I’m not gunna lie

I’m not gunna lie.  It’s true… I look.
As of Monday evening I totally take a close look…
at every person riding a bike in our neighborhood.
It’s because I’m instinctively looking for a bike that
looks similar to this one….

bike

Why?
Because my daughter’s bike (that looked similar
to this picture above) was stolen from our garage
during the night.  Then, as if the gashes in the
garage weren’t enough, the thieves returned
during the early evening (while we were away
for a couple of hours) and hacked away at the
garage door again. (fortunately we’d reinforced
the door).  But seriously!

Now some of you may be thinking, “That crazy
family just needs to move out of Detroit?”
(And we really do live right in the heart of
Detroit city… not a suburb.)
But move?  Really?

I bet you’ve had a missionary come to your
church and tell wild stories of danger from
the country they are called to, right?  You
probably sat there with awe and admiration,
thinking, “Wow, they are so obedient to Jesus!”
Why then, do you some of you get disgusted to
hear stories of a missionary in one of your own cities?

You have a choice… just like we do.
Proverbs 11:11
“Upright citizens bless a city and make it prosper,
but the talk of the wicked tears it apart.”

God has sent us to Detroit to make it our home;
He sent us to share His love and the hope that
comes through His forgiveness and salvation.
You have to be where God has called you, too…
and if it’s in the city… yay!
(maybe He’s calling you to our city!)
Or maybe He’s put you elsewhere.

Just obey.
And… speak well of those who are citizens of the
city… and Pray for us! (and other urban missionaries!)

 

Oh…
and a wonderful lady in a nearby area has given
our daughter another bike similar to the one that was
taken on Monday night.  As I’m typing this, our friend
and daughter are on their way to pick it up!  THANK YOU,
Kind Lady who is “blessing the city!”

 

 

 

4 Days Detroit- recap

 

image

small-logo-1

 

Ministry Teams of teenagers & youth leaders came to
Courage Church, Detroit from Michigan, Ohio, Iowa and Indiana.
Each morning the students benefited from quality (and fun)
teaching followed by outreach ministry in the afternoon.

image

The evenings services left HUGE and lasting impressions
on students and adults with the ministries of Reggie Dabbs,
Edgar Cabello, Richard Crisco, Sounds Good Ministries
and my favorite… Chilly Chilton!

(Click on the pics below to go to their links)

image

image

image

 image  

image

image

The final evening a rally was hosted at Courage Church
for the entire neighborhood of Southwest Detroit, also
proudly known as Mexicantown. (pictured below)

image

Our building was SOOO full of people, and everyone
had a chance to hear about the love of Jesus and about
150 people raised their hands to signal that they wanted
to give their lives to Jesus!  SOOOO wonderful!

Nearly 25 of these new friends attended our regular
church service on Sunday morning and several of them
are taking their committment to Jesus so seriously that
they’ve asked to be baptised in water!  YAY!
In the words of NOT-so-spiritual song The Hokey
Pokey… “That’s what it’s ALL about!”

Thank you for praying (if you did)!
If you didn’t… please start now!
Pray for these new friends who just beginning their
journey with Jesus!
Pray for our family & leadership team!

THANKS!
(Many of you reading this helped make this amazing week
possible!  THANK YOU!  You have made a nice spot for
yourselves in our hearts!)

We Don’t Really…

 

We don’t really understand what we never have to experience.

This explains why the phrase, “Oh, I totally understand what you’re going through,” is SO
frustrating.

HOWEVER… just because someone has not walked in our exact pair of shoes does not
mean that they are unable to offer guidence, insight and assistance.

If someone “who just doesn’t understand you”  but is in a position to
help you, attempts to share insight with you and it totally annoys you,
then perhaps the real issue lies within your heart….
and that you’d rather wait for someone to tell you what you want to hear
than listen to wisdom.

Make plans by seeking advice…”  Proverbs 20:18

Hmm, yeah. I think sometimes the problem is NOT that others “don’t really understand,”
but that we don’t really want to hear anything but our own thoughts & ideas.

 

 

Dictionary Headlines

Dictionary Headline = a fusion of two genre’s of communication in an effort
to explain all the life-changing things that are happening.

——————————————————————————————————-

Freaky Friday = realizing on Friday at lunchtime that your three youngest children
will no longer be homeschooled because God has miraculously made an opening
for all THREE of them in a wonderful school right in your own the city!
But…Now you must frantically buy school uniforms since they begin on Monday morning.

Satisfying Saturday= attending your oldest daughter’s
graduation from Xmin Academy where she’s gone through
Global University
, plus many other tests and the
memorization of over 400 scripture verses and will
continue to serve in Detroit where God has called her…
as a soon-to-be licensed minister.

PraisePrayPreachingParty = (sure, it’s a real word) when
you completely love your church and enjoy every
second spent with them on Sundays (and Saturday
in small group, and Wednesday in Bible Study and
any other days throughout the week!)

Reality Dream = when you take the children you’ve homeschooled
to a “real” school where they happily bounce into a classroom for the
first time in their lives and excitedly begin to made new friends, but
none of it feels very real.

Power Packing= helping your husband pack a suitcase before
he leaves on a three day trip called “Manuvers” with the current
Xmin students (who are from MI, MN and CA).

Xmin= X is from the first century letter that was an abbreviation
of “CHRIST,” and Min represents “ministry.”  (see details here)

Second First Day = the second time this fall that your children
have a first day of school because the first day was in September
when you started homeschool; the second is this
Monday when they started a Charter school.

