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Archive for the ‘Dear Jesus’ Category

A Prayer of Praise

Posted by hrgarippa on 2 April, 2009

Thank you, Father, that You so loved the world that You gave Your one and only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ…that when the time had fully come, He wrapped Himself in human form, being born as a helpless baby in a poor family. Thank you that He walked here on earth radiating the brightness of Your glory and flawlessly expressing Your nature…and so, through Him, people saw You in action, involved with them, available to meet their needs. Thank you that He focused Your almighty power into the lives of common people with deep needs, just like me…that He preached the gospel to the poor, proclaimed freedom to prisoners of sin and recovery of sight to the blind, and set free the oppressed victims of sin and Satan – the downtrodden, the lost, the hurting, the broken. Thank you for the way He rebuked the arrogant and looked with favor on the humble-minded, opening wide the door of His kingdom to those who were destitute and helpless in spirit. I delight in Your tender mercies, O my God, by which the Sunrise from on high has come to us!

Thank you that through the Gospels I can watch this beloved One walk among ordinary people. I can hear the gracious words that came from His lips. I can see His compassion and tenderness toward needy people, His anger at hypocrisy, His faithfulness, His intense love for His followers.

Fairest Lord Jesus! You alone are my heart’s desire…my chief delight…my soul’s glory, joy and crown. Every advantage life can offer is like rubbish compared with the overwhelming gain of knowing You. You are worthy, Lord – worthy to be thanked and praised and worshipped and adored.

31 Days of Praise by Ruth Meyer

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Vickery Meadows

Posted by hrgarippa on 8 January, 2009

Have you heard of Vickery Meadows?

Right across the highway from all the glitz and the glam of Northpark Mall is a little community called Vickery. Vickery is a bunch of apartment complexes all build next to each other and in them they house a large population of  refugees, mostly African…among other people.

Although I have not had the great privilege of getting to know these families and these kids, my brother, Johnny has and they are dear dear dear to his heart. Please read this email written from Stephanie, Johnny’s girlfriend and Vickery Meadow’s staff person.

For several years our walk here has brought a few of us deeply into the lives of several Liberian families from west Africa who came to Dallas as refugees. We have shared birthdays, holidays, and glimpses of everyday life with our Liberian friends, cooking, eating, dancing, playing, and sitting with each other; I could write a book about them. Their kids have been involved in Kids Club and Teen Girls’ Group for the past five years too. Alice, mother of three, is the firey one, the pot-stirrer, so to speak, and the matchmaker of the group. She is one of the funniest, wittiest, and most candid women I know. Then there’s Decontee, with her five boys; Decontee is in a way the mother of the group. Alice and Decontee live next door to each other at the Ivanhoe; Abraham lives directly upstairs with his family, including his niece Naomie (16 years) and nephews Malfred (12) and Prince (5). Abraham is the leader in many ways of this Liberian community at only 25 years old. Rita lives with her daughter in another close complex but spends her free time at Ivanhoe with “the family.”.

Yesterday Christiana – Naomie, Malfred, and Prince’s mother – died. She had been very sick for over a year, constantly in and out of the hospital as her strength and body decayed; she was around 35 years old.

The community is taking care of each other, but we need help. Burial costs are roughly between $5-7,000, and our families barely make enough money in their minimum wage jobs to feed and clothe their own children. As when our Eritrean friend died last year, we are setting up a fund through Vickery Meadow Ministry to help with as much of the burial cost as possible, or the possible cost of sending the body back to Africa. Any extra funds left over will be given to help take care of Christiana’s kids and/or for helping other families as emergency needs arise.

You can send checks to Vickery Meadow Ministry with a separate note included that designates the funds “for Christiana’s family.” We are at PO Box 671127, Dallas TX 75367.

Thank you so much for helping us care for our families, and particularly for Naomie, Malfred, and Prince. Please pray for them, that they would receive comfort and peace beyond their understanding from their Father in heaven, and for the community as it grieves and learns to live life again anew.

In His mercy and grace…
Stephanie

I wish I could send everyone who reads this just a glimpse of Malfred’s smile…it would light up your life…We have much saddness in knowing that his joy, his smile is all in mourning right now…but we do hope in the power of the Holy Spirit to turn his mourning into dancing. Please pray with us and if you can give…give.

Thanks friends.

Posted in Dear Jesus, Dear Ones | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Hot Jesus

Posted by hrgarippa on 17 December, 2008

Am I allowed to say that?

