Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Life on the Edge

I know that everyone at times loves to have an adrenalin rush. The challenge is that we can’t always live life in the fast lane neither can we live life in neutral. I continue to be amazed at what God does in spite of my lack of faith or willingness to trust him. As I walk the journey of doing church and mercy work in South Phoenix I long for real friendships of people who live here that have a heart for those who are part of the fabric of the South Mountain Community. Yesterday I finally connected with someone who is just that, Reginald.

I have often wondered why I ended up in the South Ranch Habitat Community and why the connectedness to a few that make it so easy to love and care for this community. Just in the same vein I wondered why we painted Mrs. Jefferson’s house last January. Now the pieces to the puzzle are being to take shape. As I talked to Reginald it made sense that everyone that I have gotten to know in the last year are part of his life in South Phoenix. He has the connections and passion for this neighborhood. He knows Bookie’s dad and brother. They all got in trouble together. He understands the gang and drug side of this area.

I had met Reginald’s aunt, Cynthia, after the painting blitz. We have met a few times and shared our dreams about impacting our neighborhood with the gospel. I had no clue that Cynthia had lost a 30 something son last year and was carrying the wait of this. She with a few others had planned a basketball tournament to honor his memory and passion in life. This is where she drew me into the picture and connected me with Reginald the almost linebacker for an NFL team until he blew out his ankle or knee in college.

I am faced with the reality that God has to provide both the people resources to help make South Phoenix a better place and the financial resources to make it happen. I should trust more but at times I think I have been left out in the wilderness. Yet, every time I read the Word I am struck with the reliability of God’s Promises. As I read the story of Elisha and the widow who needed help I see God taking something very simple and using it to provide for a family in real need.

I know I have a tendency to want everything done like yesterday. Part of the excitement and adventure is seeing God put together the pieces to the puzzle. I was blessed to be part of a wedding this weekend of a young man that is like a son to me. It was amazing to see God join together two very different people representing cultures that are far apart but it is Jesus who draws them into being one.

I am learning to enjoy life one day at a time. We go for walks in the early morning often on the Rio Salado Trail that has a variety of landscape that our puppies love to explore. I want to be like these little puppies that can take off after a rabbit or bird. They are also quick to stop and smell and look around to see who has gone before them. It is too easy to let schedules and the pressure that I impose to ruin my sense of God’s presence and peace in my life. Last week while walking along this trail we saw a beaver swimming in a pond with a couple of ducks around him. God is at work especially when we don’t see it or believe it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Trust Issues

I am known to like to do lots of things to both challenge myself and those God brings into my life. I believe that life is to be lived by doing not sitting on the couch playing ps3 or surfing the net. This last week has been interesting as I have seen God work in both great situations and also sad situations.

Last night I had one of my ‘moms’ ask to talk to me while we were cleaning up after the teen night in the park. Her daughter usually commands my instant attention and I ‘put her off’ a little while we finished cleaning up. I assumed that her mom was going to complain about something or ask a favor for her daughter who tends to be hyper active. Instead I was shocked as she shared grim news, she has a large tumor in her abdomen that will require surgery. This is going to happen like next week and she will be off of work for at least 6 weeks. She has worked as a hotel maid for the last 20 years.

Just a few hours before this, I get a text from one of my teens asking me to talk to her parents. She is a good kid but definitely coming into her own and pushing the boundaries. I know that she has been grounded a bunch and have strict parents. The great news is that I got to talk to her mom and dad who are actually cool people who grew up in the hood and totally understand the challenges that face today’s young teen. The reality for this teen was that she did something that she deserved to be grounded for and was giving her parents some attitude. I agreed with them that she should be grounded and learn to listen and follow her parents guidelines and also mine. It was scary talking to her parents at first but realized that we are on the same side for their daughter.

My life is full of surprises like having too many people to go on our Sedona trip. The last thing I wanted to do was say no to two of our Mexican Moms who should be able to come. One of the other mom’s drives her daughter and a friend to drop off and I quickly ask her to come drive and guess what she drives and there was room for all 45 to enjoy the cool water and amazing red rock of Sedona.

God is faithful and trustworthy!