Monday, June 26, 2006


Experiencing the emotions and circumstance of Christ is a gift.
Knowing even the suffering of Christ is even a more precious gift.

Have you ever received a gift that you did not want, clothes or maybe a dictionary?

I have been experiencing a great deal of ungratefulness lately, its like you could give everything in you as an offering to someone and they just spit on it.
Imagine Jesus gave his life and still we can forget to say thank-you.
I do not like learning this one, it hurts a lot, but it still pails in comparison to the ungratefulness and brokenness that Jesus suffered ... For me.

Is Christ trying to share any of his hurt with you ?

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Double Blessing Friday...claim it as your own

Last summer I was sent to Melfort, Saskatchewan with my friend Xander. While there we had home Bible Studies every Wednesday where we studied the book of Exodus.
One night we were studying chapter 16- which is when the Israelites were wandering around the desert and decided that they wanted food and so God sent them manna and quail. With the manna and quail He gave these instructions:

4 Then the LORD said to Moses, "I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. 5 On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days."

We were discussing this and thought- that's awesome! On Friday we get a double portion because out blessing for saturday is rest. So we began to claim double blessing Friday. And this is my testimony to double blessing friday...

One day I was praying about moving to Ontario and I says to God- God, if I am to go there, I need money. If I receive $300 today, then I'm supposed to go. Then I called my mom and she tells me, Oh, Jaime- your Grandma just e-mailed me and told me she sent you $600.
And then yesterday (we studied Double Blessing Friday in our rations) I had asked God for a stove and a fridge for our house...and we got one for all 3 houses...
And then we had 2 boys over for dinner, and their 2 cousins came.

Pretty much Double Blessing Friday is awesome...because God is awesome...

Friday, June 16, 2006

an update from the 'hood

Good day!

Well, ministry is in full swing down here in JT Williams, Charlotte North Carolina. There are now 8 full-time ministers on our ministry team (1 has moved into the neighborhood, 2 are on loan from The War College in Canada and 3 are summer service corps and Rob and I make 8).We are finishing our second full week of official kids club day camp. It's been challenging, but the kids have embraced the new faces wholeheartedly, and the new folks are getting the same treatment as us 'regulars'receive, which is sometimes angelic, and sometimes...not.

Our day together starts off at 9am with Pray the Bible, a devotion (led by one of the team members) communal breakfast and then we kickoff kids club day camp at 10:30 until 3pm.The kids love all the attention and having adults to play with so it's hard to resist their urgings to just play one more game of basketball...before you know it it's dinnertime and then dishes (what a pile-up! Good thing we take turns...)then we just hang out with one another, read and check emails.

In the evenings, we invite our neighbours over for meals and movies, or head to the Charlotte Prayer Room (, out to a movie, discuss the day's highlights and low moments or focus on prayer ministry and spiritual development with one another. Then there is ice cream (of course) and we head off to sleep.

Rob and I usually hit the hay around 12:30-1:00 after having chatted over our day and having strategically placed fans about the house to disperse the cool air pumping out of our 200btu air conditioner throughout the rest of the house.

I have to laugh at the hilarity of it all! Honestly...we thought we were getting such a deal on that air conditioner...Heehee...
We only have an air conditioner, because our neighbours have them. You see, we developed this policy a while ago to promote incarnational living and simplicity...we call it "If the poor don't have one, then neither do we".

This principle protects ministers like us, who have good intentions to move into a marginalized neighbourhood, but then end up turning their shmucky little ghetto house into a palace of upper middle class living on the inside, and actually missing the whole point. Also missing out on the understanding and righteous anger that gives birth to advocacy for a community and a people group that grows out of living just as your drowntrodden neighbours do.Funny thing though, this principle has played itself out in an unexpected way here in Charlotte. The evidence is seen in our medicine cabinet, where you will find spray treatment for ringworm (half empty), clear nail polish to combat chiggers (nasty things), the special lice comb and lice shampoo, afterbite for those nasty mosquitos and antibacterial cream for those of us who scratch our bites until they the neighbours have them, so do we!

But the truth is,it's all worth it to be part of this JT Williams family.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Perception Is Not Reality

Tonight we had some dear friends in the fight over to our house for a meal and just to hang out. It was really really enjoyable, because we shared about what was going on in our lives, what God was doing, what our passions are and so on.

One area that Rob and I shared on in great detail was our frustrations since moving here to Charlotte in January. In hindsight, there is a long list of frustrations, delays and miscommunications that just made life harder in the daily grind. In the end, it always came back around to the present reality that we had never actually wanted for anything that we vitally needed, never starved or had to live on the street and ministry never came to a stand-still because of any of these obstacles.

That's a pretty amazing testimony, and it makes it easier to lean on God in current days as we get frustrated with delays and miscommunications and all that, because we know that God has got us covered, and He acts on behalf of those who wait for Him (Isaiah 64:4)
So then I was checking email, and found this in my inbox...again, I didn't write it, but I like it.

