Embracing the Weirdo Inside

I was a weird kid.

That’s not surprising as I’m quite the peculiar adult.

In fact, the only people who may not know just how odd I am would be those who knew me only as a teenager, in those years when I tried desperately to be normal. Cool. To blend in.

Like the day my friend Margaret and I were playing HOUSE with our Fisher Price people. I had a 3-story mansion with six kids (including Joey- the little boy in the green shirt was always Joey), a mom and dad, a station wagon, and a dog.

Margaret, who I deduced was nicer than me because she gave up the stairs every time I came over, had a ranch-style spread with her People Family.

We played for years with our people, creating scenarios and just enjoying “family life” in our make-believe cul-de-sac.

But we were now 12.

And no one talked about what they did with their Fisher Price families in the junior high lunchroom.

So one day, in the midst of a make-believe lunch, a real classmate knocked on Margaret’s door.

We might have been innocent, but we weren’t dumb. We KNEW our playtime was far from age-appropriate so we quickly threw our “homes” into a box, grabbed a bottle of nail polish and a couple of magazines, and opened the door.

“Oh, hey, we were painting our nails.”

“Sorry we couldn’t get the door.”

Seems like we’d managed to swipe a layer or two on a couple of fingernails as we opened the door to make our story plausible.

I never forgot that because it was the first time I’d ever hidden who I truly was. And it left a very dark place in my soul, one that would take years to address in order to fully embrace all of me.

Because this is how God made me.

And who can dislike one of God’s creations?

GEAR UP: LOVE

It’s Sunday night! Time to gear up for a new week. As always, the best way to do that is to PUT ON THE ARMOR OF GOD (Ephesians 6:10-18) but we also will focus on ONE area to strengthen our walk with the Lord. Just one focus to help us grow a faith that cannot fade with the demands of life and the pressures of this world. This week we will focus on LOVE!

The word LOVE and its various forms (loved, lover, etc.) are mentioned over 700 times in the Bible.

That alone should state its significance to the Lord.

But remember, God is no respector of persons. He doesn’t give us a list of who is worthy of being loved or of who deserves our love more. He wants us to love everyone.

From the person who wronged you to the man holding a sign on the street corner. From your best friend to that one co-worker who really rubs you the wrong way.

It’s easy to love those who love us back. But what about the rest?

We are supposed to love them too!

Focus on three people this week who you have a tough time feeling compassion and love toward. Pray daily for each one and if you cross paths this week, give a genuine smile. Ask the Lord to open your heart and help you feel love toward these three people.

John 13:34-35 King James Version (KJV)

34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

MINISTRY UPDATE

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a ministry update so I thought I’d let you know what I have been doing and where my focus(es) currently lie:

  • Homeless: Our work with the homeless reached an exciting near-conclusion and has shifted primarily to emergency situations, hospitalization needs/visits, and drug/alcohol rehabilitation. In 2017, I led a documentary crew through Tent City as we talked about how we got Veteran Homelessness down to 0% in South Mississippi. (Power Ministries housed the last veteran after many trips to the VA in Biloxi. He is still doing well!) Through filming, many people saw the no-longer nameless faces of the homeless and EVERY SINGLE PERSON in Tent City was offered housing. We were able to work with a local organization to turn over the day-to-day needs for new and returning homeless to the area, though we are still in touch with many of the men and women we’d grown close too. (Sadly, we have also conducted 7 funerals as well. It is a hard life and we pray daily for those still out there.) I am also still serving as chair for the governing council of the Open Doors Homeless Coalition.

 

  • Drug/Alcohol Rehabs: We minister at the local Christian-based drug and alcohol rehabs in South Mississippi and Mobile, Alabama weekly. We receive 5-6 calls per week asking for help in securing a bed to one of these facilities.                         NEEDS: Snack cakes (we hand out approximately 100 a week)

 

  • Senior Citizens/Nursing Home Residents: I currently have a list of 479 people in South Mississippi and Mobile, AL who are in nursing homes and live-in rehabilitation centers without any visitors. EVER. (I discovered this when I went with a church member to visit her mom- a woman MY AGE with physical and mental disabilities- in a facility and learned that 35 of the residents NEVER had visitors. I started visiting when I could and later added another facility. When my sister-in-law went into a similar facility in Mobile for a short period and I saw all of the people there who had no family to visit, I was devastated. I realized my reaction was a call to do something and I began visiting every facility within a 75-mile radius and compiling a list of those who had no visitors.) As of right now, I am just visiting empty-handed, but I have written a book that is being published to hand out on my visits in the (hopefully) near future. The book will be a tool for sharing the Gospel. I am writing as many Christmas cards as I can to hand out before the 25th but will switch over to Happy New Year cards to ensure everyone gets a card!!
  • NEEDS: Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Easter, or GENERAL greeting cards

 

We also have continued our online ministry tools (Facebook, websites, blogging) as well as a (pre-recorded) weekly radio sermon each Sunday out of Lucedale, Mississippi. Dale conducts a Pastor’s Bible Study every Tuesday and we try to host a young couple or family each week for dinner to minister and fellowship with. We believe it’s important for us to help others along the road we once traveled.

I am still writing and have found a publisher for my book Pruning With Proverbs. It will come out in 2021, along with Seeds of Glory, the book mentioned above. I have a few other children’s books I’m searching for a publisher for. It is a long process! But in the meantime, I’ve received my TEFL and will begin teaching online English courses in January. I’m excited for the new direction, both in ministry and in how the Lord is providing.

If you can help with either of the needs listed above, please send them to me at: Power Ministries, 14701 Lily Orchard Rd. Moss Point, MS 39562. Thank you for your continued love and supportt.