made for His glory

living in pursuit of that

Posts Tagged ‘Bible Study’


Posted by hrgarippa on 19 May, 2009

I’ve been texting a lot lately. With Bible Study over this is the best way to communicate with my girls. This is also linguistic school for me…my grandfather would be so proud.

Let me give you an example:

Me: Hey, How’s it going?

Girl: idk jus tied

Me: What’s tied mean?

Girl: lke when u wake up u tied

Me: Tired?

Girl: Oh yeah my bad that is how is spell it when I’m textin.

And yet another example:

Girl: can i go wit u guyz since i have nun n 2 do at da house.


So pretty soon I’ll be able to say things like…

AFZ – Acronym Free Zone

BBBG – Bye Bye Be Good

or my personal favorite….MTSBWY – May the Schwartz be with you.

I’ve just learned that in the world of text linguistics you don’t communicate with words you communicate with acronyms…if you’d like a good laugh check this page out. But beware there is some bad language on it.


Posted in Another day in the hood, Just for Fun | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

His (my) Girls

Posted by hrgarippa on 6 May, 2009

Last night we officially ended bible study. I’ll still be hanging out with the girls, but in a unofficial-come-over-whenever-you-want kind of way. My fearless, wonderful, dear, God-sent co-leader is due to have her baby any day now. I can say that for me the best part of this bible study this year has been co-leading it with Mindy. There were many times during bible study that the girls were just out in left field,  lost in outer space and I’d feel completely inadequate in reaching them and Mindy would finish my thoughts in ways the girls would understand…she’d reel them in from outer space. I am SO thankful for a friend like this and co-lifer (worker just doesn’t fit here).

p1040958                                                  the girls at Pine Cove

Last night at our End of the Year Celebration, Jasmine said to me… “So, Miss Hannah, when are you going to get Pregnant?”

I was mid-bite of my ginormous fajita burrito when she asked this question so I nearly choked….but once I got the food down, I said…”well baby, certainly not until after I get married….and then we’ll see about babies.”

And then Adrienne chimes in… “Oh no you’re not…you’re never having babies…I’m going to be all up in your bedroom after you get married.”

I then very *sweetly* looked at Adrienne and said, “You are going no where near my bedroom when I get married.”

After we got that settled…you know who would be in my bedroom after marriage, Jasmine says, “Why would you need to have kids when you have all of us. We’re your kids.”

Hmmm…how right she is….What a joy it is to love these girls, to pray for them, to encourage them, to be learning with them. They are very much like my kids.

p1040908                                             Jasmine and Adrienne

Please keep praying for them, and for me as I look for ways to keep them engaged over the summer. Summers can be rough around here or anywhere without much to do.

p1040902                                                                                                                                   More of my girls…Kaylene, Destiny, Octavia and Triana…

Posted in Another day in the hood, WD Kiddos | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Praise, always praise…

Posted by hrgarippa on 23 April, 2009

(Okay Okay…so I know I haven’t been around for a while. I’ve been a little busy and a lot happy.)

There is one lesson that I have had to learn over and over again here at Mercy Street, or rather in life in general. Sometimes its one step forward and two steps back (or three or four). When you’re moving forward it is easy to give all the glory to LORD, you can see His hand moving you right along. But when you’re moving back those are times when it can be a little harder to see His hand and shout “Glory Glory Glory” from the mountian tops.

But those ARE the very times when we need to praise HIS Holy name. When we need to remember that He is Good all the time, and that He has purposed ALL things for our good and for His Glory.

This week I’ve been saddened by some situations in the lives of my Girls…and then, Praise Him…He sends this sweet reminder in my devotional,

“Thank you that You plan to use for good the struggles my loved ones face – including their disappointing choices, their unwise or even harmful ways of thinking and living, and their sidetracks from going your way (as I see it – and, Lord, I know I could be wrong!).
I praise You in advance for the part these difficult things are going to play in Your good plan for us – in eventual deliverance and growth and fruitfulness. I’m grateful that in all these things the battle is not mine but Yours…and that the final chapter has not yet been written. How good it is that I can call on You to give me wisdom to know what to say or not say, what to do and not do…and that You live in me so that I can love with Your love, even when it’s hard. Thank You that these trails force me to trust you more!
I worship before You, my King and my God. I’m grateful that You command victories for Your people…and that “all things are Your servants.” You’re a God who acts on behalf of the one who puts his hope in You. Thank you that You are at work to answer my prayers in Your good way and time.
Thank you for past victories You have won in my loved ones’ lives – for progress and growth and answered prayer – and for the victories we will yet see in the future, to the glory of Your Name. I praise You that as time goes by, in new ways You will show us Your goodness in the land of the living.”

31 Days of Praise, Ruth Myers

So Praise always Praise.

Posted in Another day in the hood | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Oh Forgiveness

Posted by hrgarippa on 5 March, 2009

 We’ve been talking about forgiveness in Bible Study on Tuesdays. It sort of came naturally, when one of the girls said, “If someone disrespects me, I’m going to disrespect them.”


The last several weeks we’ve talked about what forgiveness is and what it isn’t. We’ve walked thru Matthew 18, the parable of The Unforgiving Servant and the girls have had a lot of questions…


“How do you forgiven someone who keeps doing the same thing over and over again?”


“How do you forgive your mom when she abuses you?”


“How do you forgive your dad who doesn’t want anything to do with you?”


“How do you forgive your mom’s boyfriend who molested you?”


And then there is Tree*…she always lightens things up with questions like….


“Is it true that if you don’t forgive someone, your insides will rot and you’ll die a miserable death alone and be eaten by dogs.” Or “Is it true that when you’re sick you smell different?”


(We love Tree…she keeps us focused and has taught us how to steer the ship back on course after getting WAY off course.)


