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Founded.

By | The Hub | 3 Comments

I found myself lying flat on my back in a deep, dark pit.  The kind of heart-pit you can’t dig your way out of alone.

Paralyzed by depression and anxiety.

And when I say paralyzed… I mean absolutely frozen in the brokenness of mental illness.

I was empty.  Desperate.  Confused.  Angry.  Scared.  And convinced this is where I would stay.

But that wasn’t the woven-together plan of my Father for my life.  He had every intention for me to come out of that pit and He sent His Son to do the dirty work.

The night that I met Jesus, the real Jesus, the down in the dirt with you Lord…was about 3 months into my struggle with a life-altering panic disorder.  I was young, newly married, (what a wedding gift…hey babe…remember how you said in SICKNESS and health…let’s give that sickness line a spin) and…wait for it…

I was a CHRISTIAN.  Gasp.  Clutch your pearls.  I know.  Scandal.

How could a Christian end up where I had?

Trust me.  I thought it too.

One night my dad, desperate to see me come out of this incredibly desperate season, came to me with a Bible and told me to go out on the porch and not come back in until I heard from Jesus.  And he meant it.  Locked me out of the house.

I was pissed.

If Jesus was going to say something to me why would He wait until now?  He surely sees the suffering I’m in, the 10 times a day debilitating panic attacks, the sleepless nights, the lack of eating, the way that I had slowly slipped into this shell of a person who couldn’t even form words.  Surely He was there when the ER doctor suggested a mental institution?  So why now?  Why now would he decide to pipe up and give me His opinion?

Did his 2 cents even matter at this point?  I didn’t think so.

I plopped down on the porch and opened the Bible arbitrarily, like a spin the globe and point kind of method.

“The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me
    because God anointed me.
He sent me to preach good news to the poor,
    heal the heartbroken,
Announce freedom to all captives,
    pardon all prisoners.
God sent me to announce the year of his grace—
    a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies—
    and to comfort all who mourn,
To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,
    give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes,
Messages of joy instead of news of doom,
    a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.
Rename them “Oaks of Righteousness”
    planted by God to display his glory.”

Isaiah 61

In an instant I felt a feeling of lift, where I once felt paralyzed I felt the tingling of life coming back, movement where once I was frozen.

Jesus whispered into my weary face that night and said, “I have come for you.  The real me.  Not the me you’ve pledged your loyalty to  but had no dependence on and no affection for.  You are the captive I have come for tonight.  I am going to set you free.”

I was pardoned.  And I immediately felt it.  I was going to be ok, more than ok, Jesus himself was here for me, he had climbed down to the bottom of that black hole and was speaking life back into me.

That night I knew that freedom was being declared over my life.  That this anxiety…this controlling force in my life no longer could control me.

And as quickly as I knew that I was free, I knew this: that God had a VERY clear purpose for me.

He was calling me to my fellow pit dwellers and I knew that He was coming for me to heal me, redeem me and then immediately use me.

The rope that Jesus threw into that pit, the way He chose to pull me out,  was to show me my destiny, the knowledge that I had a design and that all of the mess I was laying in, all of the moments stolen from me by this season, could be, and would be redeemed, lit a tiny spark in me that turned into full blown hope.

I had a head on collision with the reality that Jesus, the real Jesus, had come to set me free of anxiety and to piece my life back together.  And that He was sending me out to do for others what had just been done for me.

It was my “Get up and walk” moment.

A short 3 months later the Lord blew through my heart a tiny vision – a crazy idea, a way to love the poor in my city by using His people, the church.

Three months after being flat on my back in that pit I was taking my first steps towards what would be the mantle of leadership I have carried at The Hub: urban ministries for the past 10 years.

Don’t let the title “Founder” fool you.

I was just a freshly healed girl, legs shaky but feet on the solid ground of Jesus…who came for me with a whisper of hope and a shouting of my purpose.

The Kingdom is upside-down in every way.

The choice of Jesus is never the choice of the world and hardly ever the choice that looks good on paper.

I sure didn’t.

“Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”

1 Corinthians 1:27-31

The story of The Hub doesn’t start with the story of an organization.

It starts with the glorious putting back together of a very broken girl.

He knew that the broken in my city needed someone who had tasted destruction and lived to tell about it.  Someone who could only stand before them because of the power of the same God that was offering the same glorious rescue to them.