 

We (Mindy and I) just finished showing the movie, The Gospel of

John, to our Tuesday Night Bible Study Girls Group (which needs a

better name by the way, any ideas?). It is a great movie that very

accurately portrays that book. I loved seeing what I’ve been reading

come alive. We’ve prayed that it would help the girls better grasp

the things we are teaching, however I think we (or Hollywood or the

devil) might have compounded another issue; lust.

 

Here is the Jesus from The Gospel of John:

 

hic

 Yes, That is Desmond from Lost.

 

At one point when he “laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist”…ya know to wash the disciple’s feet. I was completely distracted. (Ya’ll this is as real as it’s gonna get on this blog.) And the girls they were also distracted…I think Amber might have whooped at Jesus.

 

The only one who kept it together was Mindy…the only one she whoops at is Garrett.

 

How is it that I can be so easily distracted? One minute I’m totally tracking with Jesus (God, Incarnate), and the next I am completely thrown off the track by Henry Ian Cusick acting as Jesus and taking his outer garments off…Oh, my flesh is weak, so very weak.

 

I am so thankful for my Lord and Saviour…the absolute Real Jesus Christ who is beyond any sort of category like “hot”…he is Holy and Righteous and loves me beyond anything I can imagine. I pray that I would be more and more distracted by Him.

Posted in Dear Jesus, Deep thoughts | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

Daily prayer

Posted by hrgarippa on 8 September, 2008

“I recognize that all I am and have is the Almighty’s. He could in one instant change the whole course of my life – with accident, tragedy, or any event unforeseen. Job is a lesson in acceptance, not blind resignation, but believing acceptance that what God does is well done. So, Father, with happy committal I give you my life again this morning, not for anything special, simply to let you know that I regard it as yours. Do with it as it pleases you, only give me great grace to do for the glory of Jesus Christ whatever comes to me, ‘in sickness and in health.'”

This is a prayer from the journals of Jim Elliott, and I pray that I would learn to regard my life as His, giving it to the Father daily.

Posted in Dear Jesus | 2 Comments »

The baseball cap

Posted by hrgarippa on 30 March, 2008

There is a family that I love. In this family are four boys and one girl. Last year the oldest boy and the youngest boy played baseball, both are athletic and tremendously gifted. The oldest boy, M, was on his way to the All Star team. He is a quiet boy, who always showed up and performed well and was well liked by his peers and his coaches. The youngest boy, D, wasn’t always at his games and although he could hit the ball, catch and run like the wind, he is prone to temper tantrums and would often have to be literally picked up and removed from the field because of his raging temper. Mid season we learned that M. was sexually abusing D. M. was sent to a juvenile facility, for how long I don’t know. D.’s mother was instructed to get the family counseling and we’ve rallied around her and the kids. Several of the kids have mentors, which has helped. But, sadly I do not think the kids have gone through proper counseling and so I do not know if they are properly coping with what has happened.

Today, the boys and their sister were up at the baseball field. All of the boys are excited to play baseball this year, and the oldest boy at home now, A. was eagerly waiting for his mother to bring the applications. He had a baseball cap in his hand and when he flipped it over it had M.’s name written out. Seeing his name reminded me of our desperate need for our Saviour. We (the baseball coaches) have struggled the past couple of days as we’ve already dealt with D’s. attitude and I know I am not equipped for his emotional needs. But our dear Lord is, and with His help we can help all these young men and young women.

Friends, please pray with us as we start a new season of baseball. I recognize that to some of you, baseball may not seem like much. But you’d be amazed at the opportunity that exist to teach these kids through sports.

And please pray for this sweet family that I love and that God loves even more…

Posted in Dear Jesus, WD Sports | 1 Comment »

the beauty of the body, continued

Posted by hrgarippa on 28 January, 2008

Sweet and lovely Melissa already wrote about this subject, here. But this weekend I was able to see that beauty first hand and it is truly amazing.

We had a mentor/mentee activity at Mercy Street on Saturday, this activity was for the high school kids, which means that most of these mentors have been mentoring for about 4-5 years. It was amazing to see these faithful mentors who have stuck by their students through the good and the bad. We are so blessed that we have such amazing people working with the youth of this community.

Then that afternoon I got to hang out at Miss Mindy’s. Garrett, her husband, was out of town so we planned a girls night, with Amber who is staying with them. I had my first experience at Double D’s, also known as DD Discount. I would describe this place as an Urban Ross. It was quite an experience. Mindy is a fabulous hostess, which means there are always kids around. And she knows how to grocery shop like a pro so her pantry and freezer are always chalked full of goodies. We had a blast listening to music, begging Quincy to dance, and just enjoying the company of middle schoolers.

