The work was done and we were going to say good-bye. We found Mr. Carl sitting at a small table in his kitchen trying to regain his strength after spending time with the volunteers outside in the yard. Mr. Carl had a stroke and now has great difficulty getting around. He also has paralysis on his left side and gets exhausted quickly when trying to attempt tasks that would be easy for most people. After we were driving off I looked at his transformed yard and marveled at what a dozen people with servants hearts did that day. But the real transformation had little to do with a yard. Mr. Carl had told me several times before the crew showed up that morning that he reads his bible and starts his morning with a prayer and now God is bringing those to help. What I would like to convey in these last few words before we look at all the pictures from this project is not the transformation that occurs on the grounds or with buildings, but with the people serving and being served. Both of the widows that were helped last weekend “Lived-It Forward” and participated in this project with Mr. Carl. Monika cleaned Mr. Carl’s windows and cleaned the mud from his shoes, and Ms. Dixie made biscuits and sausage for all the volunteers for breakfast. Just imagine if we all decided to LIVE-IT.
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Joseph and I had intended to story board the entire project on the way, but it was difficult to focus. We were all pretty excited and spent most of our time talking about how we had seen God moving to bring us all together. Joseph and I felt so honored to be at the beginning of what we could all sense was something that would spread like wild fire. We imagined what it might have been like for the support staff Larry Jones had with him when he started to developed feed the children, or Franklin Graham’s unsung crew may have considered what they were a part of. It was the simplicity of it that glowed in front of us. It is a service that I have been pregnant with for years, to be a part of something so real that it resonated through my entire being. I knew I was embarking on a journey that I was meant for. I have had the pleasure of serving in several great ministries in Kansas and a bit here in Tennessee and the one thing I have learned is that God does indeed call each of us to do something specific. I have, even recently, tried to serve in areas where I thought I was supposed to and it didn’t go well. We are each made to serve each other daily and to serve the kingdom with purpose. There has never been a more important time to be near to the heart of God, close enough to hear His heart beat and follow His leading. We must be in step with the Holy Spirit and quick to obey. My pastor recently recounted the statement “God never waists someone’s story” sometimes I assume He wants to use the parts of me that I think would be most useful, but He has other plans. All this to say there is nothing like walking in a calling, knowing it and not being afraid that you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. “The kingdom of God is advancing by force and the violent take it by force”. We got a little story boarding done and some good prayer, when it got dark we found ourselves doing the normal things you do on a car ride. I was finishing a book called Blue Like Jazz, which was given to me by a friend Reese Richardson. It was a timely read considering what we were doing. I thought I was going to pass out when we finally got to the Hotel, but Joseph and I got pretty excited about the next day and the Holy Spirit really came in the room and helped us plan out the next day of filming. We were up until about 5am, with a 7am wake up call. To say the Lord gave us supernatural sleep and energy is an understatement, if anything supernatural can be understated. We were not prepared for the amazing moves of the Holy Spirit we were about to experience.
God showed up along with 16 volunteers:
What began with a plan to fix a walkway so a widow wouldn’t fall leaving her home (just some steps going up a hill), ended with 3 men and a tractor creating a parking area and a wonderful walkway to her front door and a complete new home environment. Just exactly what can 16 volunteers do in a few hours? Take a look at what happens when people decide to LIVE-IT:
What was in the way… is now guiding the way.
the clutter… is removed.
Thanks again to all those past and future who have and will LIVE-IT.
More photos of Saturday’s event:
Friday at 5:45 pm March 19, three men after working the entire day showed up at a widows home to help change her circumstances and live-it.
…from grateful hearts to giving hearts, thank you.
Because these men ↓ and their company decided to LIVE-IT
We were pretty excited as we gathered. Paul and Terri picked me up, I think we were both on the phone with Joe, and we headed toward the interstate. We went to a McDonalds, one of many that would be seen on the way to Florida. Paul and Terri were on the decidedly last day of a fast and had the look of two well weaned patriots. I informed them of my problem with big macs and Paul sipped a bottle of oddly colored tomato juice as we pulled up. We sat down to wait for Joseph and his mother to bring completion to our touring entourage and pouring out our excitement about Live-It when a man approached the table. He explained the Lord had been leading him to create a place for Kids to be mentored and further shared he had been ministering to teens with a local youth group. It was great to see others so interested in what we were doing and it was only one of many spikes of spiritual movement that we have each continued to encounter as we live it. I ate my big mac with sweet and sour sauce on it, which had yet to be referred to as high glucose corn syrup by Terri, one of two RN’s leading the adventure. Joseph finally arrived with the newly acquired camera and we all thanked Ms. McMillon for her gracious help. As we pulled onto 40, east I think, I couldn’t help but imagining other s who must have made a similar trip. I imagined that others felt they were on a significant and life changing journey that we could all sense. It was one of those moments where you wanted to say everything, but didn’t want to say anything thinking you might jinx it even though you don’t believe in that. I just remember being excited and wishing I’d have bought another big mac for the road. I seriously can’t keep this detailed of account for the next 8 or so hours so I’ll regroup and write more in my next post. Thank you for reading with open humor and light eyes.