They needed to know that if He could restore me, He would restore them.

The story of The Hub reflects the heart of God from day one:  that He is a pursuer of the broken heart, that HE is coming for His kids and His choice is that He do that through us.

That’s how much He loves us.

Man, what a good God.


Don’t disqualify yourself from the whispers of dreams and the visions God has given you.

It is precisely in your weakness that He will get the most glory.

Sun Up

By | The Hub

What’s more intimidating to an exotic dancer than a Christian women’s conference?

Nothing, I tell you.  Nothing.

Let me explain.

A few years ago I got a phone call from a dear friend and mentor.

“Beth Moore is coming to town, and Lifeway has chosen Purchased (www.thehubministry.com) as the ministry they want to highlight and support while she is in town.  You interested?”

Hold on one sec, while I fall out of my chair on the floor, immediately start pit sweating and try my hardest to gather myself, to sound cool, calm, and collected.

“Of course.  Tell her we said thank you so much.”

I hung up.  Beth Moore?  THE Beth Moore?

I mean, if you’re a Christian and a female you have no doubt heard of or studied with Beth Moore.

Who cares that it would take me four full days to complete one day of her studies?  I owned every single one of them.

This woman had shaped my view of scripture and had lit a fire in my heart to know more of Jesus.

And now she was choosing the ministry I was a part of to be her highlight ministry at a live event.

It was too much for my little brain to handle.

Let me tell you a little about Purchased.

Purchased works with women who are in the sex industry.  Women who are walking the road of prostitution, exotic dancing or pornography.  We exist to give them a way out, an escape, first and foremost, through Jesus and then through a community of women who will love them like Jesus and be in their corner every step of the way.

It is the loveliest ministry, and it has been the honor of my life to be a part of it.  It is gritty and hard and not glamorous work, but it is good work, and Jesus is leading the charge for it in our city.  I am who I am today because of the women of Purchased.  They are hands down the coolest, bravest, spiciest and strongest women I know.

So…back to ol Beth.

We were given a block of free tickets for the conference and were told to set up a giant booth at the entrance so that attenders would run straight into us and learn about what God was doing through Purchased.

I immediately knew who those tickets belonged to.

We had a rag-tag group of exotic dancers that were meeting weekly to study the Bible together.  We were having the time of our lives as we walked through scripture with these precious ones, who, for the most part, had never heard a single word of the Bible.

These nights were full of questions as we all processed the crazy truths of the Bible together.  The girls would sit wide-eyed as they heard truth after truth about who they were for the very first time.  They could not believe the things they were hearing and would throw their heads back in laughter over some of the Old Testament shenanigans we would read.  They particularly loved stories of women, especially women who were broken…the jacked up ones.  They leaned in to every second, soaking in who Jesus was and what that meant for them.

Side note…one time they asked if we could buy an “ark of the covenant” for decoration.  Bless it.  How does one explain the ark of the covenant…and that it can’t be purchased at your local Hobby Lobby.

These were the women I wanted at that conference.  These were the ones that I wanted to bear the tee-shirt of our ministry, to be the mouth pieces for what God was doing…even though they were just now grasping it for themselves.

Now, let me pause here.

A Christian women’s conference is a very hard sell to a group of tatted up strippers.

A hard sell.

“Ok….what is it again?” one asked me.

“It’s called a women’s conference.  You know how we all meet every week and read the Bible.  Well it’s like that, but there will be 4,000 women coming to do that together.  There will be worship, which is just music about Jesus, and a woman named Beth Moore will be coming to teach us about the Bible.”

What I should have said was, “Well…it’s like our little Bible study on crack.”

I helped them process the sheer amount of women that would be present.

I warned them that women at Christian conferences are more insane than women not at Christian conferences.  I know this because I lose my cool at conferences too.

I explained that there would be all the loud talking, laughing, weeping, praying, cheering and women feverishly buying every product there was to offer in the lobby.  There would be a lot of togetherness and sisterhood and “love you darlings” being thrown around….it would be a lot.

Is that not a women’s conference in a nut shell?

And this, my friends, was their worst nightmare.

