Thursday, October 29, 2009

Catch UP and Birthday

*Friday, Oct. 23- dinner in Montgomery with Mom, grandparents, and Aunt Cin. Then hung out with friends who came into town from Atlanta

Christi, Hannah and I 
John, me and Phillip

My friends here at Syrup Sopping. 

* After sopping, we went to the pumpkin patch! It is by far the greatest thing about Fall- I LOVE PUMPKINS!! 

* After the pumpkin patch, I had my birthday party at Hosanna with my friends. My mom brought the big twister, a space walk, and the bungee run plus some goodies!! It was also my friend, Wendy's birthday so she celebrated too!! It was a blast and my supervisor let all the women call and see if their kids could come! I couldn't have asked for a better party! :)

It brought literal tears to my eyes when I saw 4 yr. old Jordan run and hug her favorite person in the world, her mommy. This woman right here is so wonderful and loves her little angel. Jordan had pink in her hair because she had been to a church carnival earlier in the day with her grandparents. Jerri and Jordan's day together was the best present I could have ever asked for. 

Katy Bug in the Bungee run! 

Tammy and Maddox in a cow milking competition. 

A bunch of us playing Twister!! 

Me and Nikki on Twister game. 
Me and Katy Bug 
Sweet little Gracie Faith is having a blast hanging out in her stroller! Isn't she precious?! 
Sweet Cindy Lou with Wendy on the Bungee Run! 
My friends Hannah, Christi, and Shari came to the party, too!! 
Jordan had a blast in the Space Walk!! 
Cindy Lou wasn't as happy on the Twister!! She's precious!! I just love her.
Some of my blessings, Jerri, Jenny, and Katy Bug. Redemption right in front of my face.
As tradition at Hosanna goes, everyone who celebrates a birthday gets an egged cracked on their head. So, this is the first of my eggs...
Here's number 3, I think.  
And, Katy was one of the ones who got me. UGH! haha It's actually hilarious!! 
Me and Gracie Faith in the parlor about to have cake and snacks!! 
The girls decorated the parlor with a Birthday sign for me and Wendy!!

* Sunday, Oct. 25      MY 21st BIRTHDAY!
To start off the day, I was served breakfast in bed by two of the sweet ladies. We got up and went to church at First Baptist. Then, after we ate lunch me and a few friends carved pumpkins!!  
Katy, Cindy Lou, and I carving pumpkins out in the front yard on such a beautiful day! 
Me and Cindy Maddox hanging around enjoying the sunshine!! 
I can't think of many people that express so much joy than these two!

*Monday, Oct. 26th- My roommates and I carved pumpkins with some friends on our front porch!! It was a BLAST! 

Saturday, October 24, 2009


So, tomorrow is my twenty-first birthday. As I sit here going over my plans, thinking about past bdays, and thoughts on another celebration of life, I came to one conclusion. The best birthday present I have ever received was from my Father over thousands of years ago. The gift was like 3 presents in one box. My Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ down to Earth. In His marvelous plan, God chose to have Jesus crucified. God gave me three things during this time and I'll never forget it as long as I live. He gave me forgiveness of all my sins, grace through faith to stand before Him sanctified and redeemed into a relationship with Him, and an opportunity to share in His story, His plan, His glory! Wow!! I bet you can't beat that!! The best part about this birthday present is that He gives it to anyone who will receive His son. So, as one more birthday is celebrated, I just wanted to explain to you what I am really blessed and thankful for on this very day. 

Thursday, October 22, 2009

No Not One

I think one thing that the Lord continues to remind me is there is none righteous. "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one (Rom. 3:10)." But- "This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:22-24)."

When a drug addict goes back to drugs, when an alcoholic takes just one sip, when an international student proclaims atheism, when a role model commits adultery, when a leader gets caught in abuse, when a parent abuses a child, when a teenager smokes a cigarette, when a dad leaves his family, when a woman sells her body, when a word slips too fast...

None of us can stop sinning. God can never start. 
Our sins magnify His forgiveness. 
He doesn't need our sins to be Holy.
He IS holy.
Yet He chose to crucify His son so that these sins would be forgiven.
He chose to raise Jesus so we can stand righteous.

Even though "all have fallen short of God's glory (3:23)," I serve a God who doesn't need humans to get glory. Praise the Lord! 

After a week of disappointments. a week of manipulation. a week of distraction. a week of questions. a week of education on homosexuality, rape, elder abuse, child abuse.... I formed a new statement on how I look at social work and just life in general:

"The more I learn about people and their issues, the more I learn about the issue to love people."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

passion and grace

If you haven't gotten it by now, let me say it once more, I LOVE Hosanna. Sunday I was blessed to take four of my friends to the Passion City Church in Atlanta. This is the church I attend twice a month; Louie Giglio speaks and there's many mainstream artists who lead worship (Chris Tomlin, Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill...) It was huge that my supervisor allowed me to even do this!! Ashley, Katie, Jenny, Abbey, and I jammed out to music all the way to Atlanta. When we got there, Chris Tomlin opened up with the song, "Your Grace is Enough." This is the song the Hosanna girls have been singing as they travel to different churches to raise support. Of course, knowing the first song was an awesome start to an amazing night. Louie spoke on grace again which is such an awesome subject. It was so humbling to sit and hear these words as I not only thought about the stories of the women I was with but also the testimony of my own life. 

