Baby its cold outside!!

So I am sitting here tonight with Starr (see her pic below taking a well deserved rest) after helping Brenthaven Church welcome 30 guests off the cold, cold streets and into their warm building for the night. It has been a wonderful night and I have been doing some reflecting I wanted to share with you.

Someone asked last week if the word of God is proclaimed at these warming shelters. This question immediately brought to my mind the typical requirement by some shelters and missions that someone must attend a worship service before they can eat a meal. That practice just does not feel right to me, so I wrestled with the question for a few days; it took an action by one of our guests last week to help me find the true answer.

While there is no sit down worship requirement before you can eat your meal here at Brenthaven, make no mistake, worship is taking place in our midst!! God is being worshipped when we pray before the meal and everyone is quiet and respectful. God is being worshipped when a guest breaks into song on the piano that sits in the room everyone sleeps in together. God is being worshipped when you hear “God bless you” over and over again. God is being worshipped when a young homeless man gives up his spot on the full bus and steps back out into the cold so that his place can be taken by a man with a severe disability.

Remember I said it was an action by a guest who helped me know for certain that the word and worship of God is alive at these warming shelters. That action was a moment of confession, followed by grace and forgiveness.

Phil was not having a good night last Thursday when he was here and he got really angry about some little something that really doesn’t matter. Tired and worn out by the long day, Phil’s temper got the best of him and he almost left the church that night. Thank goodness he came back inside; about an hour later he handed me the note you see pictured below and asked me to make sure all the people from the church read it. God is being worshipped when confession happens and forgiveness and grace is the response. Phil is back with us tonight, and we welcomed him with smiles and a bear hug or two ūüôā

Starr Counting Sheep

Starr Counting Sheep

Phil's Note

Phil’s Note

Image

THIS is what Jesus would do…

Jesus would want a church to open its building to the most vulnerable and the marginalized (humans¬†AND pets)¬†on a cold, cold night.¬† Jesus would want smiling faces to pick them up and take them to that church building.¬† Jesus would want a warm, hearty meal waiting on them when they got there. Jesus would want more smiling faces to greet them and serve them that meal.¬† Jesus would want clean clothes to be available.¬† Jesus would want relationships to be built between people who might not otherwise meet.¬† Jesus would want a safe, warm place for them to lay down and take a much needed rest.¬† Yeah, that’s what Jesus would do…RADICAL HOSPITALITY!!

Thank you Brenthaven Church family РРthank you Open Table Nashville and all of their wonderful and dedicated volunteers.  Starr and I are amazed at your love for others.  It has been a great night for Sacred Sparks Ministry!!!

Guests  enjoying a movie

Guests enjoying a movie

Good Friends, Good Food, Good Times

My friends Jill and Dwayne

My friends Jill and Dwayne

A Meal with Friends

A Meal with Friends

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you ever notice that wherever Jesus went, there was always a meal involved sooner or later.¬† After spending time the last couple of mornings with my dear friends Dwayne Keller¬†and¬†Jill Weisz-Keller, ¬†serving and sharing a meal with a number of friends at the Green Street Emergency Warming Shelter, I think I get it…

Jesus loved a good meal because it is the perfect opportunity to be in relationship with one another.  When sharing a meal with friends you are being fed in more than one way. You get the necessary nutrients needed by our physical bodies to survive, and you get the necessary connection with another beloved child of God needed by our spirits to survive.

In Biblical times, Jesus broke bread with His disciples every chance He got, because a meal with friends is a real blessing. In our times, on an early Saturday morning, that very same blessing was experienced over biscuits, gravy, eggs, and oatmeal. Smiling, sleepy, warm faces, ¬†radiating with the sacred spark of God that burns within as they enjoy a meal.¬†¬†It just doesn’t get much better than that…

Shalom U’vracha,

Lisa Cook

Happy 2014 from Sacred Sparks Ministry!!

So 2014 begins and I am so excited to find out what God has planned for Sacred Sparks Ministry in this brand new year!!¬† This ministry has been SO blessed in its short existence through prayers, support, words of encouragement and love, donations of supplies and financial support…I have been overwhelmed many times by the support received.¬† I was also blessed to find the perfect companion for my ministry journey, a homeless rescue herself, Starr of David!! 

Starr and I want to THANK YOU so much and know that we LOVE YOU and will do our very best to bring glory to God through our call to serve and love our homeless community in Nashville and beyond.

Finally, we want to share with you how we closed out 2013.  We travelled to Green Street Church of Christ to visit friends at an Emergency Warming Shelter on Tuesday, 12-30-13.  We took with us a truck full of warm clothes, socks, and blankets/sleeping bags. We then spent time catching up with some of our friends who were welcomed inside the church to stay warm on this cold night.  Enjoy the pictures and check back often in 2014 to see what God is doing through Sacred Sparks Ministry!!

Donations of Love

Donations of Love

Friends

Friends

My Buddy Frank

My Buddy Frank