For these women, “church” had failed them for the most part.  They were beginning to fall in love with Jesus…but His people…they weren’t so convinced.  People who claimed the name of Jesus had harmed them, abandoned them in their time of need, or judged them so hard they could no longer hold their heads up high inside the four walls of a church.  And women….well their struggle with other women was a unique one.  To them, women were competition, a threat…that is how their world worked.  Connecting with other women was foreign.  And women who were “not like them” had never welcomed them.  So 4,000 of them did not feel like a fun time.

They sat stunned.

“Come on y’all.  It’s gonna be a blast.”

They agreed, with rolled eyes, to do it.

Cut to the parking lot, the night of the event, where half of them were having panic attacks and the other half were refusing to go in.  Good start.

But we did it.  One baby step at a time we made our way to our table.

The doors opened and the lobby flooded with women and laughing and high pitched squeals and hugs…..it was on.

I watched as our team engaged women at our table, passed out material about our ministry, introduced themselves, and TOOK CHARGE.

My eyes filled with tears as I realized that, in that moment, behind that table, all wearing the same tees, no one knew.  No one knew that they would leave that event to go and dance on a pole.  The playing field was level.  They were not only equals, but they were ambassadors for the work that God was doing in our city.

I will never forget it.

We found our seats, and the conference began.  The worship band fired up and everyone in the arena jumped on their feet and began to raise their hands in worship.

To which, my sweet group, immediately looked down the row at me with looks of “what on God’s green earth is happening here?”

I whispered an explanation and had them pass it down.  No telling what the explanation turned into by the end of the line.

Worship ended, and THE BETH MOORE took the stage.

She was visibly bothered.  I could tell she had something to say.

What happened next literally blew my mind.

She explained that she had woken up in the hotel that morning, in our downtown, to pray and prep for the conference.  As she was praying, she noticed a bright orange light streaming through her closed curtains, the sun was rising outside of her window.  She went and opened the curtains, and her heart skipped a beat as she realized that the view from her hotel was the sun rising right over a strip club.

I froze.

She went on to declare that the sun rising over that strip club was a reminder that the love of God rises over everyone, no matter how broken, how lost, how messed up….that the Son would rise on every life.  That His light could cover all darkness.

And then for the next 15 minutes she had the entire arena pray out loud for the employees of that strip club.  Those 4,000 women prayed for each and every dancer, bar-tender, bouncer, manager, owner, and patron.

Beth got down on her knees and wept through her desperate prayers that their hearts be saved, their lives be restored and their brokenness mended.

She ended by challenging the full-to-the-brim arena to never close the doors to the broken and spoke truth about the lives of the women in that strip club, pushing everyone in the room out of their comfort zone.  She ended by saying that the call of Jesus would never call us away from strippers, but instead it would push us right to them.

WHAT IN THE ACTUAL WORLD HAD JUST HAPPENED.

I looked down the row and every one of my sweet friends was weeping.

What Beth didn’t know was who those free tickets had been given to.

She had no idea that an entire row of women, from that exact strip club, would be present that night.

She could not have known that her words would directly pierce their hearts as they sat feet from her in complete shock over what they were hearing.

And those women watched wide-eyed with wonder as the Lord himself showed His love for them in front of 4,000 women.  HE is who spoke through her, directly to their hearts.  Those were not her words to them, but His words to His beloved daughters.

He took the largest stage, in front of a packed arena, and chose to make THAT the place where He would speak up for them.  He esteemed them in the grandest way possible and stated LOUD AND PROUD that they were His, that He adored them, that He wasn’t ashamed of them….that He in fact loved them.

Worship started, and one of our girls grabbed my arm.

“I want to know this Jesus….” she said wild-eyed.

“Ok, let’s go.”

We began to walk down the arena steps towards the altar.

Arm in arm, we were making our way to her freedom.

And we got a good laugh all the way there as woman after woman looked at us, reached out, patted me on the arm and said “Congratulations!”…. assuming that I was the one making the decision that night.

Maybe it was my mohawk, nose ring and tattoos, or the fact that I was ugly-face crying, I dunno…but this was hilarious to my side-kick.

“All these women think you’re the jacked-up one,” she said through laughter and tears.

And they weren’t wrong.  I too had been jacked-up beyond recognition once.  Lost, broken, desperate…in need of rescue.  I had been the one that Jesus came for, throwing me the rope of rescue deep down into the bottom of my pit.  I had felt the deep sigh of relief to be found and known, to know that I had a way out of my brokenness.  And now, here I was, walking with a cherished one towards the very freedom I had been offered.  She was about to encounter the same loving gaze of Jesus.  I could feel the expectancy of redemption…it was a familiar feeling.