 There are two impossibilities that are necessary to consider. 1. It is impossible for us to make our way back to a holy, perfect, and righteous God. 2. Living out who we are is impossible without God.  - So... We can't live without Him but we can't make our way back to Him.  =GRACE-God at work doing something we can't do. 

The cross- Sins weren't just forgiven. Sins weren't just taken away. Sins weren't just defeated. That's only half the story missing the main point. Jesus gave us HIS righteousness. (Romans 3:22) When you believe it, you receive it. Look at Isaiah 53. It was intentional that God took every single sin of every single life and crushed His son with it. - God didn't just raise Jesus up in righteousness, but God took our sin (because we can't even do that) and placed it on His son. AND, he put the righteousness of Jesus on US. That's how we live out who we are. That's why there is no more shame, guilt, or condemnation (Romans 8:1).  Drop the weight and receive the cross. 

This sermon impacted my friends and me. One of my friends stood up to profess that for the first time in her life, she understood why she doesn't have to have shame anymore. She no longer carries this huge massive weight on her back . She is free of condemnation, guilt, and shame. Jesus Christ carried that weight for her a long time ago. Now, she's experiencing real freedom. Another friend gave 5$ to the offering. This is HUGE because they are not allowed money on them unless they take it out and sign for it. My supervisor allowed them to each take out 10$ for supper. Well, for someone to give 5 of their 10 dollars... serving. 

They met Chris Tomlin, received free cds, and were treated well by my church. On the way home I heard a comment muffled that really made me feel good inside. After I made them go through a car wash with me (silly mood I was in..) one said... "Wow, I've actually had so much fun tonight and I'm not high or drunk." This came from a mouth I would never have thought I would hear such a comment. 

Lives were impacted. Jesus- He is still doing it. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More cardboard Testimonies...

Not sure how much you can read on these but here are some more pictures of the Cardboard Testimonies my friends did at their Banquet. On one side, they identified themselves before they knew Jesus. On the opposite side, they shared what they know is true in Christ.

This is Amy. The front of her cardboard read, "Dope Dealer." She was arrested for possession of marijuana and was using meth. She is an awesome woman and is interning at Hosanna for the last few months of her program. When you go around her, you just know that she's real and she really loves the Lord and wants to serve Him in all she does. 

The "High on Jesus" is Ashley. She is one of my very special friends. She is 25 and was arrested for pot. She is one of the sweetest, kind-hearted people I have ever met. She loves her some Auburn football and just is a joy to be around. After this banquet, this shy and humble servant of the Lord wept uncontrollably. I have never seen her show emotion like that before and it was neat to see the Holy Spirit living and breathing through her.     

The "washed by the blod" is Nikki. Nikki is 22 and has a son at Hosanna, Zander. Her charges are all various drug charges but there's a potential she will be tried in court for being under the age of 21 at the time she got arrested. She is so young but does a great job of raising her son and is so fun and carefree. 

The "bible smoker" is actually from Montgomery, too. Her name is Tasha. Tasha was doing pot and crack I think. She is such a fun person around Hosanna. She keeps it straight and always makes me laugh with her quiet, under the breath jokes. One of my favorite things about her is she wears the button bracelet we made one day and it's just a cool thing for me to see. Tasha is almost done with the program. I think she finishes in December or early Spring. 

This is a picture of me and probably one of my closest friends at Hosanna, Jenny. This woman is one of the most incredible friends I have ever had. Jenny is someone who has taught me alot about addictions, challenges, faith, and serving. I have felt an immediate bond with her since the first day I was there. It's so crazy how much in return she has blessed me and just been so open and trustworthy with me. After some amazing advice and conversations with Jenny and a few other women, the Lord has put it on my heart to celebrate my 21st birthday here at Hosanna with these friends. It's a scary and difficult day for me and there's no other place I would rather be than at Hosanna with women who understand and desire the same things in life and are fighting together to pursue the Lord and trust them with their lives. I have so many more friends and stories to share but this is all for now. Please be praying for these ladies, and for me. The Lord is really evident in their lives and I just want to make sure they know how loved they are by Him. It is such a blessing to hear and see these women on a weekly basis. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


During a study break tonight, I read this out of Luke 1:78-79:

"because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace."

Then, on my drive home I heard this from David Crowder Band:

"When shadows fall on us we will not fear, we will remember
when darkness falls on us we will not fear, we will remember
when all seems lost when we're thrown and we're tossed
we remember the cost we rest in HIM
shadow of the cross."

the rising sun HAS COME. Jesus is the rising son, from heaven to SHINE on those living in a dark dark world who are in the shadow of death- HE has come to guide our feet into the path of peace so that when all seems lost we have a source of strength and rest in HIM- the one who rescued us from darkness on that CROSS. Rest in HIM. 

Jesus, guide my feet into the path of peace. 

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hosanna Hearts

Tonight the Ladies at Hosanna attended the ministry's banquet for their sponsors. I got the opportunity to go as well. We all had to dress up and the women sang a song. They also did cardboard testimonies (one side-identity before Jesus other side-identity in Christ). The night was so fun so I had to share some pics with you. I spend more than 8 hours a week with these amazing women who have blessed me tenfold. I am in love with what the Lord is doing in their lives and I honestly can say I have never had such an experience. I love it!! Here are the women the Lord is using to sharpen, renew, and challenge me day to day...

Tonight the pastor was talking about the Harvest Evangelism ministry and he said something that really hit home: "The most important thing isn't helping an addiction, you can go to hell sober; it's providing an opportunity to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior."