.

Here is the sweet boy…

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Rissah Shalom (that is her middle name)

Posted by hrgarippa on 6 December, 2006

Many of you have met or heard me speak of Rissah, she is the young lady that I have mentored for 2 and half years. Rissah turned 14 yesterday, her mother Elaziah is barely double that, she’ll turn 28 in February. Elaziah has always been in and out of Rissah’s life preferring the “comfort” of a mans arms to being the comforting constant for her child, so Rissah has a brother Geovante and two sisters, Zionike and Steoni. Mostly Rissah cares for these children under the watchful eye of her grandmother, Pam.

Pam’s story is not that different than Elaziahs; six kids, different fathers, no job, living on the government…hopeless. And, although I do not know Pam’s mother very well, I would imagine that her story is not that different than Pams.

The women in this family have created a cycle of dependency, not only on the government, but on men and on each other. I have hoped for so much more for Rissah, I know that she has hoped for that too, and of course the Lord wants more from and for her.

I remember one day, Rissah came into my office, excited because she had something to tell me. She had memorized a bible verse and wanted to share it. So she started reciting, the first half of Psalm 27;

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of who shall I be afraid?
When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall no fear;
though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.
One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord an to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock
And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

Elaziah has moved Rissah to Fort Worth to live with her, I cannot understand all of the reasoning behind it, but I pray, and ask you to pray too, that Rissah will remember this passage of scripture that she has hidden in her heart. I pray she will remember that she can chose to rise above the chaos that she lives in and that she can hide herself in the shelter of His steadfast love.

My contact with Rissah will be limited, in fact I’ve not been given any way to contact her; so my relationship turns into one only of prayer. I’m okay with that because I can probably do more with prayer than I could ever do with words.

Please join me in praying for this child.

Posted in WD Kiddos | Leave a Comment »

Mentor Appreciation

Posted by hrgarippa on 4 December, 2006

This past weekend we had our Second Annual Mentor Appreciation Banquet. I thought it went well and I hope that our mentors felt appreciated. We certainly couldn’t do this ministry without them. Each year we select several outstanding mentors who are honored, they are given a gift, and a certificate and their mentee says something nice about them. I want you to hear the sweet letter that little Miss Shaterrica C. wrote about her mentor. I’m not going to change any of the grammatical or spelling errors, because I think some of them are cute.

Dear Sarah Jane,

I want to thank you for everything you have done for me. And for what ever you have got me, since the day I met you at George Washington Carver. So I just want to write you this letter to bless you. Cause God gave me a good mentor. And she really cares about me. She even cares about my friends to. The day my friends seen my mentor they had a smile on their face. And the day I graterated (that would graduated) my mentor, and my mom had came. I had sung a song for both of my parents. Both of my parents felt heart full, in their heart, when we had sung to the people in the oddeince. So that what I thank you for. So bless your big heart.

Love, Shaterrica T. C.

Sarah Jane truly is an outstanding mentor. This summer she took Shaterrica to have her eyes and ears checked and when they found that she had 90% blockage in one of ears due to earwax build-up she arranged to have that cleared. She had her tested for dyslexia and when she discovered that there was little help for special needs kids at the middle school level she worked with Scottish Rite Hospital to have a program instituted there. She had here accepted on a full scholarship to a private school but due to transportation concerns and academic levels she was unable to attend. Sarah Jane works tirelessly with Shaterrica’s family bringing the Light of Christ into their dark world through very practical ways.

I am so thankful for mentors like Sarah Jane, she is just one of many…so many who love the kids and families of West Dallas. Praise God for His people.

Posted in WD Kiddos | 1 Comment »