That night, at the altar, one soul found her place at the feet of Jesus.

One heart was claimed by Her Savior, and she would never be the same.

And a whole row of women walked away knowing that what they had been reading was indeed true.

That the God of the Bible was real, and that He loved them.

He loved them enough to declare it to an arena of people.

He was not ashamed of them, and He had let the whole world know.

Friends, Jesus esteems the broken.  He holds them high, honors them with the way He loves them.  He chases after them and makes the light of His presence rise over their lives.  And he chooses to do that through us, you and me. We become His vessels, the way He communicates with the hearts of His kids.

Don’t shut out the broken.  Throw open the doors of your life and invite them in.


This blog is dedicated to a dear friend of mine, Deb Douglas, who is now dancing at the feet of Jesus, healed and whole and NO DOUBT happy.

She was a true hero in the Kingdom.

She was in love with Purchased and she pushed the Lifeway team to choose our ministry for that Beth Moore event.  She was the one who called to tell me we had been chosen and giggled with me in excitement.

Before the event started that night, she came and found me.  “I feel like all of this is for one woman on your team.”  And she didn’t mean “all this” as in the free tickets and booth we had received…she meant “ALL OF THIS”…the arena, the lights, the sound, the thousands who would travel to be there.  It was all for one woman.

And she was right.

It was her push for the broken to be loved that caused incredible God-sized things…like this story…to happen.

Hand-in-hand with Jesus, Deb radically changed the lives of the women of Purchased, a countless others across our community, with just her presence.  She championed them, mentored them and constantly pointed them to the feet of their Father.

Her zeal for hearts to know Jesus resulted in a ripple effect in our city that will be felt for generations to come.

Deb, you will be missed my friend.  You were a true treasure, a jewel from the hands of Jesus into our lives and now you are back with Him.

Enjoy His presence my friend, you earned it.

Well done, good and faithful servant.

 

 

 

Love One AND the Other.

By | The Hub

sad liv

Sandra and I met under a bridge.  She was homeless, dirty, drunk and angry.  So naturally I decided that we would be best friends…against her consent of course.

Ours is a friendship of many years…most of which have been a roller coaster of emotions, ups and downs of trust, blow up fights where she cussed me up one side and down the other, using words I’d never heard and had to google…times that I let her down, disappointed her and broke her trust.

There have been countless middle of the night ER visits, countless drunk dials, phone calls when she was tripping so hard she couldn’t stop screaming and hallucinating.

So as you can see….sturdy friendship…solid ground.  She truly has given me the run for my money on this whole love-the-broken situation.  It’s all easy and nod-your-head-in-church feel good stuff until the person you are trying to love spits in your face….

No like for real….. she did.  Actual human spit.  It was fun.

But still.  I loved her.  And this isn’t a toot-my-own-horn kind of love…this was a JESUS MET ME IN THE MOMENTS AND GAVE ME THE ABILITY AND DESIRE TO LOVE HER.  Without His intervention I would have turned around and hauled tail as fast as I could to get away from her.

Did you know that loving your neighbor is actually quite hard?  It takes sacrifice…but most of all it takes HIM.  That’s how he designed it.  If we do it right…we will HAVE to come running back to Him for the ability to do it.

One afternoon I saw that I had a voicemail from Sandra on my phone.  So I pushed play and held the phone to my ear, quickly realizing that she had butt dialed me and had no idea she was leaving me a message.

I laughed to myself and started to move the phone from my ear when I heard my name come out of her mouth.  And my jaw immediately dropped as I heard her spewing the most hateful words about me to whoever was listening.  I’m talking mean-as-a-snake type of words…words that I began to feel physically…with every word I felt the blow.

But she didn’t stop at me.

“And do you know what she’s doing?  She’s adopting a baby…. yeah that’s right.  She doesn’t want her own…so she’s gonna pay a bunch of money for a *%$&  black baby…a &%*&  (insert n word).  She’s gonna go all the way to Africa and bring back a black baby….what the *&%^ would make a person want to do that….”

And so on and so on.  You get the picture.