As God would have it, I attended a certain church on Sunday, that I don’t typically go to and the pastor talked about forgiveness…Although his entire sermon I don’t recommend, some of this points were good.


He said, “forgiveness is not an emotional decision, forgetting, reconciliation, condoning, dismissing or pardoning.”


“Forgiveness is…the decision to continually and purposefully commit to being driven by love.”


You can’t love someone when you’re filled with bitterness and rage.


So on Tuesday we decided to have a bonfire and symbolically burn our rage…not our bras. HA!!!


We asked all the girls to write a letter to God listing all the people and the offenses that they needed to forgive. We have a spot in the back of Mercy Street where we have a fire pit and we lit a big ole fire and we burned our letters, as we talked about the freedom of forgiveness.


Oh….the freedom of us being forgiven…as far as the east is from the west, people…God is good.


And then we danced around the fire and sang silly songs, made smores, and young ladies that carry weights larger than most of us have seen in our lifetimes danced in the field as light as fairies.


Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3.13 


*This is my affectionate name for her.

Posted in Another day in the hood, WD Kiddos | 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:



 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 »

A Lavish Banquet

Posted by hrgarippa on 18 November, 2008

Tonight 10 sweet, loud, rambunctious middle school girls are coming over and we will sit around the table and we will eat and we will give thanks. I am so thankful for each one of these girls; Amber, Adrienne, Destiny, Jasmine, Kaylene, Triana, Summer, Mikelia, Gabby, and Octavia. Every Tuesday they come into my house and fill it with laughter, wild stories, impossible questions, hard realities and love. They challenge me and help me to see beyond just me.

As I’ve prepared the meal that we will eat…a Thanksgiving feast, I’ve been reminded of Isaiah 25.6; 

The LORD of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain;
         A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow,
         And refined, aged wine.

How sweet it is to think about what is being prepared for us. And to think that all of this here, all this sweetness, all that we encounter…is just a small taste of what waits for us at the lavish banquet that He is preparing.

I can’t wait for that party.

I mean, wine is mentioned twice in that verse…The Lord knows what’s up!!!!!

Posted in Another day in the hood, Happy things, Hope, Mangia Mangia | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

West Dallas in the Outback

Posted by hrgarippa on 27 October, 2008

Friday afternoon Mindy, Garrett and I loaded up two vans with 20 middle school kids and headed to Columbus, TX for a middle School retreat at Pine Cove Outback Camp. The kids we decided to bring on this retreat were the kids from our Tuesday Bible Studies, so we’ve been getting to know them a bit better over the last several months and we were very excited to spend some serious quality time with them this weekend.  The great thing about this retreat is that Pine Cove had all the logistics covered; the speaker, the program, the food, the activities all we had to do was show up and join in so that gave us great opportunity to build deeper relationships.

The weekend started with a 4 hour drive, in which I heard the song “Bleeding Love,” by Leona Lewis about 40 times…..”I keep bleeding, I keep keep bleeding love.” Garrett created a little scavenger hunt type game that was girls v. boys, they had to find horses, campaign signs, pink cars, cars that started with an “s”, banks, etc and each item was worth different points. Nothing brings out the competitive spirit like a boy v. girl game, that kept the girls occupied. They also had a little photo shoot with my camera, here are some pictures from the drive… 


The girls getting ready to roll out

The girls getting ready to roll out


Jasmine and Adrienne

Jasmine and Adrienne

Amber and the Sunset

Amber and the Sunset

We arrived safely, and after a little complaining about “there being no one” in my cabin, we settled in. One of the things you should know about this weekend is that for the first time we mixed our kids with suburban kids. We usually bring them to camps that are Urban-focused or where they will be the only group, but this time around we felt it was important and that these particular kids were ready to mix it up with the flavors of the real world. Kids from West Dallas don’t see a lot of diversity, the majority of their neighbors are black or Hispanic and are low income. I believe that if these kids are going to have a future story, if they are going to be able to hope in the future they have to understand what it means to cross racial lines, socio-economic lines and interact well with those who are not exactly like them. This was a very difficult part of the weekend to be sure. Our kids dress differently, speak differently, react differently…they are intimidating in size and volume. One of the girls is 13 and at least 6 feet tall, she towers over me. I asked her once, “Does your mom, hug you?” (Her mom by the way is about 5 feet tall.) She said no. This sweet girl doesn’t look 13, but she is, and needs to be treated that way even though she’s a giant. I hugged her to death this weekend. That is the way it is with all our kids; they might not look or act like they are 12, 13 or 14 but they are. Underneath all the loudness and posturing are hearts that need to be loved and cared for just like any other 12, 13 or 14 year old.

This weekend was mostly encouraging. Our prayer going into this was that we’d bond with the kids, maybe they’d learn to trust us a bit more and that they’d encounter Jesus in a real way. I think we saw some walls begin to be chipped away. I had some great conversations with the girls; honest questions were asked and hopefully answered in ways they can understand or begin to understand.

We had some frustrating moments, one of our boys stole a camera from another leader. The camera that he and his new bride had used on their honeymoon just 12 days earlier. The pictures not downloaded yet, they were needless to say anxious to get it back. He eventually confessed and returned the camera and there was reconciliation, it was great to see. We had girls shut down, get angry over ridiculous things…like what kind of juice they had at lunch.

The most frustrating thing…that we had to bring them home. They loved it there and wanted to stay. These kids aren’t dumb, they know what kind of life exists in their community, in their families. So many loved being free from it all…even if it was just for the weekend.

Here are some more pictures from the weekend… 

Mindy and the girls

Mindy and the girls

Garrett and some boys

Garrett and some boys

All the Girls

All the Girls

Operation Infiltration

Operation Infiltration

The meanest OI force you ever saw.

The meanest OI force you ever saw.



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