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Archive for the ‘Love is life’ Category

O Happy Day

Posted by hrgarippa on 3 April, 2009

For the last couple of years I’ve known of this guy, Danny. He’s served at Mercy Street on occasion, he was present when the Watermark Chuckwagon almost blew Trey and Johnny to smithereens. Our lives have intersected for a while now, but on February 12 we had a head-on collision.

That morning I got my hair done (or did, as the kids over here say) and afterward decided to get some coffee and do a bit of work at Starbucks, as I found my place a guy says to me…”I know you, I know I know you…from where?” I’m totally surprised because this is not my neighborhood Starbucks and he was a little intense, but I quickly realize it is Danny and say, “Mercy Street” and we proceed to talk for the next 45 minutes.

I was speaking that Saturday at Mercy Street, and he asked to hear about it…was super encouraging and then as I was leaving said, “Can I get your number, I’d love to call you and see how it goes on Saturday?” I said sure. (note to any guys out there…this is how it is done, you are suppose to pursue the girl).

And I left. Little did I know that as soon as I walked out of Starbucks he put my number in his phone and marked the date and time we met…because as he says, “He just knew it was important.”

Ladies and any gentleman out there…its been important ever since.

I am SO thankful that God has brought this man into my life. This man that loves Jesus, and has the most amazing heart. This man that cares for me and prays for me. This man that wants what God wants for me…before he wants what he wants for me.  He is so kind and selfless. And in the words of a friend who endorsed him in the beginning, “he is one of the most heavenly-minded men I know.”

It is so much fun to be in a new relationship, to be learning about each other…to be learning to love each other. God is good, all the time…this we know…this we trust. I do my best to savor each moment of these days, they are so wonderful and filled with such happiness, giddiness and sheer joy.

Here is my sweet Danny….with his kind eyes and that amazing smile….oh, and there’s me…CHEESY!!!!!



Posted in Happy things, Love is life | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

Alive, Together

Posted by hrgarippa on 27 January, 2009

 One of the questions I’m asked a lot is,


“What is your job like?”




“What’s a typical day like?”


That is a difficult question to answer. My job is about relationships. It is about building relationships, spending time getting to know people of all sorts, with all sorts of crazy stories. People are complex. You know that because you’re complex.


People are hard to read, they lie, they laugh, they manipulate, they cry, they move, they get sick, they change their minds, they love, they hurt, they are kind, and mean, they are dirty and messy, they are stinky and they are beautiful.


People no matter who they are or who they are to you are complex.


Sometimes you get to the heart of the complexity. Sometimes as you open your heart and they open their heart you are able to see beyond…well all the complexity. This usually takes time. And be sure it is a mutually transaction. Only to the extent at which you open your heart can you know someone else’s heart.


There are times though as I desire to wade through all the complexity with a person and they throw up wall after wall; I start to wonder if it is worth it. How can I ever know a person who has so many stories, who is hiding things (aren’t we all), hidden pains, hidden thoughts, hidden motives. How can I maneuver through the labyrinth of another human’s journey? I am reminded of the very thing that enables me to actually do my job.


The unchanging character of God.


This morning as I thought of all those who I desire to truly know and love, and the frustration at not being able to do that, I was reminded that it is only by his unchanging LOVE that I’m even able to take the first step at engaging these people in relationship. It is only by His LOVE that my walls start to crumble, my hidden pain is revealed, my hidden thoughts brought to light and my hidden motives made right. It is only by His LOVE that I allow others into the labyrinth of my journey and together we discover the beauty of friendship…of family…and of Love.


But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ. Ephesians 2.4-5


How great it is that because of God’s LOVE we can live in community…we can live together alive in Christ.

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These are the days

Posted by hrgarippa on 26 November, 2008

When the comforts and the pleasures of my life seem hard to reconcile as I see all the pain and hardships of those in this community and in the world.

In the last week Mentors and staff at Mercy Street have passed out nearly 300 Thanksgiving baskets filled with food and grocery store gift certificates and still there are families out there without. Families that will not have enough food to fill their bellies on the most glutenous day of the year. There are people out there who will be all alone on this family holiday as my family gathers around the table and shares the things for which we are thankful for.

These are the days when I want a magic wand, I want to fix it all and turn 300 baskets into 300 million. These are the days when I realize how impossible this work is, not just my work but the work done all over the world by those who desire to share love with others. These are the days when I must push forward for I know that our work is not in vain. When I must be grateful for all that God has given me and be willing to share it with others and from the love that surrounds me love others. These are the days when I know that God’s love will prevail.