The gloves were off now.  It’s one thing to talk about me…but it’s a whole other thing to talk about my little one…the one who at the time I had not held yet, the one who was still wasting away in an orphanage in Africa…the one who I begged God to bring home every single day.

And to hear her unfiltered view of things, deeply painful.

A rage I had never felt before rose up inside of me.  I pulled over the car and put my head on the steering wheel and began to weep.  That was it.  I couldn’t and wouldn’t do it anymore.  She was just too much…and this was just too much.  How could I ever love someone through this offense?  And she didn’t even know I knew.  I would not do it anymore…no more time, no more energy wasted on her.  I was done.  She had done the thing that pushed me over the line of willingness.

I had tried.  Wasn’t that enough. But this was my stop….I would be getting off the love-thy-neighbor train right here.

In an instant, as those words crossed my heart… I felt the Spirit of God so strongly.

And what I wanted was a pat on the back and a “good try” chat with the Lord.

But what I got instead was an immediate, overwhelming, burning love for her.
Stronger than before.  I knew it was Him…it couldn’t have been me.

I loved her so fiercely in that moment…and I knew that I in fact was being called to love her now more than ever before.  That this act of hate towards my own could not be the end of my love but the beginning of the rubber hitting the road, me actually learning how powerful grace is when it’s extended.  If grace were only for those who made us comfortable and never offended us…it wouldn’t be so radical.

And so, that’s what I did.  Not because I wanted to, but because I was called to.
And that’s what I’ve done for the 5 years since that voicemail.

Was it hard?  Yes.  Did it get easier?  No.

Did she apologize?  No.  Did I tell her I knew?  No.

But even with all of that…did the command change?  No.

Love thy neighbor as thyself.


I was driving down the road when Sandra stepped off the curb waving her arms, flagging me down.   I hadn’t seen her in a long time, so I was honestly thrilled that she was even alive.

I pulled into a parking lot so we could talk.  We caught up on her life and what had been going on, what she needed and some of the things she was struggling with.

As I got in my car to leave, she came up to the window with tears in her eyes.  I could tell she wanted, needed, to tell me something.

“What’s wrong?”  I asked her.

“You see that girl over there?”  and she pointed to an African American woman waiting on the bus.

“Yes.  What about her,” I asked?

“She’s one of my best friends.”

“Well that’s great.  Glad you have found a friend,” I responded, kind of lost for what she was getting at.

“Can I tell you something,” she continued,

“I used to be really racist, like really bad.  I hated black people.  I didn’t want anything to do with them.”

Shocker.  I thought.  My mind immediately was flooded with the memory of that voicemail.

“But…,” she began to sob, “when I met Liv and saw how you loved her…I changed.  Liv made me think about race and made me have to change.  I love Liv so much.  So, thank you for adopting her, because I’m not racist anymore because of her life.”

And with that she raced to catch the bus with her bestie…that beautiful brown skinned bestie that Liv’s life paved the way for.


It’s easy to love people who love you back.
It’s easy to love people who believe what you do.
It’s hard to love your enemy.
It’s hard to love someone who hates others.

But easy and hard aren’t part of the equation when it comes to the love of God.

We can not love the one and not the other.

We can’t love and cover and protect the one who is a target of hate or harm…and not love the one causing the harm, or spewing the hate.  No where in God’s word does it give us an out… in fact it says the opposite:

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you…”
Matthew 5:44

But it also says this:

“Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”  Isaiah 1:17

It’s a BOTH / AND situation in the Kingdom of God.

Stand up for the oppressed, defend those being harmed, speak up for those without a voice…don’t back down from racism…take a stand.

But not in a way that isolates and labels the “other side” not worthy of our love.

Because it’s not our love that we’re offering anyways…it’s His.  And as far as He’s concerned none of us are truly worthy of it…but because of His great riches of mercy He has called us worthy.

Those who’s lives are plagued with racism are groping around in their own sort of spiritual oppression…hate and bitterness and un-forgiveness.

Straight brokenness, they’re drowning in it.

And how will they ever find the surface of that oppression, come up for air, unless we, the hands and feet of Jesus, take them by the hand and show them a better way?  A way to love all people….because in our loving them, we are actually showing them that all people do deserve love.

What if, by bringing those who hate into the sharp focus of our love, they lay down that hate and learn to love…because they have been loved?

