Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Heart for the Homeless

I have a new friend. She is this little ball of energy named Susie. Her heart is bigger than Texas. Susie began a love affair with the homeless of Dallas a few years ago after the suicide of her husband. Asking God to give her a ministry in the city, He pointed out the homeless under the Canton Bridge. She was not happy about His choice. Her heart felt nothing but disdain for a population of people she felt were dirty, smelly, lazy, scary and strung out. But God knew that her heart was bigger than that and He started her on a journey that has led to the creation of Operation Care Dallas, Inc. This will be the fourth year of Christmas Gift, the largest Christmas Party for the homeless in the nation. Last year saw 6,700 guests walk through the doors of the Dallas Convention Center.

And the drive behind it all is a little Filipino lady named Susie Jennings. She works full time as a nurse at Baylor and ministers to the homeless in her spare time. And when I say she ministers, I don't mean she throws money at them and acknowledges them from time to time. She spends hours with them trying to meet their physical and spiritual needs.

I find her truly amazing.

"Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight..." James 1:27

Monday, October 22, 2007

My kiddos

I wondered why Aaron wanted to borrow my glasses. It took awhile to convince him that I needed them. I figured it out when I saw what jacket he was washing to wear to school today. Can you guess who he is?

And my Rinn makes a mean "Heroes" cheerleader. I helped burn the holes in the shirt. We had to rush it to the sink.


Some things make me really angry and very sad all at the same time. This is one of those things. 27 million slaves still exist in this world. Many are children. Over 17,000 are brought into the United States EVERY YEAR. It is often called different things, glossed over, excuses made. It is still slavery. I saw it first hand on a trip to Morocco. Little girls brought from villages and supposedly paid by the middle class that can't afford traditional housekeepers. No schooling, just fetching and cleaning until they are in their teens and attracting the attention of the father or teen-age boy of the family. Then the girl is put out on the streets to fend for herself. There are groups that take in these girls, train them in employable skills, love them, and give them new leases on life. There are also organizations that are calling for the practice to cease. I'm sure that this happens in many countries where life is not valued. It is happening here. We might not see it everyday, but stories like this prove that it is true. Look at organizations such as Free The Slaves and Love 146 and International Justice Mission. Will we, in this nation that is suppose to be "The Land of the Free", put up with this kind of crap?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Blank and Drink

I never realized the words blank and drink rhymed until I heard them in a Country song.

Monday, October 15, 2007

We buried my cousin yesterday

She had just turned 47. Feeling horrible from a headache, Tammy drove herself to the emergency room. Entering, she collapsed and died. It turns out that she had a heart defect that she was probably born with. The doctor said there would have been no symptoms. She left behind a husband, son, daughter, and granddaughter. And lots and lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins.

We grew up in the same small East Texas town. The kind where everyone knows everybody. The funeral home was packed beyond capacity. Every possible space was used for overflow. My father's parents had 29 grandchildren. We have gone on to produce a huge number. Tammy was my oldest first cousin's first child. She beat her twin, Tim, by a few minutes. So the family took its fair share of the seats, but many classmates and townspeople filled the place. I saw people that I thought were old when I was a child.

This is the first time I have lost a cousin so close to my age. Maybe that is why it has been so hard. It has hung with me almost every minute since my sister called last Wednesday afternoon with the news. Tammy was a spitfire. She was more than happy to tell you exactly what she thought. She and her siblings were extremely close. Knowing that they were hurting and then witnessing it was horrific. My dad conducted the service. It wasn't his first time to bury a niece or nephew, but that doesn't make it any easier. He did a great job while displaying the sense of humor that keeps our huge family semi-sane.

At the viewing on Saturday night, my youngest son saw a boy and made the comment, "That boy in the green shirt looks suspiciously like me." I asked my mom who it was because he had walked further on and I couldn't see him well in the street light. The funeral home had been packed for the viewing and I hadn't noticed a kid in a green shirt. Mom said it was Tricia's (Tammy's sister) son. I told Clay that the reason they looked suspiciously alike was because they were cousins and it must be the Sapp genes flowing through them. What is weird is that they are fourth cousins and they do look alike.

So, our family will continue on. We will have more painful days. Many of us recognize Who is in control and that keeps us going. That makes our crazy family strong. That is why we can go for a long time and not see each other and yet take up where we left off as if we saw each other every day. Of course, many do still live in the small East Texas town or have found their way back over the years. They let us come back to visit from time to time and don't hold our desertion against us.

My cousin is gone, but she is remembered with love by a huge mess of people.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Dead in the Pew

This wonderful, yet sad, blog is by Bush. I agree with everything he says in this entry. I started reading his stuff because I liked his notes on "being the church". He and his beautiful wife are working on an apdoption. Go to "Adopting August" to learn more about their journey.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Tacky, Tacky, Tacky

I was asked to be a judge for Tacky Idol 2007. I don't know if I should feel complimented or insulted. Is it because
I know tacky when I see it?

OR is it because

I do tacky so well?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Prayer Request

Please pray for my friends as they work through the loss of their cousin and niece. Sydney finished her battle with Leukemia on October 1. She left here at the age of eight.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Releasing Tension

During the stretch portion of my exercise ball dvd the trainer said in a soothing tone, "Let the tension go." And I thought to myself, "I did. I let him go to his grandparents today."

Monday, October 1, 2007

Pulling Teeth

so, i'm writing a story with my son, which is about as easy as pulling teeth...which is pretty funny, because he really pulled a tooth in the middle of the creative process.