Posted in Another day in the hood, Deep thoughts, Love is life | 1 Comment »

Saying Hi

Posted by hrgarippa on 29 October, 2008

One of my favorite quotes from the back of a Starbucks cup…

“I used to feel so alone in the city.  All those gazillions of people and then me, on the outside. Because how do you meet a new person?  I was very stumped by this for many years.  And then I realized, you just say “hi.”  They  may ignore you.  Or you may marry them.  And that possibility is worth that one word.”
~Augusten Burroughs

I’m not sure about the whole marrying thing…but I do love the possibilities that saying hi to someone, anyone presents you…that is the beauty of stepping outside of our comfort zones and opening ourselves up to others. I love it….it is love afterall, right. Seeing that everyone…everyone…is worthing of our time and the simple word, “hi.”

Posted in Love is life | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Happy Valentine’s Day

Posted by hrgarippa on 14 February, 2008

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things. I Corinthians 13.1-17

Today is my favorite Holiday. I love being reminded of LOVE. I believe that true geniune love is at the root of all change and I wish everyday was Valentine’s Day. I’m currently reading a great book my mom gave me called, A Love Worth Giving, by Max Lucado. I recommend it to all.

To sum it all up, or rather to sum up my life: Since I am most often a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal I pray to remember that love is perfect in Jesus Christ, and that he is my source and strength.

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love is life

Posted by hrgarippa on 5 February, 2008

Love is life.
All, everything that I understand,
I understand only because I love.
Everything is united by it alone.
-Leo Tolstoy

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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
(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’m in love

Posted by hrgarippa on 6 November, 2007

I’m in love with this day, with this week and all that it holds. I love that it is super chilly outside and that my friend Hattie is a new Aunt. I love that soon many of my friends will meet their children. I love that our staff gets to dress up and eat yummy food together on Thursday night, and that as a result our ministry is getting funding. I love that on Saturday our mentors will run around an arcade like little kids and have a blast and as a result our ministry is getting funding.

I love that everywhere I look our Father is giving grace and mercy and more grace and mercy. I love that He helps me kick my pride and do the all the things I need to do. I love that He is perfect and all His ways are perfect. I love that He has given us the ability to love and that He shows us His love everyday. I love that He is always at work in this world, in this country, in this state, in this city, in this community, in the lives of these children, in my life. I love that His timing is always good and perfect.

I’m truly in love….

Posted in Love is life | 2 Comments »

‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour’

Posted by hrgarippa on 17 March, 2006

Matthew 5:43

‘Love thy neighbour.’ Perhaps he rolls in riches, and thou art poor, and living in thy little cot side-by-side with his lorldly mansion; thou seest every day his estates, his fine linen, and his sumptuous banquets; God has given him these gifts, covet not his wealth, and think no hard thoughts concerning him. Be content with thine own lot, if thou canst not better it, but do not look upon thy neighbour, and wish that he were as thyself. Love him, and then thou wilt not envy him.
Mayhap, on the other hand, thou art rich, and near thee reside the poor. Do not scorn to call them neighbours. Own that thou art bound to love them. The world calls them thy inferiors. In what are they inferior? They are far more thine equals than thine inferiors, for ‘God hath made of one blood all people that dwell upon the face of the earth’. It is thy coat which is better than theirs, but thou art by no means better than they. They are men, and what art thou more than that? Take heed that thou love thy neighbour even though he be in rags or sunken in the depths of poverty.
But, perhaps, you say, ‘I cannot love my neighbours, because for all I do they return ingratitude and contempt’. So much the more room for the heroism of love. Wouldst thou be a feather-bed warrior, instead of bearing the rough fight of love? He who dares the most, shall win the most; and if rough be thy path of love, tread it boldly still loving thy neighbours through thick and thin. Heap coals of fire on their heads, and if they be hard to please, seek not to please them, but to please thy Master; and remember if they spurn thy love, thy Master hath not spurned it, and thy deed is as acceptable to Him as if it had been acceptable to them. Love thy neighbour, for in so doing thou art following the footsteps of Christ.

Morning & Evening by Charles H. Spurgeon, 12 March

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Posted by hrgarippa on 14 February, 2006


I hope everyone has a day filled with LOVE.

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