A Nine Day*= A day that doesn’t feel like
any particular day of the week;
a strange one; the type of day that makes you
wonder around the house because you’ve
been at home with ONE or MORE small
children to care for  the last
TWENTY years
and now, suddenly, they’re
ALL in school. All day.
And you’re home… with no little ones.
(I had 5 Nine Days)

Hardcore Nap = when you sleep so hard that when
your alarm goes off you panic cuz it’s light and you think
you’ve overslept and made the entire household late for school.

Free Lunch= having lunch with a friend without having
had to find someone to watch
the children (for the 1st time in 20 years!)

Birthday Bonanza= when you bake approx. 8 dozen “monster” cookies for your son’s
6th bday so he can take treats to school and to church that evening; then bake & decorate his spiderman cake (with his help & instruction, of course!)

Perpetual Progress=
the constant commitment and hard work of my husband & a zillion other amazing people from Courage Church who
are working hard to finish a project only to begin
another one in order to have the 3rd campus of
Courage Church open by TOMORROW! (October 7th!)

 

 

Courage Church has campus locations in Hamtramck,
Midtown Detroit and now Mexicantown!
You can help us celebrate our 8th anniversary as a church
by attending the Mexicantown Grand Opening tomorrow,
October 7th at 3pm!  Or you can watch it live beginning
at 3:30 here!

 

*Nine Day is a phrase coined by Courtney Chilton a few years ago
that is very fitting on many days… for many reasons!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books I read this Summer, Part 2 of 2

Earlier this week I posted quick reviews about 2 of the books I read this summer.
You can read that here.

How to Knock over a 7-Eleven by Michael Cheshire

The title sucked me in immediately,  and the same humor
that’s in the title remains throughout the book. The author,
who moved to Colorado to plant a new church, openly
shares the fantastic victories and the hilarious
not-s0-victorious moments of learning how to connect
with their community and share the love of Jesus.
On the day I started reading this, the fifteen people who
were sitting near me in a waiting room probably went home
to their families that night and told the story of some crazy
lady who kept smiling at her book and would them just
burst out laughing.I was most certainly “that lady”!
This book’s honesty encouraged my heart; it’s humor kept
my heart relating to every word.

Every person in ministry could TOTALLY read this in a
short time – it’s not long- and discover something that would
stir their efforts! Loved it!

 

A TIME TO DANCE by Karen Kingsbury

Yippee!  Another fictional book that spoke to my heart!
My sister-in-law gave this book (and it’s sequel) for my
birthday back in the spring… I saved it for vacation. Let’s
just say that the kleenx box got a work out. Timely truths
are shared in such an understandable way, and even
though I haven’t personally walked the road the main
characters traveled, the  story illuminated principles that
certainly have timeless value to everyone.

I’m thankful to have read this book and will happily read
the second book in the series… when I have some time
to cry and enjoy it!  (I know that sounds weird if you’re a guy! Ha!)

 

Books I read this Summer, Part 1 of 2

There was certainly a connecting theme to all the books I read… and I did not plan that…
apparently God did!  🙂  Funny how He does that! hee hee

PRAYING CIRCLES AROUND YOUR CHILDREN
by Mark Batterson

Little & easy to read,  I could’ve flown through this book;
but I didn’t want it. I’d read a section, then ponder it and
think how I should/would apply it. The powerful
reminders to pray specific scriptures & promises for my
children shot new life into my prayer time.  Practical and
true stories of real parents & answered prayer
encouraged and made me cry (wonderful tears, of course!).

Every parent will be better for having read this book… and
their children will CERTAINLY benefit, too!

 

 

THE YADA YADA PRAYER GROUP GETS ROLLING (Book #6 in series) by Neta Jackson

I started this series years ago… it totally reflects the variety of woman in our church and the small group
that I attend every Saturday morning. I’ve had book #6 for a few years and totally forgot about it. On
vacation I completely enjoyed reading of the situations, prayers and miracles shared in this novel.
Although the story is fictional, every scenerio reflects a realistic situation. The answered prayer in the story
reminded me of the joy of praying for the each other, the endearing bonds it creates with those involved,
the faith that grows during tender times alone with Jesus, and the thrill of recognizing God’s hand at work!
At the end of this book I got so excited thinking that I’d actually completed a SIX book series… only to read
the epilogue and discover that there’s a BOOK SEVEN!  … but my friend has already purchased it and… and I’m gunna read it soon!

 

In a few days I’ll tell you about two more books!

 

 

Summer so Far (part 2)

July 4th we went to the Detroit Tiger’s Game. Right after this pic was taken it rained for 2 straight hours. But we stuck it out & had a blast!

Really hot days are good for staying inside & racing cars

 

Messing with the photo programs just never gets old, does it?
  
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visiting a friend’s new, teeny baby girl when she was just a few hours old

Enjoying another sweet baby born to our church family

Swing Set water (and mud) park that got great reviews. (Notice the swin noodle hanging above their heads. It has holes cut in it & the hose is attached to the end)

Real Church became “Courage Church.” Check it out at www.couragechurch.com

It’s not every church that gets to hold it’s baptism on the “beer deck” of a local venue.

Courage Church is giving a beautiful new location & huge opportunities to reach a whole new area of the city with JESUS’ love! (it needs numerous repairs… maybe you have the ability & resources to help spread HIS love. Look here )

Lots & lots of board games & card games