What if, church, instead of linking arms with each other and keeping them out because of their hate….we give them a place at our table.  What if we model, through our life, what it looks like to accept and welcome…everyone…no matter the color of our skin.

What if the battle against racism won’t be won on Facebook?  What if the victory won’t come through arguments and taking sides?

What if love across all lines is the actual answer.

It is.

Not condoning.  Not justifying their hate.  Not even leaving room for it.

Simply recognizing that brokenness is brokenness in God’s economy.  It’s all sin.  

And everyone is our neighbor.

So when Jesus calls us to love our neighbor…if our neighbor is racist or whatever long list of reasons we could come up with to not extend the same amount of grace we’ve been given… the command doesn’t change.

Is it hard?  Yes.  Is it a grit your teeth kind of process?  Yes.

Will it cause you to crawl back to His feet day after day, conversation after conversation…begging Him for the ability to love the person who hates?

Yes.

And that’s just how He wants it.


Disclaimer:

I understand that this topic is hard for some (should be for all) and very polarizing.

But as the mama of a brown skinned one, I feel that I have a responsibility to be a part of the conversation.

I have been shattered over the news the last week.  Broken in a way that feels raw and personal.

I ache and grieve over the world that we live in.

I ache and grieve that my little one will face and battle race and prejudice and privilege, that she will have to overcome assumptions and other people’s personal racial baggage in order to have the same opportunities as everyone else.

That may be hard to read, but it’s true.

Racism is directly opposed to the heart of God, who created ALL in His image.

To hate one race is to hate something God created to reflect Him.

You do the math.

You don’t want to get caught on the other side of that equal sign.

BUT… when you take anger and hurt over racism to Jesus He does not give a green light for you to return the favor, to get the right to hate right back.

And as hard as it is, I know that when I go to Him and ask Him what He thinks about these things we’re seeing, the white supremacy, the violence, the display of absolute brokenness that we’re witnessing, I am immediately aware that they too, those who are steering the ship of this devastation, are made in the image of God.

They are His kids just as much as my black daughter is.

So, I guess my disclaimer is that these words were just as hard for me to believe and digest and decide to follow as they were to write them.

But I can’t escape the truth of God’s heart, and don’t want to be caught on the other side of that equation either.


Phew, let’s lighten the mood a tad.

Just for funsies… here’s a list of funny, weird and slightly offensive comments I have received as the mama of a beautiful brown skinned darling:

  • Once in a store, when Liv was fresh from Africa ,tiny baby on my hip a woman approached Brent and I and said, “Awww….is she y’all’s ?”  to which I replied simply, “Yes she is.”  She looked me up and down and said, “Girl….you sure did lose that baby weight quick.”  I looked at Brent, my tall drink of VERY WHITE fine and looked  at Liv and just smiled at her and said, “Thank you.”  (Ma’am.  You must be implying only one thing has happened here….that I was unfaithful with a VERY dark skinned individual.)
  • Do you have any real kids? (as opposed to this robot one I have right here)
  • Is she yours?  (this one gets us in all types of trouble especially if the husband is
    answering…he is known to reply .. “Oh no…we just found her outside do you know
    who she belongs to…all the eye rolls and apologies.)
  • Once a slightly drunk middle aged woman asked us “So what…are y’all trying to be
    the next Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt or something)
  • How much did she cost?  Come on people…I know what you’re asking but choose better words.
  • What if she wants to date black boys?  hahahaha this one is just too much for me to even comment…isn’t that hysterical?

 

The Practice of Thankfulness

By | The Hub

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We all do it.

Open our Instagram and begin the scroll through other people’s lives.

Swipe.  Oh KEWWWWLL she’s on the beach in Hawaii.  How nice.  God bless her.

Swipe.  Wow.  She looks great.  Look how fit she is and how the light hits her chiseled abs just perfectly as she lays on the floor in a sit up position.  She’s glistening, not sweating.  Good for her.

Swipe.  Well BLESS THE LORD their family is all matching and loving each other and perfect and glowing.  Their kids are holding hands and just all in love.  Praise Him.

Swipe.  Oh.  Look at that.  Yes ma’am.  I love your $5,000,000.00 new home too.  Favor.

Swipe.  Oh that’s your view this morning for coffee? What beautiful fog covered glorious mountains.  Hallelujah.

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The $5,000.00 Quack

By | Purchased, The Hub

Inner-city ministry, lovin’ the poor and homeless, brings with it a unique way of life.

