December 25, 2012

A Greater Faith for the New Year...

I would like to share something on my heart with you in this 2013 year of Faith...

God tends to show himself opposite to the current situation:

• When there was a storm, He brought good weather
• When there was the Israelites in the desert walking on their journey, in the day He showed up as a cool cloud an in the night, a hot fire
• When Gideon was to conquer an army, He asked for a small group to conquer a huge army.
• When there was hunger in the crowds, Jesus multiplied food
* When there is death, He brings life and health.

Jesus has passed the baton onto his followers, His Father’s kids—that’s us. He expects us to take a stand in trying political and economical demise and to represent His Father’s desires and Kingdom. He has commissioned His children to show up in the opposite to give Him glory. In perilous times, that's when and where we are SENT. We are sent into a realm that is without grace and favor to bring God's favor and grace. This is our assignment as Sons and Daughters. God wants this world to look like His world.

So, in these time of threats of falling off a fiscal cliff, terrorism inflicted by our own children upon fellow innocent children, drug addiction run rampant—we are called to take our position-- understanding our assignment and responsibility as sons and daughters to confront the things that do not belong in His Kingdom—in our neighborhoods, in our families—in our own life.

What does this look like? For the one who just lost her job, “Father, I know you are my Provider. I choose to be grateful and believe you to provide for my family. Give me wisdom and favor and make a way where there is no way.”

It looks like the for the one who has fatal cancer, “God, You do not give a person cancer- You are the giver of live and healing. I thank you for healing me and I will press into you for healing.” Did anyone who came to Jesus NOT get healed? Are we to carry His baton and do “Greater things”? Forgive us Lord for making a theology out of how some people are not healed after prayer, but pressing into the more that God has for us as His kids.

It looks like giving a big tip to your waitress even though the economy is bad because you believe you can walk in a generous spirit despite your small bank account at this time. If we walk in a negative spirit of poverty when times are rough, we also empower the enemy and negative spirit and close the door for the Father to come in the opposite spirit.

It looks like when your neighbor is disrespectful to you, you return good for evil. You come in a spirit that builds up even those who tear down. This tenderness keeps that negativity from attaching to your spirit.

God’s word guides us in how to live in a society that is filled with challenges, and in a society that has abandoned the value of honoring God. Press into God’s love and His Truth and Freedom. He has the answers for everyday issues and challenges! We do not have to bow down to the economic depression predictions, or to the fear of natural and societal disaster.

The Father has a way out and wants to use us to shift the atmosphere around us. When we accept the world’s predictions, we have lost our faith in the One who is Lord of all Creation, the One whom has given us the privilege of walking as Jesus did and doing the things He did.

God bless you my friends. I'm praying for you in the Church to grasp the Beauty of your position as sons and daughters of such an amazing Father. I'm asking you to beg into His heart this year. There is nothing more worthy of living for but to know who He is and who He says you are...The world needs you to rise up in your spirit and become who you are!

Thanks so much for your prayers for me and our mission at Mama Nita’s in Steubenville.


December 21, 2012

Happy Advent & Merry Christmas & a Wonderful New Year to you!!

God chose to gift His gift of Jesus in a world torn by Middle Eastern strife—Herod’s unjust political tyranny, corruption, slavery, poverty prevailing among the family Jesus was born into—and yet His Mother was bursting with Hope and Faith: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord! My spirit rejoices in God my Savior!”

That’s what I am feeling here as I live at Mama Nita’s Coffee House Ministry home—a place so many of you have been a part of this past year in so many ways. I’m so amazed at how God has been moving in and through us this past year! It’s really been an adventure of encountering His Presence and seeking to make this new mission a place where God’s “Christmas Presence” can flourish.

To re-cap for some of you, I returned from Africa in the Fall of 2011 and bought a run down 5200 sq ft mansion this past January. After uniting with my friends from different churches we recognized it is time to “do something” that will usher in God’s unity among us Christians in Steubenville and facilitates encounters with our Loving God in this downtown area. It’s now my home.

I'm still connected with my people in Sudan and thankfully my old Volleyball coach is helping out Joseph to finish his school to become a Sudanese Doctor in South Sudan. Way to go Joseph!! And Thanks "Mum Mollie" as Joseph calls her.

“Doing good in the hood” is our motto in Steubenville, and that’s what’s been happening. Here are some highlights we can join with Mary in “proclaim the greatness of the Lord”: • Over 3000 volunteer hours from people around the nation to work on the house and over 20 churches represented
• A weekly praise and worship and intercession time on Mondays and prayer for the city twice monthly
• Several people recommitting their life to God through our ministry and many receiving prayer and relationships with neighbors deepening
• 29 of you sponsored windows so now ALL of our 38 windows are replaced! (There’s still 4 left!) Others supplied rugs, furniture, curtains, bedding, kitchen supplies, etc so that I hardly had to buy anything!
• A real sense of “God’s about to move in our city” from many of our local intercessors and a move on the Franciscan Campus of student’s hunger to grow in the gifts of the Holy Spirit
• A few movie nights with Furious Love and Father of Lights and a mini concert by Chat Smith
• Last but not least, a growth in my heart to hunger to have a deeper capacity to love God and others—keep me in prayer to continue to grow in generosity in loving others.

I have been praying for local people to be moved to volunteer here. Not primarily because I need the help (which I do!) but because it’s a sign of something the Holy Spirit is doing among the poor downtown to “give back” and find dignity and pleasure in giving of their time and talents.

On one of the warm November days I decided to inaugurate our winter with one last mow of the little bit of weeded-lawn we have. A middle aged man walked by with a few empty jugs. “Hi—how you doing?” I chimed in as a I took a break from my mowing.

I soon found out “Lawrence” was moving from Fort Steuben apartments to a house around the corner. “I got to get out of that place. It’s bad. The drugs. There’s no peace or quiet there. It’s bad there.” Since he didn’t have enough money for his water company deposit, he was walking 10 blocks to get water for his grandkids he was taking care of and his girlfriend.

Since that time, I’ve gotten to know Lawrence and his girl, Lauraine who is a patient at the free clinic I serve at on Thursdays. He now knows how to use my front load washer which was donated by Franciscan University, and pushes our neighbor Ruby’s grocery cart with jugs of water he’s filled from our faucets. After a few weeks of this, he said, “Do you need help around here? I’m a jack of all trades. I want to give back to you. You’ve helped us out so much. I want to give back.”

So now, Lawrence (Ruby calls him ‘Whispers’ for some reason I’ve not discovered yet) is putting on mudding to the dry wall that Jonathan put up and will start on some basement work next week.

Walter, another neighbor who was the first to volunteer back in February is the first local person to donate financially to our mission and helped pay for the Boiler company to evaluate our boiler. “Katie, don’t worry” he always tells me. God is moving in our people down here… Good in the hood. It’s really coming together. God is doing a great work here.

May the Lord especially bless those who have served here this last year either from afar through prayers and giving and those near who have joined me in doing so much to get this house and mission up and running. We still have far to go but it’s amazing how far we’ve come. I thank you God for the grace and favor!

So, I say to you, my friends: “Don’t worry…God wants to give back to you, fill you, refresh you. Amidst so much turmoil in our world, in the quietness, in the stillness, HE is HERE. Jesus will never leave you no matter how much you may get sidetracked. God is GOOD and is so ready to heal your hearts, fill you up and strengthen you to be a blessing to those around us.

May your spirits rise up like Mary’s does and say with all the Saints and Angels amidst any trial that may be going on and say, “My soul proclaims the greatness of my God!” Much love to each of you and your families!! You’re all welcome to visit anytime!! Thank you for being in my life!