We took the two boys, who are staying with the Hills, and Amber to church and there again the beauty was displayed. I have to say that the people of Providence Presbyterian are the best, they are so welcoming and friendly. They spent time engaging these precious kids in conversation, and just showing them love.

It has been beautiful for me to see the love being poured out as the Hills and the Smiths open their homes to the kids of this community. I love seeing how Trey and Melissa work so well together and are so obviously created for each other. The way they love the Lord, and then each other, and then their kiddos enables them to love so many, so well. And I am so glad that London never truly called for the Smith’s and that the Lord showed them West Dallas, and gave them a love for this community.

I am surrounded by beauty that is for sure, and I couldn’t help but think of this song by Sara Groves, Kingdom Come. The Beauty is all around.

When fear engulfs your mind
Says you protect your own
You still extend your hand
You open up your home

When sorrow fills your life
When in your grief and pain
You choose again to rise
You choose to bless the name

That’s a little stone that’s a little mortar
That’s a little seed that’s a little water
In the hearts of the sons and the daughters
The kingdom’s coming

In the mundane tasks of living
In the pouring out and giving
In the waking up and trying
In the laying down and dying

That’s a little stone that’s a little mortar
That’s a little seed that’s a little water
In the hearts of the sons and the daughters
The kingdom’s coming

Posted in Dear Jesus | 4 Comments »

Love is Still a Worthy Cause

Posted by hrgarippa on 13 January, 2008

Today my heart felt heavy as I woke up and faced the day. We had an event with all middle school mentors so this wasn’t a good “heavy” day. I needed to be light and engaging and there for them. But I swept aside the sadness and did my best to enter into their relationships, their lives, Rissah’s life and the great IMAX movie “Aliens of the Deep.” But when all the kids were dropped off and the rap music was silenced in my car there were still four precious kids being abused, neglected and on the verge of homelessness. And I was still coming to the table empty handed, unable to help.

But praise the Lord that these kids are not alone and will never be alone because they know their Creator and He has provided many people who love them and will be there for them, no matter what. Their lives journey might not be what you or I have experienced but it is a journey that has led them to a lot of love and a lot of grace. It is a journey that has led them to a lot of people who are living out God’s commandment to love your neighbor.

And even through their journey, I get to learn and watch as the Lord shows His Might and His Goodness, and in the end I pray my faith will be stronger that I will learn to lean on Him with no reservations.

It is here in situations like this one, in days like this that you realize that:

…love is still a worthy cause
Picking up and pressing on
Oh love is still a worthy cause
It’s the touch that starts the thaw
Love is still a worthy cause
or the word that breaks the pause
Love
(From Sara Groves, Love is Still a Worth Cause on her new Album, Tell Me What You Know)

The Love of so many will pull us all through, but the Love of the Lord is the anchor.

Posted in Dear Jesus, Love is life | 1 Comment »

I Lay My Sins on Jesus

Posted by hrgarippa on 3 October, 2007

I lay my sins on Jesus, the spotless Lamb of God;
He bears them all, and frees us from the accurused load:
I bring my guilt to Jesus, to wash my crimson stains
White in His blood most precious, till not a spot remains.

I lay my wants on Jesus; all fullness dwells in Him;
He heals all my diseases, He doth my soul redeem
I lay my grief on Jesus, my burdens and my cares;
He from them all releases, he all my sorrows shares.

I rest my soul on Jesus, this weary soul of mine;
His right hand me embraces, I on His breast recline.
I love the name of Jesus, Immanuel, Christ, the Lord.
Life fragrance on the breezes His name abroad is poured.

I long to be like Jesus, meek, loving, lowly, mild;
I long to be like Jesus, the Father’s holy child:
I long to be with Jesus amid the heav’nly throng,
To sing with saints His praises, to learn the angel’s song.

Posted in Dear Jesus | 3 Comments »

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 »

Kingdom work

Posted by hrgarippa on 4 October, 2006

Where the Light shines brighter, the shadows are darker.

There is a great work being done here in West Dallas. Many ministries are working together to transform this community. So many are faithfully answering God’s call and are being used for His kingdom work. It is encouraging to see! But in all this good work, as the light shines bright for Him, satan is busy. He is discouraging, he stirring up, he is doing well to disrupt the light.

Pray friends, pray for Kingdom work. And be active, be active in what He has called us to, shining His light to this world.

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