There are certain things in this line of work that you know you are signing up for:

SMELLY SEASON (begins the first day it’s really hot outside and all of your homeless friends haven’t taken you up on your offer of deodorant)
FIGHTS (Jerry Springer style)
the occasional pack of POPOs showing up (that’s police for all you suburb folk) to break up said fights

those are all the usual.

And so is theft.

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WHITE KNUCKLES

By | The Hub

WK2

We were on our way to a wedding shower outside of town.  Which already sets the stage of this story because my beloved hates anything social, fancy or obligatory…and this was all of those things.  He hates tucking in his shirt.  Hates the grinnin’ and shakin’ hands…all of these things…not his cup of tea.  (Oh and he would hate to sit and sip tea too)  So the edge was already present.

Not me.  I love the social scene…laughin and cuttin up…causin scenes…you know the whole deal.

We had been driving for a while when my main squeeze said,  “Am I going the right way?”  To which I said “I don’t know.”

“What do you mean you don’t know, didn’t you tell me you had the directions?”

“Did I tell you that?”

“Yes”

“Oh.  Well I don’t have them.”

Silence. Read More

Love Knocks

By | Purchased, The Hub

K-Motel-sign
It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon when we rolled into the worst part of our city…the part of town with the worst reputation and the highest risk of EVERYTHING…you know…the part of town your mama told you to never go to.

We unloaded bags from the trunk, bags that were bursting at the seam with goodies, snacks, scarves and fun girly items…along with a card…meant to put into the hands of some of the roughest women of our city.

These women are society’s rejects, women who have had a financial value placed on their lives and an invisible scarlet letter permanently on their chest.  These women, in this motel…a motel that stands for only one reason…that they would be sold. Read More

Invited

By | Purchased, The Hub

invited
Last night I witnessed a miracle.  A real, live, beautiful miracle.

Last night I watched a once forsaken be celebrated.

I witnessed a girl, who was once a commodity (bought, sold, traded), childhood stolen…standing and receiving a cake blazing with candles and gifts and hugs and kisses.

I saw a dear-one, once alone, in the presence of a table full. Read More

Emmanuel… Will you leave us?

By | Purchased, The Hub

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She met me at the office door, like usual, with a smile as wide as her face.

This is my normal greeting.

She is beautiful.  She is full of life.  She is changed.

But, this is a new reality for her.

When God found her, she was bruised, beaten, broken and used.  She was a prostitute, walking the streets night after night, alone and empty. Read More

The Megaphone of Power

By | The Hub

megaphone blog

The outreach for the day: feeding 200 of our closest homeless friends.

The army to help us that day was a fresh faced group of volunteers.  This was their first day to serve the homeless. They had shown up wide-eyed with some excitement…. but mostly fear (you know the look… the plastered smile and too much nodding as you explain how the event is going to work… while internally freaking out…b/c what if one of the “least of these” asks me a question… what will I say… you know you’ve been there)  There is nothing quite like the first time you walk up on around 200 very homeless looking folks.

And this group had already expressed to us that they were EXTRA nervous and had never ventured into the inner city before.

I gathered the volunteers up and explained the outreach specifics through what I called my MEGAPHONE OF POWER.  (I was/am so mature).  I didn’t need a megaphone, the volunteers were 5 feet away, but it made me seem in charge and it was powerful.  (I also didn’t need the fanny pack I wore but that too made me feel powerful… and in charge… and so I wore it)

At the event that day was a street guy that we called “Bones”. ( I have no idea why we call him that). Bones is in a wheelchair due to the fact that he lost one leg from the kneesdown.  He is NOTORIOUS on the street for being wild, loud and saying mildly to extremely inappropriate things at the top of his lungs.  In fact… that’s actually all that he is known for.  To that day I had not known Bones ever to be appropriate.

Which is why… you are going to call me an idiot in about 2 paragraphs.

As I was speaking into the Megaphone of Power, Bones rolled up behind me.

He began to make gestures behind my back… no doubt mocking my every word.  I could smell the alcohol and knew that Bones was in a particular mood.

As I was speaking he tapped me on the shoulder.  I turned around and he was grinning ear to ear.  He batted his eyes at me (not lying) and asked me:

” May I PLEASE say something to these AMAZING volunteers?” Read More