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Christianity community Lifestyle The Promise

Bible, Bacon and Bullets

Over the past couple of years we have made several attempts to start a Mens Ministry at the church, usually once or twice a year, and often with a very low attendance because people always have to work.

This year we did it again, but instead of inviting the men to the church, I decided to bring them out to The Promise which is our future family and ministry home on 12 acres of land half an hours drive from the church in Orlando. My friend from Texas was working behind the scenes. He has been very involved in mens ministry, so he kind of talked me into it. When we first announced it, we called it Bible & Bacon, and then my friend added another B for Bullets, so they all could come and shoot guns!

I guess this was the key to succes. Somehow the sizzling bacon on the griddle would make most of the men rise and shine, and it seemed like adding bullets to the breakfast would be a winner as well.

What is a Good Man?

Saturday morning my field turned into a parking lot as all the guys came to sit at my table to eat and fellowship. The bacon was good, and the Bible was even better. I shared a word on Barnabas who was known as a “good man”, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, leading people to Christ and playing an essential role as an assistant to the apostle Paul (Acts 11).

Right there we talked about our faith in Jesus and what it takes to be a good man, which is different from what you find in your workplace and in the world today. In the Kingdom of God it is not all about money and muscles, trucks, trophees and a trimmed lawn in front of your townhome. God does not look at the outwards, but he looks at your heart.

After breakfast and bible study, people went to the shooting range bringing their weapons and lots of bullets. What a sight! The tables were all set, all we had to do was line up! I had heard that there was a shortage of ammunition in the United States, but not today. Somehow it looked like all the ammunition was right here at The Promise.

Go for the Target

We spend the next hours shooting guns into a big pile of dirt. My neighbor had been cutting the grass, and my friend from Texas had marked the site with yellow painted tires. It was so cool. Some of us did pretty well, and it was great to see how especially the new guys enjoyed the day, the fellowship and the scenery.

My prayer is that they will go for the target and not miss the mark. It is not about the bacon and the bullets, it is about the gospel, finding salvation in Jesus Christ, through the work of the cross and his resurrection power. We are all created in the image of God, and we have all been equipped with mighty weapons so we can fight the good fight in the light, against the power of darkness. Time is precious. Let us not waste more bullets, missing the mark, but focus on the target and live our life fully for Him!

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community

A Disturbing Day At Church

Last week I had a very disturbing experience at the food sharing outside our church on Orange Blossom Trail, OBT, in Orlando. We feed the homeless and needy people in the neigborhood every week, so this was one of our regular nights with a 100 people standing in line to eat.

At 5.30 pm we were plating the food and getting ready to serve, when four black cars came into our parking lot and parked next to a black truck that were already there. It looked like new rental cars, something official, so they caught my attention.

Next thing I saw were the drivers in the black cars jumping out, opening up the trunks and giving out stuff from the back to the people in our parking lot.

I don’t mind people caring for the community and helping us serve. That happens a lot of times. Usually teams will come and ask if they can join us, giving out food, clothing, hygiejne products etc, but this time was different. It seemed like these people had another agenda.

I am Not a Racist

I walked over to talk to them, but they totally ignored me. They were all african americans, a group of 10-15 young people, handing out packages. “This is private property”, I said, and immediately one of them, a young guy with tattoos in his face, came right at me cursing me out. Somehow he tried to make this a racial issue, calling me a “White Mother……”, as if the color of my skin would have anything to do with feeding the homeless. I am not from this country. I am a viking from Denmark, and over there we don’t see colors like some people see them here.

At this point, they all started shouting at me, almost like some of the protesters I have seen on the news. I saw the hate in their faces, as they were threatening me and calling me a racist. It all happened really fast, like putting gasoline on a fire. In all these years I have worked as a pastor in the “hood”, I never experienced anything like this…

Calling the Police

Our church is located just down the road from the police headquarters, so I picked up my phone and called the police, while the newcomers were still in my face cursing me out. Then they all went back in their cars and started to leave, including a black female driver, who almost ran me down on the way out. As the car touched me, I lifted my leg as a reflex, and the driver jumped out, accusing me of kicking the car.

At this point, the rest of the team were waiting across the street, and when they saw her coming out of the car, they all started running towards me. Again they were yelling and screaming, it looked like a lynch mob coming towards me, but thank God. Somebody went in their way and stopped them before it was too late.

The Devil in the Parking Lot

When the police showed up half an hour later, we were feeding the homeless like we always do. They were my eye witnesses, they had been watching from the side. The only hard evidence I had was footage from the security camera, but somehow the intruders had managed to cover up for the episode by parking one of the cars in front of the camera.

The Devil was in the parking lot that day, but so was God. And the only reason why I am still here is because of God. From His perspective All Lives Matters. It is not about being black or white. He made us all different, and He likes us like that.

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community

Working with Wood and People on OBT

For a long time, my husband has been talking about making a wood work shop where we could create projects in pallet wood and jobs for the homeless people. We have a heart for the homeless, and this wood shop has been on our hearts for several years. We have talked about it and looked for people who could work with wood, but nobody showed up until we actually started the production one month ago!

Our first project was to make an American flag made out of pallet wood. My husband found a how to do video on youtube, so we went out to buy the tools. First we went to the pawn shops, but they did not have what we were looking for, so instead we ended up in Harbor Freight and Home Depot to buy the proper tools and the paint for the project. It was not cheap, but the good news was, that we already had the wood for free. The wood was in “the hood”, on Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando, which is the neighborhood of our church. The wood is all over the place, so we asked some of our guys to look for pallets, and the same day they started hauling in pallet wood to our shop.

Then we started to break down the pallets and pull out the nails, cutting out the stripes for the flag with a table saw, preparing them for the paint work. I will spare you for the video. None of us are used to working with wood, but we made it work anyways. My husband was cutting, one of the guys from the street was sanding, and I was spray painting. Eventually we put it all together into our first American pallet wood flag!

The Production

It all started with a vision, and over the past month we have build an production out of pallet wood that we pick up in the neigborhood. We work outdoors in a shed outside our church building, and in this little shop we have made a great selection of wood art. American flags and different signs with scriptures, Christmas decorations and even artwork painted on pallet wood.

We even have a brand. We call it Heart4Homeless OBT referring to the vision, to make projects and create jobs for the homeless people in the area of Orange Blossom Trail (OBT), but so far there is no paid jobs for this business. It is all based on volunteer work, until we find the right places to sell the wood – and the vision.

I am sharing this because I want you to know that we can do all things trough Christ, even wood work. My husband and I are pastoring a church, but we have a heart for the community that make us step out of our comfort zone, out of the box, into a wood shop and create something significant out of wood that other people would throw in the dumpster.

We are a team, and we love working together, even the days where nobody comes to help us. We are here for the vision. Everything we do, we do it as unto the Lord. Even the wood work. When we work in the Heart4Homeless wood shop on OBT, we don’t primarily work with wood. We work with people. They might look rough, full of nails, we find them dumped on OBT, homeless, selling drugs or prostituting themselves. In the eyes of this world they are considered “good for nothing”, but God sees the potential, and in his hands they can be made into something beautiful.

This is a small beginning, let’s see how it goes in this season of Christmas where we will go out to present the work. It is all for sale, like a lot of other stuff on the internet. But we are not there only to sell the wood work, we are there to share the vision, our heart for the homeless and the needy people on OBT.