Perception is not reality
The lions may roar and growl, yet the teeth of the great lions are broken. - Job 4:10

In the advertising business we often say that "perception is reality" for the person who views our advertising message. It does not matter whether the audience believes the message to be true, only that they perceive it to be true. Their actions will be the same whether they believe it or only perceive it.

The enemy of our souls is very good at this game. He may bring on us what we perceive to be true when it is a lie. It may appear that there is no way around a situation. He may bring great fear on us. When we buy into his lie, we believe only what we have chosen to perceive to be true. It usually has no basis of truth. Such was the case when Peter looked on the waters during a night boat journey with the other disciples. At first glance, he and the disciples screamed with fear, thinking that what they saw was a ghost. It was actually Jesus.

Satan's name means "accuser." He travels to and fro to accuse the brethren. He brings an impressive front to all he does, yet behind that front is a weak, toothless lion with a destination that has already been prepared in the great abyss. He knows his destination, but he wants to bring as many with him as possible; so he often has a big roar, but little bite.

The next time some event comes into your life that creates fear and trembling, first determine the source. Look past the emotions and evaluate the situation in light of God's Word. Perception is not always reality. by Os Hillman

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Are You a Threat?

I didn't write this, but I like it...
Devotional by Os Hillman

One day the evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?" - Acts 19:15

Are you a threat to the kingdom of darkness? If satan and his demons had a board meeting and your name came before the board, what would they say? Would they say that you are one of their most feared enemies and they needed to keep many demons harassing and opposing you? Or would they say, "Gentlemen, this person poses no threat to our activities. Leave him alone. He needs no help from us."

There are millions of church-going believers sitting in pews Sunday after Sunday who pose little threat to the kingdom of darkness.

If we truly believe that we war against rulers and principalities that cannot be seen, then we must realize that their mandate is to hinder any believer who is seeking to walk in the fullness of God. However, "greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world" (1 Jn. 4:4b KJV).

If you are seeking to fully follow the Lord, you can expect harassment from the enemy. God permits temptation because it drives us deeper into the soil of God. These times reveal God's power to keep us and walk us through the temptations. Our message becomes fruitful when it is born out of obedience and suffering for His name. Do not consider it strange if you find yourself fighting major battles the more obedient you become to the Master.

God desires each of us to become a feared enemy of hell in order to affect satan's domain. When you begin to feel harassed, chances are you are beginning to affect the kingdom of darkness, and satan doesn't like this.
So, how many demons do you think are assigned to you?

Well freinds, that's definetely food for thought to chew on in our camp this week. As our ministry team increases in number, gifting and power, the devil and his hordes come marching to rob us, kill relationship and tear down all that God is building in this place. We must be alert!
"Be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring, seeking someone to seize upon and devour." 1 Peter 5:8 Amplified Bible

For further contemplation and exploration of the ideas outlined in this devotional, check out The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.

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Heather Dolby

Friday, June 09, 2006

what we hearin' in the 'hood...

Piggybacking on yesterday's post, I present for your curiousity and enlightenment:

Our Neighbourhood Theme Songs

A song about being proud of your roots:I'm from the ghetto homey, I was raised off of bread and bologna
You can't come around here cuz you're phony
All my gangstas, gon put ya hands up (put 'em up)
And all my hot girls, back dat ass up

A song about the police and a black motorist:They see me rollin
They hatin
Patrolling they tryin to catch me ridin dirty
Tryin to catch me ridin dirty
My music so loud
I'm swangin
They hopin that they gon catch me ridin dirty

A song - well - it's self-explanatory:She poppin she rollin' she rollin'
She climbin' that pole and
I'm in love with a stripper
She trippin she playin she playin
I'm not goin nowhere girl I'm stayin
I'm in love with a stripper

A song about relationships:
and they say
he do alittle this,he do alittle that
he always in trouble, and i heard he aint nothin but a pimp
hes done alotta chicks hes always in the club and they say
he think hes slick, hes got alotta chips he sellin dem drugs,and i heard
hes been locked up
find somebody else
hes aint nuttin but a what

so there it is. Hard to believe?
Check it out for yourself, and click onto the stream.

Here's the deal - I almost can't blame these kids for knowing ALL THE WORDS to these songs, and we're talking kids from the age of 2 1/2. Whether they understand what they are saying or not, the reality is that the beat is sweet and you can dance to it. The christian stations in the city just haven't got the same groove. The music is somehow too squeaky clean to relate to real life like they livin' it.

I get why William Booth took songs out of the pubs - not just cuz folks already knew the tune and would catch on quickly, but they were probably a lot more fun to sing and groove to...

Thursday, June 08, 2006

regarding blog dated Thurs. May 24/06

A couple of posts ago I blogged comments made by kids that I'd read on another blogsite. They made me laugh out loud and so I decided I'd share them.