In a restaurant within a stones throw of The Tennessee River, Pastor Jim Thomas of Ridgedale Baptist Church listens to a presentation about reaching the poor, homeless, and unchurched through teaching them to give. After visiting the church and the property we are excited about what God has in the works. God you’re in charge…we’re ready to move when you are.
Thanks Pastor Thomas, we’re looking forward to LIVING-IT with you and the church.
So, I’m at Starbucks talking with Dave Luther and God drops smmething into my heart so clearly that I simply interrupt Dave mid-sentence to tell him what God has shown me. To put into context what I was about to repeat to Dave, we had planned Tuesday to spend all day at Starbucks today working on the “Gary” Documentary. Not God’s plan. This morning when I woke and tried turning on my laptop, it kept failing to boot up. I’ve never had anything like that happen with my laptop so I figured, A. Our enemies are working against my laptop, or, B. God is trying to show us something. I called Dave and we resolved to meet up and continue with the original plan as though there was nothing wrong with my computer; our enemies weren’t going to rattle us with this one. At Starbucks, the first thing we did was of course, PRAY! As the Lord keeps reminding us lately, “The first step is always to pray”. Still, we got no response from the laptop. Upon calling the Apple Customer Service number, the lady suggested a certain step that did not initially work so she scheduled me an appointment at the Apple Store in Knoxville. As soon as I hung up the phone and tried one last time the step that she had suggested, the computer came on. Dave and I sat there in wonder. He said something like, “God is trying to show us something here. Our enemies have nothing to do with this.” We began to talk about a budget in order to get some of the items that we need for future video projects. It was during this conversation, after Paul had stopped by for a short moment and had then left, that the Lord spoke to me. Paul had mentioned us sending him the budget when it was done so that he could take it before the Lord, but the Lord gave me a different order. We’ve said numerous times that God is the one in charge of Live-It but in that moment, it became so clear and so much more relevent. God, in a moment, showed me that He truly is the boss of Live-It as Donald Trump is the boss of the Trump Organization. When I want a raise, I go to God. I don’t go to Paul, or Terri, or Gary, or David, or anyone. In a moment, I saw the great difference between the way Live-It is run, and the way any other ministry up to this point has been run. If I were Pastor of a church and I was being a terrible steward of the flock entrusted to me, then the flock would suffer because of what God has entrusted to my care. There would be a hungry and parched flock under my care. But with Live-It, if I, or Paul, or anyone lays there hand on the flock, the flock will not suffer because God is the shepherd. The one that will suffer will be the one who interferes. It has to be this way with Live-It because of the massive way in which God wants to expand this ministry. If I were an employee of Donald Trump, I would need to go to him if I had a request. As a part of Live-It, I am God’s employee, therefore, I go directly to Him. There will be people in China who have just as a direct contact to the boss of Live-It as I do here in the states. It is this way for His glory, not ours. He’s tired of not recieving the glory from the church. This thing will quickly outgrow you and I here in the southeast, trust me, or better yet, trust Him. Ask Him, He’ll tell you. This thing is bigger than Paul, Terri, Joseph, David, Gary, or any other person. If I have a need or request, I need to deal directly with the “boss man” who in this case is God. Therefore, I will be submitting my budget to Him first and not to Paul. I’ve already discussed it with him and he’s in agreement. The laptop was God’s way of saying, “Hey, I’m the boss and all the equipment is mine!”
From the beginning LIVE-IT has been about changing lives through loving and serving others. We also have known (from the beginning) that the greatest impact would be made by todays youth and young adults. Recently Terri and I had the privilege of hosting 10 college students for spring break from Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. After telling Micah (one of the 10) about Gary and how God lead us into the ministry, he asked if he could get the group together and pray for us and the ministry. Before long all 10 were sitting with us in our living room praying and hearing more about how God is moving. God is so wonderfully confirming when he has you where he wants you. Today they are leaving to go back to school. Terri and I are sad to see them go, but we know that they will all do great things in the kingdom as they LIVE-IT in South Carolina.