Well, I got to thinking today about some of the comments I hear from the kids in our neighbourhood, and I thought, as a companion list, I'd offer up some of their sayings:

"I had your momma last night."
8yr old boy to another young boy

"I can get more girls than you"*
12yr old to 10yr old

"When we get home from church, I'm gonna beat you so hard..."
12yr old to his little sister who wasn't sitting still in the van

"Ha ha, I got some and you got none cuz yo' momma's po'..."
4yr old girl with freezie to 7 yr old girl without freezie

*I note, that at this point in the conversation, I pointed out to both of them that they were really too young to have girlfriends, or even be doing stuff with girls. I was promptly informed that girls at school go into the boys bathroom all the time and they'll 'do stuff'. Yikes.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for the sister post, entitled:
"Neighbourhood Theme Songs".

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

part 2...

Right now it's early Wednesday morning. I'm alone in the house - Rob is in Atlanta.

It's been a rather hectic few days since he left, and I imagine that life will continue in that direction until he returns. (The kids LOVE to test boundaries when Rob is away. Yikes.)

Regardless of that, I covet these times of quiet. I have a lovely cumfy chair in my office that is condusive to thought and musing and I'm sitting there right now, enjoying the sounds of birds and crickets chirping outside.

Normally, this is my morning routine - arising to coffee and the Lord and sitting awhile preparing for the day. When Rob is gone, I find myself staying up into the night, winding down from the day, turning over situations in my mind, looking for perspective, encouragement, understanding and peace.

Here's what's running through my mind tonight:

Today 4 yr old Lele covered herself with stickers - right on her skin. When she tried to take them off and realized they were stuck AND pulling the skin, she freaked. I tried to help her by wetting them. That didn't work out so I carried her home to her Mom. Who just pulled 'em off dry, and with one quick rip...

Today I spent hours with 8yr old Quan. He wasn't allowed to come over to our house for a while, but now he is and I'm glad b/c he's a great kid and I missed him. While I sorted my receipts for Area Command (seriously Jim, they're coming) he spent an hour happily punching holes in a piece of paper with my hole punch. Ah. Simplicity.

I couldn't get Jeani to stop doing flips and somersalts on our couch - she's really too big for that and even though she's only 7, she's already wearing high heels and she just about poked one of the other kid's eyes out...

I baked banana cake for the kids and they left their napkins in my (I mean Rob's) flower garden out front instead of putting them in the garbage pail 2 feet away.

I wiped snot out of a little boys nose. It perpetually drips and from my observation, he is generally content to let it run right into his mouth...

I played ball with a 3yr old who swung the bat and hit himself in the head more times than he hit the ball. He kept trying though and didn't cry once.

I was waved to by at least 5 neighbours, introduced to 60yr old Joon's sister, broke up at least 3 fights and 2 hissy fits and someone trusted me enought to tell me their last name. Their real last name.

I said no a bunch of times. I said yes a bunch of times.

I cried as I looked at a little boy 'helping out Miss Heather' by watering the flowers. I think he drowned them, but he was so cute with the hose that I didn't have the heart to shut him down.

I laughed with a boy that has some of the best dance moves I've ever seen. I sang along with our latest neighbourhood anthem - "I'm from the ghetto homey, I was raised off of bread and bologna, don't come around here cuz you're phoney..." seriously, that's a real song.

I love the Lord.
I love that He's brought us here to this city and this neighbourhood, even if it DOES make me a bit crazy sometimes. Perspective is key, I think. That's what my cumfy chair is for. So I can sit myself down, take a deep breath and hear from God. Perspective. Encouragement. Correction. Peace.

Do you have a cumfy chair?

Saturday, June 03, 2006

part one

I was sitting over at my neighbour's house a couple of nights ago just chatting. It's been a while since we did that and it was late enough that the kids had all filtered away and the night was peaceful and cool.

She's been next door since the beginning - that's right - 6 months ago. I can hardly believe it has been that long, and we got to talking about what the days were like back in the beginning. Back in the day, when all we had was two lawn chairs, a coffeepot and an airbed. She and I used to sit on our front porch and talk about all the different foods we'd make if we had a stove and a fridge to keep it in. We'd get ourselves feelin' so hungry with all that talk about food.

It was a really special evening for me, because it was the first time that she had invited me to come into her home and sit down. I'd dropped stuff off inside before, helped her clean after a fight with her estranged boyfriend, and even gone in there to get her stuff when she was in jail...but this was the first 'sofa visit' I'd been invited to share in.

I was looking at pictures of her from when she was just three years old. She was a cutie. Except when I commented to that effect, she shook her head and said "See, I was only three years old and I was big already. Just obeast. I am obeast and it's sad."

I'm pretty sure what she meant to say was "obese" but it came out as a word picture. Can you imagine what the word "obeast" looks like? Pretty unattractive. Maybe even hideous. That's how she feels about herself.

Now I wonder. Is she the one who first used that term to describe herself? Or did someone speak it over her, like a label or a banner and she then just adopted it?

Either way, it makes it all too clear to me how one word spoken over someone in their life that is unkind can hover and loom over them for decades afterward and become a big part of the way they define and view themselves.

It might not seem like a big deal to anybody else, but I think she's lovely and I wish that she would look at herself that way too.

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